PRESS RELEASES: LATEST

72ND YEAR CELEBRATION TO FEATURE FIREWORKS & DEMOLITION DERBY SATURDAY JULY 2ND AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

June 25th

By Bob Finan


Saturday July 2nd will be a time to celebrate at Riverhead Raceway as the track marks it's 72nd anniversary with a full blown celebration is planned by track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz. A spectacular Fireworks show will be presented and the night will conclude with a bone jarring Demolition Derby. The NASCAR Modifieds will run the second leg of their Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup with a 72-lap main event.

"Saturday we kick off in earnest our family fun shows for 2022" track GM John Ellwood noted, "in July and August we'll present Monster Trucks, School Bus Demolition Derbies and it all starts Saturday with a Fireworks extravaganza & Demo Derby for our 4/6-Cylinder cars". With the weekend a holiday weekend with July 4th on Monday an extra special Fireworks show is planned to celebrate both the 72nd year of Riverhead Raceway and Independence Day.

Entering the 72-lap NASCAR Modified event Kyle Soper of Manorville enjoys a slim championship lead in his quest for his fourth track title in the past five years. Soper is closely followed by Dave Brigati of Calverton and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick who are knotted for second one point back. John Baker of Brookhaven and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown are not to far off the top three in fourth and fifth and nor is Chris Young of Calverton ranked in 6th. Heading to Saturday Justin Brown of Manorville, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Chris Rogers of Patchogue and Jack Handley Jr of Medford rank 7th through 10th.

Once opening ceremonies are complete the second Kids Big Wheel race of 2022 will get things underway. Aside from the 72-lap NASCAR Modified event complimenting the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program are the wild Figure Eights, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and a wall to wall brawl with a Gut & Go Enduro. Once all the racing is completed the first Demolition Derby of the year will provide a smashing conclusion to the night.

Among the Demolition Derby drivers expected are John Palmeri of Lindenhurst, Rob Savoy of Medford, George Astacio of Mastic Beach, Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindenhurst, Tommy Zasowski of Holbrook and many others. Among those looking on will be several former Demolition Derby stars for the '80's and '90's who are planning an impromptu reunion Saturday. "Long" John Silver, Michael "Gravel" Buksa and "Pistol" Pete Sindone are just a few of the names planning on watching the new generation of daredevils.

Spectator gates will open at 4:00 pm Saturday, adults are $40, kids 6-12 $10, with 5 & under free. Opening ceremonies are planned for approximately 6:00 pm after qualifying. To check out our remaining 2022 schedule visit www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

KYLE SOPER SCORES ONE FOR THE HOME TEAM WITH BUZZ CHEW CHEVROLET 200 WMT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY VICTORY

June 25th

By Bob Finan

Every time the popular NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Riverhead Raceway on Long Island it is usually noted along the way the last time a track regular won a WMT event was back in 1995. Saturday night Kyle Soper of Manorville, the reining champion at the quarter mile bullring scored one for the home team winning the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 after reclaiming the lead from defending WMT kingpin Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville with 10-lap remaining. Soper's win comes 27 years and day after Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won back on June 24th of 1995.

Current WMT championship leader Ron Silk won the Mayhew Tools Pole Award with a lap of 11.586 edging out Timmy Solomito who toured the track in 11.637. As the 26-car grid took the green Solomito was able to get the early race advantage over Silk. Early on Solomito showed the way in his family owned car which he has run part time to date in 2022. As the race developed joining race leader Solomito up front were Kyle Soper and Justin Bonsignore who started the race together from the third row. Other drivers flexing their muscles near the front prior to halfway included Tommy Catalano, Craig Lutz and Doug Coby, winner of the May 14th WMT stop at Riverhead.

After racing his way to second Soper drew closer to leader Solomito and was ready to make a bid for the lead. On lap 114 Soper was able to get around Solomito, who after being overtaken for the lead now had to try and fend off challengers for second as the handle went away on his car. Once to the lead Soper led 27-laps before Justin Bonsignore came calling making an inside pass for the lead on lap 143. With Bonsignore now out front seeking his 9th career Riverhead WMT triumph and just 57 laps left to click off many thought Bonsignore was in the cat bird seat.

After falling off Bonsignore after Justin took the lead Kyle Soper came back to life as the laps wound down and before he knew it he was on the rear bumper challenging for his first career WMT win. Entering the first and second turn Soper set Bonsignore up for a pass and by the time they started the 190th lap Soper was the new race leader. Bonsignore tried to cross Soper back over on lap 191 off the fourth corner but Soper was able to thwart that effort.

With the Riverhead Raceway faithful howling with approval Kyle Soper took the checker flag for car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson and the Eastport Feeds team and the celebration was on. Afterwards the 26-year old Soper was asked about his solid effort in qualifying playing a role in the win he responded, "yeah sure did, I was texting back and forth with Jimmy Blewett last night and he gave us some set up tips that got us close and further up front in qualifying". As to his strategy after surrendering the lead to Bonsignore with 57-to go Soper shared, "after Justin got me on that restart I was just riding and see if I could reel him back in. Once I saw him getting loose on entry and exit I started licking my lips and timed it up pretty good". In a lighter moment during victory lane festivities Kyle reflected, "I wasn't even born yet when Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won his WMT race, feels pretty good to get one though".

