Kyle James Scores Big Cash With SK Modified Blastoff Win At Speedbowl

Kyle James (Photo: Tiesha DiMaggio/Vault Crew Productions)

The show in the SK Modified division this season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl has been Kyle James.

And Saturday night, with some of the heavy hitters of Modified racing rolling into the track to chase the big payday up for grabs, it was James who defended the turf he has reigned over this year.

James, of Ashaway, R.I., proved dominant in winning the 80-lap Blastoff SK Modified feature Saturday at the Speedbowl.

The race was originally scheduled to be run May 6 but was rained out and subsequently rained out again on May 12 and May 19.

On the track. Dylan Izzo of Monroe was second and Todd Owen of Somers third.

Timmy Jordan of Plainfield was fourth and Keith Rocco fifth.

Izzo and Jordan were both disqualified in post race tech inspection for undisclosed reasons moving Owen to second and Rocco to third.

Originally 11 cars qualified for the event on May 5, but 21 cars started Saturday’s feature.

Rocco, the track’s all-time winningest driver, who has won the last five SK Modified championships at the track and seven SK Modified titles overall at the facility, was making his first SK Modified start of the season at the track. Other notable non-regulars in the lineup who were not on the original qualifying list included like Shawn Monahan (7th), Matt Hirschman (10th), Tyler Chadwick (12th) and Joey Gada (17th).

It was the third victory in four SK Modified events at the Speedbowl this year for James, who collected over $4,000 for the win.

In the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature it was Steven Chapman of Ellington picking up his first career victory.

Jonathan Puleo of Branford was second and Wayne Burroughs Jr. of Oakdale third.

Shawn Gaedeke of Groton got his second win of the season in the 30-lap Sportsman feature.

Jason Chicolas of Sutton, Mass. was second and Jon Porter of East Lyme third.

Charles Canfield got his second consecutive victory in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.

Jake Christian of Norwich was second and Dave Trudeau of Mansfield third.


  1. wmass01013 says

    hmmmmmmmmmmm Matt Hirschman shows up in an sk ay Waterford but Big Money Matt didn’t at Big Money Sk at Stafford!!!!!!!!!! hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  2. Just Wondering says

    Congrats Kyle on your win! I originally had planned on going to NLWS tonight to see the big dollar SK race but I had to work late. I was just looking at tonight’s NLWS online results and noticed that there were two heat races for the SK’s tonight. Wasn’t the field already set for this race, with any NEW competitors being added to the tail of the field, so why run heat races unless they were just for those that did not attend the Blast off event? I see Rocco won a heat, so where did he start? Something smells fishy to this old salt. Is the Speedbowl trying to help out those racers that did not show up on the original race date?

  3. Crazy in NY says

    wmass, Intrigue? amazement? drama? oooooohhhhh. He “showed up” to drive at a place the owner
    of the 41 selected. Don’t go all darealdougy on us. Or….maybe he is afraid of those long straights at Stafford. Hmmmmmmmmm

  4. Whoa, congratulations Speedbowl fans. Rocco I get. But Hirschman and Joey Gada. An anemic 12 cars becomes 20. And with a perfect ending as the invaders were brushed aside by the regulars. You’re going to have to carefully explain how any of that could have been bad.

  5. so the Gada’s said they would not race at Waterford as long as beamer was associated with the track, the temptation of big money!!!

  6. Why doesn’t Hirschman race more NWMT events? Is he a bull ring specialist and not capable of running bigger tracks with success? Why did he bring his SK to the Speedbowl out of the blue and pass on Stafford? Is there anyone that creates more excitement and anticipation when his hauler pulls into the pits since Richie Evans?
    Say what you want. Whatever his strategy is it creates excitement, gets a ton of press and is good for the sport.

  7. wmass01013 says

    Please Crazy don’t get all yur MH defensive answers ready to click
    YES I get any owner can CHOOSE the race, track or series they wanna attend but PLEASE don’t tell me his avoiding STAFFORD, THOMPSON, NHMS yearly to race at Seekonk, myrtle beach, Oswego and now Waterford in an sk does not raise questions especially THE night after a BIG paying SK race at Stafford.
    if you think all just by coincidence then u have yur head in Lake Ontario.

  8. Hirschman shows up to the NLWS, finishes 10th and this is supposed to be a good thing? So 10th place is a good finish now? Pretty low expectations.

  9. Kyle James indeed!That 21 car has always been a hot rod.Now with a new engine it is really shining.Kyle has always been a threat to Rocco’s throne at the Speedbowl.Rocco’s day has come.Congratulations!

  10. KR started 10th and MH started 11th. And I have to disagree that MH creates excitement and anticipation when he shows up, he will never be a Richie Evans. The kid may be good but he ain’t as good as RE.

  11. just wondering, the heat races were only for those who were not already qualified. they started behind those who were already qualified. rocco was given the hard charger award for the night.

  12. KR & MH never a factor in this race. KR got as high as 3rd finished 5th, MH started 11th, finished 10th.

  13. No, no he did no start 10th, the top 11 from opening day were already qualified, anyone who came after the top 11 did ONE group qualifying session, Keith was fastest in that session and started 12th. #facts

  14. I’m sticking to it. The rule that it never pays to wrestle a porcupine cause win or lose you end up in pain.
    Agreed. Hirschman will never be Richie. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t generate excitement when he shows up. I imagine being in the stands on July 13th at Stafford, having my $3 Bud Light at happy hour and seeing Hirschmans SK pull out for practice. That would be a big deal and I don’t think I’m the only one to feel that way. Success isn’t just him winning. It’s a win when he brings the juice and competes from the first heat.

