Waterford, CT — Saturday, July 4th marks the date of the Speedbowl’s annual mid-season classic Pepsi 300. The highly anticipated event is the second in the Speedbowl “Triple Crown”, combining each year with the Modified Nationals and The Finale to complete the three extra-distance event jewels on the Speedbowl schedule.
Now in its 12th edition, the Pepsi 300’s format remains the same showcasing the ‘Bowl’s four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions in extra-distance feature races. The SK Modifieds and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models both compete in 100-lap events, while the popular and competitive Street Stock and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock divisions go for 50-laps each. The event provides competitors the opportunity to make their statement in the points championship chase and seize momentum to begin the critical summer months of July and August.
Last year’s winners are all active and looking to defend their Pepsi 300 crowns. Jeff Paul, winner of two straight in the SK Modifieds, has been fast all season long and a second straight Pepsi 300 win would bolster his Speedbowl resume. He’ll look to hold off Speedbowl and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points leader Keith Rocco as well as Ron Yuhas Jr., who holds six career extra distance wins in the division. Yuhas is also looking to become the first SK Modified® competitor to sweep the Speedbowl Triple Crown races in a single season coming off May 30’s Modified Nationals triumph. Dennis Gada still seeks his first Pepsi 300 win, one of very few things missing from his ‘Bowl career. Corey Hutchings can add a third different division to his Pepsi 300 win collection, already capturing Late Model and Street Stock portions of the event earlier in his career. Jeff Pearl and Rob Janovic Jr. are other experienced extra-distance race winners to watch.
Bruce Thomas Jr. and Danny Field lead the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock points respectively, and were division winners in the event a year ago. They’ll look for solid performances in the 300 to support their hard work of late to sit atop the standings. Al Stone III was last year’s 50-lap Street Stock winner and is looking to apply pressure to points leader Ronnie Oldham in his quest for a second straight division title.
Time trials set all four feature lineups and mark the only time the Street Stock and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock divisions go against the clock during the season. Race strategy including patience, tire maintenance, and pitting all come into play and are sure to add extra excitement for fans.
The Pepsi 300 time trial efforts stand as some of the very best in ‘Bowl history across all divisions. Kenny Horton’s 14.061 lap for the 2007 edition still stands as the SK time to beat. Thomas’ Late Model mark of 15.202 from earlier this year is the mark to watch for. Last year Thomas turned in quick time with a lap of 15.268 for the Pepsi 300. Ronnie Oldham’s 17.431 second lap is tops for the Street Stocks, an effort turned in at last year’s event. In 2006’s Pepsi 300 Joe Godbout’s 17.417 time stands as the Mini Stocks top effort.
Grandstands open at 3pm with the first qualifying beginning at 5pm. Main events follow. Adult admission is $22 with youth age 6-14 admitted for just $5. As always, kids 5 and under are free.
For more information on all Speedbowl events please visit www.speedbowl.com or contact the track office at (860)442-1585.
Sources: Waterford Speedbowl PR