Sometimes it's nice to share the spotlight. Four-year K&N Filters racing veteran Randy Cabral was happy to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the podium with John Zych Jr. this past April at the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature at Waterford Speedbowl's Budweiser Blast Off. The win had been a long time coming for Zych, who had been overdue for a spot on the podium.
'I think I heard Randy behind me once,' Zych said with a smile.
Starting in fourth, Zych took the lead from starter Paul Scally on the backstretch, just before the first caution. On the restart, Cabral darted from fourth to second and narrowly took the lead when the second yellow was waved. Taking the lead four laps in, Zych beat back a mid-race restart challenge from Cabral in the K&N Engineering #47 before posting his first-ever win.
The win marks the end of five years of frustration for Zych and his father. "It's very special," said Zych who was also joined by Russ Stoehr (Dumo's Desire 45) in the top three.
Of course, Cabral didn't let Zych by without a challenge, as Cabral fought Zych during a restart following the second caution. "I saw Randy outside and I knew I had to get all I could out of the car," said Zych, who recently relocated to Louisville, Kentucky. "I just stood on it and tried to stay from the middle to the bottom. If Randy was going to get by, it was going to be on the outside."
The two ran side-by-side halfway down the front chute before finally Zych pulled away, "completely surprising" Cabral. "I was on top but I was pinching him down a little bit," said Cabral who stated, "I really thought I had something for him. He blew me away." From there, Zych advanced his lead, posting the race's fastest lap (13.001 - 103.822 mph), finishing 2.43 seconds in front. "I think I heard Randy behind me once," Zych said with a smile.
Many accredit Cabral's presence with Zych's win as the Zych #9 Drinan/Esslinger purchased last year from the Bertrand team, is almost an exact copy of Cabral's Bertrand Motorsports #47. "They gave us some pretty good notes on it," said Zych Sr., adding very few, if any, changes have been made. Cabral has been racing with K&N Filters for years, but has been using K&N products privately for far longer, citing, "We run K&N products on all of our vehicles from our race cars, to our transporter, motorhome and our push vehicle!"
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