WATERFORD – The New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out its 2016 racing season with 14-feature racing card Sunday as part of the Bemers Big Show that began last weekend. Saturday’s events were leftover from a rained out session on Oct. 22 at the track. The day was highlighest with championships being awarded in four of the track’s regular weekly divisions.
Champions crowned in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions were Keith Rocco (Late Model), Tony Membrino Jr. (SK Light Modified), Al Stone III (Limited Sportsman) and Wayne Burroughs Jr. (Mini Stock).
Rocco, of Wallingford, got his seventh win of the season. Jason Palmer of Berlin was second and Ray Christian III of Uncasville third. Christian went to the lead on the first lap just before the first caution flew after one lap was completed.
On the ensuing restart Rocco moved to second place behind Christian. The caution flew with 28 laps remaining and on the next restart it was Rocco using the outside lane to go by Christian and take over the lead. The caution flew with 13 laps remaining with Rocco leading Christian in second and Palmer in third. On the next restart it was Palmer getting by Christian for second. With three laps left the caution flew once again. On the restart it was Palmer staying to Rocco’s outside. Palmer led by inches as the two took the white flag, but the caution came back out for the spinning car of Glen Thomas.
On the first attempt at a green-white-checkered it was Rocco moving back to the lead, but once again after the white flag the caution flew again for a spinning car. On the final attempt to finish it was Rocco holding off the charges of Palmer to score the victory. Stone, of Durham, finished seventh in the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature to capture his second consecutive title in the division and fourth overall.
Chris Meyer of Norwich won the event and finished second in the standings. Monte Gibbs of Killingworth was second and Charles Beal of Ledyard was third. Meyer went by Gibbs for the lead with five laps remaining. Membrino, of Berlin, went out in style for the season clinching his first track championship with a victory in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature.
It was the seventh victory in 14 starts at the Speedbowl this year for Membrino. Brett Gonyaw of Vernon was second in the feature and Paul French of Andover third. French took the field to green and pulled away quickly.
Membrino moved to second place on lap 18 and began chipping away at French’s big lead. With 13 laps remaining Membrino was all over French. Caution flew with laps remaining to bunch up the field. On the ensuing restart Membrino used the outside lane to go by French for the lead off of turn four. Gonyaw followed to second place but couldn’t find a line to unseat Membrino from the top spot over the closing laps.
Burroughs, of Oakdale, clinched his second consecutive Mini Stock championship at the track with a fifth place finish in the division’s 25-lap feature. Marc Panaroni of Ivoryton won the event. Charles Canfield of East Haven was second and Jordan Hadley of Waterford third.
Panoroni went to the lead early and never let it go. With five laps remaining Canfield got to within a car length of Panaroni, but there wasn’t enough time left to challenge for the top spot.
Gerard Giordano Jr. took the lead on a restart with five laps remaining and won the 35-lap Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series feature.
Andy Lindeman finished second and won the series title. Dave Koening was third.
Todd Taylor won the 25-lap Speedbowl Truck feature. Teddy Hodgon won the 25-lap Legends feature. Charles Prinze swept both 20-lap Bandalero features. Ray Reed won the first 20-lap Super X-Car feature. Keith Scalia won the second 20-lap Super X-Car feature. Dave Gargaro won the first X-Car feature.