Story By: TIM BERTRAND / NEMA – THOMPSON, CT – Todd Bertrand didn’t let the cold temperatures slow down his hot streak at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s ICEBREAKER, as he won the event for the second year in a row. Bertrand beat back Randy Cabral and Jim Chambers in a late race restart to take down the victory.
In the early stages of the race, Ryan Locke jumped out into an early lead, only to be pressured immediately by third place starter Bertrand. The caution and then red flag would fly on lap two, when Anthony Burr and Paul Scally made contact. Scally was able to continue, but later spent time in the pits for repairs. Burr was taken away by ambulance to a nearby hospital, suffering injuries to his face, and other injuries that left him in a lot of pain.
When the race resumed, Bertrand marched out into the lead. Avery Stoehr in the Scrivani 21 moved into second place, and behind him, Danny Cugini, Randy Cabral, Jim Chambers and Anthony Nocella in the Manafort 76 were dicing through the field.
Cugini made a bid for second with two laps remaining, but made contact with Stoehr, sending them both into the turn three fence, collecting Anthony Nocella along with them. Nocella was unable to continue.
Erasing Bertrand’s nearly four second lead, on the restart, Cabral advanced by Chambers, and then set his sights on Bertrand. However, Bertrand would pull away to a comfortable six carlength lead over the final circuits enroute to his first victory of the season and second in a row at TSMP’s ICEBREAKER.
“The car was perfect all race long. I didn’t have to change anything inside of the car. I’m happy that I got up front – We’ve got a bunch of competitive cars in this class so you’ve just got to get out into clean air as much as possible and luckily we were able to have a good starting spot and I kept my nose clean,” Bertrand said in victory lane. Despite the strong start Bertrand said he would not run a full NEMA Lite season, instead planning to chase a title in the NEMA Midgets.
NEMA picks its schedule back up with the New London Waterford Speedbowl’s Opening event on May 5th.
NEMA LITES TOP-10: 1. Todd Bertrand (Danielson, CT); 2. Randy Cabral (Kingston, MA); 3. Jim Chambers (Atkinson, NH); 4. Meg Cugini (Marshfield, MA); 5. Avery Stoehr (Lakeville, MA); 6. Matt Janisch (Nazareth, PA); 7. Jim Cataldo (Sterling, MA); 8. Dan Cugini (Marshfield, MA); 9. Anthony Nocella (Woburn, MA); 10. Ryan Locke (Raymond, NH)