WATERFORD – For the 73rd year of the Speedbowl, the SK Modifieds® took on a 73-lap main event. Tim Jordan took the lead when the green flag dropped with defending champion Todd Owen settling into second. The red flag flew early when Josh Zentek made hard contact with the turn 2 wall. The ensuing restart put Eric Berndt in the position to fight for the lead. A quick cross-over attempt from Jordan wound up being fruitless. For the meat of the race, Berndt set the pace with Andrew Molleur, Jordan, and Jon Puleo mixing it up for second to fourth place. Near halfway, Puleo worked into second and started eating into Berndts lead. A caution with 7 to go gave Puleo a chance to attack, but Berndt picked up where he left off with his dominating performance. Berndt captured the Blast Off win, which makes it his 5th extra distance win in 3 seasons.

When the 2023 season concluded, Jason Palmer sat in Speedbowl victory lane with career win number 100. He picked right up where he left off taking down the 30 lap Late Model main event, but it wasn’t an easy win. Andrew Molleur’s return to weekly competition gave Palmer the heat for the entirety of the event. Palmer set himself in his familiar high groove while Molleur kept showing him the nose. Looking at scoring, Palmer led every lap of the race. But Molleur didn’t make it easy on him. While the pair were going at it, Ryan Lineham was lurking on their bumpers waiting for either to make a mistake that didn’t come.

Al Stone III’s quest for his 6th championship was off to a good start in the Street Stocks. The 25 lap event clicked off without incident, with Stone showing the way for its entirety. Early in the event, Aaron Plemons and Chad Baxter duked it out for second, but once Plemons got away his sights were set on Stone. Lapped traffic helped close the gap Stone put on the field, but when the checkered flag flew there just wasn’t enough time to capitalize.

At the drop of the green flag in the SK Light’s, John O’Sullivan took off to an early lead, but the new duo of Tyler Barry in the Bert Marvin owned ride quickly shot into the top spot. Barry and O’Sullivan pulled away from the field with Evan Bourgeois picking his way towards the front, getting by Tom Abele Jr and Zack Sangermano. O’Sullivan and Bourgeois both dove past Barry, with O’Sullivan riding a comfortable cushion to put an exclamation point to the start of his title defense.

The Speedbowl Trucks also laid down 25 laps going caution free. Tyler Chapman got the early lead over Ken Cassidy Jr., who was involved in a heavy altercation on Saturday. Charles Beal in a new-to-him Truck spent his time running a solid third place, with a dirt-turned-pavement Troy Prentice sitting in a solid fourth. Chapmans’ lead got eaten into slightly by Cassidy and Beal, but there wasn’t enough time to make any moves.  Chapmans new build is off to a good start.

David Lee continued the pace he set after winning his first heat race in the Mini Stocks by leading the field to green. David Dorr would work his way into the top spot by lap 5, but it was short lived. Dorr drifted out of the groove just enough to allow Lee to show Dorr the nose, eventually clearing him to lead the way again. A caution with 8 to go bunched the field back up but Lee wouldn’t be stopped. Dorr spent his time under heavy pressure from John Bavolacco, allowing Lee to win his first feature event with his Volkswagen.

The INEX Legend Cars kicked off the day with a lap one incident that cleaned out a couple cars. When racing resumed it was Dylan Freeman who rocketed out to the lead. He had a competitive Zachary Martinez in his tire tracks though. Freeman spent much of the race under pressure from Martinez until a hard charging PJ Evans threw his hat into the ring. Evans who started last had worked his way up to second but contact between him and Freeman changed the outlook of the race. Evans landed the ollie with 4 to go, and with his newfound lead, Martinez was able to walk away with the win.

Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday drivers were the star of the show for Saturday of Blast Off 2024. PJ Childs was the man to beat in the Super X-Cars, he walked away from 2023 champion Ben Pollard, who had his hand full with Bill Rheaume for second place. One caution slowed the pace when Glen Marion lost a tire in the corner. Sam Mesick and Corey Caddick walked away from the X-Car field, until a parts failure took Caddick out of commission. Mesick scored the win in the 25-lap exhibition. David Bernier beat Allyha DeSomma in a 10 lap INEX Bandolero shootout.

Todd Taylor scored the win in the 55 lap Evolve Bank and Trust Pro Truck Challenge race, and Matt Swanson played the long game to win the 75 lap Milton CAT Modified Racing Series event.

The season has now begun! We’re back in action next week for Military Appreciation Night with our seven weekly Speedbowl Saturday Night divisions. Keep up with the us at, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Facebook, or @SpeedbowlCT on Instagram and X.


