Open To Close: Ed Puleo Wins Final SK Modified Event Of The Season At Waterford Speedbowl

Ed Puleo celebrates his third SK Modified victory of the season Sunday at the Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

Ed Puleo celebrates his third SK Modified victory of the season Sunday at the Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

WATERFORD – On April 5 Ed Puleo opened the 2014 racing season at the Waterford Speedbowl by scoring his first career SK Modified feature victory at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Sunday the checkered flag fell for the 2014 season for the division and it Ed Puleo right back where he started the year.

Puleo held off the challenges of Ted Christopher and Rob Janovic Jr. on a green-white-checkered finish to win the 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature feature on Finale Weekend Sunday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

It was the third victory of the season for Puleo, of Branford, who also won on June 21.

“You always want to start the year with a win to get your momentum for the year and to end the season with a win obviously gets you excited working for next year already,” Puleo said.

Christopher, of Plainville, was second and Janovic, of Waterford, third.

Keith Rocco, who won clinched his second consecutive division championship weeks ago, had about a half of a lap lead over Puleo with 15 laps remaining, but a mechanical failure saw him pulling off the track and handing Puleo the lead with 14 laps left.

“We weren’t the fastest car, nobody was catching [Rocco],” Puleo said. “He was checked out, gone. Unfortunately for him he broke. We’ve improved from years in past in that we were able to take advantage of catching a break and that’s just what we did.”

Christopher made numerous bids to get ot the outside of Puleo over the final 10 laps, but couldn’t find a lane around the leader.

“Ed is probably one of the hardest one’s to pass here on the outside,” Christopher said.

Said Puleo: “Teddy is a legend. Just to share the same track with him is an honor. He’s one of the best there’s ever been. I want to thank him for running me clean. We rubbed a little bit here and there, but it was pretty good racing.”

Craig Lutz spun just after the white flag was shown, setting up the green-white-checkered showdown to close out the event. On the restart, Janovic made a move to get under Puleo low going into turn one, but back out of the move.

“I knew that I was going to have that shot,” Janovic said. “I’m really disappointed. If I was a different person we would have won that race. [Puleo] was protecting the lead. He rode me down into the dirt. I entered [turn] one on the apron and if I had kept my foot in it I would have moved [Puleo] out of the way and we would have won the race. But man it’s just not in me to do that to other people. I’m happy the car is in one piece.”

Said Puleo: “I never held my breath for that long. That was pretty tough there at the end. Very nerve wracking. … I didn’t want that late race caution and when that came at the end, I knew it was going to be tough. … I think [Janovic] was a gentleman going into turn one there. I don’t know if anything good would have came out of it for any of us if he didn’t back out of it. I gained a lot of respect for him for doing that.”

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  1. Held OFF LOL

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