Photo Finishes at the Speedbowl on Wild and Wacky Wednesdaywaterford
Shilosky, Herman capture photo finishes in breath-taking night at Speedbowl. Abbatiello, Deshaies also post wins
WATERFORD — If you were looking for the reason why electronic scoring was invented, all you had to do was check out the action Wednesday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl during the Wild and Wacky Wednesday program. It was impossible to determine the outcomes in two of the features with the naked eye. Milania Shilosky edged Joel Newcomb by 0.016 at the finish line to pull out a win in the 20-lap Bandolero feature. The X-Car feature was almost as close — Christian Herman nipped Doug Curry by 0.031 at the finish stripe to rack up with third 25-lap Wednesday win of the season and his fourth overall.
There was plenty of drama, meanwhile, in the other divisions. Dominic Abbatiello, who missed two races after undergoing surgery for a broken right wrist, came from the rear of the field to take the win in the 25-lap Super X-Car feature, Devin Deshaies also came from the back of the pack to pull down his second 25-lap Legends win of 2021.
In the Bandoleros, Shilosky collected the first win of her Speedbowl Bandolero career and she had plenty of incentive. She crossed the finish line first in the last race on June 9, but was disqualified because of restrictor plate issues. She got engaged with a side-by-side battle with Newcomb for 15 of the 20 laps. Newcomb has a slender lead for most of the way, but Shilosky came alive on the final lap to win by a molecule. “I thought we won last time, but things got complicated in tech,” Shilosky said. “So this means a lot.” Right behind Newcomb was Ethan Dion, who grabbed his first podium finish of the season.
Herman was involved in a three-way battle with Doug Curry and Sam Mesick for most of the X-Car feature. Curry, who was moonlighting from his normal Saturday night ride in the Street Stock division, was driving a team car owned by Mesick. He almost lunged by Herman on the final lap, but just fell short. Mesick managed a third-place effort and was able to maintain his point lead.
“Those guys gave me a run for my money,” Herman said. “The car was good both inside and outside and that’s how I kept my lead.”
There was plenty of side-by-side action in the Legends race between Zachary Martinez and Jacob Burns. While those two drivers were battling for the lead, Deshaies was knifing through the field. Burns bobbled while in the lead, opening the door for Deshaies, who came on like a lightning bolt at the end of the race, despite a few detours. “The car was fast, but I hit the wall a couple of times,” Deshaies said. “You just have to be patient. When the openings come, you have to be ready to go.” Burns rallied from a hiccup midway through the race and Martinez was third. “There were some changes we probably should have made before the race but didn’t,” Martinez said. “We just ran out of car.”
Abbatiello was supposed to be out of action until August, but he was cleared by his doctor Monday to go back behind the wheel. He started deep in the field in 10th place, but made it to second late in the race. Then when leader Bill Rheaume spun, Abbatiello was in a perfect position to take over the top spot. Abbatiello dominated the last handful of laps. Ed Ryan Jr. made a late rush to finish second.
Tim Burgess won the “Musical Chairs” Wacky race while 3-year-old Brady Anderson of Coventry and 5-year-old Timo Johnson of New London won Big Wheel races.
Racing continues Saturday with one of the biggest nights of auto racing in 2021. Both the SK Modified and SK Lite Modifieds will be running double features. The first race for each division will be a make-up of the June 19 event, followed by the regularly scheduled feature.
There also will be features for the Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Speedbowl Trucks. The guest division will be the Pro 4 Modifeds.
25-lap Super X-Car feature: 1. Dominic Abbatiello, North Branford; 2. Eddie Ryan Jr., Preston; 3. Don Berge, Uncasville; 4. Dave Yardley, Berlin; 5. Bill Porter, Canterbury; 6. Bill Reiman, Southington; 7. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 8. Devin Tate, Preston; 9. Matthew Menders, Niantic; 10. Bud Kuehne, Clinton.
25-lap X-Car: 1. Christian Herman, North Branford; 2. Doug Curry, Groton; 3. Sam Mesick, East Lyme; 4. Cameron Liebal, Oakdale; 5. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 6. Kaylee Symonds, Andover; 7. Eric Finkbein Sr. Columbia; 8. CP Burdick, Deep River; 9. Victoria Finkbein, Manchester; 10. Josh Piper, Clinton.
25-lap Legends: 1. Devin Deshaies, Oakland RI; 2. Jacob Burns, Bristol RI; 3. Zachary Martinez, Kingstown RI; 4. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 5. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 6. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth; 7. Jessica O’Leary, Warwick RI; 8. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth; 9. Brandon Remson, Norwalk; 10. Shawn Monahan, Waterford.
20-lap Bandoleros: 1. Milania Shilosky, Colchester; 2. Joel Newcomb, Colchester; 3. Ethan Dion, Oakdale; 4. Allyha Desomma, Richmond RI; 5. Michael Lefort, West Warwick RI; 6. Brad Strickland; 7. Trevor Lee, Baltic; 8. Trenton Starkweather, Chaplin; 9. Aiden Sullivan, East Hampton; 10. Richard Helger, Tiverton RI.