Racing for a second straight NASCAR WMT win, Justin Bonsignore had to settle for second in the Phoenix Communications Chevy and looked back afterwards, "been a longtime since Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr's win here and it's cool to see a Riverhead team win, just a shame he beat us to do it. Congratulations to Kyle, Wayne, Tom Soper and that team, it was only a matter of time, think I'll make Wayne buy the ice cream". As to the duel for the lead Justin recalled, "late in the race I saw Kyle getting back to me, I was hoping to use some lapped cars to get lost in but his car was better than ours at that point. Onto to Wall Stadium".

Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. came home third in the Future Homes entry leaving him to wonder what he has to do to beat drivers who grew up racing at Riverhead, "the local guys who grew up here like Soper, Bonsignore and Solomito are just so tough here". Silk was making his 21st career WMT start at Riverhead still in search of his first win.

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma and Riverhead regular Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills were fourth and fifth. Completing the top ten were, Kyle Bonsignore of Bay Shore, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick Timmy Solomito of Islip, Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa and Doug Coby of Milford, Ct.



PRESS RELEASES: ARCHIVE

72ND YEAR CELEBRATION TO FEATURE FIREWORKS & DEMOLITION DERBY SATURDAY JULY 2ND AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

June 25th

By Bob Finan


Saturday July 2nd will be a time to celebrate at Riverhead Raceway as the track marks it's 72nd anniversary with a full blown celebration is planned by track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz. A spectacular Fireworks show will be presented and the night will conclude with a bone jarring Demolition Derby. The NASCAR Modifieds will run the second leg of their Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup with a 72-lap main event.

"Saturday we kick off in earnest our family fun shows for 2022" track GM John Ellwood noted, "in July and August we'll present Monster Trucks, School Bus Demolition Derbies and it all starts Saturday with a Fireworks extravaganza & Demo Derby for our 4/6-Cylinder cars". With the weekend a holiday weekend with July 4th on Monday an extra special Fireworks show is planned to celebrate both the 72nd year of Riverhead Raceway and Independence Day.

Entering the 72-lap NASCAR Modified event Kyle Soper of Manorville enjoys a slim championship lead in his quest for his fourth track title in the past five years. Soper is closely followed by Dave Brigati of Calverton and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick who are knotted for second one point back. John Baker of Brookhaven and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown are not to far off the top three in fourth and fifth and nor is Chris Young of Calverton ranked in 6th. Heading to Saturday Justin Brown of Manorville, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Chris Rogers of Patchogue and Jack Handley Jr of Medford rank 7th through 10th.

Once opening ceremonies are complete the second Kids Big Wheel race of 2022 will get things underway. Aside from the 72-lap NASCAR Modified event complimenting the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program are the wild Figure Eights, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and a wall to wall brawl with a Gut & Go Enduro. Once all the racing is completed the first Demolition Derby of the year will provide a smashing conclusion to the night.

Among the Demolition Derby drivers expected are John Palmeri of Lindenhurst, Rob Savoy of Medford, George Astacio of Mastic Beach, Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindenhurst, Tommy Zasowski of Holbrook and many others. Among those looking on will be several former Demolition Derby stars for the '80's and '90's who are planning an impromptu reunion Saturday. "Long" John Silver, Michael "Gravel" Buksa and "Pistol" Pete Sindone are just a few of the names planning on watching the new generation of daredevils.

Spectator gates will open at 4:00 pm Saturday, adults are $40, kids 6-12 $10, with 5 & under free. Opening ceremonies are planned for approximately 6:00 pm after qualifying. To check out our remaining 2022 schedule visit www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

KYLE SOPER SCORES ONE FOR THE HOME TEAM WITH BUZZ CHEW CHEVROLET 200 WMT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY VICTORY

June 25th

By Bob Finan

Every time the popular NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Riverhead Raceway on Long Island it is usually noted along the way the last time a track regular won a WMT event was back in 1995. Saturday night Kyle Soper of Manorville, the reining champion at the quarter mile bullring scored one for the home team winning the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 after reclaiming the lead from defending WMT kingpin Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville with 10-lap remaining. Soper's win comes 27 years and day after Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won back on June 24th of 1995.

Current WMT championship leader Ron Silk won the Mayhew Tools Pole Award with a lap of 11.586 edging out Timmy Solomito who toured the track in 11.637. As the 26-car grid took the green Solomito was able to get the early race advantage over Silk. Early on Solomito showed the way in his family owned car which he has run part time to date in 2022. As the race developed joining race leader Solomito up front were Kyle Soper and Justin Bonsignore who started the race together from the third row. Other drivers flexing their muscles near the front prior to halfway included Tommy Catalano, Craig Lutz and Doug Coby, winner of the May 14th WMT stop at Riverhead.

