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JOHN BEATTY JR. IN RIGHT PLACE AT RIGHT TIME FOR THIRD RIVERHEAD RACEWAY VICTORY OF 2024

By Bob Finan

June 23rd, 2024
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Summer is barely two days old; but the heat was turned up Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway, not even a 90-minute rain delay could cool the hot Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series on track Schools Out Extravaganza excitement. When the dust settled at the conclusion of the 50-lap NASCAR Modified event, defending champion John Beatty Jr. of Merrick scored his third win over the past five races. While skill and speed earned Beatty his first two triumphs of 2024, this win came with a sprinkling of some good racing fortune.

Kyle Ellwood, making his first start of the season with Ken Matlach Motorsports, with whom he won the 2023 Crown Jewel Series Ted Christopher Cup with, broke from the pole into the race lead over Mark Stewart who started alongside. Yellow flew for a Tom Sekulski solo spin on lap 7 bunching the field up, Chris Young worked his way past Stewart for second on the restart. The race only went another four laps before the second caution flew for Timmy Solomito who spun and hit the third turn wall after battling with Stewart for third. Timmy, along with Michael Rutkoski who had nowhere to go were done for the race. Again, Ellwood mastered the second restart with Young remaining second. The race settled in for an extended green flag run that found Ellwood getting away from all comers.

As the race hit the 30-lap mark the driver on the march was JB Fortin, the former Islip 300 winner came from deep in the field to challenge Young for second, successfully making a pass on lap 35. Fortin was now left with the daunting task of trying to reel in the high-flying Ellwood, a task that became easier when a late race yellow flew on lap 44 for an incident involving Young and Stewart in the fourth turn. With six laps left in the contest Fortin lined-up to the right of Ellwood for the resumption of the race. Ellwood edged out front over Fortin when the green reappeared, but Fortin was not throwing in the towel riding the outside lane. Things really intensified as the duo took the white flag with Fortin holding an advantage over Ellwood. The duo touched off the fourth corner and racing to the first corner on the final lap Ellwood got into Fortin sending him into a spin. The yellow flew and during the caution Ellwood was sent to the rear of the field by race control, Kyle opted to head pit side.

That wild turn of events left John Beatty Jr., who found himself third after the Young/Stewart dust up as the new race leader with Dave Brigati now second for the green, white, checker finish. When the race went back green to complete the final two laps, John Beatty Jr. drove the MSM Elite Motorsports entry to his 13th career win, tying him with Frank Vigliarolo Jr. for 31st all-time. Afterwards, Beatty admitted they may of stole one, "We were just a little off tonight, don't know if we had a bad tire or what it was. I hate to win this way but when the leaders got together and went to the rear, we had one fall our way".

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was able to race his way to second over the final two laps, charging from deep in the field earlier in the Hydro Action Chevy. Veteran Dave Brigati of Calverton was third in the Coors Light Silver Bullet. CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove also came from deep in the field for fourth while Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills placed fifth.

The Super Pro Trucks competed in a 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series event and just like the Modifieds provided an intense late race fight for the win. Sean Glennon of Northport, making his first start of 2024 took the victory. Glennon and Jack Handley Jr. made up the front row for the event and raced side-by-side in line-up formation over the first 7 circuits, an appetizer for things to come later. After Handley took sole possession of the tilt on lap 8, Jack was able to find some breathing room over Glennon with the race remaining green. That all came to a grinding halt when Jimmy Rennick Jr. stalled with a distributor issue on lap 24 drawing a caution flag. Side-by-side for the restart Handley and Glennon waged war for the win over the final six laps with Handley holding the slight advantage. Glennon kept fighting alongside the leader and as the duo came off the fourth corner to what was sure to be a photo finish Sean Glennon took the win in the Glennon Construction machine by 0.103. It was the 9th time Glennon won a SPT event. Jack Handley Jr. in the East Side Building Toyota settled for second while Mark Stewart of Riverhead completed the podium in the Amish Electric racer.

CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove entered rarified air Saturday when he won his first career Street Stock event, leading green to checker in a 20-lap affair. For Lehmann it marks the fifth division he has won in at Riverhead as he boasts NASCAR Modified, Crate Modified, Figure Eight and Charger wins prior. Only Dave Brigati and Tom Rogers Jr. has won in five classes previous. Steering a car that was built over the winter as "a father/son bonding" in CJ's words, Lehmann outran pole sitter Alyssa Paprocky to the race lead when the race started, with Brian Brown quickly coming to second. Brown spent the entire distance of the non-stop race trying to find a way past the 1977 Nova bodied racer of Lehmann but to no avail as CJ took home the win. Afterwards CJ thanked his sponsor, himself. Brown of Calverton brought the Eastport Feeds machine home second while Alyssa Paprocky of Rocky Point was third in her Middle Country Automotive Chevy.

CJ Zukowski of Riverhead took home the win in the Mini Stock feature, a scheduled 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series race cut short five laps by rain. Defending champion Joe Cooke Jr. paced the race over the first 8-laps pressured by Zukowski. After several laps of sizing up Cooke for the lead, Zukowski executed what would be the winning pass off the fourth turn as the field started the 9th lap. Cooke chased Zukowski for two laps before dropping out with a flat. That left Tony Collinsworth and Chris Olivari left to challenge the leader. On lap 25 a red flag waved for a fire on the Eoughan Hayward entry on the infield, Hayward exited the car unharmed. During the red flag the rains came starting the 90-minute delay. With 25-laps complete CJ Zukowski in the Walls if Fane Cavalier earned his first win of 2024, the 8th of his career tying him for third all-time with Mike Mujsce Jr. Chris Olivari of Coram was scored second in the Middle Country Automotive machine with Tony Collinsworth of Calverton third in the Walls of Fame entry.

In her first ever start at Riverhead Raceway, 8-year-old, third generation racer Leighton Van Houten of Wading River won the 10-lap Bock Auto Beginner Bandolero feature. Opening night winner Daxx Halpin, celebrating his 8th birthday broke to the early race lead but was soon under attack from his cousin Leighton. As the family feud exited the fourth turn to start the 4th lap. Van Houten threw her Riverhead Building Supply Bando to the outside passing Halpin for the lead and eventual victory. Halpin of Wading River was second in the Mike Van Houten Trucking mount with Leighton's other cousin, Wyatt Goodale of Riverhead third in the GAF Roofing Bando.

No question Emmett Grattan of Southold has come into his own this season, with the driver of the Southold IGA Bando scoring his second straight Bock Auto Bandolero Bandit 15-lap victory. Aria Ligon, winner of the final two races of 2023 broke out front early but Emmett Grattan made a successful pass for the top spot entering the first turn on lap 3. Once out front, Grattan hit his marks to remain perfect this season having won both races to date. Brooke Meyer of Riverhead, another vastly improved driver came home second in the WES Trailer Sales & Service Bandit, with defending champion Reid Halpin of Wading River rallying from an early race spin to finish third in the Mike Van Houten Trucking entry.

Defending Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place by earning 10th career win Saturday became the all-time leading Bandolero winner at Riverhead Raceway, breaking a tie with former champion Darren Krantz Jr. of Huntington. After Will Sipala paced Giavanna Agugliaro over the first two cycles, Morabito made his way to second on the third lap sneaking under Agugliaro in the first corner. A Jordan Ryan spin drew a yellow flag on lap 3, with the ensuing restart all Ben Morabito needed to put the MC-11 prepared Benimax Trucking entry out front. for good. Ben is also two-for-two in '24. Will Sipala of Manorville was second at the finish in the Riteway Automotive Center machine, while Giavanna Agugliaro of Islip scored her best Outlaw finish with third in the Cesspool Pros entry.

Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge made up from his Mini Stock disappointment with victory on the 40-lap 4/6-Cyinder Gut & Go Enduro that concluded the long night of racing & rain delays. Mike Mujsce Jr of Hampton Bays was third, Chris Olivari of Coram completed the podium.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Dave Brigati 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Dylan Slepian 6. Chris Young 7. Tom Rogers Jr. 8. Chase Grennan 9. JB Fortin 10. Justin Brown 11. Chris Rogers 12. JR Bertuccio 13. Kyle Ellwood 14. Owen Grennan 15. Tom Sekulski 16. Mark Stewart 17. Timmy Solomito 18. Michael Rutkoski

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Sean Glennon 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Mark Stewart 4. Frank Dumicich Jr. 5. Matt Triola 6. Dave Koenig 7. Lou Maestri 8. Rob Corwin 9. Cillian Tennant 10. Liam Patrick 11. Frank Dumicich Sr. 12. Erin Solomito 13. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 14. Brandon Hubbard 15. Tony Naglieri

Street Stocks: 1. CJ Lehmann 2. Brian Brown 3. Alyssa Paprocky 4. Max Handley 5. Gerard Lawrence 6. John Harley 7. Dennis Kurras 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Charles Sudano 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Jarrod Hayes 12. Ricky Carman 13. Jake Curran 14. PJ McGay 15. Bob Dalke 16. James DiPietro 17. Kyle Halpin 18. Anthony Cacioppo 19. Danny Pizzo

Mini Stocks: 1. CJ Zukowski 2. Chris Olivari 3. Tony Collinsworth 4. Joe Warren Jr. 5. Paul Wojcik 6. Ryan Warren 7. Jake Innes 8. Tyler Farrell 9. Eoughan Hayward 10. William Garcia 11. Hunter Cummings 12. Marissa Stewart 13. Joe Cooke Jr. 14. Charles Astacio

Bandolero Beginner: 1. Leighton Van Houten 2. Daxx Halpin 3. Wyatt Goodale 4. Mackenzie Ulmet DNS- Emily Gatz

Bandolero Bandits: 1. Emmett Grattan 2. Brooke Meyer 3. Reid Halpin 4. Mason Goodale 5. Aria Ligon 6. Antonio D'Alonzo 7. Layla Quilliam 8. John Alaimo 9. Blake Grattan 10. Christian Ryan DNS-Tyler Oxee

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Will Sipala 3. Giavanna Agugliaro 4. Thomas Grattan 5. Kix Bock 6. Tucker Bock 7. Madison Tomaszewski 8. Madison White 9. Ayden Alvarado 10. Michael Berry 11. Jordan Ryan 12. Grace Cheslak

Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Mike Mujsce Jr. 3. Chris Olivari 4. Mike Mujsce Sr. 5. Eric Germuth 6. Joey Palmeri Jr. 7. Mike Mujsce III 8. Franky Abbatiello 9. David Olivari 10. John Palmeri 11. Ed LaSpina 12. Mark Duerwald 13. Vinny Abbatiello 14. Steve Jappell 15. Anthony Paretta 16. Chris Smith 17. Mike Kowalski 18. Jack Handley Sr. 19. George Astacio 20. Jack Tessa 21. Ryan T Warren 22. Wendy Rommeney 23. Bob Dalke 24. Melissa Tofalli 25. Talon Russell 26. Will Farrell 27. Jesse St. Clair 28. Tyler Farrell 29. Aiden Farrell 30. Michael Halfen 31. Charkes Astacio 32. Frank Raynor 33. Robert Sherry 34. Donald Meyer 35, Mina Timmons DNS-Mike Fragola

LATE PIT STRATEGY PAYS OFF FOR JOHN BEATTY JR WITH $9,455 VICTORY IN OVAL SPEED UNLIMITED BUBBA 150

By Bob Finan

June 9th, 2024
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As the laps clicked off Saturday in the 5th annual Oval Speed Unlimited 150 NASCAR Modified event at Riverhead Raceway, John Beatty wondered if he and his team's strategy to pit late in the race would leave them the only car not to pit for a change tire. Those fears were quelled when a caution flag flew with 28-laps left allowing Beatty of Merrick to pit for his new right rear tire. That, with some well-placed late cautions put John Beatty in position to win his second race in three weeks at Riverhead Raceway, earning $9.455 including lap money.

In Righteous Window Cleaning pole qualifying defending Bubba 150 race winner Timmy Solomito of Islip won the $200 bonus with a time of 11.520, barley edging out the 11.524 posted by John Beatty Jr. JB Fortin was third turning in a lap of 11.577. When quizzed by track announcer Stephen Halpin if he would except the HighMark Building Efficiency Challenge of $5,000 to drop to the rear of the field (19th) and win, Timmy, to the surprise of many replied, "I am going to try and win my 26th career feature from the rear." Everyone on hand and watching on Flo Racing now knew they were about to see a show.

The race, run in memory of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo, long time Bill Park team member got underway, John Beatty raced out front from the pole with JB Fortin in tow. Fortin was passed for second on lap 11 by WMT invader Craig Lutz. The race would settle in for a long green flag run which was just fine with leader Beatty who was pocketing $10 per lap led, while Lutz collected $6 per circuit in second. On lap 87 Tom Rogers Jr. drew a caution flag with a solo spin and pit strategy started to play out with teams pitting on the infield for all to see. Lutz, Justin Brown, Solomito and Fortin were among those in and around the top five to duck into the pits while Beatty stayed on track, as did Chris Young, but Young pitted on the first caution of the race for his change tire.

When the race resumed it took Young armed with a fresher right rear than Beatty 10-laps to work his way by to take the race lead after the lap 88 restart. Beatty would soon fade from second on lap 106 as Craig Lutz worked his way to second behind Young, while Beatty started to fade further into the lower half of the top ten. On lap 122 the caution that Beatty so needed flew for a Roger Turbush solo spin. The yellow not only allowed Beatty to pit, but the ensuing restart would change the complexion of the race as well. When the field came back to green Young and Lutz raced side by side for a lap dicing for the lead. One lap after returning to green Young and Lutz made contact off turn four with Lutz's night ending with right front damage having to pit for repairs.

That left Timmy Solomito the new race leader with Justin Brown alongside for the restart, Timmy just 27-laps away from a potential $10,000 plus payday. When the race resumed on lap 124 Solomito led Brown, but right behind them was a very fast JB Fortin sitting third. Fortin, looking for a second straight win worked his way past Brown on lap 126 for second, quickly setting sail for leader Solomito. The car on the move however was that of John Beatty Jr. who quickly caught and passed Fortin for second on lap 140. With just ten laps to go, question became could Beatty catch leader Solomito in time. As the laps moved along Beatty was right on Solomito's rear bumper when the yellow flew for a JR Bertuccio spin on lap 144.

With the field lined up for a six-lap shootout business was about to pick up in a hurry. After the green waved Chris Rogers who made his way to third saw an opening and took it briefly passing both Solomito and Beatty with a bold three wide maneuver. Before Rogers could lead a lap, Beatty was able to duck under both he and Solomito exiting the second turn to take the lead with just four laps left. Solomito was the odd man out losing several spots in the jingle while Rogers moved to second.

With the dueling checker flags waving in the air, a victory that seemed to be get away from him late in the race with his worn right rear, came back to John Beatty Jr. in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy. "It's truly an honor to win Bubba's race, I know how much he meant to Dennis Freese of Oval Speed and Team Park" Beatty offered post-race, "I was really wondering if we gave one away with our pit strategy, but it all worked out in the end." As to the wild ending he added, "Timmy is one of the best here, things got wild for a second and we put ourselves in a position to win, would have been fun to battle him. I am especially happy for my owner Mark Mina and my team and family who sacrifice so much so that we can do this".

In victory lane Beatty was presented the $5,000 Race Winner bonus from the family of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo. Then Rich Gerbe of HighMark Building announced since his challenge was not won by Solomito, he would take the $5,000 and award $1,000 to each of the top five teams because as he put it, "the best Modified drivers race right here at Riverhead Raceway. what a race" Gerbe proclaimed. Additional bonus money earned by the Elite Sound Studio driver included $1,105 in lap money, Natural Designs Most Laps Led, $250, Ryan Preece Racing Halfway Leader $200, Ryan Preece Racing Lap 40 & 41 Lap Leader $100

Chris Rogers of Patchogue turned more than a few heads with his runner-up showing in the Coors Light Chevy, earning the $200 Steve Park Hard Charger Award. Chris also won the Luck of the Draw $200 bonus from Dennis Freese & Wayne Anderson. Mark Stewart of Riverhead was in the mix all race long before placing third in the Cromer's Market entry. CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove impressed with a fourth-place effort after a two-year layoff, Owen Grennan of Glen Cove has a solid outing in fifth.

Michael Berner of Patchogue found a unique gift for his sister Madison's birthday, a victory in the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified 25-lap feature. When the line-up was drawn for the event after qualifying heats, Berner was slated to start on the pole. As is his option he chose to start on the outside of the front row alongside Stephen Coleman. When the green flag dropped to start Berner, a six-time winner in the class broke to the early race lead with Vinny Delaney passing Coelman for second on lap two. From that point forward Berber, nephew of Tom Rogers Jr. hit his marks over the remainder of the race securing his 7th career win, first of 2024 in the Planet Earth Recycling & Recovery machine. Joey Braun of Manorville worked his way to second on lap 6 where he'd finish in the Goodfellas Auto Chevy, while Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace came home third in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm racer.

One week prior, Cody Triola of Bay Shore and Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace were at each other's throats, on and off the track. This week after warnings from track officials and a pre-race chat the duo had on their own, the two raced hard for the 20-lap Blunderbust victory. Laird broke from the outside pole to lead the first 9 circuits of the tilt with Joe Densieski chasing. On lap 8 Cody Triola passed Densieski for second. Quickly the moment of truth arrived as Triola pulled alongside Laird to challenge for the lead. After a short, but spirited fight for the lead Cody Triola had the Cesspool Pros entry out front where he would keep it for his second win of 2024, 12th of his career. Jim Laird Jr. in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice was runner-up, Joe Densieski of Riverhead third in the Hydro Action Chevy.

Couple of weeks back Ben Morabito at 13 years old became the youngest INEX Legend Race Cars winner ever at Riverhead Raceway. Saturday in the 20-lap feature event 12-year-old Rodney Dowless Jr. of Dix Hills replaced Morabito with an impressive victory. Early on veteran drivers Jason Castaldo, Richie Davidowitz, Kyle Ellwood and Kevin Nowak all tussled up front prior to halfway. Circumstances would befall those drivers eventually, leaving Castaldo the leader over Jayden Glennerster. However, that running order didn't last either as Rodney Dowless took the lead on lap 11 with Ray Fitzgerald and Castaldo in hot pursuit. If the pre-teen driver was going to win, he'd have to fend off two of the best in Fitzgerald and Castaldo to do so. Poised beyond his years behind the wheel Rodney Dowless Jr. in the Island Thrift entry scored a very popular victory. Castaldo of Shirley in the M3 Technology machine moved by Fitzgerald of Manorville in the EP Milling & Sweeping mount late for second. Ray was third.

The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars had a rough outing, with five cautions dotting their 15-lap race. When the dust settled Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park in his Tom Baldwin tribute A-Plus Auto Salvage Cavalier scored his second career win. Don Howe of Water Mill was second in the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier, Tom Pickerell of Huntington third in the Kevin Bacik owned Tony Hirschman tribute car.

NASCAR Modified Bubba 150: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Chris Rogers 3. Mark Stewart 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Owen Grennan 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. JB Fortin 8. Timmy Solomito 9. JR Bertuccio 10. Chris Young 11. Roger Turbush 12. Justin Brown 13. Dylan Slepian 14. Michael Rutkoski 15. Dave Brigati 16. Craig Lutz 17. Tom Rogers Jr. 18. Matt Brode 19, Lou Strohl

Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Berner 2. Joey Braun 3. Vinny Delaney 4. AJ DeSantis 5. Chase Grennan 6. Stephen Coleman 7. Max Handley 8. Mike Albasini 9. Andrew Farnham 10. Kyle Ellwood 11. Tom Sekulski 12. Eric Hersey

Blunderbusts: 1. Cody Triola 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Joe Densieski 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Tom Sullivan 6. Brad Bess 7. Emily Hubbard 8. Joe Boccia 9. Liam Macwhinnie 10. Steven Fried 11. Mike Fragola 12. Eddie Diaz 13. Bill Wegmann Sr. DNS-Matt Triola

Legend Race Cars: 1. Rodney Dowless Jr. 2/ Jason Castaldo 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Chevy Rommeney 5. Joey Braun 6. Riely O'Keefe 7. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Kevin Nowak 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. Jayden Glennerster 12. Ray Stulz 13. Pat Moore 14. Chris Sinatro 15. Ryan Barbieri 16. Phillip Alaimo 17. Alex Halinar 18. Charles Hodge 19. Rich Braun 20. Steve Harding 21. Will Sipala 22. Christopher Coleman 23. Richie Davidowitz 24. Anthony Marsh 25. Ed Stadtlander 26. Kyle Ellwood

Vintage All Stars: 1. Sal Accardi Jr. 2. Don Howe 3. Tom Pickerell 4. John Jasinski 5. Frank Saladino 6. Billy Auer 7. Bill Murray 8. Vinny Sireco 9. Mike Siraco 10. Don Conradis 11. Mark Miller 12. Jimmy Reed Jr.

News - January 2023


Doubleheader Weekend to Usher In 73rd Season of Racing At Riverhead Raceway Saturday May 6th & Sunday May 7th

By Bob Finan

January 25th, 2023
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Entering their eighth season as owners and promoters of Riverhead Raceway, Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz announced the 2023 schedule of events at the annual championship awards ceremony in early January. The new schedule is once again packed full of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing as well popular and entertaining family fun programs. The curtain goes up on the busy '23 campaign with a double header weekend May 6th & May 7th. Saturday night seven NAAWS divisions go to post on opening night, while Sunday afternoon finds the annual May Meltdown Enduro opener complemented by the INEX Bandolero racers.

The weekly Saturday night program runs from May 6th through September 30th featuring the NASCAR Modifieds as the headlining division. Sixteen regular season, championship points paying races are slated for the Modifieds during the spring/summer, six of which make up the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the 3rd annual Ted Christopher Cup. The chase for the TC Cup starts with the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 which moves up to a June 17th date for '23. The Crown Jewel Series quickly returns July 1st for the 73rd Year Celebration/Flying Dutchman tribute race. A yet to be titled, distance to be determined fourth Crown Jewel Series event is slated for July 29th and will be followed by the 4th annual Oval Speed Unlimited Bubba 150 on August 19th and the Palm Tree 160 September 23rd. The Ted Christopher Cup will be determined and presented at the conclusion of the 7th annual Islip 300 Saturday afternoon November 11th. Races that are not part of the Crown Jewel Series will be 50-laps in feature distance.

Kyle Soper of Manorville and his Eastport Feeds team will be aiming for their fifth NASCAR Modified track championship over the past six seasons in 2023, while John Beatty Jr. of Merrick is expected to defend his 2022 Crown Jewel Series title that yielded his MSM Elite Motorsports team the Ted Christopher Cup last November.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is gearing up for three events in 2023 at Riverhead. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 will get things going on Long Island for the WMT troops Saturday May 20th, followed by the Miller Lite Salutes Mike Ewanitsko 200 on June 24th and concludes with the Eddie Partridge 256 September 16th. During the second stop of the WMT the tour and Riverhead Raceway will honor and salute Mike Ewanitsko, the all-time leading winner of WMT races at Riverhead with 11 victories. Mike will serve as Grand Marshall for the Miller Lite 200. The third WMT race will celebrate the life and vision of the late Eddie Partridge, two years after his untimely passing.

All six champions of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series are expected to defend their 2022 championship starting with the May 6th opener. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters, (Late Models), Owen Grennan of Glen Cove (Crate Modifieds), Scott Pedersen of Shirley (Figure 8), Cody Triola of Bay Shore (Blunderbusts), Sean Glennon of Northport (Super Pro Trucks) and Eric Hersey of Commack (Legends) are all currently working with their respective teams preparing for a title defense. All six support classes will partake in the three race Miller Lite Triple Crown Series dotted through their season.

The dust will barely settle from opening night when it leaps back into action for the May Meltdown Sunday afternoon May 7th. The Street Stock and Mini Stock racers get right down to business as both will kick off their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series during the opener and are joined by the Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and Gut & Go Enduro divisions. 2022 champions Dave Antos of Lindenhurst (Street Stocks), Andrew Farnham of Baldwin (Mini Stocks), Woot Lawrence of Southampton (Trucks), Pat Collins of Southampton (8-Cylinder) and John Palmeri of Lindenhurst (Gut & Go) are expected to defend their 2022 championships. All five Enduro classes when not racing during the two Sunday shows this season will be in action on select Saturday evenings during the year. The 2023 Enduro season will conclude as it started, with a Sunday stand alone show on September 24th

The wildly popular INEX Bandoleros are back for season three kicking off at the May Meltdown with the Bandit and Outlaw classes in action. Ben Morabito of Miller Place scored the Bandit title in '22, while Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia topped the Outlaw championship chase. The highlight of the 2023 INEX Bandolero schedule finds the youngsters part of the two Wednesday night special in August.

A plethora of family fun nights are scheduled to entertain young and old alike at the historic oval. Fireworks are set for the 73rd Year Celebration July 1st and return for I Love America Night on August 12th. School Bus events are plentiful this spring/summer with School, Bus Figure Eight events on May 13th and June 3rd followed by hard hitting School Bus Demolition Derby contests July 15th and Wednesday evening August 2nd. The car crushing fun of Monster Trucks return for the Night of Destruction July 22nd along with the special midweek Back To School Spectacular Wednesday evening August 23rd. The National Stock 4/6-Cylinder Demolition Derby will be presented on First Responders Night September 9th.

Two Wednesday night midweek specials will be presented on August 2nd and August 23rd.

Two Saturday afternoon practice days have been set aside by track management featuring free grandstand admission, they will unfold on April 22nd and April 29th.

Competitors should register their 2023 car number and update all information pertaining to their race team as soon as possible. Teams should visit www.riverheadraceway.com and click on the Competitors Page to find and complete the mandated form. Car numbers are not considered reserved until all information is correctly filled out and a confirming e-mail is received in return.

The complete 2023 schedule of events can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

News - March 2023


Two Free to The Public Riverhead Raceway Practice Days Announced for April 22nd & April 29th, Enduro Opening Day Moved Up to Sunday April 30th

By Bob Finan

March 29th, 2023
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Baseball fans have spring training to look forward to during a long off season, but if you are a race fan on Long Island you very much look forward to the two practice days at Riverhead Raceway signaling another exciting race season is right around the corner. Today track officials announced Saturday April 22nd and Saturday April 29th as the two practice days with the tradition of free grandstand admission remaining in place for eager race fans. Also, track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz revealed the Enduro Opening Day program has been moved up one week to Sunday April 30th starting the new race season a week earlier.

During the off-season race teams have been planning and working towards the 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opener at Riverhead on Saturday May 6th. The practice days afford teams the opportunity to find out how their winter efforts will pan out and to make any further adjustments they hope land them in victory lane. Fans are encouraged to capture as many photos as they can of the cars in their new livery for the 2023 campaign and share them on social media. The two free admission practice days also serve as a good vehicle for loyal race enthusiasts to introduce to their friends, family and neighbors the sport they love at no cost.

John Ellwood, GM of Riverhead Raceway disclosed the agenda in place for race teams April 22nd and 29th. The pit window will open at 8:15, with pit gates to swing open at 9:00 am. At 11:00 am both weeks race cars take to the famed quarter mile in the following order, Blunderbusts, Street Stocks, Super Pro Trucks, Crate Modifieds. Late Models, INEX Legend Race Cars, NASCAR Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Eddie Partridge All-Star Vintage Cars, INEX Bandoleros and Figure Eights. NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series teams will practice in rotation until 4:00 pm, followed by the Truck Enduros, 8-Cylinder Enduros and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go warm-ups that run until 5:00 pm.

All race teams are reminded by GM John Ellwood and Chief of Technical Inspection Randy Murray that no race vehicle can take to the track without first going through and passing a Safety Inspection. Two Safety Inspection days proceed practice days on Saturday April 8th and April 15th at the track from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm with a $20 fee per car. On practice days the Safety Inspection process will start shortly after the pit gste opening at 9:00 am. Additionally Ellwood also warned teams that no cars can practice without registering a 2023 car number. That process can only be completed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com, click on the Competitors Page link to find the Car Registration portion. No car number will be registered at any point of the season in person, no exceptions.

Under the heading why wait a week, Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz recently decided it was best to move up the Enduro Opening Day to Sunday April 30th. Pit gates will open at 10:00 am, with practice starting at 11:00 am. Practice will be limited to only divisions racing Sunday, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, INEX Bandoleros, Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro classes. The Street Stock and Mini Stock divisions get right down to business as they both run their first race of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series, with classes in both utilizing heat race qualifying for feature event line ups. Heats start at 12:30 pm, opening ceremonies are set for 1:00 pm, spectator gates open at 12 noon.

For a complete schedule of events please visit www.riveheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] with the phone number 631-842-RACE.

Preseason Safety Inspection Dates Announced for Riverhead Raceway April 8th & April 15th

By Bob Finan

March 15th, 2023

With 2023 Speedweeks firmly in the rearview mirror, Riverhead Raceway announced today two preseason safety inspection days Saturday April 8th and Saturday April 15th. Weather permitting, both inspection days run from 10:00 am through 3:00 pm and kickoff a busy month of April leading up to the 73rd season opening weekend Saturday evening May 6th and Sunday afternoon May 7th. Riverhead Modified teams competing with the NASCAR Spec engine package can have their engines sealed by NASCAR WMT officials during the April 15th inspections.

Riverhead GM John Ellwood along with Randy Murray, the veteran Chief of Inspection remind all competitors no race vehicle will be permitted on track at any point in 2023 until passing a safety inspection and are outfitted with a sticker showing they have passed. A $20 per car fee will be charged both days with teams reminded by Ellwood of one very important requirement for both days, "under any circumstances can a race motor be started during our inspection days. If teams park a distance away from the inspection area, we will provide you with a push truck to get you where you need to be and back".

Ellwood added, "We want to thank NASCAR and WMT Director Jimmy Wilson for making available to our Modified teams the availability of having their Spec engines sealed April 15th. They've started a busy season but still are making the trip which we appreciate greatly". For his part Randy Murray noted if time and weather conditions permit he and his staff would seal engines and carburetors if possible.

Race teams who have not yet registered a car number for the 2023 season are reminded they must complete that process in its entirety before hitting the track. If the form is deemed incomplete a number will not be issued. To register a car number visit www.riverheadraceway.com, click on the Competitors Page link, there is a $52 per car number registration fee. This process can't be completed at the track in person, no exceptions.

The two safety inspection days lead up to on track testing for the 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Saturday April 22nd and Saturday April 29th. The two afternoon practice days feature free grandstand admission for spectators while regular pit fees in place for race teams.

The 2023 race season gets underway with a doubleheader weekend planned by Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz for May 6th & May 7th. Saturday evening the NASCAR Modifieds, Late Models, Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars usher in a new Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series season. Sunday afternoon the annual May Meltdown program hits the track featuring the Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, INEX Bandoleros, Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and a Gut & Go 4/6-Cylinder Enduro.

The complete 2023 event schedule can be viewed at www.riverheadracewaay.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected]. Our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Riverhead Raceway Announces Three 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Dates, Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 Set for May 20th

By Bob Finan

March 5th, 2023

While Riverhead Raceway is the shortest track visited by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the demanding bullring nestled on Eastern Long Island will again be the most frequented by WMT teams in 2023. Track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz have inked three dates for 2023 with Riverhead Raceway anchoring the 19 event WMT schedule. The first WMT stop at the demanding but always exciting bullring features the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 Saturday evening May 20th.

"It's going to be a busy year for the WMT" proclaimed track GM John Ellwood, "Connie, Tom and I are super excited that Riverhead Raceway will be right in the thick of things in deciding the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship through our three races". Indeed there is cause for excitement for the '23 WMT dates as in 2022 each of the three races told a very different story. Last May, just days before the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200, Doug Coby of Milford, Ct., was announced as a substitute driver for Jimmy Blewett in the Tommy Baldwin Racing entry with Coby promptly winning the race. Fast forward to over a month later where four-time track Modified champion Kyle Soper of Manorville scored one for the home team winning the Miller Lite 200 becoming the first weekly Riverhead driver to win a WMT event since 1995. For the third WMT stop last season history was made when infield pitting was introduced at the inaugural Eddie Partridge 256, a race won by Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, notching his 9th career WMT triumph at his home track.

The first WMT stop of 2023 at Riverhead unfolds Saturday evening May 20th with the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200. Joining the WMT stars are the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars. A month later the WMT troops return to Riverhead for what promises to be a very special evening, the Miller Lite Salutes Mike Ewanitsko 200 Saturday June 24th. The race will celebrate the always popular and successful Mike Ewanitsko who ranks first in NASCAR WMT victories at Riverhead with 11. Ellwood noted, "Mike remains a polarizing personality whenever he visits the track, especially Riverhead and we feel it is time to honor his successes & popularity". Ewanitsko will serve as the Grand Marshall for the night that includes the Crate Modifieds, Super Pro Trucks, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks.

The 2023 WMT visits wrap up with the 2nd annual Eddie Partridge 256 Saturday September 16th. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Director Jimmy Wilson in conjunction with Riverhead Raceway officials announced that the infield pitting procedure introduced last year will be in place again for the 256. The first two Riverhead WMT races will use the "hot pit" set-up in the track pit area. The Late Models, Blunderbusts, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars round out the program.

Make your plans now to join us for one, or all three of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events at Riverhead Raceway in 2023. The 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opens up Saturday May 6th with seven divisions in action. The next stop for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is Friday March 31st at the Richmond Raceway. Weekly Riverhead racing as well all WMT events can be streamed live on the Flo Racing platform.

To view the 2023 track schedule please visit www.riverheadraceway.com and click the events link, e-mails reach us at [email protected]. The phone number is 631-842-RACE

News - April 2023


Extreme Weather Forecast Forces Riverhead to Scrub Saturday Practice & Sunday Enduro Opener, Setting Up Opening Weekend Doubleheader May 6th & May 7th

By Bob Finan

April 28th, 2023
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Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz faced with an extreme weather forecast for the weekend decided Friday afternoon to call a halt to the Saturday afternoon practice session and Sunday's Enduro Opening Day. This sets-up an exciting and big doubleheader opening weekend this weekend May 6th and May 7th. Saturday evening the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series goes to post with seven divisions headlined by the NASCAR Modifieds, while the Enduro opening day also hosts seven exciting feature events Sunday afternoon.

"It's a tough weekend to be in the short track business on the east coast" surmised Riverhead GM John Ellwood, "tracks from New England to Florida have had to pull the plug in advance due to the extreme forecast". Indeed as of 2:00 pm Friday updated weather app forecasts called for 90% chance of rain Saturday on Long Island, with an 80% chance forecast for Sunday.

The chase for the 2023 championships gets underway Saturday for the NASCAR Modifieds. Late Models, Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars. Qualifying gets started at 5:15 pm with opening ceremonies planned for 6:15 pm. General Admission gates open at 4:00 pm. Competitors should note Modified and Crate Modified haulers will enter from 11:00 am until 12 noon, at which time the pit gate officially opens. Rotating practice starts at 3:00 pm, a 4:30 pm drivers meeting will be held.

The Street Stocks and Mini Stocks get right down to business Sunday as they both run 30-lap openers for the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. The Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandits and Outlaws along with a Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro join the Sunday festivities. Qualifying is set for 12:30 pm, followed by opening ceremonies while the general admission gates open at 12 noon. Race teams on Sunday can expect pit gates to open at 10:00 am with rotating practice set for 11:00 am.

Adult general admission for both events is priced at $30, kids 6-12 $15 with 5 & under free.

For a complete listing of all 2023 events please visit www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Wayne Anderson Announces Retirement From 58 Year Racing Career, 2023 Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified Title Up for Grabs

By Bob Finan

April 25th, 2023
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During the off season on Long Island the whispers grew louder and louder on the status of the four time and defending Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified championship pairing of Wayne Anderson and driver Kyle Soper. With a short, simple Facebook posting published April 3rd. Anderson gave the first indication writing, "plenty of race car equipment for sale, also tools, air & electric" Just days later Wayne Anderson confirmed after 58-years in the racing game he was indeed liquidating his race shop inventory, preparing to retire. With Anderson's retirement, plus Kyle Soper having no current racing plans, the 2023 Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified title fight will be wide open starting opening night Saturday May 6th.

"Kyle indicated he wanted to pare back to a part-time schedule for 2023" Anderson revealed, "I understand, he just got engaged, is flourishing in his business career and wants to focus his energy there, but I wanted to continue full time". Right after celebrating their fourth Riverhead Raceway Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Riverhead Raceway and New York State championship in early January it was clear the tandem, who won 25 features together including the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77, Islip 300 and Miller Lite NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event last summer were not going their separate ways. It was at this point Wayne, 76 had to make some hard decisions, "we thought about putting another driver in the Anderson Motorsports/Eastport Feeds #15, but at this stage of the game my family, friends and sponsors and I figured this was good a time as any to call it a day".

Wayne praised the effort Kyle Soper and his family brought to his team, "Kyle, his father Tom and the entire Soper family are first class" Wayne noted, "what a magical racing carpet ride we rode together" Indeed the Anderson/Soper combination that came together midway through the 2017 enjoyed instant success winning the 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 track championships while combining for 25 victories.

For his part Kyle Soper reflected on his time at Anderson Motorsports, "I am greatful for Wayne and Joette Anderson, Doug and Maura Corwin of Eastport Feeds, they let me achieve things most people only dream about". Kyle, 27 furthered, "yeah, I wasn't too interested in full time anymore, work is really busy and real life for me is starting. I don't have any plans to race as of now in 2023, but honestly have not looked either". Soper's NASCAR Modified has won 29 NASCAR Modified events (4 with family team) ranking him 11th on the all-time win list.

The word iconic might not do justice to the accomplishments of Wayne Anderson during his illustrious career that began with winning the 1965 Rookie of the Year at Islip Speedway, racing alongside his famed father Axel. All told won 32 features driving at Riverhead, earning him five track championships along the way in 1982,'87,'88,'90 & '91. The 32 wins ties him with Bill Park for 6th on the all-time win list. As much success as Wayne, who was inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 enjoyed as a driver, his statistics as an owner at Riverhead are as impressive. Wayne enjoyed an additional five championships as an owner for Shawn Solomito in 2016 along with the four Kyle Soper earned in 2018, '19, '21 & '22. Four drivers would combine to give Wayne 45 victories at the wheel of the Eastport Feeds Chevy led by Soper's 25 wins. Timmy Solomito won 10 times, while brother Shawn added 8 wins while Donny Lia and the late Ted Christopher winning once.

In addition to his Riverhead Raceway exploits Wayne Anderson won the 1994 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship and was a two-time track champion at both Islip Speedway and New Egypt Speedway.

Looking back at all he accomplished Wayne was quick to share the credit, "I was blessed during my career with some great marketing partners along the way. Sayville Ford, Insula-Dome Skylights and Eastport Feeds paved the way for those wins, championships and all the accolades". Wayne also thanked his family, "my wife Joette, daughter Melissa sacrificed so much for me so we could do what we did, it was a heck of a ride".

Riverhead GM John Ellwood has announced that the prominent first pit stall along the fence at Riverhead Raceway, occupied for so many seasons by the #15 will be titled The Wayne Anderson Championship Pit Stall, awarded annually to the championship team from the previous season. With Wayne Anderson and Kyle Soper not returning that stall will go to 2022 runner-up John Beatty Jr. and his car owner Mark Mina of MSM Elite Motorsports. There will be more tributes during the 2023 season that Ellwood and staff will announce at a later date.

With the vacating of the NASCAR Modified championship by the Anderson/Soper combination the race for the 2023 title is expected to be wide open starting with the Saturday May 6th opening night 50-lap feature event. The NASCAR Modified are joined on opening night by the Late Models, Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars.

The complete 2023 schedule of events can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] while out phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

JR Bertuccio Quickest NASCAR Modified Testing During First Riverhead Raceway Practice Day

By Bob Finan

April 22nd, 2023
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A new race season dawned on Long Island Saturday afternoon as Riverhead Raceway hosted the first of two pre-season practice days leading up to the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opening night May 6th. After five sessions of NASCAR Modified testing was completed, 2002 track champion JR Bertuccio of Centereach was quickest on the day.

Bertuccio, wheeling the Gershow Recycling entry went a 11.702 in the second session of the day. JR with his father/car owner Joe started the 2023 season off running the first NASCAR WMT event in February at New Smyrna Speedway, however due to a lack of crew availability by-passed the second WMT race in Richmond back in March. Both Bertuccio's were tight lipped about the remainder of their racing plans for 2023 but given his 28 career wins coupled with Saturday's performance, if they opt to race Riverhead instantly become a threat for the 2023 championship. John Beatty Jr. and his MSM Elite Motorsports team, runner-up in the 2022 NASCAR Modified championship chase were second overall on the day going a 11.713 in the fourth session. Dave Brigati of Calverton was third quick overall with his Coors Light Silver Bullet turning in a lap of 11.720 in the final session.

Bertuccio wasn't the only one blistering the track during the afternoon. After taking a season off to start a family, Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead showed no signs of rust in the Eastport Feeds entry as he was the quickest Late Model on the day going a 12.643 in the 2nd session. The fastest Crate Modified of the day was Sean Glennon of Northport in the LTE Drainage Chevy clicking off a lap of 12.516 in the fourth session. Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace in his Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice was the fastest Blunderbust of the day with a lap of 14.465 in the third session. Jack Handley Jr. in the River Walk Bar & Grill Super Pro Truck was the fastest Super Pro Truck at 13.329 in session number three. The speediest INEX Legend Race Car of the afternoon belonged to NoMo Motorsports driver Kevin Nowak of Medford who toured the track at 13/419 is the third session. Defending INEX Bandolero champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place was quickest in his Benimax Trucking racer with a lap of 14.922. The Figure Eight cars were part of the practice day festivities but their scoring loop was unavailable and no times were recorded.

Readying for their season opening event this Sunday April 30th plenty of testing and tuning unfolded among teams in five race divisions. Gerard Lawrence of Rocky Point runner-up in the 2022 Street Stock championship chase was fastest on the afternoon going a 13977 in the third session while defending Mini Stock champion Andrew Farnham of Baldwin was quickest in his class with the Ken Matlach Motorsports entry going a 14.864 in the second session. Marian Lawrence of Southampton, the 2021 Truck Enduro champion was fast in her Unique Golf machine turning in a lap of 15.509 in the second of four sessions. Kevin Feeney of East Quogue topped the 8-Cylinder Enduro testing going a 15.135 in the first session is his sponsor wanted Chevy while Zach Tyler of Cutchogue was the quickest Gut & Go car turning in a 15.500 in his Miller & Caggiano Attorneys @ Law racer.

The second Riverhead Raceway practice day is set for this Saturday April 29th, again featuring free grandstand admission for spectators. Race cars take to the track at 11:00 am

Then it's right down to business Sunday afternoon April 30th with the Spring Enduro program. The Street Stocks and Mini Stocks get right after it as both will run 30-lap feature events, first race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. The INEX Bandolero racers will be in action with feature events for the Bandit and Outlaw classes, with the Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and a 4/6-Cylinder Enduro completing the exciting opener for the 2023 season. Pit gates will open at 10:00 am, practice is set for 11:00 am with qualifying set for 12;30. Spectator gates open at 12 noon, adult admission is $30, kids 6-12 $15 with 5 and under free.

The complete 2023 race schedule can be viewed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] and our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

News - May 2023


Chuck Steuer & Keith Gordon Set for Induction On Cromarty Wall of Champions Prior to Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 at Riverhead Raceway June 17th

By Bob Finan

May 31st, 2023
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Over the past weekend during the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event at Riverhead Raceway, track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz announced that Chuck Steuer of Bohemia and Keith "Flash" Gordon of Miller Place will be inducted onto the Cromarty Wall of Champions Saturday evening June 17th. The inductions of the two soft spoken drivers, both multi time track champions proceed the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial for the NASCAR Modifieds.

Chuck Steuer started his Riverhead driving career in the popular Charger division, quickly winning 8 features events from May of 1991 through August of 1992, he would capture the 1992 Charger championship. As much talent Steuer showed behind the wheel, he was also a noted fabricator, building his championship Charger car with close friend Tom Ryan. When it was decided by Steuer, his family and sponsors to go NASCAR Modified racing they purchased their first car from legendary "Tiger" Tom Baldwin. It didn't take Steuer long to find his way to victory lane in the highly competitive NASCAR Modified ranks of Riverhead Raceway, scoring his first of 19 career wins May 28th, 1994. Two years later, Chuck and the Northeastern Office Equipment team celebrated the first of two NASCAR Modified titles in 1996. Ten years later after racing off Long Island for a spell, Chuck claimed his second Modified championship in 2006. His final Modified victory came in the Cromarty Cup 50 on July 3rd, 2010. Chuck's nineteen victories rank 22nd on the all-time win list.

These days Chuck Steuer is busier than ever in racing with son Dillon. The younger Steuer drives and prepares the Zubi's Racing 358 & Big Block Modified machines for events in upstate New York, Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Chuck's long- time friend, car owner and sponsor Grant Williams of Northeastern Office Equipment remain involved in Dillon's dirt racing ventures. Dillon, who is also racing a partial Riverhead schedule in the Ken Matlach Motorsports entry will compete in the night's Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77.

Strapping into an always immaculate S&P Sanitation machine Keith "Flash" Gordon was also a quick learner when it came to winning races and the championships that came with those wins. Keith's first of 10 Charger conquests came on opening night 1985 on Saturday April 27th. That was the first night Riverhead Raceway became the Saturday night home of NASCAR home track racing after Islip closed at the end of the 1984 season. One season later Gordon captured what would be the first of three Charger championships in four seasons, winning the 1986, '87 & '89 championships. Keith's final trip to Charger victory lane was in July of the '89 championship campaign. Down the road Keith would author a Late Model victory on August 23rd of 1997 driving as a teammate to Peter Bertuccio at Gershow Motorsports who went on to win the 1997 LM championship.

While not at the track often these days, Keith, a noted fabricator in addition to his driving prowess now enjoys his Rat Rod and other classic cars at various car shows and meets in the Tri-State area.

The Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 will be the first race in the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup. The 2022 race winner Kyle Soper is not expected to be in the field to defend his race win having taken a step back from racing. Last July Timmy Solomito, Dylan Slepian, John Beatty Jr. and Matt Brode finished second through fifth, most if not all four drivers hope to contend for the 2023 victory. Mike Christopher Jr., Michael Rutkoski, JB Fortin, Jack Handley Jr. and Dave Brigati all posted top ten finishes in the 2022 event.

Joining the Cromarty Wall of Champion inductions and the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 on the June 17th program are the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and 8-Cylinder Enduro.

Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, qualifying starts at 5:30 pm with opening ceremonies at approximately 6:30 pm. Adult general admission is $30, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free.

The complete 2023 schedule of events can be viewed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at office @riverheadraceway.com, the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds & Blunderbusts Highlight Busy Saturday at Riverhead Raceway June 3rd, School Bus Race to Conclude Program

By Bob Finan

May 30th, 2023
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With Memorial Day weekend in the mirror, Riverhead Raceway speeds into summer this Saturday June 3rd with a busy seven event Advance Auto Part Weekly Series program. Two classes, the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds and Blunderbusts kick off their 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series during the program, that will conclude with a wild School Bus race on the tight quarter mile oval.

Three Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I Modified events have been run to date in '23 with three different winners, Timmy Solomito of Islip, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead scoring wins. Will that trend continue Saturday in the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature is the question with drivers like Dave Brigati of Calverton, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Dylan Slepain of Dix Hills and Chris Young of Calverton just a handful of drivers hoping to make it four winners in four events.

Coming off a rough and tumble May 27th event teams that compete in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds will burn the midnight oil this week. Chase Grennan of Glen Cove, older brother and defending champion Owen and Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead have all won once this year, hoping to become the first repeat in the 40-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series lid lifter. Among the teams scrambling to repair damage for this past week are Sean Glennon of Northport, Dennis Krupski of Calverton, AJ DeSantis of Yaphank and Stephen Coleman of East Islip. A win Saturday would truly make all the thrashing during the week for those teams worthwhile.

The Blunderbusts return for competition with both defending champion Cody Triola of Bay Shore and Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace having already visited victory lane in 2023, both are favorites to win the 30-lap MLTCS opener Saturday. Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach, Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore and Tom Sullivan of Massapequa will be aiming for their first win of the season.

The INEX Legend Race Cars go to post in a 20-lap event Saturday with "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches going for his fourth win in a row. Over in the Super Pro Trucks who'll compete in a 20-lap tilt, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford hopes to go three for three in '23 having won the first two races. Also in action are the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro machines with another wall-to-wall brawl expected.

Once the stock cars are done doing their thing, the deck will be cleared for a wild School Bus Race with track management changing things up running this contest on the oval. Earlier in the season, 15-year old Chevy Rommeney of Oakdale in his first ever School Bus start took the win. The 2022 Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw champion hopes to go back-to-back Saturday.

Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm Saturday, qualifying starts at 5:30 pm with opening ceremonies at approximately at 6:30 pm. Adults $30, kid 6-12 $15, 5 & under free. The complete 2023 schedule of events can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Tom Rogers Jr. Wires Riverhead Raceway Modifieds for 62nd Career Win, One Away from Tying Charlie Jarzombek All Time

By Bob Finan

May 27th, 2023
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Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead made a triumphant return to Riverhead Raceway victory lane Saturday when he topped a caution free 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature. The win was the 62nd of Tom's NASCAR Modified career leaving him just one shy of "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek's all-time mark of 63. What maybe more concerning for Tom's competition came in a quick comment the five-time champion made post-race, "we made an adjustment, it's good, but we can make it better".

Armed with a pole starting berth Tom Rogers Jr. and his cousin Chris brought the field to green to start what turned out to be a fast paced 50-laps. Despite being related the Rogers boys went after each other pretty good early on with Tom holding the advantage. As the contest progressed dirt racing ace and inaugural Islip 300 winner Dillon Steuer was making his way towards the front with the likes of JR Bertuccio and Dylan Slepian. After making his way to second Steuer was then tasked with trying to erase the lead Tom Rogers Jr. was able to build, no easy task in a race with no interruptions. With 10 or so laps to go Steuer filled the mirror of leader Rogers but as mentioned on the Flo Racing stream, catching Tom would be one thing, passing him quite another.

When the race concluded Tom Rogers Jr., who in the closing laps found another gear was back in the winner's circle in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Chevy of Denise & Ken Darch. "Great to be back here" Tom boasted looking down at the checker flag. "Can't say enough about everyone who stuck by me, wasn't sure we'd get here again or how many more I have left, who knows one or two more of these, we'll see". Tom won the first of his 62 NASCAR Modified features on May 8th, 2004.

Dillon Steuer of Bohemia who sandwiched in his Riverhead visit in the midst of a dirt racing weekend at Bridgeport, NJ. Accord, NY and Lebanon Valley, NY finished runner-up in the Ken Matlach Motorsports Chevy. JR Bertuccio of Centereach had a good Gershow Recycling car early and claimed third at the finish. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick were fourth and fifth.

While the Modifieds went non-stop, the 25 lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified feature resembled Memorial Day holiday traffic on the LIE. When the dust settled Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead earned his second career feature event win in the Kelco Construction Chevy. At the throw of the green pole sitter Kyle Ellwood showed the way but numerous caution flags would slow the event. On lap 11, the "big one" happened off turn two when Stephen Coleman went around towards the front of the field collecting and ending the night for himself, Chase Grennan, Sean Glennon, Dennis Krupski and Chevy Rommeney. While green Ellwood driving the Rat Pack Racing owned entry had things under control at the front for the win. Max Handley of Medford in the Hydro Action machine was runner-up with defending champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy.

The Late Models ran the first of their 3 race Miller Lite Triple Crown Series events, a scheduled 40-lap affair that was cut to 27-laps due to time constraints. No matter 27, 35 or 40-laps, opening night winner Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead took the lead at the drop of the green and never looked back. When the race got underway McDermott, steering the Eastport Feeds entry moved out front with Artie Pedersen III tucking into second. With multiple double file restarts during the course of the shortened race, a cone race due to the extra distance McDermott would choose the bottom as did challenger Pedersen, leaving the top open with Jimmy Rennick Jr. gladly moving to the outside pole. When the green reappeared McDermott and Pedersen remained one-two, while Rennick was in a tussle with the likes of Chris McGuire and defending champion Shawn Patrick for third. After a two-car incident on lap 27, the field was placed in the proper running order and the race deemed official with Jeremy McDermott the winner. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was runner-up in the Shelby's Kitchen entry while Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach played the choose cone to his advantage for third in the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy.

The INEX Legend Race Cars also kicked off their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with a 30-lap tilt, a race like others that saw numerous cautions. However, in the case of the Legends, the many restarts provided plenty of excitement between three main players, Richie Davidowitz, Jeff Farruggia Jr. and Joey Braun. Every restart the trio of talented drivers went toe-to-toe jockeying for position, racing cleanly with little to no contact. Late in the contest Braun and Farruggia got after each other for second and at times that allowed leader Davidowitz slight breathing room. When all was aid and done Richie Davidowitz scored his third win in a row in 2023, 28th of his career in the Hampton Fleet Service mount. Joey Braun of Manorville with a late race pass finished second in the Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers entry while Jeff Farruggia of Riverhead continues to impress with a third in the AJ'S Painting machine.

Saturday in the 15-lap Bock Auto Bandolero Bandit feature, Reid Halpin of Wading River came full circle in his very young racing career scoring his first career win. In the summer of 2021, Reid visiting the Waterford Speedbowl on a Wednesday night was involved in a hard impact crash. On Saturday Reid, steering the MSM Elite Motorsports/East-West Management racer put that all behind him. Emmett Grattan broke to the early lead but was the victim of a no contact spin moving Reid Halpin to the lead. Once in the lead Halpin was able to get away from the field for a spell. However, as the laps clicked off Mason Goodale, in just his second start was on the move, but there would be no keeping Reid Halpin from victory lane and a jubilant celebration. Mason Goodale of Riverhead was runner-up in the Riverhead Building Supply racer while Emmett Grattan of Southold recovered from his early race spin for third in the Southold PBA machine.

In the Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw 15-lap feature Will Sipala of Manorville made a bold and daring move at the start of the race to come to the race lead. Like Halpin before him in the Bandits, Sipala drove to a comfortable lead and hoped for no caution flags. No were waved and it seemed Will had scored his first career win. Unfortunately, in post-race tech Will's entry did not pass muster and the win would not stand. That turn of events moved the 860 Motorsports Northeast machine of 2022 Bandits champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place into victory lane for the second time in as many races this year. Gavin Romano of Riverhead was second in the Mil-Aero Solutions racer while Cillian Tennant of Riverhead was third in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law entry.

