Category Archives: New London Waterford Speedbowl

Rain Shortens New London-Waterford Speedbowl Opening Night

The New London- Waterford Speedbowl was set to have its annual Blastoff night to get the 2016 season started. While the weather looked pretty gloomy for most of the day, the sun did make a spotty appearance for a few hours. Unfortunately due to the threat of an impending rain storm the grandstands weren’t as crowded as they usually are for opening night.  The rain however, didn’t stop racers and many other fans from showing up to the track which generated good car counts. Most divisions had between 15-20 cars with the SK modifieds topping the car counts with 25 cars ready to run.

Ray Christian III and Keith Rocco started on the front row for the 30-lap late model feature at NEw London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/
Ray Christian III and Keith Rocco started on the front row for the 30-lap late model feature at NEw London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

The bandoleros, which usually run during the Thursday night shows, kicked off the night’s feature races. Eleven drivers started the race, which is one of the larger bandolero fields that the track has seen as of late. The 20 lap feature was won by Tyler Barry. Barry made his track debut tonight and was able to hold off Ethan Durocher for the win. Durocher was second and after Andrew Morin was DQ’d for illegal

Brian Tagg spins in front of Bruce Thomas on the back stretch at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/
Brian Tagg spins in front of Bruce Thomas on the back stretch at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

equipment Charles Prinz was third.

The late models came out and did their usual 30 lap feature. Ray Christian III was at the point to start the race, but unfortunately as the green flag dropped he broke the gas pedal while running side-by-side with Keith Rocco down the front straightaway. Christian III would have to pit for repairs and not make it out on time fell to the rear of the field multiple laps down. The late model race had a total of 4 cautions and Keith Rocco was able to hold off Antony Flannery through all 4 of those cautions. Keith Rocco won the race by a pretty large gap, Anthony Flannery finished second after a long battle with Adam Gray who finished in the third position.

The night was ended early at the Speedbowl after the rain that had been talked about all day showed up. The rest of the racing will take place tomorrow at 12:00 noon, there are still 10 divisions left to race after the rain delay.

Wayne Burroughs is Ready to Defend His Mini-Stock Championship at The New London Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD — There’s an old cliché in motor sports — if your standing pat, you’re going backward.

Even though he won a Mini Stock championship at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 2015, no one can accuse Wayne Burroughs of standing pat — or going backward.

When the green flag drops on the Mini Stock division Saturday at the season opening 10-division Blastoff, Burroughs will be in a brand new car.

“Our old car was a few years old,” Burroughs said. “We felt is we could build a new one, we could find a little more speed.

“Last year, we knew the other drivers were catching up to us. We won three races in the month of May and didn’t win again until August, so we knew if we wanted to stay ahead of the game, we had to try something new. Our old car had maxed out.”

Work started on the new car in October and it was finished on Saturday, just before the opening Speedbowl practice of the year.

“The car went a lot smoother than I had anticipated,” Burroughs said. “In our second round of practice, we were at the top of the speed chart, which was very satisfying.”

Burroughs has been a regular at the Speedbowl for four seasons and enjoyed his best year in 2015. He grabbed four victories and led the points from the opening race of the season.

This season Burroughs is out to prove that he’s not a one-hit wonder.

“We want to be a team that competes for a championship year after year, the way Ken Cassidy and some of the other contenders do,” Burrough said. “Our goal is to show people last year wasn’t a fluke. We think we can back it up with another great season.”

While Burroughs led the division in points, he didn’t lead the division in wins. That honor went to Ken Cassidy Jr. who won five times, giving him a division leading 64 wins.

Cassidy, however, has started 2016 with a major change.

“We have changed motor builders,” Cassidy said. “We went with what we could afford. Maybe the car isn’t as pretty as it usually is, but I think we have enough to give it everything we have. Maybe the driver can pick up a couple of tenths here and there.”

Cassidy says his goal for 2016 is the same as it always is.

“We’re always running for a title,” Cassidy said. “That’s not going to change. And the key to that is to be consistent. You have to finish races to finish first. That’s what pays the most.”

Cassidy is coming off back-to-back second-place seasons. In 2014, he blew three motors during the year and finished second to Garrett Denton. Last year he missed two races because of illness and finished second to Burroughs.

“That was a bummer,” Cassidy said. “And this year is going to be tougher than ever. The car counts I think are going to be up and I think a lot of good drivers are coming into the division. It’s going to be harder than ever to drive to the front.”

Brad Caddick, who finished third in the standings, also has a new ride. He is looking for a last hurrah — he has said 2016 will be his final season.

Doug Curry, who finished fifth in 2016, has a new look as well. He will be driving the Mini Stock owned by Jeff Civardi.