After racing his way to second Soper drew closer to leader Solomito and was ready to make a bid for the lead. On lap 114 Soper was able to get around Solomito, who after being overtaken for the lead now had to try and fend off challengers for second as the handle went away on his car. Once to the lead Soper led 27-laps before Justin Bonsignore came calling making an inside pass for the lead on lap 143. With Bonsignore now out front seeking his 9th career Riverhead WMT triumph and just 57 laps left to click off many thought Bonsignore was in the cat bird seat.

After falling off Bonsignore after Justin took the lead Kyle Soper came back to life as the laps wound down and before he knew it he was on the rear bumper challenging for his first career WMT win. Entering the first and second turn Soper set Bonsignore up for a pass and by the time they started the 190th lap Soper was the new race leader. Bonsignore tried to cross Soper back over on lap 191 off the fourth corner but Soper was able to thwart that effort.

With the Riverhead Raceway faithful howling with approval Kyle Soper took the checker flag for car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson and the Eastport Feeds team and the celebration was on. Afterwards the 26-year old Soper was asked about his solid effort in qualifying playing a role in the win he responded, "yeah sure did, I was texting back and forth with Jimmy Blewett last night and he gave us some set up tips that got us close and further up front in qualifying". As to his strategy after surrendering the lead to Bonsignore with 57-to go Soper shared, "after Justin got me on that restart I was just riding and see if I could reel him back in. Once I saw him getting loose on entry and exit I started licking my lips and timed it up pretty good". In a lighter moment during victory lane festivities Kyle reflected, "I wasn't even born yet when Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won his WMT race, feels pretty good to get one though".

Racing for a second straight NASCAR WMT win, Justin Bonsignore had to settle for second in the Phoenix Communications Chevy and looked back afterwards, "been a longtime since Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr's win here and it's cool to see a Riverhead team win, just a shame he beat us to do it. Congratulations to Kyle, Wayne, Tom Soper and that team, it was only a matter of time, think I'll make Wayne buy the ice cream". As to the duel for the lead Justin recalled, "late in the race I saw Kyle getting back to me, I was hoping to use some lapped cars to get lost in but his car was better than ours at that point. Onto to Wall Stadium".

Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. came home third in the Future Homes entry leaving him to wonder what he has to do to beat drivers who grew up racing at Riverhead, "the local guys who grew up here like Soper, Bonsignore and Solomito are just so tough here". Silk was making his 21st career WMT start at Riverhead still in search of his first win.

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma and Riverhead regular Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills were fourth and fifth. Completing the top ten were, Kyle Bonsignore of Bay Shore, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick Timmy Solomito of Islip, Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa and Doug Coby of Milford, Ct.

OWEN GRENNAN & JOEY BRAUN SNAG RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WINS BEFORE RAIN HALTS PROGRAM SATURDAY

June 18th

By Bob Finan


According to local weather experts it was suppose to be a pleasant final weekend of spring on Long Island. However suddenly Saturday evening a "clipper system" from the Northeast blew in and brought rain to Riverhead Raceway ending the program 25-laps into a scheduled 40-lap Crate Modified feature. Owen Grennan of Glen Cove was leading the Crate event when the rain hit and was declared the winner moving him to the top of the all time win list with 12 victories. Joey Braun of Manorville won the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car event, the only other feature presented.

Michael Berner of Patchogue was quickest in Crate Modified qualifying with a lap of 12.641 followed by Kyle Ellwood who clicked off a 12.661 Q lap. For the inital start of the race Berner chose to start on the outside of Ellwood and was able to move to the early race lead. Just two laps into the contest Ellwood in his own words "hopped a nerf bar" of another competitor send him into a wild spin in turn four as the field raced to start the third lap. Amazingly nobody behind Kyle in the 20 car field made contact and the yellow flew. On the ensuing restart Berner stuck with the team game plan to restart on the outside putting Owen Grennan who had be sitting third prior to the caution to the inside.

Entering the night tied with former champion Dave Brigati of Calverton for the all-time lead in wins at 11, Grennan poured the coals into his Dillner Precast Chevy and was able to out run Berner for the race lead. Berner tucked into second with Chris Rogers motoring to third. The top three were settled in when the yellow waved again for a Sean Glennon crash on lap 25, it was during this caution period the first wave of rain moved over the track. The track safety crew was circling the track and had made progress drying it and drivers were called back to their cars after a delay. While getting back in their cars another wave of heavier rain moved in ending the racing for the night.

Owen Grennan undaunted by the moisture rolled his car to the winners circle for a milestone interview with track announcer Stephen Halpin where he noted, "can't thank my parents enough, they field two cars for me and my brother Chase, the sacrifices they have made for me to now top the all time win list are countless".

Michael Berner was runner-up in the Pro Diesel Chevy with Chris Rogers of Patchogue third in the Ralph's Seafood Safari entry

In the INEX Legend Race Car event "Blankets" Joey Braun scored his first win of the 2022 campaign at his home track. Popular "V-Ride" Mike Van Houten showed the way at the throw of the green, Jerry Curran chased the leader for the first lap before Jim Sylvester who started 4th moved to second on lap 2. Sylvester, a former champion in the class was able to wrestle the lead away from Van Houten on a third lap double file restart and one lap later Michael Benton passed "V-Ride" for second. However there were two other drivers doing work early on as Joey Braun was on the move from the 8th starting berth and Ray Fitzgerald was coming through the field from 21st heading towards the front.

