Kyle James Scores SK Modified Victory At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Last week at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Kyle James battled from the start of the SK Modified feature to the checkered in second place chasing eventual race winner Rob Janovic Jr.

A week later James got that spot.

James, of Ashaway, R.I., won the 35-lap SK Modified feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

It was the second victory of the season for James.

Ted Christopher of Plainville was second and Diego Monahan of Waterford third.

Anthony Flannery of East Hampton got his third win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and Vin Esposito of Waterbury third.

Matt Galko of Meriden scored victory in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature. Dana DiMatteo of Farmington was second and Bryan Narducci of Colchester third.

Jordan Hadley of Waterford swept both the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature and 25-lap Mini Stock feature. Joey Ternullo of Middletown won the 25-lap Legends feature.

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  1. Racelover says:

    Sorry not sorry. NASCAR sanctioned or not. If you drive an sk you should not be allowed to drive an skl. Just my thought. Aren’t the skl supposed to be a learning division for people who want to drive sks in the near future or for people who want to drive an sk but can’t afford an skl. That’s ridiculous that they let galko drive both. If it weren’t for him a rookie would of won. Makes me sick. Wish there was a way to tag George. Maybe I will call the office and give them my opinion on how I feel.

  2. I don’t know Waterford rules but i was there tonight and i could have swore i heard him saying something over the intercom thanking the track for allowing him to fill in. I honestly didn’t hear it all and don’t know what he was thanking them for. I do agree though, much like cup as well, if your driving a level above you can’t go back unless its full time.

  3. I.believe the forever 14 of andrew Moeller drove skl and mrs last week at the.bowl

  4. Racelover, with your theory about drivers not going back down a division, doesn’t that mean that if you’re in the WMT that you should’nt be driving an SK modified???

  5. Racelover says:

    There’s a big difference between sks and skl. It’s a learning division basically. NASCAR doesn’t allow it. But if you race sk you can the tour. Just like few years back Keith got into a legends car and whipped every one and they told him no. Other tracks don’t allow it because they are NASCAR sanctioned and it’s a NASCAR rule. Waterford may not be NASCAR anymore but they should still follow some of the rules. That’s not fair at all.

    Raceday Ct can you give some input on this

  6. Galko. Man that did stick out like a soar thumb with the win and all.
    This is one of those deals where everyone is right but in the end Speedbowl rules prevail.
    Maybe it’s time to stop thinking of Lights as some kind of novice Street Stock division. There are a lot of crusty old veterans driving Lights simply because they’re cheaper. They aren’t learning to drive so much as enjoying their passion on a budget. In fact that was a big deal at Stafford’s special SK Light extra distance and money event with older experienced guys running up front as RaceDayCT reported.

  7. If you want to beat the best you need to race the best

  8. Next thing you know, T.C. and Keith will be racing SKL’s with no rules against it!

  9. At least there is racing at the bowl this year. 3 months ago, no knew if there would be a season. When Bruce sells and NASCAR returns so will more sk and skl drivers. Why complain about anything this season? George has done a good job. Instead of complaining to George we should be thanking him. Keep up the good work shawn

  10. I agree if a driver can’t afford to run an SK and moves back permanently to the lights that’s fine. But when you are actively running an SK elsewhere and show up at a track to run a lower division on an intermittent basis that’s wrong. If the Bowl wants to allow that because the are not NASCAR sanctioned or they are trying to boost car counts that is just another reason they are setting themselves up to fail. I would like to think the Bowl would be setting an example to follow NASCAR rules rather than blatantly disregarding them if they ever want that sanction back. Matt Galko did not belong in a SKL last night just as Moeller did not belong in an MRS & SKL last Saturday night.

    How many SK’s & SKL last night?

  11. Grandstand Racer says:

    What is honestly the difference between this and Rocco racing late model weekly? The track ok’d it period end of story.

  12. Monster Energy drivers in Xfinity and Trucks, NOT FAIR, WMT in, SK ‘s, NOT FAIR, SK’s in SK lites, NOT FAIR. SK driver’s in Late Models, NOT FAIR . They should ALL stay in their OWN divisions!!!

