WATERFORD – Last week at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, reigning Late Model division champion Jason Palmer scored his first victory of the season.
Saturday the Berlin driver showed he’s ready to close out the season in style.
Palmer used a late restart to grab the lead from Anthony Flannery and roll to victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Flannery, of East Hampton, was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third.
After a long red flag, the race restarted with five laps remaining and Palmer second to Flannery.
On the restart it was Palmer getting the advantage on the outside. After a side-by-side battle for the top spot for a lap, Palmer was able to clear Flannery off of turn two with four laps remaining. Flannery was able to peek under Palmer with two laps remaining, but couldn’t find the lane back to the front.
“We had that long red flag and the tires cooled down and this thing was a rocket,” Palmer said. “It was a rocket at the beginning of the race and it was a rocket at the end. The thing is stout on the top, stout on the bottom. I don’t know what we found but this thing is on rails.”
Said Flannery: “We were having a problem. The car was getting loose on the long runs. I think that long [red flag period] hurt us a little bit. We might have had a tire grow a little bit. I couldn’t get up off the corner. Jason was out there, I was trying to give him as much room as I could and I’m sure he was giving me as much as he felt he needed to. It was just one of those deals. We raced hard. Maybe a couple more laps and we would have had a better shot at it.”
With 14 laps left Palmer used the low lane to move to second place by Ray Christian III.
With five laps left Pete Zaikarite of Niantic used the outside lane off of turn two to go by Jacob Perry for second and roll by Charles Canfield for the lead and go on to win the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
But the celebration was short lived for Zaikarite. He was disqualified for having illegal fuel in the post race inspection, giving the victory to Canfield, of East Haven. Jordan Hadley of Waterford, who edged Perry on the final lap, was moved to second. Perry, of Pawcatuck, was awarded third place.
Monte Gibbs of Killingworth held on through a green-white-checkered showdown to win the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature.
It was the second consecutive victory for Gibbs and his sixth overall this year.
Chris Meyer of Norwich was second and Josh Galvin of Oakdale third.
Two laps into the event Gibbs moved to second place by Adrien Paradis III and quickly caught the bumper of leader Charles Beal.
With 20 laps remaining Gibbs used the outside lane off of turn two to go past Beal for the lead. From there it was Gibbs’ show as he left the field deep in his wake.
Al Stone III went by Beal for second place with 12 laps remaining with Meyer moving to third.
Gibbs’ lead disappeared with a caution with less than two laps remaining, but he was up to the task of holding the lead on the green-white-checkered. Behind him things got wild as Meyer made contact with Stone, moving to second and shuffling Stone back. The contact allowed Galvin to move to third.
Corey Barry of Plainfield held off Brett Gonyaw of Vernon over two late restarts to win the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature.
Chris Gombos of Naugatuck was third.
Ted Christopher of Plainville held off Doug Meservey Jr. off Dennis, Mass. to win the 25-lap New England Pro Four Modified feature. Norm Wrenn of Nashua, N.H. was third.
Christopher went by Meservey for the lead with nine laps remaining and never trailed again.
It was the second career Pro Four Modified victory for Christopher, who won in the division on July 16, 1988.
Dillon Spain of Clayton, N.C. rallied back on the final lap to win the 25-lap Legends feature.
Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott was second and Rachel Forte of Douglas, Mass. third.
Christopher got by Clayton for the lead out of turn four coming to the white flag, but Spain rallied back to grab the top spot just after the white flag.