On the 7th lap Braun got by Benton with an inside pass in turn two and just a lap late using the inside lane again "Blankets" hustled his way under Sylvester for the race lead entering the third corner. Once to the lead Joey Braun was able to pull away some while Jeff Farruggia Jr. made a move to second on lap 8 during a double file restart. However high flying Ray Fitzgerald was on the march and got by the teenage drive on lap 11 for second.

When the exciting contest concluded Joey Braun and his Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers team celebrated his 8th career win which oddly enought ties him with Fitzgerald and Sylvester for 7th on the all time win list. Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping racer, Eric Hersey of Commack completed the podium in third with his Grillin Villain entry.

The six features washed out will be made up on a date to be announced.

DYLAN SLEPIAN RACES TO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED VICTORY SATURDAY

June 11th

By Bob Finan


After going without a win in 2021, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills quickly found his way back to victory lane at Riverhead Raceway in 2022 when he topped the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature event Saturday night. The win was the 5th of Dylan's career. New York Mets pitching star Jacob deGrom took in the action with his family Saturday while he rehabs from injury.

Chris Turbush raced his way from the pole to the early race lead at the drop of the green but there was a hungry Dylan Slepian waiting in the wings. Turbush, a 46-time winner in three other classes at Riverhead held serve until lap 4 when Slepian made a power move to the outside of Chris to take the lead on lap 5. Also in the mix among the top three was Chris Young who like Slepian was seeking to end a winless streak of his own. The race would run caution free until lap 21 when John Baker caught the front stretch wall with the right front with his damaged car coming to a halt in turn one. During the caution flag period a light rain began to fall but the moisture left as quick as it came and once the track was deemed safe for racing the action resumed.

On the restart Slepian stayed out front with Turbush second and Justin Brown third. Brown would make his move on Turbush with 15-laps to go in the tilt and once the young driver made his way to second Justin started to reel in race leader Slepian. Motivated with the thought of not winning in 2021 Slepian continued to hit his marks with Brown closing in as the laps clicked off. Not even a late race double file restart would keep Slepian from his mission to return to victory lane despite Brown throwing all he could at him in hopes of scoring his first ever NASCAR Modified win.

At the conclusion Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills took home the victory in his Eastport Feeds Chevy. "It's great to be back here" Dylan proclaimed in the winners circle. "After not winning last year it is that much more satisfying, then throw in all the work my owner Rob Pelis and my guys did during the week after the damage from last week, just a testament to who we are as a team". Pelis and Slepian field a self built NASCAR Modified machine the built themselves a couple of winters ago.

Justin Brown of Manorville continues to knock on the door of victory with a second place finish in the Motorcycle Mike Attorney At Law Chevy. Earlier in the day Brown took a selfie photo with deGrom in the first and second turn. Chris Young of Calverton crossed the line third in the Sendlewski Architects Chevy with the team cars of Dave Brigati of Calverton and Chris Rogers of Patchogue fourth and fifth.

Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach topped the 20-lap Super Pro Trucks feature event for his 6th career win in the class. 2022 Rookie of the Year driver Matt Triola raced out to the early race lead besting all time leading winner Lou Maestri who started from the pole. Lap 3 found Rennick who started third on the grid slipping by Maestri for second. Over the first 14 laps of the race it was Matt Triola showing the way and as the laps wore down many thought a first career win was in the offering. However the tested tough veteran Rennick was having none of that as on lap 15 Jimmy made an outside pass on Triola for the lead. Over the final laps Jimmy Rennick kept the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy out front for the popular victory, celebrating with a post race Cannoli. Like Brown in the Mods, Matt Triola of Bay Shore is close to a career first win but had to be content with second in the Cesspool Pros entry Saturday. Defending champion Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was third in the River Walk Bar & Grill Chevy.

Prior to winning the INEX Legend Race Car portion of the 2021 Islip 300 weekend Cameron Bolin of York, SC never even flew over Riverhead Raceway let alone race it. After Saturday night Bolin might just set up a camper on the property as he is two-for-two after winning the 30-lap feature event Saturday. Matter of fact Bolin scored a clean sweep on the evening after setting fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.398 earning him the pole. When the race started Bolin, steering the Stan & Jen Morabito owned Benimax Trucking Coupe raced right our to the lead with Jason Castaldo filing into second. Castaldo, who won earlier a few weeks back in his M3 Technology machine stayed in Bolin's tire tracks but never really got close enough to make a serious bid for the win and would come home second at the finish. Former champion and all time leading winner Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches raced his way to a third place finish in the Hampton Fleet Service mount after starting 5th.

