Sweet, Janovic looking for Wednesday successwaterford
WATERFORD — When you arrive at the New London-Speedbowl Wednesday for the Wild and Wacky Wednesday program and you see a full contingent of SK Modifieds, do not adjust your calendar.
After being rained out for four Saturdays in a row, the SKs are just looking for some dry land on which to race.
The drivers will try to find it Wednesday when the SK Modifieds join the X-Cars, Super X-Cars, Bandoleros and Legends for a special edition of Wild and Wacky Wednesday.
“I can’t remember the last time we raced on a Wednesday,” said Rob Janovic, the driver of the Macara Vehicle Services-Big A Auto Parts of North Branford SK Modified. “It mixes things up a bit, so in that respect, we are looking forward to it.”
Brent Sweet, the driver of the Jensen’s Tire and Auto Marine car, does remember his last Wednesday appearance.
“It was a few years ago in 2010 when I made my debut in the old X-Modified division” Sweet said. “That was the start of my racing career.”
The careers of Janovic and Sweet differ in one aspect — geography. Janovic, who lives in Waterford, is based just a few miles from the Speedbowl, while Sweet, who lives in Monroe, is more than 60 miles away.
That presents different challenges for the two drivers.
“Fortunately for our team, there are no conflicts with any of us,” Janovic said. “That would be the worst — when something gets thrown at you and one of your guys have made other plans, what do you do? Hopefully, for us and everyone else, our docket is clear and we can go racing.”
Sweet, however, is in a different situation.
“We are looking to see what our options are,” Sweet said. “We’re a long ways away and it’s a tough trip on a weeknight. But we’re looking to see what we can do.”
Sweet sounds like a driver, however, who is looking for some action. He and his team got off to a late start this season and he was forced to miss the opener. Because of Mother Nature, however, everyone else in the SK Modified missed it too.
When Sweet made his first Speedbowl appearance Saturday, he got in a practice session and a heat race, but it started to rain just before the feature was set to run. The 40-lap race was postponed and moved to Wednesday.
“The weather has played into our favor,” Sweet said. “We are still tied for the point lead, because no one has raced. It was finally good to go out there on the track and tighten everything up. Nothing was leaking, and that was a good sign.”
Sweet is looking to climb another step on the ladder of improvement.
“It started two years ago, when we made our first Top 10,” Sweet said. “Then last year we won our first heat race, which was a big step. We have gained more confidence. And now I can’t see why we can’t be a Top 5 car. That’s the progression — keep moving forward.”
Sweet figures he has a car and a team that can achieve those goals. In addition to Eddie and Shawn of Jensen’s Auto, Sweet’s sponsors include Copps Island Oysters, Planet Pizza of Norwalk, Daigle and Travers Insurance of Darien, Gary’s Services of Newtown, Nap Chanard and Dr. Sonny.
His crew includes his mom and dad, his grandmother, Aunt Dee, Uncle Mike, Cousin Ed and Tim.
“All things considered, the car was good,” Sweet said. “We weren’t running the car that hard, but I checked my lap times, and they weren’t too far off. It was respectable. It was nice to get back in the swing of things. We know what the car needs to make it more competitive.”
Janovic also enjoyed his time behind the wheel Saturday — he won his heat race, going from third to first to pull it off.
“But that’s the only race I’ve competed in,” Janovic said. “And we’re already in June. That’s another reason to embrace Wednesday.”
Janovic is happy with his car and made some adjustments after qualifying. It’s what he doesn’t know — what the track conditions will be — concerns him.
“The track will probably change from what it was Saturday,” Janovic said. “It may even change during the night. The Wednesday divisions, with their street tires, usually scrape rubber off the track. We have to be ready to adjust quickly.”
The biggest adjustment, however, is knowing you have to bring your Modified to the Speedbowl on a Wednesday night. The driver who adjusts the best could be in for some mid-week magic.
Wild and Wacky notes
The opening ceremonies will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by feature racing for the Bandoleros (20 laps) and Super X Cars (25 laps).. Then the SK Modifieds will take center stage for their first 40-lap feature of the year.
Following the Modified will be 25-lap races for the Legends and X-Cars. …Corey Caddick saw his two-race win streak in the X-Car division end last week when Eddie Loomis grabbed his first win of the year. Loomis also was able to tie Caddick for the point lead. Caddick owns the tie-breaker, however, with most wins.
By virtue of his Super X car win last week, defending champ Marc Shafer was able to launch himself into the point lead by one over Dave Yardley,
Although Mike Blaskey was able to nail down two second-place finishes last week in the Twin 20-lap Legends activity, his lead is only four points over the red-hot Better Bennett. Bennett has two wins in his last three races, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday.
The hottest driver in the Wednesday series is Maddie Harkin, who has back-to-back Bandolero victories, Despite missing the season opener, Harkin leads the point standings by seven over Nicholas Hovey.
Regular Wednesday prices will be in effect. Adults are $8, youth 13-to-16 are $5 and 12 and under are admitted free. Wristbands issued on June 2 will be good for Wednesdays show.
Press release from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at 860-442-7223