Pappacoda, Curry are ready to go the distance

Pappacoda, Curry are ready to go the distance

WATERFORD — Mini-Stock driver Nick Pappacoda claims the preparation for an extra-distance  50-lap feature isn’t much different than how you get ready for a weekly 25-lap race.

“As long as you have decent tires, the extra laps really shouldn’t be an issue,” said Pappacoda, the elder statesman in the Mini-Stocks.

While Doug Curry hasn’t been around auto racing as much as Pappacoda has, he agrees.

“You just want to be consistent,” Curry said. “The key is to get into a rhythm for the first 25 laps. Then if you get through the first 25 laps and your car is in good condition, you go for it.”

Pappacoda, Curry and the rest of the Mini-Stock field will be involved for 50-laps — double the regular distance, when Scout Night takes place Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

The Mini-Stocks will be joined by the SK Modifieds, SK Lites, Sportsmen, Late Models and Speedbowl Trucks. In addition to the weekly competitors, the first Midsize-Compact Enduro will be held.

The Mini-Stocks, however, will be in the spotlight for their longest race of the season. Both Pappacoda and Curry plan on playing the waiting game during the first half of the race.

“When you’re a senior, you learn about longevity,” said the 64-year-old Pappacoda. “”You don’t want to burn your equipment up in one minute. If you have a car that is marginal after 25 laps, and it’s running out of forward bite, and the car is getting looser and looser, extra laps can be an issue. But if you have a well-balanced car, you should do just as well in a 50-lapper as in 25. 

“You just get in line, don’t argue with anyone  and let the other guys decide what they want to do. You just have to pace yourself, avoid the wrecks and let the race come to you.”

Curry’s strategy almost is identical.

“I’m good at taking care of my equipment” Curry said. “Sometimes I lay back and I’m not aggressive enough. I might wait a little too long to make a move and it’s hurt me in the past. Maybe I’ll be a little more aggressive three or five laps sooner than I normally do.”

Curry said he only planned on running about six Speedbowl races this season, but increased his schedule when he found out how good his car was.

“We were good in practice the first time we took the car to the Bowl, and then we won our heat race,” Curry said. “And then we had a solid night and we finished in fourth. 

“Then in the second race, we had another solid night and we finished on the podium in third. This car just has too much potential to leave it on jack stands. We’ll be deciding what we’re going to do on a week-to-week basis.”

Pappacoda, meanwhile, says he’s having too much fun to stop.

“The competitors, for the most part, are good guys,” Pappacoda said. “They are very respectful. No one is driving with their heads up their butts. I think the respect level is higher than in most divisions and I’m happy to toot my horn about that.”

Pappacoda’s sponsors include Walt’s Auto Body. His crew chief is Raymond Weaving.

“I’m very appreciative of what they do for me,” Pappacoda said.

Curry is sponsored by Ken’s Auto, Badazz Creative Coatings, Treat’s Pools and Spas, CB Fabrication, JSB Motorsports and Jeff’s Custom Graphics.

His dad, John Curry, his brother John Curry Jr., his mom Julie, his finance Caroline Douton and Ryan Fletcher make up his crew.

“I think the Mini-Stocks have the best racing you’ll ever see,” Curry said.

And it should be twice as good Saturday.

Speedbowl notes

All scouts in uniform (girls scouts and brownies, boy scouts and cub scouts) and scout leaders will be admitted free to Saturday’s race … Members of the Nutmeg Kart Club will be in attendance Saturday and will be in the hospitality tent. There also will be a special exhibition race prior to the start of feature racing….Bo Norman, who was involved in a crash at the end of last week’s Sportsman feature, says his car is ready to go for Saturday’s 30-lap Sportsman feature.

Qualifying gets under way Saturday at 5 p.m. Opening ceremonies and feature racing will follow… Joey Walnuts” Ternullo made his long-awaited SK Modified debut on Wednesday and finished fifth. Ternullo is a former Speedbowl Legends champ. Jon Porter is the point leader in the Sportsman division, holding the tie-breaker edge over Shawn Gaedeke…. Nate Taylor leads the Mini-Stock championship race by one point over Curry…Duane Noll owns a four-point cushion over Todd Taylor in the Trucks… Jason Palmer maintains a four-point edge over Ryan Morgan in the Late Models.

Press release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Contact Mike Serluca at 860-442-7223

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