Plemons captures first Super X-Car win- Bennett recovers from 13-car wreck to win Legends feature- Rheaume & Shifflett chalk up X-Car wins- Brody Monahan cruises to third Bandolero winwaterford
WATERFORD — Super X-Car driver Aaron Plemons pulled off his first New London-Waterford Speedbowl victory the hard way — with point-leader Dave Yardley breathing down his firesuit. Plemons, however, didn’t succumb to the pressure. He held off Yardley over the final five laps to grab a dramatic win the 25-lap Super X-car feature. Plemons win was one of the highlights of Wednesday’s Wild & Wacky program.
In other action, Peter Bennett, who was involved in a 13-car crash with 14-laps remaining in the 25-lap Legends feature, recovered to roar past Colin Haley with seven laps remaining to lock up his fourth win of the season. Bill Rheaume grabbed his second win of the season in the first of two X-Car features, but Wayne Shifflett bobbed and weaved his way through traffic to win the nightcap. In the 20-lap Bandolero feature, Brody Monahan led from start to finish to collect his third win of 2018.
The night’s most emotional moment was created by Plemons, who grabbed the early lead in the Super X-Car feature from Jeremy Washburn and opened up a hefty advantage.
A caution flag with eight laps to go tightened up the field and enabled Yardley to move into second. Yardley threatened, but couldn’t get by Plemons, who protected the bottom groove o the track.
“I was so nervous when that caution came out,” Plemons said. But I was doing whatever I could to keep the lead. I really felt like I had the fastest car out there.”
Yardley didn’t have enough firepower to get past the rookie.
“I could have moved him, but if he spun around, I would have been sent to the rear,” Yardley said. “I’m going for the championship, so I couldn’t let that happened. I had to play it safe.”
The comeback of the night was pulled off by Bennett, the Legends point leader. He was running second with 14 laps remaining when he and Brandon Remson got tangled up, resulting in a 13-car altercation that knocked several drivers out of the race.
Bennett made a pit stop to check his car out and rejoined the field in seventh place. It took him eight laps to get back to the front.
He got the edge on Shileigh Martinez on a restart with three laps to go to put a padlock on the win.
In the first of two 25-lap X-Car features, Rheaume was the dominant force. He took the lead midway through the race, storming past leader Christopher Lee on the outside. T.J. Racicot moved into second place with four laps to go but didn’t have an answer for Rheaume.
“I had no worries out there,” Rheaume said. “I just do what I can do and get done what has to be done. I worked my butt off.”
In the second race, Shifflett started deep in the pack, but wasted no time in picking his way through the field. He squeezed past Steve Olsen with six laps left to scorch his way into the lead and held on the rest of the way.
Shifflett said in victory lane he was finally able to free up his schedule so he could visit the Speedbowl.
“This was a blast,” Shifflett said. “I had a lot of fun.”
Brody Monahan was challenged on almost every one of the 20 laps in the Bandolero race by P.J. Evans, but was able to hang on to get his third win.
“I don’t look at my mirrors,” Monahan said. “I was just praying for the entire race that no one was behind me.”
P.J. Evans hung on for second and Maddie Harkin finished third and maintained her 20 point lead in the standings.
Racing resumes Saturday with Military Night at the Speedbowl, consisting of the Valenti Modified Racing Series, the SK Modified and SK Lite Modifieds, Twin Mini Stock Features, Late Models, the Ct. Pro 4 Modifieds, the Open Vintage Modifieds and the Super X-Cars. All active and past members of the military, showing proper ID, will receive a free grandstand ticket.
20-lap Bandoleros: 1, Brody Monahan, Waterford; 2. P.J. Evans, Uncasville; 3. Maddie Harkin, Portsmouth, RI; 4. Sawyer Reiss, Guilford; 5. Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin; 6. Conor Jencik, Canton; 7. Anthony Bevilacqua, Newington; 8. Madelyn Hovey, Chaplin; 9. Emma Monahan, Waterford; 10. Aiden Sullivan, East Hampton.
25-lap X-Car Race No. 1: Bill Rheaume, Uncasville; 2. T.J. Racicot, Quaker Hill; 3. Christopher Lee; Oakdale; 4. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 5. Wayne Shifflett, Preston; 6. Bruce Sperry, Waterford; 7. Christopher Strickland, Uncasville; 8. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 9. Raymond Herman, Groton; 10. Dylan DeCoster, Waterford.
25-lap X Car Race No. 2: 1. Wayne Shifflett, Preston; 2. Steven Olsen, Essex; 3. T.J. Racicot, Quaker Hill; 4. Bill Rheaume, Uncasville; 5. Christopher Lee, Oakdale; 6. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 7. Dylan DeCoster, Waterford; 8. Matthew Menders, Niantic; 9. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 10. Raymond Herman Sr., Groton.
25 lap Super X-Car: 1. Aaron Plemons, Uncasville; 2. Dave Yardley, Berlin; 3. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 4. Marc Shafer, Groton; 5. Donald Berge, Uncasville; 6. Peter Martin, Plainville; 7. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston; 8. Denny Hoffman, Westbrook; 9. Bud Kuehne, Clinton; 10. Keith Brown, Griswold.
24-lap Legends Feature: 1. Peter Bennett, Cromwell; 2. Shileigh Martinez, North Kingston; 3. Joe Marfeo, Exeter R.I.; 4. Eric Lebrun, Newtown; 5. Colin Haley, Ashford; 6, Brandon Remson, Norwalk; 7. Devon Jencik, Canton; 8. Zachary Matinez, North Kingston, R.I.; 9. Ryan Griffin, Griswold; 10. Brandon Martinez, North Kingston, R.I.
Press release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos courtesy of Passingbird Photography