WATERFORD —It has been one of the hottest rivalries of the summer — Cameron Liebal vs. Christian Herman in the X-Car division at the New London Waterford Speedbowl.
Liebel surrendered the lead to Herman on lap 12, got in back one lap later and held on the rest of the way for his third win, providing one of the highlights on this week’s Wild & Wacky Wednesday program at the Speedbowl.
In other action, Dave Yardley won for the first time this season in the 25-lap Super X-Car feature, Jacob Burns dominated the 20-lap Legends feature for his fifth win and Milania Shilosky was a winner for the second time in the 20-lap Bandolero race after Ryan Vanesse, who finished first on the track, was disqualified. Rich Helger, who was third, was also disqualified.
The action started on a high note when Liebel stomped across the finish line to be Herman by 0.1 seconds.
Liebel said his car was not handling well, but it handled well enough to hold off Herman.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Liebel said. “The car was loose. But I still was able to stay in front.”
Herman said his car was also mishandling.
“There wasn’t much I could do,” Herman said. “I didn’t have a good enough car.”
The two drivers hugged after the race was over, putting a cease-fire to the rivalry. Herman leads Liebal by 11 points in the standings with two races remaining.
Yardley has struggled for the past season-and-a-half in the Super X-Cars, but he ended his dry spell when he took the lead on lap 9 and maintained it the rest of the way, holding off Devin Tate and a late-charging Sean Skinner.
“I just kept the car low,” Yardley said. “The only was anyone was going by me was to go through me. “
And that didn’t happen.
“This is unbelievable,” Yardley said. “We have been struggling since last year. But the hard work paid off.”
Burns established himself early in the Legends feature, jumping ot to the lead on the second lap. He had to survive a green-white checker finish over a fast-losing Zach Martinez to nail down the win.
“My car was tight on those last two laps,” Burns said. “But I stayed ahead of Zach. He had a great car.”
After the 20-lap Bandolero race was finished, Shilosky was happy just to take second. He had to be even happier when she was awarded the win after a disqualification.
Byington took the lead early in the Vintage Modified race and maintained it after three restarts. Levangie made a late rush after a restart with five laps to go, but could not get by Byington.
“I just stayed inside,” Byington said. “Earlier this year I tried the outside against Levangie and I fell short. So I made sure I kept the car down low. He surprised me at the end, but I wasn’t going to give up the bottom of the track.”
Racing resumes Saturday at the Speedbowl with the second round of the Triple Threat. The seven weekly divisions —the SK Modifieds, the Late Models, the Street Stocks, the SK Lite Modifieds, the Mini Stocks, the Trucks and the Legends — will be in action.
25-lap Super X-Cars: 1. Dave Yardley, Kensington; 2. Devin Tate,, Preston,; 3. Sean Skinner, Oakdale; 4. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston,; 5. William Rheaume, , Uncasville; 6. Dominic Abbatiello, North Branford; 7. Donald Berge. Uncasville,; 8. Will Rheaume, Uncasville; ; 9. Marc Shafe, Groton; 10. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic.
25-lap X Cars: 1. Cameron Liebal, Oakdale; 2. Christian Herman, North Branford; 3. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 4. Pete Zaikarite Jr, Broadbrook; 5. Tim Burgess, Norwich; 6. Dylan Cabral, Richmond RI; 7. Kaylee Symonds, Andover; 8. Erin Aiken, Claremont, NH; 9. Matt Martel, Stafford; 10. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic.
20-lap Legends: 1. Jacob Burns, Bristol, RI; 2. Zachary Martinez, North. Kingstown, RI; 3. Richard Regan Jr, Taunton, Mass.; 4. Dennis Pantani, Brandford; 5. Brody Monahan; 6. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 7. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 8. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth,, Mass.