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Tom Rogers Jr. Continues Riverhead Raceway
NASCAR Modified Dominance Sweeping Twin 30 Features
by Bob Finan
It was an evening to recall many driving legends that have passed through the pit gate at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night as it was Old Timers Night as well as the annual Wall of Fame Induction ceremony. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead showed everyone why he is quickly becoming a driving legend in his own right as Tom swept the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified features. The wins were his 6th and 7th victories of 2014 giving him a career total of 31 tying him with Tommy Washburn and Jackie Reinhard for 6th on the all-time win list.
Midway through the race card Barbara & Jim Cromarty honored Paul McElearney, "Dynamite" Dan Turbush and Peggy Smith as the trio was enshrined on the Wall of Fame that greets guests of the track by the turn three entrance gate. The highlight of the ceremony is when Dan Turbush took Peggy Smith, who is battling cancer for a victory lap around the track on a golf cart complete with a checker flag. Those on hand gave the duo a standing ovation. No less than 10 Vintage Race Cars put on an on track display prior to the Wall of Fame inductions that proved very popular with the fans as well.
Once again Tom Rogers was fastest in qualifying with a lap 11.898 and drew the third starting spot for the first feature with Jason Agugliaro and Howie Brode picking the front row. When the race got underway Agugliaro who struggled with his car all afternoon long in practice jumped out front with Rogers quickly coming underneath Brode in a battle for second. After completing the first lap Tommy made a bold inside move going into the first corner that not only found him getting past Brode for second but also his momentum carried him inside of Agugliaro for the race lead. Once out front Rogers was then able to pull away from Agugliaro and Brode who started racing each other for second which was just fine by the race leader. Ryan Preece who started the race 7th made his way to 4th while John Fortin came from 8th to 5th and they too would have their own race for position.
At the conclusion of the first 30 it was once again the Jessup Landscaping Chevy of Tom Rogers Jr. scoring a convincing win with Jason Agugliaro of Islip second in the Tom O'Keefe & Sons entry while Howie Brode of East Islip crossed the line third in the Petro Fuel Oil Chevy. Preece and Fortin completed the top five.
With the cars lining up in the finishing order from the first race for the second 30 Tom Rogers Jr. sat on the pole and when the race went green it would be Ryan Preece making an early bold move. Howie Brode started the second race third but didn't get the start he was looking for, realizing this Preece quickly slipped to the inside of Agugliaro going into the first turn to quickly come to second and race two looked as though it would be a repeat of the Twin 50's from the week before. Once again Rogers kept just enough distance between himself and Preece but this week several late race cautions for minor spins would give the challenger a few more cracks at the race leader. The cagey veteran he has become Rogers was smart to stack the field up behind him coming off turn four and try as he might Preece was unable to find a way by.
When the final checker flag of the night waved it was again Tom Rogers Jr. enjoying another successful night. "Have to send this one out to my crew member Helmut and his girl Lynn, she is in the hospital with some serious heart issues and we are all thinking of them" Tom noted before speaking about where he now sits on the all time win list. "It's pretty cool being among the great names like Park, Anderson, Young, Washburn and Reinhard" Tommy offered, "my brother in law Mike has figured out these tires other than that we haven't done anything but basic maintenance on the car". At the pace he is currently on Rogers could surpass Chris Young (33) for third on the all-time win list before the season is over.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct was runner-up in the second race in the East West Marine Chevy while championship leader Howie Brode was third. Brode saw Rogers trim 4 points off his point lead as Rogers is now just 17 back with five point races remaining on the season. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead and John Fortin of Holtsville rounded out the top five in the second Twin 30 feature.
Mike Bologna of Melville notched his second straight Late Model win of 2014 as he topped their 30-lap feature event for his third win overall in 2014. Jeremy McDermott set fast time in qualifying with a lap 12.500 but would redraw 5th on the field while veterans Roger Oxee and Kevin Metzger picked the front row. When the race went green Oxee, the all-time leading LM winner wasted no time taking the race lead with Mike Bologna coming from third to second under Metzger on the start. Lap 4 found Oxee and Bologna quickly joined by Jarrod Hayes and as the three drivers raced in turns three and four in close quarters the complexion of the race would indeed change. Hayes shot under Bologna while hot on the heels of race leader Oxee, Jarrod's forward momentum carried him into to Oxee who spun off turn four. NASCAR Officials quickly put Hayes to the rear for his role in the spin leaving Mike Bologna all alone in the race lead. Scott Kulesa ran second to Bologna for nearly the remainder of the race staying within shouting distance while Hayes was making an exciting drive from the rear to again play a role in the outcome of the race. Lap 23 found Hayes working his way to and then by Kulesa for second. Once there Jarrod had to first erase the lead Bologna built up which he did but to catch Mike was one thing, to pass him would be another story. Hayes got to Bologna and was peaking to the inside off the corners but the race leader was wise to the tactic and was able to protect his line for the rest of the race.
