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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Hopefully this week we'll be able to avoid the computer gremlins that chopped our effort last week and again we apologize for a much shortened effort.
Saturday promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced that the Legend Race Cars would be added to the May 26th program, the first half of our Memorial Day weekend doubleheader. The race will feature time trial qualifying with the Twin 15's for the Late Models and a 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby also highlighting the card. This now will be the first of two time trial shows for the Legends who'll also use that qualifying format for their Lewin Medical Supply night June 9th as listed on the original schedule.
Whoever said you can't win from deep in the field in NASCAR Modified racing at Riverhead surely had their mind changed in a hurry by the performance of Tom Rogers Jr. in Saturday's Twin 30's. You can read the race result story for all the details elsewhere on this site but it was something to see for sure! After Tom had an axle issue in the Relay Communications #0 he ran his family owned #9 and run it he did! Rogers told us in January he would not run the WMT this year so he'd could focus on not just the Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified title but also the New York State and National championships for the Whelen All-American Series. Tom and Dave Brigati #98x are tied for the track point lead at 72 going into the Richie Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 this week.
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III #8x after many man hours of repair work was again very fast in his Senix Creek Inn Chevy and at times looked to be reeling Rogers in. By his trailer afterwards he felt as though Tommy might have been "toying" with him but, folks, this family owned car is fast and they'll be in the 2012 title fight before long.
Howie Brode #96 did a fantastic job recovering from a 4th turn spin to grab third place money in the Peter Clark Motorsports entry. Brode who annually starts the season off running the first three or so shows to see where he sits in points is just two markers behind Rogers & Brigati and if he can have another good run in the 100 Saturday will have a decision to make. Again it's not just the track points but those Whelen All-American Series State points which carry a lot of $$$!
How about Dan Jivanelli's 4th place tally in the Eastport Feeds Chevy of Wayne Anderson, this despite being involved in an early race tangle. In a phone conversation Monday morning Dan told me "Bob it's really an honor to drive that car, it might sound corny but it truly is an honor". Jivanelli, the 1989 Riverhead champion noted he'll been in the car when Teddy Christopher can't race it.
After setting fast time for the second week in a row "The Fancy Farmer" Dave Brigati overcame a flat tire along the way on his Outlaw Inc #98x for a 5th place tally. When Bill Finan spoke with Dave after he picked a redraw for the top six Brigati announced "We'll be back home at Riverhead every week".
Great showing for David Roys in the ATC #25 running in the top five for a good part of the race before settling for 6th. Roys did want to publicly thank Frank Saladino and Pat Hughes for the use of their car until his engine is ready for his own machine.
Good bounce back by Rich Pallai Jr. #39 in his CARQUEST Filters Chevy for a solid 7th. Rich and his Hurricane Motorsports team passed up the Monadnock WMT race to score the fine finish.
Amber Fortin #04 drove her sponsor wanted Chevy to an impressive 8th place finish and one thing I've noticed about this young talent is how she has improved her time trial qualifying effort this year. She'd be a great marketing partner for your business so see her about sponsorship this week.
2011 Rookie of the Year Jason Agugliaro #69x also very impressive last week with a 9th place finish in the Tom O'Keefe & Sons Chevy.
Ken Darch looked very solid in his Precision Water Works #03 as he rounded out the top 10 with of course a 10th place effort. Ken also seemed to improve his time trial skills last week.
The night got off to a grand start for the trio of Solomito brothers, with Shawn #66 timing in second quickest while Timmy #99 and Jerry Jr. were 5th and 6th. That would be as good as it got as Shawn lost a rack & pinion steering until while running second to Rogers, Timmy slammed the 2nd turn wall, a victim of the Brigati flat he told us afterwards. Timmy wasn't sure how bad his car was but knew it was hurting pretty bad. Sponsor James M Becht Construction told the team to do whatever it takes to get the car back out for which Timmy wanted to say thank you. As for Jerry we never did catch up with him to see why he fell out of the race.
Tough afternoon for Vincent Biondolillo #06 who hit the fourth turn wall with heavy impact in the first practice. The Premier Utility Service Chevy was hurt pretty good, however in a great gesture Dave & Cindy Brigati let Vincent start & park their back-up car for which Vinny wanted to thank them. As for his own car time will tell how soon it will be back, although we did hear dad Andrew was looking for a rolling chassis on Monday!