  13. Some very interesting thoughts so here is another. NASCAR allows Kyle Busch and others to race in lower divisions. Kyle Larson goes to weekly tracks and runs sprint cars. Another example tony Stewart borrowed a car from tc at Thompson when he ran for mystique Stewart started last and made the field look silly when he spanked them in the feature. It happens.

  14. The original driver of the 25 SKL decided at conclusion of practice not to run the heat or feature for whatever reason. At that point the track should have said no to a relief driver. It still would have left a nice field of 11 SKL. Heats had not been run and the car wasn’t qualified. A poor decision by the track to allow it and even more of a poor decision from the driver for actually doing it.

    Humphrey, to answer your question- 12 SKL and 18 SKs

  15. So a guy gets asked to drive a car he should say no I can’t do it it’s not fair ? You girls make me laugh . This country is doomed . Life is not fair get used to it ! The strong eat the weak . The track is so desperate they would probably let bicycles race if they could bet enough.

  16. Sharpie Fan says:

    And a few years ago when the Bowl was NASCAR and guys were running for national points you had skl drivers running in the sk feature too just to up the car count.
    You can’t do that at Stafford either. Those are Stafford rules.
    It’s not like Galko was running his sk. It was a different car, an skl.

  17. Sharpie Fan says:

    Speaking of the wonder teenager, how did he manage to finish 10th in skl and 13th at Monadnock all on the same night?

  18. Nothing wrong with letting sk drivers running lite cars – same as dirt or NEMA. How about that Narducci kid!!!! Fastest times all day and brings it home P3- Nice

  19. Everybody agrees that crossover happens all the time. Fair, unfair, it happens. Why does this seem so egregious. Maybe because guys in the SK’s virtually never go down to the lights. Late Models, all the time lead by Glen Reen at Stafford. SK Lights almost never. Plus Galko is in the upper echelon at Stafford with a feature win and an outsider to the Speedbowl. I have a feeling this may be a one and done after all the blow back.

  20. 18 cars in the SK feature at Waterford. That’s pretty big news isn’t it? Good news I’d say getting back to Racer 28’s comment about the season that supposedly was never going to be.

  21. To follow up on the “it happens” then we should all not worry about whether the Bowl closes for good because “it happens”, right? Some of you want the knife to cut both ways but that is not the way it works in this world.

  22. Everybody needs to just calm down. It’s not like Galko stole Dimatteos first rookie win. What about Charrete or Griswold running Lite’s? Gombos needed a replacement for the night and they picked a good driver. What about all the nema guys running nema lites? Nobody wants to talk about the best late model race of the year. Or all the sks that showed up out of the blue. Masse, Gallo,Jordan, Rufrano, and Watson from Maine. Or how about Rocco wrecking and finishing 17th. Or Hadley winning both the sportsman and ministock races.

  23. Sharpiefan, I was thinking the same thing. Went to manadnock last night. Saw Andrew molleur’s car, didn’t see him, but saw the car. Lol

  24. The roster had Izzo in the 35 car up there. Probably because Moeller wanted the run the skl at the bowl since he was leading points. The kid wrecked hard so I doubt he’s leading now.

  25. You girls, really Jim? I guess if Ted Christopher jumps in an SKL and waxes the field then that’s OK? Combos should have been told either find another SKL driver to take your place, drive the car yourself or load up and call it a night. I guess it is more important to have cars in the field rather than be fair to the other competitors were n the division. More if the typical Bowl BS.

  26. Not bad for his first time in a mod at the bowl. Not sure if they plan on running the rest of the season. If so, he’ll be contending for a win for sure.

  27. I think the 01 was stupid fast lastnite

  28. To say the bowl is going to fail because they let a sk driver run a skl is laughable. Do you think Dimatteo is crying like some on this site?

  29. Limited race was a wreck fest for sure. Not sure how cars start top 5 that haven’t raced in a few
    Weeks or so. Should be in the back of the pack. Also th skl race was a joke up front. Lots of cars that won’t be back too soon for sure.

