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Tom Rogers Jr. Tops Riverhead Raceway
Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Field
by Bob Finan
Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead made it two wins in a row at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night as he won the prestigious Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems field for his third NASCAR Modified win of 2014. For Tom the win would be the 27th of his career and worth a cool $2,000. The night was highlighted by three of "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek's vintage race cars being on hand as well as a "Tiger" Tom Baldwin 7NY and NASCAR'S Jerry Cook on hand as well for this very special race and night.
Rogers once again topped qualifying with a lap of 11.864 earning him the $100 fast time award from race sponsor Hagerman Systems but once again his luck in the redraw failed him as he drew 7th. Ron Silk and Jerry Solomito Jr. picked the front row and at the throw of the green Silk would move out front with Solomito running second for the first two circuits. Lap 3 found Vinny Biondolillo coming to second behind leader Silk and the 16-year old would chase the race leader for three laps before the yellow flag slowed the race. On the ensuing restart Dave Brigati was able to follow in Silk's tire tracks to slip under Biondolillo for second and he'd spend the following eight laps running second until a lap 14 caution waved. On the restart Brigati was lined up to the outside of leader Silk and when the duo hit the gas off turn four they made contact with Brigati hitting the wall hard on the front stretch ending his night on a double hook while Silk escaped with no damage.
That turn of events moved Tom Rogers Jr to second alongside Silk for the restart and Tom would spend just one lap chasing Ron for the lead as he ducked under the race leader off turn four on lap 16 to take the race lead with Silk settling into second. As the race finally hit an extended green flag run Rogers wheeling his family owned car for the second straight week was able to to keep a couple of car lengths between he and Silk who later in the race saw Ryan Preece move into third. Preece not only started the race from the rear but also made his way back to the top three after a pit stop for a right front flat tire as the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion thrilled the crowd making some daring passes to get back to the front of the field.
In the end however it would be Tom Rogers Jr. hoisting the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek trophy in victory lane and like many drivers of his generation paused and thanked one of the three NASCAR Modified legends, "not many people knew but Tommy was really good to me early in my career. He'd give me some parts to try out here at Riverhead and if they were good he'd run them on the tour" As for being back in his family car he admitted, "good thing we won last week and tonight cause that is how the car is being funded, we keep going good, we keep going".
Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. was runner-up in the TS Haulers Chevy while Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. could only get back to third in the East West Marine Chevy after passing more cars that perhaps any other driver in the race. Jeffery Goodale of Riverhead and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown completed the top five.
For the past two season Charger standout CJ Lehmann of Mastic Beach has been moonlighting in Benny Vecchio's Figure Eight car and Saturday night he hit pay dirt as he won the 15-lap main event. Rookie drivers Bryan Quilliam and Chris Elixson brought the field to the green flag and Lehmann made a bold move to take the race lead from the second row with Quilliam tucking into second for a lap. Lap 2 found Lehmann's teammate Scott Pedersen making his way to second with Ken Hyde Jr. and Roger Maynor also lurking in third and fourth. With the race going green for an extended period of time Lehmann was able to build a comfortable lead but that was erased on lap 11 when the yellow flag waved for Quilliam who stalled near the intersection. On the restart Ken Hyde Jr., the defending champion in the class as well Roger Maynor, the all-time leading winner at Riverhead Raceway both eventually slipped by Pedersen and set sail for leader Lehmann. Both were all over CJ's rear bumper but that would be as close as they got as Lehmann held them both off to score a popular win in the Reliable Motors Camaro. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore would take second in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford while Ken Hyde Jr. of Mastic Beach was third in the All Out Fire Protection Chevy.
For "Radiant" Ray Minieri of Bay Shore his second Charger win of 2014 would be a milestone victory as it would be the 20th of his career. When the 20-lap contest got underway rookie driver Greg Immerman steering a former Ray Minieri car moved into the race lead with Cory Midgett second for the first lap. Lap 2 saw Ray Minieri over take Midgett for second tucking in behind race leader Immerman. After chasing the race leader for a half dozen laps Minieri made his bid for the race lead on lap 8 passing Immerman for the lead. Just moments later Greg's night would get even worse as he and Chris Turbush got together racing into turn three and they would draw the caution flag. That turn of events moved CJ Lehmann from fourth to second behind race leader Minieri with David Roys now third. When the race resumed it was all Ray Minieri in his Long Island Performance entry as he led the remainder of the way to pocket the victory. CJ Lehmann of Mastic Beach was runner-up in the TBR Racing Chevy while David Roys of Coram placed third in the Robert's Asphalt machine.
