Riverhead Raceway
1797 Old Country Road
Riverhead, NY 11901
631.842.RACE (7223)
     
     
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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
July 29, 2014

I'd like to take a moment before we get going with the Eye to say a heartfelt thank you to all of those who played a role in the 9th Annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems. The race teams, NASCAR Officials, the race sponsor as well those who put up bonus money at the top of the purse and especially those who brought out the Vintage Modifieds. I can't list everyone for two reasons, first it would take too long and secondly I'm bound to omit somebody but again to everyone who was part of the 77 thank you!

Looking forward Blunderbust driver Tim Mulqueen #77 alerted yours truly Saturday that he has some Demolition Derby cars if anyone is interested in them. I really don't have any further details but you can call Tim at 516-735-5512 for more info and of course we have an 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby coming up on Sunoco Race Fuels night next Saturday that pays $450 to win. Think you got the guts, call Tim!

For the second week in a row Tom Rogers Jr. sat in victory lane when the NASCAR Modified feature event was completed Saturday but this win was special on two fronts for the former two time track champion. First off it was after all the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems plus with the bonus money added the winners share of the purse was a cool $2,000. Add to that the $100 fast time award Rogers took in by setting quickest time and it was a $2,100 payday. Tom as you know won the week before in a 35-lap tilt and over a two week period has earned roughly $3,600 which is very much needed not that he for the moment is back in the family owned #9

With the win Tom was able to shave a few points off Howie Brode's championship lead and now sits 31 back 281 to 250. Brode would wind-up 9th in the race after a late race penalty for rough riding in his Freightliner of Long Island Chevy.

Okay now really folks who had CJ Lehmann #19 in the fantasy league to win the Figure Eight feature? Oh maybe the Charger race yes but the Figure Eight main? Thought so, nobody. Well CJ in the Benny Vecchio owned Reliable Motors Camaro went out and won his first career feature in the class and trust me when I tell you he was as surprised as the rest of us. Lehmann had to withstand a last lap threat by both Roger Maynor #28 and Ken Hyde Jr. #58 before he could lay claim to the popular victory. By the way CJ was runner-up in the Charger event in his Shore Mechanical Chevy.

Roger Maynor is still perched at the top of the championship standings with 370 and now has a 12-point lead over Tom Rogers Jr., 370 to 358. Rogers landed a ride for the night in Johnny Vullo's #66 Teddy Bear Graphics Cadillac and was 4th behind Hyde at the finish. Tom would like to thank "Johnny Electric" for the ride.

Indeed a very special night for Charger feature event winner "Radiant" Ray Minieri #43 as he earned his 20th career victory in a 20-lap main event. Ray of course is a former champion in the class in his Long Island Performance Dodge and feels if not for some tough racing luck earlier in the year he'd be right in the thick of the title fight.

As always seems to be the case with the Chargers that title fight is a intense one with Chris Turbush #81 leading defending champion Eric Zeh by a mere four points, 422 to 418. Zeh was 4th Saturday in the S&P Carting Chevy with Turbush 5th in the Eastern Fuel Chevy both had to rebound from early race issues to salvage their race.

How many times at Riverhead Raceway or any other Long Island track did we watch as "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek drive from deep in the field to win a feature event? Well Saturday on the night we honored Charlie, Tommy & Richie Blunderbust winner Jack Handley Jr. #49 went old school himself coming from 15th starting spot to win the 20-lap main event. Oh by the way he does this nearly every week coming from deep in the field in his Bean & Bagel Cafe Chevy to at least a top five finish and this week it was to victory lane for the third time this year.

Handley enjoys a comfortable 26 point lead over "Slick Pick" Tom Pickerell #4 in the current standings, 468 to 442. Tom was 4th in the Premier Utility Equipment Chevy after starting 13th as he did some wheeling too.

You won't blame Legend Race Car winner Vinny Delaney #17 if when the 2015 schedule is released that he circles the last Saturday in July on it. See it was one year ago to the weekend in 2013 that Vinny in the Cleary's By The Water entry won his first career race and after scoring another win last year waited until Saturday night for career win number three. Vinny will be among several of our Legend teams heading to Legendstock this Saturday at the Bethel Speedway and we wish all of them good luck and look forward to their INEX National Qualifier next Saturday August 9th.

