James goes from last to first in SK Modifieds-Curry captures extra-distance Mini-Stock feature – Gaedeke takes down first Speedbowl Sportsman win -Palmer, Puleo, Noll, grab Speedbowl victories

James goes from last to first in SK Modifieds-Curry captures extra-distance Mini-Stock feature – Gaedeke takes down first Speedbowl Sportsman win -Palmer, Puleo, Noll, grab Speedbowl victories

WATERFORD — He started last in the 14-car SK Modified feature, but drove as if he was starting on the pole.

Using explosive moves on the outside groove, Kyle James passed every car in the race, including leader Rob Janovic Jr. with three laps to go on his way to his second SK Modified win of the season Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Doug Curry, meanwhile, pulled off the biggest win in his racing career when he captured the 50-lap extra-distance Mini-Stock feature.

Shawn Gaedeke grabbed his first-ever Sportsman win, while Jason Palmer held off both Anthony Flannery and Ryan Morgan to win the Late Model race, Jonathan Puleo won his second consecutive SK Lite race and Duane Noll racked up his second straight Speedbowl Truck win.

James, however, showed starting in the back of the field is just a handicap, but not a death sentence. By lap 10 he was in fifth place as he started his march toward the front.

Janovic Jr. had led every lap, holding off a threat by Todd Owen in the middle of the race to maintain his advantage. There was no stopping James, however, who swooshed past Janovic on the outside.

“Even in a short field, you still have to pass a lot of fast cars to get to the front,” James said. “My car was a little tight. But Rob gave me plenty of room. I knew he wasn’t going to use me up.”

Janovic admitted there was not much he could do to stop the James express.

“The faster car won,” Janovic said. “We made some adjustments after the heat race, but we didn’t go far enough.”

Dylan Izzo finished third for the second straight race.

It looked like it was going to be the most frustrating night in Doug Curry’s racing career.

It turned out to be the best.

Curry finished second in the 50-lap Mini-Stock feature, but was awarded the victory when apparent race winner Charles Canfield was disqualified. Third-place finisher Ken Cassidy Jr. also was disqualified.

Curry’s day went up in smoke early — he blew his engine in practice. He brought out his back-up car, but it was wrecked in the heat race.

Curry’s crew removed the blown engine from his Speedbowl car, installed the engine from its back-up car and held their breath.

Those watching the race would never realize Curry was in so much turmoil. He ran second for most of the race, and still had enough car left to put a scare into Canfield on the final lap. He finished second, and then was promoted to the top spot after Canfield and Cassidy failed post-race inspection.

It was Curry’s second podium and first win of the year. Nick Pappacoda finished second and Ian Brew was third.

The Mini-Stock feature was led by Bill Sylvia for the first 13 laps, but Canfield took advantage of a restart on lap 13 to move in front.

There was one nervous moment on lap 28 when Chris Ivory’s car was knocked into the wall. The car rode the wall for about 200 feet and landed on its side. Ivory was not injured.

Gaedeke had a night he will never forget when he dominated the 30-lap Sportsman feature. He credited last year’s Sportsman champ, Chris Meyer, for getting him into the winner’s circle.

“Chris Meyer is helping me and he made the right call in practice,” Gaedeke said. “We work 40 hours a week getting this car ready. Tonight it was worth it.”

The most breath-taking battle of the night took place in the Late Model feature. Palmer was challenged by Flannery and Morgan on every lap, but he was able to extract the win.

“We had to work our tails off tonight,” Palmer said. “I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the show that we put on. It was amazing.”

Jonathan Puleo also had an amazing ride, passing John O’Sullivan on a green-white checker situation with two to go, making a blistering move on the outside. It was Puleo’s second win in two SK Lite races at the Speedbowl.

“I thought I was living a dream after the first win,” the 14-year-old said. “This one even tops the first one. I can’t believe it.”

The race was red-flagged on lap  when Alan Gombos’ car tagged the first turn wall. Chris Correll’s car also wound up in the Turn 1 barrier and he had to drop out of the race.

Duane Noll tracked down Josh Stringer late in the race to collect his second straight Speedbowl Truck victory.

“We left the truck exactly the way we had it the last time we were here and we were able to make a lot of passes on the outside,” Noll said. “I got to give my spotter, my sister, the credit for getting me through all those situations without any trouble.”

Sam Mesick of East Lyme survived a wild ride on the final lap to win the 50-lap Mid-Size/Compact Enduro. Sean Skimmer of Ledyard was second and Walter Scott of East Lyme was third.

Racing resumes Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. with Wild & Wacky Wednesday. The Super X-Cars, X Cars, Legends and Bandoleros will be in action.

40-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Kyle James, Ashaway, R.I.; 2, Rob Janovic, Waterford; 3. Dylan Izzo, Monroe; 4. Todd Owen, Somers; 5. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 6. Matt Galko, Meriden; 7. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 8. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 9. Rob Goulet, Plainville; 10. Robert Driscoll, Brookfield.

30-lap Late Models: 1. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 2. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton; 3. Ryan Morgan, Pawcatuck; 4. Mike Benevides, Westerly, R.I.; 5. Keith Scalia, North Branford; 6, CJ McLaughlin, Boston; 7. Brian Norman, Clinton; 8. Alan King, East Hampton; 9. Tony Macrino, Waterford; 10. Dylan Cabral, Richmond, R.I.

50-lap Mini-Stocks: 1.  Doug Curry, Groton;  2. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 3. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, R.I.; 4. Nate Taylor, Brooklyn; 5. Andrew Krzeminski, Haddem; 6. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 7. Larry Loomis, Plainfield; 8. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, R.I; 9. Chris Taylor, East Lyme; 10. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale.

25-lap SK Lite Modified: 1. Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 2. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 3. Keith Caruso, Milbury, Mass.; 4. Chris Gombos, Naugatuck; 5. Brett Gonyaw, Vernon; 6. Geoff Nooney, Southwick; 7. Wayne Burroughs, Canterbury; 8. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 10. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury.

30-lap Sportsman: 1. Shawn Gaedeke, Groton; 2. Jon Porter, East Lyme; 3. Bo Norman, Clinton; 4. Jordan Hadley, Groton; 5. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, Mass.; 6. Adrien Paradis, Plainville; 7. Ian Poland, Douglas, Mass.; 8. Ronnie Oldham, Waterford; 9. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 10. Dace Paradis, Auburn, Mass.

25-lap Speedbowl Trucks: 1. Duane Noll, Monroe; 2. Jim Boyle, East Windsor; 3. Brandon Plemons, Uncasville;4. Jeff Karns, Waterford; 5. Josh Stringer, Dayville; 6. Tom Metcalf, North Stonington; 8. Lucas Leone, Southington; 9. Cassanda Coates, Uncasville; 10. Todd Taylor, Stonington.

Press release from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Contact Mike Serluca at 860-422-7223

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