WATERFORD — Kyle James said he only had one chance to pull out an SK Modified victory at New London-Waterford Speedbowl Saturday — to hope leader Todd Owen made a mistake and then pounce on it..
There was one flaw, however, to James strategy.
“Todd didn’t make any mistakes,” James said.
Owen was able to hold off James over the final 25 laps to collect his third 40-lap SK Modified win of the season.
Owen’s victory was just one of the highlights during a dramatic night at the Speedbowl.
Andrew Krzeminski came from fourth to first during the final three laps to nail down the first win of his career in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
Keith Caruso captured his first-ever SK Lite Modified win at the Speedbowl in the second race of an SK Lite doubleheader. Brett Gonyaw roared past Bert Ouellette on a restart with two laps remaining to win the first SK Lite race.
Anthony Flannery pulled away from Jason Palmer on two late restarts for his fourth win in the last five races. Adrien Paradis took advantage of some mechanical difficulties by leader Jordan Hadley on his way to his first win of the season,
Rob Richardi led every lap to win his second consecutive Ct. Pro Four Modified win. P.J. Peters remained undefeated in the Pro Four Lite division. Few had to work harder for a win than Owen, however, who had James, the point leader, surgically attached to his back bumper for most of the race. “Kyle was fast,” Owen said. “To hold him off for that long is really good for us. My hat is off to Kyle. He gave me a couple of taps, but he raced me clean. I would do the same to him.” James said he couldn’t get much bite from the top groove.
“Todd was using enough race track that I couldn’t get a great run off the top of the track early and I couldn’t get a run off the bottom late,” James said.” James made one move on the outside during the final lap but couldn’t find enough power to complete the move.
Krzeminski found himself in fourth place with three laps remaining in the 25-lap Mini-Stock feature, but then the breaks started to fall his way.
The first break occurred when the race’s two co-leaders, Jake Christian and Charles Canfield, got tangled up in Turn 3, knocking them both off the lead.
Break No. 1 came when Doug Curry, who was restarting in the front row, was slowed down by transmission trouble, giving the lead to Krzeminski, who had to hold off one frantic charge by Canfield on the final lap before he could celebrate.
“This is unbelievable,” Krzeminski said. “I was in the right place at the right time in that last restart. I saw Canfield coming at the end. I think if there were another one or two laps, he would have had me.
“But this is such a great division. I had the time of my life out there.”
Gonyaw had one of the best restarts of his life against Ouellette with two laps remaining in the first SK Lite feature to pull out a breath-taking win.
Ouellette had dominated the first 23 laps, but a yellow flag with two laps left gave Gonyaw the opportunity he needed to stomp past Ouellette on the restart.
“I was beginning to think I had forgotten how to do this,” Gonyaw said. “Everything that went right for us last year has gone wrong for us this year. But tonight we turned it around.”
In the second SK Lite feature, Caruso rumbled into the early lead and survived a challenge from Jonathan Puleo on the final lap to secure the win. It was his first Speedbowl win of his career.
“I think the first win is the hardest one to get,” Caruso said. “I had Puleo behind me and I knew he was going to be tough. And Paul French was behind him and I knew he was going to be tough. I was lucky I held both of them off.”
Flannery led Palmer for most of the 30-lap Late Model race, but he could never build a big enough lead so he could relax.
“This definitely wasn’t easy,” Flannery said. “Palmer had a good car, but we were going to do everything we could to get the win.”
Palmer said his car was “just a tick off.”
“We needed just a little more,” Palmer said.
Paradis appeared headed for a second-place finish in the 30-lap Street Stock feature when he received a huge dose a good luck. Hadley, who was leading by a light year, dropped out because of car trouble, giving Paradis the emotional win on the first anniversary of. legend Ted Christopher’s death, Christopher died in a plane crash on Sept. 16, 2018.
Richardi prevailed in the Ct. Pro Four Modifieds, despite s spirited effort by Doug Meservey Jr.
“I guess Doug didn’t want me to have an easy one,” Richardi said. “He was under me and it wasn’t going to take that much to get to get by. But I got a win that I definitely needed.”
P.J. Peters went unchallenged as he won his fifth Pro Four Lite feature.
Racing resumes on Saturday. The Legends division will be the feature division with twin 20-lap features.
40-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Todd Owen, Somers; 2. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 3. Matt Galko, Meriden; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Timmy Jordan, Plainfield; 6. Matt Vasser, Southington; 7. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 8. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 9. Geoff Nooney, Southwick, Mass.; 10. Wendell Daily, Gales Ferry.
25-lap SK Modified Lite No. 1:. 1. Brett Gonyaw, Vernon; 2. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 3. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 4. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 5. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury; 6. Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 7. Nick Anglace, Naugatuck; 8. Keith Caruso, Millbury, Mass.; 9. Jake Taylor, Jewett City; 10. Paul French, Andover.
25-lap SK Lite Modifieds No. 2: 1. Keith Caruso, Milbury, Mass.; 2. Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 3. Paul French, Andover; 4. Brett Gonyaw, Vernon; 5. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 6. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 7. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury; 8. Matt McDougall, Manchester; 9. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 9. Jake Taylor, Jewett City; 10. Nick Anglace, Naugatuck.
30-Lap Late Model feature: 1. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton; 2. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 3. Tony Macrino, Waterford; 4. Brian Norman, Clinton; 5. Michel Benevides, Westerly RI; 6. Keith Scalia, North Branford; 7. Jason Larivee, West Greenwich. RI; 8. Allan King Jr., Hamden; 9. Corey Coates, Griswold
30-lap Sportsman: 1. Adrien Paradis III, Plainville; 2. Joe Arena, Bristol; 3. Shawn Gaedeke, Groton; 4. Al Stone III, Durham; 5. Bo Norman, Clinton; 6. Rit Shawn, Westerly RI; 7. Ronnie Oldham, Waterford; 8. Jack Aquilina. Oakdale; 10. Jordan Hadley, Ouaker Hill.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. Andrew Krzeminski, Haddam; 2. Charles Canfield, East Hampton; 3. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 4. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 5. JT Suprenant, Central Village; 6. Tommy Silva, Gales Ferry; 7. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 8. Jared Roy, Sterling; 9. Jake Christi an, Norwich; 10. Doug Curry, Groton.