Waterford, CT – Seven racing events were on Saturday night’s card at Waterford Speedbowl, settting the stage for an action packed night of motorsports. Picking up NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins included Keith Rocco of Berlin in the SK Modifieds®, Vin Esposito of Seymour in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models and Corey Barry of Plainfield in the SK Light Modifieds. Ryan Waterman of Danielson picked up an exciting victory in the Street Stock race and Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI checkered the Mini Stocks. Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott won another INEX Legend Cars feature and Ledyard’s Corey Coates won the visiting New England Truck Series race.
Rocco checkered his sixth SK Modified® race of the year in 12 events for the division after an impressive crossover move landed him the lead in the second half of the race. The 35-lap SK Modified feature was led to the green flag by first year competitor Paul Kusheba. Rob Janovic Jr. got the jump on the opening circuit over Kusheba, leading until the first caution flag of the race on lap-4. Kyle James was contending for a spot among the top three when he spun in turn four racing underneath Tim Jordan.
Janovic got a good restart over Kusheba when racing resumed. Jordan followed into second position but the big mover was Rocco. He used a three wide move to take fourth position in turns three and four on lap-7 just ahead of a big incident between turns one and two behind him. Several cars came together in a wreck, which turned out to be scary for Shawn Monahan. After contact with Brent Sweet, his car erupted in flames in turn two, staying engulfed until he was able to stop the car in turn three, drawing the red flag. The safety crew extinguished the fire and Monahan fortunately escaped the incident unscathed.
Jordan got the best of Janovic on the ensuing restart, riding the outside lane into the lead on lap-8. Rocco got past Kusheba into third and stayed on the attack, going around Janovic’s outside into second on lap-10. Jordan and Rocco pulled ahead to a big lead as Janovic, Tyler Chadwick and Kusheba raced in a pack jockeying for third position. Chadwick was able to work over Janovic and move to third, just ahead of a spin by Zach Aszklar out of turn two to draw a caution flag on lap-22.
Jordan got a great restart but Rocco sailed in to his outside in turn one to make a run. Jordan was up to the task, holding back the charge through turn three but Rocco’s crossover move changed the game. He went from the high to low lane in turn four to get a run on Jordan down the front chute to turn one. He completed the move out of turn two and was scored as the new leader on lap-24.
Rocco had to beat Jordan on three remaining restarts, including some determined efforts by Jordan to try and recapture the top spot. Rocco got away each time to nail down the victory. Jordan took home a fine second place effort and Chadwick was back on the podium, finishing third. Janovic was fourth and Joe Gada finished fifth.
Esposito won for the second time of the year in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models. He bested Bruce Thomas Jr. over a final five lap sprint to the finish in the 30-lap feature. Esposito took the lead on lap-9 from Mike Sweeney Jr, however lost it to Thomas following a lap-20 restart during a wild second half of the race.
Trouble began when Keith Rocco got out of shape while running third, taking a vicious hit into the backstretch wall on lap-15 that drew the caution and red flags when his car burst aflame. Rocco quickly got out and walked away from the incident. Esposito led through a lap-20 caution flag and ensuing restart when he spun his tires, putting Thomas out front. Thomas took an excursion through the infield on a lap-25 restart attempt that caused a caution flag behind him, surviving that before Esposito rallied to get inside Thomas on lap-27 under green flag racing. The two battled side-by-side before Esposito took the white flag in the lead, powering to the win by a car length at the finish. Thomas ended up in second and Jim Banfield was third.
Waterman came out on top of a slugfest with Phil Evans in the 25-lap Street Stock feature. The race, which ran caution free, saw Scott Sundeen leading the way early. Evans and Waterman both got past Sundeen’s inside on lap-6 to set the stage for their duel. Waterman tailed Evans for the next several laps, sizing him up before making his move with six laps remaining. There was no shortage of contact between the two the rest of the way in a hard fought battle. The two raced side-by-side and traded blows, swapping the lead back and forth over the next four laps. Waterman pulled ahead for good on lap-23, coming out on top in thrilling fashion. Evans settled for second and Sundeen wound up third.
Barry won for the fourth time on the year in the SK Light Modified division. He went from third to first with an impressive restart on lap-10. He powered past the inside of both Glenn Griswold and Rick Williams to wrestle away the lead on lap-11. He handled two more restarts the rest of the way in the 25-lap race to cruise to his win. Paul Buzel was second and Larry Goss made a late push to claim third.
Denton was smooth on the way to his second Mini Stock win of the year. Only one caution slowed the 25-lap race, coming early on. Once back underway Denton methodically marched to the front, taking the lead from Chris Ivory on lap-10. Ken Cassidy followed Denton past the inside of Ivory but Denton proved too strong and steamed ahead to the win. Cassidy finished second and Dave Trudeau turned in another good run to wind up third.
