James goes from one-lap down to victory lane, Loomis wins by 0:01 in X-Cars; Yardley, Blaskey and Monahan also post victorieswaterford
WATERFORD — Kyle James knew where to give the praise for his rousing come from behind win Wednesday in the first 40-lap SK Modified race of the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
“It was all crew,” James said.
He also had a lot to do with it as he was able to jet-stream his way around Cory DiMatteo on a restart with five laps to go en route to an electrifying victory in a race that originally was scheduled for June 2.
James wasn’t the only driver, however, to pull out breath taking wins Wednesday. Eddie Loomis prevailed in a nail-biter over Corey Caddick, winning the 25-lap X-car feature by 0:01 of a second.
Mike Blaskey scored a come-from-behind win over Peter Bennett in the 25-lap Legends feature while Dave Yardley dominated the 25-lap Super X Car feature for his first win of the season.
In the Bandolero feature, Brody Monahan went from third to first on the final lap after the two co-leaders collided. It was Monahan’s first-ever Bandolero win.
James, however, set the tone for the night when he battled from one lap down to pull out the win.
“I thought we definitely had the car to beat tonight,” James said. “But then we had a mechanical problem and I had to go in the pits to fix it. But the crew was able to get the car fixed under yellow. If it wasn’t for them, there was no way I would have won tonight.”
James came back on the track one lap down, but took advantage of the lucky dog on the next caution to move back on the lead lap.
James still needed some good fortune to complete his comeback. Todd Owen of Somers took the lead from Dylan Izzo on lap 22 and appeared to be in total control. A late caution, however, forced a double-file restart with five to go.
On the restart, Owen was hit from behind by Izzo and was headed to the wall, taking Andrew Molleur, who was running second, into the wall with him, sidelining both cars. Izzo was penalized for over-aggressive driving.
DiMatteo was moved into the lead, but surrendered the top spot quickly when James flew past him on the restart.
“My inexperience might have hurt me,” said DiMatteo, who was making his first-ever SK start at the Speedbowl. “Maybe I should have driven James higher up in Turn 1.”
By that time, however, James was back at full speed.
Izzo finished third and veteran Wendell Dailey was fourth. Joey Ternullo, in his first-ever SK start at the Speedbowl, rounded out the top 5.
The closest finish of the night took place in the X-Car race. Corey Caddick took the lead on a restart early in the race on Lap 7, but a late caution forced a side-by-side dual for an entire lap between Eddie Loomis and Caddick for the win.
Loomis was able to flash-dance by Caddick in a finish that was too close to call — it was decided by the transponders that are in each car. Loomis’ winning margin was one-one-hundredth of a second.
“I have no idea what happened,” Loomis said. “I never expected to finish this high. I just got lucky. There were a couple of late-race cautions that really helped me.”
Caddick, meanwhile, thought he beat Loomis to the finish line.
“I thought the nose of my car crossed the line first, but you have to go by the transponders,” Caddick said “I really wasn’t expecting Eddie to come hard at me during the last lap the way he did.”
It was Loomis’ second straight win and it shoved him into the point lead by three over Caddick.
Dave Yardley was running third in the Super X car feature when the front-runners, Bud Kuehne and Peter Martin got together on lap 14, sending Kuehne to the infield grass and sending Yardley to the lead, where he stayed for the final 11 laps.
“We have a set-up on this car that works very well,” Yardley said. “The car is just sticking to the track.”
Point leader, Marc Shafer, suffered a broken drive shaft and finished 11th.
Mike Blaskey pocketed his second 25-lap Legends win of the season when he rocketed past Peter Bennett on a restart on lap 12.
“It was an okay race for me, but I messed up on a restart and Mike took advantage of it,” Bennett said.
“There are some great drivers in this division, like Peter Bennett and Johnny O’Sullivan,” Blaskey said. “It’s an honor for me to race with them.”
The 20-lap Bandolero feature had its share of controversy. Maddie Harkin led for the first 19 laps, but with one lap to go, Nick Hovey came from deep in the pack to challenge her. The two cars made contact and started to spin, giving an opening to Brody Monahan, who was running third. He sizzled into the lead to get an improbable win.
“I just got on the gas,” Monahan said.
The rest was history.
Racing resumes Saturday with Scout Night at the Speedbowl. The Mini-Stocks will be the feature attraction with a 50-lap feature. The SK Modifieds will be in action for 40-laps, the Late Models and the Sportsman will be competing with 30-lap features and the Speedbowl Trucks and SK Lites will each go 25-laps. The season’s first Compact/Mid Size Enduro also will take place. The Enduro is rescheduled from June 2.
All scouts and troop leaders in uniform will be admitted to the Speedbowl free of charge.
40-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Kyle James, Ashway, R.I.; 2. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 3. Dylan Izzo, Monroe; 4. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 5. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 6. Matt Galko, Meriden; 7. Bob Goulet, Plainville; 8. Justin Albernaz, Rehobeth, Mass.; 9. Bob Georgiades, East Hampton; 10. Todd Owen, Somers.
25-lap Legends: 1. Michael Blaskey, Bethany; 2. Pete Bennett, Cromwell; 3. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 4. Dennis Pantani, Branford; 5. Mason Levesque, Dighton, Mass.; 6. Devon Jencik, Canton; 7. Colin Haley, Ashford; 8. Jessica O’Leary, Warwick, R.I.; 9. Tyler Palmer, Watertown; 10. Anthony Bello, Newtown.
25-lap X-Car: 1. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 2. Corey Caddick, Richmond, R.I.; 3. Bill Rheaume, Uncasville; 4. Christopher Lee, Oakdale; 5. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 6. Matt Westover, Charlestown, R.I.; 7. Josh Cicio, Seymour; 8. Onie Pierce, Preston; 9. Kayle Symonds, Andover; 10. Josh Piper, Clinton.
25-lap Super X Car: 1. Dave Yardley, Kensington; 2. Don Berge, Uncasville; 3. Denny Lee Hoffman, Westbrook; 4. Bud Kuehne, Clinton; 5. Aaron Plemons, Uncasville; 6. Keith Brown, Griswold; 7. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 8. Peter Martin, Plainville; 9. Bill Reiman, Southington; 10. Jeremy Washburn, NA.
20-lap Bandolero: 1. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 2. PJ Evans, Uncasville; 3. Teddy Welch, Griswold; 4. Ethan Simmons, Pawcatuck; 5. Nick Hovey, Chaplin; 6. Maddie Harkin, Portsmouth, R.I.; 7. Tyler Barry, Griswold; 8. Ari Jencik, Canton; 9. Tyler Alkas, Berlin; 10. Sawyer Reiss, Guilford.
Press release from New London Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at 860-442-7223