The Street Stocks clicked off a non stop 20-lap feature event and when it concluded Greg Harris of Riverhead made his return to victory lane for his third career win. Early on Danny Pizzo set the pace over the first five circuits of the race with Harris right on his bumper. As the field raced off the fourth turn to start the 6th circuit, Harris made his move ducking under Pizzo for the race lead, Once out front in the SGS Stone Works Chevy Harris would have late race worries when defending champion Dave Antos, who swept the first two SS races of the season raced his way to second. However Harris kept his cool and drove off to the popular win. Antos, of Lindenhurst was second in the JTEC Electric Monte Carlo while Danny Pizzo of Holbrook was third in the Momo's Sports Bar Chevy.

Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays took over the second spot on the all time win list for the class when he topped thier 20-lap feature event for his 7th career win. Mujsce is now just one back of leader Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge on that list with both drivers still active in the class. Mujsce, who won the May Meltdown less than a month ago rebounded from his second race that didn't go so well by leading all 20-laps of the contest for the win in his Mike's Auto Service of Quogue racer. Andrew Farnham of Baldwin was second at the line in his sponsor wanted machine while Tony Collinsworth of Calverton was third in the Walls of Fame Cobalt.

Darren Krantz Jr. of Huntington is now two for tow on 2022 as he topped the 15-lap INEX Bandolero Bandits feature in his Raceforkids.com entry. This win was no walk in the park for DJ, who won the night before at the famed Seekonk Speedway. Ben Morabito of Miller Place was all over Krantz during the race even taking the lead for a spell. However Krantz roared back to reclaim the lead and eventual win. Morabito was runner-up in the Benimax Trucking racer with Rodeny Dowless Jr. of Dix Hills third in his sponsor wanted car.

The 15-lap INEX Bandolero Outlaw feature was also a barn burner with Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia in his Hollis Court Collision machine taking his second win as many races in 2022. Gavin Romano of Riverhead broke to the early race lead and for the first 14 laps looked as though a first career trip to the winners circle was forthcoming. As the race started to wind down Rommeney was all over Romano for the race lead with the two teammates racing nose to tail every step of the way. As the duo came off the fourth turn for the white flag Romano in traffic hesitated just for a second allowing Chevy Rommeney to sneak by for the race win leading just the final lap. Romano in the Mil-Aero Solutions racer was runner-up with Tucker Bock of East Hampton third in the Bock Auto machine.

Returning to his old stomping grounds Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge topped the 40-lap Gut & Go Enduro leading from green to checker in his MSM Motorsports Chevy. Frank Raynor of North Sea was second in the Raynor Landscaping racer while John Palmeri of Lindenhurst placed third in the J&J Towing entry.

In a 12-lap School Bus Figure Eight race second generation racer Timmy Lento of Medford scored his first career win topped an all-star field of bus drivers. Lento took over the lead just prior to halfway and over the final laps had to thwart the effort of the Rommeney brothers, Kevin and Michael before he could lay claim to the winners trophy, Kevin Rommeney of East Meadow was second, Michael "Cheesebox" Rommeney of Bohemia third.

JOHN BEATTY JR. MASTERS LATE RACE RESTART TO TRIUMPH IN THE FLYING DUTCHMAN 90 SATURDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

June 4th

By Bob Finan

A late race caution flag with four laps left shuffled the deck Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in The Flying Dutchman 90 NASCAR Modified event and when the dust settled John Beatty Jr. of Merrick master the late race restart to capture a milestone 10th career win. A strong field of 27 Tour Type Modifieds turned out for the race celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Fred Harbach's winning the final race of his career leading to the track championship on September 19th,1992.

Qualifying fell to Timmy Solomito of Islip who won the Pro's Choice Racing $200 pole award with a lap of 11.527, John Beatty Jr. was second at 11.623 with John Baker of Brookhaven third with a qualifying lap of 11.639. Fred Harbach's daughter Joanne Harbach-Kitzen dropped green flag on the the 27-car field with pole sitter Timmy Solomito breaking out front early over John Beatty Jr.. Timmy quickly gained himself a comfortable enough margin over Beatty, even winning the $112 bonus for leading lap 12 which he sponsored through his Natural Design Concepts and Apparel in honor of Joe Hodge. Despite a congested track with 27 starters the laps clicked off without incident over the first half of the race, unfortunately for leader Solomito the first caution would wave a lap 58 for an incident that took him out of the race and potential victory. While working the third and fourth turn a lapped car just in front of Timmy spun around in turn four with the leader having nowhere to go, clipping the spun car with his right front suffering race ending damage.

When the race resumed John Beatty Jr. was now out front with Tom Rogers Jr. second but the caution would quickly waved again on lap 61 for Chris Turbush and Dave Brigati tangle. Just after that restart Eddie Brunnhoelzl III who started 5th threw his hat into the ring passing Rogers for second on lap 63. After a seven lap green flag run the caution waved again on lap 68 for a spinning Kyle Ellwood in turn four. On the ensuing restart Brunnhoelzl would get the measure of Beatty for the lead taking the top spot on lap 69. Beatty was also passed by defending champion Kyle Soper who moved to second on lap 70. Brunnhoelzl, whose grandfather and father both raced against Fred Harbach seemed poised to collect his second career NASCAR Modified win at Riverhead but fate would step in with a mile left in the contest when a yellow flag waved on lap 86 for JR Bertuccio's disabled car in turn four.

