Jay Miller Scores Career-First SK Modified Victory At Speedbowl

Waterford, CT — Scoring an extremely popular first-ever SK Modified victory at Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday evening was Jay Miller.

Other feature winners were Tim Jordan (Late Model), Walt Hovey (Sportsman), Raymond Christian III (Mini Stock), and Shaun Buffington (Legends).

Miller passed leader Wendell Dailey on lap four, going-on to resist the advances of both 6-time champion Dennis Gada and Keith Rocco. The race included two restarts, the final seeing contender Doug Coby slam the wall after contact with Gada.  Completing the top-5 was Gada, Rocco, Rob Janovic Jr., and Jeff Paul.

“I didn’t want to see that last restart, but this time I was ready,” he said. “A few weeks ago, Rocco smoked me on a restart in a race that I may have won. Tonight I absolutely felt that I had the better car, and it was time for me to be the boss. Like my father always tells me, it’s a matter of confidence, and with the car I had tonight it was my race to lose.”

The son of New England Auto Racing Hall Of Fame member Ray Miller, his first triumph comes after some detours as a competitor within the Speedbowl’s premier division. Absent for half the 2004 season after suffering a neck injury in a brutal crash, he missed the entire 2006 campaign due to a serious eye injury.

“I’ve had seconds, thirds, and some other good nights here, but never a win. The fact that I was able to beat Dennis Gada makes it even sweeter. The only thing that could make it better is if my father was here like he usually is. It figures I’d win on the weekend that he’s up in New Hampshire for the Cup race,” stated Miller during a post-race interview.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Ed Reed passed teammate Larry Goss for the lead on lap-10. Following a restart, Tim Jordan moved to the point and battled Reed for several circuits before prevailing by less than a car-length at the checkers. It was the first win of the season for Jordan, the 2006 champion. Bruce Thomas Jr., Vin Esposito, and Ron Yuhas Jr. completed the top-5.

“Tonight things fell-into place nicely,” said Jordan. “We knew that the car was good from the way it performed earlier. It took some time this season to get a win, and running side-by-side with Eddie (Reed), for so many laps made it even more fun. He’s a guy that you can really race with.”

In 20-lap Sportsman action, Walt Hovey Jr. notched his second main event of the season. Slipping-by leader Ed Lamb Jr. midway through the event, Hovey resisted charges from both John Puglisi and last week’s winner Al Stone III before pulling-away following the final restart. Puglisi, Stone, Brandon Plemons and Lamb rounded-out the top-5.

“That wasn’t easy,” stated Hovey, only the second driver to score multiple victories during the 2008 Sportsman campaign. “In this division it’s tough to score because the cars are so evenly-matched. You can believe I knew that Puglisi and Stone were there. Those guys are tough to beat on any night. Stone is the point-leader, and Puglisi is a veteran with a lot of experience.”

The 20-lap Mini Stock feature saw recent high school graduate Ray Christian III taking his second of the season. Jeff “Soup” Civardi set the early pace before overtaken by Ben Bargnesi. Christian took the lead shortly after Randy Churchill triggered a mix-up between the front-runners. Christian’s margin of victory was several car-lengths ahead of Phil Evans. Completing the top-5 was Bargnesi, Lou Bellisle, and Jack Aquilina.

“I saw what happened with Churchill, and I knew it was going to get dicey,” said the winner. “I was in the right spot to take advantage of that, and I did. It was close though, I feel fortunate to be here.”

Shaun Buffington took the lead on lap-4, going on to win the first of two 20-lap Legends main events. Following was Ryan Morgan, Mark Bakaj, Jason Palmer and Adam Gada. It was Buffington’s second-straight feature victory. Bufffington again scored in the 20-lap Legends nightcap, making it his third feature victory at the Speedbowl in less than a week. Young Ryan Morgan again notched second, followed by Max Zachem, Michael Gervais Jr., and Adam Gada.

Action resumes at the Speedbowl this week with Wild N’ Wacky Wednesday. On Saturday, it’s the mid-season Pepsi 300 with a 100-lap grind for the SK Modifieds and Late Models. The Sportsman and Mini Stocks go the 50-lap route.

For more information, log-on to www.speedbowl.com.

SK MODIFIED (35); 1. Jay Miller, 2. Dennis Gada, 3. Keith Rocco, 4. Rob Janovic Jr., 5. Jeff Pearl, 6. Ron Yuhas Jr., 7. Don Fowler, 8. Tyler Chadwick, 9. Justin Gaydosh, 10. Todd Ceravolo, 11. Jeff Pearl, 12. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., 13. Shawn Monahan, 14. Ed Reed Jr., 15. Glenn Pressel III, 16. Matt Gallo, 17. Mike Sweeney, 18. Rich Hammann, 19. Wendell Dailey, 20. Doug Coby.