  15. One heat race (I believe 10 or 11 cars) everyone qualified, hard charger, pretty weak for 5 spots…..

  16. Hank Hill says

    Not sure why people pick on Matt all the time ? Has he said anything to warrant the hatred toward him? The guy ran at Langley with a few guys and no crew chief and finished third.

  17. Rhea LeVasseur says

    I like Matt. I think he’s a good driver. I was upset that I wasn’t able to make the race last night. It’s always fun watching him race no matter what place he comes in.

  18. Rhea LeVasseur says

    Congrats to Kyle. Very happy to see regular SB racers win

  19. Bottom Line
    Great night of racing,
    Glad to regulars outshine the invaders

  20. Just Wondering says

    Humpy I think you are mistaken and Pete I think you may be mistaken as well. I get what you are saying and that is what I thought would have been the protocol but according to the link below from the NLWS website they ran TWO heats with 23 cars total between the TWO heats which ironically is the same amount that started the feature. My question is why is did the Speedbowl make already qualified cars run heats and take the chance of damaging their already qualified cars? I would have thought that one heat/semi/consi with all the new cars should have been run. The way it appears things was done was to help the new comers. If I am wrong please fill me in.

    Link I mentioned is:

  21. Crazy in NY says

    Why did he bring his SK to the Speedbowl out of the blue and pass on Stafford?

    His SK? (he doesn’t own a SK) Out of the blue you say? This was attempt number 3 to get this race in and
    was on the schedule he and the owner worked out last Spring. News Flash ( hope some of you are sitting down) MH does NOT race to please the collective geniuses here on Raceday.. Won’t be at Stafford (you’re staying home anyway Dougy take a breath). Star light star bright where will the 60 race tonight?
    Keep 7/28 open on your calendars.

  22. Just Wondering,
    What was listed as the first Heat was qualifying from May 5.

  23. Every thing in this post is wrong Kim. Haha

  24. Shawn – any details on the SK and Legends DQs? Doug DiPisa says he’s going to sell his racing stuff – related to last night’s DQ?

  25. sweet grapes of wrath says

    shawn do we know why izzo and jordan were dq`d???

  26. Rafter,
    Nothing released by the Speedbowl on the reasons for the DQ’s. As for the social media comments by DiPisa about selling his team, I would take a wait and see approach. There’s a history there of social media bluster from that camp.

  27. Sweet,
    No details released by the Speedbowl concerning the DQ’s. No reasons offered in the press release distributed Sunday by the track.

  28. sweet grapes of wrath says

    cant understand why so secretive.. thanks for your continued coverage shawn!!

  29. 1 heat race for the SK’s was run, that’s it, don’t care what the web site said, only 1 was run on Saturday night for those that were not part of the original race weekend.

  30. Just Wondering says

    Thanks Shawn for the clarification on the heat race situation. I could have figured it out on my own if the Speedbowl would have their lap and run times section updated on their website. I know the info is available at a cost to me online but why list “lap and run times” on their website if they are not going to update the info.

    Now on to the real drama, any chance for a story on the DQ’s?

  31. Just Wondering says

    Sorry Humphry for being incorrect. Place the blame on the Speedbowl for having a website that is not up to current profession standards. Not sure why they made mention of two heat races, it only added to the confusion on my part.

  32. Yes – only one heat race on Saturday. Of the 11 drivers from May 5/6, only 9 returned for Saturday’s race (O’Neil and Watson were no shows). Rocco was slated to start 10th (behind the 9 returning drivers), but he moved up to 9th after Galko (one of the 9 “returners”) blew up prior to the green flag.

  33. No problem just wondering, no apology necessary, their web site needs a little work, confused me as well, LOL. Rafter is correct in what transpired and I believe there were only 20 cars that took the green. The outside heavy hitters were never a factor.

  34. Mark Andrews says

    Still no word on the DQ issue?How many of the cars were checked?Top 5?Who is the tech inspector?What was found or deemed illegal?

  35. seedless grapes of wrath says

    my sources say the dipisa ride had an intake that had been modified or tampered with. the techies didn`t like its “appearance”.. this was an issue in the past yes?? liked when the great TC was driving the 13 said ” I have everything Keith has”.. oh well I guess he is selling all his stuff now .. as for Jordan I was told the carburetor had been illegally modified and or appeared suspect.. poor timmy spent all that money on a chassis that he cant get to run.. your right a good flowing carb on that larrys engine on the old car would have save you a lot of money Timmy !

  36. same story says

    Pretty sure the Heads and intake were big on the 13….Same story as before, nothing new there. Jordon had bad screws in the butterflies. Im assuming they didnt have heads on them maybe? not sure the details, but they were the wrong ones.

  37. So is this conjecture, fact or crap house rumor. How about something official from the track lack of management team.

  38. When a new sponsor funds a race and requests you race at a specific track, you tend to do what they’d like. Just saying…

  39. “When a new sponsor funds a race and requests you race at a specific track, you tend to do what they’d like. Just saying”…

    And what does this statement have to do with a DQ? Any word from the Bowl lack of management team on the issue? Shawn can you find out for us? Thanks……..

  40. I gotta say I am pretty proud of the SpeedBowl for having the courage to keep enforcing the rules. Car Counts are not good and of course teams will say they won’t be back yada yada but they stood their ground. Everybody knows if they are legal or not, if you fail it’s not because the track has a vendetta against you, its cause your not following the rules.

  41. Humphry,
    Nothing official has been announced/posted by the track other than the general announcement of the disqualifications in the post race press release, with no reasons given. My understanding is that Izzo was for heads and Jordan for issues with replacement screws on the carburetor.

  42. Thanks Shawn, shame on them for bending/breaking the rules.

  43. Wonder what the car count will be in the SK’s this week? Bet it won’t be 20, more like back to 10 or 11.

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