August 24th, 2018
JOHN BEATTY JR. ENJOYS CAREER NIGHT SWEEPING NASCAR MODIFIED TWIN 50'S AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Bob Finan PR
When John Beatty Jr. of Merrick pulled into the pit area of Riverhead Raceway Wednesday night for the NASCAR Modified Twin 50’s he did so with two prior career NASCAR Modified wins to his credit. By the time Beatty loaded his MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy back into his hauler at the end of the night he had doubled his career win total to four having swept the night's Twin 50's enjoying a career night in the process.
Qualifying saw Beatty set the standard with a lap of 11.814 earning the pole for the first race. When the race went green Beatty wasted little time breaking out the race lead with NASCAR WMT championship contender Craig Lutz moving to second. The duo would be pitted side by side for several restarts during the first 32 laps of the race with Beatty able to keep the advantage each and every time over Lutz. A lap 32 restart would change the running order among the top three when defending champion Tom Rogers Jr. was able to muscle his way under Lutz for second dropping Craig to third. The Rogers/Lutz tussle allowed Beatty some much needed breathing room as he was able to get away some. However a lap 46 caution would bunch up the field for a dash for the cash and when the race went back green this time it would be Lutz muscling his way under Rogers to reclaim second while Beatty remained out front, a spot he'd never relinquish.
At the conclusion of the first 50 it was 2017 Legend Race Car champion John Beatty Jr. enjoying the victory while Lutz of Miller Place drove back to a runner-up finish in the Riverhead Building Supply Chevy. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville made a late race charge for third passing Rogers in the Long Island Truck Parts Chevy while Rogers of Riverhead and Kyle Soper of Manorville completed the top five.
During the break between races Beatty pulled the number 4 pill that inverted the top four from the first 50 for the start of the second pitting rivals Rogers and Fortin Sr. on the front row with Rogers gaining a slight advantage at the start but it would be Fortin to come to the lead on the outside on lap 2. On that second lap the duo made momentary contact going into turn 1 which stacked up the field behind them causing heavy damage to several cars. Fortin and Rogers would also be forced to pit for quick repairs and adjustments. That turn of events moved race 1 winner John Beatty Jr. into the lead with veteran Dave Brigati now sitting second. When the race resumed Beatty would lead lap 3 while John Fortin Jr. made an inside pass of Brigati for second off turn four to start the 4th lap. The top two would remain the same for the remainder of the contest.
In victory lane it was an elated John Beatty Jr. who praised those who got him to this point, "can't thank Mark S Mina of MSM Elite Motorsports and all my guys, we had a perfect car tonight for the first race, the second, well I'll take lucky over good any day. I saw the leaders get together and we got through it" Beatty related afterwards. He concluded, "You dream about nights like tonight"
John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville was runner-up in the Suffolk Pro Cycle Chevy while WMT regular Dave Sapienza of Riverhead made his first start in the Joe Ambrose entry to collect third place money in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy, Kyle Soper of Manorville and George Brunnhoelzl III of Mooresville, NC completed the top five. George was subbing for his cousin Eddie who could not get out of work to race.
Blunderbust action found championship leader Jack Handley Jr. of Medford quickest at 14.675 with Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead second quick at 14.849 and indeed the race would come down to these two rivals fighting for the lead and win. The 20-lap main event would go non-stop with Handley breaking out front at the throw of the green followed by Laird and defending champion Tom Pickerell. After cutting into Handley's lead as the laps wore down with the leader's car apparently going away late in the race business was about to pick up in the closing laps. On lap 18 as the duo raced into turn three Laird closed in rapidly on Handley and in fact his Jack square in the rear bumper. Laird attempted to back off to allow Handley to gather his car in but the leader lost too much momentum which allowed Laird to race by as they took the white flag and drive off to his third win of 2018 in his Poolsmith Inc. Chevy. Jack Handley Jr. would cross the line second in his Liccardi Builders Caprice with Tom Pickerell of Huntington third in the Makely Enterprises Chevy third.