  30. Correct Humphrey it happens. Tracks close all the time small tracks and big tracks. NASCAR non NASCAR tracks.

  31. Humphrey seems to be the only one really on edge about this and maybe for good reason. Maybe he has a dog in the hunt. I know if I was associated with the second, third or fourth finishers I might not be so casual.
    How about this. If a person wins many say it’s 75% the car and 25% the driver. Maybe only 25% of Galko should be credited or blamed for the win and 75% credit to the car that may have won with someone else behind the wheel.

  32. Racelover says:

    Galko did run both features lastnight. He was involved in he wreck with Keith @ the beginning of the feature

  33. Thank Rich for clearing that up for me. Couldn’t hear the drivers names. Too loud.

  34. No Doug, I do not have a dog in the fight so don’t go there. I just believe that fair is fair and that was just a way for Gombos to pick the rest of the competitors pockets. And if Galko did run the SK feature then that was definitely not right.

    NASCAR has rules for a reason and when you get caught you are penalized. If the Bowl wants to run a “Wild West” racing atmosphere so be it.

    Like I said previously typical Bowl BS and I won’t apologize my conviction of fairness.

  35. Bo Gunning ran a skl a few years ago. Maybe it was OK because he wasn’t running anything else at the time. And it’s Gombos not Combos. If you’re hungry go pick some up.

  36. Ok Humpeee its a good thing you can only use a keyboard because if you were running the speedbowl it would have closed already . calling you a girl is doing all females a disservice. My bad for that . I can see you have never been a part of a team or dealt with track owners or nascar For that matter . You have no clue about running a race track .

  37. He’s just another guy that doesn’t attend the speedbowl but likes to cry and whine about stuff that goes on there.

  38. Congrats to Kyle James

  39. Fairness. It’s over rated. Is it fair that some drivers have big bank rolls and can afford virtually any equipment that will help them win while others live by their wits, creativity, hard work and empty pockets. Is it fair some are born into racing families with library like data bases of knowledge on set ups and the like while others have to start at zero. Fairness in racing and life is a moving target. And yes rhea put us all in our place by reminding us that while we take an excursion into some minor side issue the article was about a driver that won yet again beating some of the bigger names in SK’s. Sure would be nice to see him at Stafford some time.

  40. Sharpie Fan says:

    Thanks for the info. Just going by what Chrome Horn had listed as the finish at Monadnock.

  41. Joe White says:

    It seems that there are a lot of people missing the point. What is the payoff of Galco running an skl? At the end he can say I beat a bunch of rookies tonight. Big deal. So What. If a 10 year old kid is racing a 5 year old kid (running) and the 10 year old wins, he can now say I beat a 5 year old in a running race. Big deal. Galco should not even want to race an skl. It makes him look stupid. Just like Kyle Bush racing in the trucks or Xfinity divisions. If he wins what did he win? He beat a bunch of rookies. He did win the cup race on Saturday night. I was beginning to think the only race he could win was against a field of rookies. If these guys will not stop running in lower divisions on their own, NASCAR should stop them. Oh God,Another rule. I’m done.

  42. What cup race? Galko won a feature at Stafford.
    Mostly good cars win races and good drivers in bad cars never win races.
    There is not getting it afoot here but not so much with the it’s not a big deal crowd. Local racing is about a lot of losing and if you’re lucky a thrill In racing you lose tons of money and and time and for those that are good it pays off in terms of the thrill of competition and winning. Galko competed and won the race and won the reason for racing. Excitement. NASCAR is irrelevant to what Waterford does. Their decision not the Speedbowls. NASCAR in many cases encourages crossing over as a promotional tool to add star power to a lower division. It’s simply good marketing and it’s been done forever.
    Not totally unrelated watch Tim Richmond race a Stafford in the modifieds in the 1980’s on youtube if you get a chance. It’s a hoot. When leading he literally restarted the races at the end of the back stretch and the flag man let him cause he was after all Tim Richmond. Nobody complained then and Richmond and a packed house including Dale Earnhart loved it.

