Eric Berndt Scores SK Modified Win At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Eric Berndt celebrates victory in the SK Modified division Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl (Photo: Courtesy Lianna Berndt)

Victory lane at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl is hardly an unfamiliar place for SK Modified veteran Eric Berndt. 

But Saturday night the Cromwell driver got to reacquaint himself with a place he hadn’t visited in nearly two decades. 

Berndt scored victory in the 35-lap SK Modified feature Saturday at the Speedbowl. 

It was the 16th career SK Modified victory at the Speedbowl for Berndt and his first at the track since winning the Budwesier Modified Nationals 150 on April 14, 2002. 

Berndt spent his formative years racing regularly at the Speedbowl, but primarily focused on running full-time at Stafford Speedway over the last 17 years. 

Berndt returned to the Speedbowl recently driving for longtime car owner Billy “Bear” Callicchio. 

Timmy Jordan of Plainfield, who had won the last two SK Modified features at the Speedbowl, second. Kyle James of Ashway, R.I. was third. 

Ryan Morgan of Mystic won the 30-lap Late Model feature. Jason Palmer was second and Tyler Tomassi third. 

Shawn Monahan of Waterford scored victory in the 25-lap Sportsman feature. Al Stone III was second and Jason Chicolas third. 

Robert Bloxsom III of Stamford scored victory in the 25-lap SK Light Modified Charles Canfield of East Haven was victorious in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature. 


  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that 14 in VL.

  2. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Was anyone predicting that Eric Berndt would win a race at Waterford in 2020 in the 14? Has the bear ever run his car as an sk? I think I’ve only seen it in tour races. Too bad Jordan wrecked Rocco. At least he owned up to it. Swanson had a good run. A better starting position would have helped. Congrats to Bloxsom on his first win. Was fun watching Nichole fly over Sami and still try to finish the race. If the full moon was out at Stafford, it was still close to full at Waterford. At least they got an extra week to repair cars.

  3. Don’t recall Bear ever Fielding an SK. Congrats to the Bulldog and the Bear on the win.

  4. 🌈🦄2020 says

    It’s a beautiful car. Nothing fancy but nice and bright. Really stands out on the track. Most cars are black or dark. Especially in the late models.

  5. Bear had sk’s and wins with TC years ago

  6. Color lover says

    Earl, when I’m King of the World, I’m gonna make a rule: no more black racecars.

  7. Agreed. The dark colors look great up close. At speed at night it’s a struggle to pick out who’s who on the back stretch.
    White, yellows, greens are appreciated or at least yellow numbers.
    The problem is wraps and graphics that are breathtaking up close but get too complicated and busy. Put a bunch of them together at speed and they all look the same.
    Come on racers. Don’t be afraid to be different. Keep it simple.

  8. Fast Eddie says

    I agree with both; a little color variety is always welcome, although of course that costs $$ and doesn’t make the car go faster. One of my issues, even sometimes during the day that is complicated by the same color cars are the car numbers themselves. Most are very wide script with very small spaces where needed. This gets more complicated with the side nerf bars and exhaust systems on Modifieds. On the back stretch of most race tracks, even the bullrings, you can’t really tell what the number is. It looks like the “door” section of the car body is a different color. Some of the more basic (some may think of them as out-of-date and old style) numbers are actually the easiest ones to identify during a race, particularly from a distance. I feel like I know who’s who with a lot of teams in some classes, but only a few in others. Sometimes it’s tough to remember who’s who during a race if you can’t read the car numbers.

  9. Congrats to Eric Berndt. Great to see him running and back in the winners circle. He has been one of my favorite drivers over the years. He is usually near the top of the leaderboard in lap times and runs everyone pretty clean from what I remember.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    Eric Berndt, I must apologize. I got wrapped up in the side track of car colors and neglected to congratulate you on your win1 You have been one of the guys I root for at Stafford, and I happened to be there for a couple of your SK wins. Great to see you back in a winners circle!

  11. searching for a vaccine says

    Theeee Bear.

  12. They make powder coated aluminum in just about any color you want these days. As an old friend who was a very successful race car owner told me many times, the brighter the color the better. Then no one can use the excuse your car was to dark, that’s why I ran into you because I couldn’t see you.

