Spot On: Diego Monahan Gets Second SK Mod Win Of 2015 At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Diego Monahan celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Diego Monahan celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – Ultimate consistency has put Diego Monahan at the top of the SK Modified division standings for much of the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

But should Monahan end the season celebrating his first SK Modified division title at the Speedbowl, he knows Saturday night will likely stand as the turning point of the season for the Quaker Hill driver.

“I felt the energy getting pulled out of the team the last week or two,” Monahan said. “It’s nobody’s fault. The track is changing and we just haven’t been with it. We’re trying different things. I knew tonight was kind of the breaking point. I knew if we made it to the front and then finished seventh or eighth, I knew we were going to be in trouble.”

The only trouble at the end of the night for Monahan was keeping up with the throng of well-wishers celebrating with him in victory lane.

Monahan held off the charges of Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco over the final 17 laps to win the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Saturday at the Speedbowl.

It was the second victory of the season for Monahan.

Christopher, of Plainville, was second and Rocco, of Wallingford, third.

In victory lane Monahan was asked by track announcer Matt Buckler how he was able to hold off Christopher and Rocco. Before he could say a word a laughing Christopher grabbed the microphone and announced: “His spotter did it.”

Though Monahan wasn’t shy in admitting that he had to throw the wide load sign out on the attacks by Christopher and Rocco.

“I’m not ashamed at all,” Monahan said. “Before the race started tonight me and [Rocco] were chatting and I told him ‘You know it’s going to come down to me, you and Teddy tonight right? And if I’m leading it’s going to be ugly.’ We come here to race for wins. … I did what had I to do to win.”

Rocco’s bids to the outside of Monahan from lap 18 to lap 22 were all deftly defended. On lap 23 Christopher got by Rocco for second and then started working over Monahan, to no avail.

“It was fun,” said Christopher, who had won the previous two events. “He was using up a little, but I’m not going to spin the guy out. You can only stay outside there for so long because you actually slow down. But it was a good run.”

Monahan, who came into the night with a three-point lead over Tyler Chadwick in the standings, ended the night with a five-point advantage over Chadwick. Rob Janovic Jr. is third in the standings, 13 points behind. Rocco, who has missed two events, is fourth, 17 points off the lead.

“To win two races this year is unbelievable,” Monahan said. “The only way to win this championship is to win races. Bottom line.”

Seven-time SK Modified division champion Dennis Gada of Salem, who was making his first start at the track since 2011 in place of his Joey Gada raced from the 24th starting spot to 11th quickly, but got caught up in a turn-three wreck near the mid-point of the event.


  1. A fast clean race, kudos to the top three!

    A good night of racing, which included a functioning scoreboard.

  2. Wow TC is getting old, never heard him say I’m not going to spin him out before. Used to be automatic

  3. Peter Saldamarco says

    Won’t see much better racing anywhere than we saw last night. The Speedbowl is doing well under capable management. All the best to Bemer, Shawn et al.

  4. Doug DiPisa says

    Man. That was the best and easiest tech ever. 🙂

  5. I agree doug, at least they shined a flashlight on the cars this time. Last time Diego won they didn’t even do that. So they are making progress.

    Also, how many warnings can Tapley give the leader for blocking before there’s some kind of repercussion. I heard like 8 warnings. Is 9 the limit?

  6. That was another great night of racing at the Bowl. Its just a great atmosphere every week at the place. If you haven’t been there yet this year you owe it to yourself.

  7. Doug, what are you implying? Conspiracy theory? LOL I would think tech would have been somewhat tough considering who the race winner was.

  8. Makes me sad TC said “I’m not gonna spin him” why the hell not!!! I hate blockers. It’s one thing to block on last lap but 22 laps? Sick. And the tech situation… Why?

  9. Doug DiPisa says

    I’m implying that tech was easy Saturday night. Up in all fours with a flashlight.

  10. Jerry Servidio says

    I would have loved to see Ted move him, but they would have penalized him for it. I think that once you’re warned to hold you line 3 times and you don’t the person being blocked should be able to dump you without penalty.

  11. That’s why mirrors and spotters are stupid

  12. I thought it was great racing in all divisions . It’s nice that they move the race along and get you out of there early . I think if Rocco was not so close to the fight for the lead TC would have had more room to work and might have gotten him but still good hard racing and the guy did what he had to for the win

  13. Blocking only exists when the trailing car isn’t good enough to make clean pass.


  14. Never saw a spark between Monaghan and Teddy or Keith. There was when teddy moved Keith out of the way before taking his next shot at diego. Tc tried to roll ahead a little early on a restart but Diego timed it perfectly when tc lifted. Great racing and mind games. Dumping someone would have ruined it.

  15. What a great race. All three of them were racing as hard as they could without wrecking. Teddy could have been a little more aggressive and risk wrecking Diego but believe it or not Ted has now got a chance to get the championship. If he did turn him chances are he would be sent to the rear. The way things are going it’s going to come down to the final race of the season which is what people want to see. TC said he’s having a blast racing at the bowl and it shows. And how good was it to see 24 sk’s last night. Who would have thought that the speedbowl would be getting more cars than Stafford almost weekly? Can’t wait to see what happens next weekend, and the double sk feature night should be quite a show too. To put things in perspective, the speedbowl was on it’s deathbed pretty much last year and now it’s they’re having one of the best season in years. Not just the pits byt the stands were packed last night also. Like someone posted on facebook, when you read everything on how short track racing is dying a slow death, then you go to Waterford and think, have these people been here lately? Short track racing may be dying in other parts of the country but is doing very well on the CT shore.

  16. Yeah, great racing when TC isn’t being his old self.

  17. now they can increase the purses

  18. Doug DiPisa says

    I think someone on here’s in love with TC.

  19. Doug… Me!! <3 :-))) hahaha #Ihateblockers

  20. Doug – I’ve read that you and TC didn’t see eye to eye back in 2006. Glad that you patched things up a couple of years ago and are enjoying success at the Bowl.

  21. I think the bowl has finally moved ahead of Stafford in my book. Great racing! Hey does everyone remember when there was a field of cars at Stafford – way to RUN the place into the ground!

  22. Tick Mike, wonder what is going on up at Stafford? Wasn’t it only last year that they had a week when the sk’s needed a consi on a regular Friday night?

  23. Rich there should be 24 sk mods EVERY Friday night or more, remember it is the number 1 short track in the USA but………… when people feel they are wronged and favorites get away with everything people leave

  24. When they say “pick a lane”, Diego says, “Okay, I’ll take the MIDDLE lane!” smh

  25. August 29, 2015 New London-Waterford Speedbowl Rule Infractions
    SK Modified feature.
    Car Number: 78
    Infraction: Blocking
    Description: Failing to follow directives from race control regarding the maintaining of a racing lane
    after issued warning(s). Blocking of #78 car and subsequent act of aforementioned car losing running
    position(s), under green, as a direct result.

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