  43. Doug you just dated yourself !

  44. Mike Serluca says:

    The driver of the 25 SK Light had an issue that prevented him from driving the car that night. He and Matt Galko have the same spotter. Rather than load the car up and have one less car in the SK Light division, the spotter jokingly suggested to the car owner of the 25 SK Light to put Matt in it, rather than load up and go home. After checking with almost everyone involved in making decisions from the Speedbow race department and a checkmof the rules, it was determined to be ok. I’m pretty sure Galko wasn’t in it for the money (a whopping $300 or so to win an SK Light feature). Also, there was a plan in place a couple of weeks ago for Rob Janovic Jr. to take over for John O’Sullivan in his SK Light when O’Sullivan was injured. O’Sullivan was going to take the initial green and switch out after the first caution. Never happened since the race went almost green-checker, but what’s the difference? I didn’t hear any griping when it was announced over the PA SEVERAL times at the track. Is it because Galko won? Probably. All you salty whiners can relax though, it was a one time deal.

  45. Tony Membrino says:

    Galko THE RINGER!!! I dig it, spices things up. Gives regulars a chance to test themselves against proven drivers in higher divisions, great way to learn! I wonder how many people never gave that 25 car so much as a second thought before Saturday night…

    This is in no way the same as top drivers in Cup mopping the floor in Xfinity in top notch equipment. Speaking of which, does Preece’s Xfinity win make him “too experienced” to run more SK races? Certainly not.

    IMO SKL never has been nor ever will be a learner division. “Buisiness model” of the division was to give people a more affordable way to go modified racing. Lower costs, speeds, and age requirements aren’t equivalent to general level of experience/skill.

  46. Old Observer says:

    Good input from Mike Serluca. Another car in the field, I’m sure the owner got good feedback about his car from Galko. Question, where did he start? Controversy creates publicity which is good for the track & this website. By running his car the owner probably got a few $$$ to help cover his expenses & maybe enable him to keep running, I don’t think he would get any $ if he didn’t start the feature?
    Quit the whining and let’s RACE.

  47. Lots of whining and crying on here. Did anyone hear any of the same in the pits?

  48. Tony Membrino says:

    Actually Doug, that’s pretty much where they restarted back then. My first recollection of restart line was middle of T3/4. Riverside restarted at the outgate just before turn 3. Good ‘ole days!

  49. Sorry Tony with all due respect you’re wrong on this one. I raced a Street Stock then and like now we were expected to maintain position while increasing speed and yellows thrown when someone took advantage. Which is memorable since at the time in that particular division the start/finish line was viewed not so much as the starting point of the race but as the point at which chaos was acceptable. Watch the video. Toward the end of the race Tim Richmond is starting to race from the pole on one or two restarts entering turn 3 while Mike McLaughlin on the outside of the front row and the rest of the field are maintaining position. It was bizarre even then but exceptions were routinely made for visiting celebrities that had no dog in the hunt with regard to points.
    Accolades to Mike Serluca for providing the inside scoop that sounded very credible in a sea of conjecture.

  50. Crazy in NY says:

    Utter crap from some of you. I never heard a beep when Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, or Kasey Kane
    ran Modifieds at NH. Nothing at all when Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennick, Ted Christopher or Woody Pitkat drop down from Tour mods to race SK. Are you all kidding me?

  51. Joe Lajoie says:

    Sorry Doug, you’re wrong on the restarts. Up until the mid 90’s, the flagman started the race coming off of 4, and all restarts after that the leader would pick up the pace entering turn 3 and go. The drag race style starts and restarts you see now coming off of 4 were a Sgambato thing that started in the mid 90’s.
    Don’t believe me? I uploaded the Tim Richmond SK video that you watched. Check out the other Stafford videos from the 80’s and 90’s that I uploaded on Youtube. Restarts were always a free for all back then.

  52. Stop the madness something must be done. Tc preece Rocco just moved down to power wheels and beat my 4 year old. That is what all the whinning on this matter sounds like

  53. Nothing wrong with upper class drivers competing in lower divisions. The biggest problem is the fact he started 4th first night in the car. Someone has no clue to how the handicap system SHOULD work. Almost as bad as where TC started the first night he showed up.

  54. Great call Joe Lejoie. I was wrong in my recollection. Chris Hopkins did if fact allow the chaos to unfold from the line exiting turn 4. And it did become more disciplined in the 1990’s. Thanks.
    Not to be confused with the Tim Richmond deal who was clearly way out of bounds restarting the race entering turns 3. Anyway anyone that watched can make there own conclusion. That was mine.
    Thanks again Joe.

