September 10th, 2018
RUTKOSKI, HANDLEY, SYLVESTER & SAMMON WAIT OUT LONG RIVERHEAD RACEWAY RAIN DELAY FOR MILLER LITE NIGHT VICTORIES
Bob Finan PR
In a race season that has been dominated by weather at Riverhead Raceway more of the same was in store for Saturday night's Miller Lite 200 program. During the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice light rain started to fall on and off and what followed was a five hour plus rain delay before racing could resume. For the four NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions on hand in support of the Miller Lite 200 that meant starting their feature events based upon the championship standings after qualifying was washed out. After a tremendous job by Riverhead Raceway track officials & staff the entire program was completed.
In the 30-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified race Justin Brown of Manorville and Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, two good friends off the track would bring the field down for the green flag. Rutkoski who came to the race trailing Brown by a mere point in the standings was able to roll the top to take the race lead at the start of the race. Brown quickly tucked into second and the race was on not only for the win but who'd lead the point standings at the conclusion of the 30-lap tilt. With so much on the line the two buddies went toe to toe during the race including a testy restart along the way. At the finish however it would be the 2016 Rookie of the Year Michael Rutkoski steering his Buzz Chew Auto Group Chevy to a divisions leading 5th win of 2018, the 7th of his two year career. The win give Rutksoki a one point advantage (669-668) heading into the next race for the Crate Modifieds September 22nd. Justin Brown was runner-up in his SEDHI Inc. Chevy while Jack Orlando of Calverton crossed the line third in his Prototype Race Fabrication Chevy.
Jack Handley Jr. of Medford continued his successful 2018 Blunderbust campaign winning his 6th feature of 2018 in a 20-lap affair. Armed with the pole for the race after the field was set by points Handley raced his way out front at the throw of the green flag with Jim Laird Jr. in tow. While able to keep pace with the race leader Laird would never really be able to get to Handley to make an attempt at the race lead. At the conclusion of the fast paced race Jack Handley Jr. in his Liccardi Builders Chevy was first under the checker flag scoring his 27th career triumph and in the process opening up a 39-point lead (544-505) in the point standings over Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead. Laird was runner-up in his Poolsmith Inc. Chevy while defending champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington placed the third in his Sequel Group Chevy.
Jim Sylvester of Massapequa took another step towards the 2018 INEX Legend Race Car championship when he won the 20-lap main event for the class after starting from the pole. Collecting his third win of the season would prove to be no easy task for the veteran driver of the 860 Racing entry as two of the toughest drivers in the class tested Jim along the way. Over the first 16-laps of the contest 2016 champion Vinny Delaney ran second to Sylvester before he was overtaken by "Big Money" Richie Davidowitz for second on lap 17. Davidowitz steering one of the new water cooled INEX Legend Race Cars owned by Paul Dodorico was all over the back bumper of Sylvester for the win in the closing laps of the race. However Sylvester was equal to all challenges thrown his way and drove to his third win of the season increasing his point lead over Delaney to 38, 533 to 495. Davidowitz of East Moriches was runner-up in the Dr. Martha Baker, DDS racer while Delaney of Holtsville was third in the Wise Choice Fuel Oil machine.
Street Stock newcomer Wesley Sammon of Southampton scored his first career win when he topped the 20-lap feature event run just prior to the Miller Lite 200 WMT race. Veteran Rhett Fogg and Sammon brought the field down to the green flag with Sammon moving out front. Chris Lescenski who started the race from 4th was able to follow in Sammon's tire tracks at the start to come to second and he'd chase the race leader for the first 5 laps of the race. Pole sitter Rhett Fogg rebounded after losing two spots on the start to pass Lescenski for second on lap 6 with a inside pass off turn four. Fogg trailed Sammon until the 15th lap of the race before he was passed by David Antos on lap 15. Left with just five laps to catch and then pass the leader time ran out on Antos as Wesley Sammon in his Twin Fork Fuel Camaro took home an impressive win. David Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo while Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place was third in the Fairway Golf Car Chevy.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Rutkoski 2. Justin Brown 3. Jack Orlando 4. Dave Brigati 5. Artie Pedersen III 6. Chris Rogers 7. Owen Grennan 8. Dennis Krupski 9. Mike Albasini 10. George Tomko Jr. 11. Peter Bertuccio 12. Scott Pedersen 13. AJ DeSantis DNS- Terry Stiles
Blunderbusts: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Russ Jansen 5. Cody Triola 6. Alyssa Paprocky 7. Brandon Hubbard 8. Bill Wegmann Sr. 9. Tom Puccia 10. Eddie Diaz 11. Tommy Walkowiak DNS- Jarrett Campbell, Brian Midgett Jr.
Legend Race Cars: 1. Jim Sylvester 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Vinny Delaney 4. Ray Fitzgerald 5. Eric Hersey 6. Allan Pedersen 7. Brad Van Houten 8. George Tomko Jr. 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Riely O'Keefe 11. Jonathan Parsons 12. Jeff Otto Jr. 13. Matt Brode 14. Mike Benton 15. Stephen Coleman 16. Pat Moore 17. Steve Woytysiak 18. Steve Hersey 19. Mike Van Houten 20. Rich Braun 21. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 22. Jerry Curran 23. Scott Cheslak DNS- Kyle Ellwood, Anthony Marsh, Artie Pedersen III, Will Lambros, Dean Lambors
Street Stocks: 1. Wesley Sammon 2. David Antos 3. Gerard Lawrence 4. Anthony Pizzo 5. Brian McCormack 6. Rob Bader 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Mark Wolf 9. Greg Harris 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Brian Brown 12. Justin Ferreri DNS- Ed Fontana