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by Bob Finan

Three NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature events were contested prior to the Riverhead 200 WMT race on Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac night at Riverhead Raceway Saturday with Dave Brigati of Calverton scoring his fourth win in five starts in the 30-lap Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate feature. Eric Zeh of Selden topped the 20-lap Blunderbust main event while Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was declared the winner of the INEX Legend Race Car feature.

Qualifying for the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crates saw Brigati set a new track record turning in a lap of 12.623 breaking Dillon Steuer's mark of 12.702 set last July. In the redraw Brigati drew 4th while Dylan Slepian & Jay Hansen picked the front row. At the throw of the green Slepian, the only other driver aside from Brigati to win in 2017 took the early race lead. Michael Rutkowski quickly made his way from third to second on the first lap tucking in behind Slepian. A 3rd lap double file restart saw Rutkowski riding the outside lane to the race lead with Slepian now second. Brigati made his presence known as he slipped by Slepian on lap 5 racing down the back stretch. Try as he might Rutkowski, a rookie in the class could not fend off Brigati for long as Dave slipped under the freshman driver in turn three for the lead on lap 9. Once out front Dave Brigati, the defending champion in the class withstood pressure from Rutkowski to claim his 7th career win in his Quest Machining & Fabricating entry. Michael Rutkowski of Mattituck was runner-up in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry while Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills claimed third in the Eastport feeds Chevy.

Prior to the 20-lap Blunderbust feature Eric Zeh and his car owners Frank & Vicki Curtis announced a new sponsor in Best Built Construction and the team introduced their new marketing partner to the sport by winning the main event. 71-year young Bill Wegmann Sr. paced the race for the first lap before Zeh, who started third in the tilt made his way by for the lead with a bold pass to the inside off turn two. Once Zeh took the lead he never looked back opening a comfortable lead along the way. The race of the night would take place for second as Bill Wegmann Sr. was challenged for the spot by his grandson Derek Wegmann. In a battle that will be talked about by the Wegmann family at holiday dinners for years to come, Derek took second from Grandpa on lap 11. At the finish it was Eric Zeh taking the win over Derek Wegmann of Patchogue in the Cracker Jack Auto Parts Chevy, Bill Wegmann Sr. of N. Bellmore also backed by Cracker Jack was third.

When the checker flag flew on the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature it appeared that Richie Davidowitz had claimed his 14th career Riverhead Raceway win but the joy soon turned to sorrow in post race tech. Track officials discovered that Davidowitz along with Ray Fitzgerald ran the race with "unapproved" tires and were set to the final two positions in the race finish. That turn of events handed the win to Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, his second straight win in the Sylvester Racing entry. Bock made his way by Fitzgerald for second with just 7 laps remaining in the race. The victory was the 6th of Bock's INEX Legend career with his car owner Jim Sylvester of Massapequa runner-up in the Oval Speed mount. Kevin Nowak of Medford was third in his sponsor wanted machine.

Modified Crates:
1. Dave Brigati 2. Michael Rutkowski 3. Dylan Slepian 4. Peter Bertuccio 5. Jay Hansen 6. Dennis Krupski 7. Michael Rommeney 8. Tony Vecchio 9. Justin Brown 10. AJ DeSantis 11. Cary Rogers 12. Kurt Kreiger 13 CJ Lehmann

1. Eric Zeh 2. Derek Wegmann 3. Bill Wegmann Sr. 4. Tommy Walkowiak 5. Tim Mulqueen 6. Tom Pickerell 7. Max Handley 8. Jim Laird 9. Wayne Meyer 10. Tom Puccia 11. Tom Sullivan 12. Gary Caldwell 13. Joshua Creel 14. Alyssa Paprocky

Legend Race Cars:
1. Brendon Bock 2. Jim Sylvester 3. Kevin Nowak 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Paul Dodorico 6. Eric Hersey 7. Chris Rogers 8. Jeff Otto Jr. 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. George Tomko Jr. 12. Ed Cheslak 13. Jerry Curran 14. Mike Benton 15. Dennis Kurras 16. Bryan Kelly 17. Matt Brode 18. Jason Castaldo 19. Mike Mortimer 20. Wally Davidowitz 21. Brad Van Houten 22. Silas Hiscock Sr. 23. Ray Fitzgerald 24. Richie Davidowitz

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