Kyle Soper still atop the Legend standings with 536 in his Monti's Auto Works #4 with Brand Van Houten 14 back in his Riverhead Building Supply #09, 536 to 522. Van Houten was second Saturday with Soper 4th.

Weirdest thing occurred in the Blunderbust race while under caution as race leader Tim Mulqueen was sent to the pits cause his window net fell out of his car. Indeed that very important safety item was laying on the race track out of the groove in turn four. Unfortunately Timmy was unable to return in his Hi-Grade Auto Body #77

Shawn Wanat did some wheeling of his own in the Legend feature event racing from 17th to 5th in the Cooper Pool Service #02, not bad for what was suppose to be a "shake down" run.

Hats off to Jeffrey Goodale #46 for his 4th place tally in the Riverhead Building Supply NASCAR Modified which of course is an SK type car and despite being under powered Jeffrey hung in there for the impressive finish.

Charger rookie Greg Immerman #17 led early in the feature and would wind-up 8th in the Hometown Taxi Pontiac.

Speaking of leading early Jessica Cohan did just that for 5 laps in the Blunderbust main event before brake issues dropped her to a 12th place showing in the Rick's Buy & Sell racer.

Nice to have John Beatty Jr. back in the NASCAR Modified field in the Meadowbrook Collision #14 after a rough start John was 6th at the line.

Owen Grennan scratching out a 7th place finish in the Tom Jensen Motorsports #38 Charger and every race this second generation driver seems to be gaining more and more confidence.

Great night for popular "Turbo" Tom Sullivan in the Custom Exteriors Blunderbust as he was a close second to race winner Jack Handley Jr. As my broadcast partner Steve Halpin noted Tom seems to be getting the handle down of the former Joe Seeger car.

Ditto third place Blunderbust finisher Joe Warren Jr. in his TS Haulers Chevy #15.

Very conspicuous by their absence were Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. #32 and "The Wildchild" Tommy Walkowiak #00 in the Blunderbust pit area. We hear that White had some engine woes while Walkowiak was sitting out for two reasons. First his car was badly torn up a week prior plus he was getting ready for a Demolition Derby upstate on Sunday.

Racing veteran Paul Dodorico #55 was 6th in the Legend Race Car main event in his Dr. Martha Baker "The Racers Dentist" machine. Paul was also kind enough to post $25 for the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th place finishing positions for the INEX National Qualifier August 9th. We have also sold at $10 per lap 10-laps of the 30 being run. To sponsor a lap see me at the track or contact me on Facebook.

Tough night if your first name was Dave in the NASCAR Modified race. First Dave Brigati #98x had a heavy impact with the wall when he and Ron Silk #6 got together on a double file restart. Spoke with Brian Schwarz Sunday who told me the good news is the JDL Environmental Chevy suffered no chassis damage but the team might take two weeks off. Then Dave Sapienza slams the third turn exit gate in the FI Capital Chevy and we heard on Monday that Dave may need surgery for a wrist injury as a result of that impact.

Nice race for the sponsor wanted #5x Legend of George Tomko Jr. who was 8th at the finish after starting on the front row of the feature.

Eddie Brunnhoelzl III brought the JW Buckley #8x home for 5th place money in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems.

We hear Ryan Preece had two thousand reasons to elect to start at the rear of the NASCAR Modified field as he and Nationwide Series car owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. had a side wager going. Ryan was 3rd at the conclusion of the 77 after putting on a show in the East-West Marine Chevy.

While on the subject we hear teammates Dave Sapienza #36 and Frank Vigliarolo Jr. #5 had a wager going as well, score that win to Frank in the Frankie's Towing Chevy, by default of course.

Was there a secret to CJ Lehmann's Figure Eight win, maybe or maybe not but we did see former World Figure Eight champion John Fortin by the #19 during practice giving CJ some driving tips.

Vinny Colletti with a fine 10th place effort in the Objective Industries #26 Legend.

By the way Tom Rogers Jr. set NASCAR Modified fast time with a lap of 11.864, Timmy Solomito in the Jarzombek #1 Chevette was clocked in at 12.249 after qualifying was completed. How far ahead of their time were Charlie and Ricky J????

Jeff Gordon's win at the Brickyard 400 have plenty of Long Island flavor. Tom Ryan former Figure Eight driver and Ron Thiel Jr. are both on the team while former NASCAR Modified driver Ed D'Hondt has been Jeff's spotter for quite sometime now.

Until next time
- BF


2014 Eye On Riverhead Archive

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