WATERFORD, Conn. – Rob Janovic Jr. took the checkered flag in the nights SK Modified race Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl, his first victory of the year.
Keith Rocco won his fourth Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race of the season while Norm Root Jr. and Bill Leonard were first time winners in the respective Street Stock and Mini Stock races.
Janovic was back in the SK Modified division winners circle for the first time since the Mr. Rooter NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event a year ago. Joe Gada used the pole starting position to take the race lead at the drop of the green flag.
Janovic moved to second position and trailed Gada over the first six laps before he looked to the bottom of Gada for racing room. Contact between Shawn Monahan and Ed Puleo created a tense moment for several competitors, including defending champion Tyler Chadwick who lost several positions as he kept control of his car.
Janovic found the room he was looking for on Gada on lap seven as they exited turn four. Janovic was able to dive under the leader into turns one and two, coming away with the top spot as they raced to lap eight. The best battle on the speedway was for fifth position as four cars were in dicing for position.
That came to a head when Kyle James went spinning out of that pack exiting turn four on lap-11. Nichole Morgillo made contact with the outside wall and points leader Keith Rocco made contact with James spinning car. Rocco pitted and returned while Morgillo and James were both done for the evening. James showed Ted Christopher his displeasure during the caution flag. Christopher was sent to the rear by track officials while under the yellow flag and Monahan pitted for adjustments.
The new running order behind Janovic and Gada after all the excitement had Puleo up to third position for the lap-11 restart. It proved as the only of the race for Janovic to master. The veteran racer did so, resuming command into turn one ahead of Gada. Puleo got to Gadas inside to take second on lap-12 and Todd Ceravolo kept Gada pinched in the outside lane as he moved to third on lap-13 before Gada could duck in line in fourth position.
The leaders remained unchanged the rest of the way. Janovic opened up breathing room over Puleo, who had Ceravolo on his bumper for several laps before pulling ahead to a comfortable position in second. Ceravolo was well ahead of fourth place and the top three continued on through the checkered flag. Gada finished in fourth and Craig Lutz finished fifth.