Come-from behind Canfield prevails in Mini Stockswaterford
WATERFORD — After three weeks of the 2018 New London-Waterford Speedbowl season, Charles Canfield was sitting in 12th place in the standings, 46 points out of the lead. It looked like he had two chances to successfully defend his Mini Stock title — slim, and wait until next year.
Canfield, however, wasn’t buying it.
“People around me were giving me confidence,” Canfield said, “even when I thought I couldn’t make a comeback. My fellow competitors reached out to me early and told me not to give up, so I kept my head in the game. I couldn’t let my kids see me give up, so I kept digging and it all worked out at the end.”
After being disqualified from a 50-lap victory on June 9, Canfield bounced back with a vengeance. He won the 25-lap feature on June 16 and didn’t stop winning.
He captured 10 wins — most of them in come from behind fashion — to capture his second consecutive Mini Stock crown.
“This means a lot,” Canfield said. “I’m kind of speechless about it. But it’s nice to be noticed as a top competitor.”
The New Haven driver will be celebrating the title at the annual “Stars of the Speedbowl Banquet” which will be taking place Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Mystic Marriott. Ticket forms are available on the track web site, www.speedbowlct.com
The statistics he posted were mind-boggling — some of the best in the Mini-Stock division — 10 wins and five second-place finished in 17 races. It wasn’t a mind-boggling start, however — back to back 16th place finishes in the second and third races, shoving him outside of the Top 10.
The slow start called for desperate measures. Canfield said when he fell 46 points behind, he started trying different set-ups in an effort to find a winning combination.
“I didn’t think I had a shot at the title, so we went back to the drawing board and kept trying new stuff,” Canfield said. “I’m glad we did .”
Canfield was so hot during the season, Bowl officials even put a $200 bounty on him.
“It was something new,” Canfield said. “Mike Serluca wanted to try it, and I decided to give a try. It definitely was cool.”
Jordan Hadley, in his first Mini Stock race of the year, captured the race and the $200 bounty.
“You have to give him credit because he did it cleanly,” Canfield said.
After the bounty race was over, however, Canfield resumed his winning ways. His car was a rocket wherever he decided to put it, including the outside groove.
“If no one wants to use the outside groove, I sure will,” Canfield said. “I didn’t expect my car to work so well out there, but it sure started working in my favor.”
Canfield captured win No. 10 at the season-ending finale, giving him a 16-point advantage over Doug Curry, who stuck to Canfield like gum on the bottom of his shoe for most of the season.
“Doug definitely steeped up his game last year,” Canfield said. “he didn’t make it easy.”
Canfield’s 2018 sponsors include Bozzuto Brothers Refuse, NAPA of Guilford, Jim’s Lawn Care, GCR Specialties, 32 Signs and Moroso Performance Products of Guilford. His crew consists of his wife, his kids, Erica and Mark. Al Stone provided the set up. Other support came from his sister, his dad, and the Norman Brothers and their crew.
It all added up to Mini Stock championship No. 2. And Canfield doesn’t plan on stopping there.
“We’re going for a three-peat next season,” Canfield said. “I’m hoping to get the same sponsors and hopefully our success can continue.
“We ended the season on a positive note, so I think all I have to do is stay positive,” Canfield said. “I’m also glad the disqualification happened at the beginning of the season before I started winning races.”
The DQ turned out to be a pothole and not a roadblock.
“It’s all about staying confident,” Canfield said. “I had good backing, good sponsors and good people in the pits.”
Not to mention a good man behind the wheel.
Press release from the New London-Wateford Speedbowl
For more information, contact Mike Serluca at email@example.com