Sunday, July 30, 2006

Seekonk, MA (July 26, 2006): Nokie Fornoro of Stroudsburg, PA went into Wednesday night's main event as the all-time win leader for the Northeastern Midget Association at Seekonk Speedway. He left proving his prowess and with another victory-bringing his career win total to seven at the Cement Palace. His team also pocketed $2,000 for the feature victory.

Fornoro started from the fifth position and became a factor before the completion of the first lap. On the initial start, Fornoro rocketed into the second position behind Mike Keeler. It took only a short time for Fornoro to put his M.J. Motorsports #4 into the top spot. A restart on lap six opened the door for Fornoro who took over the lead on the backstretch. The veteran open-wheeler had to fend off a handful of young guns, including a late race heated battle with Randy Cabral, to claim his place in victory lane.

The Seekonk Speedway has always provided the Northeastern Midget Association with a place to shine, a place to showcase the club's talent and competitiveness. And Wednesday night was no different. The action heated up right from the drop of the green flag as a three-car battle for the top spot erupted immediately. Pole sitter Barry Kittredge jumped out to the lead with Fornoro trying the high line; but it was Keeler who led the first lap with a move to the inside.

A quick caution for a spin by B.J. MacDonald slowed the action. On the restart, Keeler retained his lead on Fornoro and Pete Pernesiglio. Ben Seitz made his move into the top-five by passing Kittredge on the restart.

The second caution of the even flew on lap six for a two-car spin. As has been the story for much of the season, bad luck reared up for Adam Cantor, who brought his #7NY down pit road for service under the caution. They lined up for the green with Keeler leading Fornoro, Pernesiglio, Seitz and now Randy Cabral inside the top-five.

Keeler would not be so lucky on this restart. Fornoro went to the bottom of the racetrack to take over the lead on the backstretch while Seitz and Pernesiglio took chase. Greg Stoehr, Jeff Horn, driving for the Bertrand Motorsports team, and Bobby Santos III became part of the action up front as well.

On lap 14, Bobby Kuiken slowed bringing out the third caution. Once back under green, a great battle was brewing behind leader Fornoro between Keeler, Seitz, and Cabral. Keeler was able to maintain the runner-up spot over Seitz. Both; however, would fall to the charge of Cabral. He used the outside grove to take third from Seitz on lap 15 and then second from Keeler on 16.

Cabral quickly reeled in leader Fornoro. On lap 17, the lead duo made slight contact. Cabral lost some ground but quickly regained his composure. The top five in the running order was Fornoro, Cabral, Keeler, Seitz and Pernesiglio.

Over the closing laps of the event, Cabral resumed his assault on the leader. The two diced for position with Fornoro coming out on top. Cabral settled for second over Keeler, who has scored consecutive podium finishes. Seitz and Pernesiglio rounded out the top five. It was a good night for the remainder of the top ten, which included Stoehr, Horn, Bobby Santos, Keith Botelho and Erica Santos.

Fornoro became the fifth different winner in the six races held for NEMA this season. Also scoring victories in 2006 are Joey Payne, Ben Seitz, Randy Cabral and Bobby Santos III. Cabral is the only repeat winner. The absence of Payne and the Gene Angelillo led team was felt on Wednesday night. The NEMA community eagerly awaits their return.

The next event for the Northeastern Midget Association is scheduled for Saturday, August 5, 2006 at the Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. For more information visit .

Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cabral Honors Rifchin with NEMA Victory at Thompson
Thompson, CT: Randy Cabral of Plymouth, MA drove the Bertrand Motorsports #47 to his second straight Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) win on Thursday Night at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT. The victory brought with it an increased payday and a level of prestige as the night was dedicated to Marvin Rifchin. The 25-lap feature event was held to honor the legendary Marvin Rifchin of M&H Tire.

�No race means more to me than winning this race for Marvin,� said Cabral. �He helped me out so much. Marvin got me started in Midget Racing.�

Rifchin was on hand to celebrate the night�s event and to congratulate Cabral in victory lane.

�I want to say thank you to all the people who helped me look so good over all these years,� said Rifchin from the front stretch at Thompson, where as a car owner he too had celebrated victories.

Marvin Rifchin was an innovator. Through M&H Tires of Watertown, MA, a company he owned with his late father Henry, Rifchin revolutionized the sport of drag racing with the introduction of the modern-day drag slick. Don Garlits debuted the drag slick in 1957 to become the first drag racer to break the 8-second barrier. Garlits later recorded the first officially recognized 200-mph run on M&H tires.

His impact was felt as strong in short track racing with tires for nearly every application-most notably the Midgets and Modifieds. He; however, may be best known for his contributions to the racers themselves. Marvin Rifchin is a generous man who helped the careers of many drivers with friendship, advice and sponsorship.

