Peak Moment: Paul Kusheba IV Wins First SK Modified Feature At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Paul Kusheba celebrates his first career SK Modified victory Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Paul Kusheba celebrates his first career SK Modified victory Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – Bad luck has been theme of the 2016 season for Paul Kusheba IV in the SK Modified division at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

But after putting up good speeds in practice and winning his heat race Saturday at the shoreline oval, Kusheba had a feeling the night may have arrived for luck to swing his way.

It ended up with Kusheba swinging for the fences with a homerun of a feature.

Kusheba, of Monroe, held off Rob Janovic Jr. and Dennis Perry over numerous restarts to score his first career SK Modified feature win in the 35-lap race for the division Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

The 21-year old Kusheba is in his third year competing full-time in the division.

“I know we’ve had the car to do it, it’s just been a lot of bad luck, Kusheba said. “My dad pretty much does everything. Me and my dad. We have good cars. The beginning of this year we blew a motor the first week. Then two weeks in a row I got wrecked. It just seems like we could never catch a break. Tonight we won the heat race, the car was fast in practice. I just had a feeling that maybe tonight we could align our stars and get it done.”

Janovic, of Waterford, was second and Dennis Perry of Pawcatuck third.

“He’s fast and he’s good,” Janovic said. “He should have won long before now. I told him I’m proud to finish second to him.”

Paul Buzel started from the pole with Diego Monahan second and Kusheba in third.

Monahan went to the lead from the outside lane at the start of the green flag, Rob Janovic Jr. moving from fourth to second. Kusheba fell to fourth.

On a restart three laps into the race Kusheba got by Buzel for third place. Three laps later Kusheba got by Janovic for second.

With 27 laps remaining Kusheba was able go low under Monahan off turn four to take over the lead.

“Got under Diego and once we got up front the car just stay so consistent the whole time,” Kusheba said. “But those restarts were really killing me.”

With Monahan going to the pits under the next caution Janovic went to second and Dennis Perry to third.

On a restart with 25 laps left it was Perry going by Janovic to second place. The caution flag flew with 11 laps left and on the restart it Janovic got under Perry to return to second place, while Kusheba pulled away at the front.

The caution flew again with eight laps left, but Kusheba was up to the task once again, pulling away quickly from Janovic. Another wreck had the caution flying again with five laps left but another perfect restart had Kusheba keeping the field at bay over the final five laps.

“Every time that yellow came out I was like ‘Oh man we gotta do those restarts again.’” Kusheba said. “But I’ve never driven a better [SK Modified] in my life. I’ve got to thank my dad for giving me this great piece. And my mom for all the hard hours she puts in working. … This is amazing. I can’t believe we finally got it done.

“Jason Palmer was spotting for me and he kept me nice and calm. He just kept telling me every restart we were doing was the way to do it. I know Rob was fast and I know Dennis was fast and this thing was just on rails. I’m just so excited we finally got it done.”

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Comments

  1. Great to see another first time winner. Especially when he didn’t start on the pole. Great to see the place packed with fans and the sk’s with a stacked field. Is it safe to say that Rocco’s domination at Waterford is finally over? Looks like Thompson iis all he’s got this year. Is he getting maximum points at Thompson for the national standings or would he be getting more at Waterford? The only complaint I have about the speedbowl is the food service when it’s busy. Took 30 minutes to get a steak sandwich and fries. As much as I complain about Thompson, they have the food thing figured out.

  2. I agree with Rich. It is nice not seeing Rocco win 14 times a year. I think the fact that he isn’t has helped draw people back too. Domination by any one driver is never good. Seems like Waterford is riding high again these days. Good for them.

  3. Really? The NWMT likes seeing one driver win, by far, most of the poles and races. Look at what it has done for the series.

  4. Where do you find the results to the speedbowl races. Couldn’t find on Waterford site

  5. Hebs,
    Click on the RaceDay Results tab in the menu section at the top of this page for race results from all three tracks in Connecticut.

    RaceDay Results Page

  6. NH Mark says:

    The WMT has had four different winners in five races. Sure, Coby is the team to beat but he isn’t winning every week like Rocco was. Not even close.

  7. wmass01013 says:

    For some reason dareal is obsessed with the 2 team, they can be beat and have been the other teams do work at improving and strategy to win races, the 20 has 4 top 10s and 2 top 5’s out of nowhere, I think u have at least 10 teams that can win any race not including Riverhead where u can get a track regular to steal a win !

  8. It is not about other teams working to get better. Have lap times been getter faster, track records being set? No. It’s about compliance with the rules, the sanctioning body enforcing the rules, checking for compliance with the rules, and containing the cars. Blind eyes and deaf ears just don’t cut it.

    The 2 has won 4 out of 5 poles.

  9. wmass01013 says:

    So what does winning the pole mean besides you start 1st and get a coors light lil flag to hold? Some guys time trial better than others, the 3 tracks the tour has raced at, THOMPSON 2 STAFFORD 2 WATERFORD 1, I think Coby might have a few laps on those tracks in his career! lets see what happens at Riverhead. WHAT is the 2 team doing illegal? DO you really think that the other owners would just look the other way and let them get away with things? Does the 2 team have something on the series director to be able to cheat and keep cheating every race? OBSESSED!!!

  10. Not a Sheeple says:

    I just watched this race on Sids View and it looked like Rowan Pennink was driving a bowling ball and not an SK modified. Did it look like that in person?

  11. Bob Npt. says:

    Go to the results page on race-monitor.com. You can find the race results for any track anywhere.

  12. Not a Sheeple says:

    I watched this race on sids view and it looked like Rowan Pennink was driving a bowling ball and not an SK modified. Did it look like that in person?

  13. Well not a sheeple i can tell you first hand he was driving a bowling ball but no one else saw that not one track official he was never sent to the rear but if you ask him none of it was his fault after the race i asked him what was he thinking punting the 04 which in turn destroyed the 8 in turn 3 he said he was hit from behind bull crap rowan your in car shows different

  14. Chris D. says:

    Heard more than 1 sk car owner complain about the lack of lighting in the tech area/scale area after the race. Look at the top 5 and you can get an idea who. It’s about safety…

  15. Racepig says:

    Jason- I hate sticking up for Pennink but that incident he definitely got hit from behind (possibly #94 ?) before hitting the 04… make sure youre watching it with the sound on. That sort of accident happens when people try to sneak to the bottom of the track in such tight spots. To me it was a racing deal and he had the room to tuck in… but if 04 kept his lane then the bottom row wouldnt have gotten jammed up.

  16. Racepig thank you for the hint I really cant tell if it hitting the 04 or pennink getting hit ,I guess seeing him loos him head that I automatically assume that it was him but as they say that’s racing and i have to say the racing at the bowl is hands down the best in ct.

  17. Not a Sheeple says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Racepig, I enjoy watching Pennink.by

  18. Even though this is about Pauls win you guys opened the door about Pennik. I was in turn 3 with a very good view of the incident and no one hit Pennik from behind and drove him into the 04. Just a dumb sail it in move that cost the 8 car a trip to Troyer for a new front clip, bolt on parts, and a whole bunch of hard work this week. You can come up with all the conspiracy theories you want but it did not happen the way you think. The track officials even got the call correct by placing him to the rear for what he did.

  19. Yes humphty it does need a new new front clip and we wont be back this week we love racing but not going to kill our selfs to rush back we are in all have full time jobs and other things going on you will see us back again and we will be fast again.

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