WATERFORD — Nickolas Hovey dominated the first 29.9 laps in Saturday’s special 30-lap SK Light Modified feature at the New London Waterford Speedbowl.
Jake Hines, however, was only on top the final 0.1 mile. It was enough, however, to give him his first-ever SK Light Modified win
By Matt Buckler
Hines’ stunning blast to the outside was one of the highlights of Saturday’s racing action during an exciting night at the Speedbowl..
Tim Jordan also provided a highlight when he blew past Bill Anderson to take the lead midway through the 35-lap SK Modified feature en route to his first win of the season.
Ray Christian racked up a win in the Late Model feature, Bill Sylvia posted his second Mini Stock win in the last three weeks, Tyler Champan overcame a three-wide battle with less than four laps to go to win the Truck feature and Brody Monahan world winded Isaiah in the INEX Legends feature.
The SK Light feature was a one-man show at the start as Hovey led by a comfortable margin for the first 18 laps. The first caution flag came out with 12 laps to go and became a game-changer because it enabled Hines, who has just a handful of SK Light experience at Waterford, to be a factor.
On the final restart, Hines executed a make-or-break move to the outside and Hovey and Hines raced side-by-side coming out of Turn 4.
Himes won by a molecule at the finish line — 0.014 second.
“He just flat beat me,” Hovey explained. “I gave him the outside because I thought my car was running well enough on the inside.”
Tom Abele Jr., the point leader, finished third, but was no match for Hovey and Hines down the stretch.
“I tried,” Abele said, “but I needed the Top 2 to make a mistake and those young guys don’t make any mistakes.”
Jordan was in control of the Modified feature after getting by a persistent Anderson.
“Billy has the ability to make a race car go fast,” Jordan said.
There was a reason Jordan was able to blur by him. He was driving almost a different car than the one with which he started the season.
“This is the car I went over the fence with last season and we’ve been struggling with it,” Jordan said. “So we changed everything this week. Tonight we needed to change one more thing, and I think it made the difference.”
“I was fortunate to be fast tonight,” Anderson said, “but I just wasn’t fast enough.
In last week’s 30-lap Late Model feature, Ray Christian had the fastest car, but had to settle for a second-placer finish.
He wasn’t about to let tha happen two weeks in a row.
Christian, who started fifth, needed 20 laps to get through the field, but jolted past Molleur with 10 laps to go to grab his second feature of the year.
Once Christian grabbed the lead, there was no stopping him.
“I just had to bide my time in the beginning, Christian said. “But I had a real good car, man.”
So did Sylvia in the Mini Stocks, and he owes it all to his dad, Dave.
Bi;ll Sylvia was ill during the week, so his dad took over and set up the car.
“He found a lot of things wrong with it,” Sylvia said. “And tonight we were on fire. My dad made this an amazing car.”
After failing to notch a win until 2022, Sylvia has had two wins and a second place in the last three races.
Chapman was having a joyride in the Truck feature, leading by 2 seconds over Ed Ryan with four laps to go.
The only caution came out on laps 21 and it turned the race into a barn-burner. On the restart, Kyle Gero made an inside move, creating a near three-wide battle for the lead.
Chapman shrugged off Gero, and then shook off Bert Ouelette over the final lap to hang on to a win.
Ouelette finished second and was disqualified, moving Emma Monahan up to third.
Instead of celebrating after the win, however, he had to apologize to Ryan.
“I don’t think Eddie knew that the 19 (Gero) came up to the inside to make it three wide, and I had to deal with that,” Chapman said.
Monahan had to deal with Newcomb, passing him midway through the race as then stomping his way to the finish line.
He lead the first two-thirds of the race a week ago but bowed to Zachary Martinez. He lmade a complete turnaround, leadig for the final one-third Saturday.
“Tonight we had the perfect car all day, Monahan said. “You can’t ask for more than that.”
Racing continues Wednesday with Wild and Wacky Wednesday. The X-Cars, Super X Cars, Bandoleros, Legends and the Vintage Midget Racers will be in action.
35-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Timmy Jordan, Plainfield; 2. Bill Anderson , Wolcott,; 3. Eric Berndt , Cromwell; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington; 6. Anthony Flannery , East Hampton; 7. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 8. Todd Owen, Somers; 9. Paul Buzel , Trumbull; 10. Dennis Charette , Southington; 11. RJ Marcotte , Millville, Mass.; Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton,; 13. Tom Abele Jr, Norwich.
30-lap SK Light feature: 1. Jake Hines, North Haven; 2. Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin; 3. Tom Abele Jr, Norwich; 4. Aaron Plemons , Uncasville; 5. Ethan Durocher, Canterbury; 6. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 7. Mark Bakaj, Lebanon; 8. Matt Brewer ,Norwich; 9. Stephen Kalogiannis , New Hartford,; 10. Isaiah Newcomb Plymouth, Mass.; ; 11. Anthony Forino, Waterbury; 12. Evan Bourgeois , East Haddam; 13. Sami Anderson , Wolcott; 14. Zachery Sangermano, Plainfield,; 15. Christopher Hirt, Newington.
30-lap Late Models: 1. Ray Christian, Lisbon; 2. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 3. Ryan Morgan, North Franklin; 4. Charles Bailey, Lisbon; 5. Jordan Hadley, Waterford; 6. Keith Scalia . North Branford,; 7. Jason Palmer , Berlin; 8. Douglas Curry, Groton; 9. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth; 10. Derryck Anderson Jr., Warwick; 11. Michael Benevides , Westerly, RI; 12. Isaiah Newcomb , Plymouth; 13. Jason Williams, Lisbon.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. Bill Sylvia, Preston; 2. Sam Mesick , East Lyme; 3. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 4. Charles Beal, Ledyard; 5. Jesse Oloski, Salem,; 6. Wayne Taylor, Moosup; 7. Nicholas Pappacoda, North Branford; 8. Tim Baker , Hartford; 9. Hailey Beal , Ledyard; 10. Erica Canfield, East Haven.
25-lap Speedbowl Trucks: 1. Tyler Chapman, Mystic; 2. Emma Monahan; 3. Kyle Gero , Uncasville; 4. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook; 5. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston; 6. Joshua Stringer , Dayville; 7. Al Stone III, Durham; 8. Brian Norman , Clinton; 9. Andrew Pellegrini , North Grosvenordale; 10. Brandon Hunt , East Windsor; 11. Jaysin Beal , Ledyard; 12. Anthony Naglieri,Island Pasrk, N.Y.; 13. Mercedes Caron, East Hampton; 14. Roger Hunt, North Grosvenordale; 15. Ryan Perry , West Suffield,; 16. Albert Ouellette , Ellington.
15-lap INEX Legends: 1. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 2. Wade Oemcke, Terryville; 3. PJ Evans , Uncasville; 4. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 4. Zachary Martinez, North Kingstown, RI; 6. Dylan Freeman, Unionville; 7. Nicholaus Bulkeley, Cherry Valley, Mass.; 8. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 9. Riley Paul , Ledyard; 10. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 12. Patrick Smith, New Britian; 12. Thomas Martucci Jr., Ellington; 13. Scott Kinsman, Berlin.