With the choose cone only being used for extra distance races in 2022 what happened when the field realigned was somewhat shocking when second place driver Soper chose the inside behind leader Brunnhoelzl allowing Beatty to move alongside the leader for the final restart. When the green waved for the final time John Beatty Jr. drove his car for all it was worth and it paid off as he was the new race leader on lap 87 with Brunnhoelzl and Soper trying to chase him down in the waning laps.

When the checkers waved John Beatty Jr. flashed under them first in his MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy, "Truly an honor to win a race run for Fred Harbach" Beatty proclaimed exiting his car. John earned an extra $890 for the win from the Harbach family. "Eddie had a good car but I knew it was now or never on that last restart" Beatty continued, "hats off to my car owner Mark S. Mina and my guys, they work their tails off to put the best car under me when we race".

For runner-up Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown and his North Fork Sanitation team they was left to winder what could have been if not for that late race caution. Eddie earned a $290 bonus for the Harbach family as did third place finisher Kyle Soper of Manorville in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Fourth place went to John Baker of Brookhaven earning $100 bonus from Danielle Quilligan, while JB Fortin of Holtsville was fifth earning $190 from the Harbach family in bonus money.

In Crate Modified action Michael Berner of Patchogue roared to his fourth career win when he led all 25-laps of their main event Saturday. Starting on the pole Berner wasted no time in getting his Diesel Pro Chevy out to the race lead with Eddie Schutze giving chase over the first half of the race. On lap 13 second year Crate Modified driver Chase Grennan flexed his muscles moving by Schutze for second and setting his sights on leader Berner. However it would be a bitter results eight laps later for Grennan when he spun after contact on lap 20 drawing a caution flag. With a five lap dash for the cash remaining Berner was now pursued by opening night winner Eric Hersey for the final green flag run with the young talent holding on for his first win of 2022. Hersey of Commack was runner-up in the Jack Anthony Pools Chevy with Owen Grennan of Glen Cove third in the Merkenti Construction entry.

Defending Figure Eight champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley won the 15-lap feature event for his first win of the year. Pedersen with a rare pole starting spot broke to the lead early chased by sophomore pilot Ryan Warren. On lap 10 during a double file restart Warren got the measure of Pedersen taking the lead on lap 11 and for a spell looked as though he'd pocket his first career win. However just after taking the white flag Scott Pedersen roared back to take the lead and the victory in his Land, Air & Water Environmental Camaro. Warren of Ridge was second in the South Bay Sayville Auto Repair Cadillac while Gary Fitz Jr. of Mastic Beach in his sponsor wanted racer was third.

Another 2021 champion grabbing a win Saturday night was George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue who won the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature. Staring third behind the front row of Christopher Coleman and Mike Van Houten Jr., George wasted no time in making a bold move to take the race lead before the first lap was completed. Nick Morabito quickly came to second behind Tomko and would chase race leader Tomko until a late race double file restart on lap 16. On that restart Tomko in his Montauk Distilling machine would remain out front with Eric Hersey who started 8th making his way by Morabito for second. With just a mile remaining George Tomko Jr. raced off to his fourth career win while Eric Hersey settled for second in the Silver Fox Racing mount. Nick Morabito of Miller Place came home a solid third in the Benimax Trucking entry. The race was red flagged when former champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa flipped in turn one destroying a brand new race car. Jim was treated and released from Peconic Bay Medical Center, sore but otherwise okay.

After missing the first Eddie Partridge Vintage All Star event due to illness, former five time NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe of Water Mill took the lead on lap 3 and never looked back to score the win in his Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier. Opening event winner Tony Ferrante Jr of New Hyde Park was second in the Ferrante & Son Inc Chevy while Mark Miller of Hauppauge was third in the Meade's Fabrication Cavalier.

Tested tough Enduro veteran Woot Lawrence of Southampton won the 40-lap Truck Enduro in his Gregor Well Drilling "grocery getter". Phil LaManna broke to the early lead over his son Brandon but Lawrence would interupt the family reunion when he came to second on lap 2. Over the following 18 laps LaManna and Lawrence would swap the lead with Lawrence taking control as the field received the halfway signal on lap 20 and drove to victory, while LaManna later fell out of the race. Mariah Lawrence, Woot's sister and defending champion was second in her sponsor wanted truck while Dusty Cole of Seaford had a stellar run for third in the Cole Boys Racing entry.

SCHOOL BUS FIGURE EIGHT THRILLS SET FOR RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SATURDAY JUNE 11TH

June 3rd

By Bob Finan


Another action packed evening of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series and family fun is headed to Riverhead Raceway Saturday June 11th with a School Bus Figure Eight race highlighting a eight division program. The INEX Legend Race Cars will kickoff their 2022 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with a 30-lap feature event with time trial qualifying to set a majority of the field.

