Waterford, CT – Warm and seasonable weather greeted race fans Thursday at New-London Waterford Speedbowl, as the shoreline oval returned to life for its fourth Thursday Night Thunder program of the year. Michael Blaskey of Waterbury won his second consecutive INEX Legend Cars race, while Chaplin’s Nickolas Hovey checkered the INEX Bandolero feature. Christopher Thomas of Waterford landed victory with an impressive outing in the four cylinder X-Car division and Shane Peele of Wales, MA rounded out a quick-paced night of motorsports by holding back all challengers in the Super X-Car division.
Blaskey won for the second straight week in INEX Legend Cars action. Jordan Churchill showed the way for the first 14 circuits of the non-stop 25-lap race. Blaskey moved into second and tracked down Churchill, who slipped entering turn one on lap-13 allowing Blaskey room to his inside. Blaskey took advantage of the miscue and after a lap side-by-side, was scored as the new leader on lap-15. The brief battle up front enabled third place Joey Ternullo to move into contention. He found his way by Churchill for second and the top three cars raced nose to tail over the remaining laps. Ternullo applied pressure, including a shot to Blaskey’s rear bumper on lap-23, however Blaskey was able to hang on Churchill faded over the final laps, but finished third.
Hovey took off from his pole starting position in the night’s 20-lap INEX Bandolero feature. He wired the green-to-checkered event, never wavering. His advantage over the field was a comfortable one throughout. He hit his marks out front while a pair of drivers battled for second behind him much of the way. Ethan Durocher had a rear-view mirror full of first year driver Ethan Simmons, however was able to hold back the charges of Simmons.
The 25-lap X-Car feature was run from start to finish without a caution flag and was a fight to the finish. Thomas raced to the lead on lap-7, taking over from early leader William Rheaume. Thomas was able to pull ahead while a host of drivers jockeyed for position behind. Dave Gargaro Jr., winner a week ago, quickly worked through the field to race his way to second position on lap-15 after beginning the race at the back of the field. Thomas’s lead was a half straightaway ahead when Gargaro arrived in second, but lap by lap the lead was diminished to nothing by lap-22. Gargaro’s best chance to unseat Thomas came through the final corners. His crossover maneuver trying to come from the top of the track in turn three to the bottom of the track out of turn four to the checkered flag came up just short.
Peele won for the first time of the year in Super X-Car action. He checkered the 25-lap race after Shawn Gaedeke showed the way until the first caution flag of the race early in the going. Once in front, Peele’s biggest threat was a late caution flag when Gaedeke spun into the third turn wall. Peele held for the restart and rolled to the win. Ray Reed finished second and Kevin Moon of placed third.
The Speedbowl returns on Saturday with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing, highlighted by the running of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Mr. Rooter 161. NASCAR’s oldest division visits the shoreline oval for its only visit of the 2015 season, going for 161-laps and join the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions for a must-see event. The last three editions of the Mr. Rooter 161 have provided electrifying finishes. More information including a detailed event schedule for the Mr. Rooter 161 is available by visiting www.speedbowlct.com.
-New London-Waterford Speedbowl Press Release & Photo
Unofficial New London-Waterford Speedbowl Thursday Night Thunder 5/28 Results:
INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Michael Blaskey, Waterbury; 2. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 3. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; 4. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 5. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 6. Cassandra Cole, Westbrook; 7. David Lespinasse, Milford; 8. Dennis Pantani, Branford; DNS – Peter DePizzol, North Franklin; DNS – Devin O’Connell, Madison
INEX Bandoleros (20-laps): 1. Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin; 2. Ethan Durocher, Plainfield; 3. Ethan Simmons, Pawcatuck; 4. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 5. Hailey Desaulniers, Windham; 6. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook
X-Cars (25-laps): 1. Christopher Thomas, Waterford; 2. Dave Gargaro Jr., Cranston, RI; 3. Eric Finkbein Jr., Manchester; 4. Mark Shepard, Griswold; 5. William Rheaume, Uncasville; 6. Jeff Dombrowski, Oakdale; 7 Christopher Lee, Waterford; 8. Randy Johnston, Westerly, RI; 9. Bruce Sperry, Waterford; 10. Richard Mollo, Seymour; 11. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 12. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 13. Michael Olsen, Deep River; 14. Tom Sheehan, Baltic; 15. Craig Tavernier, Moosup; 16. Andrew Lee, New London
Super X-Cars (25-laps): 1. Shane Peele, Wales, MA; 2. Ray Reed, Norwich; 3. Kevin Moon, Exeter, RI; 4. Bill Reiman, Southington; 5. Mike Maskell, New London; 6. Shawn Gaedeke, Southington; 7. Todd Taylor, North Stonington; 8. Marc Shafer, Groton; 9. Jaysin Beal, Ledyard; 10. Kevin Finkbein, Manchester; 11. Caroline Douton, Waterford; 12. Dan Butler, Waterford; 13. Ed Ryan, Preston; DQ – Brian Norman, Clinton