Christopher won for the fourth time in the INEX Legend Cars Saturday series and ninth time overall at the track in 2014. His winning effort was not a waltz however, as Joey Ternullo and Dylan Izzo kept Christopher on top of his game. Christopher took over with an inside move on Izzo on lap-8, however two restarts over the rest of the 25-lap race kept things interesting at the front. Ternullo put forth a stiff challenge following the final restart, on lap-22, when he was able to get a good run on the outside of the track. Christopher stayed focused and fought off the bid to claim the checkered flag. Ternullo grabbed second at the finish by inches over Izzo.
A wild 25-lap New England Truck Series feature win went to Coates. He took the lead on lap-8, ironically from his father Allen, who led until a broken driveshaft sidelined him. Allen was seeking a second straight victory after he took a June 14 date at the Speedbowl, but it was Corey who prevailed. The race was red flagged on lap-17 when Andy Lindeman and Duane Noll came together battling for third and Lindeman’s truck ended up riding the wall on its side, coming to rest on its wheels in turn three, but not before damaging the wall to create a delay.
On Wednesday, the Speedbowl celebrates America’s birthday with a fireworks display at the conclusion of its Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday racing program. In addition, a motorcycle stunt show by Luke Emmons is part of the card. Youths age 14 and under receive free grandstands admission when accompanied by an adult on July 2. Next Saturday, the Mid-Season 300 hits the shoreline oval providing 300 laps of feature racing, highlighted by a 100-lap feature by the SK Modifieds®. The Valenti Auto Mall Late Model, Street Stock and Mini Stock races will all go 50-laps in distance and the SK Light Modified and INEX Legend Cars will compete in 25-lappers. All divisions are scheduled to qualify via time trials, the only time of the year competitors will go against the clock to determine starting position. More information is available online at Speedbowl.com.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 6/28 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 2. Tim Jordan, Plainfield; 3. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Joey Gada, Salem; 6. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 7. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 8. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 9. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 10. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 11. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 12. Nichole Morgillo, Southington; 13. Ed Puleo, Branford; 14. Zach Aszklar, Wallingford; 15. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 16. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville; 17. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 18. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 19. John Montesanto, North Branford; 20. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 21. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 2. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 3. Jim Banfield, South Glastonbury; 4. Chris Garside, Waterford; 5. Anthony Ryan Jr., Danbury; 6. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 7. Derryck Anderson Jr., Warwick, RI; 8. Joey Gada, Salem; 9. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 10. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 11. Nick Sowa, Middletown; 12. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; 13. Keith Rocco, Berlin
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 2. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 3. Scott Sundeen, Sutton, MA; 4. Al Stone III, Durham; 5. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 6. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 7. Joe Arena, Bristol; 8. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 9. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 10. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 11. Greg Moran Jr., Preston; 12. Nate Appell, Westbrook; 13. Jake Bercham, West Greenwich, RI; 14. Billy Hahnel, Uncasville; 15. Brandon Fisher, Plainfield; 16. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 17. Ritt Shawn, Westerly, RI; 18. Kaitlyn Brice, Manchester
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 2. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 3. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 4. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI; 5. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 6. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 7. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 8. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 9. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 10. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 11. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 12. Doug Curry, Groton; 13. Larry Loomis Jr., Moosup; 14. Jeff Lee, Uncasville; 15. Pete Zaikarite, Niantic; 16. Ray Christian III, Groton; 17. Mike Anzalone, Jewett City
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 2. Paul Buzel, Trumbull; 3. Larry Goss, North Windham; 4. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 5. Rick Williams, Haddam; 6. Paul French, Andover; 7. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 8. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 9. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton; 10. Crystal Serydynski, Johnston, RI; 11. Alan Benincaso, Westport; 12. Alan Tirrell, North Stonington; 13. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 14. Joe Fraulino Jr., East Hampton
INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Mike Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 2. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 3. Dylan Izzo, Monroe; 4. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 5. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 6. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 7. Cornelius Flynn, Hampden, MA; 8. Caterina LaBella, Plainville; 9. Noah Korner, Canton; 10. Michael Comforti, Uxbridge, MA; 11. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 12. Pete DePizzol, North Franklin; DNS – Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY
New England Truck Series (25-laps): 1. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 2. Frank Dumicich Jr., East Quoque, NY; 3. Erin Solomito, Islip, NY; 4. Glen Noll, Naugatuck; 5. Duane Noll, Monroe; 6. Chris Correll, Uncasville; 7. Brad Caddick, Hope Valley, RI; 8. Joey Gada, Salem; 9. Tyler Chapman, Mystic; 10. Mike Parker, Uncasville; 11. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 12. D.J. McGouran, Westerly, RI; 13. Pete Cayer, Bristol; 14. Trever Dyer, Wolcott; 15. Cassie Coates, Ledyard; 16. Brandin Chase, Concord, NH; 17. Andy Lindeman, Postenkill, NY; 18. Allen Coates, Ledyard; 19. Kendall Metcalf, North Stonington
– Waterford Speedbowl press release. Photo credit: Speed51.com file photo