Waterford, CT -– Waterford Speedbowl hosted Whelen Engineering Night Saturday, featuring a six division racing program. Whelen sponsors NASCAR’s weekly racing series at tracks across the country. Picking up wins in Whelen All-American Series action included Kyle James of Ashaway, RI who dominated the SK Modified® feature, Keith Rocco of Berlin won for the seventh time of the year in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models and Josh Galvin of Franklin picked up his eighth Street Stock victory. Other NASCAR wins went to Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon, who returned to the winner’s circle in the Mini Stocks and Paul French of Andover checkered the SK Light Modified race. Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott won another INEX Legend Cars race rounding out the night’s victors.
James turned in a flawless performance to romp to victory in the 35-lap SK Modified® feature, his second of the season. The win was by nearly a five second margin, almost half the track, ahead of the competition. James took the lead on the outside of Jeff Gallup following the only caution flag of the race, which came on lap-8.
Gallup used his pole starting position to lead rookie competitor Paul Kusheba from the start. Diego Monahan moved past Kusheba into second and James followed to third in the opening green flag run. That ended when Monahan lost control of his car in turn three, spinning from second position to bring out the lone yellow flag for the single car spin. James lined up outside Gallup for the restart, timed the green flag nearly perfectly, and powered into the lead out of turn two.
Once in front James steamed ahead, amassing his lead. Kusheba took second from Gallup on lap-12, only to turn the position over to Rob Janovic Jr. a lap later. Keith Rocco was on the move, slicing through the field to take third spot on lap-16. He closed in on Janovic, diving underneath into second position on lap-20. Ahead, James’ lead was already over three seconds. He was on cruise control and Rocco was unable to cut into the lead. Over the final laps James actually increased his lead as he closed in on the tail of the field. Rocco finished runner-up and Janovic was third. Tyler Chadwick was fourth and Ed Puleo finished fifth.
Rocco’s win in the 30-lap Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature came after a hard fought battle with Nick Sowa, a first year driver in the division. Sowa held the lead until Rocco moved in and challenged, pulling inside Sowa on lap-7. The pair raced side-by-side for five laps in a great duel until Rocco got away on lap-12. Rocco slowly stretched his lead through a lap-28 caution flag when Jeff Smith spun out of fourth position, setting up a wild finish behind the leader.
Sowa spun from second going into turn one on the restart, collecting others directly behind. Rocco was not challenged on the next restart and went on to his seventh win of the year in the division. Smith was able to avoid the late trouble to rebound from his lap-28 spin to finish second. Bruce Thomas Jr. also overcame a rough time in the feature to place third.
Galvin lived up to his nickname of “The Comeback Kid” in the night’s 25-lap Street Stock feature. Al Stone III, a two-time champion, looked poised to slow Galvin’s hot streak in the division. Stone moved out front following a lap-9 restart and then held back Galvin’s outside bid over the next 12 laps, much of which featured clean side-by-side racing between the two. A late caution flag with two laps remaining, however, reset the field for a final restart just after Stone had shaken Galvin from his outside. The restart enabled Galvin to once again run outside Stone for the final two lap sprint to the finish. Out of turn four on the final lap, Galvin won the drag race to the checkered flag by inches in a photo finish. Stone settled for second and Monte Gibbs finished third.
Cassidy looked to be back in top form during the night’s 25-lap Mini Stock event. He ended a dry spell which dated back to May 31 to record his fourth victory of the season. Cassidy, the division’s all-time wins leader, moved up through the field and took the lead on lap-12, never looking back. Garrett Denton moved into second position following a lap-15 restart but had nothing for Cassidy. He finished second and Joe Liskiewicz was third after leading early. Two yellow flags slowed the race.
French won for the second time of the year but first time since May 10 in the SK Light Modifieds. The 25-lap race was non-stop and French led from the green to checkered flags. Rick Williams finished second to record his best finish since winning the season opener, and Larry Goss was third.
Christopher continued his impressive season in the INEX Legend Cars, piling up the accolades. The 25-lap race marked his fourth consecutive victory in the track’s Saturday series for the division, and seventh overall on Saturday’s for the year. Combined with his wins in the Speedbowl’s Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday series Christopher has won 15 times in 2014. He took the lead from Dana Dimatteo on lap-8 in another non-stop feature. Dimatteo ended up second and George Whitney finished third.
Next Saturday, July 26 is Nostalgia Night at the track, one of summer’s popular weekends at the track each year. The NEMA Midgets visit for the Shane Hammond Memorial, plus vintage racing clubs NEAR and STAR turn back time for fans with displays and exhibition races. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® compete in the Charlie Mitchell Memorial and are joined by the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, Street Stocks, and Mini Stocks.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 7/19 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 2. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 3. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 4. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 5. Ed Puleo, Branford; 6. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 7. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 8. Nichole Morgillo, Southington; 9. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 10. Joe Gada, Salem; 11. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 12. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 13. John Montesanto, North Branford; 14. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 15. Tim Jordan, Plainfield; 16. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 17. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 18. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 19. Dominic Capuano Jr., East Haven
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 2. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 3. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 4. John Lowinksi-Loh, Milford, MA; 5. Nick Sowa, Middletown; 6. Anthony Ryan Jr., Danbury; 7. Derryck Anderson Jr., Warwick, RI; 8. Jim Banfield, Glastonbury; 9. Joe Gada, Salem; 10. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 11. Chris Garside, Waterford; 12. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 13. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; 14. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 2. Al Stone III, Durham; 3. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 4. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 5. Greg Moran Jr., Preston; 6. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 7. Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington; 8. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 9. William Dunn, Prospect; 10. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 11. Brandon Fisher, Plainfield; 12. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 13. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale; 14. Tim Morse, Southbury; 15. Michael Malbaurn, Sterling; 16. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 17. Kaitlyn Brice, Manchester; 18. Joe Arena, Bristol; 19. Harvey Malbaurn, Moosup; DQ – Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 2. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 3. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 4. Eric Burgeois, East Haddam; 5. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 6. Nate Taylor, Wauregan; 7. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 8. Ray Christian III, Groton; 9. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 10. Ed Field, Deep River; 11. Doug Curry, Groton; 12. Larry Loomis Jr., Moosup; 13. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 14. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 15. Mark Panaroni, Ivoryton; 16. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 17. John Bowes, Willington; 18. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; DNS – Pete Zaikarite, Niantic
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Paul French, Andover; 2. Rick Williams, Haddam; 3. Larry Goss, North Windham; 4. Randy Churchill, Oakdale; 5. Paul Buzel, Trumbull; 6. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 7. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 8. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton; 9. Alan Tirrell, North Stonington; 10. Crystal Serydynski, Johnston, RI; 11. Carlos Gray, East Hartford; DQ – Glenn Griswold, Vernon
INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Mike Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 2. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 3. George Whitney, Westbrook; 4. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 5. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 6. Cassandra Cole, Westbrook; 7. Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 8. Noah Korner, Canton; 9. Cornelius Flynn, Hampden, MA; 10. David Johnson, Arlington, MA: 11. Scott McNickle, Ledyard; 12. Pete DePizzol, North Franklin
-Waterford Speedbowl Press Release. Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com