�If people only knew how many teams Marvin has helped with tires,� said Thompson Speedway owner Donald Hoenig. �I am proud to be here with him here this evening.�

NEMA Announcer Pete Falconi fittingly called Marvin �a United States racing legend.�

A number of great retired drivers like Ron Bouchard, Dave Humphries, Leo Cleary, George Summers, and Billy Harmon were on hand to honor Rifchin and to watch Cabral head to victory lane.

Cabral methodically worked his way up from his twelfth place starting spot and into the top-five within the opening laps of the 25-lap main event. He lay in wait during much of the feature; making the race winning pass on Ben Seitz with only two laps to go.

�This was a great race,� continued Cabral. �To race so close with guys like Payne and Seitz is just awesome. I was driving that car for all it was worth every lap.�

In honor of Rifchin, the NEMA Midgets started the event �old school� in three-wide formation with Barry Kittredge, Mike Keeler, and Chris Perley on the front row. It was a picture-perfect three-wide with Kittredge getting the edge. But it was Chris Perley on the move. The driver known as the �Rowley Rocket� was the new leader before the completion of the first lap.

The action was short-lived as a spin by Tommy Spada brought out the first caution on lap one. Greg Stoehr also slowed on the track. Mechanical woes sidelined Ryan Dolan as well while under the caution.

Ben Seitz took advantage of the restart and motored into the top spot. Nokie Fornoro followed through moving Perley back to third. The second caution flew on lap four for a spin by Adam Cantor. Keeler brought his #55 down pit road under the caution ending his good run. Shane Hammond would find the same fate with his mount on pit road.

By this time, Cabral and Joey Payne had moved inside the top-five. For the restart, Seitz and Fornoro occupied the front row followed by Perley, Bertrand and Payne. Seitz jumped out to a big lead quickly over Fornoro. Perley faded slightly making way for Payne, who had edged ahead of Cabral.

On the move, Payne reeled in Fornoro while Cabral in fourth became part of the mix. Up front, Seitz was stretching his lead over the pack. On lap eight, Cabral and Payne went wheel-to-wheel for third giving Fornoro some breathing room.

The event�s third caution flew when Spada spun his machine exiting turn four to complete lap nine. The double-file restart once again pitted Seitz and Fornoro and again it was Seitz gaining the advantage. With a great restart, Payne moved into second. Cabral made a move on the backstretch to get along side Fornoro. At the stripe #47 was third.

Jeff Horn, who had fallen back early on, was making his way back to the front when disaster struck. Horn made hard contact with the outside wall on the backstretch on lap 11.

The restart pit rivals Seitz and Payne on the front row to take the green flag. Cabral remained in third followed by Perley, Fornoro and a fully-recovered Stoehr. Seitz was able to retain his lead over Payne running in second.

The battle for second was brewing at the halfway marker. Cabral was finally able to take the second position from Payne on lap 15. Cabral quickly closed the gap between his #47 and leader Seitz. Pole sitter and early leader Kittredge headed pit side on lap 17.

Lapped traffic became an issue as leader Seitz and Cabral diced through traffic. Perley relinquished his top-five when a broken brake caliper ended his night. With five laps to go, Seitz maintained his lead over Cabral and Payne.

The margin was getting smaller and smaller between Seitz and Cabral. Finally, Cabral got alongside Seitz. The two contenders split a lapped car on the front stretch as they headed for the stripe. On lap 21, Cabral was the new leader.

Stoehr�s great run came to an end with only two laps remaining as his car stopped on the front stretch necessitating the caution. The yellow should have set up a two-lap shootout to determine the winner of the Rifchin race but, in a shocking turn of events, Seitz headed down pit road also with a broken rear brake caliper.

This left Cabral to try to fend off Payne, Fornoro, and Mike Lugelle. Cabral was successful. He motored out in front on the restart and went unchallenged to the checkers. Payne came home with a hard-fought runner-up finish followed by Fornoro. Erica Santos drove the Ed Breault owned machine to a popular fifth-place finish.

From atop the wing of his winning mount in victory lane, Cabral greeted the crowd. Once back on the ground, Cabral received a congratulatory handshake from Mr. Marvin Rifchin.

�I cannot get any happier than I am right now,� said an exuberant Cabral to put the capper on an exciting night of NEMA Midget Racing.

Up next for the NEMA Midgets is CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday at Stafford Motor Speedway on July 11, 2006.
For a look at all the excitement that is planned and the star-studded fields that are expected log on to .

Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Monday, May 29, 2006

Wreckers to Checkers:
Randy Cabral Captures
Seekonk NEMA Win
Seekonk, MA � The last time Randy Cabral left Seekonk Speedway on October 2nd, 2005, he left with a broken heart and a severely broken race car, having suffered one of the worst midget wrecks ever at the track. It was his debut start for Bertrand Motorsports and a mechanical disaster left the team wondering whether they would be back to the North Eastern Midget Association circuit in 2006.

Grabbing the lead with an outside move through turns one and two with 14 laps remaining, the 26-year old Cabral hailing from Plymouth, MA went on to capture the Helping Hands of America/Wirtgen Group NEMA feature this past Saturday night at Seekonk. It was Cabral�s third career win at Seekonk.

�To win in our third race of the season in a new car, with a new team, is pretty amazing to me. I told Tim (Bertrand) to get the car set up to run the outside, and I would go� said the elated Cabral, as his family and crew joined him in victory lane. �The motor dropped a cylinder with three laps to go, and I was just hoping that we could hold on.� Cabral later discovered that his engine had broken both an intake valve and exhaust valve in the closing laps of the feature event.

Barry Kittredge and Mike Keeler led the field to the green flag. Quickly, Keeler jumped out into the lead with the wily veteran Jeff Horn tucked in behind him. They were followed by Shane Hammond, filling in for Nokie Fornoro in the Mike Jarrett entry, and eighth place starter Cabral who had worked his way to the front using the outside groove.

Within the first five laps, attrition began to play a factor as Keeler and Joey Payne in the Gene Angelillo #45 were both in the infield with engine related mechanical issues. Payne and Keeler, both heat winners from the evening, have suffered a number of uncharacteristic engine related issues this year.

With Keeler retired, Horn assumed the lead with Cabral closing steadily each lap. By the eighth lap, it was Horn followed by Cabral, Hammond and 2005 champion Ben Seitz, who had worked his way to the front methodically from twelfth place.

A lap eleven restart, would however change the game. On the first try, Horn brought the field down at a fierce pace, but starter Steve Grant would have no part and called back the field for another chance. On the second try, the green flag flew and the young Cabral rocketed by Horn on the outside to take the lead.

For the next fourteen laps, Cabral, in the Bertrand Motorsports entry, would continue to stretch out his lead by two tenths of a second per lap as he and Horn worked their way feverously through lapped traffic. Cabral turned in the fastest lap of the feature while running through lapped traffic at 11.39 seconds.

�When Randy went by, I could tell how good he was working�, said Horn. �We were getting looser and looser and it was going to be tough to catch him.�

With three laps remaining, Cabral�s car began to slow, but his near three second margin would only shrink to 1.879 as he would go on to claim victory over Horn, Seitz, Hammond and the �Hard Charger� for the event, Mike Ordway Jr., who came from the seventeenth starting position after a heat race misfortune to finish fifth.

Greg Stoehr, Pete Pernisiglio, Barry Kittredge, Adam Cantor, and rookie contender Cory Cleary rounded out the top ten.

Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Thursday, April 27, 2006

This was a bad day! (Randy's first race - LAST year - in the Bertrand #47, something in the front end broke after a minor tangle with a lapped car...)
Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tim Bertrand's new King Motorsports 2006 "hybrid" micro sprint. The car is the first of its kind to accommodate a 270 or 600 engine. Should be interesting!
Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Monday, April 03, 2006

Randy ducking under Mike Keeler for third spot at the beginning of the feature.
Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

A successful first race at Waterford, Randy Cabral brought the Bertrand Motorsports entry home second in the heat race and fourth in the feature event!
Posted by Bertrand Motorsports

Sunday, March 26, 2006

47 Racing Completes Successful Test Session

What a weekend! With the help of the chassis master Danny Drinan, we had an extremely successful set of test sessions this past weekend.

On Friday, we rented Seekonk Speedway. By the end of the day, Randy was turning consistent lap times of 11.0/11.1, which is about as fast as one can go around Seekonk. The car ran flawless and the Cabral's maintenance program really shined as the car was also flawless all day.

On Friday night, Danny spent about two hours figuring out the types of changes that he wanted to make for Waterford. He was satisfied with Friday's performance, but still thought that we could get the car even more consistent and comfortable for Randy.

On Saturday, we were one of three NEMA teams to test at Waterford Speedbowl. Right out of the box, within the fist four laps of hitting the track, Randy was running around Waterford as fast as anyone has ever run, with lap times of 12.9/13.0 seconds.

Danny made a number of changes to the car throughout the day and by the end of the day we were in "another ozone layer" running times down in the 12.6 second bracket! We can only hope that this performance can be 90% as good on race day and throughout the season.

More next week!