Meet the two sides of Joey Ternullo, first, a National Honor Society student who will be attending CCSU in the fall and Legend Car driver, “Joey Walnuts” the nickname given to Ternullo.
If I were to pick out of the two I have to go with “Joey Walnuts”. The reason, Joey graduated from Xavier High School in Middletown, CT last Saturday (May 28th) and then shot down to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl to compete in that evening’s event. There was no graduation party on this night.
For Ternullo, it was the same path as may others took. “One day I took a trip with my dad to a quarter midget track in Meriden to watch the races. I liked it a lot and the following winter my dad bought me my first race car to start the 2006 season,” recalled Ternullo. Ternullo started his first race at the age of seven and came home in the runner-up spot on his maiden day.
Ternullo finally made strides in 2009 by taking home the Club’s Most Improved Drivers Award. From that point on the awards and Championships began to roll in. In 2012 Ternullo captured the “Most Improved Drivers Award” in the Legend Cars at the New London – Waterford Speedbowl.
Joey made his mark at “The Speedbowl” by winning a Legend’s Car event. The win still holds the mark as the youngest driver in history at “The Speedbowl” to win in the Legend Cars, at the age of 13.
At the age of 14, Ternullo was crowned the Champion of the Legend Cars in 2014 and that mark lifted Ternullo’s name to the youngest “Legend Car Champion” in the history of “The Speedbowl” at the young age of thirteen. To date, this also marks Joey’s most memorable moment in racing.
One question that I always as every driver that I talk with is where to you want to be in 5-years? Ternullo’s answer takes us back to the two side of Joey Ternullo. “Graduated from college and hopefully racing in a higher division than the Legend Cars,” summed up Ternullo. For Ternullo, it’s no secret he wants to excel in school, graduating in the National Honor Society goes to show just that point.
Going into the 2016 season, Ternullo will have a full plate of racing. The New London – Waterford Speedbowl runs the Legend Cars on Thursday and on Saturday nights and the goal for the Middletown, CT driver is the win the championship on both nights. “That’s our goal for this season, to run and capture both Championships,” commented Ternullo.
The event Ternullo has circled on his calendar is the Legend Car Nationals. The New London – Waterford Speedbowl will host the “Nationals” in 2016. “Last year’s “Battle of the Sound” brought in like 35 cars and it’s going to double for the Nationals. The best of the best will be competing here and I’m looking forward to it,” commented Ternullo. Look for Ternullo to take the advantage of running both Thursday and Saturdays to make his mark in the Nationals.
Sponsorship wise Ternullo is carrying Laticrete Internatioinal Inc. “They started with us in 2010. Actually, my dad got them. He works with tiles and they make cement products for tiles and my dad knew them for years. One day my dad sent them an email and ever since then they have been on board with us,” explained Ternullo on his sponsorship deal.
Ternullo’s team is made up of his dad Joe (Car Owner) and Allen Cummings (Crew Chief). 600 Racing supplies both the chassis and engine for the blue 1934 Ford Coupe numbered ten.
The Ternullo Racing Team is no stranger to social media sites. You can find his Facebook page @Ternullo Racing and at @Ternullo_10 on Twitter. The team’s website can be found at www.joeyternulloracing.com
So when the Nationals hits “The Speedbowl” look for the Ternullo machine to be hitting on all cylinders and looking to walk away with the National crown.
Story by Alan Piquette
Photos provided by Passing Bird Photography.