Noll has Luck- Wins in Speedbowl Truckswaterford
WATERFORD — Duane Noll of Monroe believes in multi-tasking. He’s a driver in the Speedbowl Truck Division at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. He’s the crew chief. He’s the sponsor.
And he’s also a three-time champion.
Noll’s latest success took place in 2018 when he posted six wins, two seconds and three thirds to cruise to a 49-point win over Todd Taylor to clinch the title.
Noll is the only driver ever to win a title in the three-year history of the Speedbowl Truck Series. He also captured two New England Truck titles to give him five career championships.
Noll will be officially named as 2018 Truck champion on Feb. 9 at the “Stars of the Speedbowl” banquet that will take place at the Mystic Marriott. Ticket forms are available on the Speedbowl web site, www.speedbowlct.com.
Noll said he might not have grabbed title No. 3 if it wasn’t for a new member of his crew — Lady Luck.
“The competition was tougher this year, but for some reason, for most of the year luck went our way,” Noll said. “ I could tell you stories of the past when I got screwed here, screwed there — I had a lot of bad luck. But not this year”
This season, however, he must have had a lucky horseshoe in his back pocket.
The U-turn in the luck department took place on July 22 when Noll was declared the winner of the 25-lap feature after Tom Metcalf, who finished first on the track, was disqualified.
And there was some added drama.
“I blew my transmission on the last lap,” Noll said. “If it happened a lap earlier, I would have finished last because there was no way I was finishing another lap.”
He got lucky again on his way to the track when a dump truck flipped over on I-95, forcing the road to be closed. It took him 3-and-a-half hours to get to the Speedbowl, but made it in time for practice. He had battery troubles in the first practice, made a quick fix and still landed on the podium.
Noll never finished off the podium, despite a tough start on opening weekend when he finished third.
“I was really busy at work last March and didn’t have time to work on my truck for the start of the season,” Noll said. “I just dusted it off on opening day and went to the track. I just wasn’t prepared.”
Noll made sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
“The week after that, I made the decision to concentrate on racing,” Noll said. “I came back and made it happen.”
On many occasions, Noll had to battle from deep in the pack, sometimes using the outside groove
“I liked that,” Noll said, “and the fans like it. When you can come from far back and win, it makes you happy. It’s good for your ego. And my competition was darned good. . Jeff Karns raced Late Models with me 20 years ago. He’s the best of the best. And Todd Taylor seems to win a race every year. He’s always there.”
So was Noll
“I just started getting lucky,” Noll said. “Especially at the end of the season. Somebody pinch me. It’s a dream.”
There were many weeks, however, when Noll didn’t need luck — he was the class of the field regardless of his starting position.
Noll has a one-person crew, his sister Beth.
“We’ve been doing it for so long,” Noll said. “My only fear is if I get a flat during the race. Then I’ll need someone to help us out.”
Noll plans on competing for his fourth Speedbowl Truck title in 2019. He also has another truck and may make appearances on the truck tour.
There’s another goal, however, he would like to accomplish in 2019.
“I’ve won three races in a row about six or seven times,” Noll said. “But I’ve never won four in a row.”
Perhaps all he needs to do is ask his new crew member, Lady Luck, to help him out.
Press release from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
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