On a night when three NASCAR Modified legends were fondly remembered "The Jack Attack" Jack Handley Jr. of Medford did something the trio had to do many times in their careers and that was come from deep in the field to win a race. Handley found himself starting the 20-lap Blunderbust feature in 15th but it mattered nit to the 18-year old talent as he won his third race of 2014, his first since May 10th. Jessica Cohan led the first five laps of the race before she was passed by Bryan Sescila on lap 6. Bryan's stay out front was quick as Tim Mulqueen made his way by and appeared on his way to his second straight win in the class after taking the lead from Sescila on lap 9. However during a 14th lap yellow flag a unique situation came into play as track officials noticed Mulqueen's window net not only was down but sitting in turn four on the track and he was sent to the pits for repairs. That set of circumstances moved Tom Sullivan into the race lead just one lap after he moved to second with Jack Handley Jr. who had weaved his way through traffic from 15th now second. When the race resumed Sullivan did all he could do to keep Handley at bay but on lap 16 Jack moved to the outside lane to make a pass on Sullivan for the lead which he completed on the back stretch. Once out front there was no stopping the Bean & Bagel Cafe driver as he raced to the popular victory. Tom Sullivan of Massapequa was second in the Custom Exteriors Chevy while first year driver Joe Warren Jr. of Rocky Point was third in the ZZZ Glass & Radiator racer.
On the first anniversary of his first career Legend Race Car feature event win Vinny Delaney of Holtsville celebrated by scoring his first win of 2014 in a 20-lap feature event. Eric Hersey paced the race for the first six laps of the contest with Brad Van Houten and Delaney quickly coming to second and third. The trio ran under a blanket while dicing for the lead with the turning point of the race coming on the 6th lap. As they raced down the back stretch Van Houten threw his car to the outside of Hersey down the back stretch, Eric in turn moved up on Brad as they were now exiting turn four which opened up the inside lane. Vinny Delaney was quick to pounce as he dove low under Hersey and Van Houten to come away with the race lead with that bold move. With Delaney now out front Van Houten was now second and glued to the leaders bumper for pretty much the remainder of the race as Brad looked high and low for a way by Vinny for the lead. However Vinny Delaney would have none of it and he drove his Cleary's On The Water machine to victory. Brad Van Houten of Wading River was second while Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was third in the Rico's Clothing mount.
Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 NASCAR Modifieds:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ron Silk 3. Ryan Preece 4. Jeffrey Goodale 5. Ed Brunnhoelzl III 6. John Beatty Jr. 7. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 8. Vinny Biondolillo 9. Howie Brode 10. Dave Schneider 11. Russell Savoy 12. Jerry Solomito Jr. 13. Kyle Ellwood 14. Jason Agugliaro 15. Brad Van Houten 16. Jack Orlando 17. Dave Brigati 18. Dave Sapienza
1. CJ Lehmann 2. Roger Maynor 3. Ken Hyde Jr. 4. Tom Rogers Jr. 5. Scott Pedersen 6. Mike Mujsce 7. Frank Dumicich Jr. 8. Gary Fritz Jr. 9. Chris Elixson 10. Bryan Quilliam
1. Ray Minieri 2. CJ Lehmann 3. David Roys 4. Eriz Zeh 5. Chris Turbush 6. John Baker 7. Owen Grennan 8. Greg Immerman 9. Cory Midgett 10. Brian Midgett 11. Jay Henschel
1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Tom Sullivan 3. Joe Warren 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Bill Wegmann Sr. 6. Bryan Sescila 7. Terry Stiles 8. Ray Shannon 9. Ed Mistretta 10. Bryan Quilliam 11. Bob Muller 12. Jessica Cohan 13. CJ Zurkowski 14. Devon Maliszewski 15. Brian Brown 16. Bill Wegmann Jr. 17. Tim Mulqueen 18. Tom Puccia 19. Richie Hubbard
Legend Race Cars:
1. Vinny Delaney 2. Brad Van Houten 3. Artie Pedersen III 4. Kyle Soper 5. Shawn Wanat 6. Paul Dodorico 7. Ray Fitzgerald 8. George Tomko Jr. 9. Michael Rutkoski 10 Vinny Colletti 11. Allan Pedersen 12. Mike Van Houten 13. John Harley 14. Bryan Kelly 15. Joe Oliver 16. Greg Harris 17. Christian Conklin 18. Eric Hersey 19. Eric Henschel 20. Ed Cheslak 21. Kurt Krieger 22. Kevin Chew 23. Anthony Marsh 24. Kevin Nowak 25. Wally Davidowitz 26. Steve Hersey 27. Richie Davidowitz 28. Keith Goodale
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