WATERFORD — There was no adjustment period for climbing into an SK Light as far as Jonathan Puleo of North Branford was concerned.
In his first SK Light start, the 14-year-old Puleo led every lap to win Sunday’s 25-lap SK Light Modified Race during the rain-shortened Speedbowl Blastoff, presented by Levine Distributors, at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Also grabbing wins Sunday were Nathan Taylor in the 25-lap Mini-Stock feature, Mike Blaskey in the 25-lap Legends feature and Jim Boyle in the 25-lap Speedbowl Truck feature.
Rain, however, short-circuited the rest of the program. The Sportsman feature was suspended after nine of 30 laps were run, with Phil Evans in the lead. The race will be finished Saturday as part of the regular-scheduled race program.
The 30-lap Late Model and 80-lap SK Modified feature, however, were completely wiped out by rain. The SK 80-lapper will be run Saturday in place of the originally scheduled 40-lap feature. The Late Model race will be added to the race program for May 19.
Puleo’s debut in the SK Lights, however, is the stuff that dreams are made of. He started out the pole and led every lap, despite pressure from Wayne Burroughs and Brett Gonyaw and a rash of caution flags.
Puleo had one win in his two seasons competing in the Legends division, but had never been in an SK Light before at the Speedbowl.
“I feel like I’m living a dream,” Puleo said in victory lane.
Puleo dedicated the win to crew member Don Pont, who died during the winter.
“I did this for him,” Puleo said. “I think he was in the car with me today, calming me down.”
Gonyaw finished second, but was disqualified and placed 11th. Bert Ouellette originally was third, but was moved back one spot for failing to make weight. That moved Christopher Correll to second and Burroughs to third.
Blaskey had to overcome three green-white-checker finishes to finally post a win over Scott Limkemann, who finished second, and Tyler Chapman, who finished third.
“Those two guys behind me raced me a lot harder than I’m used to,” Blaskey said. “They were giving me shots left and right. They raced me hard, but I was able to hang on.”
Jim Boyle led every lap in the Truck race, but had to hold off a hard-charging Duane Noll at the finish to collect the win. Todd Taylor survived a collision into the Turn 1 wall late in the race to finish third.
Nathan Taylor made an outside move pay off against Charles Canfield with five laps to go to win his first-ever Mini-Stock race at the Speedbowl.
‘I’ve been trying for nine years to get a win,” Taylor said. “I was patient in the beginning, but then my car got good on the outside groove. Everyone likes to run on the bottom, so the top groove was wide open.”
“When you can run with last year’s champion (Charles Canfield) and the five-time champion (Ken Cassidy), you know you’ve had a good race.”
May 12 will be Spectator Drags Night. In addition to the completion of the Sportsman race and the 80-lap SK, paying a guaranteed $3,400 to win,and an additional $250 in lap money, a 25-lap SK Light feature, a 30-lap Late Model race, a 30-lap Sportsman race, a 25-lap Mini-Stock race and a 25-lap Truck race is on the card. Plus there will be King of the Hill Spectator Drags,
25-lap SK Lights: 1. Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 2. Christopher Correll, Old Lyme; 3. Wayne Burroughs, Canterbury; 4. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 5. Nick Anglace, Naugatuck; 6. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 7. Jake Taylor, TNA’ 8. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury; 9. Chris Gombos, Naugatuck; 8. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 10. Alan Gombos, Monroe.
25-lap Legends: 1. Mike Blaskey, Bethany; 2. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 3. Tyler Chapman, Ellington; 4. Peter Bennett, Cromwell; 5. Steven Chapman, Ellington; 6. Colin Haley, TNA; 7. Corey Caddick, Richmond, R.I.; 8. Brian Zimowski, Enfield; 9. David Shindler, Granby; 10. Nikki Vicarioli, Shelton.
25-lap Mini-Stocks: 1. Nathan Taylor, Brooklyn; 2. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 3. Ken Cassidy, Lisbon; 4. Doug Curry, Groton; 5. Andrew Krzeminski, Haddam; 6. Chris Taylor, East Lyme; 7. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 8. Jake Christian, Norwich; 9. Christopher Ivory, Waterford; 10. Jeffrey Lee, Oakdale.
25-lap Trucks: 1. Jim Boyle, East Windsor; 2. Duane Noll, Trumbull; 3. Todd Taylor, Stonington; 4. Jeff Karns, Waterford; 5. Brandon Lindahl, Niantic; 7. Tyler Chapman, Mystic; 8. Shayne Young, Norwich.
Press release from New London Waterford Speedbowl
For more information contact Mike Serluca at 860-442-7223