Cabral Scores An Emotional NEMA Victory by Pete Zanardi, NEMA PR
Shane Hammond is Remembered at Waterford
Randy Cabral went into Sunday’s Northeastern Midget Association feature at Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Modified Nationals “racing” for Shane Hammond. It was a week to the day that Hammond died as a result of injuries suffered at Thompson Speedway’s Icebreaker.
After a long delay, he took the lead at the resumption of the race with 21 laps remaining
and went on to post his fifth career and second-straight win at the Speedbowl. “I told
[Shane] I was going to race for him,” said Cabral, who held off a determined challenge
from Joey Payne Jr. “I had to make it count. To win was unbelievable.”
He said up until Friday night he was not going to race. At Shane’s wake, “I saw him there
and realized ‘man, he ain’t going to be happy if I don’t go racing.’”
When the rain came three laps in, Cabral, riding second, “was kind of mad at Shane. I
said why did you do this to me?” He had charged from fourth to second on the first lap.
When the race resumed an hour and half later (officials decided to run another feature
extending the interruption), Cabral’s attitude changed.
“My car wasn’t handling that great
before the rain,” he explained. “I think Shane helped me out because we came back and
the [Bertrand 47] was unbelievable.”
When Erica Santos, the leader when the rains came, bobbled in turn one on the restart, Cabral blasted into the lead. Payne, Greg Stoehr and Adam Cantor followed. Clearly in control, Cabral turned an electrifying 12.848 seconds lap.
A green white checker finish gave Payne a final shot. “I thought he was going to go when I did but he went a couple feet before me,” Cabral said. “It made it exciting for the fans.”
Following runner-up Payne was Stoehr, Cantor and Erica Santos.
“It was a hard race,” said Payne. “If anybody deserved this race it was Randy. I’m glad to see him win it in Shane’s’ memory. They were such close friends.”
Randy Cabral looks to the sky and remembers his fallen friend Shane Hammond in victory lane at Waterford. (Rick Ibsen Photos)
He talked to Hammond’s mother Deb on a cell phone in Victory Lane. “She called [club president] Mike Scrivani during the race,” Cabral explained. “Mike said ‘I can’t talk right now’ and put the phone down without hanging up.” Cabral then asked the crowd to yell out “Shane.”
The final yellow came when a car spun in turn one, forcing Cabral to go through the wet infield.
“I hit something slippery on the track and just started sliding,” he said. “I told myself ‘I’m not stalling this car out. I just kept it going until I got back on the track.”
Overheating knocked Nokie Fornoro out shortly after the race resumed. A last lap bid for third sent Bobby Santos III through the wet off turn four. He held on to finish seventh, a spot behind William Wall.
NEMA is now idle until May 3-4 when it helps Seekonk Speedway open its season.
Jesse Slate won the 10-lap NEMA Lites “Exhibition” race on Saturday.