The race of the night hands down was contested in the 40-lap Truck Enduro where Mariah Lawrence of Southampton, 2021 champion of the division thwarted off the late race challenges of Phil LaManna of Smithtown and Bobby Pease of Medford. Lawrence, wheeling her sponsor wanted General Lee saw a comfortable lead evaporate in the final 10-lap segment of the contest with LaManna and Pease hunting her down. Over the final five circuits lapped traffic was thick but Mariah was equal to the task scoring her first win of 2023. LaManna in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy was second with Pease in the Fit Spot Gym third.

Laird, Davidowitz, Antos & Howe Collect Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Prelim Victories Sunday at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

May 21st, 2023
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With rain pushing the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 WMT program to Sunday afternoon at Riverhead Raceway, four divisions from the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series also had to wait another day to race. The four features were split equally around the 200. Don Howe of Watermill topped the Eddie Partridge Vintage All Star event while Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace won the Blunderbust event prior to the 200. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches won his second straight INEX Legend Race Car event and Dave Antos of Lindenhurst bested the Street Stocks after the 200.

In the 20-lap Blunderbust popular racing veteran Tom Sullivan paced the race early on with Jim Laird Jr. quickly making his way to second. Laird, who had been fast all morning long in practice was able to muscle his way by Sullivan before the first quarter of the race was completed. After yielding the lead to Laird, Sullivan found himself in the clutches of Brandon Hubbard in a fight for second with Brandon claiming the position. Once to second Hubbard was able to keep the high-flying leader Laird in his sights but was never able to pull up to offer a challenge. When the race concluded Jim Laird Jr. earned his 13th career win in the Long Island Poultry Caprice giving him sole possession of 8th on the all-time win list. Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach was runner-up in the United Exhaust Shop entry, while Eddie Diaz of Centereach crossed the line third in the Gramercy Group racer.

"Big Money" Richie Davidowitz may have gone winless in 2022, but early on in 2023 he is proving that was a fluke as he scored his second straight INEX Legend Race Car victory. Joey Braun moved to the early race lead at the throw of the green with Davidowitz and Jeff Farruggia tucking in right behind. With an early green flag run Braun was able to keep his challengers a couple car lengths back but that was erased on lap 7 when Kendall Van Houten spun drawing a yellow. When the race resumed Braun maintained his lead at first but Davidowitz quickly crossed the leader over and by the time they hit the stripe to start lap 9 Davidowitz was the new race leader with Farruggia following in Richie's tire tracks to come to second. Over the final half of the race Richie Davidowitz, a UPS package truck driver during the week kept the Freddie & Megan Kraft back racer out front for his 27th career win, tops in class. Jeff Farruggia of Riverhead was second in the Chris Mohr Landscaping machine while Joey Braun of Manorville completed the podium in the Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers mount.

With a new qualifying heat race passing point system in place, defending Street Stock champion took full advantage of the new procedure passing more cars than anyone else in qualifying. That fete earned Antos, the all-time leading winner of SS races at the track the pole for the 20-lap feature. You can probably guess the rest. When the green light winked on Dave Antos quickly moved out front in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo and survived a restart along the way to post his 13th career victory. Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place was runner-up in the Blazin' Bagels Chevy while Jarrod Hayes of Calverton crossed the line third in the North Fork Sanitation entry.

The Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars had their season debut Sunday and when all was said and done former five-time NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe sat in the winner's circle at the end of 15-laps. Howe, along with former WMT regular Tony Ferrante Jr. started towards the back of the field but quickly made their collective way towards the front. Mark Miller in a Meade's Welding tribute car to former racer John Meade led the first half of the race while Howe and Ferrante made their way forward. On lap 8 Howe was able to make his way by Miller to take over the race lead, an advantage the driver of the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier never relinquished. Mark Miller of Hauppauge was impressive on the day with his runner-up finish, warding off third place finisher Tony Ferrantre Jr. of New Hyde Park in the Anthony Ferrante & Son Chevy in the closing laps.

Impending Weather Shifts WMT Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 to Sunday Afternoon At Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

May 18th, 2023
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Faced with a dire forecast for a 90% chance of rain over Riverhead Raceway Saturday, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour officials and Riverhead Raceway management jointly announced Thursday morning the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 would shift to Sunday afternoon May 21st. A more favorable forecast is predicted for Sunday. The race day itinerary has been moved up for the Sunday rain date, with the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 taking the track at 2:45 pm.

Jimmy Wilson of NASCAR in conjunction with Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz of Riverhead Raceway wanted to make a decision sooner rather than later with the hope of the advance notice aiding with adjusting travel plans and accommodations. The complete race program set for Saturday transfers to Sunday with the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars complimenting the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200. Riverhead GM John Ellwood announced the pit gates open at 8:30 am Sunday with a rotating practice for the Riverhead classes from 9:45-11:00 am. Final practice for the WMT runs from 11:15-12 noon. Spectator gates open at 10:00 am

Heat races for the local divisions starts at 12:15 pm followed by WMT single car qualifying at 1:30. At 2:00 pm opening ceremonies will be presented followed by the Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Star and Blunderbust feature events. At 2:45 pm the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 will be presented and upon completion be followed by the Street Stock and INEX Legend Race Car features. "It is the goal of NASCAR, Jimmy Wilson of the WMT and Riverhead Raceway to have the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 completed earlier in the day. This gives race teams and fans that have traveled to be with us ample time to get home at a reasonable hour" track GM John Ellwood noted.

The complete itinerary for Sunday can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com. General admission for adults is $40, kids 6-12 $20 with 5 & under free. Camping is available in the back parking area adjacent to the pit area and is free of charge, there are no hook-ups.

The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 will be streamed live on Flo Racing.

Riverhead Raceway Weekly Drivers Hoping for WMT Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday

By Bob Finan

May 17th, 2023
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When NASCAR released the official Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 entry list for the WMT event Saturday at Riverhead Raceway it totaled 30 race teams. Exactly one-third of the entrants are Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series teams who call demanding quarter mile bullring home on Saturday nights. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 will be the 71st start for the WMT since 1985 at Riverhead, local drivers have always pitted themselves against the touring drivers from race one.

2022 NASCAR Modified championship runner-up Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills has found recent success competing against the WMT regulars posting several top ten finishes over the past two seasons. Slepian and his Eastport Feeds team are hoping for more of the same, or better Saturday. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and his MSM Elite Motorsports Team will forever be linked with one of the most memorable WMT finishes in 2019 when he and Justin Bonsignore bounced off each other coming to the checkers with Bonsignore taking the thrilling win.

While most of his racing exploits over the past decade have been with the WMT, over the past few seasons Timmy Solomito of Islip has raced closer to home with his family car. Solomito won the Riverhead opener two weeks ago in his Natural Design & Concepts Apparel Chevy with his car wrapped in tribute to Wayne Anderson. It as Timmy's 21st career win at the track, 3 of which are WMT triumphs. Another driver sticking closer to home so far in 2023 is former champion and 28-time Riverhead winner JR Bertuccio of Centereach with his Gershow Recycling team.

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford won the most recent Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event Saturday, he and his Hydro Action team come to the 200 on a roll. Always ready for a good battle is second generation driver Chris Young of Calverton who has entered his CPC Pharmacal LFR. Matt Brode of East Islip came within five laps of scoring his first NASCAR Modified win Saturday and the driver of the Freightliner of Long Island Chevy will make his 4th Riverhead WMT start in the 200.

Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown as he has over the past two seasons will team with WMT veteran Gary McDonald of Ronkonkoma to drive one of two Lakeland Landscape Supplies machines Saturday, while Gary drivers the other.

After having his LFR clipped by Ed Flemke Jr. Chris Turbush of Wading River is burning the midnight oil to get his Mike Smith backed mount out for the 200 where he will be joined by brother Roger of Riverhead in his Rheem Air Conditioning Chevy. Roger scored a career best WMT finish in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 in September of 2021 with a third.

Joining the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday are the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars. Spectator gates open at 3:00 pm, WMT final practice runs 3:15-4:15 pm, qualifying is scheduled for 6:00 pm. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 is set for a 8:00 pm start and can be viewed on Flo Racing. Adult general admission is $40, kids 6-12 are $20 with 5 & under free. The complete race day itinerary is available at www.riverheadraceway.com.

Tight Early Season WMT Title Chase Moves to Riverhead Raceway Saturday for Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200

By Bob Finan

May 15th, 2023
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Three races into the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship chase four drivers are separated by just five points heading into the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. By the time the 50-mile event is in the books, the early season WMT title hunt could look quite a bit different.

Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. won the season opening event at the New Smyrna Speedway in February, his 18th career win, comes to a track in Riverhead where he has yet to win in 22 WMT starts. A triumph in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 would be very timely for the 40-year old former champion. Trailing Silk by a mere point is a driver half Silk's age in Austin Beers, 20, of Northampton, Pa., won on the big stage at Richmond Raceway in March is still riding the high of that first career WMT win.

While winless in three 2023 WMT races Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville will be in a comfort zone Saturday at Riverhead, a track where he has won 9 of his 35 career WMT races. Justin, 35 is second on the track's all-time WMT win list just two back of Mike Ewanitsko who won eleven times. Bonsignore sits third in the early rankings two points back of leader Silk heading into the 200. It was this race a year ago that Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. was called in to sub for Jimmy Blewett in the Tommy Baldwin Racing entry with Coby promptly winning the race for his third WMT win at Riverhead. Coby, 43 heads to Riverhead Raceway Saturday with TBR five points behind Ron Silk after having won the most recent WMT event at Monadnock, NH.

While the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 entry list is not yet official it's expected Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa, currently fifth in the WMT standings will drive for local Elite Towing/Baker Racing for whom he drove for at the Islip 300 last November and the WMT Richmond event in March. Matt is twenty-three points back of Silk after three races.

JB Fortin of Holtsville, defending WMT champion Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma., Kyle Bonsignore of Hebron, Il., Tyler Rypkema of Owego, NY and Eric Goodale of Riverhead sit sixth through tenth in the WMT early season standings

Joining the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway are the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars.

Spectator gates open at 3:00 pm, NASCAR WMT final practice runs from 3:15-4:15 pm with qualifying at 6:00 pm. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 is scheduled for 8:00 pm and will be live on Flo Racing. The itinerary for local divisions can be found at www,.riverheadraceway.com.

Adult admission is $40, kids 6-12 $20 with 5 & under free. Camping is available at no charge, no hook-ups. Camping is confined to the rear parking lot behind the pit area.

Jack Handley Jr. Doubles Down at Riverhead Raceway Saturday, Winning Mod and Truck Features

By Bob Finan

May 13th, 2023
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Over a racing career a driver will have certain nights standout in their memory over time. For rising driving talent Jack Handley Jr of Medford, Saturday May 13th, 2023 will be a night he soon won't forget after winning the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature just an hour or so after winning his second straight Super Pro Truck event of the young Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series season.

For a better part of the NASCAR Modified feature it appeared as though Justin Brown of Manorville who is running for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors on the Whelen Modified Tour was going to steer his family car to victory lane. Brown started the race on the pole by virtue of accumulating passing points in his heat race broke out to the lead in a race that nearly went to the halfway mark without interruption. However the caution flags did start to wave just prior to the midway point leading up to numerous double file restarts. The real fireworks were yet to come in the second half. On lap 33 Brown and Michael Rutkoski were pitted side by side for a restart and when the green waved contact ensued with Rutkoski getting two heels off the ground with a they race quickly going back under caution. Rutkoski would continue at the rear after drawing the yellow, Brown was asked to join Rutkoski by race control. Feeling he was not in the wrong, Brown parked his car for the balance.

That moved John Beatty Jr. and Dave Brigati to the front row to resume the race. When the green lights came back on Beatty didn't fire off the way he normally does and Brigati was quick to take advantage and the race lead. However on lap 42 as he exited turn two his car began to slow and he pulled to the infield with a broken rear end assembly. That moved second generation driver Matt Brode to the race lead with Jack Handley Jr. now second with just eight laps left in the contest. Matt, son of three-time track champion Howie Brode had just two miles between he and his first career NASCAR Modified win, all he needed to have happen was have the remainder of the race play out without caution. Unfortunately for Matt the final yellow of the race waved on lap 45 for a minor spin. On the ensuing restart Brode and Handley, two young, agressive drivers both wanting to win raced hard for the victory. Brode was protecting and Handley pressuring and momentary contact was made getting Matt askew allowing Handley to move out front. Jack was not done though, as now he was the hunted as Dylan Slepian, who raced all the way back from an early race penalty was all over Jack over the final laps.

At the checker Jack Handley Jr. in the Joe Densieski owned, Suffolk Precast Chevy prevailed. "Wow what a night" Jack boasted afterwards, "I'm so blessed to have a Super Pro Truck owner like Andre Vega and Joe D with the Modified, they give me such wonderful opportunities". As he closed out his post-race comments Handley looked over at the backstretch grandstands and pointed out, "I have some of my work friends here and a bunch of New York City Firefighters, let's get the party started". The victory is the second career Modified win for Handley.

Nobody passed more cars in the 50-lapper than runner-up Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills in the Eastport Feeds Chevy, while Chris Rogers of Patchogue turned in an impressive third place tally in the JDL Environmental Chevy. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck pressed on for fourth and fifth.

For the second week in a row a Grennan sat in the winners circle at the conclusion of the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds. On opening night Chase Grennan of Glen Cove was declared the winners of the race after tech. Saturday defending champion and older brother Owen pocketed his 15th career win when he led flag to flag for the win. Starting from the pole Owen broke right to the lead with outside pole sitter Kyle Ellwood in tow. It was Ellwood's car that was disqualified for unapproved header modifications on opening night and indeed Kyle was determined to find a way if he could pass Owen Grennan for the win. In the end there would be no passing the Dillner Precast Chevy of Owen Grennan who flashed under the checkers first. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was second in the Rosemar Industries Chevy while Michael Berner of Patchogue placed on the podium with a third in the All Island Car Wash entry.

The Pedersen family version of Family Feud continued to play out in the second 15-lap Figure Eight feature of the season, this time Scott Pedersen of Shirley staved off challenges from his nephew Allan Pedersen for the 15-lap victory. Opening night, the roles were reversed with Allan topping Uncle Scott, the defending champion in the class. During the off-season Scott switched teams moving to the Northeaster Office Equipment/Richo Business Systems effort and so far they new pairing are quick out of the gate. Despite heavy challenges from his nephew Allan, who was seeking his fourth win in a row dating back to last year Scott held on for his 11th career win. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was runner-up in the Top Notch Performance Chevy with Gary Fritz Jr,. of Mastic third in the Bobby's One Stop Auto & Exhaust Cadillac.

Prior to winning the NASCAR Modified event, Jack Handley Jr. topped the 30-lap Super Pro Truck main event, the first race of their 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. The race wound-up being a replay of opening night as Handley would lead Lou Maestri of Deer Park over the entire race distance. While able to stay in the tire tracks of the leader, Maestri, all-time leading winner of the class could not pull up to post a challenge. For the 18th time in his career when the Super Pro Truck event ended Jack Handley Jr. took home the win in the River Walk Bar & Grill Toyota. Lou Maestri was runner-up in the Monetary Recovery Company racer while Matt Triola of Bay Shore was third in the Cesspool Pros Chevy.

After going winless in 2022, "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches returned to his winning ways in the INEX Legend Race Cars topping their 25-lap feature. Young gun Jeffrey Farruggia Jr. broke to the early lead and was doing a masterful job of leading the 26-car field, especially considering Davidowitz the all-time leading winner with 25 wins was hot on his heels. After sizing up Farruggia for a few laps Davidowitz made his move to the lead. Now second Farruggia and two other up and coming teenage talents in Christopher Coleman and Chase Van Houten took up a three-car race for second, which was just fine with Davidowitz out front. In the end Richie Davidowitz sat in victory lane with his Hampton Fleet Service entry, "Cookies" Christopher Coleman of East Islip was an impressive runner-up in the Fidge Factor Web Design machine with Jeffrey Farruggia of Riverhead third in the KMK Contracting mount.

The 40-lap 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro was captured by CJ Zurkowski of Riverhead in the Newtown Landscaping Chevy. Robert Izzo and Jack Tessa were second and third.

In the 12-lap School Bus Figure Eight race 15-year old Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia scored the extremely popular Scout Night win in his first ever School Bus event.

Scout Night Featuring School Bus Figure Eight Set for Saturday Night at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

May 9th, 2023
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Week two of the 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series is set for this Saturday May 13th at Riverhead Raceway, with a School Bus Figure Eight race on Scout Night complimenting the exciting stock car program. Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz are calling all scouts by bringing back the popular Scout Night honoring scouting on Long Island. All Girl, Boy, Brownie & Cub Scouts and their troops in uniform will receive free grandstand admission to enjoy an action-packed night of thrills and spills.

The NASCAR Modified will contest their second 50-lap feature event of 2023 and be joined by the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds and their 25-lap main event. The daring Figure Eight troops are back for another go competing in a 15-lap event while both the Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars compete in 20-lap feature events. Rounding out the stock car portion of the show will be a wall-to-wall brawl with the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro racers. This past Saturday on opening night 135 race cars packed the pit area of Riverhead Raceway, including 42 INEX Legend Race Cars with more of the same expected for week two.

If the 15-lap Figure Eight feature event is not enough to keep the scout troops, their families and weekly spectators on the edge of the bleacher seats, just wait until the 13-ton School Buses roll onto the track after the Gut & Go race. The near misses and sometime not so near misses these huge buses that once transported students on Long Island provide is truly a sight to be seen in person.

Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, qualifying is set for 5:15 pm with opening ceremonies approximately 6:15 pm. Adult admission is $30, kids 6-12 not in a scout uniform $15, 5 & under are free. The Scout Night program is valid only at the general admission gates, normal pit fees will be in place.

The complete 2023 event schedule can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] with the phone number 631-842-RACE.

Sunday Miller Lite Triple Crown Series Wins Fall to Brian Brown & Andrew Farnham at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

May 7th, 2023
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The second half of opening weekend Sunday at Riverhead Raceway was contested under beautiful sunny skies and temperatures with the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks highlighting the card with 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series feature events. When the dust settled Brian Brown of Calverton collected his 9th career Street Stock win tying him with Eric Zeh on the all-time win list while defending Mini Stock champion Andrew Farnham of Baldwin scored his 7th career victory tying him with CJ Zukowski for third all time.

In the Street Stock contest former Blunderbust and Late Model winner Jarrod Hayes of Calverton seemingly has things in hand leading all 30 circuits of the race that went caution free. Brian Brown, a driver with vast experience at Riverhead as well, including Late Model and Crate Mods chased Hayes the entire distance but could never get to the back bumper of J-Rod. Hayes took the checker flag, did the post-race interview and was ready to rush to a family event. However, in tech the car was found with unapproved brake modifications stripping Hayes of the win.

"Not the way we like to win them, but we'll take it" Brown noted after being presented the trophy pit side, "can't thank Doug & Maura of Eastport Feeds enough and of course my wife Jamie, she drives me to be better everyday".

Greg Harris of Riverhead placed second in his SGS Stone Works Chevy while Rhett Fogg of Westhampton crossed the line third in the McBetts Racing Engines Chevy.

No better way for a defending champion to start a title defense season off with a win which is exactly what Andrew Farnham did Sunday in the non-stop Mini Stock 30-lap feature. Farnham in the Ken Matlach Motorsports Honda broke to the early lead as the green dropped. Along the way Andrew had stiff competition, the toughest of which came from eventual runner-up Paul Wojcik of Patchogue. Wojcik, a former champion himself pressured Farnham every turn of every laps over the final 10-lap segment. However Wojcik in the RFG Electrical Contracting entry would have to be content with second while Chris Olivari of Coram in his sponsor wanted racer was third.

In the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit event, Kix Bock of East Hampton enjoyed the thrill of a first career feature event win Sunday. Bock broke to the lead where he'd stay the entire distance in the Bock Auto entry but had pressure early from Emmett Grattan. Shortly after a late race restart, Bock continued to lead but a battle was brewing for second as Grattan had his mirror fill up with a quick closing Reid Halpin. With just a handful of laps left in the tilt Halpin made a textbook inside pass of Grattan for second exiting the fourth corner. By the time Reid got to second Kix Bock was long gone and drove off to the victory. Halpin, of Wading River turned in a stellar runner-up performance in the Nick & Dano's Auto Clinic Bando while Emmett Grattan of Southold was third in the Southold PBA racer.

2022 Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place topped the 15-lap Outlaw feature event in his first Outlaw. Morabito turned out to be a quick learner as he won the event after taking the lead just past halfway from Gavin Romano. Once in front Ben, steering the Benimax Trucking Bando never looked back notching his 4th overall Riverhead Bock Auto Bandolero victory. Will Sipala of Manorville made a late race charge to second where he'd finish in the Riteway Automotive Center entry while early leader Gavin Romano of Riverhead was third in the Mil-Aero Solutions machine.

The "Quiet Man" Phil LaManna of Smithtown dominated, as he so often does the 50-lap Truck Enduro. LaManna, owner of EP Milling & Sweeping that sponsors a fleet of cars at the track simply pulled away from the field to score yet another win. Bobby Pease of Medford in the Fit Spot Gym Chevy was second while Whitney Williams of Huntington was third.

Some years, ago Don Carasiti of St. James won his share of Spectator Drag events at Riverhead with his red Pontiac Firebird, always sporting his Fred Harbach X-90 -shirt. After taking some time away from the game Carasiti returned Sunday in a big way as he won the 50-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro steering his sponsor wanted Chevy. Woot Lawrence of Southampton was runner-up in the Gregor Well Drilling Camaro while David Verbeeck of Levittown placed third in his self funded racer.

Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays made a triumphant return to the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro by winning their 50-lap main event. Mujsce moved up to the Mini Stocks successfully winning 8 times tying him with Joe Warren Jr. for all-time wins in the division. Mujsce drove the East & West Pest Control mount Sunday and was followed by Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge in the Newtown Landscaping Chevy and Chris Olivari of Coram in the sponsor wanted entry.

Tribute Turns to Triumph as Timmy Solomito Takes Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified Opener Sporting Wayne Anderson Throwback Colors

By Bob Finan

May 6th, 2023
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Timmy Solomito of Islip really had no concrete plans on running the 73rd season opening night NASCAR Modified event Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, however with the recent announcement of Wayne Anderson's retirement Timmy's wheels started spinning. After all it was Wayne & Joette Anderson who gave Timmy his first big break and so he wrapped his car in one of Anderson's more popular colors and at the end of 50-laps tribute turned to triumph as Solomito pocketed his 21st career win. The thank you brought the 76-year old Anderson, who Solomito affectionately calls "Pops" to the winners circle one more time.

With a new handicap system in place for the 2023 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, Solomito who charged from the back of his qualifying heat to the front earned the pole position for the 19-car starting grid. The rest as the saying goes is history, although writing that history wasn't as easy as it sounds. Early on Timmy Solomito had hard charging Chris Young, who went winless in 2022 hot on his heels. However as the race wore on Young had some suitors of his own who came calling allowing the leader to get away some during an extended green flag run that extended just past the halfway point. Over the second half of the race Young soon lost second to Kyle Ellwood who himself was out to score his first NASCAR Modified win in quite some time. Over the final stretch run Ellwood stayed in the rearview mirror of leader Solomito, trying to gain a run to the inside exiting the corners of the tight 1/4-mile bullring. However as it if were the 1980's at Islip Speedway, New Egypt Speedway or Riverhead Raceway the light blue colors of Wayne Anderson sat in victory lane as Timmy Solomito scored the story book victory.

After exiting his wining machine Timmy offered, "my family and I had no real plans on running here tonight, we had a few penciled for later in the season. But it was Wayne & Joette who gave me my first break not only here but on the WMT, without them, well who knows". Timmy, who owns Natural Design Concept & Designs and wrapped the winning car continued, "Big shout out to Doug & Maura Corwin of Eastport Feeds, they were behind this 100% and of course my family for always having my back. We'll do some of the time trial shows later in the season". The win moved Solomito into a three way tie on the all-time win list at 21 with Fred Harbach & Dan Jivanelli.

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was runner-up in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry while the returning Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead came home third in the Precision Water Works racer. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills came from deep in the field to finish fourth while John Beatty Jr. of Merrick was fifth.

After a year away from racing to start a family, Jeremy McDermott returned to the Late Model wars with a win Saturday in the Rob Pelis owned Eastport Feeds Chevy. Early in the contest Artie Pedersen III looked to have the field covered driving for a new team and owner Jennifer Joann. As the 25-lap race moved along it looked as if Pedersen was going to pocket his first career LM win, as long as the race went caution free. As fate would have it on lap 13 the race was slowed for a multi car incident lining McDermott, who just made his way to second alongside Pedersen for the double file restart. When the green lights came back on Jeremy McDermott pounced taking the lead and leading the remainder of the race for his 26th career win, good for fifth on the all-time win list. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was runner-up in the NY Bernedoodles Chevy while Chris McGuire of Miller Place, who ran second early settled for third in the RTI Inc. machine.

When the checker flag waved on the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified event it appeared as if Kyle Ellwood has scored a win for Rat Pack Racing after holding off the efforts of a hard charging Chase Grennan of Glen Cove. However in post-race teach the winning car was disqualified for an issue in the exhaust/header category of the rules and the win went to Chase Grennan, the third of his career in the Black Forest Auto Chevy. Alex Colasanto of Selden was second in the Vanguard Fire Protection Chevy while Sean Glennon of Northport was third in the LTE Drainage mount.

When the Figure Eights ran a doubleheader weekend to close out the 2022 season last September, Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches swept the weekend. On Saturday he got the new season off the same as he ended last year, with a win in the 15-lap feature event. In fact the Pedersen family controlled the majority of the opener as at one point Scott Pedersen, defending champion in the class led nephews Allan & Artie. Scott, driving for new car owner Kathy Kraft seemed to be on his way to a win for his new team but Allan was having none of it taking the lead in the Top Notch Performance Chevy late in the race and his fourth career win. Scott Pedersen of Shirley in the Couch Racer Cadillac was runner-up while Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford came home third in the Brigandi Brothers Automotive Chevy breaking up the Pedersen family reunion on the podium.

Two-time and defending Blunderbust champion Cody Triola of Bay Shore started the quest for his third straight title with a victory in a non-stop 20-lap feature. Starting from the pole, Triola at the wheel of the Cesspool Pros entry left little doubt as to who was going to win the race driving off to his 9th career win. Brandon Hubbard of Medford was second at the finish in his United Exhaust machine while Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace was third with his Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice.

Baseball had a Mr. October, Riverhead Raceway has Mr. Opening Night in the person of 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature winner Jack Handley Jr. of Medford. Between his days as a Blunderbust racer and now in the Super Pro Truck ranks Jack, a St. John's University graduate wins more often than not over the last decade on opening night. Like Triola earlier, Handley steering the East End Builders owned truck left little doubt as to who was going to win the opener. When Handley took the checker flag it marked his 17th career win tying him for 5th on the all-time win list with Frank Dumicich Sr. Lou Maestri of Deer Park, who tops the all-time win list came home second in the Hunter Business School racer while Matt Triola of Bay Shore completed the podium in his Cesspool Pros Chevy.

Former champion and tested tough INEX Legend Race Car talent Kevin Nowak of Medford scored a milestone 20th career win Saturday when he triumphed in their 20-lap opener. Racing against competitors who were not even born when he started racing, Nowak used that experience during several early race restarts to take the lead of the race and soon was joined by a fellow veteran and former champion Richie Davidowitz at the front of the field. The duo, who used to travel together to out of state events went toe to toe for the win over the final half of the event. In the end Nowak would prevail in his HVAC Unlimited racer while Davidowitz of East Moriches was a close second in the Green Ride Medical Transport machine. 2022 Rookie of the Year Chase Van Houten of Wading River was third in the Terra Vite Vineyards entry.

Weekend Doubleheader to Kick Start 2023 Championship Chases At Riverhead Raceway This Saturday And Sunday

By Bob Finan

May 1st, 2023
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The chase for fourteen 2023 divisional Riverhead Raceway track championships will kick off in spectacular fashion as Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz present opening weekend May 6th & May 7th at the historic quarter mile facility. Seven NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series divisions take the green flag Saturday evening while the next afternoon on Sunday seven more divisions begin their quest for a 2023 driving title. Of the fourteen drivers capturing 2022 championships, twelve are expected to defend this season.

With the news of Wayne Anderson and Kyle Soper going their separate ways, the NASCAR Modified championship chase will be wide open for 2023 starting with this Saturday night's 50-lap event on opening night. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and his MSM Elite Motorsports team were runner-up to the Anderson/Soper team last season and enter the new season as favorites. There are however plenty of teams ready to pounce on the vacant title. 2022 runner-up Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and his Eastport Feeds team are ready to take a step up to the championship rung as is third place point man for 2022 John Beatty Jr of Merrick with his MSM Elite Motorsports group. Dave Brigati of Calverton in his Coors Light Silver Bullet and 2022 Rookie of the Year Jack Handley Jr. of Medford in the Suffolk Precast entry were fourth and fifth last year, poised for a title run this year. Throw in talents like Chris Young of Calverton, Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown, Jason Agugliaro of Islip, Chris Turbush of Wading River Matt Brode of East Islip, Chris Rogers of Patchogue, oh and don't forget returning multi time champion Tom Rogers of Riverhead adding up to a competitive title fight.

After 30-years of chasing a Late Model championship Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters will be back to defend his 2022 championship in the Matlach Fabricating racer, while first time Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove will be defending in his Dillner Precast/Eastport Feeds Chevy. Both Patrick and Grennan are going to be busy in '23 as Shawn oversees son Liam's budding Super Pro Truck career while Owen straps into the Ken Matlach Motorsports NASCAR Modified on occasion.

2022 Figure Eight champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley will be back seeking his third straight championship in the division, however the soft-spoken driver might very well be doing so with a new team. Scott is expected to reveal his plans this week. Two-time and defending Blunderbust champion Cody Triola and his Cesspool Pros team out of Bay Shore are going for three in a row in 2023, while 2022 Super Pro Truck champion Sean Glennon of Northport seeks to repeat in the LTE Drainage truck. Both drivers will pull double duty with Triola driving the North fork Welding Supply Figure Eight entry and Glennon wheeling his family's Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified. Off the thrill of his firstINEX Legend Race Car championship last summer, Eric Hersey of Commack will be defending in his Grilling Villain entry and like Glennon will chase the Crate Modified crown.

Once the Saturday Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opener is in the books attention quickly moves to the Sunday afternoon Enduro Opening Day. Originally the event was set for this past Sunday but a wet weekend scrubbed all on track activities at Riverhead. Dave Antos of Lindenhurst will be gunning for his fourth career Street Stock championship fresh off his 2022 title in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy starting with the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series 30-laplid lifter Sunday. Andrew Farnham of Baldwin will do the same in the Mini Stocks, who also compete in their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series opener Sunday and Farnham with help from Ken Matlach Motorsports hopes to score the victory.

The popular and growing Bock Auto INEX Bandolero class is ready for their third year of racing on the high banks. 2022 Bandit champion Benny Morabito of Miller Place and his Benimax Racing team are moving up to the Outlaw class for 2023 and judging by practice day on April 22nd are an immediate threat to win that title. Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia captured the Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw crown last year but has "aged" out of the class and has not released his racing plans for the 2023 campaign.

Popular Woot Lawrence of Southampton will begin his title defense in his Gregor Well Drilling machine in the Truck Enduro Sunday. Pat Collins of Southampton notched his first career 8-Cylinder Enduro championship last summer and will be back to defend in the PC Truck & Equipment Chevy as will 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go champion John Palmeri of Lindenhurst and his J&J Towing team.

Saturday May 6th spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, general admission is $30 for adults, kids 6-12 $15, with 5 & under free. Race team schedule finds Modified & Crate Modified hauler permitted with driver only to enter pits, pit gates officially open at 12 noon, rotating practice starts at 3:00 pm. A drivers meeting is planned for 4:30 pm, qualifying is 5:15 pm with opening ceremonies set for approx. 6:15 pm.

Sunday May 7th, gates for spectators open at 12 noon, general admission is $30 for adults, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free. Race team schedule is for pit gates to open at 10:00 am, practice commences at 11:00 am with qualifying at 12:30 pm to be followed by opening ceremonies.

The complete comprehensive 2023 schedule of events and other information can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

News - June 2023


Figure Eight Family Feud Returns to Riverhead Raceway Saturday for Fireworks Spectacular

By Bob Finan

June 27th, 2023
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For decades the popular game show Family Feud has filled television airwaves, mainly in repeats. For over half a century Figure Eight racing has thrilled fans at Riverhead Raceway. When the Figure Eights return for their first race since mid-May Saturday, the starting grid will resemble an episode of Family Feud, minus Steve Harvey. The Figure Eights will be part of the 73rd Year Celebration Saturday, complete with a Fireworks spectacular.

To date in 2023, members of three families have battled each other in this most unique form of short track racing. So far the Pedersen family has found the most success. Defending champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley is the most recent winner back on May 13th. In order to claim that victory, Scott had to hold off one of two nephews he races against regularly in the class Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches. Opening night May 6th, the roles were reversed, as Allan came out on top with Uncle Scott runner-up. Allan's older brother Artie III was 5th and 4th over those first two events leaving all three Pedersen family members at the top of the 2023 championship chase standings. Scott and Allan are tied, with AP3 ten back in third.

Without question in the Riverhead version of Figure Eight Family Feud, no two drivers are closer family then twins Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford and sister Kim of Riverhead. Ken Jr. has been at the game quite a bit longer having won the 2013 & 2016 track title complimenting his 11 career wins, while sister Kim is staring her third full season of racing. Ken's next win will tie his with his father on the all-time win list. Back in the day, the late Ken Hyde Sr. and wife Dorthea raced against each other making for unique conversation over Sunday coffee.

The Warren brothers take their sibling rivalry back to the Figure Eight course of Riverhead Saturday, hoping to provide some fireworks of their own. Joe Warren Jr. and brother Ryan, both of Ridge will be chasing the checker flag in the 15-lap main event. Joe has authored 4 career Figure Eight wins and was the 2020 track champion, while brother Ryan, the 2022 Rookie of the Year hopes to win his first career feature in 2023.

Heading into action Saturday other drivers chasing both the Riverhead Raceway and Suffolk Association of Figure Eight Racing championships include Cody Triola of Bay Shore, Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach, Bryan Quilliam of Manorville, Bob Dalke of Farmingville and Paulo Miguel of Selden. Tom Ferrara of S.A.F.E.R noted all drivers competing in 2023 are members of S.A.F.E.R that has existed since the early '70's for the betterment of Figure Eight racing.

Aside from Figure Eight racing and Fireworks spectacular Saturday Riverhead Raceway will present the 73rd Year Celebration "The Flying Dutchman" Tribute NASCAR Tour Type Modified event, Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and Truck Enduro.

Qualifying starts at 5:30 pm followed by opening ceremonies at approximately 6:30 pm. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, general admission for adults $30, kids 6-12 $20, 5 & under free.

To view other great family entertainment events schedules for 2023 visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com. E-mails reach us at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

73rd Year Celebration Fireworks Saturday at Riverhead, Harbach Family Announces Modified Bonus Program

By Bob Finan

June 26th, 2023
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Riverhead Raceway has a dual celebration lined-up for Saturday July 1st and everyone is invited to join in on the excitement and fun. Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz will present a award winning Fireworks spectacular for the 73rd Year Celebration of the track and 4th of July Independence Day holiday. On track the mighty NASCAR Modifieds will race 73-laps highlighting the 73rd Year Celebration, the event run in a tribute to "The Flying Dutchman" Fred Harbach.

Once the action-packed race program is completed, the track lights will be dimmed with the illumination of fireworks will take over the night sky. A glorious way to commemorate the 247th birthday of America and 73rd of historic Riverhead Raceway where over time generations have been entertained. Part of that entertainment over the decades has been the death-defying Figure Eight racers who'll be part of the thrills Saturday with a 15-lap event.

Round two of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup will unfold during the 73-lap Tour Type Modified main event Recently the family of Fred Harbach announced a bonus program for "The Flying Dutchman" tribute. The race winner will collect $900 in bonus money awarded by JoAnne Harbach-Kitzen and husband Alex, runner-up will pocket $600, with third receiving $300. Podium style trophies will be bestowed upon the trio, complete with a Matchbox style X-90 Pinto sitting atop the trophies. Additionally, long time X-90 team members George & Jenine Venth will award the 9th place finisher $180.

In 2022, "The Flying Dutchman" tribute was contested in June as a 90-lap event, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick took down the win in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy. Going into Saturday Beatty is still in search for his first win of 2023. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead won round one of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series two weeks ago when the driver of the Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry captured the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77. Aside from Beatty and Ellwood, a full compliment of NASCAR Modifieds is expected Saturday.

The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars will provide a trip down racing memory lane Saturday and be joined by the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars and a Truck Enduro.

Qualifying is set for 5:30 pm with opening ceremonies at 6:30 pm. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, general admission for adults is $30, kids 6-12 $20 with 5 & under free.

The remainder of the 2023 schedule is available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Ellwood, Triola, Lawrence & Warren Find Riverhead Raceway Victory Lane Saturday

By Bob Finan

June 24th, 2023
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Prior to the Miller Lite 200 Salute to Mike Ewanitsko WMT event, four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series divisions took to Riverhead Raceway for some exciting action. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead scored his second Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified victory of the season just one week after triumphing in the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Tour Type Modified Memorial.

Vinny Delaney jumped to the early lead in the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified tilt with Kyle Ellwood quickly coming to second. Ellwood chased Delaney eventually catching him and challenging for the lead. On lap 9 Ellwood jumped alongside Delaney with the tandem racing side by side for laps 9 & 10. Exiting the fouth corner to start the 11th cycle Ellwood was finally able to wrestle the lead away from Delaney. A quick yellow as the field started lap 12 waved for a minor get together involving Chris Sinatro and Eddie Schutze. When racing resumed Ellwood kept his race lead while early leader Delaney was now the subject of four car tussle for second with Michael Berner, Chase Grennan and AJ DeSantis. The battle for second allowed Kyle Ellwood to open up a comfortable lead, a cushion he'd take to victory lane for the third time in his Crate Mod career steering the Kelco Construction Chevy. Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace fought hard and held on for second in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Chevy with Michael Berner of Patchogue third in the Planet Earth Recycling entry.

Hands down the race of the night unfolded in the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature with three trucks racing under a blanket over the final 8 circuits of the event. When the dust settled Matt Triola of Bay Shore enjoyed the thrill of a first career victory. Early on Triola and "The Bullet" Ethan Brown tested each other for the race lead going door to door before Brown took sole possession of the lead on lap 5. Undaunted, Triola fought back and took back the lead on lap 9 when he ducked under Brown with the duo again pitted side by side. Jack Handley Jr., two-time winner in '23 had the best seat in the house to observe the fight for the lead from third. From lap 12 until the white flag lap the trio ran under a blanket. On the final lap exiting the second turn, Triola on the inside, Brown on the outside made slight contact with both trucks momentarily pointed to the infield. Triola remained out front and barely hung on in his Cesspool Pros Chevy in a photo finish over Jack Handley Jr. of Medford in the East End Builders Toyota. Unfortunately for Brown he would spin high off the fourth turn after getting in the marbles handing third over to Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore in the Victory Martial Arts truck.

The 20-lap Street Stock main event featured numerous restarts and Brian McCormack of Holbrook mastered nearly all of them, except for the last one where Gerard Lawrence of Rocky Point took advantage to score his first win of the season. The entire race saw McCormack and Lawrence get after each other, racing side by side over the first four laps. Up until the 13th lap McCormack was able to keep Lawrence at bay over several restarts, however on the final restart Brian's car got a tick loose off turn two and Lawrence pounced to the outside. Once he took the lead Lawrence never looked back in his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy scoring the 7th win of his Street Stock career. Brian McCormack had his best run of the year with second in the Robo Car Wash Monte Carlo with defending champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst completing the podium in his JTEC Electric Monte Carlo.

Returning from a track mandated vacation, Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge was a man on a mission in the night's 20-lap Mini Stock feature. After coming from last to first in his heat race earning maximum passing points, Warren earned the pole for the main event. The rest is history. When the green waved Warren broke to the early race lead with Chris Olivari in tow, Over the first half of the contest Olivari kept pace, however former champion Paul Wojcik closed in to challenge Chris for second. That allowed Warren to pull away in his Newtown Landscaping Cavalier not just for his first win of the year, the 9th of his career moving him into sole possession of first on the all-time win list. Chris Olivari of Coram in the sponsor wanted racer was second with Paul Wojcik of Patchogue third in the RFG Electrical Contracting entry.

Riverhead Raceway to Salute Mike Ewanitsko During June 24th Miller Lite 200 NASCAR WMT Event

By Bob Finan

June 14th, 2023
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He was one of the most successful NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers of his generation, complete with rock star looks and matching charismatic personality. When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Riverhead Raceway June 24th they will compete in the Miller Lite 200, Salute to Mike Ewanitsko. Mike, the all-time leading WMT winner at Riverhead will be on hand having an active role during the evening, an evening that could very well wind up with Justin Bonsignore tying him atop the Riverhead WMT win list.

During the off-season Riverhead Raceway GM John Ellwood thought it would be great to salute Mike Ewanitsko during the 2023 race season. With Mike enjoying equal amounts of success at both Riverhead Raceway and on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the concept of showcasing Mike's racing career during a WMT event came into focus. Riverhead owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz were immediately on board with Jimmy Wilson of NASCAR quickly signing on. "Mike was truly one of the best seat of the pants drivers to ever strap into a Modified", Ellwood offered. John also disclosed plans for Mike during the Miller Lite 200, "Mike will participate in the WMT autograph session, give the command to fire engines pre-race and present the race winning trophy. We are honored to have Mike as part of the 200, it will be great to see him interact with his fans again."

After cutting his eye teeth with the Nassau Quarter Midget program, Mike was elevated into the Ira Bromley owned Mutual Engraving NASCAR Modified at Islip Speedway just before the famed 1/5 of a mile shuttered in 1984. When Saturday night racing shifted east to Riverhead Raceway, it didn't take Mike long to find victory lane as he won his first NASCAR Modified feature at 18 years and two months old on June 14th,1985. It would be the first of 30 overall victories for Mike at Riverhead ranking him 10th on the all-time win list.

It wasn't long before Mike and his later father Lew made the decision to move their racing focus to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour where i again it didn't take Mike long to find his way to victory lane. His first of his 11 WMT wins at Riverhead came during the July 8th,1987 CAM2 Motor Oil 151. Ewanitsko quickly backed that first win up on August 6th,1987 when he topped the 7-Up 151 at the demanding quarter mile. Mike would then pick up one Riverhead WMT win per season during the 1988, '89, '90, '92. '95. '97, & '98 seasons. His final home track win came during the CARQUEST Auto Parts 200 August 5th.2000.

Early on the Ewantisko team would continue running some weekly Riverhead shows when their WMT schedule permitted. However, car owners and sponsors were noticing Mike's natural ability and his racing horizons soon expanded. After his first WMT triumph at Riverhead in 1987, Mike drove to a career total of 28 WMT wins placing him 8th in the WMT all-time rankings. His final visit to WMT victory lane would be a very special one, a win at Martinsville Speedway on October 13th.2001. For his father Lew and family, Mike winning that Martisnville event was among his career highlights as the Virginia oval held a special place in their hearts.

Through it all Mike remained one of the most popular personalities with the fans of the WMT as well his fellow competitors. Many wondered, if not for some health issues Mike pushed through since youth, what more could he of accomplished on the NASCAR WMT and beyond. Today at 56, Mike remains a humble man and when notified by Riverhead Raceway about the Miller Lite 200 Salute to Mike Ewanitsko, Mike's first response was, "Looking forward to it, I don't feel like I really did enough to deserve a race, but I am honored".

Mike is looking forward to the possibility of handing the Miller Lite 200 trophy to Justin Bonsignore in victory lane and welcoming Justin to the top of the track WMT win list. After winning the rain delayed Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 on May 21st at Riverhead for his 10th win at the bullring, Justin admitted "really hoping to win the salute to Mike Ewanitsko race when we come back in June, that would be pretty cool". Justin's trek to the top of the Riverhead WMT win list began with a win July 30th,2011 in the Lighthouse Mission 200.

Will a Hollywood type end to the Miller Lite 200 Salute to Mike Ewanitsko be in the offering Saturday June 24th at Riverhead Raceway? Make sure to either join us at the track or watch on Flo Racing for the answers to that and many more questions.

For further information please visit www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected], 631-842-RACE is our phone number.

Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 To Kick Off 2023 Ted Christopher Crown Jewel Series at Riverhead Raceway Saturday

By Bob Finan

June 12th, 2023
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Three of the most successful and iconic drivers, Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans & Charlie Jarzombek to ever strap into an asphalt Modified, will be celebrated Saturday during the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 at Riverhead Raceway. The event starts the six race 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Tour Type NASCAR Modifieds of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series with the series winner being presented with the Ted Christopher Cup. Saturday prior to the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek program Chuck Steuer and Keith Gordon will be enshrined on the Cromarty Wall of Champions.

In what could turn out to be an ironic twist, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, a past winner of more than one 77 could tie "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek at the top of the all-time Riverhead Modified win list at 63 if he prevails Saturday night. Rogers & Jarzombek along with Wayne Anderson and Don Howe are the only five-time Modified champions at Riverhead. For years "Charging" Charlie was dubbed the leader of the Long Island Gang and the debate as to whether he or Rogers is the better driver of their generation or overall is sure to ramp up. Jarzombek, who grew up around the corner from Riverhead Raceway, won his first of 63 races on July 20th,1963 while his final win came on September 1st,1978. Rogers made his first trip to the Modified winners circle May 8th,2004 and won his most recent race on May 27th.

"Tiger" Tom Baldwin dialed up 11 career Riverhead Raceway wins during his career while racing mainly off the Island with the NASCAR WMT since 1985. After Jarzombek's passing in 1987, Tom became the leader of the Long Island gang, as well for owners & drivers on the WMT. Never afraid to let you know where he stood, Tom's passion was NASCAR Modified racing and the people in it. NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans may have only won once at Riverhead Raceway in August of 1985, but his vast success at Islip Speedway where he won 18-times and two Freeport Stadium victories earned him popularity on the Island. Anytime the "Big Orange" hauler of the nine time NASCAR Modified champion Evans rolled into one of the three tracks on Long Island, fans knew business was about to pick-up.

Kyle Soper of Manorville in route to his fourth Riverhead championship last year won the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 as well the Ted Christopher Cup as the Crown Jewel Series champion. Soper has stepped away from weekly racing in 2023 to focus on work and his wedding leaving the list of possible winners of the 2023 Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 wide open. With five weekly races in the books for the NASCAR Modifieds in '23 at Riverhead there has yet to be a repeat winner. Timmy Solomito of Islip won on opening nights and was followed by Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Tom Rogers Jr., Chris Young of Calverton and most recently Chris Rogers of Patchogue to victory lane. While Solomito has not disclosed his plans for the 77, the quartet of drivers who won since Timmy are focusing in on a second win.

Among the weekly Riverhead talents who'd love to score their first win of the season in the 77 include Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Matt Brode of East Islip, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Chris Turbush of Wading River, Howie Brode of East Islip and Owen Grennan of Glen Cove.

2022 Crown Jewel Series champion and Islip 300 winner JB Fortin of Holtsville has all intentions of being part of the 77 Saturday as does 2023 Sunoco Race Fuel NASCAR WMT Rookie of the Year contender Justin Brown of Manorville confirming Monday that he'll be on hand with his family car. With his father Chuck inducted onto the Cromarty Wall of Champions Saturday, Dillon Steuer of Bohemia who is running Riverhead part time is expected to race the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77.

The remainder of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series races will unfold July 1st during the 73rd Year Celebration "Flying Dutchman" Tribute, July 29th, with a 115-lap event honoring Wayne Anderson, The Bubba 150 on August 19th, the September 23rd Cecil Palm Tree 160 with the Islip 300 closing out the series on Saturday November 11th.

Joining the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Saturday are the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and an 8-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro.

Qualifying is set for 5:30 pm, opening ceremonies including the 2023 Cromarty Wall of Champions induction of Keith Gordon and Chuck Steuer are set for 6:30 pm. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, adult general admission is $30, kids 6-12 $15 with 5 & under free.

The 2023 race and event schedule can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Chris Rogers Is Fifth Different Riverhead Raceway Modified Winner in As Many Races with First Career Victory

By Bob Finan

June 10th, 2023
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When one grows up an aspiring race car driver on Long Island the ultimate goal is to win a NASCAR Modified event at Riverhead Raceway. Saturday night Chris Rogers of Patchogue attained that goal when he won the 50-lap Advanced Auto Parts Night event becoming the fifth Modified winner in five races to date in 2023. Of the seven feature event winners on the night, five enjoyed their first ever win.

It took two attempts to get the event underway as a John Beatty Jr. spin off the bumper of Chris Turbush slowed the race on the backstretch before the first laps was completed. Turbush was moved to the rear of the 14-car field joining Beatty. The second try at getting the race going fell short when Michael Rutkoski spun into the infield off the bumper of Matt Brode in turn three, Brode was sent to the rear with Rutkoski who had to pit after hitting a yuke tire but would return. Third time was the charm when Chris Rogers and his 62-time winning cousin Tom Rogers Jr. made up the front row. After running side by side for the first lap Chris took the advantage on lap 2 but the driver on the march using the outside lane was the previous weeks winner Chris Young. On lap three Young worked his way to second passing Tom Rogers Jr., a former five-time track champion to the outside and many sat and wondered how long before Chris would make his move for the lead on the younger cousin.

As the race moved along Chris Rogers, who was tabbed three years ago to drive the Outlaw Inc. team car to Dave Brigati found another gear in the Coors Light Chevy and was able to keep Young who was looking to become the first repeat winner on the season at bay. At the finish Chris Rogers, who worked his way through the ranks racing first in the INEX Legend Race Cars and Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds at Riverhead would makes his youthful dreams become a reality with career win number one. "I can never thank Dave, Brian Schwarz and the entire Outlaw Inc. family enough for this opportunity. Thanks to Coors Light, JDL Environmental and Covino Trucking for their support". He concluded by dedicating the win to Becky Collins, wife of longtime Outlaw Inc crew member Warren, "this one is for Becky, she is going through a tough fight with cancer, I hope we put a smile on her face tonight".

Chris Young of Calverton was runner-up in the CPC Racing entry while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford completed the podium in the Suffolk Precast Chevy. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead rounded off the top five.

Ever since moving his racing efforts to the Late Model class a few years back, Chris McGuire of Selden has not had the racing luck go his way. That all changed Saturday when he recorded his first 25-lap feature event win when for once the racing Gods smiled down on the former multi-time Charger winner. McGuire broke out to the early race lead but knew at some point Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who started deep in the field would come calling. Indeed McDermott would come calling, taking the lead from McGuire but a series of two quick cautions one lap apart on lap 19 & 20 changed the race. Shawn Patrick his the wall off the fourth turn drawing a yellow on lap 19. On the ensuing restart McDermott's car did not fire off having some sort of issue allowing McGuire to reclaim the lead, perhaps things were starting to fall Chris's way. Kevin Metzger lopped his car on lap 20 drawing another yellow, it was at this time McDermott ducked to the pits with a tire that was going down. With just five laps to go the final restart of the race went off without a hitch with Chris McGuire nailing it in his Rock Tech Inc. machine for the long awaited win. For the third time in as many 2023 races Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was second, but this second place tally in the Unique Golf racer came after the crew changed a throw out bearing in the pits, Veteran Ray Minieri of Bay Shore was third in the Zaremba & Brown Construction Injury Lawyers Chevy.

Opening night Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified winner Chase Grennan of Glen Cove joined his brother Owen as a repeat winner in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified ranks when he topped a non-stop 25-lap feature event. When the green flag waved Chase Grennan was able to take the early race advantage over Michael Berner who was in search of his first win of the young season. Owen Grennan marched his way to third and at the halfway point of the contest engaged Berner in a torrid battle for second as Chase started to pull away as the duo tussled for position. With no caution flags on the horizon Chase Grennan in the Black Forest Auto Chevy notched his 4th career win in a race that saw all 16 cars finish on the lead lap. Michael Berner of Patchogue was second in the Pro Diesel entry while Owen Grennan third in the Eastport Feeds machine.

The INEX Legend Race Cars had a rough go of it trying to run a 20-lap feature event, but numerous cautions slowed the race which was called official on lap 10 when a final caution flag waved. Brad Van Houten of Wading Riverhead earned his first win of the year. Van Houten broke to the race lead at the throw of the green but a multi car crash involving Ray Stulz, Eric Hersey, Riely O'Keefe and Ray Fitzgerald slowed the race on lap 2. When the race did resume it enjoyed a green flag run from lap 3 through 9 during which Van Houten and Joey Braun who came to second on lap 2 staged an exciting side by side fight for the lead. However, a series of yellow flags dragged things out on lap 9 and again on lap 10 before officials deemed the race official after the 30-minute time limit expired. Brad Van Houten in the Joe Ryan Race Cars machine, a team car to Jim Sylvester was declared the winner, his 6th career victory. Joey Braun of Manorville in the Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers entry and Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches in the Freddie & Megan Kraft backed racer were second and third, Davidowitz was aiming for his fifth win in a row before the time limit expired.

A few seasons back, Danny Pizzo of Holbrook decided to give racing another chance, so he went out and bought himself a Street Stock. After many trials and tribulations, crashes and breakdowns, most of which none of his doing, Danny finally broke through for his first career win Saturday in a 20-lap Street Stock event. Pizzo, who is funding his own racing effort in 2023 with no sponsorship displayed on his car broke to the early race lead and never looked back. While Danny had a fast car right off the truck in practice and qualifying, even he himself wondered what might creep up to prevent him from winning. Alas, nothing got in his way and Danny drove off to victory lane for the very first time. Rhett Fogg of Westhampton was runner-up in the McBetts Racing Engines Chevy, Dennis Kurras of Selden was an impressive third in the MKG Kitchen Design entry.

A few weeks back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Eric Goodale announced he was dropping off the WMT as a full time driver to focus in part on his son Mason's Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit racing effort. Saturday night the old "apple falling not too far from the tree" adage proved out when Mason, in just his third ever start won the 15-lap Bandits feature with proud Papa Eric looking on. Emmett Grattan broke to the early advantage leading the first four laps of the race. On lap 5 Mason Goodale came calling taking the lead from Grattan and never looking back to score a very popular win in the Riverhead Building Supply racer. Emmett Grattan of Southold was second in the IGA Market machine while last race winner Reid Halpin of Wading River was third in the Huntington Honda mount.

