WATERFORD — Chuck McDonald came into Wednesday’s final X-Car feature with two things — a four-point lead in the standings and a game plan.
He got the most out of both of them. By finishing sixth in the feature, McDonald was able to pull out a one-point lead over Tim Burgess for the 2021 championship.
While McDonald won the war, the final 25-lap battle was won by Pete Zaikarite, who was in control of the feature.
Two other champs were crowned Wednesday in Wild & Wacky Wednesday action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Joel Newcomb in the Bandoleros and Burns in the Legends needed just to start their races to win titles. Both succeeded.
Burns took it one step further, holding off Reagan Parent and Cory DiMatteo to win his sixth feature of the year.
Ed Ryan Jr. had already clinched his second consecutive title on the previous Wednesday show, but he survived a three-wide move late in the race to notch his sixth win of the year.
The closest point battle was in the X-car division, where McDonald moved into the point lead after grabbing his first win of his career in the previous race. McDonald needed to finish four spots ahead of Burgess and eight spots ahead of Christian Herman to put a padlock on the title.
McDonald was in third place when Cameron Liebal’s transmission caught on fire, dropping McDonald to sixth.
He stayed there, however, and when Herman finished second and Burgess was third, he had all the points he needed to win the crown.
“I knew exactly where I needed to be and what I had to do,” McDonald said. “The race went exactly the way I wanted it to.”
The star of the show was Zaikarite, who used the outside groove to whirl into the lead on lap 6. No one was able to slow him down.
“My car was still way too tight,” Zaikarite said. “And I had old tires on. But the car was still fast.”
Burns discovered a new rival in the 20-lap Legends feature — Reagan Parent, who was making his first start of the year.
Parent nearly yanked the lead away from Burns on numerous occasions, but could not complete the move.
“I would get him on the restart,” Parent said, “but then my car would get tight in the center of turns 1 and 2, and I would fall back into second.”
Burns had another problem late in the race. DiMatteo, a former Speedbowl champion was making a late rush, but Burns held him off.
“I wanted to end the season with a victory,” Burns said. “Parent raced me hard but I was able to pull away after every restart.”
The Super X car was dominated for the first 18 laps by Mitch Bombard, with Bill Porter in second.
With five laps to go, however, Ryan saw an opening and made it three-wide for the lead. Ryan briefly fell back into third, but had plenty of momentum left to track down both Porter and Bombard.
“I saw the 17 and the 10 (Porter and Bombard) drift up high, so I decided to take a shot on the bottom,” Ryan said. “I didn’t want to finish fifth — I wanted to end the season with a bang. And I did.”
The Bandolero feature featured a battle between Michael Lefort and Milania Shilosky. The two cars came together late in the race, but both drivers miraculously kept going.
“I was going good when the 19 (Lefort) cut across my nose,” Shilosky said. “I was determined to keep the car straight and maintain my position. And I didn’t lose any ground.”
Shilosky finished second, but was moved to No. 1 for the fifth time this year when Lefort was disqualified. Richard Helger also was disqualified, moving Trenton Starkweather to second and Brad Strickland to third.
Joel Newcomb only needed to take the green flag to grab the title. He finished fifth and finished 16 points ahead of Shilosky, who led the Bandoleros with five wins.
Racing resumes Saturday at the Speedbowl with the return of the SK Modifieds and SK Lite Modifieds.
25-lap Super X Cars: 1. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston,; 2. Dominic Abbatiello, North Branford; 3. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 4. Bill Porter, Canterbury; 5. Dave Yardley, Kensington; 6. Devin Tate, Preston’ 7. Will Rheaume. Uncasville; ; 8. William Reiman; Douthington; 9. Sean Skinner, Oakdale; 10. 10. Ben Castro, Oakdale’ 11. Evan Donnellan, Quaker Hill; 12. Caitlyn Desomma, Richmond, RI ; 13. Marc Shafer, Groton; 14. John Nunes, Middletown; 15. Donald “Bud” Kuehne, Clinton,; 16. Donald Berge, Uncasville; 17. Jeremey Washburn, Willimantic.
25-lap X-Car feature: 1. Pete Zaikarite Jr., East Windsor; 2. Christian Herman, North Branford; 3. Tim Burgess, Norwich; 4. Kaylee Symonds, Andover; 5. TJ Racicot, Quaker Hill; 6. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 7. Grant Spaulding, Westerly; 8. Raymond Herman Sr; 9. Josh Piper, Clinton; 10. Samuel Lee, Wyomimg, RI; 11. Wade Robbins Pawcatuck; 12. William Lauber, West Haven; 13. Jamie Ventura, Colchester; 14. Tommy Dyment III; 15. Dylan Cabral; 16. Cameron Liebal, Oakdale,; 17. Matt Martel, Stafford,
20-lap Legends: 1. Jacob Burns, Bristol; 2. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 3. Reagan Parent, Tiverton, RI; 4. Zachary Martinez, North Kingstown, RI; 5. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 6. Richard Regan Jr., Taunton. Mass.; 7. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 8. Tyler Tomassi, West Greenwich RI; 9. Dennis Pantani, Branford; 10. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.’ 11. Jim Boyle, East Windsor; 12. Dylan Cote, Griswold; 13. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 14. Jessica O’Leary, Warwick, RI.
20-lap Bandoleros: 1. Milania Shilosky, Colchester; 2. Trenton Starkweather, Chaplin; 3. Brad Strickland, Uncasville; 4 Allyha Desomma, Richmond, RI; 5. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 6. Aiden Sullivan, East Hampton; 7. Colin Floyd, North Kingstown, RI; 8. Michael Lefort. West Warwick, RI; 9. Richard Helger Jr., Tiverton, RI.