INEX Legend Race Car standout Mike Alcaro of Newton, NJ is now 2 for 3 on the season at Riverhead Raceway as he scored a clean sweep setting both fast time 13.802 and leading all 20-laps of the non-stop main event. Alcaro steering the Jim Sylvester owned 860 Racing machine leaped from the pole to take the lead at the throw of the green with Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead making his first start of the year coming to second from the outside pole. Ellwood who is tied with Wall of Champions inductee Danny McNamara for all time wins in the class at 19 was hoping he could either reel Alcaro in or at least get a shot at the race leader on a double file restart. However neither would materialize as Mike Alcaro who earlier in the year won the Dan Jones memorial race drove off to the victory. Ellwood could only watch as Alcaro took the win and was runner-up in the Elaine & Robin Vollmoeller fielded car. Championship leader and winning car owner Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was third in his Oval Speed Unlimited mount.
After the last Street Stock race at the track Eric Zeh and his Frank & Vicki Curtis Motorsports team were left with a heavily damaged race car but after burning the midnight oil on many a night the team rebounded with a dominating win in Wednesday night's 20-lap event. Zeh got his night off on the right foot, literally as he set a new track record for the class with a lap of 14.328. Zeh was joined on the pole by his cousin and teammate Wesley Sammon of Hampton Bays who turned heads with his second quickest time in qualifying at 14.508. Once the race got underway though it would be all Eric Zeh as he broke out to a comfortable lead, a lead he'd never surrender in the Best Buy Construction Chevy. Sammon would be second in the Twin Fork Fuel Camaro while Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow completed the podium in his Staria Automotive Chevy.
Second generation daredevil Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindenhurst outlasted a strong 4-Cylinder Demolition derby field that included his Dad Joey Sr. and brother John to collect his first career win. Palmeri went right to work in his J&J Towing machine when the crashing started carefully laying out the hits while protecting his drive line which would turn out to be key in the event. "Pistol" Pete Mikos of Lake Ronkonkoma was Judge's Choice and Danny Zasowski of Holbrook was voted Fan's Choice.
NASCAR Modifieds 1st Twin 50: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Craig Lutz 3. John Fortin Sr. 4. Tom Rogers Jr. 5. Kyle Soper 6. Dave Brigati 7. John Fortin Jr. 8. George Brunnhoelzl III 9. Sal Accardi Jr. 10. Chris Young 11. Eric Zeh 12. Brad Van Houten 13. Roger Turbush 14. Dillon Steuer 15. Dave Sapienza 16. Dylan Slepian
NASCAR Modifieds 2nd Twin 50: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. John Fortin Jr. 3. Dave Sapienza 4. Kyle Soper 5. George Brunnhoelzl III 6. John Fortin Sr. 7. Dylan Slepian 8. Eric Zeh 9. Chris Young 10. Sal Accardi Jr. 11. Dave Brigati 12. Tom Rogers Jr. 13. Craig Lutz 14. Brad Van Houten DNS- Roger Turbush, Dillon Steuer
Blunderbusts: 1. Jim Laird Jr. 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Russ Jansen 5. Derek Wegmann 6. Cody Triola 7. Alyssa Paprocky 8. Tom Puccia 9. Brandon Hubbard 10. Gary Caldwell 11. Eddie Diaz
Legend Race Cars: 1. Mike Alcaro 2. Kyle Ellwood 3. Jim Sylvester 4. George Tomko Jr. 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. Dean Lambros 7. Brad Van Houten 8. Artie Pedersen III 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Jeff Otto Jr. 11. Eric Hersey 12. Jonathan Parsons 13. Paul Dodorico 14. Ed Cheslak 15. Jerry Curan 16. Bill Lambros 17. Riely O'Keefe 18. Mike Benton 19. Mike Van Houten 20. Anthony Marsh 21. Matt Brode 22. Pat Moore 23. Scott Cheslak 24. Steve Woytysiak 25. Alex Halinar 26. Jeff Farruggia Jr.
Street Stocks: 1. Eric Zeh 2. Wesley Sammon 3. Brian Brown 4. Gerard Lawrence 5. Anthony Pizzo 6. Rhett Fogg 7. Greg Harris 8. Greg Zaleski 9. David Antos 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Brian McCormack 12. Rob Bader 13. Mark Wolf 14. Ed Fontana 15. Sal Sinatro 16. Johnny Cricchio 17. Chris Busick 18. Justin Ferreri
Demolition Derby: Winner- Joey Palmeri Jr. Judge's Choice- Pete Mikos Fan's Choice- Danny Zasowski