Abele, Ouellette, Martinez, & Watts Beat the WeatherMitch Bombard
Race teams from all over the northeast descended on the shoreline oval for the first event of the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fans were treated with the first of two visits for the 350 SMAC Super Modifieds. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. While drivers, fans, and track crews braved a brief shower, fog rolled in as the evening went on. This ultimately led to the postponement of the event on lap 11 of the 25 lap Mini Stock event. Before then, Tom Abele Jr returned to Speedbowl Victory Lane for the first time in a SK Light. Bert Ouellette returned to the Speedbowl and the Trucks after a few years hiatus in winning form. Zachary Martinez won a rain shortened Legend Car Race, and Scott Watts won the 350 Super Modified event.
The 25 lap SK Light event was slowed by numerous cautions, forcing pole sitter Steven Chapman to set the pace on several restarts. For a majority of the race, Tom Abele would settle down into second place but remain hot on Chapmans tail. During a restart with 13 laps to go, Abele would take the Marvin Racing numbered 07 by Chapman on the outside and never look back. Abele did need to survive 5 more restarts after taking the lead, including one red flag for an incident that would remove John O’Sullivan III and Christopher Hirt from competition. He was able to succeed and take the victory, as Chapman would get passed by eventual runner up Wayne Burroughs Jr with 5 laps remaining. Abele has a prior win in an SK Modified®, but this would be his first Light win after taking the reigns at the end of last season.
In the 25 lap Truck race, rookie Ed Ryan Jr got off to an early lead with Todd Taylor in a solid second place. Taylor would keep knocking on the door of Ryan, and on lap 10 he would even get side by side with him. But Bert Ouellette was hungry and wanted to put the Cindy Burdick Motorsports Ford in victory lane. He made an aggressive three wide move on the inside coming down the front straightaway with 14 laps to go, and pulled away from the field. A caution with 7 to go gave Taylor a chance to take advantage of the moment but he couldn’t put the exclamation point on an otherwise solid night. Ouellette would win by a comfortable margin, giving him his first Speedbowl Truck win since 2016.
Zachary Martinez would find himself in the right place at the right time to take the Legend Car victory. Defending Champion Johnny O’Sullivan got off to an early lead, fending off attacks from both Martinez and Isaiah Newcomb. O’Sullivan would get shuffled to the outside on lap 9 giving Newcomb what appeared to be a comfortable lead, when a restart on lap 20 would prove pivotal for Martinez who launched from the outside line by Newcomb. A caution would fly, but also the rain would fall putting a premature end to the 25 Lap Legend Car event.
Scott Watts won the 50 lap 350 SMAC Super Modified race with a hard charging Sparky MacGyver reeling him in during the final run.
The fog came that was sneaking into the facility drew the line on lap 11 of the Mini Stock event, causing the night to be suspended. Our next event is the rescheduled Speedbowl Blast Off on Saturday May 21st, featuring a 71 lap SK Modified® race, Late Models, SK Lights, Street Stocks, Trucks, Legend Cars, an all new 25 lap Mini Stock race and the remaining 14 laps from May 14th. The remaining races will be rescheduled later.
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25 Lap SK Lights (Top 10): 1. 07, Tom Abele Jr, Norwich, CT; 2. 32, Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale, CT; 3. 14CT, Steven Chapman, Ellington, CT; 4. 16CT, Ethan Durocher, Canterbury, CT; 5. 16, Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin, CT; 6. 78, Evan Bourgeois, East Haddam, CT; 7. 2, Michael McCarthy, North Oxford, MA; 8. 21, Sami Anderson, Wolcott, CT; 9. 51CT, Matt Brewer, Norwich, CT; 10. 47, Zach Sangermano, Plainfield, CT.
25 Lap Trucks (Top 10): 1. 151, Albert Ouellette, Ellington, CT; 2. 47 ,Todd Taylor, Stonington, CT; 3. 10, Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook, CT; 4. 81, Tyler Chapman, Mystic, CT; 5. 55, Nathan Smith, Greene, RI; 6. 12, Ed Ryan Jr., Preston, CT; 7. 5, Chris Taylor, East Lyme, CT; 8. 9, Bill Porter, Canterbury, CT; 9. 29, Joshua Stringer, Dayville, CT; 10. 81CT, Brian Norman, Clinton, CT.
20 Lap Legend Cars (Rain Shortened): 1. 14Z, Zachary Martinez, N. Kingstown, RI; 2. 51, John O’Sullivan III, Salem, CT; 3. 22, Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, MA; 4. 5, Dylan Freeman, Unionville, CT; 5. 91, Riley Paul, Ledyard, CT; 6. 89, Dylan Cote, Griswold, CT; 7. 66, Ron Miske, Shelton, CT; 8. 15, Scott Kinsman, Berlin, CT; 9. 77CT, Thomas Martucci Jr., Ellington, CT; 10. 31, Brody Monahan, Waterford, CT
Photos by TK Race Photos (Mitch Bombard)