Whether you are a first time visitor or long time veteran fan of Riverhead Raceway the sight and sounds of 13-ton School Buses racing around the tight confines of the quarter mile is quite something to behold. Add is the traffic at the crossover of the Figure Eight course and anything could happen and usually does. One bus that will catch everyone's eye will be the entry of "The Punisher" Paul Fox of Riverhead. Fox, a heavy recovery operator by trade has painted his bus as a tribute to the late Eddie Partridge. The Fox machine is painted red with white and blue stripes like the TS Haulers material trailers of Eddie Partridge. "Kev-O" Kevin Rommeney of East Meadow will again be flying the colors of the the Suffolk Masonic District with that combination winning a School Bus Demolition Derby last summer. Several other School Bus teams are readying their chariots for action Saturday night.

The INEX Legend Race Cars are again turning out in numbers in 2022 at Riverhead Raceway with Anthony Marsh of Riverhead notching the opening night win May 14th, while Jason Castaldo of Shirley topped the May 21st 20-lap main event, both are hoping to book a return trip to the winners circle Saturday. Heading into racing June 4th, Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville, Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches, Jim Sylvester of Massapequa, Mike Benton of Springs, Collin Hoeffner of Bay Shore, Eric Hersey of Commack, Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead, Chase Van Houten of Wading River and Nick Morabito of Miller Place were in the top ten of the 2022 championship chase. Benton, Hoeffner, Van Houten and Morabito hope to earn their first career wins in the 30-lapper.

In action as well June 11th are the mighty NASCAR Modifieds, Super Pro Trucks, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, INEX Bandoleros and a wall to wall brawl Gut & Go Enduro. Spectator gates will open at 4:00 pm, adults $30, kids 6-12 $10 with 5 & under free. A race day event schedule will be available during the week leading up to June 11th at www.riverheadraceway.com. E-mails reach us at [email protected], while the phone number is 631-842-RACE

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY CELEBRATING 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRED HARBACH'S 1992 CHAMPIONSHIP WITH THE FLYING DUTCHMAN 90 SATURDAY JUNE 4TH

May 27th

By Bob Finan


It was a magical night September 19th, 1992 at Riverhead Raceway with an ending not even the best Hollywood script writer could have ever imagined. Prior to the '92 NASCAR Modified season at Riverhead Raceway, Harbach, then 55 announced that year would be the last of his storied 40 plus year driving career. In typical "Flying Dutchman" fashion Fred not only went out and won his final race but sewed 1992 NASCAR Modified championship to boot in his final race.

Longtime track announcer Bob Finan recalls the circumstances well, "it was a typical Fred Harbach season, always in the top five taking care of his equipment" Finan recollected."However as we raced through August the championship chase came into focus and heading into that final night it was the tested tough veteran in Harbach against the up and coming young driving stud Brian Miller for the title" Bob further recalled. In the final 35-lapper Fred Harbach would find his way to the race lead and earn his 21st career Riverhead Raceway win and the track championship, Fred's second at the eastern long Island bullring.

This Saturday June 4th Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fred Harbach's final race and all that went with it presenting The Flying Dutchman 90, the first of six races in the 2022 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup. "No matter the level of Fred's success he remained very popular with his competitors and the fans, oh how they loved being around the X-90 after the races" Finan added. Aside from his exploits at Riverhead Fred attained much in the way of success at both Islip Speedway and the New Egypt, NJ Speedway where he was multi time champion pocketing numerous race wins along the way.

Finan also revealed a special treat for the race Saturday, "Alex Kitzen, Fred's son in law is hopeful of having the X-90 Cavalier that Fred win his final race and track title in on hand Saturday for the race. This is not a replica or mach-up, this is the actual Cavalier that was soaked in champagne after the last race in 1992". Alex, known as AJ Kitz in the Vintage race car world recently had the McBetts Race Engine redone in the car and hopes to compete in the Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars 15 lap feature with it. Alex and his wife JoJo Harbach Kitzen also own the Miceka #18 blue coupe that Fred won many a race in and are also currently refurbishing one of Fred's Pinto race cars after receiving it back from Carl Miller. The enclosed trailer that transports the cars also doubles as a museum to Fred Harbach and will be at Riverhead Saturday.

Looking ahead to Saturday and The Flying Dutchman 90 two teams will especially be ready to go all out for the win having ties over the years with Harbach. Kyle Soper of Manorville, the reining NASCAR Modified champion drives for Wayne Anderson with whom Harbach had many a bullring battle. No matter if it were Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, Anderson and Harbach were swapping paint at New Egypt, Riverhead or Islip and a victory in the Flying Dutchman 90 would be very special for Wayne and his Eastport Feeds team.

"The Fancy Farmer" Dave Brigati of Calverton is another driver whose racing career was influenced by Fred Harbach. When Dave began his driving career in the Charger division he did so in a car that was painted and lettered to mirror the X-90 NASCAR Modifieds. Brigati grew up in Melville, just south of Fred's hometown of Huntington Station with Brigati stopping by T&F Auto Body picking Harbach's brain for driving tips, Fred always obliged as he did with so many young drivers over the years. Dave recently won the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77, a victory in The Flying Dutchman 90 would be just as special. Not that long ago for the Islip 300 Brigati wrapped his 98x NASCAR Modified duplicating the X-90 in tribute to his racing hero.

