Saturday 5/18 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results
Waterford, CT (May 18, 2013) – Waterford Speedbowl hosted Scout Night Saturday evening celebrating two American traditions, scouting and racing. The crowd on hand was treated to a five-division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. Scoring victories on the night included Kyle James of Ashaway, RI in the SK Modifieds® and Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models. A pair of defending champions earned their first 2013 wins, Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon and Paul French of Andover in the Mini Stocks and SK Light Modifieds, respectively. Ryan Waterman of Danielson was a first-ever winner in the Street Stock feature. All five were first time winners in 2013.
James picked up his win surviving a wild 35-lap race in the SK Modified® division. James, who started in last position, dodged incidents which resulted in eight caution flags that plagued the race. He started the race in 23rd position after power steering problems sidelined him in practice and qualifying.
The race began with rookie Tyler Jackson and Ed Puleo battling for the lead from their front row starting positions. Jackson bobbled exiting turn two on lap-2 creating a traffic jam behind him which resulted in a caution for Diego Monahan, who spun into turn-3. Puleo took the lead on the restart as Jeff Rocco and Tom Abele climbed to second and third on the track.
Nichole Morgillo and Justin Gaydosh spun in tandem out of turn two battling in a tight pack of cars just outside the top-five for the second caution flag on lap-10. The restart was not kind to Jeff Rocco as he made heavy contact with the retaining wall exiting turn two while running second. Ted Christopher was collected and pitted for repairs, returning at the tail end of the field while Rocco’s night was over.
Only one more lap was completed before caution was back out on lap-11 as more mayhem broke out behind Puleo. Another bobble by Jackson out of turn two resulted in several cars making contact and Monahan again the victim, stopped on the track with a flat tire. Keith Rocco took the opportunity to head to the pits for attention to his machine during the yellow.
Craig Lutz took over at the front with a daring three-wide maneuver after racing went back to green. He looked inside Puleo down the back chute coming to lap-14 as Puleo fended off a challenge to his outside by Abele. Lutz cleared both exiting turn four to streak into the lead. He held the top spot through lap-22 when Puleo fought back and found room to his inside. Behind Puleo Todd Ceravolo eventually came away with second position in a battle that saw three cars tangle on lap-24. Abele and Lutz both tried racing under Brett Gonyaw in turn two, coming together to bring out the next caution flag and sending all three to the pit area for repair. The melee bumped James up to third position and into contention.
James was able to get ahead of Ceravolo on the ensuing restart, trailing Puleo when Jeffrey Gallup and Christopher wrecked in turn four battling for fourth on lap-25. Once in second, James used the next restart to stay outside of Puleo and take command on lap-27. James survived a final restart on lap-33, besting Ceravolo to race to the checkered flag. Ceravolo wound up second while Puleo ran up front all night, leading much of the race, to place third. Keith Rocco and Lutz both rebounded from their hurdles to round out the top-five.
Thomas won the 30-lap Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race following a tumultuous pass for the lead on lap-27. Moltz took command at the front early before the only caution flag flew on lap-4 when Keith Rocco, Anthony Ryan Jr., Vin Esposito and Rich Duranti came together in turn two. Thomas lined up second for the restart but watched as Moltz again pulled ahead.
Thomas tried to stay in Moltz’s tire tracks as the two drifted away from a battle for third place over the next several laps. Jeff Smith held the spot but Jason Palmer, Rich Staskowski and Rocco were all jockeying for track position. Rocco came out with the position by lap-12, howevert Moltz and Thomas were a straightaway ahead as the race hit its second half.
With racing clean and green for the extended run Moltz’s car began showing signs of slowly fading away. Thomas slowly closed back in on Moltz, inching his way to the leader’s rear bumper by lap-24. Thomas bided his time and found room under Moltz coming out of turn four racing to lap-27. Moltz broke sideways and made contact with Thomas the entire length of the frontstretch into turn one before Thomas muscled the top spot away. Moltz was able to recover however Rocco was closing in fast from third. While Thomas was able to clear remaining lapped traffic to go on to the checkered flag, Rocco got by Moltz on the final lap to snatch second. The win was the 55th of Thomas’ Speedbowl career.
Waterman was a well-received first-time winner in the Street Stock division in a caution-free 25-lap event. A newcomer to the division, Waterman took the lead on lap-7 from Dan Darnstaedt. While Darnstaedt moved out to a quick early advantage, Waterman and Joe Arena moved to second and third and closed the gap back to the leader. When Waterman found room inside of Darnstaedt, Arena filled the gap to take second on lap-8. Behind them, Chris Meyer and Brandon Plemons filled the top-five while Josh Galvin and Corey Hutchings broke out of traffic trying to run down the top-five.
