Waterford, CT — The addition of Jeffrey Paul and Danny Field brought the number of Saturday night winners at Waterford Speedbowl this season to 31. With the schedule at the midpoint, 2008 being the ‘Bowl’s most competitive year in recent memory is almost assured.
Paul, last week’s 100-lap SK winner, is in the limelight as action resumes Saturday night with a five-division program. A 35-lap SK feature tops the bill. A 35-lap Late Model and 20 lappers for the Sportsman, Mini Stocks and Legends share the agenda.
The gates open at 4 and qualifying starts at 5.
Paul’s late heroics and Field’s .071 of a second win over Churchill in the Mini feature, are perfect examples of a year featuring both competition and dizzying speed. The Mini finish was three wide with Phil Evans claiming third.
Traditionally July marks the start of the stretch drive for the championship. It puts Dennis Gada (SK), Bruce Thomas (Late Model), Al Stone III (Sportsman), Randy Churchill (Minis) and Shaun Buffington (Legends) in the crosshairs All lead their respective divisions.
Nothing, however, is safe – not Stone’s 60 point edge on Ronnie Oldham in the Sportsman standings or Churchill’s slim six tally advantage on defending champion Ken Cassidy Jr.
Two records were set in time trials last week – Thomas’ 15.268 seconds run in the Late Models and Ronnie Oldham’s 17.431 in the Sportsman. Churchill’s fast lap in the Mini feature (17.459) was actually faster than Glenn Colvin’s pole speed (17.495). Frank Ruocco’s fast SK lap (14.384) was just a few ticks off Doug Coby’s 14.337 in qualifying.
Everybody agrees the speeds are definitely higher this season and the outside groove has “stayed around” which explains the number of winners. The willingness to “go outside” will be a definite factor.
The master of the Bowl’s outside groove, Dennis Gada has a 42-point edge on Keith Rocco. Gada is after a record seventh championship while Rocco finds himself in the national Whelen All-American Series picture.
Thomas, a defending champ, is the biggest winner to this point. He has not, however, been able to “get away” from Ron Yuhas Jr., the latter doing an extraordinary job in his first full campaign in a Late Model. The 2006 champ Tim Jordan, 52 behind, can’t be counted out either.
There’s plenty of motivation to go around elsewhere as well. Second last year, Jason Palmer (-6) and defending champ Michael Gervais Jr. (-18) are not making life all that easy for Buffington who is back after a couple years away.
Sources: Dave Dykes/Waterford Speedbowl PR