WATERFORD — Mark Paneroni doesn’t have perfect attendance this season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. But he does have perfect results.Panaroni won his third Mini Stock feature in three outings Saturday. This win, however, was more special than the nine career wins that preceded it. Panaroni had to dominate for 46 laps in the inaugural John Curry Sr. Memorial. The race was held in memory of Curry, a good will ambassador at the Speebowl for many years who passed away on Nov. 4. He was the father of Mini Stock competitor Doug Curry, who finished second to Panaroni.
Andrew Molleur won the SK Modified feature in a thrilling inside last-lap pass. Jason Palmer made a late-race outside move to chalk up his third win of the year in the Late Models. Other winners Saturday were Al Stone in the Sportsmen, Jacob Perry in the SK Lites, Jordan Churchill in the Legends, Joe Kohler in the Open Street Stocks and Brett Meservey in the Pro-4 Modifieds.
The crown jewel of the night was the Curry Memorial, dominated by Panaroni.J “My hat’s off to Doug,” Panaroni said in victory lane. “It’s special to win a race in his father’s memory.” It wasn’t easy. Panaroni started 12th, but had moved into the Top 5 by lap 10. He surged into the lead on lap 24 and pulled away after that. He is driving a car owned by former Mini Stock drover Sean Caron. Curry started seventh in the field and worked his way up to second, but couldn’t get close enough to Panaroni to make a serious challenge. “I think we have some work to do to catch up to that 52 car,” said Curry, referring to Panaroni. Chris Garside, driving a team car to Curry, started 22nd and finished eighth to win the Hard Charger Award.
Andrew Molleur saved his best lap for the final lap of the SK Modified featured as he whirl-winded his way past leader Tim Jordan on the final lap to pull out the win. Jordan had taken the lead from Kyle James, but lost at the wire to Molleur, who had won races at the Speedbowl in four divisions — SK Modifieds, SK Lites, Legends and Bandoleros.
“It’s been a real rough series for my dad because we’ve had the worst luck in racing,” Molleur said, “but a win like this could change the entire morale of the team.”
Palmer maintained his hot hand in the Late Models, coming from behind to surge past leader Ryan Morgan late in the race following a double-file restart. “The lanes went the way we needed and we were able move to the front,” Palmer said. “We got a late restart and we capitalized on it to get around Morgan.” On the last lap, Morgan tried to rumble underneath Palmer, but came up short. “I figured I would give it a crossover move, but my car was just too free,” Morgan said.
Four-time Speedbowl champ Al Stone wheeled past Shawn Gaedeke to rack up his second win of the season. Stone started fifth in the field while Gaedeke battled Jon Porter for the early lead. After hanging around in the middle of the pack for the first 10 laps, Stone started to charge through the field and took the lead on lap 15. It was Stone’s 56th career win.
Jacob Perry, in his first Speedbowl SK Lite start, made it a memorable one as he fought off rookies Jason Chapman and Tyler Barry to get to the winners’ circle. Perry, who has won in the Bandoleros and Mini Stocks prior to his SK Lite win, charged past Chapman late in the race to notch the win. “Jason Chapman put up a great battle,” Perry said. “I had to work hard to beat him. “This proves that hard work does pay off.”
It also paid off for Jordan Churchill, who whirled past Corey Caddick to get the lead, and then held off Brandon Martinez down the stretch to win the 25-lap Legends feature. Joe Kohler has only raced at the Speedbowl four times, but already has learned how to use the inside groove to his advantage. He blasted underneath Dave Gargago on Lap 17 to win the 25-lap Open Street Stock feature. It was his second consecutive win.
The Pro-4 Modified made their first appearance at the Speedbowl, which was a good thing for Brett Meservey, who was in control for the entire race. “The car was on rails tonight,” Meservey said. “It wasn’t that good in practice, but we made a few adjustments and they worked.”
Racing continues Saturday with the first Bob Potter Memorial, a 102-lap SK Modified event that will pay $5,100 to win.
Feature Results 9/12/2020
John Curry Memorial, 46-lap Mini-Stock feature: 1. Mark Panaroni, Ivorytown; 2. Doug Curry, Groton; 3. Jared Roy, Sterling; 4. Larry Loomis, Plainfield; 5. Bill Sylvia, Preston; 6. Dylan DeCoster, Waterford; 7. Kevin Moore, Moosup; 8. Chris Garside, Groton; 9. Nick Pappacoda; North Branford; 10. Chris Taylor. East Lyme.
35-lap SK Modifeds: 1. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 2. Timmy Jordan, Plainfield; 3. Kyle James, Ashaway RI; 4. Bryan Narducci, Colchester; 5. Anthony Bello; Newtown; 6. Bill Anderson, Wolcott; 7. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 8. Joe Gada, Salem; 9. Paul Buzel, Trumbull; 10. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry.
30-Lap Late Models: 1. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 2. Ryan Morgan, North Franklin; 3. Charlie Rose, Tiverton, RI; 4, Jordan Hadley, Groton; 5. Tyler Tomassi, West Greenich RI; 6. Charles Bailey III, Lisbon; 7. Glenn Boss, Danielson; 8. Brad Caddick, Wyoming, RI; 91. Michael Anderson, Brooklyn; 10. Mike Mitchell, N/A.
25-lap SK Lites: 1. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 2. Tyler Barry, Preston; 3. Jason Chapman, Ellington; 4. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 5. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 6. Sami Anderson, Wolcott; 7. Robert Bloxom, Stratford; 8. Alan Gombos. Monroe; 9. John O’Sullivan III Salem; 10. Anthony Marvin, Waterford..
25-lap Sportsman: 1. Al Stone, Durham; 2. Shawn Gaedeke, Montville; 3. Ryan Morgan, North Franklin, Mass.; 4. Aaron Plemons, Uncasville; 5. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 6. Chris Douton, Niantic; 7. Kyle Gero. Uncasville; 8. Walt Hovey, Chaplan; 9. Nate Taylor, Preston; 10. Rit Shawn, Westerly, Rhode Island.
25-lap Legends: 1. Jordan Churchill, Groton; 2. Brandon Martinez, Richmond RI; 3. Connor Holderbach, Wolcott; 4. Shileigh Martinez, Richmond RI; 5. Corey Caddick; Wyoming RI; 6. Brendon Hamman, N/A; 7. Gio Riggiero, Seekonk, Mass.; 8. Zachary Martinez, Richmond RI; 9. Corey Fanning, Mapleville RI; 10. Wade Demke, N/A.
25-lap Open Street Stock: 1. Joe Kohler, Cranston, RI; 2. Dave Gargaro, East Lyme; ; 3. Corey Fanning, Mapleville RI; 4. Jon Porter, East Lyme; 5. Chris Rioux, N/A; 6. Vince Pangelinan, N/A; 7. Scott Serydynski, Johnston RI; 8. Chris Gomes, N/A; 9. Robert Arsenault, N/A; 10. Joe Arena., Berlin.
25-lap Pro Four: 1. Brett Meservey; 2. Randy Cabral; 3. Allen Riser; 4. Ben Ashford; 5. Henry Sirignano; 6. Rich Cail; 7. Ryan McPartland; 8. Julian Gorman; 9. Doug Merservey; 10. John Dumas.