Unofficial Results

SK Modifieds® (73 Laps): 1. 11CT-Eric Berndt[7]; 2. 7-Jonathan Puleo[4]; 3. 47-Timmy Jordan[1]; 4. 35-Andrew Molleur[5]; 5. 81-Todd Owen[3]; 6. 25-Anthony Flannery[9]; 7. 8CT-RJ Marcotte[11]; 8. 72-Adam Gada[17]; 9. 9-Paul Buzel[2]; 10. 94-Justin Gaydosh[14]; 11. 09-Brian Norman[13]; 12. 21-Kyle James[10]; 13. 22RI-Carl Kivisto[15]; 14. 27-Chase Cook[8]; 15. 51-Rob Janovic Jr[6]; 16. 66-Wendell Dailey[16]; 17. 81X-Joshua Zentek[12]; 18. (DNS) 11FL-Stephan Kopcik

Late Models (30 Laps): 1. 17-Jason Palmer[3]; 2. 35-Andrew Molleur[1]; 3. 10-Ryan Lineham[5]; 4. 31-Brody Monahan[6]; 5. 19CT-Michael Bennett[4]; 6. 50RI-Michael Benevides[8]; 7. 32-Jason Williams[10]; 8. 2DJ-Douglas Curry[9]; 9. 78-Emma Monahan[7]; 10. (DNS) 1CT-Corey Fanning

Street Stocks (25 Laps): 1. 12-Al Stone III[1]; 2. 67-Aaron Plemons[3]; 3. 10-Chad Baxter[4]; 4. 80-Norm Root III[15]; 5. 9-Shawn Gaedeke[6]; 6. 13-Tony Macrino[5]; 7. 30-Charles Beal[7]; 8. 39-Christopher Douton[2]; 9. 83-Ed Gertsch Jr[8]; 10. 37-Corey Coates[12]; 11. 38-Jon Porter[10]; 12. 21-Tom Musante[9]; 13. 56CT-Sean Riley[11]; 14. 3-Adam Coutu[13]; 15. 58-David Ciastko[14]; 16. 91-Corey Fanning[17]; 17. 56-Ike Chima[16]

SK Lights (25 Laps): 1. 51-John O’Sullivan III[1]; 2. 78-Evan Bourgeois[3]; 3. 07-Tyler Barry[4]; 4. 32-Tom Abele Jr[2]; 5. 27-Corey Caddick[6]; 6. 91-Jake Hines[10]; 7. 76-Edward Gomarlo[7]; 8. 47-Zachery Sangermano[5]; 9. 21-Sami Anderson[8]; 10. 33-Hailey Desaulniers[11]; 11. 12X-Amanda Slater[9]; 12. 19-John Brunelle[12]

Trucks (25 Laps): 1. 81-Tyler Chapman[2]; 2. 11-Ken Cassidy Jr[1]; 3. 30-Charles Beal[3]; 4. 77-Troy Prentice[4]; 5. 99-Milania Shilosky[11]; 6. 33-Jake Coutu[5]; 7. 07-Austin Long[13]; 8. 30CT-Corey Coates[9]; 9. 84JR-Brad Strickland[7]; 10. 90-Allen Coates Jr[6]; 11. 52-Mercedes Caron[14]; 12. 25-David Venice[8]; 13. 7-Kassy Prentice[10]; 14. (DNS) 20-Joe Bavolacco

Mini Stocks (25 Laps): 1. 72-David Lee[1]; 2. 19-David Dorr[4]; 3. 42-John Bavolacco[6]; 4. 25-Charles Canfield[2]; 5. 9-Rick LaFlesh[5]; 6. 28-Erica Canfield[9]; 7. 24-Brad Caddick[10]; 8. 73-Eric Julian[8]; 9. 46-John Curry Jr[13]; 10. 81-Stacey Zentek[12]; 11. 12-Aiden Sullivan[17]; 12. 49-Christian Herman[16]; 13. 22-Hailey Beal[14]; 14. 11-Jason Kokoszka[11]; 15. 88-Bill Sylvia[3]; 16. 70-Courtland Herman[15]; 17. (DNS) 6-Nicholas Pappacoda

INEX Legend Cars (25 Laps): 1. 14Z-Zachary Martinez[3]; 2. 65-Wade Oemcke[4]; 3. 91-Riley Paul[1]; 4. 7-Rodney Dowless[13]; 5. 05-Dylan Freeman[2]; 6. 77-Dennis Pantani[5]; 7. 26-Sydney Cook[7]; 8. 92-Doug Brown[8]; 9. 12X-PJ Evans[12]; 10. 7X-Patrick Smith[6]; 11. 12-Leilani Daniels[9]; 12. 14X-Leo Rossi[11]; 13. (DNS) 14-Bill Andreozzi

Super X-Cars (25 Laps): 1. 31-PJ Childs[1]; 2. 88-Ben Castro[2]; 3. 43-William Rheaume[3]; 4. 5-John Nunes[4]; 5. 24-Sean Skinner[5]; 6. 82-John Nash[6]; 7. 2-Caitlyn Desomma[8]; 8. 33-Ray Phillips[9]; 9. 30-Pipper Beal[10]; 10. 10-Glen Marion Jr[7]; 11. (DNS) 12-Al Ciatsko

X-Cars (25 Laps): 1. 38CT-Sam Mesick[2]; 2. 01-Chuck McDonald[4]; 3. 11-Tim Burgess[3]; 4. 47-Grant Spaulding[5]; 5. 7-James Trask[6]; 6. 97CT-Andrew Culley[9]; 7. 01CT-Matt Westover[8]; 8. 00-Ryan Bannister[7]; 9. 27-Corey Caddick[1]; 10. 67CT-Ethan Brewster[10]

INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): 1. 30-David Bernier[1]; 2. 10-Allyha Desomma[2]

Modified Racing Series (75 Laps, Top 3): 1. Matt Swanson; 2. Les Hinckley; 3. Todd Owen

Evolve Pro Trucks (55 Laps, Top 3): 1. Todd Taylor; 2. Ed Ryan Jr.; 3. Chris Palamar

(photos by TK Race Photos)

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