Revenge can be a great motivator, just ask Will Sipala of Manorville who drove the JD Posillico Materials to the win in the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero event. Last race out Sipala seemingly won the affair but had an unapproved restrictor plate placement on his car snatch his first career triumph away from him in post-race tech. The race got off to a shaky start with a first lap yellow slowing the contest. When the second attempt at starting the race was successful Will Sipala ducked to the inside of turn one to take the lead, a lead he'd not surrender earning him a long awaited first career win. 2022 Bandit champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place was runner-up in the 860 Motorsports Northeast racer while Cillian Tennant of Riverhead was third in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law machine.

After Four Events, Four NASCAR Modified Winners Have Emerged at Riverhead Raceway Heading into Saturday Night Racing

By Bob Finan

June 8th, 2023
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Four races are in the books in 2023 NASCAR Modified racing at Riverhead Raceway, four different drivers have graced victory lane at the conclusion of each 50-lap contest. Saturday another 50-lap event will roll on track during the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program. Will a fifth different driver score victory? Or will the first repeat winner of the season emerge?

After Timmy Solomito of Islip took down the 2023 opening night win in his only start of the season, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and Chris Young of Calverton have visited victory lane. All four would love to garner a second win. If Rogers comes away a winner, Tom and legendary "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek will be tied at the top of the all-time win list at 63. Those hoping to become the fifth different winner in as many races include, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills Dave Brigati of Calverton, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Matt Brode of East Islip and Chris Rogers of Patchogue.

Saturday's 50-lap event will be the final tune-up for a busy stretch of extra distance contests for the NASCAR Modifieds that lie ahead. Saturday June 17th the troops run the first leg of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77. After a week off for the June 24th Miller Lite 200, Salute to Mike Ewantisko WMT event the weekly wars continue Saturday July 1st with the 73rd Year Celebration, tribute to "The Flying Dutchman" 73. Joanne Harbach-Kitzen and husband Alex have announced a bonus money program for the July 1st event that earns the top three an extra $900, $600 & $300 with podium style trophies honoring the late Fred Harbach.

While the Modifieds have spread the winners circle wealth the same can't be said for either the Late Models or INEX Legend Race Cars heading into Saturday evening. Two races into the LM campaign and Jeremy McDermott has come out on top in both over a very competitive Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches. While Pedersen hope to flip-flop the finishing order at the end of 25-laps Saturday, McDermott seeks his 28th career LM win. Nobody hotter than "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches who has won four INEX Legend Race Car features in a row. After Kevin Nowak of Medford won the opening night tilt, Davidowitz has gone on a tear. Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead, Joey Braun of Manorville and Chase Van Houten of Wading River have kept pace with Richie and hope to end the win streak after 20-laps Saturday.

The Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds are ready to go to post in a 25-lap event Saturday led by defending champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove who has won two of the four races in 2023. Among those hoping to prevent Owen from winning his third race this year are younger brother & opening night winner Chase along Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead who won over the Memorial Day weekend. The Street Stocks return to action Saturday led by defending champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst who won on May 20th and 2021 champion and May Meltdown winner Brian Brown of Calverton.

Reid Halpin of Wading River, who hands down scored the most popular win of 2023 to date on May 27th during the 15-lap Bock Auto Bandolero Bandit event looks for his second win in a row, while Ben Morabito of Miller Place shoots for his third win in as many starts in the Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw feature.

Action gets underway with qualifying Saturday at 5:30 pm, followed by opening ceremonies at approximately 6:30 pm. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, general admission for adults is $30, kids 6-12 $15 with 5 & under free.

The complete 2023 schedule of events can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails can be forwarded to office@riverheadraceway com while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Chris Young Snaps Two Year Winless Streak with Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified Triumph Saturday

By Bob Finan

June 3rd, 2023
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Second generation driver Chris Young of Calverton snapped a two plus year winless spell Saturday night when he powered his way to victory in the Riverhead Raceway 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature event. It was the third career win for Young who last won on October 31st of 2020.

When the 5-lap tilt got underway high school senior Matt Brode jumped to the early lead with Owen Grennan and Dave Brigati it tow for the first lap, one lap later Grennan and Brigati swapped positions. With the race embarking on a long green flag run, Matt Brode was able to get away from Brigati in second while Chris Young moved by Grennan for third on lap 14. While Brode was clicking off laps up front and hoping for a caution free race, Young was busy reeling in Brigati for second. On lap 35 Young rolling the outside was able to work his way around Brigati for second. Just two laps later the scenario Brode did not want to see unfold did when the caution waved on lap 37 for a rare Dylan Slepian spin. The first attempt at restarting the race after the Slepian spin quickly went south as Chris Turbush pounded the wall in the first turn after contact.

Once the track was clear the double file restart with Brode to the inside and Young to the outside unfolded. Brode held serve for the first lap but on lap 39 Young rolled the top of the track to race his way into the lead. Once back to second Brode had a quick side by side battle with Tom Rogers Jr. for second. That duel ended quickly on lap 41 when Tom Rogers car suddenly dropped fluid in turns three and four with the entire field behind Tom piling in. Luckily all those caught up remained in the race, some after pit stops during an extensive clean up. The final restart of the race would again pit Young and Brode side by side, when the green flag reappeared for the final nine circuits Chris Young was able to remain out front to secure the long awaited return to victory lane.

"Between not winning since 2020, and all that speedy dry I feel like I've been to the desert" Young quipped afterwards, "this feels amazing, can't thank Sendlewski Architects and Bobby Mason of Ace's Landscaping enough for sticking by me".

Matt Brode of East Islip was runner-up in the Freightliner of Long Island Chevy while Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills rebounded nicely from his lap 37 spin for third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck and Jack Handley Jr. of Medford were fourth and fifth.

Defending Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove scored his second win of the season when he topped the 40-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series opener for the class. Starting from the pole Grennan quickly put his Eastport Feeds Chevy to the race lead with Sean Glennon in tow. Glennon, whose team burned the midnight oil to get damage repaired from a heavy crash a week earlier was all over the race leader as the race hit the halfway mark but a lap 27 caution for a Max Handley spin would change the complexion of the race. When the field was lined up and drivers chose at the cone Chase Grennan, younger brother to the race leader sat third and when the race resumed ducked under Glennon in a battle for second. Chase would pass Glennon for second on lap 31 but there would be no catching Owen who secured his 16th career victory. Chase settled for second in the Black Forest Auto entry while Sean Glennon of Northport was third in the R&R Brothers Electric Chevy.

Also kicking off their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for 2023 were the Blunderbusts who went to post in a 30-lap contest with defending champion Cody Triola of Bay Shore scoring a milestone 10th career win. Brandon Hubbard led the first lap of the race before he was overtaken by Cody Triola, who quickly started building a very comfortable lead. That lead however was erased after a Brandon Hubbard spin on lap 12 drew a caution and bunched up the field. The ensuing restart pitted leader Triola and second place Jim Laird Jr. side by side. Laird, who raced his way to second on lap 10 hung tough on the outside of leader Triola for several laps before the Cesspool Pros driver eventually took sole possession of the lead and his second win of 2023. Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace was runner-up in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice while Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach rallied from his lap 12 spin for third in the United Exhaust Shop racer.

All-time leading Super Pro Truck winner Lou Maetsri of Deer Park notched his 38th career win Saturday in a 20-lap affair. Lou was a driver on a mission, wanting to end the two-race win streak of Jack Handley Jr. and wanting to win for one of his sponsors, former racer Jimmy Vaccaro of Goodfella's Auto Repair who recently underwent major surgery. Maestri wasted no time taking control of the race at the throw of the green and indeed would later have his mirror full of Hanldey later in the race. In the end however Lou Maestri would drive off to his first win of 2023 ending the two-for-two win streak of Handley, dedicating the win to Vaccaro afterwards. Mission accomplished. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was runner-up in the River Walk Bar & Grill Toyota with "The Bullet" Ethan Brown of Floral Park in the FDNY Bravest Football Team Chevy.

The hottest driver on Long Island right now is "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches as he won his fourth INEX Legend Race Car feature in a row Saturday. Joey Braun broke to the race lead at the start with Jeff Farruggia in pursuit. Both young talents have been chasing Davidowitz in 2023 and were hoping to end his three-race win streak. Davidowitz, who started 6th made his way to third on lap 4, then settled in to hunt down Braun and Farruggia. On lap 10 Davidowitz made his way by Farruggia for second and two laps later executed a textbook crossover on Braun to take the race lead on lap 12. Once out in front Richie Davidowitz stayed there for his 29th career win in the Hampton Fleet Service entry. Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead was second in the Chris Mohr Landscaping mount while the ride of the night was turned in by Chase Van Houten of Wading River who finished third after starting 13th in his Terra Vite Vineyards racer.

For the second time this year Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays topped the 4/6-Cylinder Git & Go Enduro in his East West Pest Control machine. Zach Tyler of Cutchogue was runner-up in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney-At-Law entry while John Palmeri of Lindenhurst was third in the J&J Towing mount.

Kevin Rommeney of East Meadow held off brother Michael Rommeney to win the School Bus Oval Race in his North Fork Sanitation bus.

News - July 2023


Artie Pedersen III & Jarrod Hayes Score Riverhead Raceway Miller Lite Triple Crown Series Wins Saturday

By Bob Finan

July 22nd, 2023
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The weather was perfect, the grandstands full for a night of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Racing at Riverhead Raceway and the drivers delivered. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches scored his second straight Late Model victory of the season in a 40-lap affair. Jarrod Hayes of Calverton also made it two in a row when he topped a non-stop 30-lap Street Stock feature. Both divisions contested their second race of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series.

Brandon Turbush and Artie Pedersen III by virtue of heat race passing points made up the Late Model front row and like he did couple weeks back Artie Pedersen III got a great launch at the throw of the green. Turbush filed in behind leader Pedersen, but Brandon's race took a turn for the worse when he spun in turn four on lap 4 after Jeremy McDermott made contact. McDermott was sent to the rear for his role in the incident. When the green waved after the caution flag period Pedersen remained the leader with former two-time champion Kevin Metzger in tow. Metzger chased Pedersen until lap 26 when McDermott slipped by to the outside up the backstretch after picking his way back through traffic. By the time Jeremy raced his way to second, Pedersen had built himself a comfortable lead in the Unique Golf machine and as much as McDermott chipped away at the advantage Artie Pedersen III would again prevail. McDermott of Riverhead was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while Kevin Metzger of Massapequa finished on the podium in third with his Complete Well & Pump Toyota.

Clearly, Jarrod Hayes and his North Fork Sanitation Street Stock team did not have the start to their 2023 campaign they would have liked. But Hayes is making up for lost time and Saturday won a non-stop 30-lap main event for his second win in a row. When the race got underway Hayes motored out front, showing for the second race in a row the local speed merchant had the car to beat. McCormack ran second early on but at the halfway mark had to contend with defending champion Dave Antos who came calling. Antos made his bid for second payoff on lap 19 passing McCormack. However, without the aid of a caution and ensuing double file restart Antos would not be able to reel in the race leader. At the finish Jarrod Hayes again made his way to the winner's circle while Antos of Lindenhurst settled for runner-up money in the JTEC Electric Chevy. McCormack of Holbrook was third at the conclusion in his Robo Car Wash entry.

In 2022 Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford lost a Figure Eight win just feet from the start/finish line after a hard his at the crossover. Fast forward to 2023 and Hyde running and ready to settle for 5th Saturday suddenly saw the seas part in the final turn of the race handing him his second consecutive win. After Joe Warren Jr. led lap 1, Artie Pedersen III, mere minutes after his Late Model win took the lead on lap 2. Pedersen as he did in the LM race built up a fairly comfortable lead, well so he thought. The chaotic last lap saw AP3 trying to lap a slower car. After taking the white Artie closed too fast on that lapped car heading into the third turn. Ryan Warren, brother Allan Pedersen and Uncle Scott Pedersen were all caught up in the momentary chaos. That allowed Ken Hyde Jr. in his Brigandi Brothers Automotive Chevy to part the seas and drive from fifth to victory lane. The unlikely win is the 13th of Hyde's career tying him for 12th all-time with "The Dean" Bill Steen. Somehow, someway Ryan Warren of Ridge made it through the last lap excitement for second in the Craftsman Fence Chevy, while defending champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley did likewise for third in the Northeastern Office Equipment Cadillac.

There are times in racing where the sport challenges a race team. Such has been the case for "Hubcap" Brandon Hubbard of Mastic but Saturday the second-generation talent rose above to win a non-stop 20-lap Blunderbust feature. Prior to the win, Brandon and team have fought mechanical issues during the first four races of the season. Armed with a front row start for the race, Hubbard took advantage breaking out front at the drop of the green. Jarrett Campbell chased Hubbard over the first half of the race before he was overtaken by defending champion Cody Triola at the halfway mark. Getting to second was the first challenge Triola faced in the fast-paced race, getting to leader Hubbard would be another. Wanting to reward his hard-working family for their efforts, there would be no catching Brandon Hubbard in his United Exhaust Shop machine as he earned his third career win. Cody Triola of Bay Shore was making progress but had to be content with second in the Cesspool Pros entry, Eddie Diaz of Centereach was third in the Gramercy Group machine.

Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge reached a milestone Saturday when he won a non-stop 20-lap Mini Stock feature, the 10th of his career, second of the year. Joe Cooke Jr. paced the race early on with former champion Paul Wojcik applying the pressure. Wojcik offered up numerous challenges to Cooke for the lead but each time the leader was able to thwart those efforts. As the laps clicked off Wojcik grew frustrated with how Cooke was holding him off and on lap 14 contact was made. While neither car spun, momentum was broken and Joe Warren Jr. in his Schmidt's Market Cavalier got a two for one, driving from third to victory lane. Andrew Farnham of Baldwin was runner-up in the Matlach Motorsports Honda, while James O'Connell of Middle Island was third in the Walls of Fame racer. It was O'Connell's first start of the season.

Doing double duty on the night paid off for Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank when he won an exciting 43-lap Truck Enduro. Wanting to remember and celebrate the life of Kimberly Putzu-Midgett, longtime companion of former champion Don Nelson who sadly passed away suddenly earlier in the month, the 43-lap distance was run in her honor. The race boiled down to a trio of veteran drivers vying for the win, Jarrett Campbell, Bobby Pease Sr. and Don Nelson. Pease showed the way for the first nine circuits before Campbell got by. Ironically enough Pease on the 40th lap, normally the final lap took the lead back from Campbell, while Nelson watched it all from a close third. Pease led the 41st lap before Campbell came roaring back to take the lead for good on lap 42 in his Rock Financial Chevy S-10. Bobby Pease of Medford was third in the Fit Spot Gym truck while Don Nelson of Ricky Point was third in the Jefferson Animal Hospital Chevy.

Tested tough Enduro veteran Donald "Woot" Lawrence of Southampton scored the victory in the 8-Cylinder Enduro. Lawrence, the 2022 Truck Enduro champion has focused his driving effort in the class that started the Enduro craze at Riverhead in May of 1986, the 8-Cylinders. The race itself was old school with cars spinning, fluid being laid down on the racing surface making just getting around the track a chore. Greg Harris of Riverhead had the lead of the race and seemed like he was the man to beat until a car spun in front of him. The contact that ensued flattened the right front of Harris ending his race. That moved the Travers.com Camaro of Woot Lawrence out front late in the race, Lawrence started the tilt from 18th and scored the popular win.

Jack Handley Jr., Jarrod Hayes & Tom Puccia Share Riverhead Raceway Victory Lane Saturday Night

By Bob Finan

July 15th, 2023
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A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway to witness another popular School Bus Demolition Derby. Prior to Michael "Cheesebox" Rommeney of Bohemia winning the Bus Demo, Jack Handley Jr. (Super Pro Trucks), Jarrod Hayes (Street Stocks) and Tom Puccia of Shirley (Mini Stocks) scored NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series victories.

The Super Pro Trucks ran the second in their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with Matt Triola and Jack Handley making up the front row for the 30-lap tilt. Triola, who won for the first time in the most recent Super Pro Truck event and Handley were even at the throw of the green, but it didn't take long for Handley, seeking his third win of 2023 to power out front just before the tandem started lap 2. Once out in clean air Handley was able to keep his East End Builders Toyota out front, while unfortunately Triola's race would later end on the back of the wrecker. At the finish Jack Handley Jr. scored his 19th career Super Pro Truck victory further padding his championship pints lead. Defending champion Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in the LTE Drainage Chevy with Lou Maestri of Deer Park third in the Hunter Business School machine.

Jarrod Hayes of Calverton took full advantage of the pole starting position for the 20-lap Street Stock main event to notch his first career victory. Hayes, who has compiled victories in the Blunderbusts (5) and Late Models (20) at Riverhead, got a great launch on the initial start to take command of the race over Brian McCormack. The race was only slowed by one caution flag and once again Hayes wheeling the North Fork Sanitation owned Chevy got the measure of challenger McCormack. Jarrod Hayes would lead the rest of the way to score the victory just one week after his son Silas won the Kids Big Wheel race at the track. The Robo Car Wash Monte Carlo of Brian McCormack of Holbrook was second with defending champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst third in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy.

The Mini Stocks also ran their second race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series, a 30-lap affair won by Tom Puccia of Shirley. Puccia, a heavy equipment operator by trade made the decision to bring his Mini Stock out for the first time in 2023 payoff. Former champion CJ Zukowski paced the race for the first 9 circuits before Tom Puccia ducked under him exiting turn four to take the lead to start lap 10. Once in the lead, Tom Puccia was able to stay there in his Ferrandino & Sons Contracting racer, earning his 7th career win. CJ Zukowski of Riverhead crossed the line second but came up light at the scale so runner-up honors went to Paul Wojcik of Patchogue in the RFG Electrical Contracting entry while defending champion Andrew Farnham of Baldwin was third in the Matlach Motorsports Honda.

In the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit feature Reid Halpin of Wading River executed a game plan of controlled aggression to come from 6th starting position to win his second feature of 2023. Early on Aria Ligon led the way for the first three laps, chased by Emmett Grattan and Halpin who made a bold move at the start of the race to quickly come to third on the first lap. Two laps later, committed to running the outside lane, Halpin went four wide with Ligon and two lapped cars exiting the second corner to move to the race lead. Once out front in the Steven's 112 Ford Bandit, Halpin,10, did not dial back on his driving style leading him to the winner's circle for the second time in four races. Kix Bock of East Hampton made a last lap pass in his Bock Auto entry to claim second over Emmett Grattan of Southold who settled for third in his IGA Food Market of Southold machine.

Just days removed from victory during the Cook Out Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ben Morabito of Miller Place continued his winning ways in the Bick Auto Bandolero Outlaws capturing their 15-lap main event. Phillip Alaimo broke to the early race lead and over the first 8 laps of the contest appeared headed for victory lane. However Morabito, who like Halpin on the Bandits started deep in the field was on the march. Cillian Tennant chased Alaimo over the first 4 circuits before being involved in a heavy crash in turn two with Will Sipala. Once the field was reset Tucker Bock chased leader Alaimo until the 8th lap when Morabito decided it was go time. Within a lap Morabito, steering the 860 Motorsports Northeast Outlaw broke to the race lead. However, Alaimo was not finished with his quest for victory. Phillip draped himself onto Ben's back bumper hoping to reclaim the lead. In the end Morabito would post his 6th career win and has now won three of the four races contested to date. Alaimo of Miller Place was runner-up in the Alaimo Contracting mount. Jayden Owens-Bader of Selden collected a career best third place finish in his Robert's Express Oil Outlaw.

Typically, if you hear or read about a driver spinning out a half dozen times during a race, the assumption is that driver had a horrible night. Such was not the case for John Palmeri of Lindenhurst who survived hard early race contact that smashed in his driver's door and damaging John's front suspension as well. Despite spinning out no less than six times while leading the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro, John Palmeri in the J&J Towing entry won the 50-lap feature event. Within minutes of the win broadcast on Flo Racing, social media lit up with cries for some car owners to give Palmeri, a second-generation driver a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified driver AJ DeSantis of Yaphank closed in after Palmeri's last spin and nearly edged John out for the win but finished second in the Mastic Wheel Alignment car. Joey Palmeri of Lindenhurst was third in the JP Automotive entry.

After 16 Years, JR Bertuccio Returns to Riverhead Modified Victory Lane, Chase Grennan Rules Crate Mod 100

By Bob Finan

July 8th, 2023
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Nearly 16 years to the day, JR Bertuccio of Centereach returned to NASCAR Modified victory lane Saturday when he led wire to wire in a non-stop 50-lap feature at Riverhead Raceway. Rising driving talent Chase Grennan of Glen Cove scored a clean sweep in the Eagle Chevrolet 100 for the Crate Modifieds for his third win of 2023 after setting fast time in qualifying.

Starting from the front row, former champion JR Bertuccio took full advantage breaking out to the early lead over Michael Rutkoski. With a multi car battle forming for third between Chris Young, Justin Brown, John Beatty Jr. and Mark Stewart the lead tandem of Bertuccio and Rutkoski were able to distance themselves from the pack. During the middle portion Bertuccio set a torrid pace and was able to put some asphalt between he and Rutkoski.

However, with 10-laps remaining in the contest either the challenger Rutkoski hit another gear and starting moving closer to Bertuccio, or JR's pace fell off. Being able to pull within a care length or two of Bertuccio would be one thing, getting close enough to mount a challenge quite another. Both drivers were equally as hungry for their first win of the campaign.

Despite seeing his large lead shrink in the final 10 circuits, JR Bertuccio for the first time since July 14th, 2007 sat in Riverhead Raceway victory lane. During the Flo broadcast of the race it was disclosed the Gershow Motorsports team may have made the winning decision at the race shop during the week. Bertuccio had been running a "built" motor up until this week with the team deciding install a Spec Engine for Saturday. "Feels great to be back in victory lane" JR offered post-race, "We've had some struggles, but we were fast tonight, can't thank my Dad enough". The win was the 29th of Bertuccio's career tying him with Kyle Soper for 11th all-time. Next win evens JR with Mike Ewanitsko for 10th.

Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was second in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac machine, Chris Young of Calverton was third in his Ace's Landscaping racer. Justin Brown of Manorville and Mark Stewart of Riverhead completed the top five.

The Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds ran their annual 100-lapper Saturday and taking center stage was teenage sensation Chase Grennan of Glen Cove. Grennan topped the 20-cars in qualifying with a lap of 12.359, not far off Dave Brigati's track record of 12.211 set in 2019. When the green light winked on Chase zipped right out front chased over the first three laps by Kyle Elwood. Lap 4 found Chase's older brother and defending champion Owen pass Ellwood for second. Over the next 25-laps Owen ran second to his sibling but as the race moved along caution free his pace started to fall of with Ellwood running behind him. Smelling blood in the water Ellwood was able to repass Owen Grennan for second on lap 29.

Just moments after losing second, Owen's night took a dramatic turn for the worse when his car quit running with a faulty fuel pump stalling just shy of the third turn gate drawing the first stoppage and only stoppage of the race. When the race resumed Kyle Ellwood was draped all over the rear spoiler of Chase Grennan's rear spoiler. It appeared over the middle to final stages of the race Kyle was comfortable letting the young lion set the pace, However when it was go time for Ellwood, Grennan was able to pick up his pace and rive off to his 5th career Crate Modified victory. The triumph also moves Chase to the championship lead. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was runner-up in the Rosemar Industries Spafco. Terry Stiles of Rocky Point worked hard to score third place money in his Van Buren Auto Allison Transmissions Chevy, Stiles, AJ Desantis of Yaphank and most recent winner Michael Berner of Patchogue diced for the duration for the position. DeSantis and Berner were fourth and fifth

Late Model car owner Jennifer JoAnn was at wits end in the sport and ready to pack it in after just one season. Enter Artie Pedersen III of CheckerWon Motorsports who teamed with her in an effort not just for success, but to show her the upside of the sport. In just their fourth race as a team, Pedersen of Center Moriches scored his and Jennifer JoAnn's first career Late Model victory in a non-stop 25 lap event. Knowing he was starting from the pole and rival Jeremy McDermott, a two-time winner in '23 was further back on the grid, AP3 knew a good start to the race was paramount. Never one to waste opportunity Pedersen got and amazing launch at the throw of the green taking command of the race from the outset over rising talent Ed Cheslak. With no cautions or yellow flags to fall back on, McDermott had to make his way to the front the old-fashioned way and he did.On lap 11 McDermott passed Cheslak for second, that was the good news for Jeremy. Bad news was Pedersen had a straightaway cushion. McDermott whittled it down but in the end it was too much to overcome. At the checker Artie Pedersen III scored his first LM win with the NY Bernerdoodles Chevy of Jennifer JoAnn. McDermott of Riverhead was second, Cheslak of Rocky Point a strong third in the Native Ceuticals entry.

Race drivers look for motivation to win races anywhere they can find it. Sometimes that motivation finds them. Just a week removed from losing his beloved mother, Marcia to cancer, Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point turned sadness into motivation and triumph winning his second race of 2023. The race, second leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series was a 30-lap contest with defending champion Cody Triola jumping to the early lead. Soon Triola was joined at the front by Jim Laird Jr.. As they have done it seems all season long, Triola and Laird raced hard, side by side but with the up most respect for each other. Eventually Laird took the race lead for good and as the laps wore down built a comfortable lead in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice. Afterwards Jim admitted, "I completely lost it, coming to the checker flag I could barely see the flag stand through the tears". The victory was the 14th of Jim's career, tying him for 7th all time with Ron Harrison. Cody Triola of Bay Shore in the Cesspool Pros racer was second, third fell to Tom Puccia of Shirley in the Ferrandino & Sons Contracting Chevy.

Joey Braun of Manorville has started a INEX Legend Race Car win streak at the midway point of the season. Saturday, the driver dubbed "Blankets" made some late race moves to top the 20-lap feature event, his second consecutive win, 12th of his career tying him with Timmy Solomito for 5th all-time. Nick Morabito broke out front at the throw of the green and looked like he was headed for the winner's circle for the second time of his career. Nick fended off challengers Jason Castaldo for the first half of the race, then Riely O'Keefe from laps 11-14. On lap 15 after starting 8th, Joey Braun made his presence known moving to second and two laps later taking the lead in his Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers racer, a lead he would keep to the conclusion. Riely O'Keefe of Manorville crossed the line second but was disqualified for unapproved weight percentage in tech. Richie Davidowitz of Manorville was runner-up with his Freddie & Megan Kraft backed machine with Nick Morabito of Miller Place third in the 860 Motorsports Northeast mount.

School Bus Demolition Derby to Bring Riverhead Raceway House Down July 15th

By Bob Finan

July 7th, 2023
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Full fender racing fury will be on full display during the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event set for July 15th at Riverhead Raceway. Once the stock cars are done thrilling the fans the house is sure to come down when the first School Bus Demolition Derby closes out the night's festivities.

With the NASCAR Modifieds starting a two-week summer break and the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds off as well, the Super Pro Trucks and Street Stocks will headline the racing portion of the card. Both classes will contest their second Miller Lite Triple Crown Series events of 2023 in 30-lap main events. The Mini Stocks see Saturday night action with a 20-lap feature scheduled for Saturday.

The driving stars of tomorrow will be on full display with the Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandits & Outlaws in action. Each division will race 15-lap main events. During the program track management has announced an autograph session featuring the drivers of the Bock Auto Bandoleros will be presented. The session will take place in the turn three midway of Riverhead Raceway. It's a golden opportunity for kids to get autographs from kids their own age, or younger who actually compete on the quarter mile oval.

Completing the left turn racing action is a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro providing wall to wall racing excitement where anything can, and usually does happen.

Once the dance floor has been cleared, the 13-ton School Buses will roll to the track. Once the green flag waves the sight of these huge machines crashing is only outdone by the thunderous sounds that fill the night air. Drivers like "The Punisher" Paul Fox, "Kev-O" Kevin Rommeney and Cheesebox" Michael Rommeney are just a few of the School Bus daredevils who'll see action.

Qualifying is set for 5:30 pm, opening ceremonies are set for 6:30 pm. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, adults $30, kids 6-12 $20, 5 & under free.

For further information, championship standings and schedule please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected]. The phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Riverhead Raceway to Celebrate Chris Young With Twin 49'S July 29th

By Bob Finan

July 3rd, 2023
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Over the weekend, Riverhead Raceway management announced the third race of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup on July 29th will be Celebrating Chris Young, Twin 49 features for the NASCAR Modifieds. A complete card of Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing will compliment the NASCAR Modifieds.

While making the announcement on the event track GM John Ellwood noted, "Chris was a blue collar kind of racer, nothing too fancy, but man he was fast". After scoring his first career NASCAR Modified victory and July 13th, 1985, the late Chris Young would tally a total of 33 wins ranking him 5th all time. While a NASCAR Modified title escaped him, Young was a two-time Figure Eight champion at Riverhead Raceway in 1976 and 1977 before moving over to Islip Speedway where he won the 1978 and 1979 Figure Eight championship.

Chris and Ann Young's son Christopher continues to carry the racing torch for his father, pretty much doing things the way his Dad would. Heading into July the second generation racer has one win on the season. When he received the call from John Ellwood about Twin 49's to celebrate his father Young was overcome with emotion. After gathering his emotions he recalled fondly, "I appreciate it so much, it's such an honor to know my Dad is still talked about from time to time. He was the epitome of racing at Riverhead, relentless, hard-nosed, and when he was hooked up pretty hard to beat. I'm just so proud of my Dad for all he did, but racing still keeps him close, whenever I am at the shop it's like he's still there".

Indeed, Chris Young was old school as recalled by retired track announcer Bob Finan, "Chris was the working man's racer. If he could build it or fix it himself, he would" Bob then pointed to one particular instance, "back when everyone was running out to buy a fancy enclosed hauler or trailer, Chris Young was not among them, no sir. He actually built his own enclosed box truck type hauler with his own two hands, oh and by the way that truck is still in use to this day with the Figure Eight team of Gary Fritz Jr."

This will not be the first Twin 49 event run in Celebrating Chris Young, as Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead swept Twin 49's in August of 2015 not long after Chris passed suddenly after post-surgery complications. Rogers like Young came through the Figure Eight ranks and after the sweep in 2015 remembered it was Young who gave him advice on racing NASCAR Modifieds at Riverhead. "Chris was the first guy to give me advice, simply he told me what happens one week forget it by the next week" Rogers recalled.

As to the logistics of the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's, John Ellwood disclosed, "they will be two separate races, two sets of track championship points, and Crown Jewel Series points will be earned. Cars will go to impound area between races, teams can work on the cars and change tires. The adding of fuel or removal of lead between races will not be permitted". The line-up for the second Twin 49 will be inverted to a number picked by the first race winner.

The July 29th Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's marks the return of the NASCAR Modifieds after a two week summer break for the class. Also in action are the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and an 8-Cylinder Enduro. Qualifying will be at 5:30 pm, followed by opening ceremonies.

Visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com for our complete schedule of events in 2023, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Tom Rogers Jr. Makes Riverhead Raceway History Winning 63rd Riverhead Raceway Modified Event, Ties Charlie Jarzombek on All Time Win List

By Bob Finan

July 1st, 2023
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On a night where Riverhead Raceway celebrated it's 73rd birthday and saluted a racing icon Fred Harbach with a 73-lap NASCAR Modified event, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead reached icon status of his own. Rogers took his 63rd career victory tying him with the late "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek at the top of the all-time win list.

The restored 1983 Islip Speedway championship X-90 Pinto of "The Flying Dutchman" Fred Harbach paced the field before getting down to business. When it was time to go to work Tom Rogers Jr. wasted little time getting after it. Starting third on the grid Rogers snuck under Justin Brown, who set fast time earlier in the day for the race lead after Brown chose to start outside the front row. Matt Brode who started inside Brown led the first two laps before Rogers came calling to the inside in turn three and four., When the field started the 3rd lap Rogers was the new race leader. Brode ran second until a lap 11 restart when John Beatty Jr. was able to make the pass putting him second to Rogers.

The race hit a long green flag run with Rogers leading Beatty but a series of late race cautions would jumble things up. On lap 60 Brown passed Beatty for second but Justin's time in the challengers spot lasted just five laps. On lap 66 a multi car minor incident in turn one forced another restart, Rogers was able to remain out front. Behind him Kyle Ellwood, who marched his way from mid-pack with a series of outside passes was able to get by Brown for second. Once there Ellwood was able to pull to the back bumper of leader Rogers but the latter started to back up the corners breaking Ellwood's momentum.

When the checker flag waved history was made with Tom Rogers Jr. who won his first Modified race May 8th, 2004 notched career win 63 in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Chevy. "I don't care if I win another race being up there with Charlie now" Rogers commented. Tom pulled his winning car up just short of the winner's circle, he explained, "I did that because legends like Charlie and Freddy belong there". Rogers and car owners Denise & Kenny Darch earned a $900 bonus from the Harbach family.

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead pocketed $600 in bonus money for his second place tally in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry, while Matt Brode in the Steven's 112 Ford machine was third earning $300 in bonus dollars. Justin Brown of Manorville and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick were fourth and fifth. Rookie talent Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was gifted with a 9th place $180 bonus from long time X-90 crew members Jenine & George Venth.

Right before his uncle went out and made NASCAR Modified history, Michael Berner of Patchogue topped the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified feature. Max Handley bolted to the early race lead chased early by Owen Grennan and Kyle Ellwood. However it was Michael Berner the driver on the move in this one as he raced his way to third on lap 7. An 8th lap restart allowed Berner to now close in on second behind Handley and three laps later another restart would work to Michael's advantage. During the lap 11 restart Berner put the hammer down taking the race lead for good in his Clear River Environmental Chevy. The win was the 6th of Berner's career giving him sole possession of fifth on the all-time win list. Max Handley of Medford was runner-up in his Hydro-Action machine while Chase Grennan of Glen Cove made a late race charge payoff with third place money in the Dillner Precast Chevy.

Another milestone victory was scored in the 20-lap Figure Eight main event as Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford notched his 12th career victory tying him with his late father Ken Sr. for 13th all-time. Ryan Warren paced the race over the first three circuits before Ken Hyde Jr. came calling on a restart. Artie Pedersen III followed Hyde to second and on lap 15 took the lead on lap 15 after loosening the leader up off turn two. When a yellow waved on lap 16 race control moved Pedersen back to second and Hyde to the lead to correct the earlier contact. When the race resumed Hyde wasn't going to lose the lead again and rove to victory in the East Side Builders Chevy. Artie Pedersen III was second in the North Fork Welding Supply Mustang while younger brother Allan recovered from a lap 3 spin to finish third in the Top Notch Performance Camaro.

After scoring numerous podium finishes in May & June, "Blankets" Joey Braun of Manorville finally broke into INEX Legend Race Car victory lane in a 20-lap affair. Braun and opening night winner Kevin Nowak brought the 26-car field to green with Joey taking the lead early with Nowak chasing. They ran in that order until a late race restart when Nowak moved up the track in turn two allowing 2021 champion George Tomko Jr. to move to second. Tomko closed in on the race leader but that would be as good as it got. At the finish Joey Braun in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law machine took home his first win of the season, the 11th of his career ranking him 6th on the win list. George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue making his first start of the season was runner-up in the Montauk Distilling racer with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches third in the Hampton Fleet Service mount. Nowak faded to fourth in the end.

Recovering for a first lap, first turn spin Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park won the 15-lap Eddie Partridge All Star Vintage feature. Ferrante was alongside pole sitter Mike Siraco for the start when incidental contact was made send Tony into a spin. On the second attempt to start the race Sal Accardi Jr. moved out front leading Don Howe while Ferrante was making his way back to the front. On lap 4 with Accardi and Howe dicing for the lead Tony made a two for one pass taking the lead for good un the Tony Ferrante & Son Inc Cavalier. Howe of Water Mill was second in the Corwith's Auto Body entry with Accardi of Deer Park third in the Calabrese Trucks Cavalier.

Tested tough Enduro veteran Bobby Pease of Medford topped the 20-lap Truck Enduro for his first win of 2023 in the Fit Spot Gym Chevy. Mariah Lawrence of Southampton was runner-up in her sponsor wanted General Lee, while her brother Woot, defending Truck Enduro champion was third in the Gregor Well Drilling grocery getter.

News - August 2023


Andrew Farnham, Mason Goodale & Will Sipala share Back to School Victory Lane Wednesday Night at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

August 23rd, 2023
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ANDREW FARNHAM, MASON GOODALE & WILL SIPALA SHARE BACK TO SCHOOL VICTORY LANE WEDNESDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

A large and enthusiastic crowd looked on Wednesday night as Riverhead Raceway presented the annual Back to School Monster Truck spectacular. Prior to the car crushing mayhem, Andrew Farnham of Baldwin won his second Mini Stock event of 2023, while Mason Goodale scored his second win of the season in the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero feature. The 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Outlaw 15-lap event fell to Will Sipala of Manorville, he also enjoying a second win on the season.

Defending Mini Stock champion Andrew Farnham was a man on a mission, out avenge a DQ from the most recent race when he and three other top runners were deemed to have unapproved exhaust systems. Steering the Matlach Motorsports Honda, Farnham never looked back after taking the lead of the midweek special. Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge, also a DQ victim on August 12th rebounded for a second-place tally in the Tom Kraft tribute car while Shawn Wanat of Riverhead, winner of the most recent race was third in the Spit Speed Shop racer. For Farnham the win was the 8th of his career tying him with Mike Mujsce Jr. for second on the win list led by Joe Warren Jr.

Second generation racer Mason Goodale found his way back to victory lane turning in a dominating performance in the Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit 15-lap contest. Mason, the son of NASCAR WMT driver Eric won by nearly six seconds over his nearest rival. That nearest rival, championship leader Reid Halpin of Wading River charged his way back to the front after an early race incident forced him to the rear of the field in the Baldwin Automotive machine. Reid settled for second. Emmett Grattan of Southold was third in the Southold PBA entry and is knocking on the door of his first career win.

Will Sipala, grandson of Fred Sipala, a Modified driver during the Islip Speedway era survived a restart with five laps remaining in the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Outlaw to post his second career victory. Ben Morabito, winner of four out of the five races to date at Riverhead chased Sipala until late in the contest when he was passed for second place by Cillian Tennat of Riverhead in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law entry.

After taking a job with the Long Island Railroad, Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma was forced to curtail his very successful Enduro racing activities to a limited basis. Well no rust gathered on the driver of the Fleming Landscapes Design entry as he won the 40-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro Wednesday. Popular Woot Lawrence, championship leader of the class was runner-up in the Travers.com racer, while defending champion Pat Collins of Southampton was third in the PC Truck & Equipment Chevy.

Zach Tyler of Cutchogue certainly likes the midweek 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro events, especially after he won his second 40-lap main event in three weeks. Zach won the August 2nd Wednesday night program for his first win of the season. Tyler, steering the Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law racer was chased to the line by Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindenhurst in his J&J Towing machine while Jeremy Rand of Southampton was third in his sponsored wanted entry.

Mini Stocks: 1. Andrew Farnham 2. Joe Warren Jr. 3. Shawn Wanat 4. John Harley 5. Ryan Warren 6. Jake Innes 7. Joe Cooke Jr. 8. Paul Wojcik 9. Charles Astacio

Bock Auto Bandolero Bandits: 1. Mason Goodale 2. Reid Halpin 3. Emmett Grattan 4. Layla Quilliam 5. Blake Grattan 6. Christian Ryan 7. Jordan Ryan 8. Aria Ligon 9. Kix Bock 10. Antonio D'Alonzo

Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Will Sipala 2. Cillian Tennant 3. Ben Morabito 4. Tucker Bock 5. Madison Tomazewski 6. Jayden Owens-Bader 7. Gavin Romano 8. Nick Hodge 9. Jayden Milheiser 10. Phillip Alaimo 11. Giavanna Agugliaro

8-Cylinder Enduro- Anthony Pizzo 2. Woot Lawrence 3. Pat Collins 4. Don Carasiti 5. Greg Harris 6. Pat Collins Jr. 7. Kale Buckley 8. Justin Squires 9. Ricky Carman 10. Richie Carman 11. Christian Kalbfleisch 12. James Heym 13. Carmine Ragusa 14. Dwayne Sipila 15. Tim Healy 16. Kevin Feeney 17. Dave Sandel 18. Moody Enaya 19. Dennis Jones 20. Roger Tramm 21. Cutter Gera 22. Jimmy Muench 23. David Verbeeck 24. Kevin Coyle 25. Jess Martines Jr. 26. Steve Jones 27. Jeremy Rand 28. Anthony Capobianco 29. Jack McCarthy Jr. 30. Franky Abbatiello 31. Robert Eggers 32. Steven Neenan

4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Zach Tyler 2. Joey Palmeri Jr. 3. Jeremy Rand 4. David Olivari 5. Mike Mujsce Jr. 6. Jesse Bichsel 7. John Palmeri 8. Frank Raynor 9. Mike Mujsce III 10. Chris Olivari 11. Rob Izzo 12. Michael Fragola 13. Tyler Farrell 14. Michael Ashdahl 15. Steve Jappell 16. John Handley Sr.17. Mariah Lawrence 18. Ed LaSpina 19, Dillon Reid 20. Charles Astacio 21. Anthony Fioriglio 22. Jacob Hartard 23. Anthony Paretta 24. Jack Handley Jr. 25. Will Raynor 26. Hans Kiessing 27. Jack Tessa 28. Mitch Halfin 29. Vinny Abbatiello 30. David Duran 31. Joe Rodriquez 32. Frank Abbatiello 33. Ryan T. Warren

Timmy Solomito Remains Perfect at Riverhead Raceway After Taking $6,326 Bubba 150 Victory Saturday

By Bob Finan

August 21st, 2023
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Timmy Solomito of Islip remained perfect with the NASCAR Modifieds of Riverhead Raceway in 2023, after he powered his way to a $6,326 payday winning The Bubba 150 Saturday. With the triumph Solomito moves to 15th on the Riverhead Raceway win list with 23 victories.

During qualifying Solomito was quickest earning the Righteous Window Cleaning Pole Award with a 11.409. A $2,500 Highmark Building Efficiency Challenge was offered to Timmy of he would drop to the rear of the field and win the race, Solomito citing track position politely declined. The challenge was then offered to championship leader John Beatty Jr of Merrick who also turned the offer down after a lap of 11.444. Chris Young of Calverton third in qualifying with a lap of 11.460 gladly jumped on the challenge and dropped to the rear of the 18-car field.

With Bob "Bubba" Patanjo's granddaughter, Riely getting the race underway waving the green Solomito quickly moved out front ahead of Beatty for the first lap scored. Next circuit saw Justin Bonsignore in in the TBR Racing entry move by Beatty for second, As the field was trying to compete the third lap Mark Stewart was the victim of a left rear flat exiting the fourth corner drawing a caution flag, trapping Allan Pedersen with nowhere to go. Both continued.

What followed the early race caution was indeed an anomaly at Riverhead, 138 continuous laps of green flag racing. During the long caution free run there were two story lines fans were tracking. First a titanic battle for the race lead between Solomito and Bonsignore that featured numerous crossover maneuvers as the duo swapped the lead just prior to and following the 50-lap mark of the race. While keeping an eye on the race for the lead, fans were peeking back at the progress Chris Young was making towards the top ten. Chris barnstormed his way into the top ten rather quickly getting to 8th prior to halfway.

As the race entered the final 50-lap segment Solomito was able to get away from Bonsignore some due in part to the arrival of Justin Brown to the third position. Brown pulled up to the rear spoiler of Bonsignore earlier and was all over the second-place car late in the race. Meanwhile, Chris Young in his march towards the front found another gear late in the tilt moving to 5th and appeared to have the fastest car on the track.

Then on lap 140 things heated up, and in a hurry. With Solomito out front comfortably, Bonsignore and Brown were working some lap traffic in Mark Stewart and Tom Rogers Jr., who were racing for position. The two made slight contact sending Rogers to the outside off the corner into the path of Bonsignore, who had to break momentum allowing Brown to come to second. Unhappy with Rogers, Bonsignore gave Tom a shot in turn four to which Tom responded by slowing in front of Justin going into the first turn. End result was both of them tangling seconds later in turn four drawing a yellow with ten laps to go. Both drivers were sent to the rear on the ensuing restart for their actions.

With just ten laps remaining question became who would pit, who would stay out. Among the lead lap cars all pitted but Justin Brown who opted to restart with the race lead. Solomito, Ellwood, Beatty, Ellwood Young and Bonsignore all ducked in for their change tire.

When the green waved for the final 10-lap run Solomito went right back to work moving by Brown for the race lead with Ellwood and Young also getting by Brown for second and third. Young made a late race bid to pass Ellwood for second but by the time he did Solomito was again long gone.

As the checker flag waved Timmy Solomito's perfect season remained intact in the Kennedy L.I. Realty Chevy. After being greeted by Mike Patanjo and Dennis Freese of Oval Speed in victory lane, Timmy was asked by track announcer Stephen Halpin the secret to his car staying so good the entire race, "my brother Shawn, he made this thing a rocket ship, he works on it so hard with my Dad, who despite kidney stones is out there working away". Timmy added, "great to win this race for Bubba. He used to jokingly call me Punk when I'd walk by Bill Park's car, a true honor to win his race".

Bonus money earned by Solomito on top of the $1,800 in purse money included, $2,500 for the Patanjo Family, $500 from Waddell Communications/Preece Racing for leading lap 125, $1,326 in lap money, $100 from the Righteous Window Cleaning Pole Award and the Natural Design Concepts & Apparel Most Laps Led $100 award.

Chris Young wowed the crowd and those watching on Flo Racing with his charge for the $2,500 Highmark Building Efficiency Challenge, which included a stipulation that the accepting driver would get $500 with a podium finish. So impressed was Rich Gerbe of Highmark, he doubled the bonus to $1,000 for Young and his Ace's Landscaping team. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead did a masterful job bringing the Matlach Motorsports racer home for third place money in just his second start in the car. John Beatty Jr. and Justin Brown of Manorville completed the top five.

For the fourth time this year, defending Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove sat in victory lane at the conclusion of their 25-lap feature. Grennan and championship rival Michael Berner brought the 18-car field to green with Grennan taking the early lead. Berner soon began feeling like the cheese in a sandwich when Chase Grennan, the leaders younger brother came to challenge for second. On lap 6 Chase was able to come to second passing Berner and setting sail for brother Owen. A few times during the balance of the race Chase tried to gain a run to the outside of Owen but in the end the older brother would prevail in his Eastport Feeds Chevy for his 17th career win. Chase was runner-up in the Black Forest Auto entry while Michael Berner of Patchogue settled for third in the Pro Diesel racer.

Eddie Diaz of Centereach has always been among the quicker Blunderbust cars in 2023 but had been unable to seal the deal, until Saturday night when he won his first of the year in a 20-lap affair. A hungry Eddie Diaz bolted to the early advantage at the throw of the green with Joe Densieski in tow. Densieski stayed in leader Diaz's tire tracks until lap 16 when he was overtaken by defending champion Cody Triola. On lap 18 Densieski and Bill Wegmann Sr. were involved in a late race jingle that forced a double file restart with two to go, a restart that would change the complexion of the race. When the race resumed Eddie Diaz in the At Your Side Home Healthcare racer hit his marks earning his 3rd career victory. Brandon Hubbard of Mastic made a late race charge on the final restart for second in the United Exhaust Shop racer while Cody Triola of Bay Shore completed the podium in third with the Cesspool Pro racer,

Another driver fast all year but yet to find the winners circle in 2023 was 20-lap INEX legend Race Car winner Riely O'Keefe of Manorville. O'Keefe made his way to the lead at the drop of the green with a bevy of challengers waiting to pounce. Among them included Jeff Farruggia Jr., Richie Davidowitz and Joey Braun. The trio kept pace with leader O'Keefe with the race coming down to a green, white & checker to decide the outcome. Looking to rid himself of the tough racing luck he's been plagued with in '23, Riely O'Keefe in the Get Clear, Crystal Clear Window Cleaning car polished off the competition on the restart for the popular win. Joey Braun of Manorville crossed the line second in the Cut Above Hair Salon entry while Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead was third in the AJ Painting machine.

Saturday marked the 19th anniversary of the passing of "Tiger" Tam Baldwin, in the 15-lap Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars feature the recently restored Pontiac bodied 7NY with Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park at the wheel took home the popular win. Accardi paid close attention to detail when restoring the car which indeed was traced back to "Tiger" Tom. Sal led all 15-laps of the race taking the lead from pole sitter Jimmy Reed Jr. at the start. Sal was greeted in victory lane by Tommy Baldwin Jr. Don Howe of Water Mill was runner-up in the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier while Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park was third in the Anthony Ferrante & Son Inc. mount.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Chris Young 3. Kyle Ellwood 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Justin Brown 6. Matt Brode 7. Justin Bonsignore 8. Dylan Slepian 9. Mark Stewart 10. JR Bertuccio 11. Mike Christopher Jr. 12. Tom Rogers Jr. 13. Jack Handley Jr. 14. Allan Pedersen 15. Chris Rogers 16. Michael Rutkoski 17. Roger Turbush DNS- Dave Brigati

Crate Modifieds: 1. Owen Grennan 2. Chase Grennan 3. Michael Berner 4. Vinny Dekaney 5. Joey Braun 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Eric Hersey 8. Terry Stiles 9. Ken Massa 10. Sean Glennon 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Max Handley 13. Mike Albasini 14. Rich Gerbe 15. Tom Sekulski 16. Eddie Schutze 17. AJ DeSantis 18. Chevy Rommeney

Blunderbusts: 1. Eddie Diaz 2. Brandon Hubbard 3. Cody Triola 4. Jim Laird Jr. 5. Joe Densieski 6. Brad Bess 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Tom Puccia 9. Gary Caldwell 10. Bill Wegman Jr. 11. Michael Accordino

Legend Race Cars: 1. Riely O'Keefe 2. Joey Braun 3. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 4. Richie Davidowitz 5. Jason Castaldo 6. Ryan Lutz 7. Mike Benton 8. Eric Hersey 9. Chris Sinatro 10. Nick Morabito 11. Rodney Dowless Jr. 12. Joe Warren Jr. 13. Jayden Glennerster 14. Mike Van Houten Jr. 15. Robert Henninger III 16. Ray Stulz 17. Michael Metcalf 18. Kendall Van Houten 19. Alex Johnson 20. Charles Hodge 21. Ed Stadtlander 22. Kimberly Daniel 23. Steve Harding 24. Pat Moore 25. Jim Sylvester 26. Marc Godnick

Vintage All Stars: 1. Sal Accardi Jr. 2. Don Howe 3. Tony Ferrante Jr. 4. Mike Siraco 5. Jimmy Reed Jr. 6. Cody Triola 7. Billy Auer

Funeral Information Released for Jim Cromarty

By Bob Finan

August 17th, 2023
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Barbara Cromarty, and her & Jim's three daughters, Deborah Meryl & Joyce have announced the funeral arrangements for Jim Cromarty.

Viewing Sunday August 20th, 2023

D'Andrea Funeral Home

99 Oak Street

Copiague, NY 11726

2-4 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm.

Funeral Mass Monday August 21st, 2023

The Church of St. Martin

37 Union Avenue

Amityville, NY 11701

9:30 am

Burial to follow mass at

St. Charles Cemetery

2015 Wellwood Avenue

Farmingdale, NY 11735

Bonus Money Program Announced for Bubba 150 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

August 15th, 2023
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BONUS MONEY PROGRAM ANNOUNCED FOR BUBBA 150 SATURDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

As the 4th annual Bubba 150 for the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds nears Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, Dennis Freese of Oval Speed Unlimited, who presents the event with track management announced the 2023 bonus award program totaling $4.250. Chris Turbush of Wading River is the defending race winner.

The Bubba 150 is run to celebrate and remember Bob "Bubba" Patajno, a longtime crew member with Bill Park at both Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway who passed suddenly in the Fall of 2019. "Bubba" was a integral part of Team Park leading Bill to 33 career Riverhead Raceway victories and four NASCAR Modified championships. With his ever-present cigar, Patanjo would engage all who came upon him, many of them left with an official "Bubba" nick name.

The Patajno family has posted $2,500 in bonus money making a victory in the 150 worth $4,300 before any other bonus or lap money is factored in. Bob's family has added $500 for the Hard Charger of the 150 which rose to $600 when Bill Park added an additional $100. The leader of the 125th lap will earn a cool $500 from Waddell Communications & Ryan Preece Racing.

A $250 Lucky Draw Award has been offered by the Pedersen family of CheckerWon Manufacturing. The Bubba 150 winner will draw a pill from a hat and that driver will receive the $250 bonus. $100 will be awarded to the Pole Winner prior to the 150 from Righteous Window Cleaning, while Hydro Action has posted a Halfway Leader bonus of $100. Natural Design & Concepts Apparel will award $100 for the Most Laps Led, while Meade's Welding & Fabricating sponsors a $100 Hard Luck Driver bonus.

Additionally, one complete set of lap money at $20 per lap has been sold, a second set is currently in the process of being compiled.

Chris Turbush picked the right time to garner his first career NASCAR Modified win when he triumphed in the race last summer. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead won the inaugural Bubba 150 in September of 2020 while Kyle Soper of Manorville topped the 2021 edition in a 100-lap affair.

Timmy Solomito of Islip, winner this past Saturday in a 50-lap tilt announced on his Facebook page he'll be back in an attempt to win the Bubba 150 and the winner's plaque awarded by Oval Speed Unlimited. Tommy Baldwin Racing will be making their first non-WMT start at Riverhead in 2023 announcing Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville as the driver of the 7NY for the 150. Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott, Ct. will make his third Riverhead start of the season in the Rob Pelis owned machine. Christopher is running just the Crown Jewel Series events chasing the Ted Christopher Cup that is awarded after the Islip 300 in November.

2023 Riverhead Raceway championship contenders seeking their first Bubba 150 victory include John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Chris Young of Calverton, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Tom Rogers Jr., Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Chris Rogers of Patchogue, Matt Brode of East Islip, Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches and Dave Brigati of Calverton.

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead in the Matlach Motorsports entry, and Justin Brown of Manorville have only made a few Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series starts in 2023 but are readying for the Bubba150 Saturday. Brown topped the August 5th Riverhead 50-lap feature event in his family car, while Ellwood won the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 in July.

Complimenting the Bubba 150 are the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars and the Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars. Qualifying is set for 5:30 pm, opening ceremonies to follow. Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm, adults $30, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free.

