Fast Learner: Jeff Smith Wins In SK Light Modified Debut At The Waterford Speedbowl

Jeff Smith SK Light Mod Win 7-5-14

Jeff Smith (left) celebrates with car owner Gino Difilippo Jr. after his first SK Light Modified division win Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – Saturday Jeff Smith turned his first lap in competition behind the wheel of an SK Light Modified car.

Twenty four laps later Smith was celebrating his first trip to victory lane with an SK Light Modified.

Smith, of Old Lyme, held off the charges of Corey Barry and Joey Ferrigno over the closing laps to win the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Smith, a regular in the Speedbowl Late Model division, was chosen to compete in the Gino Difilippo Jr. owned car on Thursday.

It was also the first victory for Difilippo, who is in his first season as an SK Light Modified team owner.

Ferrigno, of East Hartford, was second and Barry, of Plainfield, third.

Smith was part of a three-car stable partnership between Difilippo and Horsepower Hill racing, with the team also fielding Ferrigno and Paul French of Andover. French was running second to Smith with seven laps left when he was forced to retire because of mechanical issues.

“The car was beautiful,” Smith said. “… It was just a little bit tight. … They told me when I got into the car at the track that they were going to have a car that was capable of winning. … We worked real hard on the car [Friday], for 12 hours during the day. We came back this morning and finished it up.”

Smith, a former Late Model division champion at Waterford, turned his fast laps ever in an SK Light Modified on Thursday in a test session at Waterford running French’s car. Smith said he enjoyed the change from his full-fendered regular ride to an open wheel ride.

“It’s a lot easier,” Smith said. “You have such wide tires. Our Late Models are so sensitive with the little tires. It’s like driving a Cadillac vs. a regular Chevy.”

Smith started second and went the lead early in the event. Ferrigno went by Barry for second with two laps to go but had nothing for Smith in the closing laps.

“I thought it would take Jeff a little longer to get the hang of a Modified but he had it, he was right there,” Ferrigno said. “I wish I could have dueled with him a little more.”

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  1. Something fishy here, I know the sk lites are not a real division, they race for gas money but they don’t handicap???? How does a new driver start second????

  2. Bill,
    Lineup was based on time trials and redraw on Saturday.

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