Larry Loomis is expected to return, along with Chris Ivory, Nick Pappacoda, Ian Brew, Dale Sherman, Charles Canfield, Sean Caron, Mark Panaroni and Jordan Hadley.

One of the youngest drivers will be 14-year-old Jacob Perry, who will be moving up from the Bandelero division.

The Mini Stocks is just one of the apples in the season-opening orchard. Also on the docket for Saturday’s blastoff are the following divisions: the SK Modifieds (35 laps), the Late Models (30 laps), the Limited Sportsmen (25 laps), the Magnus Pacing Products SK Lights (25 laps), the Joie of Seating Legend Cars (25 laps), the Micro Blue Bandoleros (20 laps), the X Cars (20 laps) and the Coastline Fire Protection Super X Cars (20 laps). It is expected to be one of the most competitive openers in Speedbowl history.

The guest division will be the Mr. Rooter Truck Series, which will compete in a 25-lap feature.

Qualifying gets under way Saturday at 2 p.m. and the features are scheduled to roll off at 5:30 p.m.

Admission is $22 for adults, $5 for youths 13-16. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

Al Stone Ready to Defend His Limited Sportsman Championship at The New London Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD — Al Stone showed everyone in New London-Waterford Speedbowl’s Limited Sportsman division the art of sealing the deal in 2015.

He won four of the last six races to put a padlock on the championship. Stone had six wins overall and has 43 career wins, the most in the Limited Sportsman division.

As the 2016 season approaches Saturday with the annual Blastoff, the No. 52 on Stone’s car has turned into a bull’s-eye. Everyone will be trying to shoot him down.

“We’re just going to do the same things we did last year,” Stone said.

Stone took part in the opening practice session and observers were saying the car looked just as impressive as it did a year ago.

That means the bar has been raised for two of the drivers who will be chasing him for the championship — Monte Gibbs, who finished second last year, and Jason Chicolas, who finished third.

Gibbs will start the season with a new chassis.

“The old chassis was beaten and banged up,” Gibbs said. “It never handled right. One week it would be good. Then the next week we didn’t change the setup, and the car would be so far off. “

Gibbs practiced with the new chassis Saturday at the Speedbowl and was pleased with the results.

“Things were much better,” Gibbs said. “We had a little problem getting off the turn, but we were able to figure it out. The car handled great.”

Thanks to the confidence that a new chassis can deliver, Gibbs has set his goals high for 2016.

“I think we can make a run for the championship,” Gibbs said. “I consider myself more of a points racers. We don’t go all out for the wins. Our goal is to finish races. Last year when we did, we grabbed a lot of podiums.”

Handling is also an issue for Chicolas, so he made some alterations to his car.

“We have an all new body, and new suspension parts,” Chicolas said. “We also freshened the engine and the transmission.”

Chicolas says the Saturday practice session netted some favorable results.

“We had a few problems early, but in the last practice session, we really looked good,” Chicolas said. “The car started to handle a little bit better. And that’s the only thing we were missing last year. Everything else was there.”

When it comes to good-handling cars, Chicolas says Stone is the Limited Sportsman role model.

“Al Stone’s car handles perfectly,” Chicolas said. “We have to get to that level. A perfect-handling car is what it’s going to take.”

Chicolas said he expects the competition to even be stiffer this year. Chris Meyer, who opened 2015 with three wins in the first five races, should also be a contender.

“I’ve won some races, but I haven’t finished the last few seasons,” Meyer said. “I’ve either had bad wrecks, or I’ve been suspended. I think if I can run the entire season this year, I should be in good shape.”

Allen Coates, who is fifth on the all-time Speedbowl win list with 85 victories, is scheduled to return, along with his son, Corey Coates, who racked up one win in 2015. Three former champs, Josh Galvin, Ed Gertsch and Norm Root Jr., are expected to return along with Jack Aqillina and rookie Shawn Gaedeke.

Saturday’s 25-lap Limited Sportsmen feature is just one nugget in a Blastoff gold mine — 10 features will be on the season-opening agenda. The SK Modifieds will be competing in a 35-lap feature. The Late Models are on tap for 30 laps and there will be 25-lap features for the Magnus Racing Products SK Lights, the Mini Stocks and the Joie of Seating Legend cars.

20-lap features will take place for the Micro Blue Bandoleros, the X-Cars and the Coastline Fire Protection Super X Cars.

The Mr. Rooter Race Trucks will be the guest division and will be competing in a 25-lap feature. Bert Ouellette won the opening event April 23 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Tickets are family priced at $22 adults and $5 for youths 13-16. Children 12-and-under will be admitted free.