Make sure to visit the all-mew http://www.riverheadraceway.com for all things Riverhead Raceway. E-mails reach us at [email protected], our phone number is 631-842-RACE

Jim Cromarty, Former Riverhead Raceway Owner Passes Away Sunday

By Bob Finan

August 14th, 2023
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Still reeling from the passing of Tom Kraft in late July, the Long Island racing family received the sad news that former Riverhead Raceway owner and promoter Jim Cromarty, 91 passed away early Sunday morning August 13th. His loving wife Barbara was at his side.

In 1977 Barbara & Jim Cromarty were introduced to the NASCAR stock car racing family as the new lease holder of Islip Speedway. The couple came to racing with very little knowledge of the sport, but their promotional credits were numerous. Prior to their involvement at Islip Speedway, Barbara and Jim promoted the Long Island Ducks of the Eastern Hockey League, the Suffolk County Fair, Roller 'N Ice, an indoor roller skating & ice skating venue in Copiague, as well operating a successful telemarketing firm, Suffolk Productions The couple leased Islip Speedway through 1984 when the final show was presented in September after the property owner sold the 26-acre parcel to Silver Lake Cookie.

Undaunted, Barbara and Jim approached Riverhead Raceway owners Ed & Clara Hawkins, from whom they leased Riverhead for some Friday night NASCAR racing over the years to purchase the Route 58 facility, which they did in the off season leading up to 1985. From 1985 through 2015 Barbara & Jim presented NASCAR racing and family entertainment events at the track. Even when property values along the Route 58 corridor skyrocketed, Jim turned down numerous lucrative non-racing offers on the property so Barbara and he could keep racing alive on Long Island, they made it a non-negotiable point. During the 2015 season it was announced that Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz has entered into an agreement to buy Riverhead Raceway to continue the tradition of stock car racing moving forward.

Barbara & Jim Cromarty resided during the race season in Manhattan and winter just outside of Miami, taking up full time residence there after retiring in 2015. Aside from racing, Jim loved boating along the south shore of Long Island, the occasional round of golf, and horse racing. Barbara & Jim also enjoyed traveling to Europe, Broadway shows and fine dining.

"Jim was the most positive, loving person you could meet" Bob Finan, who worked with the Cromarty's from 1979-2015 recalled. "No matter how bad things might have looked, Jim always found sunshine through the rain. Always upbeat. The love Barbara & Jim shared for each other was amazing, and they spread it to those around them. Every conversation face to face, or a chat on the phone ended with love you".

During times like these family and friends gather to recall what a full life and how much fun an individual enjoyed during their life, Finan offered, "while Jim enjoyed his share of fun and great memories, he received so much pleasure out of presenting events that brought joy, fun and memories into countless lives along the way. That was more important to Jim".

Jim is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters, Deborah (Sean), Meryl, Joyce (Bob), he was predeceased by his youngest daughter Robin. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Change of Racing Plans Nets Timmy Solomito Second Riverhead Raceway Modified Win of 2023

By Bob Finan

August 12th, 2023
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Heading into the racing weekend Timmy Solomito of Islip and his family were planning on competing in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series event in Connecticut, however circumstances beyond Timmy's control prevented that road trip. With a car ready to race at the Solomito family shop, they instead made the short jaunt to Riverhead Raceway, a decision that paid dividends when Timmy won the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature at his home track.

For the second straight week Michael Rutkoski broke from the pole to the early race advantage at the throw of the green. Jack Handley Jr. who started alongside Rutkoski gave chase over the first 8-laps of the tilt. Early on Timmy Solomito was clearly on the move with perhaps the best car in the field. Exiting the second corner on lap 9 Timmy showed his nose under Handley and by the time the tandem started the 10th lap Solomito was second. Once arriving in second Solomito first had to reel in race leader Rutkoski who built a small, but comfortable early race lead. Much like his pass on Handley for second, Solomito again moved under leader Rutkoski off the second corner on lap 21. By the time they exited turn four Solomito was the new race leader with Rutkoski now second.

Over the final half of the race the question would be would Timmy's car show the pace it did over the first half? The answer was a resounding yes. Over the final segment Timmy Solomito in the Kennedy L.I. Realty of Bay Shore Chevy would lead the way to the checker flag for his 22nd career Modified win at Riverhead tying him with Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. and Joe Krukowski for 15th all time.

Upon exiting the winning mount Solomito got emotional, "pretty neat to win here tonight, all my nieces and nephews are here, first time I won in front of all them" As he continued Timmy furthered, "we were heading to Waterford, that was the plan, but Dad was in the hospital earlier in the week with kidney stones, and my business is so busy, so we came here". Reviewing the race Timmy reflected, "my brother Shawn threw some stuff at this car that we wanted to try, and it was good. I can never thank him for what he and his wife Kristy have done for me, not just in racing, but life".

Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck for the second week in a row would settle for second in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac Camaro, while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford competed the podium in the Suffolk Precast Chevy. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, who started scratch on the field was fourth with JR Bertuccio of Centereach fifth.

The night started off with the first Two for TK Twin 9 Figure Eight features run to celebrate and memorialize the life and career of Tom Kraft. In the first event Scott Pedersen ked Ken Hyde Jr, when the race took the green and over the first six laps of the event. It would be a 6th lap caution that changed the complexion of the race as during the stoppage second place runner Hyde pitted with a right front flat. On the ensuing restart Gary Frtiz Jr. was lined up alongside leader Scott Pedersen for the resumption. After taking the green heading into the right hand third and fourth turn Fritz leaned on Pedersen and by the time the tandem started the 7th lap Fritz was the new race leader. Over the final two circuits Gary Fritz Jr, of Mastic Beach kept his Bobby's One Stop Auto & Exhaust Cadillac out front for his first win of the year, sixth of his career. Joe Warren Jr., of Ridge was runner-up in the Island Thrift entry while Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was third in the S&H Welding Camaro.

The Two for TK nightcap would find Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford avenging his flat tire for the first race as he topped the second Twin 9 for his third win of the season, 14th of his career moving him into sole possession of 12th all time. After watching his brother-in-law Fritz win the first race, Hyde wasted no time breaking to the lead of the race at the throw of the green. Defending champion Scott Pedersen was again in the mix at the front chasing Hyde for the top spot. On lap 3 Scott was shuffled from second allowing his nephew Allan to move to second. For the remainder of the race Hyde led Allan Pedersen as their cars appeared to be equal with Ken in the Brigandi Brothers Automotive Chevy scoring his 3rd win since July 1st. Allan Pedersen of center Moriches was runner-up in the Top Notch Performance Chevy, while Scott Pedersen of Shirley was third in the Couch Racer Chevy.

The 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified event found Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead notching his third win of 2023. AJ DeSantis and Kyle Ellwood made up the front row for the event. When the green flag waved DeSantis tried to ward off Ellwood for the early race lead, but Kyle was able to get his Rat Pack Racing owned machine out front with DeSantis staying right in his tire tracks. Sean Glennon raced his way to third early and he hoped for a caution thinking he could throw his hat into the ring for the win. However, there would be no stopping Kyle Ellwood and his Tru-Value Hardware of Center Moriches Chevy on this night as he drove to his third win of the season, fourth of his career. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was second in the Strong Oil Chevy with Sean Glennon of Northport third in the LTE Drainage Chevy.

"Blankets" Joey Braun of Manorville won the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature, his 3rd of 2023 and the 13th of his career moving him to 5th all time. The race was marred by one of the worst crashes the class has ever seen on the 15th lap, Running at the front of the field Richie Davidowitz's car suddenly, without contact got loose off the fourth corner sending him towards the infield. However, Richie's car then bounced off the car of Jeff Farruggia to the inside sending Richie, driver's side first into the wall just before the starters stand. After some anxious moments Richie exited his car to be further evaluated. Also caught up in the grinding crash and done for the race were, Ray Fitzgerald, Ryan Lutz, Charles Hodge and Alex Halinar, all were okay. Prior to the crash Joey Braun took the race lead from Riely O'Keefe with a pass on lap 9. It would be after the race resumed on lap 15 after the big crash that the intensity ratcheted up as over the final five laps Braun and O'Keefe raced side by side in close quarters for the win. In the end Joey Braun in the Uncle Carmine's Hot Peppers racer prevailed over his Manorville neighbor Riely O'Keefe in his Get Clear, Crystal Clear Window Cleaning machine. Waiting in the wings for something to happen among the top two was eventual third place finisher Jim Sylvester of Massapequa in the Joe Ryan Race Cars entry.

Defending Street Stock champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst nabbed his second win of the season winning their 20-lap feature event. Brian McCormack took command of the race early leading a fast Dennis Kurras over the first two cycles. On the third lap Antos was able to get by Kurras and set his sights on leader McCormack. It took some doing, first chasing and then sizing McCormack up for a pass but Dave Antos in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo got the job done taking the lead for good on lap 18. Brian Brown of Calverton followed Antos by for second in the Eastport Feeds Chevy, with Jarrod Hayes of Calverton too getting by McCormack late for third in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy. McCormack faded to fourth at the finish.

The outcome of the 20-lap Mini Stock race was not decided on the track, but rather in post-race inspection. On track, Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge took the lead from defending champion Andrew Farnham of Baldwin for an apparent victory. However, four of the top five cars over the line were found with unapproved exhaust modifications including Warren. Also disqualified from their finishes were Farnham, Paul Wojcik and Chris Olivari. That moved former 4/6-Cylinder track champion Shawn Wanat of Riverhead into the winner's circle in his Spit's Speed Shop entry. Wanat was making just his second start of 2023. Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley was moved up to second in the Island Technology Honda while Jake Innes of Farmingdale a career best third in the Sayville Ford Probe.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Michael Rutkoski 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Tom Rogers Jr. 5. JR Bertuccio 6. Dave Brigati 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Dylan Slepian 10. Mark Stewart 11. Chris Young 12. Owen Grennan 13. Chris Rogers 14. Allan Pedersen 15. Roger Turbush 16. Matt Brode

1st Twin 9 Figure Eights: 1. Gary Fritz Jr. 2, Joe Warren Jr. 3. Allan Pedersen 4. Artie Pedersen III 5. Scott Pedersen 6. Ken Hyde Jr. 7. Bryan Quilliam 8. Ryan Warren 9. Bob Dalke 10. Paul Miquel 11. Kim Hyde 12. Cody Triola

2nd Twin 9 Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Allan Pedersen 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Gary Frtiz Jr. 5. Joe Warren Jr. 6. Ryan Warren 7. Cody Triola 8. Bob Dalke 9. Bryan Quilliam 10. Paul Miquel 11. Kim Hyde 12. Artie Pedersen III

Crate Modifieds: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Sean Glennon 4. Alex Colasanto 5. Mike Albasini 6. Terry Stiles 7. Max Handley 8. Owen Grennan 9. Eric Hersey 10. Charles Macwhinnie 11. MIchael Berner 12. Chase Grennan 13. Rich Gerbe 14. Vinny Delaney 15. Ken Massa 16. Eddie Schutze 17. Tom Sekulski

Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Riely O'Keefe 3. Jim Sylvester 4. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 5. Jason Castaldo 6. Chris Sinatro 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Eric Hersey 9. Colin Volpe 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. Pat Moore 12. Jayden Glennerster 13. Ray Stulz 14. Kendall Van Houten 15. Marc Godnick 16. Nick Kocis 17. Steven Harding 18. Billy King Jr. 19. Kim Daniel 20. Richie Davidowitz 21. Ryan Lutz 22. Ray Fitzgerald 23. Charles Hodge 24. Alex Halinar 25. Ed Stadtlander 26. Rich Braun

Street Stocks: 1. Dave Antos 2. Brian Brown 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Brian McCormack 5. Dennis Kurras 6. Danny Pizzo 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Alyssa Paprocky 9. Ricky Carman 10. Kyle Halpin 11. Jake Curran 12. James DiPietro DNS-Gerard Lawrence

Mini Stocks: 1. Shawn Wanat 2. Joe Cooke Jr. 3. Jake Innes 4. John Harley 5. Dillon Reid 6. Charles Astacio 7. Eoughan Heyward DQ- Joe Warren Jr., Andrew Farnham, Paul Wojcik & Chris Olivari

TWO FOR TK TWIN FIGURE EIGHTS, FIREWORKS HIGHLIGHT I LOVE AMERICA NIGHT SATURDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

By Bob Finan

August 7th, 2023
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Another exciting family fun night is set for this Saturday August 12th, with Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz celebrating I Love America Night with a Fireworks extravaganza. The Fireworks compliment the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series race program featuring the Two for TK, Twin Figure Eight feature events honoring Tom Kraft who passed away on July 29th.

Tom Kraft was truly a Figure Eight icon on Long Island, with a majority of his success coming at Riverhead Raceway. Ranked 5th on the track win list with 29, "TK" was a three-time track champion with titles in 1986, 1998 & 2006. Shortly after retiring Kraft was asked to and agreed to join the NASCAR officiating staff of Riverhead Raceway with his vast driving experience a valuable insight to the race director. Tom saw his new position on the staff as a way to further advocate for his beloved Figure Eights. Many point to Kraft actually saving the class on more than one occasion. His presence at the track, especially at the fourth turn pit gate will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Saturday will be a way to celebrate the life and accomplishments of "TK" Tom Kraft with Twin 9-lap Figure Eight features. The event was originally slated to be the second leg of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with a 20-lap feature originally planned. However, with Tom's most famed car number 9, the idea to run Twin 9's was born. The two races will serve as the second Miller Lite Triple Crown Series leg with full MLTCS points paid for both events, as will track championship points. Kim Hyde of S.A.F.E.R announced Sunday that four sets of lap bonus money have been sold for the Two for TK Twin 9's.

Joining in on the I Love America Night fun are the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. Once all the racing has been contested it will be time to douse the track lights and enjoy another award-winning pyrotechnic spectacular celebrating the great United States of America.

Spectator gates will open at 4:00 pm Saturday with qualifying set for 5:30 pm and opening ceremonies at approximately 6:30 pm. Adults $30, kids 6-12 $20, 5 & under free.

Please visit our new, state of art website at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

LATE RACE PASS EARNS JUSTIN BROWN RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED VICTORY

By Bob Finan

August 5th, 2023
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LATE RACE PASS EARNS JUSTIN BROWN RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED VICTORY

The NASCAR Modifieds returned to Riverhead Raceway after a mid-summer vacation Saturday, and they did not disappoint with Justin Brown of Manorville perfectly executed a late race pass on Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck to win the 50-lap feature event. The win was made especially sweeter for Brown who had recently lost his ride on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Armed with a brand-new car, Michael Rutkoski broke to the early race lead at the throw of the green with Chris Young passing championship leader Dylan Slepian for second on the first lap. Over the first portion of the race Rutkoski would show the way while Young had the likes of Slepian Tom Rogers Jr., Justin Brown and others hot on his heels. With Young distracted behind him, Rutkoski was able to get away out front. However, on lap 33 the complexion of the race would change. Racing down the backstretch, Young and Slepian raced in tight quarters with slight contact made. That contact sent Slepian into the fourth turn gate hard, Dylan was okay, but his car done for the night. Young pitted for repairs.

When the race resumed Rutkoski held serve out front with Justin Brown now second. Over the final segment of the race Brown was able to stay right on Rutkoski but never made a challenge. Then with five laps to go, Brown seemed to find another gear now pressuring Rutkoski as the laps waned. As the tandem raced into the third and fourth corner on lap 47 Brown ducked under Rutkoski who was hoping momentum on the outside would keep him out front. By the time the lead tandem received the two to go signal Justin Brown had a slight advantage over Rutkoski, who now found himself the challenger.

As the checker was waving it would be Justin Brown in the Motorcycle Mike Attorney at Law Chevy scoring the gratifying victory, the second of his career. "Can't thank my family team enough, a lot of hard work to get here", Brown offered post-race. Brown added, "I lost my ride with the 46 WMT team, basically because they said I couldn't drive, think I showed everyone I can drive tonight."

Michael Rutkoski, close to pocketing his second career win had to settle for runner-up money in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac entry, while John Beatty of Merrick after a spirited battle with JR Bertuccio of Centereach for third claimed the final podium spot in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy. Bertuccio was fourth with Matt Brode of East Islip fifth.

When Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead starts from the front row of a Late Model event, odds are pretty good he'll be holding a trophy at the end of 25-laps. That was exactly the case Saturday, as Jeremy nailed down his third win of 2023, the 28th of his career. Joined by former two-time champion Kevin Metzger in the front row, McDermott got the advantage at the start with Metzger settling into second. During a double file restart on lap 10 Metzger lost his grip on second when Artie Pedersen III was able to slip under for position. As has been the 2023 Late Model story line McDermott and Pedersen have run first & second to each other more often than not this season. This time it was the Eastport Feeds Chevy of Jeremy McDermott coming out on top. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was runner-up with the NY Bernedooles racer while Brian Doyle of Medford was third. Doyle, in the East Coast Eddie's Auto Repair racer claimed third after starting further back in the field.

A few weeks back veteran Terry Stiles of Rocky Point was interviewed after finishing third in the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified feature, he took time to thank his sponsors noting, "I'm trying to get over there (victory lane), but I want to fit everyone in in case I don't". Well Saturday after a hard-fought 25-lap win Stiles was "over there" in victory lane for the first time in 2023. Right from the drop of the green flag the racing up front was intense as Stiles and Vinny Delaney raced side by side for the race lead, not just for a few, five or ten laps, but the first 15 circuits. Stiles led the first two laps, Delaney two laps before Stiles edged his way back out front on lap 5, Delaney would lead again on lap 13, all the while the duo racing nerf bar to nerf bar. Over the final 10-lap segment of the race Terry Stiles in the Allison Transmissions/Van Buren Repair Chevy enjoyed sole possession of the lead, a lead he'd enjoy to his third career triumph. Defending champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove chased Stiles late in the race but settled for second in the Dillner Precast Chevy, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead competed the top three in third with the Rosemar Industries entry. Delaney got caught on the outside late and finished 6th.

Going into the 15-lap Figure Eight event everyone knew emotions would be high, it was after all the first race without "TK" Tommy Kraft watching from his spot on the fourth turn wall. But as Kraft himself would have liked to have been a part of, a clean and competitive race was contested with minimal mishaps. When the dust settled Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches scored his second win of 2023 in the Top Notch Performance Camaro. Allan, along with older brother Artie were able to break to the top two spots when the race started and that is where the remained the entire event. Artie Pedersen III in the CheckerWon Manufacturing Mustang was followed by third place finisher Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford in the Mike Smith backed Chevy.

Making just his second Super Pro Truck start of the season, 2022 champion Sean Glennon of Northport nailed down his 8th career win in a 20-lap affair. The Super Pro Trucks again provided a non-stop affair with Glennon taking full advantage of his pole starting berth. "The Bullet" Ethan Brown who started alongside Glennon tried to ride the outside lane over the first few laps hoping to grab some momentum and power out front. However, Glennon was able to gain a slight advantage and Brown tucked in behind. With the laps winding down, defending SPT champion Jack Handley closed in on Brown for second and was able to make a pass for the spot as the field took the white flag. At the finish it was Sean Glennon in the R&R Brothers Electric machine the winner with Jack Handley Jr. of Medford runner-up in the 84 Lumber Toyota. Ethan Brown of Floral Park, knocking on the door of his first career win was third in the NYPD Bravest Football Chevy.

Former two-time INEX Legend Face Car champion Kevin Nowak of Medford, winner on opening night of the year returned Saturday winning a 30-lap contest, second leg of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. Jason Castaldo, a multi-time winner in 2022 still seeking his first of this season broke out front at the throw of the green. Nowak chased for the first two cycles before he was passed by "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz. After chasing Castaldo for ten laps Davidowitz had his car break loose for just a second in turn two on lap 11 allowing Nowak to reclaim the spot. Once back in the challenger seat Nowak was not going to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. Exiting the fourth turn on lap 18 Nowak put the JTEC Electric mount our front. Castaldo chased the new leader for two laps before Riely O'Keefe came to second, but his stay was short-lived as a resurgent Davidowitz raced his was back to second on lap 26. All the jockeying for second was just fine with Kevin Nowak as it allowed him to capture his 21st career win, second all-time to Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches who was second in the Freddie & Megan Kraft backed racer. Nick Morabito of Miller Place ran a stellar race to complete the podium with his Benimax Trucking mount.

For a while, Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank appeared to have won his third Truck Enduro in a row with a dominating run to the checker flag. Perhaps it was too dominating. In post race tech Campbell's truck was found with an unapproved Torque Converter and was stripped of the win. That moved Phil LaManna of Smithtown into victory lane with his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy S-10, Don Nelson Jr, of Rocky Point was second in the Jefferson Animal Hospital Chevy. Defending champion Woot Lawrence of Southampton was third in the Gregor Well Drilling truck.

NASCAR Modifeds: 1. Justin Brown 2. Michael Rutkoski 3. John Beatty Jr. 4. JR Bertuccio 5. Matt Brode 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. Chris Rogers 8. Tom Rogers Jr. 9. Allan Pedersen 10. Owen Grennan 11. Chris Young 12. Mark Stewart 13. Dylan Slepian DNS- Dave Brigati

Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Brian Doyle 4. Chris McGuire 5. Ray Minieri 6. Jess St. Clair 7. Matt McGrath 8. Kevin Metzger 9. Gerard Giordano 10. Ed Cheslak 11. Jenn Krpata 12. Brandon Turbush 13. Keith Rotzi

Crate Modifieds: 1. Terry Stiles 2. Owen Grennan 3. Kyle Ellwood 4. AJ DeSantis 5. Michael Berner 6. Vinny Delaney 7. Rich Gerbe 8. Mike Albasini 9. Chase Grennan 10. Sean Glennon 11. Michael Rutkoski 12. Dennis Krupski 13. Eric Hersey 14. Charles Macwhinnie 15. Eddie Schutze 16. Max Handley 17. Tom Sekulski

Figure Eights: 1. Allan Pedersen 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Ken Hyde Jr. 4. Cody Triola 5. Gary Fritz Jr. 6. Scott Pedersen 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Bryan Quilliam 9. Ryan Warren 10. Bob Dalke 11. Tom Ferrara 12. Kim Hyde 13. Brian Ayala

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Sean Glennon 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Ethan Brown 4. Lou Maestri 5. Matt Triola 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Joe Cerabino 8. Erin Solomito 9. Liam Patrick 10. Rob Corwin

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Nick Morabito 4. Timmy Solomito 5. Joey Braun 6. Eric Hersey 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Jason Castaldo 10. Pat Moore 11. Alex Halinar 12. Colin Volpe 13. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 14. Michael Metcalf 15. Riely O'Keefe 16. Chase Van Houten 17. Tanner VanDoren 18. Mike Benton 19. Rodney Dowless Jr. 20. Ryan Lutz 21. Chris Sinatro 22. Brad Van Houten 23. Charkes Hodge 24. Mike Van Houten Jr. 25. Robert Henninger 26. Jayden Glennerster

Truck Enduro: 1. Phil LaManna 2. Don Nelson Jr. 3. Woot Lawrence 4. Bobby Pease Sr. 5. Bobby Pease Jr. 6. Mariah Lawrence 7. William Kennedy 8. Brandon LaManna 9. Gary Voight 10. Emily Hubbard 11. Eric Germuth 12. Steve Reisert 13. Chloe Phillips 14. Danielle Creegan 15. Whitney Williams 16. Hallie Campo 17. John Schultz 18. Justin McGrady 19. Kerry Botts

Rhett Fogg, Reid Halpin & Ben Morabito Among Wednesday Night Riverhead Raceway Winners

By Bob Finan

August 4th, 2023
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Throw in some midweek mayhem featuring a School Bus Demolition Derby, grassroots stock car racing on a beautiful summer evening and the result is a packed house Wednesday night at Riverhead Raceway. Among the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series winner during the midweek special were Rhett Fogg of Westhampton in the Street Stocks, Reid Halpin of Wading River in the Bock Auto Bandolero Bandits and Ben Morabito of Miller Place in the Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaws.

Last time the Street Stocks saw action, Rhett Fogg was unable to start the race due to engine issues, Wednesday he atoned for the DNS by leading all 20-laps to score his first win of 2023, 3rd of his career. Starting from the front row Fogg zipped to the early race lead over Alyssa Paprocky after they ran side by side for nearly the first two circuits. Championship leader Brian McCormack poked his nose into the fight for the win when he passed Paprocky for second on lap 4. However, shortly after arriving in second McCormack surrendered the spot to Brian Brown who charged his way from a mid-pack starting berth. Once to second Brown was all over Fogg in an attempt to wrestle the lead away. Lap after lap Brown would try and gain a run to the inside exiting the corners but to no avail. At the conclusion Rhett Fogg sat in victory lane with his reinvigorated McBetts Racing Engine under the hood. Brian Brown of Calverton was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds Chevy, with defending champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst third in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo. Antos made his presence known from third in the waning laps of the race waiting for the two leaders to make an error.

In the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero main event Reid Halpin knew starting in 9th he'd have to make some fancy early race moves to get to the front. Nobody, including Reid himself could have predicted what happened next. On the recent advice of his crew chief Chevy Rommeny, Halpin has learned how to roll the outside, which he did Wednesday. When the green flag dropped, Halpin, after passing a car or two low swung to the outside and exiting turn two made it four wide with the right side of his car up against the concrete wall. By the time the 12-car field came to complete the first lap Halpin was the race leader with Mason Goodale, making some bold moves of his own quickly coming to second. With no caution flags displayed during the event Reid Halpin in the Couch Racer entry drove off to a convincing win, his second in a row and third of 2023.In just his fourth start Mason Goodale continues to impress with a runner-up tally in the Terra Vite Winery & Vineyards entry while Emmett Grattan of Southold placed third in the IGA Food Markets racer.

Less than 24 hours after winning the Cook Out Summer Shootout Summer Series Bandolero championship, Ben Morabito was back in the cockpit of the Benimax Trucking Outlaw at Riverhead trying to pad his local championship lead in a 15-lap affair. Gavin Romano moved to the race lead at the throw of the green with Morabito quickly darting to second. For the first dozen laps of the tilt Romano looked as though he might earn his first career win, but Morabito had other plans. With just three laps left in the contest Morabito dove to the inside of Romano in the third and fourth corner coming away with the race lead, a lead he'd keep until the checker earning his 4th win of 2023, 7th of his career. After losing the lead Romano's night went south falling off the podium as Cillian Tennant of Riverhead crossed the line second in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law machine. Will Sipala of Manorville was third in the JD Posillico Contracting racer.

Another driver racing their way to a second consecutive win was Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank in the ROC Financial Chevy. Tested tough veteran Gary Voight showed the way for the first 10-laps of the race before Campbell came calling for the lead. Once out-front Jarrett, who also races part-time in the Blundebust division never looked back. Gary Voight of Medford was second in the A. Voight Towing truck, Phil LaManna of Smithtown came from deep in the field to finish third in the EP Milling & Sweeping S-10.

For the second 8-Cylinder Enduro in a row, Woot Lawrence of Southampton was in the right place, at the right time late in the 40-lap contest. For the second race in a row, Greg Harris of Riverhead was snake bitten, losing a lead with three laps to go, again. Harris had taken the lead away from Richie Carman on lap 26 in lapped traffic in turn four. Once again as the laps clicked off, Harris looked like a winner. Last time out a flat tire snagged defeat from the jaws of victory for Harris. This time a lapped car turned Harris around in turn four. Woot Lawrence who methodically made his way towards the front after a bad pill draw was ready to pounce moving his Gregor Well Drilling Camaro into the lead with two laps remaining. Following Woot at the finish were, Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma in the Fleming Landscapes Chevy and Kevin Feeney of East Quogue in the Ham Racing machine.

The luck of the pill draw was clearly on the side of 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro driver Zach Tyler of Cutchogue who drew the outside pole for their 40-lap feature. At the throw of the green Tyler drove away from pole sitter Ray Stulz, an INEX Legend Race Car competitor who returned to his racing roots for the midweek special. Once in command Tyler in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law mount led the entire distance for his first win of the season. John Palmeri of Lindenhurst was runner-up in the J&J Towing racer with Chris Olivari of Coram third in the Middle Country Automotive machine.

The School Bus Demolition Derby saw Jon Calfa of Mastic Beach score an upset win over Michael "Cheesebox" Rommeney of Bohemia. Calfa, in his Mercedes Meat Market bus made the last hit on Rommeney who had just lost the entire front axle of his bus. It was Calfa's first career win.

Street Stocks: 1. Rhett Fogg 2. Brian Brown 3. Dave Antos 4. Brian McCormack 5. Danny Pizzo 6. Dennis Kurras 7. Alysasa Paprocky 8. Kyle Curtis 9. Ricky Carman 10. Kyle Halpin 11. Kim Hyde 12. PJ McGay 13. James DiPietro 14. Gerard Lawrence 15. Jake Curran

Bock Auto Bandolero Bandits: 1. Reid Halpin 2. Mason Goodale 3. Emmett Grattan 4. Kix Bock 5. Aria Ligon 6. Blake Grattan 7. Antonio D'Alonzo 8. Christian Ryan 9. Aiden Pelis 10. Brooke Meyer 11. Jordan Ryan 12. Layla Quilliam

Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Cillian Tennant 3. Will Sipala 4. Phillip Alaimo 5. Gavin Romano 6. Jayden Owens-Bader 7. Giavanna Agugliaro 8. Madison Tomaszeski 9. Nick Hodge 10. Tucker Bock

Truck Enduro: 1. Jarrett Campbell 2. Gary Voight 3. Phil LaManna 4. Bobby Pease Jr. 5. Don Nelson Jr. 6. Justin McGrady 7. Whitney Williams 8. Mariah Lawrence 9. Bobby Pease 10. Kerry Botts 11. William Kennedy 12. Emily Hubbard 13. Steve Reisert 14. Jackie Germuth 15. Ryan Warren 16. Brandon LaManna 17. Kayla Kelly 18. Chloe Phillips 19. James Kelly 20. Rob Bader 21, Danielle Creegan

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Anthony Pizzo 3. Kevin Feeney 4. Greg Harris 5. Pat Collins 6. Richie Carman 7. Jimmy Muench 8. Kevin Coyle 9. Roger Tramm 10. Jack McCarthy Jr. 11. Steve Jones 12. Dave Sandel 13. Christian Kalbfleisch 14. Jeremy Rand 15. Ricky Carman 16. Jess Martines Jr. 17. Pat Collins Jr. 18. Tim Healy 19. James Heym 20. Dwayne Sipila 21. Cutter Gera 22. Anthony Copbianco 23. Carmine Ragus 24. Justin Squires 25. David Verbeek 26. Moody Enaya 27. Kale Buckley 28. Joe Boccia 29. Chris Smith 30. Eric Germuth 31. Will Ebert

4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Zach Tyler 2. John Palmeri 3. Chris Olivari 4. Kevin Coyle 5. Frank Raynor 6. Dave Olivari 7. Franky Abbatiello 8. Rob Izzo 9. Vinny Abbatiello 10. Jeremy Rand 11. Will Raynor 12. Tyler Farrell 13. Jese Bichsel 14. Eoughan Heyward 15. Anthony Fioiglio 16. Ray Stulz 17. Sean Neenan 18. David Duran 19. Bob Dalke 20. Jack Tessa 21. AJ DeSantis 22. Joe Brodman 23. John Handley 24. Ryan T. Warren 25. Michael Fragola 26. Will Burns 27. Anthony Paretta 28. Tallen Rusell 29. Mike Mujsce III 30. Alex Schewire 31. Joey Palmeri 32. Will Farrell 33. Jake Rivera 34. Liam Macwhinne 35. Hans Kiessing 36. Joe Warren Jr. 37. Jacob Hartard 38. Joseph Rodriquez

School Bus Demolition Derby: Winner- Joh Calfa

News - September 2023


Rain Forces Postponement of Riverhead Raceway Championship Night to October 14th

By Bob Finan

September 30th, 2023
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For the second consecutive week mother nature has intervened in the 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship chase at Riverhead Raceway. Lingering shower combined with cool temperatures forced Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz to cancel the Championship Night program Saturday. In an unprecedented move it was announced Championship Night would now move to Saturday October 14th, with a Sunday rain date option.

The same coastal system that wiped out the September 23rd race program featuring the Cecil Palm Tree 160 looped around the Atlantic and returned to the area Friday into Saturday forcing the difficult decision. The unique turn of events left track management in unchartered waters, never in the 73-year history of the venue had a season ended with two straight rainouts. Together with track GM John Ellwood, Partridge and Gatz announced Championship Night would be moved to Saturday October 14th.

Teams should note the October 14th itinerary has been posted on the track webpage, www.riverheadraceway,com. Pit sign-in will open at 8:00 am October 14th with haulers entering at 9:00 am. Rotating practice will commence at 11:30 am, qualifying follows at 1:30 pm. Opening ceremonies are expected to start at 3:00 pm or following qualifying. If the Sunday October 15th rain date is needed the race day schedule will remain the same.

The Cecil Palm Tree 66 NASCAR Modified event will be joined by the Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars on October 14th.

Championship Sunday set for tomorrow, October 1st will be presented as scheduled with weather expected to clear in time for racing. Track officials have disclosed no extra practice for NASCAR teams will be available Sunday.

For a breakdown of the October 14th race day itinerary please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at [email protected] while the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Championship Weekend to Close Out Riverhead Raceway Regular Season Saturday & Sunday

By Bob Finan

September 25th, 2023
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The washout over the past weekend has set-up a Championship Weekend doubleheader at Riverhead Raceway this Saturday September 30th and Sunday October 1st. Saturday evening six NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Seines champions will officially be named, while Sunday afternoon finds two Bock Auto INEX Bandolero and five Enduro 2023 champions crowned. The busy racing weekend closes out the regular season before the 7th annual Islip 300 unfolds at the quarter mile oval on Saturday November 11th.

Heading to Saturday John Beatty Jr, of Merrick holds a 16-point lead over Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills for the 2023 NASCAR Modified championship entering the Cecil Palm Tree 66. Both drivers, former INEX Legend race car champions, Beatty in 2017 and Slepian in 2015 are chasing their first ever NASCAR Modified title. 2002 champion JR Bertuccio of Centereach who enjoyed a renaissance season in '23, sits third 18 markers behind Beatty. Chris Young of Calverton and Jack Handley of Medford sit fourth and fifth heading into the finale Saturday, Young -24 and Handley -32.

For the seventh time in his amazing Late Model career Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead has clinched the 2023 championship before the final 25-lap feature event takes the green Saturday night. Gerard "G-Rod" Giordano of Freeport, Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches and Chris McGuire of Miller Place will settle who finishes second in the championship chase Saturday.

The most intriguing championship tussle will unfold in the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds where the Grennan brothers are the only two left standing. Defending champion Owen leads younger brother Chase by eight points heading to the 25-lap finale. Eight points is also the difference for the Blunderbust finale with Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point and Brandon Hubbard set to decide the 2023 crown in a 20-lapper.

The 2023 Super Pro truck championship appears to be solidly in the control of Jack Handley Jr of Medford who enjoys a 24-point lead over Lou Maestri of Deer Park. With an average of ten trucks signing in weekly, Jack will earn his third career championship when he takes the green flag. The 2023 INEX Legend Race Car championship is the third division with an eight-point span separating the two main contenders with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches leading upstart Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead. Davidowitz, the 2019 champion seeks his second title, while Farruggia races after his first.

Once the Saturday night business is squared away Sunday the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks will determine their 2023 champs. Defending Street Stock kingpin Dave Antos of Lindenhurst holds a comfortable 24-point bulge over Brian McCormack of Holbrook heading to the 30-lap finale. For Antos it would be his fourth career SS title while McCormack seeks his first. Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley will take a 14-point lead over Paul Wojcik of Patchogue into the 30-lap Mini Stock final Sunday, Cooke has never won a Mini Stock title while Wojcik was the 2018 & 2021 champion. Newcomer John Harley of Sayville sits third and could make some noise in the championship duel 16-points back of Cooke.

Enjoying a career season in the Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandits with four wins to date, Reid Halpin of Wading River holds a comfortable 20-point lead over Emmett Grattan of Southold heading the 15-lap finale. Ben Morabito of Miller Place, the 2022 Bandits champion will enter the Outlaw 15-lap main event Sunday as their 2023 champion. Ben, the 2023 Cook Out Summer Shootout Series champ at Charlotte Speedway holds an insurmountable 44-point lead over newcomer Cillian Tennant of Riverhead. The two Bock Auto Bandolero champions and top drivers in points will again receive trophies from Jimmy & Angela Rennick of JCR Motorsports.

Also decided Sunday will be the three Enduro championships with Jimmy & Angela Rennick of JCR Motorsports providing championship hardware for the champions and top point drivers of 2023. Bobby "The Pease Man' Pease of Medford holds an 8-point leader over former champion Mariah Lawrence of Southampton heading to Sunday with former multi-time champion Don Nelson of Rocky Point who is 10 markers back of Pease.

2022 Truck Enduro champion Woot Lawrence of Southampton comes to the final 8-Cylinder Enduro event with a beyond healthy 60-pont lead over defending champion Pat Collins of Southampton. Zach Tyler of Cutchogue will enjoy an 18-point cushion over Frank Raynor of North Sea for the 2023 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go championship.

A busy final Championship Weekend is sure to provide plenty of thrills and spills at Riverhead Raceway. Please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com for the race day itinerary for both days. Emails reach the track at [email protected] while our phone number remains 631-842-RACE

Nor' Easter Parks Riverhead Raceway Weekend Racing Plans

By Bob Finan

September 22nd, 2023
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NOR' EASTER PARKS RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WEEKEND RACING PLANS

With a Nor' Easter barreling towards Long Island just in time for the weekend, Riverhead Raceway officials announced Friday morning their doubleheader of racing planned Saturday & Sunday has been canceled. The Cecil Palm Tree 160 event for the NASCAR Modifieds, a Crown Jewel Series event will be downsized to a 66-lap affair and move to Championship Saturday September 30th. The Sunday Championship Day now slides over to Sunday October 1st.

"Right from Monday the forecast for this weekend has been a bomb" track GM John Ellwood, "we hoped as the week went along it might change, it only got worse". Track officials quickly went to work on modifying the Cecil Palm Tree event run in honor of the late Eddie Partridge into Championship Saturday. "With six race winners and potentially six champions to interview next week as we traditionally have on Championship night, we felt trimming the NASCAR Modifieds back to 66 laps was our best option" Ellwood offered.

In addition to the Cecil Palm Tree 66, in action Championship Night are the Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars.

Part two of what now become Championship Weekend unfolds Sunday afternoon. The Street Stocks and Mini Stocks not only crown a track champion for the season but also compete in the third and final leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. The Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandits and Outlaws will see action and crown their 2023 champions with the Truck Enduros, 8-Cylinder Enduros and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go classes all doing the same. Track management disclosed that there will be no extra practice available to Saturday night teams on Sunday.

Complete race day itineraries will be available on http://www.riverheadraceway.com where the 2023 championship standings heading into the final weekend of racing can also be viewed. Emails reach us at office @riverheadraceway.com, the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

McDermott, Wegmann, Handley & Howe Capture Eddie Partridge 256 Prelim Victories at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

September 16th, 2023
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Saturday evening the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made their third and final stop of the season at Riverhead Raceway but before the rock 'em, sock 'em WMT affair unfolded, four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events were presented. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead topped the 25-lap Late Model event earning his 30th career feature event victory at the quarter mile bullring.

Early on in the Late Model feature event Brandon Turbush jumped out to the early race advantage, quickly opening up a comfortable lead over Ray Minieri who was bust racing for second with Shawn Patrick. Unfortunately for Brandon as the race neared the 10-lap mark his car started dropping fluid and race control began to display the black flag. Things got worse for Turbush on lap 11 as he spun in his own fluid in turn two erasing his chances at victory. When the field was reset Patrick, who a lap earlier just passed Minieri for second found himself the new race leader with Minier second and McDermott third for the restart. When the race resumed Patrick took the lead with McDermott sneaking under Minieri for second. After spending five laps sizing Patrick up for a pass, McDermott was babe to race underneath to take the lead on lap 19. Over the final half dozen circuits McDermott kept the Eastport Feeds Chevy out front scoring his 5th win of 2023. The win had further significance for Jeremy with it being a milestone 30th career Late Model win, moving him into a tie with Steve Tooker for 5th on the all-time win list. After having to start scratch on the field, Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches drove his way to a runner up finish in the CheckerWon Manufacturing Chevy while Ray Minieri of Bay Shore placed third in the Zaremba & Brown Construction Injury Law Firm.

Bill Wegmann Jr. of Patchogue notched his first win of the season when he triumphed in the 20-lap Blunderbust feature event. Things got off to a rocky start as a multi car tangle ensured before a lap could be completed. Joe Densieski, championship contender Brandon Hubbard and Cody Triola were caught up in the third turn. When the grid was reset Bill Wegmann Jr, found himself on the pole and the elevator mechanical instructor would take that opportunity to the top floor. Wegmann led Tom Puccia for the first four laps before "Pooch" was overtaken by championship leader Jim Laird Jr. exiting the fourth turn to start the fifth lap. Laird rolled up to the rear bumper of Wegmann to apply the pressure but never really made a big challenge for the lead. When the checker flag flew Bill Wegmann Jr. in the Cracker Jack Auto Store Chevy had earned his 4th career win. Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point was runner-up in the Hampton Car Storage Caprice. The drive of the race belonged to third place finisher Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach who rallied from the early range incident to finish third in the United Exhaust Shop entry. With one race left on the season, Laird leads Hubbard by 8-points for the title.

Max Handley of Medford, steering the same Street Stock his brother Jack drove to victory a few weeks back would do likewise in the 20-lap main event Saturday. Hard luck driver Gerard Lawrence looking to turn his fortunes around broke to the race lead at the throw of the green. Lawrence and Brian Brown went side-by-side over the first five laps of the tilt before Handley snuck under Brown for second on lap 6. Just moments later things got tight at the front of the field between the lead trio with leader Lawrence going around at the start/finish line. It was deemed all three drivers went for the same piece of real estate in a racing incident. When the race resumed Handley was the new race leader, soon Max would feel the wrath of the defending champion of the class, Dave Antos who also happens to lead in all-time wins. On lap 13 Antos got to second and set sights for leader Handley, however the driver of the Platinum Electric Chevy was equal to the task. When the race concluded Max Handley, a UNOH graduate had pocketed his first career Street Stock victory. Dave Antos further padded his championship lead with runner-up honors in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo while Brian Brown of Calverton in the Eastport Feeds racer was third.

Five-time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe of Water Mill took home victory in the 15-lap Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars feature. Ageless Jimmy Reed Sr. led the first lap of the race before Mike Siraco, nephew to Sr. Tappen Sr. moved by for the top spot. Siraco led the first four laps of the race before Don Howe, who started further back in the 10-car grid moved by for the lead to start the fifth circuit. Once out front the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier and Howe were not going to be denied another win. After repairing the right front of his car after a practice incident, Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park was second in the Anthony Ferrante & Co Cavalier, while former INEX Legend Race Car driver Don Conradis of Patchogue had his best outing with a third in the Bob Polverari 711 tribute car.

Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Ray Minieri 4. Gerard Giordano 5. Brian Doyle 6. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 7. Kevin Metzger 8. Chris McGuire 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Keith Rotzi 11. Jesse St. Clair 12. Ryan Warren 13. Shawn Patrick 14. Paul Cummings 15. Brandon Turbush 16. Alyssa Paprocky

Blunderbusts: 1. Bill Wegmann Sr. 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Tom Puccia 5. Gary Caldwell 6. Rob Bader 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Eddie Diaz 9. Emily Hubbard 10. Michael Accordino 11. Steve Fried 12. Joe Densieski 13. Cody Triola

Street Stocks: 1. Max Handley 2. Dave Antos 3. Brian Brown 4. Jarrod Hayes 5. Greg Harris 6. Tom Sullivan 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Brian McCormack 9. Danny Pizzo 10. Alyssa Paprocky 11. Dennis Kurras 12. Ricky Carman 13. Gerard Lawrence 14. James DiPietro 15. PJ McGay 16. Luke Foerster 17. Jerry Curran 18. Kyle Halpin

Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars: 1. Don Howe 2. Tony Ferrante Jr. 3. Don Conradis 4. Frank Saladino 5. Mike Siraco 6. Billy Auer 7. John Jasinsky 8. Mark Miller 9. Pat Hughes 10. Jimmy Reed Sr.

Dominating Performance Nets Kyle Ellwood Sweep of Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

September 9th, 2023
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The pairing of NASCAR Modified talent Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead and car owner Ken Matlach came about first week of July when Dillon Steuer could not run the Matlach Motorsports car due to dirt racing commitments. Saturday the new pairing dominated the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's setting fast time and then winning both feature events for Ellwood's second and third victories of 2023. By sweeping the two races, Ellwood earned $1,000 from the Highmark Building Efficiency Clean Sweep bonus.

Qualifying found Kyle Ellwood winning the Unique Golf $100 Pole Award clicking off a lap of 11.558 with championship leader John Beatty Jr. second quick at 11.567. At the throw of the green Ellwood wasted no time breaking to the race lead, with Justin Brown moving by Beatty for second on lap 2. With another 49-lap event in the offering the first 49 went off without a caution flag as the entire field raced conservatively throughout. When the checker flag waved in race one Kyle Ellwood in the Anthony Ferrante & Co, Chevy took home the win by a comfortable margin earning his 7th career victory. Justin Brown of Manorville in the Motorcycle Mike Attorney at Law entry was second with Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and Chris Young of Calverton were fourth and fifth.

After the first race, two fans rolled inflatable dice to determine the invert for the second race, more good news for Ellwood as the dice totaled three.

When the second race took the green Dylan Slepian moved to the front from the pole with Justin Brown second. The lead tandem ran in that order until the 9th circuit when Ellwood snuck under Brown for second, quickly turning his attention to race leader Slepian. Ellwood kept showing his nose to Slepian exiting the corners, but Slepian had good drive off the corners to remain out front. That game of cat and mouse lasted about a dozen laps before Ellwood made an inside pass stick on lap 27. Once back to the lead Kyle was able to drive away as Slepian and Brown now tussled for second.

When the second race concluded Kyle Ellwood put a bow on a dominating evening winning his 8th career feature event in dominating fashion. "Just cant thank Kenny and Matlach Motorsports & Anthony Ferrante & Co. enough. This car has been flawless since I got into it" Ellwood noted afterwards. Aside from his $100 Unique Gold Pole Award and the $1,000 Highmark Building Efficiency Clean Sweep bonus, Kyle earned $200 in each race for leading lap 46 from Goodie Racing and $49 winner bonus from Artie Schenk.

Justin Brown would again finish second in the Kennedy L.I. Realty Chevy with Jack Handley Jr. of Medford third in the Suffolk Precast entry. Dylan Slepian and Mark Stewart of Riverhead were fourth and fifth.

The Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds turned in a fast paced, non-stop 25 lap event with Sean Glennon of Northport earning his second win of 2023. Glennon, the 2022 Super Pro Truck champion at the track raced out front from the pole when the race took the green. AJ DeSantis who started outside the front row filed into second and would spend his entire race looking at the rear deck lid of Glennon's car hoping the leader would bobble or perhaps have to fight lapped traffic. Neither would come into play as Sean Glennon drove a flawless race taking his 4th career win in the Mike Ryan Cesspools entry. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was runner-up in the Strong Oil Chevy while defending champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove was third in the Eastport Feeds machine.

Entering the Ken Hyde Sr. Remembered 2023 Figure Eight finale, Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford had already enjoyed a career season with four wins coming into the 20-lapper Saturday. However, Kenny Jr. still had some business to tend to aside from winning his dad's race, like securing the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series and Riverhead Raceway championships. After the dust settled Ken Hyde Jr., who took the lead from Joe Warren Jr. on lap 3 would complete the triple, winning his father's race and the two aforementioned championships. His fifth win of the season is the 16th of his career, moving him into sole possession of 11th on the all-time win list. The Riverhead Raceway championship is Kenny's third title. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches in the Top Notch Performance Chevy came to the race with a chance to win the track title but had to settle for second in the race and standings. 2022 champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley crossed the line third in the Land, Air & Water Environmental Camaro.

The 2nd annual Sara Sylvester INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier 50 would provide many twists and turns during the event. When all was said and done rising talent Chase Van Houten of Wading River took home the victory, his first of 2023 and second career triumph. Championship rivals Jeff Farruggia Jr. and Richie Davidowitz ran at the front of the field early, with Farruggia leading until lap 13 before being overtaken by Davidowitz. Richie would then lead the contest until lap 22 when he was passed by Joey Braun for the top spot, as Joey was seeking his fourth win of the year. However, with less than ten laps to go things heated up at the front. A restart was needed after a lap 42 angle off turn two. When the race resumed Bruan led Van Houten for a lap before Chase took the lead with a textbook pass exiting the second turn. One lap later Braun's night went south when he and Brad Van Houten got together entering the first turn. When the race resumed to start the 44th lap Chase Van Houten had pressure from Jason Castaldo who ran to the outside in close quarters. Those close quarters got too close as Castaldo caught the wall up the backstretch ending his run for the win. One final restart was in the making for leader Chase Van Houten who now had Riely O'Keefe, who drove from 25th into contention, spun and had to come from the back a second time still had a chance to take the win. However, Van Houten fired off a perfect restart and drove to victory in his Terra Vite Vineyards entry after a wild final 10-laps. O'Keefe of Manorville turned in the drive of the night for second in the Get Clear Window Cleaning racer while early leader Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead was third in the Chris Mohr Landscaping machine.

For the fourth time in 2023 Reid Halpin of Wading River came home the winner of the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit feature. Aria Ligon broke to the early race lead and would turn in her best performance since starting her career. Aria led the first 7 laps of the tilt before Reid Halpin, who started 6th dove under her entering the third turn taking over the lead as they started the 8th lap. Once out front Halpin, the championship leader in the class hit his marks and drove the Baldwin Automotive entry to victory. Aria Ligon of Riverhead was an impressive runner-up in the Spider Web Racing machine with Mason Goodale of Riverhead third in the Riverhead Building Supply entry.

Ben Morabito of Miller Place continued his winning ways taking the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Outlaw feature for his fifth win of the year. Starting in the last row did not bother Morabito one bit as he quickly ducked to the inside at the drop of the green racing his way immediately to second behind early leader Phillip Alaimo. Alaimo did all he could to try and keep Morabito at bay, but Ben would put his 860 Northeast Outlaw out front on lap 3 with an outside pass. Once out front Morabito has no less than three challengers before taking the checker as Cillian Tennant, Gavin Romano and Will Sipala swapped second before the race concluded. At the conclusion Ben Morabito scored his 8th career win, tying him with Chevy Rommeney for second all-time. Sipala of Manorville was second in his JD Posillico Contracting mount with Phillip Alaimo of Miller Place third in the Alaimo Construction entry.

NASCAR Modifieds 1st Twin 49: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Justin Brown 3. Dylan Slepian 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Chris Young 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. Mark Stewart 8. Chris Rogers 9. JR Bertuccio 10. Matt Brode 11. Michael Rutkoski 12. Tom Rogers Jr. 13. Owen Grennan 14. Dave Brigati DNS- Allan Pedersen

NASCAR Modifieds 2nd Twin 49: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Justin Brown 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Dylan Slepian 5. Mark Stewart 6. Tom Rogers Jr. 7. JR Bertuccio 8. Dave Brigati 9. Chris Young 10. John Beatty Jr. 11. Matt Brode 12. Chris Rogers 13. Owen Grennan 14. Michael Rutkoski DNS-Allan Pedersen

Crate Modifieds: 1. Sean Glennon 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Owen Grennan 4. Chevy Rommeney 5. Chase Grennan 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Michael Berner 8. Terry Stiles 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Eric Hersey 11. Max Handley 12. Mike Albasini 13. Eddie Schutze 14. Joey Braun

Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Allan Pedersen 3. Scot Pedersen 4. Cody Triola 5. Ryan Warren 6. Bryan Quilliam 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Kim Hyde 9. Bob Dalke 10. Paulo Miguel 11. Arie Pedersen III 12. Gary Fritz Jr.

Legend Race Cars: 1. Chase Van Houten 2. Riely O'Keefe 3. Jeff Farruggia 4. Timmy Solomito 5. Richie Davidowitz 6. Nick Morabito 7. Christopher Coleman 8. Joey Braun 9. Ryan Lutz 10. Rodney Dowless Jr. 11. Charles Hodge 12. Ray Stulz 13. Mike Van Houten Jr. 14. Donald Doran 15. Michael Metcalf 16. Kendall Van Houten 17. Jason Castaldo 18. Brad Van Houten 19. George Tomko Jr. 20. Jim Sylvester 21. Steven Harding 22. Kim Daniel 23. Chris Sinatro 24. Robert Henninger III 25. Eric Hersey 26. Pat Moore 27. Marc Godnick

Bandolero Bandits: 1. Reid Halpin 2. Aria Ligon 3. Mason Goodale 4. Emmett Grattan 5. Christian Ryan 6. Brooke Meyer 7. Layla Quilliam 8. Blake Grattan 9. Antonio D'Alonzo 10. Jordan Ryan

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Will Sipala 3. Phillip Alaimo 4. Gavin Romano 5. Cillian Tennant 6. Nick Hodge 7. Madison Tomazewski 8. Giavanna Agugliaro 9. Jayden Owens-Bader

Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's set for Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modifieds Saturday

By Bob Finan

September 4th, 2023
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A busy month of September for the NASCAR Modifieds of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series of Riverhead Raceway intensifies this Saturday September 9th when the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's go to post. Originally slated for July 29th, inclement weather pushed the Twin 49's to Saturday, joining the Sara Sylvester INEX Legend Race Cars National Qualifier 50.

Known as the working man's racer, Chris Young was a staple on Long Island's NASCAR Modified scene after starting his successful driving career in the Figure Eight divisions of Riverhead Raceway and Islip Speedway. Young was a two-time champion at each track before starting his career open wheel endeavors. Working out of a modest shop at his home in Calverton, Chris embarked on a NASCAR Modified career at Riverhead that resulted in 33 career wins, 5th on the all-time list led by Charlie Jarzombek and Tom Rogers Jr. with 63 each.

The Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's will be the third installment of the Crown Jewel Series of Riverhead Raceway. Baldwin, Evans & Jazombek 77 winner Kyle Ellwood leads the Crown Jewel Series rankings by eight over John Beatty of Merrick, Beatty is the defending Ted Christopher Cup champion. Beatty is also embroiled in the championship chase for the 2023 NASCAR Modified title with JR Bertuccio of Centereach and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills heading to Saturday. Chris Young of Calverton and Slepian are tied for third in the Crown Jewel Series standings. Nothing would please the second-generation version of Chris Young more than a victory in one of, if not both Twin 49's.

