WATERFORD —The night started with a Peter Bennett Legends victory sand ended with a Bennett victory.
In between the Bennett bookends, however, it was a breath-taking night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. It featured flying and flipping race cars, come-from-behind finishes, dominant performances and overpowering passing.
When the Saturday show came to an end a few minutes before the clock struck midnight, Bennett secured a pair of Legends victories, expanding his point lead to 48 over Scott Limkemann.
Kyle James blurred around Todd Owen on the final lap to win his eighth 40-lap SK Modified win of the season.
Jonathan Puleo dazzled his way underneath Wayne Burroughs with two laps to go to win the SK Lite Modified feature and tie Burroughs for the point lead.
Anthony Flannery roared past Jason Palmer during the second half of the Late Model feature to take down his fifth win in the last six races and grab a three-point lead over Palmer.
Charles Canfield fire-crackered his way around Ian Brew with 19 laps to go to win the Mini-Stock feature. Jordan Hadley ran and hid from the field to win his second 30-lap Sportsman race of the year and Duane Noll slipped around Jeff Karns midway through the race to win his fifth Speedbowl Truck win of the year.
Perhaps the most impressive move was pulled off by James in the 40-lap SK Modified feature,
After Owen took the lead from Tim Jordan, James moved into second and spent 15 laps trying to make dive-bomb move ion the inside. They didn’t work. On the final lap, however. James changed his strategy, went to the outside and whisked past Owen. Hr won by 0.049 seconds.
“This one wasn’t easy,” James said. “Todd gave us plenty of room to the outside and we got the lead. “This sport can be a lot of fun when you can trust the person you’re competing against.”
The SK Lite race was just as exciting. Burroughs appeared headed toward his third win as he took the lead early, but Puleo made a blockbuster move in turn 3 with two laps to go to grab the lead for keeps. It was his fifth 25-lap win of the season.
“I knew I would have to try something that I normally wouldn’t try,: Puleo said. “I knew were faster, so I just drove it into the turn hard. It’s my dad’s birthday tonight and this is definitely the best present I could give him.”
“On the long runs, Jonathan just beat us up,” Burroughs said. “I can’t fault him for how he raced me. He just moved me out of the way.”
Early in the race, the car driven by John Bergenty went airborne on the backstretch, climbing over the wall. He hit the catch-fence and spun at least three times before landing about 300 feet away. Bergenty was uninjured after the spectacular crash.
Charles Canfield used some firepower in the outside groove to boogey past Brew late in the race to grab a win that even impressed Canfield.
”Everyone knows I prefer the outside groove, but tonight the car was phenomenal,” Canfield said. “This was the best cat I’ve every had at this track. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Doug Curry rallied to finish second after being plagued by throttle problems.
“We gave it the best we had, despite our problems,” Curry said.
The Sportsman race was much more one-sided — a win by Haddly by a huge margin.
This feels so good,” Hadley said. “This car has been so bad I was thinking about retirement. That’s why this feels do good.”
Point leader Shawn Gaedeke finished third and stretched his lead to 32 points over Jason Chicolas.
Flannery was feeling good in the Late Models as he surged away from Palmer, who was close to Flannery in the beginning of the race but was no match at the end. . Flanney was able to move into the point lead by three over Palmer.
“”We’re doing our homework and doing what we need to di,: Flannery said. “We have a really good car. It’s awesome to win all these races.
Noll made an awesome move around Karns on lap 25 to win the 25-lap Truck race.
“This truck was flawless,” Noll said. “There was no beating and banging up front, and that’s what makes it easier. We made a slight adjustment before the racer and the truck was great.”
In the first of two 20-lap Legends feature, there was chaos late in the race when a caution flag was thrown for the car of Nikki Vicariolli, who was stranded on the top of the track entering the third turn. During the yellow flag, Mike Blaskey made contact with Vicarioli’s car, sending him straight in the air, going end over end. Blaskey was not seriously injured, but Corey Caddick, who was the leader of the race, was penalized for making contact with Blaskey and sending him into Vicarioli’s car.
Bennett took control on the restart and went to the front ahead of Kyle Rogers, who was second.
“When the cars are lined up two-by-two, it’s hard tio get to the front,” Bennett said. “You have to be patient. And I think we were tonight.”
He was just as patient as he also prevailed in the second race. Brandon Martinez was second.
“Our goal was to come here and win two races tonight,” Bennett said. “That made it a tough day and a long day. I’m just glad it’s over.”
The night may be over, but he’ll remember his doubleheader sweep for a long time to come.
40-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Kyle James, Ashaway RI; 2. Todd Owen, Somers; 3. Timmy Jordan, Plainfield; 4. Paul Buzel, Trumbull; 5. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 6. Brian Narducci, Colchester; 7. Matt Galko, Meriden; 8. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 9. Geoff Nooney, Southwick, Mass.; 10. Robert Georgiades, East Hampton.
40-lap SK Lite Modified: 1, Jonathan Puleo, Branford; 2. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 3, Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 4. Keith Caruso, Millbury, Mass.; 5. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury; 6. Jake Taylor, 7. Nick Anglace, Naugatuck; 8. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 9. Todd Taylor, Stonington; 10. Paul French, Andover.
30-lap Late Models: 1. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton; 2. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 3. Brian Norman, Clinton; 4. Keith Scalia, North Branford; 5. Tony Macrino, Waterford; 6. Michael Benevides, Westerly RI; 7. Allan King, Hamden.
30-laps Sportsman: 1. Jordan Hadley, Quaker Hill; 2. Adrien Paradis, Plainville; 3. Shawn Gaedeke, Groton; 5. Bo Norman, Clinton; 6. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale; 7. Rit Shawn, Westerly RI; 8. Ian Poland, Douglas Mass.; 9. Thomas Hanley, Dayville; 10. Jason Chicolas, Douglas Mass.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 2. Doug Curry, Groton; 3. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction RI; 4. Andrew Krzeminski, Haddam; 5. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 6. Al Stone III, Durham; 7. JT Suprenant, Central Village; 8. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 9. Evan Bourgois, East Haddam; 10. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford.
25-lap Speedbowl Trucks: 1. Duane Noll, Monroe; 2. Jeff Karns, Quaker Hill; 3. Lucas Leone, Southington; 4. Rick Ashlaw, Manchester; 5. Mike Olsen, Deep River; 6. Dylan Cabral, Richmond RI; 7. Brandon Lindahl, Niantic; 8. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook; 9. Todd Taylor, Stonington.
20-lap Legends No. 1: 1. Peter Bennett, Cromwell; 2. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 3. Connor Holderbach, Wolcott; 4. Brandon Martinez, North Kingston RI; 5. Shileigh Martinez, North Kingston RI; 6. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 7. Anthony Bello, Newtown; 8. Brandon Remson, Norwalk; 9. Tyler Barry, Griswold; 10. Nikki Vicariolli, Shelton.
20-lap Legends No. 2: 1. Peter Bennett, Cromwell; 2. Brandon Martinez, North Kingston R.I; ; 3. Corey Caddick, Richmond RI; 4. Connor Holderbach, Wolcott; 5. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 6. Shileigh Martinez, North Kingston RI; 7. Brandon Remson, Norwalk; 8. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 9. Devon Jencik, Canton; 10. Tyler Berry, Griswold.