Chris McGuire's crew member and former Super Pro Truck driver Greg Podlaski was marking his 40th Birthday at the track, McGuire was a fine 11th in the M3 Technologies Chevy.
By the way the separation from the top three, Rogers, Brigati and Brode in points from 4th place Jason Agugliaro with 48 and Timmy Solomito and Amber Fortin both with 44 is pretty big for this early in the season.
Scott Kulesa #10 didn't let an early race spin ruin his evening of racing as he wheeled the Eastport Feeds racer back to the front to score the 25-lap victory. The soft spoken driver who now calls Georgetown, Ma home with his young family notched his 17th career win with the triumph.
Mike Bologna #00 backed-up his opening night win with a runner-up tally in the Russell H. Nill Roofing Chevy and sits atop the LM standings with 98 markers, some six ahead of Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen #68 & Kevin Metzger #23 who are tied for second with 92.
If there was a never say quit award for the first two races of the year it would go to Kevin Metzger #23 in the Long Island Fuel Oil Accessories Chevy who scored a third place finish after being bounced around early on and losing some side sheet metal.
Peter Eriksen despite being sent to the rear of the field for rough riding early in the Harley Davidson of Nassau County entry was 4th. Needless to say we hear the "Buzzy" and his team were not in full agreement with the call to send him to the rear albeit the rear position is only 9th place these days.
Shawn Patrick #88 completed the top five in his Meade's Welding & Fabricating Dodge which puts him and race winner Scott Kulesa into a tie for 4th in LM points with 86 each.
Mike Mujsce #13 didn't let anyone get close enough to him Saturday night to ruin his party as he won the 15-lap Figure Eight feature with a brand new motor under the hood of the Bill Beener Tree Service entry. Mujsce continues to help others in the process of winning races as he delayed his arrival to the track to aid SPT driver Frank Dumicich Sr. perform a hasty engine swap in his race truck. More on that later. Mujsce leads the F8 rankings with 98 points to Arne Pedersen's 94 heading into this week's Cromarty Cup 20 event.
Ken Hyde Jr. #58 shadowed Mujsce for the entire 15 circuits before claiming second place money in the K&K Towing racer. Hyde is third in points with 90.
Roger Maynor #28 crossed the line 3rd in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford.
Opening night winner and defending champion Arne Pedersen #34 was 4th in the Seatuck Fish Dodge.
"The Alter Boy" Tom Ferrara #14 completed the top five in his K. Clement Landscaping mount.
"Downtown" George Brown debuted Keith Repp's #43 Coupe and one can see the craftsmanship that went into the car over the winter, Brown was 6th.
Want to go Figure Eight racing in a good car and race for the second best purse at the track? Well the Dennis Scott #11 and Ralph Tasso #3 are currently just two cars that are sitting and priced to sell!! Call me at the track office for more info.
CJ Lehmann #1 put a smile on his father Scott's face as he led from start to finish to win the 20-lap Charger feature event in his Your Floor Store Chevy. CJ was hounded the entire race by "Radiant" Ray Minieri #43 who threw everything but the kitchen sink at him. Lehmann was equal to the task and took the win. CJ now trials Ray by 4 points in the championship standings 96 to 92.
Ray was the runner-up in his Sunrise Chiropractic & Wellness Pontiac and much to his credit never really tried to turn the race leader. Oh, he let him know he was there but never went through him in the corners, nice job by the former champ.
Jeremy McDermott in his Eastern Door & Remodeling #5 was 3rd in the feature and now sits tied for third in the points with opening night winner John Baker #07 with 90 each.
With his family in North Carolina for his sister's graduation from UNC Charlotte Eric Zeh collected a 4th place finish in the Finishline Container Chevy.
Four time & defending Charger champion Chris Turbush completed the top five in his Thrifty Beverage on the Circle #81.
Hopefully as the weeks move forward the Late Models, Figure Eights and Chargers can increase the size of their fields, plenty of good cars out there for sale in all three classes and now more than ever are priced to sell. Check out the classifieds on Long Island Jam for one source.
Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak #00 wasted no time in getting the milestone 50 win mark out of the way in 2012 as he has now swept both races run this year in his Blaze Fuel Oil Chevy. The only disappointing factor for Tom was that his wife Gayle and children Blaze & Amber weren't on hand to witness the big win. To fill the void promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty joined Walkowiak in victory lane!