Also hunting victory in the Twin 49's will be Justin Brown of Manorville, most recent winner this past Saturday, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Chris Rogers of Patchogue, Dave Brigati of Calverton and Mark Stewart of Riverhead.

Perhaps there was no bigger a fan, or advocate of INEX Legend Race Car racing at Riverhead than Sara Sylvester. She worked tirelessly soliciting lap money for the annual National Qualifier, and after her untimely passing the race Sara put all her energy towards now bears her name. Saturday the 50-lap Sara Sylvester INEX National Qualifier will unfold. In the tradition set forth by Sara Sylvester, two complete sets of lap money and other bonus awards have been arranged for by Erin Delaney, just like Sara would have loved.

Cam Bolin of York, SC was declared the winner of the 2022 Sara Sylvester INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier, however Bolin has embarked on a CARS Tour racing venture and will be unable to defend Saturday. 2023 championship contenders Richie Dadidowitz of East Moriches and Jeff Farruggia of Riverhead will continue their tussle for the 2023 title Saturday during the National Qualifier, the duo has distanced themselves from the championship pack.

The race will serve as the third and final leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with Davidowitz leading those rankings by 8 over Joey Braun of Manorville. Defending track champion Eric Hersey of Commack, Jason Castaldo of Shirley and Farruggia make up the top five heading into the MLTCS finale.

The third and final leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series unfolds for the Figure Eights during a 20-lap main event, a race run Remembering Kenny Hyde Sr. It will be the final race of 2023 as well. Gary Frtiz of Mastic Beach won the Remembering Kenny Hyde Sr. last year clinching the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series championship. Kenny Hyde Jr. of Medford and Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches are tied at the top of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series ranking heading into Saturday. Both drivers are the main combatants for the 2023 track championship with 2022 champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley ranked third. Kenny Hyde Jr. and sister Kim have sold lap bonus money for Saturday night's event as well as introducing a limited offer t-shirt.

Completing the program are the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds and the Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros. Qualifying will start at 5:00 pm with opening ceremonies to follow. General admission will open at 4:00 pm, $30 for adults, kids 6-12 $15 with 5 & under free.

Further information can be obtained by visiting http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected]. The phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Justin Brown Prevails at Riverhead Raceway for Second NASCAR Modified Win of 2023

By Bob Finan

September 2nd, 2023
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When one of the most hotly contested NASCAR Modified events at Riverhead Raceway concluded Saturday night, Justin Brown of Manorville, who moved to the lead with seven laps left in the 50-lap event took home the victory in the Optimum Presents a Salute to First Responders feature event. Brown came out on top of a torrid three car tussle to claim his second win of 2023, third of his career.

Michael Rutkoski led the first lap at the drop of the green from the outside pole, but pole sitter JR Bertuccio moved out front on the second lap. Things got wild early as Rutkoski, still trying to crossover Bertuccio for the lead and third place Chris Young got together triggering the "big one" off turn four. Rutkoski, championship contender Dylan Slepian, Tom Rogers Jr., Roger Turbush, Owen Grennan and Chris Rogers were among those involved. After the incident was cleaned up Bertuccio remained out front with Chris Young, who escaped damage in the turn four jingle who go side by side for the race lead. Young hung his car alongside Bertuccio lap after lap in an attempt to take the lead. On lap 14 veteran Dave Brigati burst upon the scene and would be a factor for a spell.

Fast forward to lap 30 with Justin Brown throwing his helmet into the ring, passing Brigati for third and quickly loving in on Bertuccio and Young. Brown quickly went to work on Young for second as they raced inches off the rear bumper of leader Bertuccio. With 10 laps to go Young started peeking to the outside of leader Bertuccio, while Brown started looking downstairs. Racing off turn four to start the 43rd circuit, Brown was able to gain a run on Bertuccio entering the first corner, grabbing the lead and moving Bertuccio to second. Young, who lifted for a moment off turn two as to not go three wide with Brown and Bertuccio was now in the clutches of Roger Turbush in a battle for third. That battle would draw the final caution as the two touched off turn four on lap 45, Young bicycled the front stretch fence, but pitted and was able to return, Turbush was done for the night.

A five-lap shootout was in the offering and when the green reappeared Justin Brown was able to keep his Kennedy Long Island Realty Chevy out front over the remaining laps of the race claiming his second victory in a month. "What a race" proclaimed Brown post race, "I got into JR a bit there going into one, didn't mean to, heck we were at the casino during the week, but his car was going away, and Chris was hanging his on the outside, so I had to go".

"The Real Deal" Mark Stewart of Riverhead turned in a career best runner-up finish working his way to second during the final restart in the Good JuJu's BBQ & Seafood Shack Chevy while early leader JR Bertuccio of Centereach, a championship contender settled for third in the Gershow Recycling entry. Championship leader John Beatty Jr of Merrick was fourth while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was fifth.

The story of the 2023 Late Model season has been the Jeremy & Artie show with Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches claiming his third win of the season over four-time winner Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead. Only Chris McGuire of Miller Place has been able to break into the winner's circle in the eight races contested. It would be McGuire leading early in the 25-lap main event Saturday chased over the first five circuits by Brandon Turbush. One week removed from mechanical woes, Pedersen made his way under Turbush for second entering the third turn on lap 5, Artie quickly zeroed in on leader McGuire and ducked under for the race lead exiting the fourth turn to start lap 8. On lap 10 Turbush came back to life moving by McGuire for second. On lap 21 a late race yellow waved for a minor spin and on the ensuing restart Jeremy McDermott was able to move by Turbush for second. Left with just three laps to work would prove not enough for McDermott as Artie Pedersen III brought the NY Bernedoodles Chevy home for the win. Jeremy McDermott was second in the Eastport Feed machine while Brandon Turbush of Manorville was third in the Lolly's Hut entry.

The third and final leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series was on tap for the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds and when the 40-lap events was in the record books Chase Grennan of Glen Cove nailed down his fourth win of 2023 and the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series championship. The race boiled down to a three-car, race long duel between Chase, brother Owen and Michael Berner. Berner led the first 6 laps of the event before Chase Grennan got by for the lead with Berner now second and Owen Grennan third. Owen, the defending champion made his way by Berner on lap 8 for second. The trio ran in tight quarters the entire distance of the race, but it would be three double file restarts that proved most interesting. For the first two restarts on lap 17 & lap 20, Owen chose to take the inside behind Chase, moving Berner to the outside. Both times Michael tried to break up the brothers but fell to third. Then the third and final caution waved on lap 38 for a minor spin, this time Owen decided to go to the outside for the green, white checker finish. Berner was licking his chops at the chance to have the inside of row two and when the race resumed with good reason. Chase Grennan steering the Black Forest Auto Chevy collected his 6th career win. Michael Berner of Patchogue was able to wrestle second away on that final restart in his Pro Diesel Chevy, while Owen Grennan had to be content with third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy.

A few INEX Legend Race Cars events ago, "Blankets" Joey Braun of Manorville posted his 13th career win breaking a tie for 5th with Timmy Solomito of Islip on the all-time win list. Saturday night Solomito came back for a rare Legends appearance and promptly won the 20-lap feature event moving him and Braun back into a tie for 5th all-time. At the throw of the green Richie Davidowitz back in his family car broke to the early race lead with championship rival Jeff Farruggia Jr. second, but not for long. Timmy Solomito, who started third in the 860 Northeast entry of Stan & Jen Morabito moved to second down the back stretch. After chasing leader Davidowitz for a spell Solomito decided on lap 10 it was time to make his bid for the lead, which he successfully completed to the inside exiting the fourth corner. Once Solomito, a 23-time NASCAR Modified winner at Riverhead was out front he'd lead until the checker flag waved. Jeff Faruggia Jr, of Riverhead was second in his KMK Contracting machine while Joey Braun completed the podium in his Papa Carmine's Hot Peppers racer.

Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge padded his lead on the Mini Stock all-time win list when he topped their 20-lap feature event for his 11th career victory. It was Joe's third win of 2023. Steering his "TK" Tom Kraft tribute Cavalier, Warren started the race from the pole and led every lap of the race. Chris Olivari ran second for the first 19-laps of the tilt but a left front flat on the white flag ruined his evening. Most recent winner Paul Wojcik of Patchogue claimed second in the RFG Electrical Contracting mount while Olivari of Selden limped home third in the Middle Country Automotive racer.

In the 30-lap First Responders race many might say a "ringer" took home the win when Woot Lawrence of Southampton took the victory. However, Woot is a longtime and valued member of the North Sea Fire Department, driving their antique fire truck at many local parades during the spring and summer as an active member of the NSFD. Following Lawrence was Fred Grover, a retired NYPD Deputy Chief from Huntington with David Olivari of Coram third.

In the National Stock Demolition Derby Championship Sean Adler of Lindenhurst in his "Ugly Mugly" car took home the title after flipping his car in the very first moments of the contest! Adler's car did a slow roll by the first and second turn portion of the infield. After exiting the car, Sean realized it was still drivable and pleaded with the infield crew wo flip it back onto all fours. They did, and the rest is history.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Justin Brown 2. Mark Stewart 3. JR Bertuccio 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Jack Handley Jr. 6. Chris Young 7. Dave Brigati 8. Timmy Solomito 9. Roger Turbush 10. Matt Brode 11. Dylan Slepian 12. Allan Pedersen 13. Michael Rutkoski 14. Tom Rogers Jr. 15. Chris Rogers 16. Owen Grennan 17. Kyle Ellwood

Late Models: 1. Artie Pedersen III 2. Jeremy McDermott 3. Brandon Turbush 4. Ray Minieri 5. Chris McGuire 6. Gerard Giordano 7. Brian Doyle 8. Keith Rotzi 9. Frank Dumicich Jr. 10. Ed Cheslak 11. Jesse St. Clair 12. Jenn Krpata 13. Alysa Paprocky 14. Kevin Metzger 15. Paul Cummings 16. Shawn Patrick

Crate Modifieds: 1. Chase Grennan 2. Michael Berner 3. Owen Grennan 4. Vinny Delaney 5. Terry Stiles 6. Sean Glennon 7. Kyle Ellwood 8. Joey Braun 9. Eric Hersey 10. Max Handley 11. AJ DeSantis 12. Chevy Rommeney 13. Rich Gerbe 14. Tom Sekulski 15. Eddie Schutze 16. Charles Macwhinnie 17. Mike Albasini

Legend Race Cars: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 3. Joey Braun 4. Riely O'Keefe 5. Richie Davidowitz 6. Jason Castaldo 7. Ryan Lutz 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Charles Hodge 10. Chris Sinatro 11. Eric Hersey 12. Mike Van Houten Jr. 13. Christopher Coleman 14. Pat Moore 15. Michael Metcalf 16. Jayden Glennerster 17. Kim Daniel 18. Nock Kocis 19. Ed Stadtlander 20. Marc Godnick 21. Rich Braun 22. Alex Johnson 23. Steve Harding 24. Billy King 25. Donald Doran DNS- Nick Morabito

Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Chris Olivari 4. Joe Cooke Jr. 5. John Harley 6. Jake Innes 7. Eoughan Heyward 8. Jamie Curtis 9. Andrew Farnham DNS-Charles Astacio

First Responders Enduro (top five) 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Fred Grover 3. David Olivari 4. Mark Duerwald 5. Zach Tyler

National Stock Demo: Winner- Sean Adler

Live Pit Stops Return for Eddie Partridge 256 WMT Stop at Riverhead Raceway September 16th

By Bob Finan

September 1st, 2023
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LIVE PIT STOPS RETURN FOR EDDIE PARTRIDGE 256 WMT STOP AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SEPTEMBER 16TH.

Heading into the third and final WMT event of the 2022 season at Riverhead Raceway it was announced live pit stops on the infield of the quarter mile oval would be introduced. Right from that disclosure skeptics arose with questions of logistics, and safety. However, by the time Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville completed the winner's interview, proponents and skeptics alike deemed the live stops a success and hoped for more in 2023. Today Jimmy Wilson of NASCAR in conjunction with Riverhead Raceway management announced live pit stops for the 2023 edition of the Eddie Partridge 256 will return.

The concept of live pit stops came about when track GM John Ellwood floated the idea at first to Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz. After gaining their approval, Ellwood then convinced NASCAR and Jimmy Wilson. A mid-summer test of the new infield hot pit, complete with walls, and stop and go lights was conducted by the Ken Massa Motorsports team under the watchful eyes of Jimmy Wilson and John Ellwood. Justin Bonsignore fully endorsed the infield pitting stating. "it's going to increase the fan experience immensely".

"Eddie Partridge loved the bigger Modified races and all that went with them. That is why he came up with the Islip 300 concept" Ellwood recalled, " Eddie and I discussed the possibility of infield pitting here from time to time, once he passed, I knew we had to at least propose it and test it".

With the fans in the stands looking on, joined by those watching on Flo Racing, the inaugural Eddie Partridge 256, complete with live infield pit stops was deemed a success with Bonsignore leading Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park and Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. to the podium.

Fast forward to the 2nd annual Eddie Partridge 256 and the 2023 championship chase is as intense as it can get heading into Labor Day weekend at Oswego Speedway. Silk carries one point lead over Bonsignore heading into the holiday weekend with upstart talent Austin Beers of Northampton third, 37 back of Silk. After Bonsignore won the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 in May, Silk came roaring back in June for his first Riverhead WMT victory in the Miller Lite 200.

Complimenting the Eddie Partridge 256 program are the Late Models, Blunderbusts, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars. Further details will be released at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE

News - October 2023


John Beatty, Matt Hirschman, JB Fortin, Timmy Solomito Among Early Islip 300 Entries at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

October 31st, 2023
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Early registration for the November 11th Islip 300 has begun and a quartet of drivers are among those who have registered for the $7,000 to win Tour Type Modified event. Fresh off his NASCAR Modified Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, red hot Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. and 2021 300 winner JB Fortin of Holtsville are among the entrants.

For popular John Beatty Jr and car owner Mark S. Mina ending their NASCAR Modified championship season with an Islip 300 triumph would be icing on the cake for the MSM Elite Motorsports team. In a racing oddity, Beatty did not register a victory in route to his first career Modified crown, in fact he never led a lap. However, the 2017 INEX Legend Race Car champion was the model of consistency completing all 914 laps run in 2023. John is no stranger to the longer distance events of Riverhead Raceway as he last lap, last turn duel with Justin Bonsignore in a 2019 WMT event remains the closest & wildest finish in 73-years of racing at Riverhead.

Perhaps the hottest Modified driver rolling into the pits November 11th for the Islip 300 is "Money" Matt Hirschman. Matt has made a career of rising to the occasion when the big dollar races for Tour Type Modifieds are presented, lately he's been on a roll. Car owner Alan Dering of Elite Towing has entered Hirschman to wheel his sleek machine for the 300, the team operates out of the Baker Racing shops. An arm injury suffered in August only temporarily slowed Hirschman down, as over a six day stretch between October 22nd and October 28th, Matt went two-for-three. Matt started by winning Monaco Ford Tri-Track Series races at the Waterford Speedbowl on October 22nd and then the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway October 28th. A fourth place showing at the WMT Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville kept Matt from going three for three, but he hopes to find victory lane this weekend at the John Blewett III North-South Shootout at Caraway Speedway.

No question JB Fortin enjoyed the biggest win of his career when he topped the 2021 Islip 300 at his home track. Fortin was perfect on late race restarts two years back warding off Ryan Preece and Jimmy Blewett in the final 100-lap segment before driving off to the $7,000 payday. Not only was JB an Islip 300 winner, but he also clinched the 2021 Ted Christopher Cup as the champion of the Riverhead Crown Jewel Series. The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour campaign did not go to plan for Fortin and the John's Fuel Oil group but a win at the Islip 300 would send them off into the off season in style. If Fortin can take the win, he'd join Ryan Preece as the only two-time winner of the 300.

No question the driver with the highest batting average in 2023 at Riverhead Raceway was Timmy Solomito of Islip. "The Natural" made six starts during the summer, four of those attempts wound up with a trip to victory lane. Over the past few seasons Timmy has cut back his racing efforts, whether with the WMT or Riverhead mainly because his Natural Designs Co. business has grown substantially. In 2023 Solomito just wanted to race when he could, have fun with his family team, and move up the all-time win list of Riverhead. The driver of the USNE Utility Service Chevy did just that as he advanced from 20th all time to 15th with 24 career victories. No better race than the Islip 300 for Timmy to reach a milestone 25th career victory.

Teams who have also registered for the Islip 300 include Allan Pedersen, Justin Brown, Andrew Krause, Jack Handley Jr., Chris Young, Chase Grennan, Walter Sutcliffe, Mark Stewart, Roger Turbush, Matt Brode, Dylan Slepian, Tom Rogers Jr.

Free registration for the 2023 Islip 300 is open until November 9th, after the 9th a $150 late fee will be applied. The entry form, along with race procedure and race day itinerary can be accessed at www.riverheadraceway.com

Joining the Islip 300 Saturday November 11th will be the General Welding Supply Corp. 50, a $2,500 to win 602 Crate Modified event, plus the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 for the INEX Legend Race Cars worth $2,000 to the winner. The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars will join the festivities. Rain date for the Islip 300 program is Saturday November 18th.

For further details please visit us at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails find us at [email protected] with our phone number 631-842-RACE

General Welding Supply Partnership Ups November 11th Riverhead Raceway Crate Modified Win to $2,500, Rules Package Disclosed

By Bob Finan

October 27th, 2023
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GENERAL WELDING SUPPLY PARTNERSHIP UPS NOVEMBER 11TH RIVERHEAD RACEWAY CRATE MODIFIED WIN TO $2500, RULES PACKAGE DISCLOSED

The Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds will get in on the richest weekend at Riverhead Raceway when they compete in the General Welding Supply Corp. 50 event during the Islip 300 program. The race winner will walk off with a cool $2,500, largest ever for a Crate Modified victory at the historic quarter mile. Director of Technical Inspection Randy Murray also disclosed the rules package for the event in an effort to draw other GM 602 Crate Modifieds in the Northeast.

"The money will be plentiful for the Crate Mods too Saturday November 11th, thanks to the sponsorship of General Welding Supply Corp of Holbrook. ", boasted GM John Ellwood while making the sponsor announcement. "With $2,500 on the line for the victory, we have opened up our weekly rules package, hoping we gain interest from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England" John added. General Welding Supply Corp. is the official welding supplier of the NASCAR Weekly Series at Riverhead Raceway and have been involved with the billboard program at the track for numerous seasons.

Director of Technical Inspection Randy Murray revealed the rules package in place for the 50-lapper. Sealed engines only, teams can use a 4412-carburetor providing they fit the go/no-go gauges. Teams can also switch to the Crate legal four-barrel carburetor. Clutches must be 10 & 1/2 inches. 8" or 10" wheels permitted but must use the Riverhead f53 Hoosier Tire.

602 Crate Modified teams can register for the event free through November 9th by visiting http://www.riverheadraceway.com. A $150 late fee will be charged after November 9th.

The one day show Saturday November 11th will get off to an early start with pit gates opening at 7:30 am. Practice for the General Welding Supply 50 Crate Modified event will run for a half hour 11:00 am through 11:30 am. Qualifying will commence at 12 noon, while spectator gates opening at 10:00. General admission is $40 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12 with 5 & under free. The pit fee for Saturday will be $55, no licenses required. Campers are welcome at no charge, there are no hook-ups and camping is confined to the back parking lot behind the pits area.

Aside from the General Welding Supply 50 for the Crate Modifieds and the $7,000 to win Islip 300 for Tour Type Modifieds, the INEX Legend Race Cars will go to post in the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 worth $2,000 to the victor. The Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars will run a 15-lap main event. Rain date for the November 11th program is Saturday November 18th.

Additional details can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at [email protected], our phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Scott Tapley to Oversee Islip 300/Full Fender Fall Frenzy Weekend at Riverhead Raceway November 11th & 12th

By Bob Finan

October 25th, 2023
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A friendly face will return to Riverhead Raceway for the Islip 300 & Full Fender Fall Frenzy weekend Saturday November 11th and Sunday November 12th as part of the team that will conduct the richest and busiest weekend of racing in the 73-year history of the venerable facility. It was announced Wednesday Scott Tapley who served as race director at Riverhead from 2016-2021 would return to race control to oversee the busy weekend of on track activity.

"We are very excited and happy to have Scott on board for the Islip 300 and Full Fender Fall Frenzy weekend", GM John Ellwood proclaimed, "not only is it the richest weekend of racing ever at Riverhead, but the busiest too. We have a talented & dedicated team in place every Saturday, but there are so many more moving parts to executing a weekend such as the 300/Fall Frenzy doubleheader. With Scott brining his expertise to the table, that will only enhance our weekend activities, not just for the racers, but our fans too".

During the 2023 race season, Tapley of Poland Spring, Maine served as the race director for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT), Thunder Road Speedway in Barre, Vermont as well the White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. The return trip to Long Island is a one-off visit for the Islip 300 weekend of events.

After purchasing Riverhead Raceway in the summer of 2015, one of the first orders of business the late Eddie Partridge, his wife Connie & nephew Tom Gatz addressed was the hiring of Scot Tapley to the race director position, a relationship that would last six race seasons.

Saturday November 11th things get rolling early for the Islip 300 program with pits opening at 7:30 am. The hectic day finds the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds racing for $2,500 to win in the General Welding Supply Inc. 50, joined by the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40, a $2,000 to win INEX Legend Race Car event. Complimenting the day are the Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars. The 7th annual Islip 300 will offer the race winner a $7,000 payday and serve as the final leg of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup.

Sunday is another day of hustle and bustle at Riverhead, headlined by the $5,000 to win East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200. The inaugural event for Street Stock type cars has drawn driver registrations from across New England, New Jersey & Pennsylvania. Pit gates will open at 9:30 am for a full day of racing that includes Mini Stocks, Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, Truck Enduro and a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro.

Free early registration is available for Tour Type Modifieds for the Islip 300, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars and Full Fender Fall Frenzy competitors until November 9th, A late entry fee of $150 will be charged after November 9th. Track officials ask race teams to please register as soon as they know their status for the weekend so plenty of tires and parking logistics can be planned for in advance.

For early registration, further information please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com and follow the links. Emails reach the track at [email protected], our phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Infield Pitting Announced for the 7th Annual Islip 300 November 11th at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

October 24th, 2023
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With the 2023 regular season finally in the record books at Riverhead Raceway, the track management team has turned their full attention to the Islip 300 Tour Type Modified event Saturday November 11th. General manager John Ellwood announced the 7th annual Islip 300 would feature infield pitting for teams vying for the $7.000 victory, allowing fans to look on as talented race teams ply their craft.

The Islip 300, a vision of the late Eddie Partridge, was introduced in 2017 by Eddie, his wife Connie and Tom Gatz. Always a fan of the higher paying, larger Tour Type Modified events in the Northeast, Eddie after taking ownership of Riverhead Raceway in 2016 went to work on hosting one of his own big races. The Islip 300 was born on May 27th,2017 when 15-year-old Dillon Steuer shocked the Tour Type Modified world with his win in the inaugural 300. Since then, Ryan Preece (2018 & 2020), Kyle Soper (2019), JB Fortin (2021) and Anthony Nocella (2022) have all enjoyed the $7,000 victory.

"Now that we have successfully executed infield pitting for the Eddie Partridge 256 WMT events, we are ready to bring it to the Islip 300" John Ellwood noted, "we feel it's the icing on the cake for a race as prestigious as this, plus when the All-Star 300 ran at Islip back in the early 70's, they too had infield pitting". Ellwood has been hard at work devising a plan for the 300 pitting, "I have to thank Jimmy Wilson of NASCAR. he's helping out with the logistics and some equipment needed, we have some amazing, talented people that are going to come together to ensure it all works smoothly".

Aside from the $7.000 winners share of the $32,650 purse, the balance of the prize money was announced. the runner-up would receive $2,500, with third through tenth paying, $2,250, $2,000, $1,750, $1,500, $1,400, $1,300, $1,200 & $1,100. The 11th & 12th place finishers will earn $1,000 each, while 13th through 17th pays, $900, $850, $750, $700 & $650. $600 will be offered for 18th through 25th.

The Islip 300 will be the final installment of the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup at Riverhead Raceway. On the strength of his wins in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77, as well sweeping the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's, Kyle Ellwood holds a comfortable 36-point margin over 2023 NASCAR Modified champion John Beatty Jr entering the 300. Beatty won the 2022 Ted Christopher Cup. Chris Young, -42 sits third in Crown Jewel Series rankings.

All Tour Type Modified teams are eligible to enter the Islip 300 and must declare a series. NASCAR WMT, Race of Champions, Modified Racing Series, Tri-Track Series and SK Modified teams are welcome and must follow their declared series rule book to the letter, no mixing and matching series rules.

Early free registration for the Islip 300 is now open and available until Thursday November 9th. Please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, click on the Competitors link to find the entry form to the right. A $150 late fee will be charged for late entries after November 9th.

Pit gates will open at 7:30 am Saturday November 11th for the Islip 300. A mandatory drivers meeting will commence at the Handicapper Building at 9:00 am. A 45-minute Tour Type Modified practice will be in track from 10:15 am through 11:00 am. Single car Tour Type Modified qualifying will start at 12 noon, to be followed by Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified and INEX Legend Race Car heat races and necessary B-Mains. Opening ceremonies will commence at the conclusion of qualifying.

The Crate Modifieds will go to post in the General Welding Supply Corp. 50, with the winner pocketing a cool $2,500 while the INEX Legend Race Cars compete in the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40, worth $2,000 to the winner. The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars will showcase their classic Mods in a 15-lap contest. Crate Modified and Legend Race Car early registration is also available and free prior to November 9th.

In the event of weather, the Islip 300 program would move to Saturday November 18th. Pit admission is $55, no licenses required, General admission for the Islip 300 is $40 for adults, kids 6-12, $15 with 5 & under free.

Further details can be found at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected] our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

HIGHMARK Building Efficiency Boosts Riverhead Raceway INEX Legend Race Car Winners Share to $2,000 November 11th

By Bob Finan

October 19th, 2023
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HIGHMARK BUILDING EFFICIENCY BOOSTS RIVERHEAD RACEWAY INEX LEGEND RACE CAR WINNERS SHARE TO $2,000 NOVEMBER 11TH

When the 7th annual Islip 300 Tour Type Modified event unfolds Saturday November 11th at Riverhead Raceway, the INEX Legend Race Cars will compliment the busy fall afternoon of racing. Recently, track management in conjunction with Rich Gerbe of HIGHMARK Building Efficiency announced the 40-lap INEX Legend Race Car event would pay the hefty sum of $2,000 to the race winner.

While making the sponsorship announcement, Gerbe explained his motivation for making the 40-lap victory so lucrative. "I started driving a Legend at 16-years old Gerbe reflected, "it really shaped me in so many ways. I am the person I am today in part to the experiences I gained from racing them as a kid. Twenty-two years later after my last Legends race, I'm really excited to give back to the class. These drivers put on an awesome show every week, and there are some rising stars in the class, they deserve a showcase race" Gerbe boasted. "I want to thank track ownership, John Ellwood and Peter Milano for reaching out with the sponsorship idea". Rich concluded.

Gerbe not only competed with the INEX Legend Race Cars as a teenager, but he'd also be quick to find success winning three main events between 1999 and 2000, leading him to the track championship in 1999. As happens so often in life, Gerbe would leave the racing game for a while, for nearly 20-years in part to launch HIGHMARK Building Efficiency. Since 2013, HIGHMARK Building Efficiency has been pioneering innovative building efficiency. HIGHMARK supports sustainability, electrification, decarbonization and cost savings in the NYC Metro area via the best global building efficiency technologies.

Rich Gerbe found his way back racing a few seasons back, competing with the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds when his busy business schedule allows. Earlier this summer Gerbe was active with special award bonuses at Riverhead for two NASCAR Modified events. In August for The Bubba 150 the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency Challenge was available a driver who qualified in the top three. If that driver dropped to the rear and won the 150, a bonus of $2,500 awaited them. After pole sitter & eventual race winner Timmy Solomito and second quick John Beatty Jr opted out of the challenge, third quick Chris Young accepted. Young charged his way to second, which was worth $500, but Gerbe, so impressed raised it to $1,000. For the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's in September, Rich posted the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency Clean Sweep Award for winning both races. Kyle Ellwood earned that bonus when he topped both 49-lappers.

The HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 is open to all INEX Legend Race Car teams. Registration for the event free of charge until November 9th, visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com and follow the links to register. Entries received after November 9th will be charged a $150 late fee. Qualifying for the race will come via heat races and B-main events as needed by car count. Pits will open Saturday November 11th at 7:30 am, a half-hour practice session will take to the track at 9:45 am, qualifying starts at 12 noon. Rain date for the Islip 300 program is Saturday November 18th.

For further details please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at [email protected] and our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Timmy Solomito Dominated Cecil Palm Tree 66, John Beatty Jr. Earns First NASCAR Modified Championship at Riverhead Raceway Sunday

By Bob Finan

October 15th, 2023
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Despite mother nature's best efforts to halt Championship Night at Riverhead Raceway, track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz finally found success Sunday afternoon with six track champions earning 2023 titles. The Cecil Palm Tree 66 NASCAR Modified event was dominated by Timmy Solomito of Islip who earned his fourth win in six weekly starts this season. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick would ride a third-place tally in the 66 to the 2023 NASCAR Modified championship, the first of his career.

Solomito bested the 17-cars that took time earlier in the day with a lap of 11.774, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead clocked in second quick at 11.865. When the race, honoring late track owner Eddie Partridge took the green, Solomito quickly rolled his USNE Utility Service Chevy to the race lead with Rogers tucking into second. Rogers hoped to challenge Solomito for the lead but quickly found himself under attack for second from Kyle Ellwood. Ellwood ducked under Rogers for second on lap 12 and immediately went to work on trying to reel in Solomito, who had started to distance himself. A lap 40 caution for a Chris Rogers spin set-up a double file restart with just 26-curcuits left in the tilt.

When the race resumed Rogers, from the inside of the second row got under Ellwood for second on lap 41, however two laps later to start the 44th cycle Kyle moved back by for the position. However, as it would play out it mattered not who ran second as Timmy Solomito drove off to his 24th career win at the track. "With my business being so busy we had to adjust our racing this year, that's not a bad thing" Solomito revealed in victory lane, "my goal this year was to move up the all-time win list and with my father Jerry and brother Shawn working hard at the shop we did just that". Timmy's 4th win of the season moved him from 19th to 15th on the win list.

Current Crown Jewel Series championship leader Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was runner-up in the Matlach Motorsports entry and hopes to secure the Ted Christopher Cup at the Islip 300 November 11th. Entering the Cecil Palm Tree 66 with a 16-point advantage over Dylan Slepian and 18-point bulge over JR Bertuccio, John Beatty Jr. had a game plan coming into the race. First was to have a good qualifying effort, which he did timing in 4th quick while his rivals as both qualified outside the top ten. During the 66 Beatty ran within the top five the entire distance while Slepian and Bertuccio struggled mightily and in fact pitted during caution flags.

As the checker flag waved John Beatty Jr realized the dream of a lifetime winning the 2023 NASCAR Modified title in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy with a third place tally. Afterwards, Beatty soft spoken by nature paused to thank those who got him to this pinnacle, "To my Dad, my family and friends watching, this one is for them" Looking back on the season John, who went without a win in route to the crown reflected, "Just can't enough about our owner Mark Mina, the entire MSM Elite Motorsports team who work tirelessly to achieve this. We experimented with some new things this year, yeah, we didn't win, but we sure were consistent race after race"

When the 25-lap Late Model field assembled on track, Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead had already sewn-up his 7th career championship with car owner Rob Pelis. When the race took the green Brandon Turbush moved from the front row to the race lead, Turbush was out to avenge a race he felt as though he gave away in September. Brian Doyle tested Turbush over the first 18-laps of the contest, but a late race caution would shake things up. When the race resumed Turbush remained the race leader in his Spider Webb Racing machine with multi-time winner Artie Pedersen coming to second. Still feeling the sting of spinning in his own fuel while enjoying a huge lead last month, Brandon Turbush was not going to be denied his first win of 2023, second of his career. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was runner-up in the NY Bernedoodles Chevy while 2023 champion Jeremy McDermott completed the podium in the Eastport Feeds machine.

Just eight points sat between the Grennan brothers of Glen Cove for the 2023 Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified championship. Older brother and defending champion Oen had the advantage over his 16-year-old sibling Chase to start the 25-lap feature. Max Handley and Kyle Ellwood made up the front row for the start and at the throw of the green Handley dipped his left side wheel into some oil dry that sat under the line in turn four causing him to spin his wheels allowing Ellwood to break to the lead. Once out front there was no stopping Kyle and the Kelco Construction team for pocketing their fourth win of the 2023 campaign. Max Handley of Medford had another shot at Ellwood on a restart but wasn't able to get the measure of the eventual winner was second over the line in the Amish Electric entry. As to the championship tussle, early on Chase was doing what he needed but was the victim of a spin cause by contact from behind in essence ending his title dreams. That was the bad news, the god news was brother Owen in the Dillner Precast Chevy was third at the finish securing the 2023 championship.

Drama arose in fight for the 2023 Blunderbust championship during the qualifying heat races. In his heat, Jim Laird Jr, of Rocky Point who held an 8-point lead over Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach coming to competition had his car suddenly shut off exiting the second turn. Further review revealed a broken timing chain. What was Laird to do? Enter the Handley family and Joe Densieski who offered Laird their car for the feature. Meanwhile Hubbard, who came to Sunday with a very simple game plan, just win and let the points fall where they might all of a sudden held an advantage. When the 20-lap finale started "Hub Cap" Brandon Hubbard, sticking to his team's game plan took the lead over defending champion Cody Triola. With a caution free race run off, Laird was unable to gain the positions he needed to at least tie Hubbard in points, knowing he held the tiebreaker in wins. With the checker flag waving in the breeze Brandon Hubbard, who came through the track Enduro ranks and is going Super Pro Truck Racing in 2024, scored his second win of 2023 lifting him to the track championship in the United Exhaust Shop racer. Cody Triola of Bay Shore was second in the C&L Aluminum & Glass entry while Gary Caldwell of Sound Beach enjoyed a stellar run for third in the Flowrite Exhaust machine.

Matt Triola of Bay Shore would prevail in the 20-lap Super Pro Truck finale earning his second win of the season. By just taking the green flag, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford wrapped up his third Super Pro Truck championship for owner Andre Vega, Jack is also a former two-time Blunderbust champ. Early on Joe Cerabino, seeking his first win of the season led Frank Dumicich Jr. for the first three laps before Matt Triola made his way by Frank for second on lap 4. After four laps of catching and sizing up Cerabino for the lead, Triola made the winning pass in the Cesspool Pros Chevy on lap 8. However, once our front things didn't get easier for Matt as 2022 champion Sean Glennon raced his way to second at the halfway mark. Undaunted Triola hit his marks and drove his truck to victory lane, earning his crew chief John Burns Jr. the Joe DiGangi Award, $150 and a trophy from Lou & Tracy Maestri. Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in the Onward Publishing Chevy, while 2023 champion Jack Handley Jr. was third in the East End Builders Toyota.

"Blankets" Joey Braun of Manorville scored his 4th INEX Legend Race Car victory of the 2023 campaign topping their 20-lap main event, while Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches and Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead race for the title. Action was plentiful at the front as Davidowitz, Farruggia and Braun raced in close quarters at the front of the 26-car field. Davidowitz led he first four laps before Braun moved out front on lap 4. Right behind him, and at times alongside him Davidowitz and Farruggia diced for second, all the while trying to take the race lead. When the dust settled Joey Braun in the Papa Carmine's Hot Peppers mount earned his 14th career win, moving him to 5th all-time. For the second time in his career "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz in the Freddie and Megan Kraft backed racer was the INEX Legend Race Car champion, Richie last won the crown in 2019. Unfortunately for Farruggia last lap, last turn contact shuffled him out of the finish. Chase Van Houten of Wading River, who ran among the top five all race crossed the line third in the Terra Vite Vineyards machine.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Kyle Ellwood 3. John Beatty Jr. 4. Tom Rogers Jr. 5. Mark Stewart 6. Owen Grennan 7. Justin Brown 8. Roger Turbush 9. Chris Young 10. JR Bertuccio 11. Chris Rogers 12. Dave Brigati 13. Mat Brode 14. Michael Rutkoski 15. Jack Handley Jr. 16. Allan Pedersen DQ-Dylan Slepian DNS Steven Kopcik

Late Models: 1. Brandon Turbush 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Brian Doyle 5. Richie Davidowitz 6. Gerard Giordano 7. Keith Rotzi 8. Ed Cheslak 9. Jesse St. Clair 10. Kevin Metzger 11. Jen Krpata 12. Alyssa Paprocky 13. Paul Cummings 14. Chris McGuire

Crate Modifieds: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Max Handley 3. Owen Grennan 4. Sean Glennon 5. Chase Grennan 6. Mike Albasini 7. Vinny Delaney 8. Joey Braun 9. Terry Stiles 10. Chevy Rommeney 11. Tom Sekulski 12. Eddie Schutze

Blunderbust: 1. Brandon Hubbard 2. Cody Triola 3. Gary Caldwell 4. Bill Wegmann JJr. 5. Bill Wegmann Sr. 6. Brad Bess 7. Jim Laird Jr. 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Emily Hubbard 10. Steven Fried DNS- Joe Densieski

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Matt Triola 2. Sean Glennon 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Frank Dumicich Jr. 5. Joe Creabino 6. Lou Maestri 7. Dave Koenig 8. Rob Corwin 9. Liam Patrick 10. Erin Solomito

Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Chase Van Hiouten 4. Riely O'Keefe 5. Ryan Lutz 6. Anthony Marsh 7. Kevin Nowak 8. Rodney Dowless Jr. 9. Pat Moore 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. Charles Hodge 12. Chris Sinatro 13. Jayden Glennerster 14. Colin Volpe 15. Ray Stulz 16. Kim Daniell 17. Alex Johnson 18. Steve Woytysiak 19. Ed Stadtlander 20. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 21. Kendall Van Houten 22. Nick Kocis 23. Rich Braun 24. Michael Metcalf 25. Christopher Coleman 26. Marc Godnick

Unfavorable Saturday Forecast Pushes Riverhead Raceway Championship Program to Sunday Afternoon

By Bob Finan

October 13th, 2023
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Faced with an extremely unfavorable Saturday forecast, Riverhead Raceway management announced Friday morning the once postponed Championship Night program set for Saturday evening would shift to Sunday afternoon. Championship Night, originally slated for Saturday September 30th was rained out and moved to October 14th. The track has not been able run a program since the Eddie Partridge 256 WMT event on September 16th, as rain also fell washing out the Cecil Palm Tree 160 September 23rd.

While making the disclosure to move Championship Day to Sunday, track officials updated the race day itinerary for race teams and fans. NASCAR Modified and Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified trailers enter the pits at 7:30 am, with tire selection for Modified teams starting at 8:00 am, Pits will open at 9:00 am, practice will commence at 11:00 am. Qualifying starts at 1:15 pm, general admission gates open at 1:00 pm.

The Cecil Palm Tree race run in honor of the late track owner Eddie Partridge will now be a 66-lap affair and decide the 2023 NASCAR Modified championship. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills are separated by 16-points heading into Sunday. Both Beatty (2017) and Slepian (2015) are former INEX Legend Race Car champions at Riverhead and are seeking their first career NASCAR Modified championship. JR Bertuccio of Centereach, the 2002 Modified champion sits third trailing Beatty by 18, two back of Slepian for second. Chris Young of Calverton is fourth heading into Sunday, 24-markers out of the lead while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford sits fifth, 40-points back of the leader.

Enter the 25-lap Late Model finale Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead has secured his 7th LM championship. Gerard Giordano of Freeport, Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches and Chris McGuire of Miller Place are in a tight race for the runner-up spot. The brothers Grennan, Owen & Chase are separated by 8-points for the 2023 Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified title with defending champ Owen on top entering their 25-lap finale Sunday.

Eight points is also the separation in the 2023 Blunderbust championship tussle with Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point having the advantage over Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach. Neither driver has ever won a track championship. Keeping on the eight-point differential for a 2023 Riverhead Raceway championship, the INEX Legend Race Car title fight joins in on the fun. 2019 INEX Legend Race Car champion Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches holds the 8-point margin over upstart talent Jeffrey Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead as they go to post in their 20-lap feature.

For all things Riverhead Raceway please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at office @riverheadraceway.com and our phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Riverhead Raceway Announces $5,000 to Win Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 Sunday November 12th

By Bob Finan

October 10th, 2023
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Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz in conjunction with GM John Ellwood have announced the Islip 300 weekend will conclude with a $5,000 to win, Full Fender Fall Frenzy presented by East & West Pest Control for Street Stock type cars Sunday November 12th. Coupling Sunday's event with the 7th annual Islip 300 on Saturday November 11th turns the weekend into the most lucrative in the 73-year history of the track. The Islip 300 Tour Type Modified winner will pocket $7,000.

While making the Full Fender Fall Frenzy announcement GM John Ellwood offered, "none of this is possible without the support of East & West Pest Control, they stepped up to the plate allowing us to pay a handsome $5,000 to the winner". East & West Pest Control of Calverton offers solutions for pest problems and nuisance wildlife, came on board as a marketing partner with Riverhead Raceway through the track's billboard program. An enthusiastic Ellwood continued, "for those of us around long enough to recall the big Street Stock events at Pocono Raceway, we are hoping to capture some of that magic. The Full Fender Fall Frenzy will feature infield pitting using the layout in place for the Islip 300, with racing and most special events completed by the second week of November, we've opened up the rules allowing New England, New Jersey and Pennsylvania teams to compete".

The complete rules package can be found at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, once on the home page click the competitors link for rules and registration. All teams entering the Full Fender Fall Frenzy must run a Hoosier 790 tire on either a 7" or 8" wheel. Teams will be required to purchase a minimum of two Hoosier tires while allowed to purchase a maximum of 6. Engine rule details can also be found online, both built, and 602 Crate engines are permitted. Those opting for 602 Crate motors must have their home track seal in place.

Qualifying for the 24-car field will be via heat races. Ellwood additionally has made seven guaranteed starting spots available for 2023 track champions of Street Stock or comparable divisions from any track, asphalt or dirt. Qualifying details can be found on the track web page.

Registration for the Full Fender Fall Frenzy is free up until November 9th, after that a $150 fee will be charged to late entrants.

Joining the excitement Sunday November 12th are the Mini Stocks, Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, Truck Enduro, 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro and JuiceBox Racers.

The pit area will open at 9:30 am, drivers for the Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 will have a mandatory driver meeting at 10;30 am. On track activity will commence with a 45-minute Street Stock practice session at 11:15 am with Mini Stock, Bandolero and Truck Enduro practice to follow. Qualifying will start at 1:00 pm with opening ceremonies to follow.

In the event of inclement weather, the Full Fender Fall Frenzy would move to Sunday November 19th. In the event of rain for the Islip 300 on Saturday, that event moves to Saturday November 18th.

For further details please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at office @riverheadraceway.com and our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Dave Antos & Joe Warren Jr. Visit Championship Sunday Victory Lane at Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

October 2nd, 2023
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DAVE ANTOS & JOE WARREN VISIT CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY VICTORY LANE AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Riverhead, NY Oct. 1st

By Bob Finan

Contested a week later than planned due to weather, Championship Sunday rolled into action at Riverhead Raceway Sunday afternoon under sunny skies. Leading the way to victory lane were Dave Antos of Lindenhurst who topped the 30-lap Street Stock event clinching his 4th track championship in the process, while Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge prevailed in the 30-lap Mini Stock main event.

Jarrod Hayes broke to the early Stret Stock lead chased over the first four laps by Alyssa Paprocky before a caution flag slowed the race. With the event the final leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series the choose cone was in place and for the early restart Hayes chose the inside as did second place runner Paprocky, allowing Dave Antos to roll from third to the outside of the front row. When the race resume Hayes and Antos dueled for the lead often side by side. On lap 13 Antos was able to gain the run he needed on Hayes to take over the lead with Hayes now in a battle for second with Max Handley. On lap 16 Handley was able to move by Hayes for second. With his 15th career win and another track championship on the horizon, Dave Antos in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy drove to his third win of the 2023 season. Aside from accumulating SS championships in 2018, 2020, 2022 & 2023, Antos is a former three-time Grand Enduro champion at Riverhead having won in 2011. 2011 & 2016. The victory also secured Dave the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series championship in a tie breaker. Max Handley of Medford was second in the Amish Electric Monte Carlo while Jarod Hayes of Calverton completed the podium in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy.

When the 16 Mini Stocks lined up for their 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series finale, many on hand thought the race was over before it started with all-time leading winner Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge starting from the pole. However, 2022 MS champion Andrew Farnham had other ideas. At the throw of the green Warren broke to the lead over Farnham for the first two laps before Andrew go by to lead laps 3 through 6. Both drivers were equally as good inside or outside and on lap 7 Warren reclaimed the lead over Farnham. The raging battle continued as the tandem threw crossover moves at each other with Farnham rallying back to the lead on lap 11. Two laps later Warren reclaimed the lead and son there after Farnham's hopes to victory were dashed with a flat tire forcing him to the infield ending the torrid fight for the lead. Once left by himself out front, Joe Warren Jr in the Schmidt's Country Market Cavalier drove off to his 4th win of 2023, the 12th of his career. Paul Wojcik of Patchogue was runner-up in the RFG Electrical Contracting Honda, securing the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series title. By virtue of his third-place finish, Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley earned his first career Mini Stock track championship in the Island Technology entry. The 2023 title was built on consistency by Cooke who did not visit victory lane once in 2023 in route to the title.

In the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandits 15-lap feature event budding star Aria Ligon of Center Moriches scored her first career win in her Chesterfield Associates machine. Aria, who started racing during the 2022 campaign had been making positive advances throughout the 2023 season, took the race lead at the drop of the green and led all the way to the finish. Christian Ryan of Riverhead was runner-up in the sponsor wanted entry, while Blake Grattan of Southold placed third in the Southold IGA Market mount. Four-time feature event winner Reid Halpin of Wading River was on the march right from the throw of the green and appeared to be on his way to a 5th win. Unfortunately for Halpin two cars got together underneath him entering the first turn and he made hard contact with the wall in turn two ending his race. However, when Reid took the green in the Florida Connection/Baldwin Automotive racer he secured the 2023 Bandits championship. Halpin's story is one of perseverance after suffering a hard crash at Waterford Speedbowl in the summer of 2021. The then 8-year-old Halpin wasn't certain he wanted to race again after that incident, but with the support of his family and crew he did enjoying a career and championship season.

In the Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Outlaws event, also 15-laps Gavin Romano of Riverhead drove to his first career victory surviving a torrid battle with Will Sipala of Manorville on the final lap. Romano broke to the early lead over Ben Morabito, who by taking the green flag clinched the 2023 Outlaws championship. On lap 7 Morabito, the 2022 Bandits champion looped around Romano for the lead, bringing Cillian Tennant with him. Tennant stayed right with Morabito once the duo got to the front and on lap 8 the challenger dove low on the leader with contact ensuing. That moved Romano back to the race lead with Will Sipala second for the restart. It all boiled down to the last turn of the final lap as the checker flag was waving in the breeze, Sipala threw a bottom shot on leader Romano off turn four, contact was made with Sipala the apparent winner in a photo finish. Race control intervened moving Sipala one spot back for the last turn contact making Gavin Romano a first-time winner in the Mil-Aero Solutions Outlaw. Sipala and his JD Posillico Contracting machine were second with Phillip Alaimo of Miller Place third in the Alaimo Contracting racer. The early part of Sunday was trying for Ben Morabito and his family as they nearly did not make it to the track after racing in Kingsport, Tn. Saturday. A connecting flight out of Charlotte was in peril but in the end the travel plans worked out in their favor.

For the third time this season "The Quiet Man" Phil LaManna of Smithtown topped the 40-lap Truck Enduro in his EP Milling & Sweeping S-10. Phil, despite all his trips to the winner's circle is a man a very few, if any words post-race as he'd rather accept the trophy and handshake and head pit side. The Pease family completed the podium as Bobby Pease Jr. of Medford was runner-up and his father Bobby Sr, third. The third-place tally earned Bobby, the owner of Fit Spot Gym his second career Truck Enduro championship led by crew chief John Cozza.

Entering the 2033 8-Cylinder Enduro season Woot Lawrence of Southampton had some personal unfinished business with a Camaro he built for competition a few years back. Woot sold the car and moved to the Truck Enduro ranks where he won multiple championships, including the 2022 title. However. Woot was able to reacquire the Camaro and focus on the 2023 8-Cylinder Enduro championship. Sunday when the 50-lap finale for the 8-Cylinders was complete Woot Lawrence and his Gregor Well Drilling Camaro sat in victory lane for the third time in 2023 earning the championship in the process, unfinished business completed. Richie Carman of Port Jefferson was runner-up in the 50-lap tilt in his United Exhaust machine, while Roger Tramm of Yaphank also in a United Exhaust backed Chevy was third.

Second generation driver Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays notched his third 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go feature event win of 2023 Sunday topping a 50-lap contest. While Mujsce enjoyed his three wins during the summer it would be Zach Tyler of Cutchogue collecting the 2023 championship. Tyler, a third-generation driver was second to Mujsce Sunday in his Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law machine earning him the crown. Tyler took home one win during his championship season on August 2nd. Chris Olivari of Selden was third in his Middle Country Automotive racer.

While Riverhead Raceway tracks championship points for the Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, racer Eric Germuth tracks the points for the three Enduro classes and a big thank you to him for his efforts. For the third year, JCR Motorsports, Jimmy & Angela Rennick sullied the championship and top five trophies for the three Enduro classes as well the Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, thank you.

Street Stocks: 1. Dave Antos 2. Max Handley 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Greg Harris 5. Brian Brown 6. Alyssa Paprocky 7. Brian McCormack 8. Dennis Kurras 9. Tom Sullivan 10. Rhett Fogg 11. Ricky Carman 12. Kyle Curtis 13. James DiPietro 14. Justin Ferreri 15. Luke Foerster 16. Kyle Halpin 17. Danny Pizzo 18. PJ McGay

Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Joe Cooke Jr. 4. Tony Collinsworth 5. Chris Olivari 6. Woot Lawrence 7. James O'Connell 8. Jake Innes 9. John Harley 10. Charles Astacio 11. AJ DeSantis 12. Eoughan Heyward 13. Andrew Farnham 14. Ryan Warren DNS- Dillon Reid, Ryan T. Warren

Bock Auto Bandolero Bandits: 1. Aria Ligon 2. Christian Ryan 3. Blake Grattan 4. Emmett Grattan 5. Reid Halpin 6. Mason Goodale 7. Brooke Meyer 8. Layla Quilliam 9. Jordan Ryan 10. Antonio D'Alonzo

Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Gavin Romano 2. Will Sipala 3. Phillip Alaimo 4. Nick Hodge 5. Jayden Owens-Bader 6. Cillian Tennant 7. Madison Tomaszewski 8. Ben Morabito

Truck Enduro: 1. Phil LaManna 2. Bobby Pease Jr. 3. Bobby Pease Sr. 4. Kerry Botts 5. Mariah Lawrence 6. Ben Gregor 7. Chris Grover 8. Emily Hubbard 9. Don Nelson Jr. 10. William Kennedy 11. Chris Olsen 12. James Kelly 13. Hallie Campo 14. Jimmy Kelly 15. Justin McGrady 16. Brandon LaManna 17. Whitney Williams 18. Vinny Pease 19. Chloe Phillips 20. Gary Voight

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Richie Carman 3. Roger Tramm 4. Carmine Ragusa 5. Pat Collins 6. Kevin Feeney 7. David Verbeeck 8. Ricky Carman 9. Steve Jones 10. Justin Squires 11. Christian Kalbfleisch 12. Eric Germuth 13. Dusty Cole 14. Anthony Capobianco 15. Tim Healy 16. Dwayne Sipila 17. Jess Martines Jr. 18. James Heym 19. Cutter Gera 20. Joe Boccia 21. Kale Buckley 22. Greg Harris 23. Anthony Pizzo 24. Pat Collins Jr. 25. Jack McCarthy Jr. 26. David Sandel 27. Dennis Jones

4/6-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Mike Mujsce Jr. 2. Zach Tyler 3. Chris Olivari 4. Joey Palmeri Jr. 5. Peter Verwys Jr. 6. Frank Raynor 7. Jesse Bichsel 8. Dillon Reid 9. Jacob Hartard 10. Steven Jappell 11. Jeremy Rand 12. Charles Astacio 13. Franky Abbatiello 14. Mitch Halfin 15. Vinny Abbatiello 16. Chris Constantine 17. CJ Zukowski 18. Tyler Farrell 19. Mike Fragola 20. Ryan T Warren 21. Anthony Paretta 22. Will Farrell 23. Will Garcia 24. Raymond Rau 25. David Duran 26. Hans Kiessing 27. Anthony Fioriglio 28. Joe Rodriquez 29. Moody Enaya 30. David Olivari 31. Tallon Russell 32. Will Raynor 33. George Astacio

News - November 2023


Jimmy Renfrew Jr Dominated Riverhead Raceway Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 in Route to $5,000 Payday

By Bob Finan

November 13th, 2023
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There is a good chance Jimmy Renfrew Jr. of Candia, NH never even flown over Riverhead Raceway prior to Sunday's inaugural East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200. It took Renfrew all of 19-laps during a morning practice to familiarize himself with the tight bullring before going out and leading all but 2 of 200-laps for the $5,000 victory.

With rules opened up for the event drew an eclectic field of race cars and trucks from the Northeast as well the Riverhead Raceway divisions that fit the regulations. When retiring starter Bruce Noll waved his dueling green flags Charlie Baldwin of Hudson, NH led a quartet of fellow New England drivers to the first turn to lead the first lap. On the second lap racing down the backstretch, Renfrew jumped to the outside of Baldwin to move out front with Baldwin settling into second. Right behind the lead tandem were Adam Lovejoy, Jason Woodward and Travis Lovejoy. Running a more powerful Street Stock type car many on hand wondered how the five invaders from the north would fare having to use the track Hoosier f53 compound. The prevailing thought was among the Long Island drivers was, more power would lead to quicker tire wear. Long Island talents such as Brian Brown, Brian Doyle, Tom Pickerell, Jack Handley Jr., and Dave Koenig racing everything from old Charger cars, Riverhead legal Street Stocks, Blunderbusts and Super Pro Trucks were able to race in the second half of the top ten. As a group, the hope was with less power, their tire wear would lead to a late race advantage.

