Story By: NEMA – LEE, NH – Three time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell invaded the Northeastern Midget Association this past Saturday night at the LEE USA Speedway to take down the NEMA portion of the event in convincing style, winning by nearly 4 seconds over teammate and points leader Avery Stoehr.
Swindell kept what is to believed to be the longest winning streak of any American race car driver alive, with a win in 49 consecutive seasons. In the Lites portion of the event, PJ Stergios took down the victory.
In the NEMA feature, an oiled down track made for a difficult first lap as the cars headed into turn one. Alan Chambers shot into the lead off of turn two, and fourth place starter Sammy Swindell followed him in tow, with teammate Todd Bertrand following around the outside.
On lap three, Swindell drove to the outside of Chambers in turns three and four, and completed the pass entering turns one and two. A lap later, Berrand would take second, and the chase was on. As the field neared the halfway point, the smooth and consistent Swindell opened up his lead to nearly a straightaway over Bertrand.
With five to go, Swindell had opened up his lead to nearly a half track over the field, and Bertrand was fading, after having to pit before the green flag with a flat tire, and fighting stagger issues. Swindell would go on to take down the well celebrated vitroy, over teammates Avery Stoehr, Alby Ovitt and Bertrand. Jim Chambers finished fifth, followed by Randy Cabral, Paul Scally, Alan Chambers, Andy Lunt and Lanson Fornoro.
“Wow, I really need to thank Tim and the Bertrand crew for tonight. We had it all going perfect tonight, and its just great to win here at LEE and keep the win streak alive,” said Swindell. “This is a fun, racy place and we had come here a few weeks back so it was nice to be able to come back and finish it off. Thanks to the track for having us,” he said.
In the Lites feature, Chase Locke jumped out from the pole into the lead. Locke began to set a torrid pace, after setting the Lites track record of 13.7 earlier in the evening. Disaster struck for Locke on lap eight, as the came into contact with the turn two wall, ending his night. Locke had the fastest lap of the feature, at 13.9 seconds.
When the green flag flew, PJ Stergios vaulted into the lead, with Richie Coy in tow. As the laps counted down, Stergios poured on the heat, pulling away from the field. Stergios, consistently running laps in the 14.0 second range, would go on to take down the victory over Coy by a margin of 4 seconds.
Following them across the line were Matt Merry, who was later determined to fail a width inspection, Ryan Locke, Randy Cabral, Paul Scally, Chris Vose, Kyle Valeri, Jim Cataldo and Drew Eldridge.
“With the weather so cold, we made some major adjustments to the car before the feature event and it worked out really well to get the Oktoberfest monkey off our back. I hated to see Chase get into the wall. I’d rather finish second than to win this way. He was real fast,” said Stergios.
NEMA conludes its season this coming weekend at the Thompson Speedway World Series of Racing