WATERFORD — After finishing third in the Super X-car race at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl to wrap up his second straight Wild & Wacky Wednesday title, Ed Ryan Jr. was asked if the championship feeling had sunken in yet.
“Honestly, the feeling for my first championship hasn’t sunken in yet,” Ryan said. “But both feelings are awesome.”
Dave Yardley took the lead on lap 14 to win the Super-X Car feature for his second straight win, but Ryan was able to lock down the title with his third-place finish.
In other action, Chuck McDonald finished sixth on the track in the 25-lap X-car feature, but was awarded the win when the first five finishers were disqualified.
Jacobs Burns crossed the finish line first in the Legends feature, but was sent to the rear after making contact with race leader Richard Regan on the final turn of the final lap. P.J. Evans, in only his second start of the year, was the race winner.
Milania Shilosky took the lead from Joel Newcomb on the final lap of the 20-lap Bandolero race to pull down her fourth win.
Ryan, meanwhile, needed only to finish 13th in the 21-car field Super X-Car field to secure the championship.
When Yardley grabbed the top spot, Ryan had moved up to sixth. He gained three more spots during the second half of the race to put the title on ice.
Even though he clinched the title one week early, Ryan wanted more.
“I tried everything I could to get by the top two cars, but I just couldn’t do it,: Ryan said. “I fell short.”
The big picture, however, belonged to Ryan.
Yardley also struggled to find words for his success.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Yardley said. :This is insane.”
Dominic Abbatiello was in contention all night and finished second.”
The X-Car feature was dominated by Pete Zaikarite Jr., who swooshed into the lead on lap 11 and held off Cameron Liebel and Christian Herman the rest of the way.
Zaikarite, and the next four finishers, didn’t fare as well in post-race inspection. All five drivers — Zaikarite, Liebal, Herman, Dylan Cabral and Kaylee Symonds — were disqualified, giving the win to McDonald, who led the first handful of laps in the race. Tim Burgess was second and TJ Racicot, in his first start of the year, was third.
The win also launched McDonald into the point lead, by four over Tim Burgess. McDonald needs only to finish first or second in the final race of the season on Sept. 1 to sew up the championship
Burns and Regan spent most of the 20-lap Legends feature battling for the lead. Regan had the edge on the final lap, but was knocked to the outside of the track by Burns, who blasted across the stripe for an apparent win.
Burns, however, was penalized for the contest that unsettled Regan and was put to the year, moving Evans to victory lane.
Prior to Wednesday, Evans had just one race under his belt this season and finished fourth.
Burns still owns the point lead by 22 over Martinez.
Joel Newcomb had the lead for 19 laps of the 20-lap Bandolero feature, but Shilosky stayed right behind him, trailing by just a bread crumb.
On the final lap, Shillosky surged underneath Newcomb and won by a tenth of a second. It was a last-lap finishing kick that startled the rest of the field.
“We were just fast enough to make it,” Shilosky said. “I saw the gap on the last lap and I was just able to get through. “
Newcomb still has the point lead, however, owning a22 point cushion with one race left.
Racing continues Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with Round of the Fast 5, sponsored by Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores. The winner of the 50-lap SK Modified feature will earn $4.000. The Late Models, SK Modifieds and Mini Stocks will be on hand as well. It also will be Nostalgia Night, with the American Modified Tour, New England Antique Racers and Senior Tour Auto Racers in action.
The final Wild & Wacky Wednesday will take place Sept. 1.
25-lap Street Stocks: 1. Dave Yardley, Kensington; 2. Dominic Abbatiello, North Branford,; 3. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston; 4. Will Rheaume, Uncasville; 5. William Reiman, Southington; 6. Devin Tate, Preston,; 7. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 8. Marc Shafer, Groton; 9. Bill Porter, Canterbury; 10. Jim Reilly, Waterford.
25-lap X-Cars: 1. 1 Chuck McDonald, Groton,; 2. Tim Burgess, Norwich; 3. TJ Racicot, Quaker Hill; 4. Grant Spaulding, Westerly, RI; 5. Josh Piper, Clinton; 6. Wade Robbins, Pawcatuck; 7. Samuel Lee, Wyomimg, RI; 8. William Lauber, West Haven; 9. Tom Jones Jr., Baltic; 10. Matt Martel, Stafford Springs.
20-lap Legends: 1, PJ Evans, Uncasville; 2. Tyler Tomassi, West Greenwich; 3. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 4. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 5. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 6. Zachary Martinez, North Kingstown, RI; 7. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 8. Andrew Pellegrini, North Grosvenordale; 9. Shileigh Martinez, North Kingston; 10. Jacob Burns Bristol, R.I
20-lap Bandoleros: 1. Milania Shilosky, Colchester; 2. Joel Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 3. Brad Strickland, Uncasville; 4.Allyha Desomma, Richmond, RI; 5. Trenton Starkweather, Chaplin; 6. Aiden Sullivan, East Hampton.