THOMPSON, CT – Joe Arena defied the odds to become the inaugural champion of the North East Street Stock Tour with a strong finish at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Ed Puleo and Joe Arena led the field to green for the 20-lap feature, presented by Greystone Social Club, and began to pull away with Anthony Belfiore in-tow, until lap 5, when the championship hunt took a twist. Chris Douton, who trailed Geoff Rollins by five marks entering the event, spun in turns one and two, brushing the wall in the process. Lightning struck again, as Geoff Rollins and Corey Hutchins spun to the infield on lap 9, bringing out the second caution.
Puleo would take the advantage off the restart, but Arena kept Puleo within striking distance. With the field dicing behind them, Arena tried to dive underneath Puleo on the final corner, but Puleo was too strong and earned his first North East Street Stock Tour victory.
On his battle with Arena, Puleo explained, “If there’s one guy to battle with, I’m happy it was with Joe. We’ve raced a lot in the past, you can trust him, he’s a good driver, and congratulations on his championship.”
On the North East Street Stock Tour, Puleo continued, “I definitely want to do this again, there’s a lot of good drivers in this series, and a lot of respect and give and take. It’s really a good division.”
With Arena following in the second spot, Rollins in eleventh, and Douton in fifteenth, Arena secured the first championship of his career.
After the race, an excited Arena commented, “I’m absolutely amazed, and surprised, to be honest with you. I saw the 02 [Rollins] go to the infield for some reason, and I had no clue that Moose [Douton] had wrecked early. When I came in they said go to the start/finish line, I said ‘For what’?”
Arena continued, “I’m just ecstastic to come out with this, this is a one-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s been 22 years at this, and it’s finally come my way.”
Steve Kenneway would come away with his second-consecutive podium finish, crossing the line third. Josh Wood and youngster Tyler Janovsky would finish fourth and fifth, respectively. Jack Aquilina salvaged a tough weekend, grabbing the sixth spot, with Kyle Casagrande seventh. Josh Galvin bounced back after a motor change to claim the eighth spot, with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Patrick Tanguay rounding out the top 10.
The North East Street Stock Tour will officially crown Arena at the championship banquet, with a date to be announced soon. For more information on the North East Street Stock Tour, visit www.nestreetstocktour.com.
Sunoco World Series, presented by Greystone Social Club
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Pos. (Start) Driver Hometown
1. (1) Ed Puleo Branford, CT
2. (2) Joe Arena Bristol, CT
3. (6) Steve Kenneway Lowell, MA
4. (7) Josh Wood Palmer, MA
5. (8) Tyler Janovsky Whitingham, VT
6. (21) Jack Aquilina Oakdale, CT
7. (9) Kyle Casagrande Stafford Springs, CT
8. (24) Josh Galvin Oakdale, CT
9. (12) Frank L’Etoile, Jr. Weathersfield, CT
10. (17) Patrick Tanguay Lebanon, ME
11. (18) Geoff Rollins Groton, MA
12. (4) Jim Boyle Waterford, CT
13. (10) Chad Baxter Pascoag, RI
14. (22) Jim Silvia Middletown, RI
15. (16) Chris Douton Waterford, CT
16. (11) Bill Staves Windsor Locks, CT
17. (5) Trace Beyer Dover, VT
18. (23) Corey Coates Ledyard, CT
19. (3) Anthony Belfiore Haverhill, MA
20. (19) Corey Hutchins Salem, CT
21. (15) Jesse Gleason Lisbon, CT
22. (20) Joe Plonski Worcester, MA
23. (14) Scott Bronczyk Broadbrook, CT
24. (13) John Carpenter Danielson, CT
DNS John Berchem West Greenwich, RI
Dur-A-Flex ($100 gift certificate) – Joe Arena, Ed Puleo
Northeast Race Cars + Parts (Lucky Dog) – Chris Douton
Northeast Race Cars + Parts (Lucky Dog) – Geoff Rollins
RAD Auto Machine ($200) – Tyler Janovsky
Coastline Fire Protection ($100 winner) – Ed Puleo
Coastline Fire Protection ($100 random) – Anthony Belfiore
-North East Street Stock Tour Press Release & Photo