After a competition caution for fuel on lap 75 the race would resume with Renfrew remaining the race leader, but Baldwin was now feeling the heat from Adam Lovejoy for second. Lovejoy was able to loop around Baldwin on lap 94 joining his Renfrew Racing teammate up front. A series of caution flags for minor spins and fluid on track didn't deter race leader Renfrew as he dominated the middle portion of the contest. Baldwin and Woodward were running third and fourth, unfortunately for Travis Lovejoy, a broken drive shaft ended his race while running among the top five.

With Renfrew still leading the race for second would intensify as the laps started to dwindle, Charlie Baldwin, who swapped a tire out during a pit stop found new life and made his way to third, pressuring Lovejoy for second. After a few laps Baldwin would move to second on lap178, but if he were to catch Renfrew, he'd need a late race caution to do so, that caution never came.

Racing under the dueling checker flags Jimmy Renfrew Jr. in his Southern Maine Pools entry took home the win. When asked his first impression of Riverhead post-race, Renfrew revealed it was his kind of place, "I like it, it's a tight bullring and you really got to get up on the wheel here as a driver". Charlie Baldwin was runner-up in the Ellis Pool Covers entry while Adam Lovejoy of Sanford, Me. was third in the Make-A-Wish Chevy. Jason Woodard of Waterbury Center, Vt. was fourth with his J&S Sales & Service entry, with Brian Doyle the first Riverhead driver over the line fifth with the East Coast Eddie Auto Repair Chevy. Doyle used his championship Limited Late Model car he raced at Wall Stadium for the 200.

Sixth through tenth were, Brian Brown of Calverton, Dave Koenig of Baldwin, Tom Pickerell of Huntington, Mike Odwazny of Syosset and Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford. Pickerell was the first Riverhead Raceway legal Street Stock over the line.

In the 20-lap Mini Stock feature Tony Collinsworth of Ocala, Fl topped the race after wrestling the lead away from Chris Olivari of Selden at halfway. Collinsworth, recently relocated to the Sunshine State, at the insistence of sponsor Walls Of Fame, grabbed a flight north for the race. After victory lane Tony was off to catch a flight back home. Olivari was runner-up in the Middle Country Automotive racer while Shawn Wanat of Riverhead brought the Spit Speed Shop entry home third.

Aria Ligon of Center Moriches scored her second 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero victory in a row in the Chesterfield Associates Bandit. Riding the outside lane Ligon passed Mason Goodale on lap 4 exiting the fourth turn to take command of the race. Goodale of Riverhead was runner-up in the Riverhead Building Supply machine while Emmett Grattan of Southold was third in the IGA Market Bandit.

In the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Outlaws Phillip Alaimo of Miller Place earned his first career win in the Alaimo Contracting mount. Alaimo lead from start to finish for the win and hinted that a Legend Race Car maybe in his future in the next couple of seasons. 2022 champion Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia was runner-up in the MC-11 racer while Madison Tomaszewski of Riverhead was third in the RK Precision machine.

Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank notched his third Truck Enduro victory of 2023 with his 50-lap victory Sunday in the General Welding Supply Chevy. Campbell worked his way by 2023 Truck Enduro champion Bobby Pease of Medford on lap 9 and never looked back. Phil LaManna of Smithtown made his way to second with his EP Milling & Sweeping S-10 late in the race and was closing but settled for runner-up honors. Gary Voight of Medford was third in the A. Voight Towing mount.

Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton bays collected his fourth win of the 2023 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go campaign in the Mike's Auto Service of Quogue racer. Mike moved by David Olivari who led the first lap on lap two and dominated the remainder of the 40-lap affair. Olivari of Coram was second in the Middle Country Automotive machine while George Astacio of Mastic Beach has a stellar third place tally in the East End Bait & Tackle entry.

Fall Frenzy 200: 1. Jimmy Renfrew Jr. 2. Charlie Baldwin 3. Adam Lovejoy 4. Jason Woodard 5. Brian Doyle 6. Brian Brown 7. Dave Koenig 8. Tom Pickerell 9. Mike Odwazny 9. Ken Hyde Jr. 11. Eric Lutz 12. Rob McCormick 13. Charles Sudano 14. Tom Puccia 15. John Harley 16. PJ McGay 17. Dave Antos 18. Luke Foerster 19. Jack Handley Jr. 20 Chris Lescenski 21. Travis Lovejoy 22. Alyssa Paprocky 23. Gerard Lawrence 24. Tom Talbot

Mini Stocks: 1. Tony Collinsworth 2. Chris Olivari 3. Shawn Wanat 4. Joe Warren Jr. 5. Paul Wojcik 6. CJ Zukowski 7. Joe Cooke Jr. 8. Ryan Warren 9. Jake Innes 10. Will Garcia 11. Charles Astacio 12. Eoughan Heyward 13. Tyler Farrell 14. Brad Anderson

Bandolero Bandits: 1. Aria Ligon 2. Mason Goodale 3. Emmett Grattan 4. Reid Halpin 5. Michael Barry 6. Antonio D'Alonzo 7. Brooke Meyer 8. Tyler Oxee 9. Blake Grattan 10. Ken Hyde III 11. Christian Ryan 12. Jordan Ryan

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Phillip Alaimo 2. Chevy Rommeney 3. Madison Tomaszewski 4. Will Sipala 5. Nick Hodge

Truck Enduro: 1. Jarrett Campbell 2. Phil LaManna 3. Gary Voight 4. Don Nelson Jr. 5. Bobby Pease 6. Bobby Pease Jr. 7. Woot Lawrence 8. William Kennedy 9. Whitney Williams 10. Brandon LaManna 11. Eric Germuth 12. Chloe Phillips 13. Mariah Lawrence 14. Hallie Campo 15. Danielle Creegan 16. James Kelly 17. Ben Gregor 18. Jim Kelly 19. Mark Russo 20. Jennifer Hohwiesner 21. Vinny pease 22. Dusty Cole 23. Kerry Botts

Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Mike Mujsce Jr. 2. David Olivari 3. George Astacio 4. AJ DeSantis 5. Peter Verwys Jr. 6. Kevin Coyle 7. Dillon Reid 8. Joey Palmeri Jr. 9. Michael Asdahl 10. Pat Collins Jr. 11. Will Farrell 12. Charles Astacio 13. Eoughan Heyward 14. Jeremy Rand 15. Raymond Rau 16. Chris Constantine 17. Vinny Abbatiello 18. Richie Carman 19. Michael Fragola 20 Ryan Warren 21. James Heym 22. Mike Mujsce III 23, Liam Macwhinnie 24. Jacob Hartard 25. Chris Olivari 26. Franky Abbatiello 27. John Palmeri 28. Donny Oliver 29. Robert Kramer 30. Tyler Farrell 31. Ryan T. Warren 32. Steve Phillips

Matt Hirschman Conquers Riverhead Raceway with Convincing Islip 300 Victory

By Bob Finan

November 12th, 2023
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Arguably the most successful Modified drivers to ever strap in, Matt Hirschman heard the whispers, whispers that morphed to louder social media conversation. Why doesn't Matt come to Riverhead, is he worried he can't win there? Saturday, with as convincing a performance any driver has ever turned in, Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. won the 7th annual Islip 300 for with Long Island based race team, worth $7,000. End of conversation.

The buzz for the7th annual Islip 300 took flight in qualifying when 12-year-old Paulie Hartwig III of Galloway, NJ was quickest with a lap of 11.445. Hartwig, who only ran 28-laps of practice ranking him ninth must be a quick learned as he nearly eclipsed the track record of 11.272 set in 202 by Tom Rogers Jr. Fellow Keystone State resident Matt Hirschman was second quick in qualifying at 11.594.

The race would play out in three segments for eventual winner Matt Hirschman. When Bruce Noll, longtime starter at Riverhead Raceway threw his final green flag before retirement, Hirschman hustled his machine to the early race lead with authority, knowing Hartwig had never run a competitive lap at the tough bullring. In most instances Matt will sit back early in longer races, however that was not the case Saturday as he seemed to have a different game plan. Hartwig after two laps in second was passed by Timmy Solomito on lap 3 with 2023 Riverhead champion John Beatty Jr. sliding under Hartwig for third before lap 5.

With minimal cautions early, Hirschman would break into a comfortable lead in the event with all the action behind him. Hartwig went back to work, after fading to fourth he started to come back to life as the race moved along and raced back to second after getting by both Beatty and Solomtio with the aid of double file restarts. Hartwig would lead his first lap of the race on lap 170 when he hung tough to the outside of Hirschman on a restart, Matt came back to the inside of Paulie to reclaim the lead on lap 171.

The second segment of Matt Hirschman's race would start to play out when a multi car jingle in turn three drew a caution on lap 185. When the pits opened Hirschman, Solomito, Justin Bonsignore and Craig Lutz all came for tires while Hartwig, Mark Stewart, Roger Turbush and Andy Jankowiak chose to stay out with a different pit strategy. That strategy found Hartwig the new race leader chased by Stewart, Turbush and Jankowiak. Bonsignore, who won the race off pit road, Solomito, Hirshcman and Lutz started from 8th back went to work on getting back up front.

On lap 210 things went south for Roger Turbush as he spun off turn four while running third due to a soft left rear tire. During this caution Hartwig, Stewart and Jankowiak all came to pit road joining Turbush. When the race went back green Solomito, who just lap prior to the caution got by Bonsignore for second was the leader with Lutz third behind Justin and Hirschman fourth. On the 225th circuit Hirschman started to turn up the wick coming to third, not long after Lutz snuck by Bonsignore for second as business started to pick up.

On lap 230 a debris caution for the muffler off the Walter Sutcliffe machine would stack the lead quartet lined up, side by side with laps starting to wane. When the race resumed Solomito and Lutz raced hard side by side through the first and second turn drifting up the track, opening the inside lane with Matt Hirschman quick to move his car left and under the dueling duo for the race lead. Thus, the third and final segment of Matt's race began.

Despite a hefty 60-lap in the contest remaining once Hirschman had his machine back out front, he was not going to surrender the top spot. Solomito would be as close as anyone would get to making a bid on Matt for the win, staying close with the leader on a few more restarts. When the green reappeared each time Solomito tried to stay alongside Hirschman for as long as he could, hoping to execute a crossover exiting the corners. However, Matt was able to power off the corner to stay out front.

Soon Solomito's worries were no longer passing Matt Hirschman, he now had Lutz, Bonsignore, JB Fortin and Mark Stewart within striking distance of him. Of the four Stewart, runner-up in the WMT Eddie Partridge 256 would make the most noise as he had a car that would work best on the bottom. On lap 285 Lou Strohl lost an engine down the backstretch setting up a restart with 15-to go. On that restart while Hirschman held off Solomito, Stewart was able to muscle his way under Bonsignore after the green waved for third. Then on lap 296 another yellow waved for a JR Bertuccio spin, setting up another restart. When the green waved Stewart working the bottom again slid under Fortin for third. Not long after, the former multi-time Super Pro truck champion would again flex his muscles diving under Solomito for second as they raced off turn four to take the white flag.

With all that was going on behind him on the final lap, Matt Hirschman took the checker flag as the winner of the Islip 300. After Connie Partridge, Tom Gatz and John Ellwood bestowed the Islip 300 trophy, the big check and a victory cake on Matt, the articulate driver reviewed, "this thing was just fast out of the box today" While looking at the car in which he injured his arm in back in August Matt furthered, "I have to admit things weren't going great for us when I got injured. I wasn't sure if I was right for this Elite Towing team, I am sure they were wondering if I was right for them. But we stuck it out and I can't thank Alan Dering of Elite Towing the car owner and the Baker Racing group that wrenches on it, I bring some guys, they have guys and it all worked out". As he concluded his post-race interview, the always stoic driver quipped, "the Hirschman family has been racing here since 1989 I think, a lot of times we left here cursing that Indian at the street. This is one that a lot of people thought I'd never check off the list, I'm really thankful for the opportunity".

In yet another stellar big race performance Mark Stewart of Riverhead was runner-up leaving the young talent more than pleased, "just another great car from my Uncle Bub, I had to get aggressive late in the race but hey, that's Modified racing" the driver of the Keith Grimes Excavating/Good JuJu's BBQ entry boasted.

After exiting his USNE Utility Service machine, third place finisher Timmy Solomito looked back on his race, "we gave it all we had, I fought hard up front all night. Our balance was just a little off at the start".

Undaunted by his lap 210 flat & spin, Roger Turbush of Riverhead recovered for a solid fourth at the line, while Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead survived early race damage to the right front to salvage a fifth-place finish in the Matlach Motorsports Chevy. That tally was enough for Kyle to sew-up the 2023 Crown Jewel Series championship with the second-generation driver admitting this was a goal of his coming into the season. "This is what I wanted to win this year" Ellwood noted while looking at the TC Cup, my goal was to win this cup named after Teddy. I was worried early but my Matlach Motorsports guys kept working on that right front, can' thank them enough".

In the General Welding Supply Corp 50 for the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds 2023 champion Owen Grennan of Glen Cove prevailed, in the process saving himself some grief from his younger brother Chase. Entering the $2,500 to win event, Chase was up one win on Owen in 2023, 4 to 3, Owen, a schoolteacher, knew he would have to even that score Saturday. Man, there would have been no putting up with Chase all winter if I didn't even things out today", Owen joked post-race. Owen took the lead from his sibling on lap 2 of the race with Chase in pursuit. The Grennan family picnic was interrupted on lap 37 when AJ DeSantis moved by Chase for second on lap 37. Eight laps later Chase moved back by DeSantis and set sail for his older brother again. In the end the Dillner Precast Chevy of Owen Grennan prevailed over the Black Forest Auto machine of Chase. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank came home third in the Jaeger Lounge Chevy.

It was a rough and tumble HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 for the INEX Legend Race Cars, when the dust settled "Blankets' Joey Braun of Manorville won his 5th feature of 2023, the 15th of his career. A multi-car wreck and then a flip by Pat Moore, who was shaken but otherwise okay, slowed things early on but when they got to racing for the $2,000 victory, they lead tandem put on a clinic. Riely O'Keefe and Joey Braun, both of whom call Manorville home were left to decide the outcome in the final five laps. O'Keefe had led most the way, Braun, with every corner of his car banged up, made his way back to second late in the tilt. Over the final five laps O'Keefe and Braun played the crossover game through and exiting the corners as the intensity ramped up. As the checker waved Joey Braun in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney at law racer made the last crossover payoff in victory. O'Keefe steering the Get Clear, Crystal Clear Window Cleaning entry had to be content with second after leading the majority of the race. 2023 track champion Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third in the Freddie & Megan Kraft backed entry.

Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park topped the 15-lap Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars event. Don Conradis set the pace over the first 10-laps, but he was undone when his car did not fire off during a restart. That allowed Ferrante in the Anthony Ferrante & Co Cavalier, and eventual runner-up Don Howe of Water Mill in the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier to sneak by. Mark Miller of Hauppauge was third in the Meade's Welding & Fabricating Chevy.

Islip 300: 1. Matt Hirschman 2. Mark Stewart 3. Timmy Solomito 4. Riger Turbush 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Owen Grennan 7. Paulie Hartwig 8. Dylan Slepian 9. Jack Handley Jr. 10. Dave Sapienza 11. Justin Brown 12. Matt Brode 13. JR Bertuccio 14. Justin Bonsignore 15. Craig Lutz 16. Chris Young 17. JB Fortin 18. Chase Grennan 19. John Beatty Jr. 20. Lou Strohl 21. Andy Jankowiak 22. Allan Pedersen 23. Walter Sutcliffe 24. Tom Rogers Jr.

Crate Modifieds: 1. Owen Grennan 2. Chase Grennan 3. AJ DeSantis 4. Michael Rutkoski 5. Joey Braun 6. Max Handley 7. Charles Macwhinnie 8. Chevy Rommeney 9. Terry Stiles 10. Rich Gerbe 11. Vinny Delaney 12. Tom Sekulski 13. Jaden Brown 14. Mike Albasini

Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Riely O'Keefe 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. George Tomko 5. Jacob Burns 6. Cole Robie 7. Luke Lebrun 8. Ryan Lutz 9. Christopher Coleman 10. Ben Morabito 11. Chris Sinatro 12. Mike Van Houten Jr. 13. Rich Gerbe 14. Donald Duran 15. Kevin Ohrnberger 16. Ed Stadtlander 17. Steve Woytysiak 18. Anthony Marsh 19. Charles Hodge 20. Kevin Nowak 21. Chase Van Houten 22. Nick Morabito 23. Mike Alcaro 24. Pat Moore 25. Jayden Glennerster 26. Ray Stulz

Vintage All-Stars: 1. Tony Ferrante Jr. 2. Don Howe 3. Mark Miller 4. Sal Accardi Jr. 5. Don Conradis 6. Frank Saladino 7. Mike Siraco 8. Bill Auer 9. John Jasinsky 10. Jimmy Reed Jr. 11. Pat Hughes 12. Tim Daly 13. Rob Laskowski 14, Dylan Slepian

2023 Riverhead Raceway Crown Jewel Series to Conclude at Islip 300, Ted Christopher Cup Awaits Champion

By Bob Finan

November 8th, 2023
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2023 RIVERHEAD RACEWAY CROWN JEWEL SERIES TO CONCLUDE AT ISLIP 300, TED CHRISTOPHER CUP AWAITS CHAMPION

The 2023 Crown Jewel Series at Riverhead Raceway will culminate Saturday at the 7th annual Islip 300 for Tour Type Modifieds and heading into the $7,000 to win event Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead leads the race for the Ted Christopher Cup. The 2023 Crown Jewel Series consisted of six Tour Type Modified extra distance or signature events over the course of the summer carrying separate championship points from the Advance Auto Parts Weekly NASCAR rankings.

Conceived during the winter of 2019 Race Director Scott Tapley with Riverhead GM John Ellwood, the Crown Jewel Series was to debut as a four-race slate in 2020, however a worldwide pandemic put those plans on the shelf. Undaunted the Crown Jewel Series debuted one year later for the 2021 signature extra distance events, the series champion earning the Ted Christopher Cup named after the late, iconic open wheel racer out of Plainville, Ct. By scoring victory in the 2021 Islip 300, JB Fortin of Holtville clinched the Ted Christopher Cup in addition to a $7.000 payday as winner of the 300. Last year, on the strength of a runner-up showing at the Islip 300, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick earned the 2022 Crown Jewel Series Ted Christopher Cup winner.

Heading into Saturday and the 2023 edition of the 300 honoring of the former Islip Speedway, Kyle Ellwood enjoys a hefty 36-point margin over defending TC Cup winner Beatty. For Beatty to catapult Ellwood to claim his second consecutive Crown Jewel Series title he'll have to be 19 positions better in the final rundown. Ellwood holds the first tiebreaker having scored three Crown Jewel Series victories. Chris Young of Calverton ranks third in the standings 52-ponts back of Ellwood, 16 back of Beatty for second.

Ellwood took home the win in the first series event, the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 on Saturday June 17th driving the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac entry owned by the noted Southampton car dealer. Kyle's second and third Crown Jewel Series wins came on the same night sweeping the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49's September 9th at the wheel of the Ken Matlach Motorsports owned Modified. When not winning series races, Ellwood would never finish off the podium scoring two runner-up finishes and a third-place tally.

Timmy Solomito of Islip was a tw0-time winner of Crown Jewel Series races in 2023 winning The Bubba 150 in August and the season concluding Cecil Palm Tree 66 October 15th. Former five-time NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead scored his 63rd career win during the July 1st., 73rd Year Celebration Flying Dutchman Tribute event. The victory tied Tom with the late Charlie Jarzombek for most Modified wins at Riverhead.

Joining the Islip 300 Tour Type Modifieds Saturday are the General Welding Supply 50 for the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds worth $2.500 to the winner, while $2,000 will be up for grabs for winning the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 INEX Legend Race Car feature. The Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars will go to post in a 15-lap race.

Spectator gates open at 10:00 am, qualifying begins at 12 noon with Tour Type Modified time trials. Adults $40, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free. Pits open at 7:30 am, pit admission is $55, no licenses required. In the event inclement weather, the Islip 300 program in it's entirety moves to November 18th.

To view the race day itinerary please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Matt Hirschman & Lou Strohl Head to Islip 300 Riding Momentum of Big Weekend Modified Victories

By Bob Finan

November 5th, 2023
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It was a successful racing weekend for two veteran drivers out of Pennsylvania, "Money" Matt Hirschman scored his ninth career win in the John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout at Caraway, NC Speedway, while Lou Strohl was victorious in the Tom Wanick Jr. Memorial King of the Green event at Evergreen, Pa. Raceway. Both drivers hope to ride a wave of momentum into the 7th annual Islip 300 this Saturday November 11th at Riverhead Raceway.

For Matt Hirschmann of Northampton, Pa. the fall of 2023 has been just what the doctor ordered after missing some time due to an arm injury suffered in August. Over the past three weekends Matt has visited victory lane at least once, starting with his October 22nd triumph in the Monaco Ford Tri-Track Series event at the Waterford Speedbowl. Last weekend Hirschamn followed up with a win in the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway before his latest North-South triumph at Caraway. The soft-spoken Hirschman spiced things up Saturday when he accepted a challenge to start the John Blewettt III Memorial at the tail of the 22-car field earning him an additional bonus.

For the Islip 300 Saturday Matt will once again strap into the Alan Dering owned Elite Towing Modified, a car he piloted to third place honors in the 2022 event behind race winner Anthony Nocella and runner-up John Beatty Jr. Dering, longtime sponsor of four-time track champion Bill Park became a car owner in 2022 teaming up with Matt Hirschman for select races. The car is prepared in the Baker Racing shop by Long Island racing veteran Daryl Baker of Staria Automotive.

For Lou Strohl, veteran Modified driver out of Palmerton, Pa. it had been since 2007 he had won a race at Evergreen Raceway Park. That all changed Saturday when he took down the 111-lap Tom Wanick Jr. Memorial win. Post race, Strohl told Evergreen media director Dino Oberto about a deal car owner Matt Higgins made him, "on the way up here, Matt made a deal with me, he told me if we win the King of the Green we're going to run the Islip 300 at Riverhead." Strohl revealed, but Lou then made a deal of his own with Higgins. "I told Matt if we win the 300, then we're going to the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium". Strohl comes to the 300 enjoying recent success of his own, winning the recent Greg & Rich Long Tribute 97 at his home track, Mahoning Valley Speedway. The Strohl/Higgins team also took the 2023 Modified championship at Mahoning.

For Strohl's owner Matt Higgins, racing the Islip 300 is a home coming of sorts. Higgins grew-up in the shadows of Islip Speedway, and eventually started racing Mini Modified against fellow Islip area residents Jerry Solomito Sr. and Butch Capauno, remaining friends with both to this day. After relocating to Brodheadsville, Pa., Higgins started and continues to operate Matt's Garage & Matt's Towing. On Friday Higgins disclosed he is hoping to bring a second car to the Islip 300 for Zane Zeiner of Bath, Pa.

Registration for the Islip 300 remains open at http://www.riverheadraceway.com and is free up until Thursday November 9th. A late fee of $150 will be added after the deadline.

Pits for the Islip 300 open at 7:30 am with Tour Type Modified tire draw starting also. A 9:00 am drivers meeting will be followed by a 45-minute Tour Type Modified practice from 10:15 am through 11:00 am. Qualifying starts at 12:00 noon, opening ceremonies to follow. Joining the Islip 300 is the General Welding Supply Corp. 50, a $2,500 to win 602 Crate Modified event, the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40, $2,000 to win INEX Legend Race Car feature and the Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars. In the event of rain the Islip 300 program would shift to Saturday November 18th.

7th Annual Islip 300 registration as of Friday November 3rd:

0- Tom Rogers Jr.

02-Allan Pedersen

2- JR Bertuccio

4-Kyle Ellwood

5-John Beatty Jr.

10-Dylan Slepian

24-Justin Brown

24-Andrew Krause

34-JB Fortin

36-Dave Sapienza

45-Jack Handley Jr.

46-Craig Lutz

49-Chris Young

51-Justin Bonsignore

55-Chase Grennan

59-Andy Jankowiak

60-Matt Hirschman

66-Timmy Solomito

70-Owen Grennan

78-Walter Sutcliffe

81-Mark Stewart

85-Zane Zeiner

88-Roger Turbush

88-Lou Strohl

96-Matt Brode

Riverhead Raceway East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy Entries Nearing 40

By Bob Finan

November 3rd, 2023
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If early registration for the inaugural East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 Sunday November 12th is any indication, the $5,000 to win spectacular will be a competitive affair with drivers from across the Northeast converging on Riverhead Raceway. As of Friday November 3rd, early registration lists 38 teams planning on making the trip to Long Island in an eclectic mix of full-bodied race cars & trucks.

"We are beyond pleased and excited with early registration" noted Riverhead GM John Ellwood, it was John's concept to introduce the 200-lapper, hoping in part "to recapture the National Parts Peddler vibe from back in the day at Pocono Raceway". Ellwood, teaming up with Riverhead Chief of Technical Inspection Randy Murray came up with a rules package for the Full Fender Fall Frenzy hoping to draw the interest the race seems to be drawing, with a large out-of-state interest.

The First State of New Hampshire will be well represented at the 200 with Jake Silva of Stark, NH, Charlie Baldwin of Hudson, NH, Scott Wiggins of Somersworth, NH, and Jimmy Renfrew of Candia, NH all registering. Other New England teams heading southbound on Route 95 include Travis Lovejoy of Waterboro, Maine., Adam Lovejoy of Sanford, Maine., Jason Woodward of Waterbury Center, VT and Mitch Bombard of Willimantic, Ct have also registered. Bombard has teamed up with 2023 Riverhead Raceway Figure Eight champion Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford who will strap into Mitch's ride for the 200. Bombard saw Hyde's FB post seeking a ride and the two have been friendly, so the deal was struck.

Frank Curtis Jr. of Mooresville, NC, a L.I. native will come home for the 200 hoping for success. Heading east towards Riverhead for the East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy November 12th include some of the best out of the Keystone State. Mike Pollack of Freeland, Pa., Brandon Cook of Wyoming Valley, Pa., Al Stone III of Freeland, Pa and the father son tandem of Tommy & Thomas Flanagan of Bethlehem, Pa. have all filed registration forms.

Hoping to protect the home turf in their Riverhead Raceway Street Stocks and keeping the $5,000 on Long Island will be 2023 and multi-time champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst, Gerard Lawrence of Rocky Point, Brian Brown of Calverton, Danny Pizzo of Holbrook, James Dipietro of N. Massapequa, Chris Lescenski of Riverhead, PJ McGay of Sag Harbor, and Luke Foerster of E. Islip.

With the East & West Pest Control Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 rules package opened up, Eric Lutz of Miller Place, Jenn Krpata of St. James and Brian Doyle of Medford to dust off some former Charger cars for the 200. Blunderbust regulars Cody Triola of Bay Shore and Tom Puccia of Shirley will field their Saturday night cars for the event while 2011 Super Pro Truck champion Dave Koenig of Baldwin will field his truck.

Early and free registration for the 200 continues through Thursday November 9th, 2023, a $150 late fee will be charged after the 9th. To register, review the rules package or race procedure please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com and follow the links.

Complimenting the East & West Pest Control 200 Sunday are the Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, Mini Stocks, Truck Enduro, 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro and a JuiceBox race for the kids. Pits open at 8:30 am, a driver meeting for the Full Fender Fall Frenzy 200 will be held at 10:00 am, practice will start at 10:45 am for the Bock Auto INEX Bandoleros, followed by a half hour session for the 200 cars, Mini Stock and Truck practice will follow. Qualifying will commence at 1:00 pm. Spectator gates open at 10:00 am, adult general admission is $30, $15 for kids 6-12, 5 & under free.

Further details can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceaay.com, emails reach us at [email protected], the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

News - January 2022


Riverhead Raceway Hosts 2023 Banquet Dinner

By Bob Finan

January 6th, 2022

After a two year pause Riverhead Raceway was able to celebrate their 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions in style once again Friday evening at Giorgio's Baiting Hollow with 350 revelers filling the banquet room. Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz hosted the gala event with track GM John Ellwood while Stephen Halpin served as master of ceremonies.

For the fourth time in five years Kyle Soper of Manorville was celebrated as the NASCAR Modified champion along with his car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. On his way to the 2022 title Soper parked the Eastport Feeds Chevy in victory lane four times during the regular season. While a fourth championship on the wings of four wins was great for the veteran team, the highlight of their season came on June 25th when Kyle won the Miller Lite 200 NASCAR WMT becoming the first track regular to win a WMT race since 1995. While standing center stage Friday evening, Kyle Soper was presented with the 2022 NASCAR Modified championship plaque, his fourth championship ring and the Eddie Partridge Drivers Cup, a perpetual award reserved for the Modified champion.

After Soper was honored for his championship, Randy Murray and his Inspection staff of Riverhead Raceway introduced a new award with the Joe Hodge Humanitarian Award. Hodge, a former successful racer at Freeport Stadium was an integral part of the track inspection staff who voted on this award that will be presented annually. Popular NASCAR Official Mike Cappiello of Glen Cove was named the inaugural recipient of the Joe Hodge Humanitarian Award and was met with a standing ovation as he was joined by his wife Pat at the podium.

Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Dave Brigati of Calverton and Jack Handley Jr. of Medford were second through fifth in the 2022 Modified rankings. Chris Rogers of Patchogue was named 2022 NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year driving for Dave Brigati's Outlaw Inc. after finish 8th in the standings.

Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters after 30-years of trying captured his first career Late Model championship in his Matlach Fabricating entry, Shawn was joined at the podium by his wife Pam who serves as the team owner. Shawn notched one victory on August 20th, a victory that turned out to be paramount to winning the championship. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach, Brandon Turbush of Manorville, Ray Minieri of Bay Shore and Dave Brigati were second through fifth. Jimmy Rennick Jr. was tabbed 2022 Rookie of the Year. Additionally, Jimmy won the 2022 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for the class along with his first career win on July 9th, making for an impressive freshman year.

Another first career champion was crowned in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds with Owen Grennan of Glen Cove on the strength of four wins taking the title with his Dillner Precast team. Owen's car owner, younger brother Chase joined the champ center stage, he himself a two-time Crate Mod winner in '22. The Grennan brothers won six of sixteen races contested. Chase was runner-up to big bother Owen in the final standings with AJ DeSantis of Yaphank, Michael Berner of Patchogue and Alex Colasanto of Selden third through fifth. Max Handley of Medford won the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors in the Mile Albasini owned car, Michael Berner won the 2022 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series.

For the second year in a row veteran dare devil Scott Pedersen of Shirley and car owner Benny Vecchio took home the Figure Eight track championship with their Land, Air & Water Environmental team. Scott won two races along the way barely giving him the title over his nephew Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches who won three times nearly upending his uncle on the final weekend. Allan won three races, including a final weekend sweep to finsih second in the standings with Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge, Gart Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach and Ryan Warren of Ridge third through fifth. Ryan Warren in the Kathy Kraft owned machine was named 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Cody Triola of Bay Shore also was a repeat champion in 2022 winning his second straight Blunderbust title in his Cesspool Pros racer that he owns himself. Cody parked in the winner's circle twice allowing him to beat out Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead, Brandon Hubbard of Mastic, Eddie Diaz of Centereach and ageless Bill Wegmann Sr. of N. Bellmore who placed second through fifth in the final championship rankings. Steve Neenan of Mastic was 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Returning to his racing roots and having fun again paid dividends for 2022 Super Pro Truck champion Sean Glennon of Northport. Sean score three victories in route to his first career driving championship in his Glennon Racing, R&R Brothers electric Chevy. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Lou Maestri of Deer Park, Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore and Frank Dumicich Sr. of East Quogue were second through fifth. Rob Corwin of Greenport was named the 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Second generation wheelman Eric Hersey of Commack may not have won a race in 2022 but he pieced together what would turn out to be a championship INEX Legend Race Car season for he and car owner Al Bolland of Bolland Racing. Eric, driver of the Grillin' Villian entry not only won the Legend Race Car championship but with his flashy sports coat and attire the best dressed of the affair. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches, Anthony Marsh of Riverhead, Nick Morabito of Miller Place and Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville were second through fifth in the Legend Rankings. Third generation driver Chase Van Houten of Wading River won the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors, as well his first career race July 30th.

Dave Antos of Lindenhurst may be on a every other year program when it comes to winning the Street Stock title at Riverhead as he scored his third over championship in 2022. Dave, who owns his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy also won the SS crown in 2018 & 2020 complementing his three Grand Enduro championships at the track. Dave was a three-time winner in '22 and was chased by Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place, Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays, Greg Harris of Riverhead and Chris Lescenski of Riverhead.

Soft spoken Andrew Farnham of Baldwin notched his first career Mini Stock championship steering a car owned by his father, Ralph. Together the father & son tandem won twice in 2022 good enough to best CJ Zukowski of Riverhead, Chris Olivari of Coram, Joe Cooke Jr of Shirley and Paul Wojcik of Patchogue.

Ben Morabito of Miller Place made a late season rally winning his three races of 2022 in the second half of the campaign to capture the 2022 INEX Bandolero Bandit title for his parents/car owners Stan & Jen Morabito of Benimax Trucking. Rodeny Dowless of Dix Hills, Giavanna Agugliaro of Islip, Kix Bock of East Hampton, Nick Hodge of Bellmore and Reid Halpin of Wading Riverhead were second through fifth. Agugliaro & Bock tied for third, Hodge and Halpin tied for fifth.

Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia made his last season in the INEX Bandolero Outlaws one to remember winning six events in the Hollis Court Collision machine owned by his parents Michael & Cindy. By INEX rules Chevy now ages out of the Bandolero class and is expected to make an announcement as to his future plans soon. Will Sipala of Manorville, Gavin Romano of Riverhead, Tucker Bock of East Hampton and Marrissa Stewart of Riverhead were second through fifth in the Outlaws.

Three Enduro champions were recognized during the dinner with Woot Lawrence of Southampton (Trucks), Pat Collins of Southampton (8-Cylinder) and John Palmeri of Lindenhurst (Gut & Go).

The 2nd annual Silas Hiscock Driver of the Year Award was presented with the 14 track champions eligible. Pat Collins was named the winner of the prestigious award. Collins, after eight years of trying won his first career race on May 22nd which spearheaded, him and his PC Truck & Equipment team to the 2022 championship, also a career first.

With emcee Stephen Halpin moving the program along nicely all awards and speeches were completed in rapid order and attendees enjoyed two and a half hours of dancing, dining and partying to put a bow on the 2022 season.

Focus now shifts to 2023m, the 73rd season of racing at Riverhead Raceway that will open Saturday May 6th with a seven division NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program. Two practice days are scheduled to proceed the new season on Saturday afternoon April 22nd and again April 29th.After a two year pause Riverhead Raceway was able to celebrate their 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions in style once again Friday evening at Giorgio's Baiting Hollow with 350 revelers filling the banquet room. Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz hosted the gala event with track GM John Ellwood while Stephen Halpin served as master of ceremonies.

For the fourth time in five years Kyle Soper of Manorville was celebrated as the NASCAR Modified champion along with his car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. On his way to the 2022 title Soper parked the Eastport Feeds Chevy in victory lane four times during the regular season. While a fourth championship on the wings of four wins was great for the veteran team, the highlight of their season came on June 25th when Kyle won the Miller Lite 200 NASCAR WMT becoming the first track regular to win a WMT race since 1995. While standing center stage Friday evening, Kyle Soper was presented with the 2022 NASCAR Modified championship plaque, his fourth championship ring and the Eddie Partridge Drivers Cup, a perpetual award reserved for the Modified champion.

After Soper was honored for his championship, Randy Murray and his Inspection staff of Riverhead Raceway introduced a new award with the Joe Hodge Humanitarian Award. Hodge, a former successful racer at Freeport Stadium was an integral part of the track inspection staff who voted on this award that will be presented annually. Popular NASCAR Official Mike Cappiello of Glen Cove was named the inaugural recipient of the Joe Hodge Humanitarian Award and was met with a standing ovation as he was joined by his wife Pat at the podium.

Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Dave Brigati of Calverton and Jack Handley Jr. of Medford were second through fifth in the 2022 Modified rankings. Chris Rogers of Patchogue was named 2022 NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year driving for Dave Brigati's Outlaw Inc. after finish 8th in the standings.

Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters after 30-years of trying captured his first career Late Model championship in his Matlach Fabricating entry, Shawn was joined at the podium by his wife Pam who serves as the team owner. Shawn notched one victory on August 20th, a victory that turned out to be paramount to winning the championship. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach, Brandon Turbush of Manorville, Ray Minieri of Bay Shore and Dave Brigati were second through fifth. Jimmy Rennick Jr. was tabbed 2022 Rookie of the Year. Additionally, Jimmy won the 2022 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for the class along with his first career win on July 9th, making for an impressive freshman year.

Another first career champion was crowned in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds with Owen Grennan of Glen Cove on the strength of four wins taking the title with his Dillner Precast team. Owen's car owner, younger brother Chase joined the champ center stage, he himself a two-time Crate Mod winner in '22. The Grennan brothers won six of sixteen races contested. Chase was runner-up to big bother Owen in the final standings with AJ DeSantis of Yaphank, Michael Berner of Patchogue and Alex Colasanto of Selden third through fifth. Max Handley of Medford won the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors in the Mile Albasini owned car, Michael Berner won the 2022 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series.

For the second year in a row veteran dare devil Scott Pedersen of Shirley and car owner Benny Vecchio took home the Figure Eight track championship with their Land, Air & Water Environmental team. Scott won two races along the way barely giving him the title over his nephew Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches who won three times nearly upending his uncle on the final weekend. Allan won three races, including a final weekend sweep to finsih second in the standings with Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge, Gart Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach and Ryan Warren of Ridge third through fifth. Ryan Warren in the Kathy Kraft owned machine was named 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Cody Triola of Bay Shore also was a repeat champion in 2022 winning his second straight Blunderbust title in his Cesspool Pros racer that he owns himself. Cody parked in the winner's circle twice allowing him to beat out Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead, Brandon Hubbard of Mastic, Eddie Diaz of Centereach and ageless Bill Wegmann Sr. of N. Bellmore who placed second through fifth in the final championship rankings. Steve Neenan of Mastic was 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Returning to his racing roots and having fun again paid dividends for 2022 Super Pro Truck champion Sean Glennon of Northport. Sean score three victories in route to his first career driving championship in his Glennon Racing, R&R Brothers electric Chevy. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, Lou Maestri of Deer Park, Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore and Frank Dumicich Sr. of East Quogue were second through fifth. Rob Corwin of Greenport was named the 2022 Rookie of the Year.

Second generation wheelman Eric Hersey of Commack may not have won a race in 2022 but he pieced together what would turn out to be a championship INEX Legend Race Car season for he and car owner Al Bolland of Bolland Racing. Eric, driver of the Grillin' Villian entry not only won the Legend Race Car championship but with his flashy sports coat and attire the best dressed of the affair. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches, Anthony Marsh of Riverhead, Nick Morabito of Miller Place and Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville were second through fifth in the Legend Rankings. Third generation driver Chase Van Houten of Wading River won the 2022 Rookie of the Year honors, as well his first career race July 30th.

Dave Antos of Lindenhurst may be on a every other year program when it comes to winning the Street Stock title at Riverhead as he scored his third over championship in 2022. Dave, who owns his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy also won the SS crown in 2018 & 2020 complementing his three Grand Enduro championships at the track. Dave was a three-time winner in '22 and was chased by Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place, Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays, Greg Harris of Riverhead and Chris Lescenski of Riverhead.

Soft spoken Andrew Farnham of Baldwin notched his first career Mini Stock championship steering a car owned by his father, Ralph. Together the father & son tandem won twice in 2022 good enough to best CJ Zukowski of Riverhead, Chris Olivari of Coram, Joe Cooke Jr of Shirley and Paul Wojcik of Patchogue.

Ben Morabito of Miller Place made a late season rally winning his three races of 2022 in the second half of the campaign to capture the 2022 INEX Bandolero Bandit title for his parents/car owners Stan & Jen Morabito of Benimax Trucking. Rodeny Dowless of Dix Hills, Giavanna Agugliaro of Islip, Kix Bock of East Hampton, Nick Hodge of Bellmore and Reid Halpin of Wading Riverhead were second through fifth. Agugliaro & Bock tied for third, Hodge and Halpin tied for fifth.

Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia made his last season in the INEX Bandolero Outlaws one to remember winning six events in the Hollis Court Collision machine owned by his parents Michael & Cindy. By INEX rules Chevy now ages out of the Bandolero class and is expected to make an announcement as to his future plans soon. Will Sipala of Manorville, Gavin Romano of Riverhead, Tucker Bock of East Hampton and Marrissa Stewart of Riverhead were second through fifth in the Outlaws.

Three Enduro champions were recognized during the dinner with Woot Lawrence of Southampton (Trucks), Pat Collins of Southampton (8-Cylinder) and John Palmeri of Lindenhurst (Gut & Go).

The 2nd annual Silas Hiscock Driver of the Year Award was presented with the 14 track champions eligible. Pat Collins was named the winner of the prestigious award. Collins, after eight years of trying won his first career race on May 22nd which spearheaded, him and his PC Truck & Equipment team to the 2022 championship, also a career first.

With emcee Stephen Halpin moving the program along nicely all awards and speeches were completed in rapid order and attendees enjoyed two and a half hours of dancing, dining and partying to put a bow on the 2022 season.

Focus now shifts to 2023m, the 73rd season of racing at Riverhead Raceway that will open Saturday May 6th with a seven division NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program. Two practice days are scheduled to proceed the new season on Saturday afternoon April 22nd and again April 29th.

News - February 2022


Registration for 2022 Riverhead Raceway Season Available Exclusively Through Track Web Page

By Bob Finan

February 21st, 2022

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

By Bob Finan

February 3rd, 2022

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.

News - May 2022


Riverhead Raceway Celebrating 30th Anniversary of Fred Harbach's 1992 Championship with The Flying Dutchman 90 Saturday June 4th

By Bob Finan

May 27th, 2022

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.

News - June 2022


Kyle Soper Scores One for The Home Team With Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 WMT Riverhead Raceway Victory

By Bob Finan

June 25th, 2022

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.

72nd Year Celebration to Feature Fireworks & Demolition Derby Saturday July 2nd At Riverhead Raceway

By Bob Finan

June 25th, 2022

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 the Riverhead Raceway website, e-mails reach us at [email protected] and the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

Owen Grennan & Joey Braun Snag Riverhead Raceway Wins Before Rain Halts Program Saturday

By Bob Finan

June 18th, 2022

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

By Bob Finan

June 11th, 2022

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

By Bob Finan

June 4th, 2022

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

By Bob Finan

June 3rd, 2022

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

News - January 2024


John Beatty Officially Crowned Riverhead Raceway 2023 NASCAR Modified Champion at Awards Celebration

By Bob Finan

January 28th, 2024
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JOHN BEATTY JR. OFFICIALLY CROWNED RIVERHEAD RACEWAY 2023 NASCAR MODIFIED CHAMPION AT AWARDS CELEBRATION

Riverhead, NY Jan. 26th.

By Bob Finan

The banquet room of Giorgio's Baiting Hollow was full of celebration and good times Friday night as Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz honored their 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions during the sold-out gala. For the first time in his career John Beatty Jr. of Merick led the parade of champion as the NASCAR Modified champion and was celebrated for the 2023 title with car owner Mark S. Mina.

The 2023 Modified championship was the culmination of six years of hard work building and molding a championship team for John Beatty Jr. by team owner Mark S. Mina. The pairing came together during the off-season after the 2017 campaign after John won the INEX Legend Race Car title at Riverhead. While disappointed the MSM Elite Motorsports entry never visited victory lane, Beatty was the model of consistency in 2023 completing all 941-laps of competition. Beatty, aside from running all the laps scored 10 top five and 14 top ten finishes only placing out of the top ten once, an 11th place showing.

When Beatty strolled center stage, Connie Partridge, Tom Gatz, GM John Elwood and NASCAR officials Mike Cappiello & Randy Murray where there to greet John. Beatty was presented with his Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship plaque, track champion ring, the lion's share of the 2023-point fund and lastly the Eddie Partridge Driver's Cup. The Eddie Partridge Driver's Cup is symbolic of the annual NASCAR Modified championship of Riverhead Raceway named after Partridge.

Following Beatty during the 2023 title chase were JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Chris Young of Calverton, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills. Bertuccio, Young and Rogers all won single events during the season Slepian, like Beatty went winless. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches won the 2023 Rookie of the Year honors.

For the seventh time in his illustrious career, Jeremy McDermott was honored as the Late Model champion with car owner Rob Pelis earning his sixth title over the past seven years. Pelis and his Eastport Feeds team won the 2017 & 2018 LM championship with Kyle Soper of Manorville before winning four consecutive crowns with McDermott, 2019 through 2021. McDermott nailed down five wins in 2023. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches, a three-time winner was runner=up in the title chase followed by Gerald Giordano of Freeport, Chris McGuire of Miller Place and Ed Cheslak of Rocky Point. McGuire scored a single win in '23 while Jesse St. Clair of Lindenhurst won Rookie of the Year honors.

The Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified season boiled down to a battle of siblings, not just for the championship but overall wins on the year too. When the dust settled Owen Grennan of Glen Cove was basking in the ought of a second straight championship on the strength of four wins. Younger brother Chase made Owen sweat right up until the final points race on October 15th to determine the championship. Chase would find some solace when he won his fourth race of the year in a non-points event during the Islip 300. Third through fifth were Sean Glennon of Northport, Terry Stiles of Ricky Point and Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead. Ellwood was a three-time winner while Glennon and Stiles one once each. Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia won the 2023 Rookie of the Year award.

Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford won his third career Figure Eight championship in 2023 on what can only be described as a career season. Hyde wheeling the East End Building Chevy won five of the nine races tying him with Late Model champion McDermott, Legend Race Car standout Joey Braun and 2023 INEX Bandolero Outlaw champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place for most wins (5) overall. Allan Pedersen, a two-time winner in 2023 for the second year in a row was runner-up in the final rankings. Scott Pedersen of Shirley, Gary Fritz of Mastic Beach and Cody Triola of Bay Shore completed the top five. Scott Pedersen and Fritz were single event winners this past year. No drivers met eligibility requirements for Figure Eight Rookie of the Year.

For the first time in his career Brandon Hubbard of Mastic captured the 2023 Blunderbust championship, surviving a wild down to the last race battle with Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point. Hubbard came into that final race with his United Exhaust team with a strategy to win the race and points will take care of themselves. Hubbard indeed won the final feature, his second win of the year netting him the title. Laird, who lost a transmission during qualifying for the final race, borrowed a car and finished second in the championship having won three races along the way. Bill Wegmann Jr, of Patchogue, Cody Triola of Bay Shore and Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore completed the top five. Triola won twice, while Wegmann Jr, took one win in '23. Michael "Irv" Accordino of Shirley won the Rookie of the Year hardware.

Score Jack Handley Jr. of Medford a three-time Super Pro Truck champion earning the crown for he and truck owner Andre Vega. For Vega it's his fifth SPT title having won twice with Mark Stewart of Riverhead in 2018 & 2019 before Handley came on board with the Hydro Action Toyota winning the 2020, 2021 and now the 2023 championship. Jack was a four-time winner in '23. All-time leading winner Lou Maestri of Deer Park was runner-up in 2023, followed by Matt Triola of Bay Shore, Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore and Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays. Triola posted two wins while Maestri won a single event over the summer. Chris Lescenski of Riverhead won the 2023 Rookie of the Year.

"Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches returned to his racing roots in a big way this past season scoring the INEX Legend Race Car championship for the second time in his career (2019). Look no further than a four-race win streak in late May, early June as to the catalyst of a championship season. However, a mid-season, grinding crash tightened things up between Davidowitz and upstart talent Jeff Farruggia Jr. of Riverhead. The tandem went to the final race to determine the championship with Davidowitz in the Freddie & Megan Kraft backed coupe coming out on top. Following him and Farruggia in the final standings were, Joey Braun of Manorville, Jason Castaldo of Shirley and Riely O'Keefe of Manorville. Bruan scored five wins in '23. while Farruggia and O'Keefe won once. Rising young driver Rodney Dowless Jr. of Dix Hills won the 2023 Rookie of the Year award.

Dave Antos of Lindenhurst scored his second consecutive Street Stock championship during the 2023 campaign, his fourth overall. Throw in his 2011, 2015 & 2016 Grand Enduro titles to the mix and Dave is a seven-time Riverhead track champion. Antos and his EP Milling & Sweeping team win three races during the '23 championship run. Brian McCormack of Holbrook, Brian Brown of Calverton, Danny Pizzo of Holbrook and Rhett Fogg of Westhampton were second through fifth. Brown, Pizzo and Fogg won one race each.

Soft spoken Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley, like John Beatty Jr in the Modifieds, won his first career Mini Stock championship without a trip to victory lane. Joe, who along with his father make-up the Island Technology team raced steady and finished all the races in route to the championship. Paul Wojcik of Patchogue was runner-up followed by John Harley of Sayville, Jake Innes of Farmingdale and Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge completed the top five. Warren was a three-time winner in '23, while Wojcik pocketed a single victory.

For 2023 INEX Bandolero Bandits champion Reid Halpin of Wading River, his championship story is one of perseverance and never say quit. After a hard wreck two summers ago at Waterford Speedbowl, Reid's courageous comeback story ended with a four-win season in 2023 earning the driver of the Florida Connection Venetta Strong racer the championship. Following Halpin were Emmett Grattan of Southold, Mason Goodale of Riverhead, Aria Ligon of Center Moriches and Layla Quilliam of Shirley were second through fifth. Goodale and Ligon each won twice in 2023.

2022 Bandits champion Ben Morabito didn't let a mandated step-up to the INEX Bandolero Outlaws get in his way of another championship year. In fact, the Miller Place talent thrived with a five-win season and Outlaw championship in the Benimax Trucking entry. Oh, and by the way, Ben also won the Cook Out Summer Showdown Series Outlaw title at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Phillip Alaimo of Miller Place, Gavin Romano of Riverhead, Cillian Tennant of Riverhead and Will Sipala of Manorville completed the top five.

The 3rd annual Silas Hiscock Driver of the Year Award was won by Street Stock champion Dave Antos. Randy Murray, chief of inspection at Riverhead and his staff named Pastor Scott Kraniak of the Centereach Bible Church the 2nd annual Joe Hodge Humanitarian Award. Pastor Scott is the track chaplain of Riverhead Raceway.

Hours before the Awards Celebration, Riverhead Raceway announced the 2024 schedule of events kicking off with a doubleheader weekend May 4th & May 5th. Saturday evening May 4th will be the NASCAR Pack the Track Night opener for the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, followed just hours later by the May Meltdown program Sunday May 5th.

The complete 2024 schedule of events, 2024 car registration and our all-new On-Line shop are available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com. Emails reach track management at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

Riverhead Raceway Announces January 26th Awards Celebration, John Beatty Jr. Leads 2023 Parade of Champions

By Bob Finan

January 5th, 2024
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RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ANNOUNCES JANUARY 26TH AWARDS CELEBRATION, JOHN BEATTY JR. LEADS 2023 PARADE OF CHAMPIONS

Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz will culminate a successful 2023 season Friday night January 26th, 2024, when they host the 2023 Championship Awards Celebration at Giorgio's Baiting Hollow. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, the 2023 NASCAR Modified champion of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series will stand front & center for the annual parade of champions at the gala. Tickets for the 2023 Awards Celebration are now available by visiting the track web site.

Giorgio's Baiting Hollow, located on the scenic north shore of eastern Long Island have hosted the Riverhead Raceway Awards Ceremony since 2016, and again will roll out the red carpet for the racers celebrating their 2023 successes. A 7:00 pm cocktail hour will get the party started with the Awards Celebration to commence at 8:00 pm. During the evening guests will enjoy an open bar from 7:00 pm through midnight while enjoying a full course, sit down dinner. Coffee and dessert will follow. Additionally, the festivities include a DJ spinning tunes to dance the night away after presentation of the 2023 awards is completed.

Tickets for the 2023 Awards Celebration are available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com. Follow the link to obtain tickets that are priced at $120 per person. Deadline to purchase tickets is Monday January 22nd, 2024 at 5:00 pm, tickets will not be available after the deadline or at the door on January 26th.

Earning his first career NASCAR Modified championship in 2023, John Beatty Jr., car owner Mark S. Mina and the MSM Elite Motorsports will be in the spotlight celebrating their championship campaign. While Beatty may not have won a feature in route to the title, he and his team were the model of consistency completing every lap of the 914 circuits contested. In addition to his championship plaque from NASCAR, Beatty will officially be presented the Eddie Partridge Drivers Cup, emblematic of winning the NASCAR Modified championship and the lion's share of the 2023 championship point fund from Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz.

Thirteen 2023 Riverhead Raceway champions join John Beatty Jr. during the 2023 parade of champions at Giorgio's Baiting Hollow. For the seventh time in his illustrious Late Model career Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead won the 2023 title, the sixth over the past seven seasons for car owner Rob Pelis. Owen Grennan of Glen Cove scored his second Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified championship in a row in 2023 fending off younger brother Chase at the final race to do so. Ken Hyde Jr, of Medford became a three-time Figure Eight champion in 2023, while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford collected his third career Super Pro Truck championship. Veteran Blunderbust competitor Brandon Hubbard of Mastic will be part of the annual parade of champions celebrating his first career title in the class. For the fourth time since 2018, Dave Antos of Lindenhurst captured the 2023 Street Stock championship while soft spoken Joe Cooke Jr, of Shirley took home his first career Mini Stock championship. All will be part of the parade of champions.

Three INEX champions will be feted January 26th for their 2023 championship accomplishments. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches will be presented his second career INEX Legend Race Car championship four years removed from his first in 2019. of a stellar four-win season, Reid Halpin of Wading River drove to his first career Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit championship, while 2022 Bandit champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place notched the 2023 Outlaw title after moving up.

Aside from celebrating the 2023 track champions, the top five will receive plaques, with point fund checks distributed to eligible divisions and drivers.

Veteran Bobby Pease Sr. of Medfor5d won the 2023 Truck Enduro championship, while popular Woot Lawrence of Southampton took the 8-Cylinder Enduro crown and Zach Tyler of Cutchogue won his first career 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro championship. The trio will be recognized for their accomplishments for which they already have received championship hardware from Jimmy & Angela Rennick of JCR Motorsports at the final event of the season.

