The Point Battle Tightens

The Point Battle Tightens

WATERFORD –Matt Galko had a restart he’ll never forget, enabling him to have a night he’ll never forget.

“It was the restart of my life,” Galko said after he exploded past Joe Gada on a 19th lap restart to win the 35-lap SK Modified feature at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. It was Galko’s first-ever SK Modified win.

“We have been trying for for an SK win for a long time and it finally paid off,” Galko said. “I never thought the first win would take place here at the Speedbowl. To do it with a part-time crew is amazing. I can’t thank them enough.”

Galko’s moment of truth came on the critical restart. Gada was the race leader, but Galko was able to blur by him.

Galko proved himself again on another restart as he was able to pull away from the field over the final 10 laps.

“That was the difference,” Gada said. “My car wasn’t good on the restarts and Galko’s car was.”

The night wasn’t a total disaster for Gada. His second-place finish enabled him to take a one-point lead over Keith Rocco with two races remaining for the track championship.

Another new face dominated the Magnus Racing Products 25-lap SK Light feature. Brett Gonyaw was able to take the lead from Chris Gombos midway through the race for his first-ever Speedbowl win. Cory Dimateo rallied for second and John O’Sullivan had a season-best third place finish.

Jason Palmer made a stunning outside move on lap 14 against Anthony Flannery to win the 30-lap Sunoco Late Model Feature. Point-leader Keith Rocco moved into second with 10 laps remaining, but could not narrow the gap that separated him from Palmer.

“I knew it took Keith a long time to get into second, so I was confident I could hold him off,” Palmer said. “My car was almost perfect.”

Monte Gibbs went from third to first on lap 8 to win the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature. Gibbs was trailing Josh Galvin and Ryan Waterman when the two cars got tangled up on the inside and veered toward the grass. That gave Gibbs plenty of room on the outside and he waltzed into the lead. He was in control the rest of the way.

Twin 20-lap Mini-Stock features were held. Ken Cassidy, the all-time division win leader, overcame a restart with five laps to go to rack up his first win of the season. It was Cassidy’s 65th career win. Wayne Burroughs, the point leader, was second.

In the second race, Ian Brew took the lead from Jordan Hadley on a restart to post his first win in almost three years. Sean Caron was second and Hadley third.

The Northeast Street Stock Tour made its second and final appearance at the Bowl. Speedbowl regular Chris Meyer led every step of the way to  post his first-ever touring win. Joe Arena, the point leader, finished second.

The final Saturday night event of the season will take place Sept. 17 with six divisions in action.

35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified: 1. Matt Galko, Meriden; 2. Joey Gada, Salem; 3. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 4. Keith Rocco, Wallingford; 5. Justin Gaydosh, Newtown; 6. Dennis Perry, Pawcatuck; 7. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 8. Tom Abele, Norwich; 9. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 10. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford.

30-lap Late Model: 1. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford; 3. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton; 4. Ray Christian III, Uncasville; 5. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 6. Ryan Morgan, Mystic; 7. Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Mass.; 8. Ernie LaRose, Plainfield; 9. Christopher Garside, Waterford; 10. Jim Banfield, Glastonbury.

 25-lap SK Light Modified: 1. Brett Gonyaw, Vernon; 2. Cory DiMatteo; 3. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 4. Chris Gombos, Naugatuck; 5. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale 6. Tony Membrino Jr., Berlin; 7. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 8. Larry Goss, Windham; 9. Rick Williams, East Hampton; 10. Frank Hirt III, Danbury.

 25-lap Limited Sportsman: 1. Monte Gibbs, Killingworth; 2. Josh Galvin, Oakdale; 3. Chris Meyer, Norwich; 4. Al Stone III, Durham; 5. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 6. Bo Norman, Clinton; 7. Albert Saunders, Stafford; 8. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, Mass.; 9. Charles Beal, Ledyard; 10 Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven.

 25-lap Mini Stock (1): 1. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 2. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 3. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 4. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 5. Mark Panaroni, Ivortyon; 6. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction; 7. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 8. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 9. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 10. Doug Curry, Groton.

 25-lap Mini Stock (2): 1. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, R.I.; 2. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 3. Jordan Hadley, Waterford; 4. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 5. Marc Panaroni, Ivoryton; 6. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 7. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 8. Doug Curry, Groton; 9. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 10. Charles Canfield, East Haven.

 35-lap North East Street Stock Tour: 1. Chris Meyer, Norwich; 2. Joe Arena, Bristol; 3. Frank L’Etoile Jr., Wethersfield; 4. Steve Barrett, Preston; 5. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, Mass.; 6. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 7. Jim Boyle, Waterford; 8. Al Stone III, Durham; 9. Shawn Gaedeke, Southington; 10. Jeff Jolly, Wallingford.

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