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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Hope everyone is enjoying this recent great run of weather we've been enjoying and it has you getting all pumped up for 2012 at your Riverhead Raceway! Practice is just around a month away, depending on when you read this with warm-ups set for Saturday April 21st and 28th. Format will be the same with pit gates opening around 9:00 am and the NASCAR stock cars hitting the track at 12 noon. As always grandstand admission is FREE!! Safety tech will open as the pits open and all teams are reminded that no car will be permitted on the track without going through and passing safety tech!
In our last Eye we noted some rules changes for some classes going into the 2012 season, we did however omit one that applies to all divisions, NASCAR or Enduro! No Video Cameras, Cell Phone or Data Acquisition Devices are allowed in the car!
All of us at Riverhead Raceway want to wish my broadcast partner over the last decade or so Jeff Bressler the best of luck with his new venture in Orchard, Texas. As you know over the last season or two Jeff had become very involved with the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) circuit and he has now taken a position with Exclusive Genetics, an agency that handles many riders on all Rodeo circuits. From his Facebook page it appears Jeff has adopted very well to life in the Lonestar State.
Welcome back, Steve Halpin! With Jeff moving off Long Island Steve Halpin will fill a majority of the 2012 schedule announcing with Billy Finan and others pitching in as well. Halpin will take time from his flourishing TJ Halpin's eatery in Setauket to be with us most Saturday's. Bill, who as many of you know, is a NYPD Officer who has just taken on a new tour (shift) in the 1st PCT and will be on hand for some shows as his schedule permits. No matter what, you know we'll have fun!
All Demolition Derby competitors should please note a change from the original 2012 schedule has been made for some of your late season events. The August 11th Demo, originally an 8-Cylinder contest will now be a 4-Cylinder Demo. Then for August 25th, I Love America Night the 4-Cylinder Demo will now be an 8-Cylinder contest, while on Monster Truck weekend the Saturday September 1st Demo will be a 4-Cylinder Demo rather than an 8-Cylinder tilt. This gives all teams nearly a month to prepare their 8-Cylinder machines for the Miller Lite night National Demolition Derby Championship Saturday September 15th, worth $1,500 to win! Also, please note that the Laser Show scheduled for August 4th has been cancelled and a Roll-Over Contest has been added. This will be the only Roll-Over Contest for the 2012 season.
Recently you may have read the press release that Rapid Recovery Towing has signed on to be a marketing partner with our NASCAR Modifieds and we thank Scott Perlow for coming on board. As we made mention of Scott owned the #41 NASCAR Modified some years back that Gary Swanander drove, the team enjoyed one victory together back on September 1st. Rapid Recovery will host their night at the races Saturday June 23rd.
Aside from Rapid Recovery, our John Ellwood reports he has also inked Jos. M Troffa Landscape & Mason Supplies as a Late Model seasonal sponsor, while Lewin Medical Supply will back the Legend Race Cars for 2012. Press releases on both will be forthcoming. Riverhead Raceway will also go Country during the summer as Cody's BBQ & Grill of Riverhead will sponsor an entire night of racing on June 30th. In fact they will be bringing their mechanical bull over to the track for their display in turn three. Can't wait to see our own Mike "Smokey" Boken take a spin on it!!!
Repo Joe will be back for the third year of sponsoring an entire night of racing, that set for Saturday August 18th. Tons of tee-shirt giveaways, The Wiseman & Frank from B-103 and of course Repo Joe himself will all be part of the fun. I'd like to thank everyone at Repo Joe for returning for the night which features a Full Size School Bus Demolition Derby!
Of course we'll have much more in the way of sponsor announcements as they develop.
The Suffolk Association of Figure Eight Racing will host their annual awards banquet on Saturday evening March 31st at the Smithtown Landing Country Club. Arne Pedersen #34 will be feted for his 2011 Riverhead Raceway and SAFER championship, plus the annual SAFER Hall of Fame Inductions will take place. Plenty of Special Awards and just one of the best times can be had by attending what has long been known as the best banquet in racing. For further information contact Joe Saraceno at Indy 3000 Fast Lube of Medford, where we both are employed. The phone number is 631-447-5823 or stop by 1850 Route 112 in Medford, we are just an 1/8 of a mile north of Southaven Avenue.
Jim Schaefer, aka the LI Mod maniac, has announced his bonus money plan for the May 19th NASCAR Hall of Fame 100. The first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular over the line will pocket $1,000. The race winner, no matter a RR or WMT regular, will also earn an extra $1,000. For the Riverhead Raceway regulars Jim is selling lap money at $10 per lap, the leading RR regular per lap will earn the $10 in lap money. The NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 is once again shaping up to be an early season classic, one you don't dare want to miss!
Figure Eight driver Ken Hyde Jr. #58 will be taking to the dirt this weekend in Kentucky as he'll wheel a dirt Late Model for Long Island transplant Gordon Bernzott. Friday (3-16) will find Hyde racing at Moler Raceway, while the next night the team will tackle Florence Speedway in Bernzott's home state. Gordon as you might recall ran both Figure Eights and Late Models at Riverhead Raceway before moving south.
Chris LaSpisa #7 sent along his 2012 Late Model plans in an e-mail to us recently. Chris has his McBetts Racing Engines racer all ready for 2012 and will also field a car for 2011 Figure Eight champion Arne Pedersen. Arne's car number will switch from 77 to 11 and feature suspension updates and a new body for opening night. Chris also reported his brother-in-law Tim Mulqueen will again perform double duty this year. Tim's Figure Eight machine also boasts a new body and suspension updates, while his Blunderbust car had a new rear clip installed and is race ready!
Grand Enduro talent Steve Mastro sent word that he is ready to go for the Enduro opener Sunday afternoon May 6th. Steve, who won the final race of 2011 will again feature a great sponsorship team for 2012 that includes Atlantic Audi & VW as his major backer. They are joined by Major League Power, Sheep Pasture Tree & Nursery and Kunzler Tire, so keep on eye on Steve in the former "Jumbo" Jimmy Denis ride!
You might have noticed in the pages of Area Auto Racing News that Steve Barrick has been doing quite a bit of writing and in fact is now listed as an assistant to the editor Lenny Sammons, that is the good news. The bad news is after many years of producing the Riverhead Racer through his Program Dynamics Inc. firm that he will no longer do so not just at Riverhead but as well as the other tracks that PDI has served. Indeed a victim of the electronic and social media, we'd like to thank Steve for his services over the years.
Also late last week Barbara & Jim Cromarty were informed via e-mail that Verizon FIOS 1 Sports would not return in 2012 in what is a budget cutting move by the cable TV firm. What many of you might not have known is the entire FIOS 1 crew drove from New Jersey weekly to cover the races, just one of many rising expenses they faced.
Until next time - BF
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