  55. I also remember from my earliest days in the mid ’80s at Waterford the starts and restarts the lead cars picking up speed at the end of the backstretch, by the time they hit the flag stand the pack was really moving.

    It seemed (of course I could be totally wrong) that when Terry took over the Bowl in the mid 90s he wanted to emulate what Stafford was going for which was the front row dead even when they hit the line on the front stretch.

    Also remember at least a fair amount of completely unnecessary retries at a start because so many of the guys were so used to going earlier, and the track was trying to rewire everyone’s thinking on this.

    Former announcer Bob Freeman and/or former flagman Tony Leckey would have a much clearer take on this…

  56. Great history Paul. Your exactly correct!

  57. Joe White says:

    If TC, or Rowan Penneck or Kidrock or Ryan Preece ot Todd Owen or Woody Pitkat or any of the other SK drivers start racing in the SKL division, I will stop going to Stafford. I have been going there for 38 years. I also think that Tony Mambrino is wrong about SKL being a learning division. And I really like Tony Mambrino. Ask Mr. Arute why that division was formed. It was to give the kids getting too big for go carts a place to start and a place to learn how to drive a modified racecar so they had future SK driver stars. That seems to be working out pretty good. Tony Mambrino is one.

  58. Off topic of the article but a question for you, Shawn. Why no Support Performer of the Week voting this week? Even though Stafford was a wash out, I would think that the voting still would have/should have happened for those Waterford drivers. No?

  59. Poprocks,
    It’s only done when there are at least four drivers eligible.

  60. Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Sk Lite, Mini Stocks. Thats four eligible drivers/winners below the SK Mod division last Saturday night. Or was it not done because Galko technically is not a Sk lite driver?

  61. Boy that Galko appearance at the Speedbowl, one that has been reported as a one time deal, has certainly generated a lot of strong reactions. I don’t think anyone need fear the top SK guys will intrude on the Lights. But I would suggest historically the Lights are not just a learning division. They are that for sure but they are also a more affordable modified division for experienced veterans. They’re both. It all goes back to Danbury Racearena. The modifieds typically had 50 plus cars through the 60’s that petered out when they became too expensive. In the 70’s they started the Sportsman division as a more affordable way to race modifieds that new guys and veterans raced in. They used the passed down cars from the top division, had cheaper motors and it was a rousing success like Staffords Lights have been. I believe Bo Gunning started in the Danbury Sportsman division.
    Not only are the Lights not just a learning division, in my view they should be the second division with an elevated status and money. Nothing against the Late Models but two Late Model divisions each fielding 12 to 14 cars does not seem to be the future.

  62. Poprocks,
    As I stated before, there were three eligible drivers from those divisions. The math is really not that difficult.

  63. Tony Membrino (Not Mambrino) says:

    Joe if those guys got in close to equal caliber cars, it’d be the best SKL anyone has ever seen – you’d be a fool to miss that.

    SKL was introduced as a more affordable option to go modified racing, those are pretty much the words used on the initial press release back in 2005/2006. Wall Speedway quickly followed and introduced a crate mod class called Modified Affordable Division – see the pattern? It’s purely circumstantial, but still a very good thing most of the time, that younger drivers flock to the division as a next step from wherever they came from.

  64. If you read the article, Hadley won in two of those divisions.

  65. Modified Affordable Division. God what a terrible name. SK Lights is OK but even better would be an individual name befitting their status as a strong, competitive racing class. Sportsman Modifieds would be my choice.
    I get my Membrino’s confused. But one Tony Membrino had I believe his best ever finish in the SK’s Friday night coming in 6th. Finally got that T/A cheater motor in and tuned up. That’s a joke and poor one at that. But seriously great job in a crazy competitive division.
    Friday night, Stafford Speedway, SK Light feature, final laps. Are you kidding me. Can a finish get any better then that? Seriously these guys are the second division. They need to be elevated with more money and status. The racing is insanely good and I believe the fans are agreeing.

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