Waterford Notes: Joe Arena Scores First Career Speedbowl Street Stock Victory

WATERFORD – Since coming to the Speedbowl in the middle of of last season to run in the Street Stock division, Joe Arena had listened to the advice of Late Model division driver Bruce Thomas Jr. and his crew.

Joe Arena

He listened, but stubbornly continued to try to figure out things on his own.

Standing in victory lane for the first time Saturday night, Arena credited Thomas and his crew for finally breaking through to him and getting him to change.

Arena, of Bristol, held off charges for the lead from Dan Darnstaedt and Josh Galvin to win the 25-lap Street Stock feature for his first career victory Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

“I’m kind of thickheaded being older than [Thomas], then I finally figured I had to listen to this guy because I’m lost,” Arena said. “As soon as I did what he told me we were on. A few things, little, nothing huge. But there’s certain things as this place that these Street Stocks need. I was reluctant, but thank god I listened.”

Arena raced at the old Riverside Park Speedway from 1991 to 1999 and spent from 2002 to last July running at Thompson International Speedway before making the move to the Speedbowl.

Galvin, of Franklin, was second and Phil Evans of Uncasville third.

“I ended up next to Darnstaedt, who’s fast,” Arena said. “Then I had to deal with Josh Galvin, who is one of the best guys in this division. I said ‘Man, I’m getting too old for this, but I finally got one at the Speedbowl.’ This is a real fun racetrack, I should have come here years ago.”

In a photo finish, Shawn Swallow of Stark, N.H. edged Mark Panaroni of Ivoryton at the line to win the 50-lap Northeast Mini Stock Tour feature. Danny Field of Deep River was third.

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