Fatherly Guidance: Jason Palmer Grabs First Late Model Victory Of Season At Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – Jason Palmer isn’t a big fan of having his father Jags on the radio spotting for him during Late Model events at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Jason Palmer

Jason Palmer

“With my father, coming from a racing background, he’s trying to drive the car,” Palmer said. “He’s telling you things you don’t need to know, things spotters shouldn’t talk about. He’s telling you where the guy four rows back is and that he’s running this line. It’s like ‘Dad, is there anyone outside of me?’”

Though Saturday night, with Palmer’s normal spotter needing a night off, dad may have scored a few points in the spotting department.

With dad in his ear, Palmer, of Berlin, proved dominant one in winning the 30-lap Late Model feature Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Division points leader Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton third. It was the first victory of the season for Palmer.

“We got the monkey off our back, that was good,” Palmer said. “We did a lot of work on the car over the winter. Some things made the car better and something I think actually made the car worse. We kind of started a process of elimination to figure out what wasn’t working. We had to go back to basics and the last couple weeks we definitely found something.”

Palmer went under Thomas for the lead with 18 laps remaining. Rocco moved to second with 14 laps left. Rocco, who has six wins in the division this year, stalked all over Palmer for the final 13 laps, but couldn’t find a way to the front.

“I knew he wouldn’t wreck me, but I was expecting a couple shots from him,” Palmer said. “He probably had a car that was maybe a little better, stronger in some areas and maybe not as strong in others. I think he may have touched me once just to let me know he was there. But he said he didn’t have enough to get around me, so that’s a confidence booster.”

Rocco came into the event leading 2012 Late Model division champion Dillon Moltz by 41 points. Moltz was penalized for aggressive driving issues on the last lap of the last Late Model event at Waterford on Aug. 3 and his team did not return to the track in protest of the penalty.

Rocco now holds a 65-point lead in the division over Palmer, who moved to second in the standings.

“I just didn’t have enough to roll on the outside of [Palmer],” Rocco said. “He was getting in really hard. I just couldn’t get out there. The only shot I had was to get the nose under him coming off [the corner] and I really didn’t want to make a mess of it. Jason is a good kid and he works hard. But we finally got all the mess out of this division.”

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  1. What were Thomas and Arena dq’d for?

  2. Arena for refusing tech, Thomas for fuel.

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