The Class of 2023 Rookie of the Year drivers will be presented led by 2023 NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches. Other freshman talents being presented 2023 Rookie of the Year hardware include Jesse St. Clair of Lindenhurst, Late Models, Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia, Crate Modifieds, Michael Accordino of Shirley, Blunderbusts, Chris Lescenski of Riverhead, Super Pro Trucks and Rodney Dowless Jr of Dix Hills, INEX Legend Race Cars. No driver met eligibility requirements for Figure Eight class.

Further information can be obtained at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach the track at [email protected].

News - February 2024


Riverhead Raceway to Fire off 74th Year of Racing May 4th & 5th, 8th Annual Islip 300 to Pay 10k to Winner November 16th

By Bob Finan

February 7th, 2024
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With 2023 officially in the mirror at the conclusion of the Riverhead Raceway Awards Ceremony, track owners Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz have released an energetic and comprehensive schedule of events for the fast-approaching 2024 race season. The 74th year of stock car racing fires off with a doubleheader weekend, Saturday evening May 4th and Sunday afternoon May 5th. While making the schedule release announcement, Partridge & Gatz disclosed the 2024 Islip 300 would pay $10,000 to the race winner with the 8th annual edition set for Saturday November 16th.

Saturday May 4th the 2024 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series gets under way with the NASCAR Pack the Track night opener. A bustling seven division race card is planned for the lid-lifter featuring the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, the Division 1 class of Riverhead in the national and regional Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championships. a 50-lap Modified feature will be complimented by the Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars. During the course of the 2024 campaign those seven classes will see action on Saturday evenings with periodic off nights penciled in.

The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars hit the track for their first of seven schedules events in 2024 on May 18th as part of the Miller Lite Tribute to Watne Anderson 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. That event honoring the 30th anniversary of Wayne's 1004 WMT in 1994 will be the first of two WMT events in '24, the 3rd annual Eddie Partridge 256 will run on September 14th.

Sunday afternoon May 5th finds the May Meltdown being presented. The Street Stocks and Mini Stocks are joined by the Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro, 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro and INEX Bandolero Bandt and Outlaw racers. The 2024 season marks the 39th consecutive year of Enduro racing at Riverhead since the very first race contested on Memorial Day weekend in 1986. Peter Verwys Jr. of East Rockaway, who still races won that historic race.

The Crown Jewel Series chase for the Ted Christopher Cup enters year four for the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, the 2024 series will be made up by five extra distance races. The Crown Jewel Series gets underway with The Bubba 150 June 8th and is followed by the 74th Year Celebration Tribute to the Flying Dutchman June 29th, the Cecil Palm Tree 160 July 6th, the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 August 17th and concludes with the Islip 300 in November.

Back for 2024 is the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for the Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. MLTCS events for all are dotted throughout the 2024 calendar of events.

The annual Sara Sylvester INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier 50 will be run September 21st, while the second annual Two for TK, Twin 9 Figure Eight races are set for July 27th.

Family fun will be abundant at Riverhead Raceway for 2024, with track management disclosing 10 Big Wheel Races, most ever since their inception. The Big Wheel race is broken down to a male and female winner, with the winners keeping their Big Wheel. Also, there will be 6 events for the JuiceBox Racers who debuted in 2023. The first JuiceBox event of the year unfolds on Scout Night May 11th, while Big Wheel racing gets underway on June 1st.

School Buses are going to be busy with no less than six events planned for the upcoming season. The first of three School Bus races goes green on Scout Night May 11th, with the first School Bus Demolition Derby set for July 13th, followed by more smashing July 31st and a special midweek Demo August 21st.

The high-flying, car crushing Monster Trucks of KSR Motorsports return for two dates in 2024, kicking off with the annual Monster Truck Night of Destruction July 20th followed by the Back-to -School Spectacular Wednesday August 21st.

Fireworks shows will thrill young and old alike on the 74th Year Celebration June 29th and again for the annual I Love America Night program August 10th.

Riverhead Raceway will continue to pay tribute to local heroes hosting First Responder Night August 31st. Aside from the entertaining First Responders Enduro race, all First Responders with proper ID receive 50% off general admission for that evening. The National Stock Demo Championship will also be decided during the First Responders Night program.

The complete 2024 schedule can be viewed by visiting http://www.riverheadraceway.com, click on the Events link. Competitors are reminded to register their car number for the 2024 season by visiting the web site and clicking on the Competitors link.

Emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

News - April 2024


PRACTICE DAYS COMPLETE, RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SET FOR 2024 OPENING WEEKEND SATURDAY & SUNDAY

By Bob Finan

April 29th, 2024
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With two successful practice days in the books setting the stage for 2024 at Riverhead Raceway, promoters Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz are ready to open a new season of racing with opening weekend Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th. The NASCAR Pack the Track night debuts the 2024 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series action Saturday evening, while the May Meltdown Enduro opener is featured on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday afternoon during the second test & tune afternoon, Chris Young of Calverton was quickest among the NASCAR Modifieds in his Earth's Splendor Chevy cruising the track in 12.647 during the third of four sessions. Young will be among the drivers to keep an eye on this Saturday during the opening night 50-lap Tour Type Modified feature, along with defending track champion John Beatty Jr of Merrick. Beatty and car owner Mark S. Mina of MSM Elite Motorsports will defend their 2023 in an all-new Fury built machine. Others joining Young and Beatty for the 2024 championship chase starting Saturday include Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Tom Rogers Jr, of Riverhead, Justin Brown of Manorville, Jack Handley of Medford, Mark Stewart of Riverhead, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck and Chris Rogers of Patchogue. Other teams announcing part-time schedules include, Timmy Solomito of Islip, a four-time winner in 2023, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, Matt Brode of East Islip and Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches.

In the six divisions that complement the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds on Saturday nights, four 2023 champions will be back to defend their crowns while two titles will be vacated heading into opening night. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead will shoot for his eighth Late Models championship while Owen Grennan of Glen Cove hopes for his third Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified title in a row. Super Pro Truck champion Jack Handley of Medford will seek his fourth SPT championship while "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches chases his third INEX Legend Race Car crown. Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford will not defend his 2023 Figure Eight championship, announcing a limited schedule for the new season while 2023 Blunderbust champion Brandon Hubbard of Mastic moves up to the Super Pro Trucks in '24.

Saturday night the Late Models along with the Eagle Auto Crate Modifieds will race in 25-lap features with the Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend all going 20-circuits, with a 15-lap Figure Eight event closing out the show.

Pit gates open at 12 noon Saturday, practice will commence at 2:30 pm, spectator gates open at 4:00 pm. Qualifying takes to the track at 4:45 pm with opening ceremonies set for 6:00 pm. Adults $30, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free.

Sunday afternoon May 5th the racing picks right up where it left off the night before with the May Meltdown program featuring seven divisions. Dave Antos of Lindenhurst will be gunning for his fifth career Street Stock championship when he takes to the track for a 30-lap, Miller Lite Triple Crown Series race. The Mini Stocks will also kickoff their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with a 30-lap tilt with Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley looking to repeat as champion in 2024.

Returning Enduro series champions are all ready to defend starting Sunday as Bobby Pease Sr. of Medford, Truck Enduro, Woot Lawrence of Southampton, 8-Cylinder Enduro and Zach Tyler of Cutchogue, Gut & Go Enduro will return in 2024. The event distance for these three classes is predicated by number of entrants.

The ever growing and popular INEX Bandoleros are back in 2024 opening their new season Sunday. Reid Halpin of Wading River, Bandolero Bandits and Ban Morabito of Miller Place, Bandolero Outlaws are the returning champions.

Pit open Sunday at 10:00am, practice starts at 11:00 am with qualifying at 12:30 pm. Opening ceremonies will follow qualifying. Adults $25, ids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free.

The complete 2024 schedule of events is available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the staff at [email protected] with the phone number 631-842-RACE.

Saturday April 27th practice day fast times (driver, time and session): Modifieds- Chris Young, 11.647 (3) Late Models- Jeremy McDermott, 12.645 (2) Crate Modifieds-Vinny Delaney, 12.457 (4) Figure Eights- Gary Fritz Jr., 16.610 (1) Blunderbusts- Jim Laird Jr., 14.438 (3) Super Pro Trucks- Frank Dumicich Jr., 13.154 (3) Legend Race Cars-Jayden Glennerster, 13.372 (1), Vintage Cars-Don Conradis, 12.920 (1) Street Stocks- Gerard Lawrence, 13.396 (1) Mini Stocks- Joe Warren Jr., 14.719 (1) Truck Enduro- Mariah Lawrence, 17.351 (3) 8-Cylinder Enduro- Greg Harris. 15.133 (3) Gut & Go- Mike Musjce Jr., 15.258 (3) Bandolero Bandits- Reid Halpin, 16.538 (3) Bandolero Outlaws- Ben Morabito, 14.804 (2)

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY OUTLASTS WEATHER TO COMPLETE FIRST 2024 PRACTICE DAY, TIMMY SOLOMITO QUICKEST AMONG MODIFIEDS

By Bob Finan

April 21st, 2024
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Riverhead, NY Apr. 20th

By Bob Finan

Despite the efforts of mother nature to extend the off season at Riverhead Raceway another week, track officials out waited a stubborn weather front to complete the first of two practice days Saturday afternoon. Another test and tune practice will take place Saturday April 27th before a doubleheader weekend ushers in the 74th race season Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th.

Cool and damp conditions greeted race teams and fans alike early on Saturday thanks to a frontal boundary working its way from west to east over Long Island. However, track owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz held firm that the practice session, albeit later than they'd planned would be completed Saturday. GM John Ellwood and the track facilities staff went to work once the moisture stopped to ready the track for action and nearly two hours later than planned the Blunderbusts hit the track to start 2024.

Timmy Solomito of Islip would click off the fastest lap among the 15 NASCAR Modifieds on hand touring the quarter mile in 11.662 during the third and final session. "The Natural" was a four-time winner in his USNE Chevy in 2023 racing just a handful of events due to his rapidly expanding Natural Designs firm. Timmy made seven starts last season.

Other drivers topping their class were Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead with a 12.684 in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Michael Berner of Patchogue was quickest among the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds at 12.510, while former three-time Figure Eight champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley was fastest in Figure Eights going a 17.133 in the Bobby's One Stop Automotive & exhaust Coupe. Quickest in Blunderbust testing would be Joe Densieski of Riverhead with a 14.502 in the Hydro Action Caprice while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was tops in Super Pro Trucks, 13.194 in the East End Building Toyota. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was the top Eddie Partridge Vintage All Star in the Frenchy's Auto Body Cavalier, 12.923.

The INEX classes took to the track led by the Legend Race Cars where Joey Braun of Manorville was fastest at 13.395 with his High-Mark Building Efficiency racer. In the INEX Bandolero Bandits Will Sipala in the JD Posillico Construction entry clocked in at 14.988, while Aria Ligon of Center Moriches was fastest among the Bandits in her Chesterfield Associates racer, 16.659.

Hoping for a bounce back 2024 season, Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place topped Street Stock testing in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy, 14.147 while all-time leading Mini Stock winner Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge topped the charts at 14.451 in his Schmidt's Country Market Cavalier. Defending Truck Enduro champion Bobby Pease of Medford was quickest in his Fit Spot Gym Chevy, 15.466 while 2023 8-Cylinder Enduro champion was likewise in his Gregor Well Drilling Chevy, 14.997. Ryan Warren of Ridge was fastest in his self funded 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go at 16.138.

The schedule for this Saturday April 27th will see pit window opening at 8:30 am with the pit gates swinging open at 9:00 am. Cars will hit the track at 11:00 am sharp. General admission seating will again be free, normal pit fees will apply for race teams.

Once the testing & tuning is completed all eyes look towards the NASCAR Pack the Track Night opener for the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Saturday May 4th and the May Meltdown Enduro lid-lifter Sunday afternoon May 5th. The complete 2024 schedule of event is available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, visit the events link. Emails can be forwarded to [email protected], our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

TWO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY PRACTICE DAYS TO SHOWCASE 2024 SEASON APRIL 20TH & 27TH FEATURING FREE GRANDSTAND ADMISSION

By Bob Finan

April 11th, 2024
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After yet another long winter of inactivity, Riverhead Raceway will roar back to life Saturday April 20th with the first of two preseason practice days signaling the start of the 74th year of racing on the quarter mile bullring. Another "spring training" test & tune will be presented Saturday April 27th with spectators admitted to the grandstands free of charge both days. It all leads up to the 2024 opening weekend with NASCAR Pack the Track night Saturday evening May 4th and the May Meltdown Enduro lid lifter Sunday afternoon May 5th.

Fans are encouraged to come out and enjoy one of or both practice days to check out the updated and new racing equipment teams will go to post with in 2024. Rotating practice hits the track at 11:00 am for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series and INEX teams. The NASCAR Modifieds, Late Models, Eagle Auto Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and INEX Bandolero will quickly find out if they're off-season work pays early dividends early in 2024, or if they have more work to do.

Once the NASCAR and INEX practice is complete at 4:00 pm, the track opens for the three popular Enduro divisions, Trucks, 8-Cylinder and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go teams will enjoy a late afternoon of practice until 5:00 pm to sort out their equipment for the May Meltdown opener.

Track GM John Ellwood did caution race teams two orders of business must be fully complete before hitting the track for practice. "No team are permitted to practice without having registered a car number with the track office online, we no longer accept car number registration in person" John warned. That edict will remain in place for the entire race season. Additionally, no race vehicles are permitted to practice before passing safety technical inspection, "Randy Murray, Chief of Inspection and his team were here the first two Saturdays of April, if you could not make those safety tech inspection days you still are mandated to pass that process before hitting the track" John concluded.

Pit windows open at 8:30 am both April 20th and April 27th, followed by pit gate opening at 9:00 am. The inspection area will perform safety tech inspection shortly after the opening of the gates. Spectator gates open at 11:00 am.

Once all the testing is complete all attention turns to opening weekend. Seven divisions will take part in the NASCAR Pack the Track opener Saturday May 4th headlined by the NASCAR Modified 50-lap feature event. Late Models, Eagle Auto Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars will usher in the new race season. Qualifying is set for 4:45 pm with opening ceremonies set for 6:00 pm.

Less than 12 hours later on Sunday, the May Meltdown completes the twin bill weekend. The Street Stocks and Mini Stocks waste no time getting down to business as they'll compete in Miller Lite Triple Crown Series 30-lap feature events at the opener. The ever-growing INEX Bandolero Bandit & Outlaw racers join in on the Sunday fun day, as do the Truck, 8-Cylinder and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduros. Qualifying via 10-lap heat races for Street Stocks & Mini Stocks go green at 12:30 pm with opening ceremonies set for 1:00 pm.

To register a car number for the 2024 season please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com and follow to the competitor link to registration. The second and final safety technical inspection day is this Saturday April 13th from 10:15 am & 2:00 pm, pit gates open at 10:00 am. Absolutely NO engines can be fired during safety tech inspection, no exceptions.

The complete 2024 race schedule can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, follow the event link. emails reach the track at office@riverheadraceway, the phone number is 631-842-RACE.

ALLAN PEDERSEN GEARING UP FOR BUSY 2024 CAMPAIGN AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY PULLING TRIPLE DUTY OPENING NIGHT MAY 4TH

By Bob Finan

April 3rd, 2024
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Often times in racing the dawning of a new season finds many drivers scrambling to find either rides or sponsors prior to opening night. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches, however, is in the enviable position of having three seats waiting for him at the Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Pack the Track Night opening night May 4th. A seven division Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program will usher in the 74th season of racing at Riverhead on May 4th.

CheckerWon Motorsports founder Artie Pedersen Jr. announced plans for both Allan and elder son Artie III Thursday morning. “Allan will be busy at Riverhead Raceway in 2024” the proud father boasted, “we are putting the finishing touches on the Superior Manufacturing NASCAR Modified for opening night. Right now, we plan on running up until and including the Tribute to Wayne Anderson WMT 200 May 18th, after that how often we run the Modified is contingent on early season success and sponsorship”. Allan, 24 was named the 2023 Rookie of the Year for the Tour Type Modifieds of Riverhead.

What came next in the CheckerWon Motorsports season preview was the most revealing, “Artie III is super busy right now. Between growing a business and upcoming wedding to Amber Fortin, racing full time for a Late Model or Figure Eight championship in 2024 isn’t in the cards”. Artie Jr. offered. Artie Pedersen III, 28 owns and operates both Superior Manufacturing & CheckerWon Manufacturing, having recently moved the firm to larger quarters in Ronkonkoma.

“That being said, Allan Pedersen will take over the driving chores for car owner Jennifer Joann in the New York Bernedoodles Late Model for 2024”. Last season Artie Pedersen III scored three wins as he and eventual champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead dominated the winner’s circle in the class. It was also announced that Allan would continue to chase the Figure Eight title at Riverhead for car owner Chris Elliott in the Top-Notch Performance Chevy. Over the past two seasons Allan has finished second in the championship chase, 2022 to Uncle Scott Pedersen and last year to Ken Hyde Jr.

While he may not be racing full-time with the Late Models or Figure Eights in 2024, Artie Pedersen III will not sit totally idle. “AP3” as he is known to family and friends will run “a pick and choose” combination Riverhead and open Modified races off Long Island his busy business schedule and sponsorship permits.

After two free to the public practice sessions at Riverhead Raceway April 20th & 27th, opening weekend unfolds with the NASCAR Pack the Track night lid lifter Saturday evening May 4th, followed hours later by the May Meltdown program Sunday May 5th. The complete schedule of events for 2024 can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

HIGHMARK-BUILDING EFFICIENCY TEAMING WITH JOEY BRAUN TO CHASE 2024 RIVERHEAD RACEWAY INEX LEGEND RACE CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

By Bob Finan

April 3rd, 2024
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Rich Gerbe, co-founder of Highmark-Building Efficiency announced Friday morning that Highmark would team with Joey Braun of Manorville to chase the 2024 INEX Legend Race Car championship at Riverhead Raceway. Gerbe, the 1999 Legend Race Car champion at Riverhead also disclosed the new pairing would enter the $25,000 to win Carolina Family Pool & Patio INEX Legend Race Car event in December at Southern National Motorsports Park of North Carolina.

During his announcement Gerbe was asked what drew him to Joey Braun, “for me it was when he won the Highmark-Building Efficiency 40 Legend Race Car feature prior to the Islip 300 in November. I had a bird’s eye view of his talent running that race myself, albeit further back in the pack, I was impressed. He’s just a normal kid who is a talented race car driver” Gerbe recalled. Rich revealed the duo had a preliminary conversation post-race in the Riverhead pit area, but it was a conversation in February the two had at New Smyrna Speedway in February that sealed the deal. “We caught up again in Florida, my dad was with me when Joey and I spoke, and he turned to me and said this was the young driver to get involved with”.

Indeed, known as a hard charging, take no prisoners driver Joey Braun has been impressive scoring five wins during the 2023 Riverhead Raceway campaign. Since his freshman season in 2019, Joey has won 15 INEX Legend Race Car events good for 5th on the all-time track win list and he’s quick to point out, “and we’ve never run a full season”. As for teaming with Highmark-Building Efficiency in an effort to secure his first track championship Braun commented, “I am both honored and excited to team with Rich and Highmark, hopefully we’ll reach our goal of winning races and the championship”. No matter the results locally, both Gerbe and Braun have already circled December 5th through 7th on their racing calendars for the trip to Southern National Motorsports Park. “$25,000 can buy plenty of holiday gifts” Braun quipped.

While pumped up about his new title marketing partner for 2024, Joey Braun was excited to announce many of his longtime backers will return for his various racing endeavors. Papa Carmine’s Hot Peppers, Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law, JG Candle Co, Jason Galka Real Estate, Dun Rite Pools, Drifters Kitchen and Cut Above All Hair Salon are all remaining with Braun. Additionally, over the past few seasons Braun has dipped his toes in Late Model racing down south and he is hopeful to make announcements in the near future on those efforts.

In addition to steering the Highmark-Building Efficiency Legend Race Car, Joey Braun confirmed he would return to the cockpit of the John Kirk owned Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified at Riverhead Raceway for 2024. “The goal for the Crate is to win our first feature and go from there” Braun said. In a twist of racing irony, there will be nights that Braun and his Legend Race Car sponsor Rich Gerbe will compete against each other. Rich pointed out Friday that he’ll run his Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified at Riverhead as his business and family life permits.

The chase for the 2024 INEX Legend Race Car championship starts Saturday night May 4th during the Pack the Track NASCAR opening night at Riverhead Raceway. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches will begin his Legends title defense during a 20-lap feature event. NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights and Super Pro Trucks.

The complete 2024 schedule of events can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected] with the phone number 631-842-RACE.

News - May 2024


"BIG" BOB O'ROURKE, RAY BOUCHARD AND BOB FINAN 2024 INDUCTEES ONTO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY CROMARTY WALL OF CHAMPIONS AUGUST 17TH

By Bob Finan

May 31st, 2024
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Riverhead Raceway owners Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz announced on Friday three 2024 inductees who'll be enshrined on the Cromarty Wall of Champions Saturday August 17th during an on-track ceremony. The 2024 inductees will be unique as it's the first time since inception none of the three are being enshrined for driving or owning race cars. "Big" Bob O'Rourke longtime NASCAR chief steward and race director, Ray Bouchard, award winning crew chief and Bob Finan, former announcer and public relations director will be inducted prior to the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 race program.

For five decades "Big" Bob O'Rourke of Glen Cove oversaw all NASCAR sanctioned racing on Long Island, whether at Islip Speedway, Freeport Stadium or Riverhead Raceway. Bob would position himself on the ramp of all three tracks, ruling with an iron fist with a black flag curled up in his hand for backup. Once O'Rourke felt it was time to pass the on-track officiating to others, he remained a race director and in later years the general manager at Riverhead.

Aside from being a driving force on the Island, O'Rourke played a major role in Modified racing on the Eastern Seaboard. It was Bob that was in charge of the All Star Racing League during its heyday with O'Rourke also the Gerber families right hand man for the annual Race of Champions fall classic for the Modifieds. Bob also tried his hand at race promotion with the Dog Leg 200 events at Trenton Speedway. While tough when needed, "Big" Bob loved his Modifieds and those who competed with them and would offer advice to anyone who asked, or he thought needed it. At every turn of his racing career Bob was accompanied by his wife Martha working every event. Together they considered the racers family, many referred to Martha as "Ma"

If races are truly won at the race shop, not on the track, then Ray Bouchard possess the most successful shop in Long Island racing history. Starting with "Dynamite" Dan Turbush in the Charger division, Bouchard has overseen 191 feature event wins and 15 track championships for the Turbush clan. After Dan was finished winning five Charger and 1 Late Model titles, "Uncle" Ray then steered the racing ship for his nephews Chris and Roger. The brothers rewarded Ray with another 99 wins and 7 track championships between them. Then along comes the third-generation driver under Ray stewardship in Dan's grandson Mark Stewart who added 25 wins and 2 Super Pro Truck championships to Ray's portfolio.

Ray Bouchard was recognized nationally when he won the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Craftsman Tool Mechanic of the Year on two occasions. Ray resides in Riverhead and remains active in Turbush Racing.

Bob Finan will be inducted for his 47-year career as an announcer and public relations person. Finan started his racing journey with the Long Island Mini Modifieds. Bob, who now calls Dunedin, Florida home credits four men from the Mini's for pushing him, "Joe Santiago, Joe Aragona, Jack Scott & Dan Meservey, they started the ball rolling" Finan called his first Mini Modified race in 1975 at Riverhead under the watchful eye of Tom Galan. It was in 1979 that Barbara & Jim Cromarty took notice of Bob asking him to expand his career to Islip Speedway. As a kid who grew up at Islip, Finan could hardly contain himself. Bob continued his career until the completion of the 2022 race season at Riverhead Raceway.

"First, a big thank you to Connie Partridge Tom Gatz and John Ellwood for this honor. I know my longtime partner Stephen Halpin drove this effort, I truly appreciate it, we will have to see who cries first August 17th" Finan stated. "Those who know me best know, I always felt the Cromarty Wall of Champions was only for drivers and owners. I always felt if any non-driver goes up first, it should be Bob O'Rourke" Bob pulled back the curtain. "When the idea of my going up on Barbara & Jim's wall on the same night as Bob, my thinking changed, it really is a perfect storm".

After the Cromarty Wall of Fame induction, the business at hand August 17th will be the running of the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 NASCAR Modified event. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead is the defending winner of the 77, a victory that propelled him to the 2023 Crown Jewel Series championship and the Ted Christopher Cup. Complimenting the program are the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds. Super Pro Trucks, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars and a Truck Enduro.

for all 2024 events please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

BUBBA 150 BONUS MONEY NEARING $15,000 JUNE 8TH AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY, $5,000 RACE WINNER BONUS COURTESY FAMILY OF BOB "BUBBA" PATANJO

By Bob Finan

May 29th, 2024
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Dennis Freese of Oval Speed Unlimited announced Tuesday a bonus money program for the 5th annual Bubba 150 June 8th at Riverhead Raceway that is nearing $15,000. The NASCAR Tour Type Modified event is held annually in memory of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo, longtime team member for four-time NASCAR Modified champion Bill Park who passed suddenly in the fall of 2019. The family of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo have announced a $5,000 bonus for the race winner.

Since 2020 Dennis Freese, in concert with the Patanjo family have spearheaded the effort behind the Bubba 150, the race growing in stature year after year. The popularity of the race among sponsors and race teams should come as no surprise to anyone who knew Bubba, a fun-loving spirit who was popular within the entire pit area. After Bill Park retired from racing, Patanjo took his lawn chair and held court at the back of the Oval Speed Unlimited parts truck, his ever-present cigar in hand. If you were fortunate enough, you were issued a nickname from the man himself. Former Riverhead champ Dan Jivanelli was dubbed "Hoss" by Patanjo.

"Really happy the race continues to grow to the level it has" Dennis Freese said while making the first Bubba 150 bonus money announcement. "it all starts with the commitment from the Patanjo family from day one. Now they are offering a $5,000 to the race winner, looking back when Tom Rogers Jr. won the inaugural race in 2020, he won just north of $5,000 total, a testament of how the 150 has evolved" the popular parts supplier added.

Returning for the 2024 Bubba 150 is the HighMark Building Efficiency Challenge, a bonus program that works on a sliding scale. If the pole winner from qualifying accepts the challenge and drops to the rear of the Bubba 150 starting grid and wins, an extra $5,000 will be awarded by Rich Gerbe of HighMark Building Efficiency. If the pole sitter declines the option, it becomes available to the second quickest in time, if they were to win the bonus becomes $2,500. If the top two from qualifying decline, the option is available to third fastest in Q, if that driver wins the bonus is $1,500. If the pole sitter accepts the HighMark Building Efficiency Challenge and finishes either second or third, $1,500 in bonus money will be awarded. A $500 bonus is available to the second or third quickest in time if they accept the challenge and finish on the podium.

Additionally, HighMark Building Efficiency has announced the Furthest Traveled Award of $500 for the team logging the most miles to compete in the Bubba 150.

Adam Wheeler of Righteous Window Cleaning will award the $200 Pole Sitter award while Timmy Solomito of Natural Designs Co. is posting a $250 Laps Led bonus. Ryan Preece Racing is offering multiple bonuses, $200 to the Halfway Leader and $200 for the Fastest Lap. Preece has also added $50 for the leader of laps 40 & 41. Steve Park has announced a $200 Hard Charger bonus for the race, Steve and Bubba loved to share a good cigar along the way. Former INEX Legend Race Car and Charger competitor Ralph Beaver is adding a $200 Hard Luck award, Beaver remains active in racing as the truck driver for the WMT team of Russell Goodale and driver Craig Lutz.

Freese also indicated he has secured $3,000 in lap money for the Bubba 150 from a multitude of sponsors.

Timmy Solomito of Islip is the defending race winner of the Bubba 150, pocketing $6,326 for the triumph. Chris Young of Calverton finished runner-up, this after accepting the 2023 HighMark Building Efficiency Challenge and dropping to the rear. Young wowed the crowd with his charge, impressing Gerbe of HighMark so much he raised the bonus for second from $500 to $1,500. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was third.

Previous winners of the Bubba 150 aside from Solomito are Tom Rogers Jr., 2020, Kyle Soper, 2021 and Chris Turbush, 2022.

Complimenting the Oval Speed Unlimited Bubba 150 June 8th at Riverhead Raceway are the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars and Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars. Opening ceremonies will commence at 6:00 pm proceeded by qualifying.

A race day itinerary and other track information can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails can be forwarded to [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

BARBARA & JIM CROMARTY SUFFOLK SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION THURSDAY EVENING

By Bob Finan

May 28th, 2024
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Thursday evening May 30th,2024 will be a very special one in the rich history of stock car racing on Long Island. Yet not an engine will be fired, nor a lap turned. The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame will induct Barbara & Jim Cromarty into the hall recognizing their 39 years in racing as promoters of Islip Speedway and owners/promoters of Riverhead Raceway. The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be hosted at Flowerfields of St. James.

A total of twenty-three Hall of Fame inductions will be celebrated Thursday. Joining Barbara & Jim as Class of 2024 inductees include Keith Hernandez, former New York Mets star and current broadcaster who resides in Sag Harbor. WFAN personality Gregg Giannotti, a Bellport native from the popular "Boomer & Gio" morning show will also take his place in the hall. Giannotti teams up with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason of East Islip weekday mornings on WFAN.

The Cromarty's will join "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek (1995), "The Flying Dutchman" Fred Harbach (1996), Steve Park (2004) and Wayne Anderson (2006) as racing members of the HOF. While the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame is not housed in a building, it provides many exhibits across Suffolk County, including Long Island MacArthur Airport and the Fairfield Properties Stadium, home of the Long Island Ducks. Unfortunately, Jim Cromarty passed away last August at 91 years young, Barbara regretfully will not make the trip from Florida for the ceremony.

With Islip Speedway facing a clouded future in the middle of the 1970's decade, Barbara & Jim Cromarty came on the scene to lease the famed 1/5th of a mile starting with the 1977 season. The couple came to racing with vast experience in promotions including the Suffolk County Fair and Roll 'N Ice Skating Rink in Copiague. Racing was totally a new venture to them, a challenge they welcomed and excepted. With Long Island NASCAR official "Big" Bob O'Rourke in their corner, Barbara & Jim started their 39-year love affair with racing and the racing family.

The Cromarty's quickly on advice from O'Rourke, aligned themselves with NASCAR and so began a friendship with the late Bill France Jr. that lasted a lifetime. In 1984 the landowner that Islip Speedway sat on sold the parcel from under the Cromarty's. Undaunted, Barbara & Jim quickly made a deal with Ed & Clara Hawkins to purchase Riverhead Raceway prior to the 1985 race season, having leased the Route 58 oval prior for Friday racing. Saturday night NASCAR racing moved east. During their later years at Riverhead with an eye towards retirement, Barbara & Jim turned down numerous lucrative offers from non-racing entities, all in the name of keeping the raceway a racetrack. The loyal dedication to their racing family found the husband & wife team working into their 80's. During the summer of 2015, the Cromarty's knew they had found the right family to keep racing alive on Long Island, selling the track to Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz.

Over the span of their career, the Cromarty's enjoyed important roles with NASCAR. For several years Barbara served on the NASCAR Competition Committee and up until they retired, both voted with the NASCAR Hall of Fame committee.

"While they came to the racing game as strangers, they left as the patriarchs of our racing family" long time Islip/Riverhead announcer Bob Finan recalled. "Right from the first season in 1977, Barbara & Jim made everyone who worked, raced or spectators of the races feel part of one big family. When it came time for them to rightfully step back and retire, they wouldn't do so until they were certain the racetrack would be there for future generations to enjoy. It's their legacy" Bob added.

As current Riverhead Raceway broadcaster Stephen Halpin pointed out, the decision to sell the facility as a racetrack by the Cromarty's reaches beyond just racing. "When you look around, you realize how many people have met their spouses at Riverhead Raceway. I did, met my wife Meredith there and we have three boys, two of who race there. If Barbara & Jim would have sold the track to a source outside of racing, well who knows. I for one am forever grateful to them, as well to Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz for keeping everything moving forward".

On Thursday evening in St. James, the life's work of Barbara and Jim Cromarty will be rightfully recognized and celebrated with induction into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

JOHN BEATTY JR. PREVAILS OVER JR BERTUCCIO IN CLASSIC NASCAR MODIFIED BATTLE SATURDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

By Bob Finan

May 26th, 2024
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It may have been just the third 50-lap Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series NASCAR Modified event of 2024 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, but John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and JR Bertuccio of Centereach were in mid-season form waging a war for the victory. When the dust settled defending champion John Beatty, who went winless during his championship run last year scored his first win since June 4th, 2022, the 11th of his career.

Tom Rogers Jr. started the race from the pole breaking out front at the start with Owen Grennan in tow. JR Bertuccio passed Grennan for second on lap 2, quickly moving in on Rogers for the lead. Both Rogers & Bertuccio are "take no prisoners" style drivers with the challenger all over the race leader. On lap 5 Kyle Ellwood drew the first caution of 2024 with a spin off turn four. On the restart Rogers and Bertuccio held serve up front with Chris Young charging his way to third on during the restart. The lead trio ran under a blanket but on lap 9 things got too close as Rogers spun from the lead, Young was penalized to the rear of the field for the restart for his role.

Suddenly Bertuccio, a 29-time winner at Riverhead was the race leader with John Beatty Jr. second. When the race resumed to start the 10th lap, things were pretty quiet up front for the following 20-laps, but it would be with 20-lap remaining were the heat was turned up, way up. Over the first two races of the year, Beatty has had a good long run car, such was the case Saturday as he was all over Bertuccio with the laps winding down. Bertuccio, a former track champion in his own right was able to protect his lead, protecting the low line. Beatty was having none of it, getting into JR trying to nudge him up a groove. On lap 46 Beatty got Bertuccio out of shape just enough entering the third turn to slide under for the race lead with three laps remaining. Beatty would lead the rest of the way as Bertuccio lost too much track position to attempt a run back at the eventual winner.

"First, I have to apologize to JR, I roughed him up a bit there, he's one of the best here and has accomplished a lot" Beatty admitted post-race when he exited the MSM Elite Motorsports Fury. When quizzed about the long run prowess his car has shown to date this season Beatty revealed, "team owner Mark Mina has given us the best, a new Fury with input from Ryan Stone & Steven Kopcik, who have told me, don't question the set-up just drive it. I can't give you the secrets, those cost a lot of money". At that point emotion took over the post-race jubilation, as Beatty choked back tears dedicating the race win to the late Glenn Dixon, "Glenn was instrumental during the formative years of MSM Elite Motorsports, and with me longer than that. Just a great, fun loving, smart guy who we will all sorely miss. I will especially miss his Saturday night calls to see how we finished".

JR Bertuccio was runner-up in the Gershow Recycling Chevy while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was third in the Hydro Action entry. Handley was indeed in position to pounce if the fight for the lead got further out of shape. Opening night winner Justin Brown of Manorville was fourth while Owen Grennan of Glen Cove completed the top five.

Defending Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead didn't let any grass grown under his throttle foot when he found himself on the pole for the 40-lap Late Model feature. The race, the first of the 2024 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series saw McDermott, the '23 MLTCS champ bolt to the lead at the throw of the green. Gerard Giordano raced to second and was able to keep McDermott in sight during the event. However, at the conclusion Jeremy McDermott steering the Eastport Feeds Chevy had earned his 31st career win, good for sole possession of 4th on the all-time Late Model win list. Giordano of Freeport was runner-up in the K1 Logistics machine, Ray Minieri of Bay Shore completed the podium in his 1683 Sports Bar & Grill Chevy.

Another driver rarely starting a feature from the pole is Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, who like McDermott didn't look a gift horse in the mouth winning the 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified event. However, Kyle's 6th career victory wasn't without pressure. After Ellwood busted out front at the start, outside pole sitter AJ DeSantis tucked right in behind the leader and parked himself there for the entire race. Try as he might to get some breathing room, Ellwood felt constant heat for challenger DeSantis. In the end though it was the Kelco Construction machine of Kyle Ellwood sitting the winner's circle. DeSantis of Yaphank was second in the All Service All Pro Interiors Chevy while Max Handley of Medford crossed the line third in the Handley's Lawn Care mount.

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, defending Super Pro Truck champion earned his 21st career victory topping a 20-lap feature event. Early on Frank Dumicich Jr. paced Lou Maestri for the lead with Handley eventually making his way to third. On lap 4 Jack slid under Lou for second and set his sights on the lead. try as he might to fend off Handley, Dumicich would surrender the race lead just past the halfway mark on lap 11. Once Jack Handley had the East Side Building Toyota out front there was no stopping him from another trip to victory lane. Dumicich of East Quogue brought the OKpetroleummarketplace.com entry home for runner-up money. Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays made a late race pass of Lou Maestri to complete the podium in The Hydrant Dodge.

It was a double down kind of night for Ben Morabito of Miller Place, scoring his first career 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car victory literally minutes after winning the 15-lap INEX Bandolero Outlaw event. Morabito and Anthony Marsh brought the 26-car grid to the green with the more seasoned Marsh gaining the advantage early. Undaunted, Morabito kept the pressure on Marsh for the lead and with an inside pass exiting the second turn on lap 3 moved the Benimax Racing entry out front. Nerves never became an issue for Ben, as he not only led the rest of the race, but at times was pulling away from the field. Not even a late race restart could deter Ben Morabito from his first INEX Legend Race Car win. Marsh of Riverhead was second in the Riverhead Trailer machine, while Joey Braun of Manorville made a late race pass during the final restart to claim third in the HighMark Building Efficiency entry.

Giavanna Agugliaro took the early race lead in the Bock Auto 15-lap INEX Bandolero Outlaw feature, but the story of the race would be defending champion Ben Morabito, who despite starting deep in the field raced by Agugliaro for the lead on lap 3 with an inside pass off turn two. For the rest of the distance Morabito would show the way in the 860 Motorsports racer with Will Sipala of Manorville giving chase in the Riteway Automotive Center Bando. Sipala settled for second while Thomas Grattan of Southold making his first ever start impressed with a third-place tally in the Reeve Farm Stand Outlaw. The win was the 9th of Ben Morabito's Bandi career, tying him with Darren Krantz Jr for the all-time lead.

Emmett Grattan of Southold enjoyed the thrill of a first career win when he topped the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit feature event. Defending champion Reid Halpin paced the race over the first none circuits a sudden, non-contact spin off turn four ended his bid for victory. Emmett Grattan, who showed much improvement in 2023 assumed the lead when the race resumed and led the rest of the way in his Southold IGA Bandit. The driver who perhaps turned the most heads was the runner-up of the tilt, Brooke Meyer of Riverhead in the WES Trailer Sales & Service machine, third fell to Mason Goodale of Riverhead in the Riverhead Building Supply Bandit.

With a heavy influx of first year drivers, the Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Beginners class debuted Saturday and when the dust settled 7-year-old Daxx Halpin of Wading River made history as the first ever winner of the new class. The race featured four lead changes over 15-laps before "The Daxx Attack" Daxx Halpin took the lead for good on lap 10 in the Baldwin Automotive/Florida Connection machine. Grace Cheslak of Sound Beach survived an early race spin to come home second in her sponsor wanted entry, Wyatt Goodale of Riverhead was third in the GAF Roofing mount.

Phil LaManna of Smithtown topped the Truck Enduro that concluded the night of wall-to-wall racing. LaManna started from the pole and led all the way in his EP Milling & Sweeping S-10. Mariah Lawrence of Southampton in a self-funded General Lee truck was second while Brandon LaManna of Smithtown was third in his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. JR Bertuccio 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Justin Brown 5. Owen Grennan 6. Dylan Slepian 7. Michael Rutkoski 8. Dave Brigati 9. CJ Lehmann 10. Tom Rogers Jr. 11. Mark Stewart 12. JB Fortin 13. Chris Young 14. Chris Rogers 15. Kyle Ellwood

Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Gerard Giordano 3. Ray Minieri 4. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 5. Brandon Turbush 6. Brian Doyle 7. Chris McGuire 8. Keith Rotzi 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Kevin Metzger 11. Scott Cheslak 12. Allan Pedersen

Crate Modifieds: Kyle Ellwood 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Max Handley 4. Joey Braun 5. Chase Grennan 6. Vinny Delaney 7. Stephen Coleman 8. Mike Albasini 9. Eric Hersey 10. Andrew Farnham 11. Michael Berner 12. Charles Macwhinnie 13. Chevy Rommeney 14. Tom Sekulski

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Frank Dumicich Jr. 3. Erin Solomito 4. Lou Maestri 5, Jimmy Rennick Jr. 6. Dave Koenig 7. Tony Naglieri 8. Rob Corwin 9. Rich Bruce 10. Phil LaManna 11. Matt Triola 12. Frank Dumicich Sr. 13. Liam Patrick 14. Cillian Tennant 15. Brandon Hubbard 16. Dan Turbush

Legend Race Cars: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Anthony Marsh 3. Joey Braun 4. Riely O'Keefe 5. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Kevin Nowak 8. Richie Davidowitz 9. Jack Handley Jr. 10. Jim Sylvester 11. Jayden Glennerster 12. Mike Van Houten Jr. 13. Charles Hodge 14. Chris Sinatro 15. Ryan Barbieri 16. Pat Moore 17. Alex Halinar 18. Ray Fitzgerald 19. Chevy Rommeney 20. Will Sipala 21. Rodney Dowless Jr. 22. Phillip Alaimo 23. Steve Woytysiak 24. Kevin Ohrnberger 25. Ed Stadtlander 26. Ray Stulz

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Will Sipala 3. Thomas Grattan 4. Tucker Bock 5. Kix Bock 6. Madison Tomaszewski 7. Ayden Alvarado 8. Giavanna Agugliaro 9. Michael Berry 10. Jordan Ryan 11. Madsion White

Bandolero Bandit: 1. Emmett Grattan 2. Brooke Meyer 3. Mason Goodale 4. Tyler Oxee 5. Reid Halpin 6. Antonio D'Alonzo 7. Layla Quilliam 8. Blake Grattan 9. Aria Ligon 10. John Alaimo 11. Christian Ryan

Bandolero Beginner: 1. Daxx Halpin 2. Grace Cheslak 3. Wyatt Goodale 4. Mackenzie Ulmet 5. Emily Gatz

Truck Enduro: 1. Phil LaManna 2. Mariah Lawrence 3. Brandon LaManna 4. Bobby Pease Jr. 5. Bobby Pease Sr. 6. Don Nelson 7. Gary Voight 8. William Kennedy 9. Kevin Feeney 10. Whitney Williams 11. Chris Grover 12. Chloe Phillips 13. Jackie Germuth 14. Mike Fragola 15. Jim Kelley 16. Brandon Anderson 17. James Kelly

ELEVEN RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WEEKLY COMPETITORS CHASING WMT SUCCESS SATURDAY IN MILLER LITE SALUTES WAYNE ANDERSON 200

By Bob Finan

May 14th, 2024
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When NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour officials released the entry list for the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 at Riverhead Raceway, it revealed an eye-opening number of competitors of the track's Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series entered. Eleven drivers who call the demanding quarter mile home on either a full, or part-time basis will chase success in Saturday's race that celebrates the 30th anniversary of Wayne Anderson's 1994 WMT championship. A total of 29 entries for the 74th WMT event at Riverhead was announced Monday.

Heading up the entrants among the locals is former five-time track champion Tom Rogers Jr of Riverhead who will drive the New England based BNP Machines entry of Steve Mendoza of Dartmouth, Ma. For the controversial Rogers the 200 will mark his first start of 2024. Entering competition Tom is tied at the top of the tracks all-time win list at 63 with Charlie Jarzombek. Former WMT regular JR Bertuccio of Centereach will be making his 45th career WMT start in the Gershow Recycling Chevy. Bertuccio is a 29-time winner at Riverhead where he returned to weekly racing in 2023.

After competing in the season opening WMT event at New Smyrna Speedway, JB Fortin of Holtsville has competed in the first two Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events at Riverhead. Fortin, the 2021 Islip 300 winner is hopeful of collecting a first career WMT victory in the John's Fuel Oil entry Saturday. Another second-generation talent, Chris Young of Calverton is hoping to turn the WMT apple cart upside down with a victory steering the Earth's Splendor LFR Gen2 machine.

One week removed from his 25th career Riverhead victory, Timmy Solomito of Islip will be racing for his 10th career WMT victory Saturday in his USNE Power entry. "The Natural" is a three-time WMT victor at Riverhead, tying him for 6th all-time with Doug Coby and the late Ted Christopher. Turbush Racing will indeed be a busy bunch Saturday, fielding two cars for the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200. Mark Stewart of Riverhead turned heads in last September's Eddie Partridge 256 when he brought the Cromer's Market Chevy home for a runner-up finish behind race winner Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville. Mark's uncle Roger Turbush of Riverhead did the same back in September of 2021, coming home third in Rheem Air Conditioning Chevy. Both will be seeking further WMT success Saturday.

A quartet of young, rising NASCAR Modified drivers have registered for action Saturday, led by Riverhead opening night winner Justin Brown of Manorville in the Motorcycle Mike Attorney at Law Chevy. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford with his Hydro-Action team, Matt Brode of East Islip and his Peter Clark Motorsports group, and Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches with his CheckerWon Manufacturing effort will all be on hand.

Defending NASCAR WMT champion Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct will lead the charge of 18 WMT regulars entered for the 200, enjoying a 6-point lead over Justin Bonsignore into the 200. Bonsignore was the May 2023 WMT at Riverhead.

Final WMT practice will go hot at 3:30 pm Saturday and run through 4:15. Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole qualifying is set for 6:00 pm, with a 8:00 pm start slated for the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200.

A complete race day itinerary is available at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

MILLER LITE SALUTE TO WAYNE ANDERSON WMT 200 SET FOR RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SATURDAY

By Bob Finan

May 13th, 2024
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While many statistics are argued in racing, debate on the success of Wayne Anderson at Riverhead Raceway as a driver and car owner is not one of them. Saturday the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Riverhead Raceway will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wayne's 1994 WMT championship, coupled with his many Riverhead accomplishments with the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200.

In 1994 Wayne teamed up with famed car owner Lenny Boehler and after the final race was in the books the unlikely tandem captured the WMT championship. A victory at the Stafford Motor Speedway October 2nd put the team in position to claim the title. The Stafford victory was one of three Wayne enjoyed on the WMT, having posted wins at New Egypt Speedway in 1986, and his home track, Riverhead Raceway in 1993.

When Wayne Anderson announced his retirement from racing prior to the 2023 race season, it closed the books on a career that yielded huge success on both sides of the Riverhead pit wall. While wearing a driving suit, Wayne won 32 times at Riverhead Raceway tying him with Bill Park for 6th on the track win list. Anderson is one of four drivers to have won five NASCAR Tour Type Modified championships at the track winning titles in 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990 & 1991. Only Charlie Jarzombek, Don Howe and Tom Rogers Jr. have accomplished the same.

When the 1965 Islip Speedway Rookie of the Year hung up his helmet, Wayne was nowhere near ready to drive off into the racing sunset. Wayne and his wife Joette continued to field a potent team that led them to 45 additional wins as car owners. Kyle Soper parked the Eastport Feeds Chevy in the winner's circle 25 times, Timmy Solomito won 10 events, older brother Shawn Solomito captured 8 wins, with Donny Lia and the late Ted Christopher winning once for Team Anderson. Shawn Solomito earned Wayne his first car owners' championship in 2016, while Kyle Soper, in dominating fashion won four championships in five years, 2018, 2019, 2021 & 2022.

Heading to Saturday's Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 defending WMT champion Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. and former multi time champ Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville find themselves in familiar territory atop the driver standings with Silk holding a 6-point edge. Most recent winner Jake Johnson of Rehoboth, Mass., who drives for the Boehler family sits third after his Granite Derby Cup 150 triumph at Monadnock. Craig Lutz of Miller Place, Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY, Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa., rookie Trevor Catalano of Ontario, NY, Kyle Bonsignore of Bay Shore, Tyler Rypkema of Owego, NY and Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH fill out the current top ten WMT drivers.

WMT on track activity commences with a 45-minute final practice from 3:30 pm to 4:15, Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award qualifying starts at 6:00 pm. The Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson is set for an 8:00 pm green flag.

Four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series divisions compliment the program with the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks all set for 20-lap feature event while 15-laps will be the distance for the Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars.

The complete race day itinerary can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected] with 631-842-RACE the phone number

TIMMY SOLOMITO ROMPS TO 25TH CAREER RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED VICTORY

By Bob Finan

May 12th, 2024
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Having missed the 2024 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Riverhead Raceway opening Tour Type Modified event a week earlier, Timmy Solomito of Islip made up for lost time as he led wire to wire to secure his 25th career victory during a non-stop 50-lap feature event. With week two in the books, the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds have started the season off with 100-laps of green flag racing at the demanding bullring without a single caution flag.

After spending his first weekend of May with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in New Hampshire, Timmy Solomito returned home Saturday, and by virtue of track handicapping and qualifying race passing points found himself on the pole for the 19-car starting grid. Solomito was joined in the front row by rising talent Matt Brode and when the duo brought the field to green the veteran took command of the race as they entered the first turn. Brode and rival Jack Handley Jr. found themselves side by side in wrestling for second. The duo gave each other plenty of respect and room with Handley working by Brode on lap 3.

As the race moved along Solomito was able to gap Handley by a quarter lap, with Handley able to do the same over Brode in third. For the second week in a row the defending track champion John Beatty Jr. was on the move, with Beatty able to gain grip on the inside of the track as fans watched his progress while the top three remained unchanged until the later stages of the race.

In the final segment of the contest the only issue for leader Solomito was lapped cars, who were busy in position battles of their own. In the end it would turn out to be a minor challenge for Timmy Solomito who grabbed his 25th win. When quizzed about the dominant car under him, Timmy quickly pointed out "my brother Shawn put a flawless car underneath me, he makes it easy, he does the work and I get to hold the wheel". The win almost didn't come to be as Solomito admitted, "I am so busy at Natural Designs we almost didn't come, but my dad jumped in and here we are. Big thank you to David Miller of USNE Power, Pat Kennedy of Kennedy L.I. Realty, Tom of TS Custom Carpentry and all our partners, we don't get to do this without them."

Jack Handley Jr. after a rough opening night rebounded with authority coming home second in the Hydro-Action entry of Joe Densieski. After working under both Mark Stewart and Matt Brode over the final 10-laps, John Beatty Jr. finished third in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy of Mark Mina. Matt Brode of East Islip had a solid fourth place tally with Mark Stewart of Riverhead likewise with a fifth place showing.

In the 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet main event Joey Braun of Manorville rewarded his car owner John H. Kirk with his first career victory as a full owner, it was also "Blankets" first win in the class. AJ DeSantis fired off from the pole to take the early race lead with Braun quickly filing into second from his third starting berth. After spending 10-lap chasing leader DeSantis, Braun on lap 10 exiting the second turn decided to make his move for the lead, wrestling the top spot away. Once out front the Goodfellas Auto Chevy would not be stopped giving Braun and Kirk their first win as a pairing. Kirk has been a long-time fixture through his involvement with all-time leading Super Pro Truck winner Lou Maestri who first drove the Crate Modified owned by John. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was runner-up in the Jaggerlounge Chevy, opening night winner Chase Grennan of Glen Cove was third in the Dillner Precast entry.

Heading into the second 15-lap "TK" Tommy Kraft Figure Eight feature of 2024, Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach was minus his crew chief Terry Fallon, who also spots for the second-generation driver. Fallon was busy with the arrival of his grandson earlier in the day. Despite being shorthanded Gary was able to collect his 7th career victory. At the throw of the green Fritz wasted little time putting his Goodfellas Auto Cadillac out front where he remained for the duration. Bryan Quilliam of Shirley was runner-up in the Pop 'N Play Day Care Chevy while opening night winner Scott Pedersen of Shirley was third in the Bobby's One Stop Custom Exhaust & Auto Camaro.

For the 22nd time in his illustrious career, Kevin Nowak of Medford triumphed in the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature. Defending champion Richie Davidowitz led the first four laps of the tilt before a yellow waved for a skirmish involving Kevin Ohrnberger and Will Sipala. On the double file restart that followed Nowak who was running third behind Davidowitz and Riely O'Keefe dipped his Joseph Themann Electrical Contractors as low as it could legally go off turn two slipping under both leaders to start the 5th lap. Once out-front Kevin Nowak, a former two-time champion never looked back driving to victory lane. Joey Braun of Manorville made a pass for second on lap 10 and would finish there in the HighMark Building Efficiency machine, early leader Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third in the Hampton Fleet Service racer.

In the 30-lap Street Stock Miller Lite triple Crown Series opener, "Mad" Max Handley of Medford scored his second career win. Armed with the pole position to start the race, Handley quickly moved out front with Danny Pizzo giving chase. The race was moving right along when on lap 18 Brian Brown and Chris Lescenski got out of shape in the first turn making contact drawing a yellow flag. It was during that caution flag that Handley received his biggest scare as he was summoned by tech officials to check a smoking condition. Once deemed ok Max went right back to the lead for the restart. When the race resumed it was challenger Pizzo who went up in smoke forcing Danny to the infield and moving Dave Antos to second. Over the final 10-lap segment Max Handley was able to keep the Rosenberg & Gluck Law Firm machine out front for the win. Defending Street Stock champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo, Jarrod Hayes of Calverton completed the podium in third with his North Fork Sanitation Chevy.

When the 27-car 8-Cylinder Enduro field took the track one thing was evident, nearly every car on the grid has a small cone on the roof to honor the late Ronnie Albano. When the 50-lap race took the green it was down to business with Roger Tramm taking the early race lead. Greg Harris moved to second on the lap 2 and after chasing Tramm for a spell found his way to the lead in lapped traffic. Defending champion Woot Lawrence made his way to second and was staying right with Harris while the tandem worked lapped traffic. However, lap 31 saw Woot's run come a to grinding halt when he hit the first turn wall after cutting a right front tire. From that point forward Harris in the Trainsmoke Motorsports Monte Carlo would drive off to victory. Anthony Pizzo of Ronkonkoma was runner-up in the United Exhaust Shop Caprice, Roger Tramm of Yaphank, also backed by United Exhaust was third.

Enjoying a busman's holiday in the 12-lap School Bus Figure Eight race, NASCAR Modified standout Chris Young of Calverton scored the popular win. Driving a bus dubbed Mr. Beast, Young and Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue raced side by side for the win, leaving third place runner Ryan Zukowski with nowhere to pass them. Young, whose father was a two-time Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway Figure Eight champion broke away over the final two laps for the win. Dumicich was second, Zukowski of Riverhead third.