LATE MODEL (30); 1. Tim Jordan, 2. Ed Reed Jr., 3. Bruce Thomas Jr., 4. Vin Esposito, 5. Ron Yuhas Jr., 6. Rich Staskowski, 7. Allen Coates, 8. Larry Goss, 9. Tony Macrino, 10. Rich Duranti, 11. Robert LeBlanc Jr., 12. Dan Holben, 13. Ernie Bertrand, 14. Tom Metcalf.

SPORTSMAN (20); 1. Walt Hovey Jr., 2. John Puglisi, 3. Al Stone III, 4.Brandon Plemons, 5. Ed Lamb Jr., 6. Josh Galvin, 7. Mark Cooper, 8. Joe Nogiec, 9. Jim Procaccini, 10. Chuck Rogers, 11. Ronnie Oldham Jr., 12. Jack Aquilina, 13. Nate Appell, 14. Darrell Carlson, 15. Kevin Burr, 16. Jesse Smith.

MINI STOCK (20); 1. Raymond Christian III, 2. Phil Evans, 3. Ben Bargnesi, 4. Lou Bellisle, 5. Jack Aquilina, 6. Jeff “Soup” Civardi, 7. Mark Panaroni, 8. Jeff Miller, 9. Sean Caron, 10. Ken Cassidy Jr., 11. Bill Leonard, 12. Nick Pappacoda, 13. Ian Brew, 14. Christina Cunliffe, 15. Jeff Mehlenbacher, 16. Jackie Wolfram, 17. Randy Churchill Jr., 18. Charles Canfield, 19. Ryan Cipows, 20 Kyle James.

LEGENDS (20); 1. Shaun Buffington, 2. Ryan Morgan, 3. Mark Bakaj, 4. Jason Palmer, 5. Adam Gada, 6. Carl Blandina, 7. Mark Esposito, 8. Michael Gervais Jr., 9. Mile Alcaro, 10. Art Moran Jr., 11. Joe Cipriano, 12. Thomas Gray, 13. Mark Tischler, 14. Art Moran III, 15. Matt Maring, 16. Pete Portante, 17. Joe Gada, 18. David Stanton, 19. Chris Bakaj, 20. Dan McGouren, 21. Max Zachem, 22. Justin Rau, 23. Dan Bisignano, 24. Joe Fresco, 25. John Hugate, 26. Ed Field, 27. Michael Blaskey.

LEGENDS (20); 1. Shaun Buffington, 2. Ryan Morgan, 3. Max Zachem, 4. Michael Gervais Jr., 5. Adam Gada, 6. Justin Rau, 7. Jason Palmer, 8. Mark Esposito, 9. Mike Alcaro, 10. Thomas Gray, 11. Joe Gada, 12. Joe Cipriano, 13. Ed Field, 14. Mark Tischler, 15. John Hugate, 16. Joe Fresco, 17. Pete Portante, 18. Mark Bakaj, 19. Art Moran Jr., 20. Matt Maring, 21. Chris Bakaj, 22. David Stanton, 23. Dan McGouren, 24. Carl Blandina, 25. Art Moran III, 26. Dan Bisignano, 27. Kyle Rogers, 28. Mike Blaskey, 29. Ricky White III.

Current Point Standings (Top-10);

SK MODIFIED; Dennis Gada (428), Keith Rocco (410), Tyler Chadwick (382), Jeff Paul (358), Ron Yuhas Jr. (356), Rob Janovic Jr. (354), Justin Gaydosh (348), Jay Miller (336), Jeff Pearl (328), Doug Coby (230).

LATE MODEL; Bruce Thomas Jr. (476), Ron Yuhas Jr. (466), Tim Jordan (426), Ed Reed Jr., (426), Vin Esposito (402), Rich Staskowski (338), Robert LeBlanc Jr. (292), Tom Metcalf (290), Larry Goss (276), Joe Curioso III (226)

SPORTSMAN; Al Stone III (456), Ron Oldham Jr, (400), Walt Hovey Jr. (394), Jim Procaccini (370), Jack Aquilina (356), Mark Cooper (346), John Puglisi (320), Josh Galvin (316), Ed Lamb Jr. (308), Nate Appell (306).

MINI STOCK; Ken Cassidy Jr., (496), Randy Churchill Jr. (476), Lou Bellisle (440), Ray Christian III (380), Jack Aquilina (376), Mark Panaroni (356), Ben Bargnesi (352), Phil Evans (332), Ian Brew (332), Bill Leonard (326).

LEGENDS (SAT); Shaun Buffington (234), Jason Palmer (228), Michael Gervais Jr. (216), Marl Esposito (192), Adam Gada (186), Ryan Morgan (178), Art Moran Jr., (162), Carl Blandina (144), Max Zachem (134), Ed Field (126).