At the checker flag it was Mike Bologna in the Gershow Recycling Chevy racing to his 12th career win, a career he noted started thanks to Paul McElearney, "when I was younger Paul, Joel and Casey let me hang around and do tires, they got me going". Jarrod Hayes of Calverton was a close runner-up in the Dialed In By J-Rod entry with Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma crossing the line third in the Eastport Feeds Pontiac.
Suffice to say Blunderbust talent Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr of Southampton loves 30-lap races as he swept all extra distance events in 2013 and this past Saturday he topped another 30-lap contest. Point leader Jack Handley Jr. topped the charts in qualifying with a lap of 15.050 but drew the worst possible pill in the redraw, 8th. The front row would be Jimmy White and newcomer Joe Warren Jr. with White bolting out to the race lead at the start. Warren gave chase to White over the first dozen laps of the race before Johnny Cricchio worked his way by with an inside pass off turn four. Johnny's stay in second would be short as just two laps later championship contender Tom Pickerell who started the race 7th passed Johnny for second. The second half of the race found White tip toeing through lapped traffic along with Pickerell who indeed would narrow the lead built up by Jimmy as the race wore on. In the end however it was the Busy Bee Pest Control Cadillac of Jimmy White Jr. posting his third win of 2014. "I have to thank Frank Curtis Jr. who gives me advice, he really knows these Caddys" Tom Pickerell of Huntington was second in the Northportpower.com Chevy with Johnny Cricchio of Ridge completing the top three in his 5 Brothers Deli entry.
After burning the midnight oil all week long to repair a wrecked race truck "Dangerous" Dave Koenig of Freeport rewarded his loyal team with a wire to wire win in the 30-lap Super Pro Truck feature. Dave took full advantage of his pole starting position to take the race lead at the drop of the green flag. Jimmy Rennick Jr. and Frank Dumicich Sr. gave chase to Koenig but then got to racing each other for second allowing Dave to pull away. Lap 9 found Frank Dumicich Jr. working his way by Rennick for second this just after passing his dad for third. Frank would run second until lap 22 when Roger Turbush who started the race 8th worked his way by after he and Frank Jr. went toe to toe for a few laps. By the time Roger got to second on lap 23 Dave Koenig was long gone in his Nelson's Auto Salvage Chevy driving off to his second win of 2014. "This truck was junk" Dave admitted in victory lane, "but my guys and gals never stopped working, this is a sweet win". Roger Turbush of Riverhead was runner-up in the Rheem Air Conditioning racer while Mike Albasini of Flushing was third in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy after starting the race 9th.
NASCAR Modifieds 1st Twin 30
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Jason Agugliaro 3. Howie Brode 4. Ryan Preece 5. John Fortin 6. Kyle Ellwood
7. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 8. Vinny Biondolillo 9. Ed Brunnhoelzl III 10. Amber Fortin 11. Dave Sapienza
12. Jeffrey Goodale 13. Ken Darch 14. Russell Savoy
NASCAR Modifieds 2nd Twin 30
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ryan Preece 3. Howie Brode 4. Kyle Ellwood 5. John Fortin 6. Frank Vigliarolo Jr.
7. Vinny Biondolillo 8. Ed Brunnhoelzl III 9. Jeffery Goodale 10. Dave Sapienza 11. Ken Darch
12. Amber Fortin 13. Russell Savoy 14. Jason Agugliaro
1. Mike Bologna 2. Jarrod Hayes 3. Scott Kulesa 4. Kevin Metzger 5. Jeremy McDermott
6. Peter Eriksen Jr. 7. Roger Oxee 8. Kyle Soper 9. Chris LaSpisa 10. Emily LaSpisa
11. Chris Lescenski
DNS- Shawn Patrick, Jack Orlando
1. Jimmy White Jr. 2. Tom Pickerell 3. Johnny Cricchio 4. Scott Maliszewski 5. Joe Warren
6. Brian Brown 7. Terry Stiles 8. Ed Mistretta 9. Bill Wegmann Sr. 10. Bill Wegmann Jr.
11. Brandon Hubbard 12. Jack Handley Jr. 13. Tom Sullivan 14. Tom Puccia 15. Dennis Scott
16. Bryan Quilliam 17. CJ Zurkowski 18. Bob Muller
DNS- Tim Mulqueen, Jessica Cohan
Super Pro Trucks
1. Dave Koenig 2. Roger Turbush 3. Mike Albasini 4. Erin Solomito 5. Mark Stewart 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Lou Maestri 8. Jarrod Hayes 9. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 10. Frank Dumicich Sr. 11. Amanda Anderson
DNS- Brian McElearney
Could Be Here
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