By lap-11 Meyer and Plemons cleared Darnstaedt with Arena the next target. Meyer challenged him for second position beginning on lap-13, however Arena battled hard and the two put on a great show until Meyer finally got past on lap-16. Galvin had caught the pack to make a three car battle for third among Arena, Plemons and himself while Waterman was looking great out front.
Meyer closed in on Waterman and pressured the young leader. Meyer looked high on multiple occasions, but Waterman was too quick and composed to lose focus. Meyer settled for second while Arena came out on top in the battle for third. Both Arena and Meyer congratulated and praised Waterman’s performance following the race.
The 25-lap Mini Stock feature saw the defending track and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division IV champion return to the winner’s circle for the first time in 2013. Cassidy looked strong early, moving up to second position after starting the race fourth in another green-to-checkered flag race. Bill Leonard ran the outside lane to take the lead from pole-sitter Doug Curry. Leonard had the lead to himself on lap-4 with Cassidy quickly moving to second. The two ran nose to tail as Garrett Denton moved outside of Curry in a great side-by-side battle for third.
By lap-13 Cassidy was looking for room to challenge leader Bill Leonard. Leonard kept the low groove as Cassidy went high. The two spent the next 10 laps door-to-door racing for the lead and ultimately the victory. Behind them Denton couldn’t clear Curry and the top four cars put on a show for the fans. Leonard held his lead until Cassidy finally inched forward to lead lap-17. Cassidy would not back down, riding the outside lane into sole possession of the lead on lap-23 after Leonard’s valiant fight caused him to slip ever so slightly in turn four. Cassidy slipped away over the final two laps to claim the win. Leonard finished in second while Curry spun on the final lap in his battle with Denton, allowing Denton to grab third at the finish line. The win was the 44th of Cassidy’s storied Mini Stock career.
The SK Light Modified division titlist the past two years, French rose through the top-five competitors to move behind leader Glenn Griswold. Griswold led from lap-1 when he took the spot after starting outside of the front row. Travis Jurcik spun between turns one and two from second position to bring the race under its first caution flag.
Griswold resumed his lead on the restart with Randy Churchill taking second. Corey Barry and French were locked in a battle for third with French coming away with the spot by lap-8. The second caution waved as Victoria Bergenty and Jurcik spun together in turn four on lap-9 to reset the field.
Griswold got the jump while French took advantage of the restart to keep Churchill in the outside lane. He was able to clear Churchill to move to second on lap-10 and the top three settled in line. French sized up Griswold looking to challenge for the win, trying to get a run to the inside on multiple occasions. Exiting turn two on lap-19 French had as good a shot as any and dived under Griswold into turn three. The two spent a half-lap even before French was able to pull away again off turn two on lap-20.
Once clear of Griswold, French went on to victory by five car lengths as the race remained under the green flag the rest of the way. Griswold finished in second while Churchill was a solid third. French has won the division championship the past two years.
The next NASCAR event at the track is next Saturday when 5/25 Mayhem takes over on Memorial Day Weekend. All five-divisions in action each go extra distance as five laps are added to each regular feature distance length. Another round of Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday and Sho & Go Friday precedes. Memorial Day Madness invades the Speedbowl next Sunday.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 5/18 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 2. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 3. Ed Puleo, Branford; 4. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 5. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 6. Joe Gada, Salem; 7. John Montesanto, North Branford; 8. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 9. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 10. Brett Gonyaw, Manchester; 11. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 12. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 13. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 14. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 15. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 16. Tyler Jackson, Milford; 17. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 18. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 19. Justin Gaydosh, Newtown; 20. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 21. Jeff Rocco, Wallingford; 22. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 23. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 2. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 3. Dillon Moltz, Waterford; 4. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 5. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 6. Ray Christian III, Groton; 7. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 8. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 9. Chris Garside, Waterford; 10. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 11. Nick Ladyga, Voluntown; 12. Daniel Khilall, Jersey City, NJ; 13. Anthony Ryan Jr., Danbury; 14. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 2. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 3. Joe Arena, Bristol; 4. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 5. Brandon Plemons, Uncasville; 6. Al Stone III, Durham; 7. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 8. Dan Darnstaedt, Westbrook; 9. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 10. Monte Gibbs, Killingworth; 11. Bill McNeil, Preston; 12. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 13. Tim Morse, Southbury; 14. Don Spence Jr., Oakdale; 15. Ronnie Oldham Jr., Old Saybrook; DNS – Ray Downing Jr., Clinton
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 2. Bill Leonard, Charlestown, RI; 3. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 4. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 5. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 6. Joe Liskiwiecz, Taftville; 7. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale; 8. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 9. Nick Pappacoda, Branford; 10. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville; 11. Doug Curry, Groton; 12. Ray Christian III, Preston
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Paul French, Andover; 2. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 3. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 4. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 5. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 6. Chris Ignazio, Colchester; 7. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton; 8. Travis Jurcik, North Windham