Summer Showdown and SK Modified Blastoff 80 are in the bookswaterford
James dominates Blast Off
Bennett declared winner in Summer Showdown
Chapman holds off Puleo to win first Lite Modified feature
Gaedeke survives wild Sportsman feature
Canfield comes from behind to post Mini Stock win
Taylor leads every lap in Truck feature
WATERFORD — Kyle James didn’t plan on taking the lead in the SK Modified 80-lap Blast off as quickly as he did Saturday.
His car, however, was too good to hold back.
It took James only 13 laps to go from fifth to first as he dominated the Blast Off, grabbing a first-place purse of $4,150.
Peter Bennett, meanwhile, grabbed the biggest Legends win of his career as he collected a win in the Summer Showdown. The win was worth $2,000. Bennett finished second on the track, but was awarded the victory when Alex McCollum was disqualified after post-race inspection.
Other winners included Steven Chapman of Ellington in the SK Lite Modifieds in his first-ever race, Charles Canfield in the Mini Stocks, point leader Shawn Gaedeke in the Sportsman feature and Todd Taylor in the Speedbowl Truck feature.
The most dominating performance, however, was from James, who lapped every car but four in the 80-lap Blast Off.
“I really wasn’t on planning to take the lead as early as I did,” James said. “But my car was just too strong.”
James did most of his passing on the outside groove, a tactic he has employed all season.
“The main reason I’m having such a great season is because I can go to the outside to pass cars,” James said. “That’s been the key to the season.”
The only crisis point for James occurred on lap 66 when the first and only caution came out because of a Keith Rocco spin.
James, however, pulled away from Dylan Izzo on the restart and was never threatened.
“The crew did such a great job working on this car and getting it ready,” James said. “They deserve all the credit.”
James has three Speedbowl wins in four races this season.
Izzo finished second but was later disqualified, along with Tim Jordan, who finished fourth. That moved Todd Owen to second and Keith Rocco, who started 10th and never seriously challenged for a podium spot, in third.
Rocco was presented with the Hard Charger Award, given in memory of the late John Anderson.
Bennett was ecstatic after taking down the biggest win of his brief Legends career.
“This has to be the equivalent of my first ever win,” Bennett said. “It feels great to be able to run with guys like Alex McCollum and Jason Palmer.”
Bennett led for only one lap, but it was a lap to remember — lap 27.
“I was having good restarts during the entire race and I was able to cross over Alex heading into turn 3,” Bennett said. “But he went underneath me in turn 2. I didn’t think he was there and I didn’t protect the bottom. He got by me and I figured I blew my shot at winning.”
It turned out, however, not to be the case.
“I just missed the set-up by a little,” Bennett said. “All I needed was one more tweak, and I think I could have put Alex behind me. All things considered, the car was about as perfect as it could be.
“I set the car up for the long run, because I knew it needed to be good over those 10 extra laps. And it was.”
History was made in the SK Lite Modifieds when 14-year-old Steven Chapman of Ellington won in his first ever start.
“It’s unbelievable,” Chapman said. “I never thought I would be able to get it done.
It wasn’t easy. Chapman was battling with Brett Gonyaw and Jonathan Puleo for the lead when Gonyaw bobbled. Chapman went to the inside of Gonyaw and grabbed the lead. Puleo went to the outside of Gonyaw and moved into second.
Chapman stayed in front the rest of the way, snapping the 14-year-old Puleo’s three-race winning streak.
Canfield took advantage of a restart with eight laps to go to wrestle the lead away from Jake Christian.
“That restart might have been a break for me,” Canfield said. “My car was tight. But the restart made me realize I had to move up a lane in order to get some good bite.”
It was Canfield’s second consecutive win. Christian took second, which was his best-ever Speedbowl finish.
Gaedeke was involved with a breath-taking battle with Jason Chicolas, Jon Porter, Jordan Hadley and Adrien Paradis in the Sportsman feature.
Gaedeke and Chicolas came together on the final lap between turns 3 and 4, but Gaedeke was able to shrug off the contact and get the victory.
Taylor, meanwhile, withstood an early challenge from Tyler Chapman as he was in control in the truck feature. Taylor led every lap, many of them by wide margins.
Duane Noll finished third and maintains his point lead.
Racing resumes Wednesday with a Wild and Wacky Wednesday July 4 special event.
A pre-race barbecue will be served from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The prices for the BBQ are $15 for adults, $10 for youths 13-16 and $5 for children 5 to 12. This DOES NOT include admission into the races. Grandstand admission is $8 for adults- $5 for youth 13-16 and kids 12 and under are free. Pit entry is $20. In addition to the four regular divisions — the Bandoleros, Legends, X Cars and Super X Cars — the second Mid-Size and Compact Car Enduro will take place. The night will be capped off by a dazzling fireworks display.
80-lap SK Modified 2018 Blast-Off: 1. Kyle James, Ashaway, R.I.; 2, Todd Owen, Somers; 3 Keith Rocco, Berlin; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 6. Nicholas Salva, Prospect; 7. Joe Allegro Jr., Vernon; 8. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa.; 9. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 10. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard.
35-lap Summer Showdown: 1. Peter Bennett, Cromwell; 2, Jason Palmer, Berlin; 3. Nick Lascuola, Brockton, Mass.; 4. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 5. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 6. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 7. Shileigh Martinez, North Kingston, R.I.; 8. Brandon Martinez, North Kingston, R.I.; 9. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 10. Joe Marfeo, Exeter, R.I.
25-lap SK Lite Modifieds: 1. Steven Chapman, Ellington; 2. Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 3. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 4. Bert Oueellette, Ellington; 5. Brett Gonyaw, Vernon; 6. Chris Gombos, Naugatuck; 7. Keith Caruso, Milbury, Mass.; 8. Nick Anglace, Naugatuck; 9. Jake Taylor, Jewett City; 10. John O’Sullivan III, Salem.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 2, Jake Christian, Norwich; 3. Dave Trundeau, Mansfield; 4. Doug Curry, Groton; 5. Andrew Krzemnski, Haddem; 6. Nick Pappocoda, North Branford; 7. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 8. Tommy Silva, Gales Ferry, CT; 9. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, R,I,; 10. JT Suprenant, Central Village.
30-lap Sportsman: 1. Shawn Gaedeke, Groton; 2, Jason Chicolas, Sutton, Mass.; 3. Jon Porter, East Lyme; 4. Adrien Paradis III, Plainville; 5. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 6. Dave Paradis, Auburn Mass.; 7. Ian Poland, Douglas, Mass.; 8. Jordan Hadley, Quaker Hill.
25-lap Speedbowl Trucks: 1. Todd Taylor, Stonington; 2. Tyler Chapman, Mystic; 3. Duane Noll, Monroe; 4. Tom Metcalf, North Stonington; 5. Jeff Karns, Quaker Hill; 6. Brandon Pleamons, Uncasville; 7. Seth Barber, Hope Valley R.I.; 8. Cassandra Coates, Uncasville; 9. Mike Olsen, Deep River; 10. Lucas Leone, Southington.
Press release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at MikeS@speedbowlct.com