Back To The Front: Jon Puleo Gets Third SK Light Mod Win At Stafford

Jon Puleo in victory lane following the SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – After unsuccessfully chasing a victory for the duration of his rookie season in 2019, Jon Puleo finally found his way to victory lane at Stafford Speedway in the first event of the 2020 season. 

Puleo followed that up with a second win in the third event of the season on July 18. 

And after that Puleo, of North Branford, went back into chase mode again. 

“Man, I never thought I was going to get back [to victory lane],” Puleo said.

That chase came to a conclusion Friday as Puleo held off Tyler Chapman to win the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature at Stafford Speedway.

“We started the season off with two wins and we hit a stall period,” Puleo said. “My dad and I have spent countless hours in the shop. … This is awesome.” 

Chapman, of Ellington, was second and George Bessette Jr. of Danbury third. 

The dramatics came early for Puleo. On lap one contact between Puleo and second place running Joey Ferrigno sent Ferrigno spinning into the wall and setting off a massive chain reaction wreck that saw one car drive directly over the top of Ferrigno’s car. All drivers walked away from the calamity. 

“[Ferrigno] kind of blew turns one and two a little bit and he had one guy who was inside, I was to his outside,” Puleo said. “He kind of just came up and we got together. It was just a racing deal. It probably shouldn’t have happened on the first lap. You have 27 cars that can win and that’s what happens.” 

Chapman went to the lead when the race restarted with Besette moving to second and Puleo to third. 

Puleo used the outside lane off of turn four on lap 12 to get by Bessette for second place. On lap Puleo got under Chapman into turn three and came off turn four with a lead he would never relinquish. 

“It felt like an old Wild Thing Kart race out there,” Puleo said. “Me, Bessette and Tyler Chapman. [Chapman] is doing a great job. I was little bit into the center [of the corners], he was getting me off [the corners]. He stayed right with me. Good hard racing up front, a bunch of kids going for the win.” 

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