"The Pistol" Paul Parisi #69x crossed the line second in his East End Jet Ski Chevy after enduring a torrid fight for the lead with Joe Seeger #33 over the first half of the race before they both gave way to the eventual race winner.
Jack Handley Jr. #49 rode to a fine 3rd place finish in the Relle Electric Chevy and he is tied with "Slick Pick" Tom Pickerell #4 for second in points with 90 each. Needless to say Walkowiak with his 1,000% batting average leads with 100 markers.
Tom Pickerell was 4th in the Premier Utility Service Chevy. Tom sent us a note that all his backers from 2011 are back with Premier including General Laundry Service and of course Pickerell Clam. Best cookout after the races can be found in Tom's pit.
Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. with another impressive outing early on in 2012 with a 5th in the Busy Bee Pest Control racer.
Fred Nolan #71 looked good taking an 8th place finish in the Mike's GM Village of Lindenhurst Buick.
In just his second BB start ever Justin Wahl #61 grabbing an 11th place tally in the R&B Quality Electric machine.
Both Scott Maliszewski @22 and Bill Portney Sr. #43 dropped off the track in the final laps in a cloud of smoke, we didn't catch-up with either one after the show and hope both will be back this week.
Erin Dumicich #95 drove her new sponsor Atlantic Auto Glass directly to victory lane as she won a non-stop 20-lap Super Pro truck feature going away. In fact Atlantic Auto Glass will back all three Dumicich family entries for the remainder of 2012. Erin's second career win seemed to come with a little more "breathing" room than her first last summer.
Frank Dumicich Sr. #5 had an eventful day of his own for different reasons! In the first practice Frank lost an engine in his Ford and without batting an eye loaded the wounded truck into the enclosed trailer and headed for East Quogue to swap motors. With the help of his crew and Figure Eight winner on the night Mike Mujsce Sr. among others the swap was complete and Frank was back at the track with around a half hour to spare! He would finish second and is tied for the SPT lead with Mike Albasini #66!
Albasini in the HCC Collision Chevy was 3rd to Frank Sr. as they swapped positions from opening night.
Chris Turbush was 4th in the MSC Builders Chevy which is where he sits in the SPT rankings with 88.
Opening night winner Lou Maestri #1 was 5th in the Fort Salonga IGA Chevy and he's 3rd in points with 92.
Like other divisions some good Super Pro Trucks are for sale including Danny Grennan's #38 and Rich Giordano's #7, you can reach out to Rich at G-Force Collision in Lindenhurst and for Danny shoot me an e-mail at Rwf58@aol.com.
The youthful talent pool in our Legend Race Car division stood tall once again Saturday as Kyle Ellwood gave his Mom Suzanne an early Mother's day gift with his second career win. Ellwood, racing out of the Russell & Cathy Goodale Riverhead Building Supply shops, swapped opening night finishes with Chris Young #49 to score the impressive win. By the way, Kyle's first career win in 2011 came on the eve of Father's Day!
Chris Young #49 did all he could to try and reel in Ellwood but would settle for second in his Bridgehampton Bank machine. Of course by swapping finishes the first two weeks of the year Young & Ellwood are tied atop the standings with 98 each.
Trying to win one for us "old guys" was Paul Dodorico #55 in his Bridal Suite of Centereach racer, he'd settle for 3rd which is where he ranks in the points as well with 92.
Kyle Soper was 4th in his Jack Anthony Pools #12 and he sits 4th in points with 88 to date.
Great run for Chris Rogers in the MS Packaging & Supply #00 with a fine 5th.
Newcomer Richie Davidowitz was a solid 10th in the SAM Mechanical entry.
Great to see Danny McNamara walk away shaken but otherwise unhurt in a wild heat race crash with Cody Triola #29 and Christian Conklin #84, only Conklin could start the feature as a provisional.
Don't forget the 100 Foot Drags are back this Sunday May 20th and ANYBODY can race! Pits open at 10:00 am and test & tune starts at 12 noon, for more information log onto www.100footdrags.com.
Doubleheader weekend next weekend with the NASCAR stock cars, INEX Legend Cars and a 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby Saturday evening May 26th and a full program of Enduro Racing Sunday May 27th. Please visit the schedule link on this site for more information.
Until next time - BF
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