Second generation racer Silas Hayes of Riverhead worked the inside groove to take down the win for the JuiceBox Racers. Silas is the son of Jarrod Hayes, versatile driver and race car set-up man, stayed disciplined on the white line for the entire distance.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. John Beatty Jr. 4. Matt Brode 5. Mark Stewart 6. Justin Brown 7. Owen Grennan 8. Chris Young 9. John Fortin 10. Chris Rogers 11. Dave Brigati 12. JB Fortin 13. Michael Rutkoski 14. Allan Pedersen 15. Dylan Slepian 16. JR Bertuccio 17. Roger Turbush 18. CJ Lehmann 19. Eddie Schutze

Crate Modifieds: 1. Joey Braun 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Chase Grennan 4. Terry Stiles 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Michael Berner 7. Kyle Ellwood 8. Max Handley 9. Eric Hersey 10. Chevy Rommeney 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Stephen Coleman 13. Mike Albasini 14. Andrew Farnham 15. Tom Sekulski

Figure Eights (unofficial): 1. Gary Fritz Jr. 2. Bryan Quilliam 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Ryan Warren 5. Allan Pedersen 6. Kim Hyde 7. Paulo Miquel 8. Bob Dalke 9. Johnny Vullo

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Joey Braun 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Riely O'Keefe 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Rodney Dowless Jr. 7. Ray Fitzgerald 8. Jason Castaldo 9. Anthony Marsh 10. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 11. Jim Sylvester 12. Charkes Hodge III 13. Chris Sinatro 14. Ryan Barbieri 15. Kevin Ohrnberger 16. Chevy Rommeney 17. Ed Stadtlander 18. Nick Kocis 19. Mike Van Houten Jr. 20. Billy King Jr, 21. Ray Stulz 22. Marc Godnick 23. Christopher Coleman 24. Alex Halinar 25. Will Sipala 26. Steve Harding

Street Stocks: 1. Max Handley 2. Dave Antos 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Gerard Lawrence 5. John Harley 6. Tom Sullivan 7. Alyssa Paprocky 8. Brian Brown 9. Ricky Carman 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Anthony Cacioppo 12. James DiPietro 13. Greg Zaleski 14. PJ McGay 15. Kyle Halpin 16. Bob Dalke 17. Henrry Cuesta 18. Danny Pizzo 19. Jake Curran 20. Charles Sudano DNS-Luke Foerster

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Greg Harris 2. Anthony Pizzo 3. Riger Tramm 4. Kevin Feeney 5. Jack McCarthy Jr. 6. Pat Collins Jr. 7. Pat Collins 8. Carmine Ragusa 9. Don Carasiti 10. Richie Carman 11. Eric Germuth 12. Joe Boccia 13. Justin Squires 14. Ricky Carman 15. Anthony Copobianco 16. Moody Enaya 17. Dustin Cole 18. Dave Sandel 19. Jimmy Muench 20. David Cohen 21. Jody Fickeissen 22. Steve Jones 23. Will Ebert 24. Jeremy Rand 25. Woot Lawrence 26. James Heym 27. David Verbeeck

School Bus Figure Eight: 1. Chris Young 2. Frank Dumicich Jr. 3. Ryan Zukowski 4. Mike Van Houten Jr. 5. John Calfa

JuiceBox Racers: Winner- Silas Hayes

TOM ROGERS JR. & STEVE MENDOZA JOINING FORCES FOR RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WMT MILLER LITE SALUTES WAYNE ANDERSON 200

By Bob Finan

May 7th, 2024
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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner Steve Mendoza, and five-time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Tour Type Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead announced Tuesday morning they are joining forces for the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 WMT event Saturday May 18th. The event celebrates the 30th anniversary of Wayne Anderson's 1994 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

While not revealing details as to how the pairing came about, Rogers is very much looking forward to the opportunity, "I'm excited to get behind the wheel of the Mendoza entry and see what we can do" Rogers proclaimed. "I went up to the race shop recently to get fitted in the seat, Steve has some good equipment under him" Tommy added. As to future endeavors with the Dartmouth, Mass. based car owner Rogers wanted to take things one step at a time, "right now this is a one-off deal, but if all goes well, maybe we'll do more together in the future".

For his part Steve Mendoza added, "Tommy's hall of fame career at Riverhead speaks for itself, five Modified championships, 63 wins & counting, plus all his other success there too". Indeed, Rogers's stats at the Route 58 bullring are impressive. Six Figure Eight championships on the strength of 53 wins (T-2nd with Joe Biondolillo Jr.), a Late Model championship with 3 wins in that class, plus one Crate Modified and Legend Race Car victory. Tallied up, Tommy has won 121 features and 12 track championships along the way.

The Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 will serve as the second WMT start for the Steve Mendoza owned, BNP Machine/SSR Suspension entry in 2024. Brett Meservey drove the car at the season opening event at New Smyrna Speedway placing 23rd. For Rogers the race will mark his 34th career start with the WMT, he has two top five finishes along the way. Both Mendoza and Rogers noted the team is seeking additional marketing partners for the 200, with those interested to please contact either one of them.

The Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 will be celebrating Wayne's 1994 WMT championship driving for famed car owner Lenny Boehler. Ironically coming into the May 18th tilt, Ole Blue with driver Jake Johnson of Rehoboth, Mass. and owner Michael Boehler are the most recent WMT winners at the Granite State Derby 150 at Monadnock Speedway. Johnson heads to Riverhead ranked third in the 2024 WMT championship chase behind defending champion Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville.

Final NASCAR WMT practice for the Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 runs from 3:30 pm-4:15 pm, WMT qualifying at 6:00 pm. Autograph session is slated for 7:00 pm in the third turn midway, the 200 is set for an 8:00 pm start. For those unable to attend Riverhead Raceway the event will be streamed live on Flo Racing.

Complimenting the evening of racing are four divisions from the tracks Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series including the Blunderbuists, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and the 2024 debut of the Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars.

Camping is available free of charge at Riverhead with no hook-ups. Camping is confined to the area directly behind the pit area in the back parking lot of the raceway.

To view the complete schedule of 2024 events visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach us at [email protected], our phone number is 631-842-RACE.

JUSTIN BROWN TAKES RIVERHEAD RACEWAY OPENING NIGHT MODIFIED VICTORY, JIMMY RENNICK JR. DOUBLES UP IN LATE MODEL AND SUPER PRO TRUCKS

By Bob Finan

May 5th, 2024
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It may have been NASCAR Pack the Track opening night for the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series of Riverhead Raceway, but the on-track action displayed mid season form, featuring two great finishes and exciting racing action all night. When the dust settled, Justin Brown of Manorville sat in NASCAR Tour Type Modified victory lane at the end of 50-laps, however it was veteran Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach stealing the spotlight, as he topped both the Late Model and Super Pro Truck events.

Cagey veteran Dave Brigati raced out to the early race lead in the 50-lap lid lifter for the Modifieds, with rising talent Justin Brown in tow. Early in the contest Brigati was able to control the pace of the race, with Brown seeming content riding in second. When the race hit the 15 lap mark, it was at that point Brown started to close in on Brigati. Two laps later Brown would post a successful challenge for the lead on lap 17. After being the hunted over the first handful of laps, Brigati became the hunter while Michael Rutkoski and Dylan Slepian occupied third and fourth behind the lead duo.

The opener, to the shock of more than a few would go without caution and as the race hit the halfway junction, all eyes started focusing in on defending champion John Beatty Jr. who was on the march. With Brown out front comfortably, Beatty without aid of a restart started making his way through the top five making his way past Rutkoski for third with just under 10-laps remaining. John, motivated by the passing of former beloved team member Glenn Dixon was on a mission, to win for "Glenno". Beatty worked under Brigati for second with five laps left in the tilt and was making up ground on the leader, but it was not to be.

As the dueling checker flags waved Justin Brown secured his fourth career win, introducing a new marketing partner to his team in winning fashion. "This is a great way to introduce Eddie G's Muscle Car Garage to our team" Brown exulted post-race, "they are here tonight, what better way to start off your relationship". When asked whether he was worried about the fast-closing Beatty at the end, Brown offered, "I was controlling my pace, if he would have gotten closer, I had more in the tank". Concluding Justin noted, "big thank you to our returning sponsors Motorcycle Mike Attorney at Law and Kennedy Long Island Realty of Bay Shore. Our plan this year is to win races, this is a good start. Later in the summer if we are in the chase for the championship, so be it".

Perhaps never wanting to win a race he has entered, John Beatty Jr of Merrick settled for second in the MSM Elite Motorsports Fury, while Dave Brigati of Calverton completed the podium with a stellar third place tally in the Coors Light Silver Bullet. Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills were fourth and fifth.

As the 25-lap Late Model feature rolled off, pole sitter Jimmy Rennick Jr of Howard Beach already had one trophy in his pit stall having won a wild Super Pro Truck event an hour or so earlier. The past two seasons for Rennick's LM effort have been wrought with heavy impacts and complete rebuilds of his always immaculate Chevy. Jimmy took the lead right from the throw of the green with Gerard "G-Rod" Giordano in pursuit. During a 5th lap restart Giordano took the race lead from Rennick on lap 6, but two circuits later Rennick came roaring back to reclaim the lead on lap 9. Back out front, Rennick never looked back and drove the Metropolitan Recycling entry to victory lane. There he reflected, "since our first career win couple years back we have wrecked this car, hard, twice. All that remains from the car I bought from Baker Racing is the center section. The rest is designed, and built by Chris Busick, I can't thank him & his wife Michelle enough". Gerard Giordano of Freeport was second in the K-1 Logistics machine, defending champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead completed the podium in the Eastport Feeds Chevy.

The Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds turned in their own caution free 25-lap feature event with Chase Grennan of Glen Cove taking home the gold. When the field took the green Grennan and Charles Macwhinnie, starting alongside had some minor contact with Chase breaking out to the lead. Grennan would later say, "Charlie Mac and I touched, I don't like to race that was, sorry to him". With zero caution lights coming in in this one Chase Grennan steering the Eastport Feeds Chevy drove to his 6th career win. His goal for 2024 is to win the championship, something his older brother Owen has accomplished two years in a row 2022 & 2023. With Owen paring back to a part time schedule with the class, Chase can now focus on other rivals for the championship. Charles Macwhinnie of Southampton was runner-up in the CHM Landscaping machine, AJ DeSantis of Yaphank crossed the line third in the Sunoco Strong Oil Chevy.

Former three-time Figure Eight champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley notched his 12th career victory winning a 15-lap main event. After pole sitter Kim Hyde paced the race for the first two laps, Pedersen, driving with a new ownership team in 2024 took the race lead during a restart to start the third lap. Scott wheeling the Bobby's One Stop Custom Exhaust & Auto Camaro broke away to a comfortable lead as the race progressed, almost too bug by Figure Eight standards. The win breaks a tie on the all-time win list with brother Arne. Gary Fritz Jr., of Mastic Beach was second after a first lap mishap in the Goodfellas Auto Cadillac, while Bryan Quilliam of Shirley, driving for Vecchio Racing this year was third in the Smoke Shack BBQ Chevy.

Tom Pickerell of Huntington had sat out the past few years of Blunderbust racing. Why not, he had competed his entire adult life, successfully at that, winning 29 features and 7 Riverhead championships, his first in 2004, most recent in 2020. Pickerell even tried selling and raffling off his Pickerell Clam entry, when it didn't move, and Tom needed to have some fun, it was time for a comeback. Pickerell was in the right place, at the right time when leaders Jim Laird Jr. and Cody Triola got together on lap 14. Laird spun, Triola was asked to join his at the rear, for an ensuing restart. That left Pickerell, who was third when the leaders collided as the new race leader with six laps remaining. Green reappeared, Pickerell smashed the loud peddle and the result was a milestone career victory number thirty for "Slick Pick". Joe Densieski of Riverhead made Pickerell earn it over the final laps before settling for second in the Hydro-Action Caprice, Tom Sullivan of North Massapequa was third in the Island Trees Automotive Lincoln.

The finish to the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature resembled more a plate race in NASCAR Cup racing. Three trucks joined together, sliding across the start/finish line to find a winner. When the mayhem settled, Jimmy Rennick Jr. would score the first of his two wins on opening night taking evasive action towards the infield avoiding Jack Handley Jr. and Matt Triola who had come together off the fourth corner. The entire race was a hotly contested affair, early on Rennick and Erin Solomito waged a duel for the lead. Unfortunately, Erin got sideways off the fourth corner on lap 6 ending her run. That moved all-time leading winner Lou Maestri up one to challenge Rennick for the lead, but he was quickly passed by Matt Triola one lap later on the 8th circuit. Meanwhile, defending champion Jack Handley Jr. was on the move towards the front and with five laps to go, Rennick, Triola and Handley were under a blanket. At first there was some give and take, but off the final corner to the checker flag, no giving. Triola and Handley tangled just before the line, their trucks locked together came down the track and Rennick, somehow, someway avoided contact and dove inside. That instinct put Jimmy and the Sonny's Collision Specialists team into the winner's circle. Matt Triola of Bay Shore was credited with second in the Long Island debris truck, Frank Dumicich Jr, of East Quogue third in the Okpetroleummarketplace.com entry. Jack Handley Jr. was set to last place in the event by race control who deemed his move to the inside of Triola in the final turn was too aggressive setting off the last lap skirmish.

Another winning driver in the right place at the right time Saturday was Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead resulting in his 20th career INEX Legend Race Car victory. Early on Joey Bruan, considered a young lion at 22 found himself racing for the lead of the 20-lap feature with 12-year-old Rodney Dowless Jr. While Braun and Dowless swapped the lead another youthful star made his way to third, Ben Morabito, 13. Bruan, the old man of the trio had the young adult drivers putting the heat on him for the win. Morabito would come to second and on lap 15 he and Braun were side by side for the lead entering the first corner. They both moved for the same piece of real estate and contact resulting with a dual spin and caution. The field relined, Dowless who was third behind the incident was back in the lead with Riely O'Keefe second with another torrid battle for the win shaping up. Again, the two contenders made slight contact on lap 17 forcing them to both layout of the gas, thus allowing Kyle Ellwood to drive through to the lead. With the two to go signal in the air, Ellwood driving the Millennium Limited Contracting was able to stay out front for the win sending notice he will be a force in the 2024 championship tussle. Defending champion Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches drove from deep in the field in his Freddie & Megan Kraft entry for second, third went to Riely O'Keefe of Manorville in the Crystal Clear Window Cleaning racer who corrected after his late race contact.

NASCAR Modifieds 1. Justin Brown 2. John Beatty Jr. 3. Dave Brigati 4. Michael Rutkoski 5. Dylan Slepian 6. Chris Young 7. John Fortin 8. Chris Rigers 9. JR Bertuccio 10. Matt Brode 11. Jack Handley Jr. 12. JB Fortin 13. CJ Lehmann 14. Mark Stewart 15. Owen Grennan

Late Models: 1. Jimmy Rennick Jr, 2. Gerard Giordano 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Allan Pedersen 5. Keith Rotzi 6. Ed Cheslak 7. Brian Doyle 8. Chris McGuire 9. Scott Cheslak 10. Kevin Metzger 1. Ray Minieri 12. Mike Bologna

Crate Modifieds: 1. Chase Grennan 2. Chares Macwhinnie 3. AJ DeSantis 4. Michael Berner 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Terry Stiles 7. Kyle Ellwood 8. Max Handley 9. Eric Hersey 10. Stephen Coleman 11. Chevy Rommeney 12. Andrew Farnham 13. Tom Sekulski 14. Mike Albasini

Figure Eights: 1. Scott Pedersen 2. Gary Fritz Jr. 3. Bryan Quilliam 4. Kim Hyde 5. Ryan Warren 6. Johnny Vullo 7. Bob Dalke 8. Paulo Miquel 9. Allan Pedersen

Bunderbusts: 1. Tom Pickerell 2. Joe Densieski 3. Tom Sulkivan 4. Cody Triola 5. Bill Wegmann Sr. 6. Jim Laird Jr. 7. Brad Bess 8. Emily Hubbard 9. Liam Macwhinnie 10. Tom Puccia 11. Eddie Diaz 12. Joe Boccia 13. Jayden Owens-Bader 14. Bill Wegmann Jr. 15. Rob Bader

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 2. Matt Triola 3. Frank Dumicich Jr. 4. Lou Maestri 5. Tony Naglieri 6. Rob Corwin 7. Phil LaManna 8. Frank Dumicich Sr. 9. Dan Turbush 10. Erin Solomito 11. Cillian Tennant 12. Jack Handley Jr.

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Riely O'Keefe 4. Josh Speas 5. Rodney Dowless Jr. 6. Anthony Marsh 7. Jason Castaldo 8. Kevin Nowak 9. Chris Sinatro 10. Christopher Coleman 11. Jim Sylvester 12. Ben Morabito 13. Ray Fitzgerald 14. Jayden Glennerster 15. Joey Braun 16. Nick Kocis 17. George Tomko Jr. 18. Charles Hodge III 19. Mike Van Houten Jr. 20. Pat Moore 21. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 22. Nick Morabito 23. Marc Godnick 24. Will Sipala 25. Michael Metcalf 26. Ed Stadtlander

TEDDY BEAR RACING ANNOUNCES OKPETROLEUMMARKETPLACE.COM SPONSORSHIP FOR FRANK DUMICICH SR. & FRANK DUMICICH JR

By Bob Finan

May 3rd, 2024
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Heading into Saturday night's NASCAR Pack the Track opener at Riverhead Raceway, Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue and Teddy Bear Racing disclosed Friday OKpetroleummarketplace.com has signed on with he and his father, Frank Sr. as a marketing partner for the 2024 Super Pro Truck season. Frank Dumicich Sr. and Frank Dumicich Jr., both former champions will be battling for the 20-lap Super Pro Truck victory Saturday.

While race teams can spend a good amount of time and resources perusing marketing partners, Frank Dumicich Jr. explained the OKpetroleummarketplace.com partnership came about in a completely different manner. "Last summer when I competed and won the School Bus Demolition Derby, Matt Ortiz of OKpetroleummarketplace.com was in attendance with my employer, Rapid Recovery Towing. In the days that followed, Matt stopped by our shop, he kept talking about the demo, particularly "Frank the Tank". When I told him I was indeed one in the same "Frank the Tank", that started the ball rolling".

"Both Dad and I are very excited and honored to announce OKpetroleummarketplace.com is joining our team this year" Frank Jr. revealed. OK Petroleum, a Long Island, NY company established in 1976. Family owned and operated, and currently operating with the 2nd generation. OK Petroleum is known for its commitment to quality products & customer service from its distribution, bulk service, gas stations and home heating oil. The only distributor to purchase direct on all major brands like Royal Purple, Redline, Castrol, Mobil, Pennzoil, Shell, Citgo Total Lubricants and many more. Now after 48 years of service in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, OK Petroleum now sells to half the globe, visit OKpetroleummarketplace.com.

Dumicich, additionally announced Riverhead Raceway fans will be able to get in on the savings too, "During the pit party after the races, stop by our OKpetroleummarketplace.com trucks for a brochure. The brochure will have a QR code entitling the holder to discounts." Frank Jr. revealed.

"As excited as we are with our new marketing partner, we are equally as happy and proud to have a loyal core of returning sponsors for both trucks, many of whom have been with us many years", Frank Sr. offered. Returning to Teddy Bear Racing in 2024 are, Arenz Heating & Air Conditioning, Whitney's Delicatessen, Tonino's Pizza, East End Transmissions, HighMark Building Efficiency, Orthopedic Associates of Long Island, Professional Physical Therapy, Southfork Custom Homes, Teddy Bear Graphics & Fabrication.

Entering competition on NASCAR Pack the Track night Saturday, Frank Dumicich Sr., 1997 champion of the class sits 6th on the all-time win list with 17, while the younger Dumicich, the 2013 champ sits 8th with 13 tallies.

Joining the Super Pro Trucks Saturday at Riverhead Raceway are the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds, Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts and INEX Legend Race Cars. Qualifying starts at 4:45 pm, opening ceremonies will begin at 6:00 pm.

The entire 2024 schedule of events can be found at http://www.rivetheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected] with the phone number 631-842-RACE.

CHRIS YOUNG EAGER FOR RIVERHEAD RACEWAY OPENER SATURDAY, ADDS EARTH'S SPLENDOR & EMTECH CONSULTING ENGINEERS TO PROGRAM

By Bob Finan

May 2nd, 2024
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Every race driver is more than ready for a new season to dawn. Chris Young of Calverton is no exception, in fact he is beyond eager for the new NASCAR Tour Type Modified season opening 50-lap event Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway. Young, who was in the mix for the 2023 until late in the season, announced two new sponsors for his modest team as they prepare to chase the 2024 championship.

"I'm extremely excited for the season to start on Saturday" Young started off, "I've put more work into my program this off-season then I believe ever before. Minimally 20 plus hours a week since the end of last season". Chris then divulged what drove he and his team to the busy off-season at the race shop, "Being in the hunt for the championship and coming up short over the final 3 races in 2023 really lit a fire under me and the team. Since then, we've been taking a champions approach to every aspect of the program".

Young pulled back the curtain even further, "we built a brand new LFR Gen2 car, with help from Dennis Freese at Oval Speed and direct support from Rob Fuller at TFR. Rob and I used all the data I collected last season to design, and test my complete set-up package, utilizing both pull down simulation and data acquisition from on track test sessions. I think it's given us a great start point and the speed we were able to show in practice supports it. I'm also excited by the stability of the car; my fastest laps came on 40-lap old tires as opposed to sticker tires."

Young turned in the quickest NASCAR Tour Type Modified lap time on April 27th with a lap of 11.647 leading him to quip, "now we just need to capture some of my dad's opening night magic." Chris noted, referring to his father having a penchant of winning on opening night on more than one occasion. Several of the elder Young's 33 career wins ushered in a new Modified season.

Another reason for Chris Young's peaked enthusiasm entering the 2024 campaign comes on the business side of home track racing, sponsorship. "We have welcomed Earth's Splendor to our team". Young revealed he has signed on to be an athlete partner with Earth's Splendor, an online health & wellness brand joining among others, NBA shooting guard Landry Shamet of the Washington Wizards. "After the races at the weekly pit party, fans who stop by and show me that you are following Earth's Splendor on Instagram are eligible for some Earth’s Splendor merchandise" Additionally, Chris disclosed, "Emtech Consulting Engineers, ranked among the top Engineering/Design/Consultants in New York has joined our team. Our longtime partner, Martin Sendlewski, of Sendlewski Architects put us together, I can't thank him and Andrew Solano, Emtech’s managing partner, enough".

Returning to the modest team of Chris Young as marketing partners are CPC, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer who employs Young who noted "we're hiring, come see me", Martin Sendlewski of Sendlewski Architects, Brian & Joe Hoerning of SJ Hoerning Construction, Russell & Jeff Goodale of Goodie Racing, Bobby Mason and Ace's Landscaping and Brandon Stehling and his Brandon's Beez

"I can't thank all my sponsors enough for the loyalty and support, we are still seeking that major primary marketing partner, hopefully we will put something together soon." Young concluded.

Saturday night's NASCAR Pack the Track night opener will feature seven divisions of racing led by the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds. Complimenting them are Late Models, Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars.

Qualifying is set for 4:45 pm, opening ceremonies are scheduled for 6:00 pm. The complete 2024 calendar of events can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number remains 631-842-RACE

News - June 2024


JOHN BEATTY JR. IN RIGHT PLACE AT RIGHT TIME FOR THIRD RIVERHEAD RACEWAY VICTORY OF 2024

By Bob Finan

June 23rd, 2024
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Summer is barely two days old; but the heat was turned up Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway, not even a 90-minute rain delay could cool the hot Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series on track Schools Out Extravaganza excitement. When the dust settled at the conclusion of the 50-lap NASCAR Modified event, defending champion John Beatty Jr. of Merrick scored his third win over the past five races. While skill and speed earned Beatty his first two triumphs of 2024, this win came with a sprinkling of some good racing fortune.

Kyle Ellwood, making his first start of the season with Ken Matlach Motorsports, with whom he won the 2023 Crown Jewel Series Ted Christopher Cup with, broke from the pole into the race lead over Mark Stewart who started alongside. Yellow flew for a Tom Sekulski solo spin on lap 7 bunching the field up, Chris Young worked his way past Stewart for second on the restart. The race only went another four laps before the second caution flew for Timmy Solomito who spun and hit the third turn wall after battling with Stewart for third. Timmy, along with Michael Rutkoski who had nowhere to go were done for the race. Again, Ellwood mastered the second restart with Young remaining second. The race settled in for an extended green flag run that found Ellwood getting away from all comers.

As the race hit the 30-lap mark the driver on the march was JB Fortin, the former Islip 300 winner came from deep in the field to challenge Young for second, successfully making a pass on lap 35. Fortin was now left with the daunting task of trying to reel in the high-flying Ellwood, a task that became easier when a late race yellow flew on lap 44 for an incident involving Young and Stewart in the fourth turn. With six laps left in the contest Fortin lined-up to the right of Ellwood for the resumption of the race. Ellwood edged out front over Fortin when the green reappeared, but Fortin was not throwing in the towel riding the outside lane. Things really intensified as the duo took the white flag with Fortin holding an advantage over Ellwood. The duo touched off the fourth corner and racing to the first corner on the final lap Ellwood got into Fortin sending him into a spin. The yellow flew and during the caution Ellwood was sent to the rear of the field by race control, Kyle opted to head pit side.

That wild turn of events left John Beatty Jr., who found himself third after the Young/Stewart dust up as the new race leader with Dave Brigati now second for the green, white, checker finish. When the race went back green to complete the final two laps, John Beatty Jr. drove the MSM Elite Motorsports entry to his 13th career win, tying him with Frank Vigliarolo Jr. for 31st all-time. Afterwards, Beatty admitted they may of stole one, "We were just a little off tonight, don't know if we had a bad tire or what it was. I hate to win this way but when the leaders got together and went to the rear, we had one fall our way".

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was able to race his way to second over the final two laps, charging from deep in the field earlier in the Hydro Action Chevy. Veteran Dave Brigati of Calverton was third in the Coors Light Silver Bullet. CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove also came from deep in the field for fourth while Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills placed fifth.

The Super Pro Trucks competed in a 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series event and just like the Modifieds provided an intense late race fight for the win. Sean Glennon of Northport, making his first start of 2024 took the victory. Glennon and Jack Handley Jr. made up the front row for the event and raced side-by-side in line-up formation over the first 7 circuits, an appetizer for things to come later. After Handley took sole possession of the tilt on lap 8, Jack was able to find some breathing room over Glennon with the race remaining green. That all came to a grinding halt when Jimmy Rennick Jr. stalled with a distributor issue on lap 24 drawing a caution flag. Side-by-side for the restart Handley and Glennon waged war for the win over the final six laps with Handley holding the slight advantage. Glennon kept fighting alongside the leader and as the duo came off the fourth corner to what was sure to be a photo finish Sean Glennon took the win in the Glennon Construction machine by 0.103. It was the 9th time Glennon won a SPT event. Jack Handley Jr. in the East Side Building Toyota settled for second while Mark Stewart of Riverhead completed the podium in the Amish Electric racer.

CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove entered rarified air Saturday when he won his first career Street Stock event, leading green to checker in a 20-lap affair. For Lehmann it marks the fifth division he has won in at Riverhead as he boasts NASCAR Modified, Crate Modified, Figure Eight and Charger wins prior. Only Dave Brigati and Tom Rogers Jr. has won in five classes previous. Steering a car that was built over the winter as "a father/son bonding" in CJ's words, Lehmann outran pole sitter Alyssa Paprocky to the race lead when the race started, with Brian Brown quickly coming to second. Brown spent the entire distance of the non-stop race trying to find a way past the 1977 Nova bodied racer of Lehmann but to no avail as CJ took home the win. Afterwards CJ thanked his sponsor, himself. Brown of Calverton brought the Eastport Feeds machine home second while Alyssa Paprocky of Rocky Point was third in her Middle Country Automotive Chevy.

CJ Zukowski of Riverhead took home the win in the Mini Stock feature, a scheduled 30-lap Miller Lite Triple Crown Series race cut short five laps by rain. Defending champion Joe Cooke Jr. paced the race over the first 8-laps pressured by Zukowski. After several laps of sizing up Cooke for the lead, Zukowski executed what would be the winning pass off the fourth turn as the field started the 9th lap. Cooke chased Zukowski for two laps before dropping out with a flat. That left Tony Collinsworth and Chris Olivari left to challenge the leader. On lap 25 a red flag waved for a fire on the Eoughan Hayward entry on the infield, Hayward exited the car unharmed. During the red flag the rains came starting the 90-minute delay. With 25-laps complete CJ Zukowski in the Walls if Fane Cavalier earned his first win of 2024, the 8th of his career tying him for third all-time with Mike Mujsce Jr. Chris Olivari of Coram was scored second in the Middle Country Automotive machine with Tony Collinsworth of Calverton third in the Walls of Fame entry.

In her first ever start at Riverhead Raceway, 8-year-old, third generation racer Leighton Van Houten of Wading River won the 10-lap Bock Auto Beginner Bandolero feature. Opening night winner Daxx Halpin, celebrating his 8th birthday broke to the early race lead but was soon under attack from his cousin Leighton. As the family feud exited the fourth turn to start the 4th lap. Van Houten threw her Riverhead Building Supply Bando to the outside passing Halpin for the lead and eventual victory. Halpin of Wading River was second in the Mike Van Houten Trucking mount with Leighton's other cousin, Wyatt Goodale of Riverhead third in the GAF Roofing Bando.

No question Emmett Grattan of Southold has come into his own this season, with the driver of the Southold IGA Bando scoring his second straight Bock Auto Bandolero Bandit 15-lap victory. Aria Ligon, winner of the final two races of 2023 broke out front early but Emmett Grattan made a successful pass for the top spot entering the first turn on lap 3. Once out front, Grattan hit his marks to remain perfect this season having won both races to date. Brooke Meyer of Riverhead, another vastly improved driver came home second in the WES Trailer Sales & Service Bandit, with defending champion Reid Halpin of Wading River rallying from an early race spin to finish third in the Mike Van Houten Trucking entry.

Defending Bock Auto Bandolero Outlaw champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place by earning 10th career win Saturday became the all-time leading Bandolero winner at Riverhead Raceway, breaking a tie with former champion Darren Krantz Jr. of Huntington. After Will Sipala paced Giavanna Agugliaro over the first two cycles, Morabito made his way to second on the third lap sneaking under Agugliaro in the first corner. A Jordan Ryan spin drew a yellow flag on lap 3, with the ensuing restart all Ben Morabito needed to put the MC-11 prepared Benimax Trucking entry out front. for good. Ben is also two-for-two in '24. Will Sipala of Manorville was second at the finish in the Riteway Automotive Center machine, while Giavanna Agugliaro of Islip scored her best Outlaw finish with third in the Cesspool Pros entry.

Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge made up from his Mini Stock disappointment with victory on the 40-lap 4/6-Cyinder Gut & Go Enduro that concluded the long night of racing & rain delays. Mike Mujsce Jr of Hampton Bays was third, Chris Olivari of Coram completed the podium.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Dave Brigati 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Dylan Slepian 6. Chris Young 7. Tom Rogers Jr. 8. Chase Grennan 9. JB Fortin 10. Justin Brown 11. Chris Rogers 12. JR Bertuccio 13. Kyle Ellwood 14. Owen Grennan 15. Tom Sekulski 16. Mark Stewart 17. Timmy Solomito 18. Michael Rutkoski

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Sean Glennon 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Mark Stewart 4. Frank Dumicich Jr. 5. Matt Triola 6. Dave Koenig 7. Lou Maestri 8. Rob Corwin 9. Cillian Tennant 10. Liam Patrick 11. Frank Dumicich Sr. 12. Erin Solomito 13. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 14. Brandon Hubbard 15. Tony Naglieri

Street Stocks: 1. CJ Lehmann 2. Brian Brown 3. Alyssa Paprocky 4. Max Handley 5. Gerard Lawrence 6. John Harley 7. Dennis Kurras 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Charles Sudano 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Jarrod Hayes 12. Ricky Carman 13. Jake Curran 14. PJ McGay 15. Bob Dalke 16. James DiPietro 17. Kyle Halpin 18. Anthony Cacioppo 19. Danny Pizzo

Mini Stocks: 1. CJ Zukowski 2. Chris Olivari 3. Tony Collinsworth 4. Joe Warren Jr. 5. Paul Wojcik 6. Ryan Warren 7. Jake Innes 8. Tyler Farrell 9. Eoughan Hayward 10. William Garcia 11. Hunter Cummings 12. Marissa Stewart 13. Joe Cooke Jr. 14. Charles Astacio

Bandolero Beginner: 1. Leighton Van Houten 2. Daxx Halpin 3. Wyatt Goodale 4. Mackenzie Ulmet DNS- Emily Gatz

Bandolero Bandits: 1. Emmett Grattan 2. Brooke Meyer 3. Reid Halpin 4. Mason Goodale 5. Aria Ligon 6. Antonio D'Alonzo 7. Layla Quilliam 8. John Alaimo 9. Blake Grattan 10. Christian Ryan DNS-Tyler Oxee

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Ben Morabito 2. Will Sipala 3. Giavanna Agugliaro 4. Thomas Grattan 5. Kix Bock 6. Tucker Bock 7. Madison Tomaszewski 8. Madison White 9. Ayden Alvarado 10. Michael Berry 11. Jordan Ryan 12. Grace Cheslak

Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Mike Mujsce Jr. 3. Chris Olivari 4. Mike Mujsce Sr. 5. Eric Germuth 6. Joey Palmeri Jr. 7. Mike Mujsce III 8. Franky Abbatiello 9. David Olivari 10. John Palmeri 11. Ed LaSpina 12. Mark Duerwald 13. Vinny Abbatiello 14. Steve Jappell 15. Anthony Paretta 16. Chris Smith 17. Mike Kowalski 18. Jack Handley Sr. 19. George Astacio 20. Jack Tessa 21. Ryan T Warren 22. Wendy Rommeney 23. Bob Dalke 24. Melissa Tofalli 25. Talon Russell 26. Will Farrell 27. Jesse St. Clair 28. Tyler Farrell 29. Aiden Farrell 30. Michael Halfen 31. Charkes Astacio 32. Frank Raynor 33. Robert Sherry 34. Donald Meyer 35, Mina Timmons DNS-Mike Fragola

LATE PIT STRATEGY PAYS OFF FOR JOHN BEATTY JR WITH $9,455 VICTORY IN OVAL SPEED UNLIMITED BUBBA 150

By Bob Finan

June 9th, 2024
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As the laps clicked off Saturday in the 5th annual Oval Speed Unlimited 150 NASCAR Modified event at Riverhead Raceway, John Beatty wondered if he and his team's strategy to pit late in the race would leave them the only car not to pit for a change tire. Those fears were quelled when a caution flag flew with 28-laps left allowing Beatty of Merrick to pit for his new right rear tire. That, with some well-placed late cautions put John Beatty in position to win his second race in three weeks at Riverhead Raceway, earning $9.455 including lap money.

In Righteous Window Cleaning pole qualifying defending Bubba 150 race winner Timmy Solomito of Islip won the $200 bonus with a time of 11.520, barley edging out the 11.524 posted by John Beatty Jr. JB Fortin was third turning in a lap of 11.577. When quizzed by track announcer Stephen Halpin if he would except the HighMark Building Efficiency Challenge of $5,000 to drop to the rear of the field (19th) and win, Timmy, to the surprise of many replied, "I am going to try and win my 26th career feature from the rear." Everyone on hand and watching on Flo Racing now knew they were about to see a show.

The race, run in memory of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo, long time Bill Park team member got underway, John Beatty raced out front from the pole with JB Fortin in tow. Fortin was passed for second on lap 11 by WMT invader Craig Lutz. The race would settle in for a long green flag run which was just fine with leader Beatty who was pocketing $10 per lap led, while Lutz collected $6 per circuit in second. On lap 87 Tom Rogers Jr. drew a caution flag with a solo spin and pit strategy started to play out with teams pitting on the infield for all to see. Lutz, Justin Brown, Solomito and Fortin were among those in and around the top five to duck into the pits while Beatty stayed on track, as did Chris Young, but Young pitted on the first caution of the race for his change tire.

When the race resumed it took Young armed with a fresher right rear than Beatty 10-laps to work his way by to take the race lead after the lap 88 restart. Beatty would soon fade from second on lap 106 as Craig Lutz worked his way to second behind Young, while Beatty started to fade further into the lower half of the top ten. On lap 122 the caution that Beatty so needed flew for a Roger Turbush solo spin. The yellow not only allowed Beatty to pit, but the ensuing restart would change the complexion of the race as well. When the field came back to green Young and Lutz raced side by side for a lap dicing for the lead. One lap after returning to green Young and Lutz made contact off turn four with Lutz's night ending with right front damage having to pit for repairs.

That left Timmy Solomito the new race leader with Justin Brown alongside for the restart, Timmy just 27-laps away from a potential $10,000 plus payday. When the race resumed on lap 124 Solomito led Brown, but right behind them was a very fast JB Fortin sitting third. Fortin, looking for a second straight win worked his way past Brown on lap 126 for second, quickly setting sail for leader Solomito. The car on the move however was that of John Beatty Jr. who quickly caught and passed Fortin for second on lap 140. With just ten laps to go, question became could Beatty catch leader Solomito in time. As the laps moved along Beatty was right on Solomito's rear bumper when the yellow flew for a JR Bertuccio spin on lap 144.

With the field lined up for a six-lap shootout business was about to pick up in a hurry. After the green waved Chris Rogers who made his way to third saw an opening and took it briefly passing both Solomito and Beatty with a bold three wide maneuver. Before Rogers could lead a lap, Beatty was able to duck under both he and Solomito exiting the second turn to take the lead with just four laps left. Solomito was the odd man out losing several spots in the jingle while Rogers moved to second.

With the dueling checker flags waving in the air, a victory that seemed to be get away from him late in the race with his worn right rear, came back to John Beatty Jr. in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy. "It's truly an honor to win Bubba's race, I know how much he meant to Dennis Freese of Oval Speed and Team Park" Beatty offered post-race, "I was really wondering if we gave one away with our pit strategy, but it all worked out in the end." As to the wild ending he added, "Timmy is one of the best here, things got wild for a second and we put ourselves in a position to win, would have been fun to battle him. I am especially happy for my owner Mark Mina and my team and family who sacrifice so much so that we can do this".

In victory lane Beatty was presented the $5,000 Race Winner bonus from the family of Bob "Bubba" Patanjo. Then Rich Gerbe of HighMark Building announced since his challenge was not won by Solomito, he would take the $5,000 and award $1,000 to each of the top five teams because as he put it, "the best Modified drivers race right here at Riverhead Raceway. what a race" Gerbe proclaimed. Additional bonus money earned by the Elite Sound Studio driver included $1,105 in lap money, Natural Designs Most Laps Led, $250, Ryan Preece Racing Halfway Leader $200, Ryan Preece Racing Lap 40 & 41 Lap Leader $100

Chris Rogers of Patchogue turned more than a few heads with his runner-up showing in the Coors Light Chevy, earning the $200 Steve Park Hard Charger Award. Chris also won the Luck of the Draw $200 bonus from Dennis Freese & Wayne Anderson. Mark Stewart of Riverhead was in the mix all race long before placing third in the Cromer's Market entry. CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove impressed with a fourth-place effort after a two-year layoff, Owen Grennan of Glen Cove has a solid outing in fifth.

Michael Berner of Patchogue found a unique gift for his sister Madison's birthday, a victory in the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified 25-lap feature. When the line-up was drawn for the event after qualifying heats, Berner was slated to start on the pole. As is his option he chose to start on the outside of the front row alongside Stephen Coleman. When the green flag dropped to start Berner, a six-time winner in the class broke to the early race lead with Vinny Delaney passing Coelman for second on lap two. From that point forward Berber, nephew of Tom Rogers Jr. hit his marks over the remainder of the race securing his 7th career win, first of 2024 in the Planet Earth Recycling & Recovery machine. Joey Braun of Manorville worked his way to second on lap 6 where he'd finish in the Goodfellas Auto Chevy, while Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace came home third in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm racer.

One week prior, Cody Triola of Bay Shore and Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace were at each other's throats, on and off the track. This week after warnings from track officials and a pre-race chat the duo had on their own, the two raced hard for the 20-lap Blunderbust victory. Laird broke from the outside pole to lead the first 9 circuits of the tilt with Joe Densieski chasing. On lap 8 Cody Triola passed Densieski for second. Quickly the moment of truth arrived as Triola pulled alongside Laird to challenge for the lead. After a short, but spirited fight for the lead Cody Triola had the Cesspool Pros entry out front where he would keep it for his second win of 2024, 12th of his career. Jim Laird Jr. in the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Caprice was runner-up, Joe Densieski of Riverhead third in the Hydro Action Chevy.

Couple of weeks back Ben Morabito at 13 years old became the youngest INEX Legend Race Cars winner ever at Riverhead Raceway. Saturday in the 20-lap feature event 12-year-old Rodney Dowless Jr. of Dix Hills replaced Morabito with an impressive victory. Early on veteran drivers Jason Castaldo, Richie Davidowitz, Kyle Ellwood and Kevin Nowak all tussled up front prior to halfway. Circumstances would befall those drivers eventually, leaving Castaldo the leader over Jayden Glennerster. However, that running order didn't last either as Rodney Dowless took the lead on lap 11 with Ray Fitzgerald and Castaldo in hot pursuit. If the pre-teen driver was going to win, he'd have to fend off two of the best in Fitzgerald and Castaldo to do so. Poised beyond his years behind the wheel Rodney Dowless Jr. in the Island Thrift entry scored a very popular victory. Castaldo of Shirley in the M3 Technology machine moved by Fitzgerald of Manorville in the EP Milling & Sweeping mount late for second. Ray was third.

The Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars had a rough outing, with five cautions dotting their 15-lap race. When the dust settled Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park in his Tom Baldwin tribute A-Plus Auto Salvage Cavalier scored his second career win. Don Howe of Water Mill was second in the Corwith's Auto Body Cavalier, Tom Pickerell of Huntington third in the Kevin Bacik owned Tony Hirschman tribute car.

NASCAR Modified Bubba 150: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Chris Rogers 3. Mark Stewart 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Owen Grennan 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. JB Fortin 8. Timmy Solomito 9. JR Bertuccio 10. Chris Young 11. Roger Turbush 12. Justin Brown 13. Dylan Slepian 14. Michael Rutkoski 15. Dave Brigati 16. Craig Lutz 17. Tom Rogers Jr. 18. Matt Brode 19, Lou Strohl

Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Berner 2. Joey Braun 3. Vinny Delaney 4. AJ DeSantis 5. Chase Grennan 6. Stephen Coleman 7. Max Handley 8. Mike Albasini 9. Andrew Farnham 10. Kyle Ellwood 11. Tom Sekulski 12. Eric Hersey

Blunderbusts: 1. Cody Triola 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Joe Densieski 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Tom Sullivan 6. Brad Bess 7. Emily Hubbard 8. Joe Boccia 9. Liam Macwhinnie 10. Steven Fried 11. Mike Fragola 12. Eddie Diaz 13. Bill Wegmann Sr. DNS-Matt Triola

Legend Race Cars: 1. Rodney Dowless Jr. 2/ Jason Castaldo 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Chevy Rommeney 5. Joey Braun 6. Riely O'Keefe 7. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Kevin Nowak 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. Jayden Glennerster 12. Ray Stulz 13. Pat Moore 14. Chris Sinatro 15. Ryan Barbieri 16. Phillip Alaimo 17. Alex Halinar 18. Charles Hodge 19. Rich Braun 20. Steve Harding 21. Will Sipala 22. Christopher Coleman 23. Richie Davidowitz 24. Anthony Marsh 25. Ed Stadtlander 26. Kyle Ellwood

Vintage All Stars: 1. Sal Accardi Jr. 2. Don Howe 3. Tom Pickerell 4. John Jasinski 5. Frank Saladino 6. Billy Auer 7. Bill Murray 8. Vinny Sireco 9. Mike Siraco 10. Don Conradis 11. Mark Miller 12. Jimmy Reed Jr.

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY HOMECOMING COMPLETE FOR JB FORTIN WITH NASCAR MODIFIED VICTORY SATURDAY

By Bob Finan

June 2nd, 2024
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During the off-season JB Fortin of Holtsville and family made the difficult decision to leave the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as a series regular, opening the door for a return to weekly Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series competition at Riverhead Raceway. Saturday, JB Fortin completed his racing homecoming with his 4th career victory winning the 50-lap feature event for his first victory since the 2021 Islip 300.

Rising talent Mark Stewart and JB Fortin brought the field to green with Fortin getting a great launch out of the Newsday Go Zone to move out front while Stewart settled into second. With more than the first half run under green flag conditions, JB was pulling away turning in lap times in the 11.8 range. Oddly enough his big lead would be erased on lap 29 when John Fortin Sr. brought out the first caution with a non-contact spin off the second corner. When the race resumed JB picked up where he left off out front while JR Bertuccio moved from third to second passing Stewart.

After the race enjoyed a 14-lap green flag Owen Grennan and Michael Rutkoski got together up the backstretch, with Grennan's car coming to a grinding halt with heavy damage in turn three setting up another restart. However, on that attempt to resume several cars stacked up on the inside with John Beatty Jr. the odd man out hitting the inside wall. When the race did resume Fortin held his advantage over Bertuccio and Stewart, the latter now feeling pressure form Chris Young for third. That battle for position would intensify in the closing laps with Young hanging his car to the outside of Stewart.

When the event concluded JB Fortin took home the win in the John's Fuel Oil/John's Tree Removal Chevy. "Just can't thank my parents, John & Nicole for everything they do for me, my crew chief Kenny Lechner, he and I were arguing today a bit on set-up, glad I listened". As for the race itself, "I knew restarts would be the key, I am glad I hit them right. It's so great to win in front of my wife Eriin and it's my first win for my daughter". Fortin boasted.

JR Bertuccio of Centereach was runner-up in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy while Chris Young of Calverton rim rode his way to third place money in the Earth's Splendor entry. Mark Stewart of Riverhead and Justin Brown of Manorville were fourth and fifth.

AJ DeSantis of Yaphank ended a four-year dry spell when he topped the 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified feature earning his second career win. After heat race passing points earned DeSantis the pole position, an opportunity he was not going to waste grabbing the race lead at the drop of the green. Veteran Mike Albasini chased AJ over the first few laps of the tilt before he was overtaken by Michael Berner on lap 7. Having some so close to winning since that first win DeSantis was not going to let anything spoil his fun on this night as he drove the Sunoco Strong Oil Chevy to victory. "I started this journey after my grandpa Tom Tillotosn passed in 2019, we won pretty quickly, but I never thought it would take this long to get back" the happy winner proclaimed. "My parents, my family and most of all my team never stopped believing, even at times when I did". Michael Berner of Patchogue brought the Drifters Kitchen entry home second while Chase Grennan of Glen Cove was third in the Dillner Precast racer.

The Blunderbusts were set to open their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series with a 30-lap main event. What broke out instead resembled a WWE Battle Royal, complete with body slams and locker room brawl. When the dust settled opening night winner "Slick Pick" Tom Pickerell of Huntington won his second race of the season, 31st of his career. Earle on Pickerell broke to the early lead from the pole chased closely by the like of Cody Triola, Jim Laird Jr. Joe Densieski and Bill Wegmann Jr. Defending champion Triola and Laird were eliminated when they threw each other off the top rope on lap 22 while fighting for the lead. Their body slams left the inside open for Pickerell, who had dropped to third on a restart to reclaim the lead. Once back to the lead Pickerell may have thought things would get easier over the final 8-laps with Triola and Laird done for the race. That was not the case as Wegmann and Densieski stayed glued to Tom's rear bumper over the final two miles. In the end Tom Pickerell would survive scoring the win in the G-Force of Lindenhurst Chevy. Bill Wegmann Jr of Patchogue in his sponsor wanted Caprice was runner-up, with Joe Densieski of Riverhead third in the Hydro Action Chevy.

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford won this second consecutive 20-lap Super Pro Truck main event on the strength of a late race pass. Mark Stewart, subbing for his grandfather "Dynamite" Dan Turbush started the race from the pole and broke to the early lead at the start. Frank Dumicich Jr. settled into second behind Mark, who formerly drove for Frank. All eyes started focusing on Jack Handley Jr. who was making his way towards the front, moving to third on lap 8, and three laps later by Dumicich for second. However, Stewart seeking his 26th career win in the SPT ranks remained out front while Handley closed in. On lap 18 the storyline would change as Stewart while lapping a slower truck went to the outside of the lapper off turn two. When they hit the third turn Handley saw an opener under the lapped truck and Stewart who was up in the marbles and Jack pounced taking the lead as the white flag flew. That was enough to earn Jack Handley Jr. his 22nd career win for the East Side Building Toyota team. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue raced his OKpetroluemarketplace.com back to a second-place finish on the final lap while sister Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays was third in the Maximum Canine Dodge Ram. Stewart, driving for John Jay Prevette, fell to fourth on the final lap.

The Miller Lite Triple Crown Series got underway for the INEX Legend Race Cars with a 30-lap tilt. Opening night winner Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead would prevail for his 21st career victory in a hotly contested race. Riely O'Keefe led most recent winner Ben Morabito early on, but a quick yellow for a Richie Davidowitz slowed the pace on lap 3. On the restart O'Keefe remained out front with veteran Ray Fitzgerald now second. On lap 10 Kyle Ellwood began to flex his muscles passing Fitzgerald to the outside for second and setting sail for leader O'Keefe. Over the following 10-lap segment Ellwood sized O'Keefe up for a pass finally seizing an opportunity completing an inside pass on lap 21. O'Keefe wasn't finished though, as he quickly attempted to cross Ellwood over off turn two on lap 22 with both Fitzgerald and Morabito right on the leading duo's rear bumpers. When the checkers fell Kyle Ellwood steering the Star Metal Building racer took home a hard-fought win. Riely O'Keefe of Manorville settled for second in the Crystal Clear Window Cleaning entry while Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was third in the EP Milling & Sweeping machine.

A month later than scheduled, the Mini Stocks opened their 2024 campaign with a 20-lap contest. The Warren brothers, Ryan and Joe brought the field to green with Joe taking command of the race from the start, Ryan sadly had his hood fly up when the race started, forcing him out of contention. With nothing but clean air in front of him Joe Warren Jr. added to his lead on the all-time win list leading all the way for his 13th career victory in the Schmidt's Country Market Cavalier. Paul Wojcik of Patchogue was runner-up in the RFG Electrical Contractors Honda while Chris Olivari of Coram brought the Middle Country Automotive entry home third.

Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays scored the 30-lap 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Endure win, leading from green to checker in his East West Pest Control machine. Defending champion Zach Tyler of Cutchogue was runner-up in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney at Law entry with Mike Mujsce III of Hampton Bays third in the Mike's Auto Service of Quogue mount.

With a last lap pass, Max Handley of Medford won the School Bus Oval race over "V-Ride" Mike Van Houten Jr. of Jamesport.

Fourth generation racer KJ Curtis of Hampton Bays won the JuiceBox Racers event. KJ is the great grandson of Frank "Mississippi" Curtis, grandson to former Blunderbust champion Frank Curtis Jr. and son to current Street Stock racer Kyle Curtis and wife Tricia.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. JB Fortin 2. JR Bertuccio 3. Chris Young 4. Mark Stewart 5. Justin Brown 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. Dylan Slepian 8. John Fortin 9. Dave Brigati 10. Chris Rogers 11. Owen Grennan 12. Michael Rutkoski 13. John Beatty Jr. 14. CJ Lehmann

Crate Modifieds: 1. AJ DeSantis 2. Michael Berner 3. Chase Grennan 4. Max Handley 5. Eric Hersey 6. Mike Albasini 7. Andrew Farnham 8. Stephen Coleman 9. Joey Braun 10. Vinny Delaney 11. Tom Sekulski 12. Kyle Ellwood 13. Charles Macwhinnie DNS-Chevy Rommeney

Blunderbusts: 1. Tom Pickerell 2. Bill Wegmann Jr. 3. Joe Densieski 4. Brad Bess 5. Bill Wegmann Sr. 6. Anthony Copobianco 7. Ryan Warren 8. Liam Macwhinnie DNS-Matt Triola DQ- Cody Triola, Jim Laird Jr.

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Frank Dumicich Jr. 3. Erin Solomito 4. Mark Stewart 5. Mat Triola 6. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 7. Lou Maestri 8. Dave Koenig 9. Phil LaManna 10. Frank Dumicich Sr. 11. Tony Naglieri 12. Cillian Tennant 13. Liam Patrick 14. Rob Corwin 15. Brandon Hubbard

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Riely O'Keefe 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Rodney Dowless 5. Ben Morabito 6. Kevin Nowak 7. Anthony Marsh 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Christopher Coleman 10. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 11. Charles Hodge 12. Pat Moore 13. Nick Morabito 14. Chevy Rommeney 15. Chris Sinatro 16. Alex Halinar 17. Philip Alaimo 18. Richie Davidowitz 19. Ed Stadtlander 20. Michael Metcalf 21. Rich Braun 22. Steve Woytysiak 23. Mike Van Houten Jr. 24. Jayden Glennerster 25. Will Sipala DQ-Joey Braun

Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Chris Olivari 4. CJ Zukowski 5. Joe Cooke Jr. 6. Euoghan Heyward 7. Jake Innes 8. Mike Mujsce Jr. 9. William Garcia 10. Tyler Farrell 11. Charles Astacio 12. Marissa Stewart 13. Hunter Cummings 14. Ryan Warren DNS- Scott Setek

4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go: 1. Mike Mujsce Jr. 2. Zach Tyler 3. Mike Mujsce III 4. John Palmeri 5. David Olivari 6. Chris Olivari 7. Joey Palmeri Jr. 8. Jack Tessa 9. Cynthia Handley 10. Ed LaSpina 11. Ryan Warren 12. Charles Astacio 13. Tallen Russell 14. Franky Abbatiello 15. Vinny Abbatiello 16. Jeremy Rand 17. George Astacio 18. Chris Smith 19. Don Meyer 20. Taylor Schewire 21. Mike Kowalski 22. Robert Sherry 23. Jesse Bichsel 24. Melissa Tofalli 25. Raymond Rau 26. Hans Kiesling 27. Will Farrell 28. Anthony Paretta 29. Mike Fragola 30. Aiden Farrell 31. Wendy Rommeney

School Bus Race: Winner- Max Handley

JuiceBox Racers: Winner-KJ Curtis

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