WATERFORD — Even though he’s just 15-years old, Amity Sophomore Andrew Molleur has chalked up 10 years of experience in motor sports. He says his thrilling win in Saturday’s Bubby Brouwer Memorial SK Lite 49 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was his biggest victory yet.
“This is No. 1,” Molleur said after he held off Keith Caruso and John O’Sullivan to claim a win in the Brouwer Memorial, worth more than $1,500. The race was sponsored by Racechoice.com. “We weren’t sure if we were going to run this race, but now we’re glad we did. To win a race named after someone like Bubby Brouwer, who did so much at the Speedbowl, is an amazing accomplishment.”
There were several other amazing accomplishments Saturday. Doug Curry whirled past Charles Canfield on the final lap to win the 25-lap Mini Stock feature. Jason Palmer thundered around Anthony Flannery on the last lap to capture the 30-lap Late Model race.
Former Amity Football Coach Mike Blaskey and Peter Bennett continued their duel in the 25-lap Legends feature. Blaskey was able to take down the win by just 0.040 seconds.
Kyle James started eighth, blistered through the field in just 23 laps to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature. Jason Chicolas opened up a big early lead and held off Al Stone down the stretch to collect his third Sportsman win of the season.
The spotlight, however, was on Molleur who was able to win the most lucrative SK Lite race in Speedbowl history.
Paul French led the first seven laps and then Brett Gonyaw took over the lead, Molleur, however, was sifting his way through the field and moved into second by lap 20.
After a caution came out midway through the race, Molleur was able to rocket past Gonyaw to take the lead with 22 laps to go.
Then Molleur had to survive three caution flags over the final 10 laps to post the win. On the final green-white checker restart, Molleur outgunned both Caruso and O’Sullivan to finish off the hard-earned win.
“We just had a great car tonight,” Molleur said. “I knew Caruso and O’Sullivan were going to be right there at the finish, but I was able to stay in front of them.”
O’Sullivan roared past Caruso with one lap to go to finish second.
James started eighth in the SK feature but he didn’t stay there for very long. It took him 23 laps to take the lead from Todd Owen en route to his seventh win of the season.
“The car has been hooked up every time we go racing,” James said. “I have no complaints. We’re able to put the car wherever we want. But the outside tonight definitely was the place to go.”
James did most of his passing on the outside as he sizzled his way into the lead. Own was second and Molleur was third.
James was able to increase his point lead to 16 over Rob Janovic Jr.
Curry said he was tired of finishing second behind Charles Canfield in the Mini Stock division, something that already has happened four times this season.
So he went out and did something about it. Curry went to the outside groove to take the lead from Canfield, and then protected his lead from the hard-charging Canfield during the final lap to get the win.
“The only place the car was good tonight was on the outside groove,” Curry said. “Everywhere else, the car was horrible. But we pulled it off. That’s all that matters.”
Curry also was able to move back into the points lead by two points over Canfield.
Flannery appeared to be on the verge of pocketing his fourth straight Late Model win when he surged into the lead late in the race. A caution flag with five laps to go changed the complexion of the race, however. Palmer was able to blur his way around Flannery on the last lap to secure the win.
“The 25 (Flannery) is definitely the car to beat,” Palmer said. “I think we were able to pull a rabbit out of the hat tonight. We blew a rear-end last week, but tonight our car was good enough to win.”
Blaskey pulled off a power move on the final lap to missile past Bennett for the second straight week.
”I hope everybody enjoyed this race because we put on a great show,” Blaskey said after nailing down his second straight battle with Bennett. On Sept. 1 he claimed a win over Blaskey by 0.003 seconds.
“I think we missed the set-up on the car and we gave this one away,” Bennett said.
While point leader Shawn Gaedeke got trapped in traffic and eventually spun out, Chicolas was able to grab a hefty lead.
He kept it for the entire race, despite a late move by Stone, whose three-race win streak was snapped.
“Whenever you can beat Al Stone, you know you had a heck of a race,” Chicolas said.
Gaedeke recovered to finish third and leads Chicolas by 17 points in the standings.
Racing resumes Saturday with the Valenti Modified Racing Series 100. The NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lights will be competing, along with the SK Modifieds, the SK Lites, the Speedbowl Trucks , the Sportsman and the Mini Stocks.