THOMPSON, Conn. (WWLP) – The NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites will close out their 2017 season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this weekend at the 55th annual Sunoco World Series Of Racing. It will also be the Shane Hammond Memorial at the 5/8 mile oval. NEMA President Tim Bertrand talked to 22News about the event
“Shane was a very good friend of the family. He was best friends with our driver Randy Cabral. I know that Randy would like nothing more then to win the NEMA race in Shane’s honor. Its a special race for us. Thompson is a special race track.” Bertrand Said
Cabral has the most wins with NEMA at Thompson.
Bertrand Motorsports has two drivers in contention for the championship. Randy Cabral heads into Thompson this weekend with a 50 point lead over Jim Chambers. The other driver Avery Stoehr is on the outside looking in as he is 80 points behind Cabral.
Bertrand told 22News that the competition in NEMA has been unbelievable this year. On any given night there is seven or eight drivers that could win a race.
” I think the fact you see three drivers mathematically that have a chance to win the championship going into the last race. Its really awesome.” Bertrand Said
With the NEMA Lites, there have been 18-20 cars per race and could see that heading into this weekend with around 16-17 NEMA Midgets which is a great rebound at Thompson.
Car counts have been hurting all over the country. Bertrand told 22News he thinks there is a few things.
” The modern day racers priorities have change a little bit verus the racers from the 60’s and 70’s.
People seem to more focus on life outside of the race track and I think that is amounted into a lot of teams that want to run to part time. Run shorter schedules and so on. I also think its expensive to run race cars. I think we’re seeing that in a lot of those divisions.” Bertrand Said
He also said that they have put different things in place to control the cost in NEMA.
The NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites will be apart of the 18 division race program this weekend at the 55th annual Sunoco World Series Of Racing. The NEMA Midgets will have a one day program on Saturday with practice, qualifying and their 25 lap race. The NEMA Lites will have practice and qualifying on Saturday and have their 20 lap race on Sunday.