Other teams wanting to take home the special trophy for the Flying Dutchman 90 include Chris Young of Calverton, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, John Baker of Brookhaven, Justin Brown of Manorville, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown, Artie Pedersen III, Chris Turbush of Wading River and Jack Handley Jr. of Medford.

Complementing The Flying Dutchman 90 for the NASCAR Modifieds Saturday June 4th are the Crate Modiifeds, Figure Eights, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and a Truck Enduro. Spectator gates will open at 4:00 pm, adults $30, kids 6-12 $10, 5 & under free. Pits will open at 2:00 pm, pit admission is $40 with NASCAR/INEX license, $60 without.

REGISTRATION FOR 2022 RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SEASON AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH TRACK WEB PAGE

February 21st

By Bob Finan


The 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series season is just two months over the horizon at historic Riverhead Raceway and competitors are encouraged to register their car numbers and drivers information for the new season quickly. Saturday May 7th will serve as opening night for the 72nd year of stock car racing and family entertainment events with a seven division program featuring the NASCAR Modifieds planned for the lid lifter.

For 2022 track GM John Ellwood recently disclosed management over the off season have streamlined the car and driver registration process, "competitors must visit our new web page, www.riverheadraceway.com to find our car registration form. That is the exclusive avenue to find & complete the drivers information form as well as the $52 per car number registration fee" John confirmed. He also added in person registration and payment were no longer an option for race teams, "We have streamlined the process for all involved". John also stressed the importance of completing the IRS W-9 form, "teams are reminded to complete this portion of the registration process" Ellwood encouraged, "without completion a car number can not be issued. Also please make sure the tax form is filled out in the name of the owner, race team name or team LLC if other than the driver". No cars are permitted to take to the track without having first registered.

Once logged onto www.riverheadraceway.com click the Competitor's Page link to arrive at the Car Registration form. Attached to that form are the 2022 NASCAR License and INEX Membership application forms. INEX Licenses are available to the driver of a Legend Race Car or Bandolero unless said driver is a minor allowing a parent or assigned guardian to purchase a INEX License. All other Legend and Bandolero team members can either purchase a NASCAR License or pay an additional $20 to enter the pits, a policy available to NASCAR teams as well.

The 2022 on track activity will come to life at Riverhead Raceway with two pre-season practice sessions Saturday afternoon April 23rd and April 30th. Free grandstand admission will again be offered to spectators with normal pit fees in place for the competitors garage area. Chief of Inspection Randy Murray will be announcing the pre-season Safety Technical Inspection dates shortly.

SEAN GLENNON TEAMING WITH BENIMAX RACING FOR 2022 CRATE MODIFIED SEASON AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

February 3rd

By Bob Finan


As the off season between 2021 & 2022 winds down, Sean Glennon of Northport is counting down the days to opening night at Riverhead Raceway Saturday May 7th. That evening Glennon, 23 will make his debut with a new race team Benimax Racing of Miller Place owned by Stan Morabito. If the Benimax name sounds familiar it should as the organization won the previous two Crate Modified championships at Riverhead in 2020 and 2021.

"I am pretty pumped up about getting this opportunity" Glennon said recently after returning from an indoor Go-Kart event in Atlantic City, NJ. "A mutual acquaintance introduced me to Stan & Jen Morabito of Benimax", Glennon recalled, "we started talking about the logistics of it all and were able to put this program in place". Sean revealed marketing partners who have supported his Crate Modified and Super Pro Truck efforts are joining him at Benimax Racing. "Stan & Jen are very involved with their sons Nicky and Ben's budding racing careers" Sean noted, "with my family team sponsors, LTE Drainage, R&R Brothers Electric, Rittenhouse Properties, Related Services, Mike Ryan Cesspool and After Dark Lighting agreeing to make the move with me to Benimax Racing things quickly fell into place. I can't thank all those partners enough for all they have and continue to do for us".

Glennon came to the Crate Modified ranks in 2019 and impressed right out of the gate finishing second to Dave Brigati of Calverton in the championship chase. 2020 saw Glennon place third in points behind champion Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches and Owen Grennan of Glen Cove. Unfortunately 2021 found Sean missing time due to a physical ailment costing him a good chuck of the season. Entering the 2022 campaign Glennon is a two time winner in the Crate Modifieds, along with four Super Pro Truck victories. As for the family owned truck and what lays ahead Sean commented, "part of me moving to Benimax Racing allows my father more time to focus on Glennon Construction, working all day then on the race cars is very demanding. We may bring the truck out a few times, we'll see".

After winning the 2020 and 2021 Crate Modified titles, Richie Davidowitz and the Benimax Trucking team amicably decided to part ways.

While making the announcement Glennon disclosed Benimax Racing car chief Greg Kleila, a former Late Model standout will continue to oversee the team and set the car up from Greg's Island Fabricating headquarters in Amityville, as well remain the team spotter. "The two practice days at Riverhead on April 23rd and 30th are going to be key" Sean looked ahead, "can't wait to hit the track and see how we all sync up, I'm really excited".

The Crate Modifieds will be a busy division during the 2022 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series going to post for a scheduled 18 events, including their first ever 100-lap race Saturday July 16th.