    My favorite was the Sherri Cup modified #12, only the color was a deep dark secret. Then Jeff Barry came out with a similar color but it had to much red in it, plenty bright enough though.

    The correct graphics can make any bright car look good no matter the color.

    Keep it simple? No that’s called boring!

  13. Gotta get me some weed for next time Sapienza is on the track. He’s the chameleon. That sucker is so reflective he changes colors depending on who’s near him. It’s blowing my mind.

  14. “My favorite was the Sherri Cup modified #12”

    It still looked great at Stafford two weeks ago. Colorful!

  15. Ken Latham says

    Going to the way back machine. Everyone knew which car was Richie Evans (Omaha Orange). Also Charlie J. White with the HD 1 Number. Bodine Red. I can go on and on. They stood out on the track. It;’s nice to have a “pretty” car, and yes Black looks awesome with the graphics, but there is nothing like a Bright Color with cool lettering. Todays case in point are the Catalanos cars All look sweet.

  16. I remember SK driver Ed Dachenhousen, I am sure I butchered the spelling, was told by another driver they didnt see him. He came back with a day glow yellow or pink car when he got the car back together. You could see that car from anywhere. Reportedly there are a few man made things you can see from space, the great wall of china, the great pyramids and Ed Dachenhousens SK modified.

  17. one can only hope says

    Wish the place was under different ownership..I now associate the track name with bad.

  18. For a track associated with “bad”, they sure seem to have good fan attendance and car counts. The racing has been entertaining as well.

    To each his own I guess.

  19. 🌈🦄2020 says

    One would think, between Bemer, Corona and Dafella, the place would be empty week to week. Quite the opposite. The years of non-stop bashing and shaming by Dafella has had absolutely zero effect. Even with all the behind the scenes drama, the late start ect. I think you could say 2020 was a successful season.

  20. Earl,
    Not for nothing, I get the sentiment. But I think it’s interesting when people make reference to the “bad” as if it’s a mystery why there are some people who would rather not go there to compete or spectate. It’s not my place to judge the personal decisions made by anyone – on any sort of moral level, but let’s not act like the black cloud is some unexplained mystery.

  21. Earl, I second your emotion, completely. The NLWS has some serious baggage, dirty laundry and ick factor sticking to it like pine tar. It’s just as pathetic as as the decline in stature of these United States of America since Election Day 2016. Our President is not welcome by other countries, and he has met with some of the most despicable leaders such as Kim Jung Un and Salman Bin Laden (bone saw murderer). World leaders are openly mocking this President of the United States. Very BIGLY SAD. And some 60,000,000 Americans think this is a great job. That explains why people still patronize a place like the NLWS.

  22. Whats amazing is that 30 years later so many of us remember the Coors Gold Sherri Cup Car #12 !!! Thanks for posting the link to the gentleman who posted it. I saved that picture….. It’s funny how certain cars can be burned into memory… Steve Park Sunoco Modified… Ray Hendricks flying 11.. Richie in the Orange 61 town paint that was ” FREE” .. Old Blue #3 . Bugsy in the 15 Woodchopper… Santos in the 41
    Many drivers in the Brady 00… Bodine in the Red Armstrong # 1 .. I agree a solid color with contrasting color for numbers show up the BEST !!! I personally like a white car with a red number , or Red car with white number really shows up well night or day. Roger Goden’s #28 Pro Stock was a great example..

  23. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Who’s acting like the black cloud is some unexplained mystery? Does someone like Dafella need to be at the front and pit gate berating the paying customer? Pretty sure the Bemer signs around the track are a good enough reminder of who still owns the track.

  24. Wubbafied Deluxe Trailers says

    Lots of race cars have secret cooperate sponsorship, but the story of how a public woks employee from the city of Rome pilfered some of the city’s Omaha Orange paint supply and somehow it ended up in the Evans garage is one of those old racing stories that makes me smile everytime I hear it.

  25. How about the red Art Barry #21 with white numbers, pristine every time it raced with the egg mans sponsorship tastefully applied on the car. Then there was the white Polar Beverage #21 with green frame and cage that Rick Fuller drove for Art. One of Arts few deviations from red, one pretty car and easy to spot anywhere on any track.

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