Matt Pappa Wins Legends Car Feature at Waterford Speedbowl
In INEX racing, Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY won the 20-lap Legends Cars race and Joey Ternullo of Middletown took over halfway through the 20-lap Bandolero feature to come out on top.
Nicholas Sowa had the pole starting position for the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, but it was Michael Blaskey who raced into the lead on lap-1. Paul Kusheba was able to move under Sowa to take second position on lap-2, putting Sowa in the high groove which allowed Pappa, Dave Garbo Jr. and Dylan Izzo to each race by Sowa. Kusheba quickly went after Blaskey, moving to his inside on lap-3 in turn one. Kusheba brought Pappa with him to second, and Garbo up to third as Blaskey lost ground in the outside lane.
Kusheba’s time at the top was short-lived as Pappa found room to the leaders inside in turns three and four on lap-4, sprinting off turn four to become the race’s new leader. Kaz Grala, winner the last time the division raced on April 7, was moving up through the top-ten and found himself inside Blaskey for fifth position. Defending track champion Dana Dimatteo was hot on Grala’s tail, advancing to sixth.
Pappa’s lead grew to a half straightaway over Kusheba by halfway at lap-10 as the race continued a fast and furious pace, going caution free with several side-by-side battles and jockeying for position around the speedway. Garbo got by Kusheba for second position, setting his sights ahead to a streaking Pappa. Grala had gotten by Izzo for fourth and began to challenge Kusheba for third as the leaders hit lapped traffic. Dimatteo made it a three-car battle for third as he continued to trail Grala’s rear bumper up through the pack.
Garbo was not making much progress cutting into Pappa’s lead out front as the youngster was doing a masterful job racing through lapped traffic. Behind them, Grala ducked inside Kusheba for third on lap-15 as they raced to turn one, taking the spot. Dimatteo filled the hole under Kusheba and was able to take over fourth position off turn two down the backstretch. Kusheba had to settle into fifth place just when the race’s first caution flag waved when Blaskey’s solid run came to an end with a hard trip into the turn four wall.
Pappa got a great restart on Garbo when green flag racing resumed. Dimatteo got around Grala into third spot, while Kusheba and Izzo were consumed in a battle for fifth behind them. Dimatteo and Grala’s battle for third was not over, and the two made contact entering turn one on lap-18. Both cars shot into the turn one wall, making hard contact. The second caution flag came out on the speedway and both cars were towed from the track, ending both driver’s solid runs.
Pappa again got the better of Garbo on the restart of a green-white-checkered finish, getting away from Garbo coming to the white flag. Pappa went on unchallenged over the final circuit to take his first win of the year at the Speedbowl by two car lengths over Garbo, who held off Kusheba for second position. Angelo Belsito and Nick Ladyga raced into fourth and fifth positions over the final laps.
Jacob Urch bolted out to an early lead in the 20-lap Bandolero feature that went caution free. Urch had a several car length lead over a battle for second position in the early laps that saw Ken Morin Jr. take the position on lap-2. Ternullo raced his way through the top-five into third position on lap-5. Morin and Ternullo teamed up to track down Urch, slicing into his lead as they drafted their way back into the picture for the lead over the next three laps.
By lap-8, the were on Urch’s bumper ready to strike. Exiting turn four, Morin went inside Urch as they raced to turn one on lap-9. Morin cleared Urch to take over, however before he could even lead a lap Ternullo was there to take second from Urch and carry his momentum inside Morin through turns three and four. Coming to the stripe it was Ternullo who led the next circuit.
Urch got by Morin in the exchange as well, allowing Ternullo to pull ahead before Urch and Morin got back in line behind. The second half of the race had Ternullo continuing his lead with Urch and Morin desperately trying to come up with a combination that could challenge Ternullo. They were unable to mount a serious threat, and Ternullo went on to his first win of the year.
Ternullo next turns his attention to his Legend Cars debut at the Speedbowl, in the upcoming Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday mid-week series, set to get underway on May 2.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 4/21 INEX Racing Results:
Legends Cars (20-laps): 1. Matt Pappa, Nassau, NY; 2. Dave Garbo Jr., Stonington; 3. Paul Kusheba, Monroe; 4. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 5. Nick Ladyga, Voluntown; 6. Giovanni Giarratana, Newington; 7. Dylan Izzo, Westport; 8. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 9. Kyle Hardwick, Chaplin; 10. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 11. Carl Blandina, Milford; 12. Scott McKnickle, Ledyard; 13. David Johnson, Arlingham, MA; 14. Taylor Martin, Windham, NH; 15. Stephen Kopcik, Newtown; 16. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 17. Richard Erlandson, Moodus; 18. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 19. Kaz Grala, Westboro, MA; 20. John O’Sullivan, Bethany; 21. Michael Blaskey, Waterbury; 22. Nicholas Sowa, Middletown; DNS � Arthur Maurero, Baltic
Bandoleros (15-laps): 1. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 2. Jacob Urch, West Suffield; 3. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; 4. Jordan Lamothe, Woodstock; 5. Derek Debbis, Oakdale; 6. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 7. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook ; 8. Corey Comeroski, Lebanon