Story By: CHRIS LEONE / BULLRING BASH – ATTLEBORO, MA – After winning almost everything there was to win in an INEX Legend Car at Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 2018, Peter Bennett is ready to challenge himself once again this season.
The 24-year-old standout from Cromwell, CT has added his name to the Bullring Bash Midstate Development Legends roster and will travel to New Hampshire and Vermont for the trio of all-star events this summer.
Bennett was the 2018 champion for both the Wednesday Pro Legends and Saturday Masters Legends at his home track of New London-Waterford. However, the track announced over the winter that the INEX Legend Cars will not compete on Saturdays in 2019. Bennett said he has used this as an opportunity to explore other racing opportunities in the region such as the Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge.
“Since my weekends are now free, I was definitely interested in traveling around,” Bennett said. “This is my third year in Legends, and I’ve only run at four tracks ever. So going into the season, I was definitely looking to get to some new tracks, expose myself to some different environments and different competition, and really see what I’m made of.”
He is getting the chance to do both with the Bullring Bash. Bennett will experience two tracks for the first time when he visits N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park and Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Speedbowl. He will also compete against top regional Legend Car racers such as Noah Korner and Kevin Nowak as well as familiar Connecticut competitors like John O’Sullivan and Jordan Churchill.
“My biggest asset right now is YouTube, since I’ve never really been to these tracks before,” Bennett remarked. “I’ve just been scoping them out and seeing what they look like and what kind of approach I’m going to need. I’ve also been talking to people and asking around about what I’m going to need to do to prepare for those tracks.”
“I’m really excited about the competition,” he added. “At New London-Waterford, I raced against a lot of ‘daily guys’, and just to branch out and race against new competition is going to be good for me.”
In doing so, Bennett will try to back up the remarkable success he had in his first two Legend car seasons. In 2017, he won the track championship at White Lake, NY’s Bethel Motor Speedway. He also won the Connecticut INEX Legends Semi-Pro Asphalt State Championship while being named Rookie of the Year in the Wednesday Masters Legends at New London-Waterford.
As it turned out, that was just the prologue to a dream 2018 season. In addition to his dual New London-Waterford championships, he captured 12 feature victories in 26 starts, including the Legend Car Summer Showdown on June 30.
“That was one of the reasons I was looking to branch out,” Bennett said. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but I feel like I accomplished everything that I could have accomplished last year racing Wednesday and Saturday. So I’m definitely looking to challenge myself again for 2019, and this Bullring Bash Series is an opportunity to do that. It seems like it’s drawing in a very competitive field, and I’m looking forward to seeing how I stack up against this level of competition.”
For the Bullring Bash, Bennett will pilot his familiar #50 J & J Racing machine. His father Pete serves as the team’s crew chief. Despite his success, Bennett noted that he typically comes to the track with a small team – at some races, it’s just him and his dad. In fact, he is currently still looking for a spotter to assist him at the Bullring Bash events.
“He’s pretty much been there from the beginning,” Bennett said of his father. “Being at the race track is great to bond with him. It brings us closer together. I love spending time with him. He doesn’t do as well with the travel, but hopefully I can bring him up for the Bullring Bash. It’s great to have family involved.”
“The way that these events are being promoted is great so far, and that definitely means a lot for the Legends community,” Bennett concluded. “We have a lot guys all over New England, a lot of really great racers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some guys come up from down South eventually to race these events as well. It means a lot for us. I know the racers really appreciate it, and they’ve definitely been talking about it. That’s why I jumped on the bandwagon and registered. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge will have additional announcements regarding registered teams, sponsors, officials, and much more in the coming weeks.