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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday morning Barbara & Jim Cromarty regretfully announced that the remainder of the 2012 100 Foot Drag Racing schedule would be canceled due to lack of participation. To those who did race in these events we thank you for supporting our attempt to bring some form of Drag Racing back to Long Island. The next scheduled 100 Foot event was for June 10th but that date will now revert back to a East End Kart Racing program which is just hours after their annual Saturday night display in front of our Saturday night fans.
Ron Silk #6 became the first repeat winner of the Richie Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 Saturday night as he wheeled the Ed & Connie Partridge Chevy to victory lane. Silk earned some $2,000 in bonus money from Jim Schaefer who is also know as the LI Mod Maniac and his loyal supporters which made his win in the 100 lapper worth $3,560. Silk will of course now be a heavy favorite to win not just the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on July 28th at Riverhead but also for the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 the week prior on July 21st.
A big thank you to Jim Schaefer and his students from the Rielly Avenue School for aiding us in the redraw prior to the race and as well to Jim and his "posse" for all the extra bonus money. Special mention also goes out to our own Christine Rickert who sold many of the laps for the top Riverhead driver per-lap, which was swept by Shawn Solomito #66!
Solomito did a masterful job of managing the extra distance race in his SS Motorsports Chevy, leading early before dropping to second and then later third before he worked his way back to second with 28-laps to go. Shawn would finish second and with an extra $2,275 in lap money plus the Brigandi Brothers Fast Time Award worth $100 his total earnings for the race was equal that of race winner Silk, $3,560. Shawn tripped the clock in time trials at 11.765 to set fast time earlier in the afternoon.
Reining Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Justin Bonsignore #51 crossed the line 3rd in the M3 Technologies Chevy as he too set a conservative pace early before making a charge towards the front. Justin, like Shawn both adorn a photo collage on the back of their NASCAR Modifieds in tribute to Keri & 'Lil Jason Trinca and both these talented young wheelmen had extra motivation to win the 100. Freshie Trinca made her first visit to the track since that fateful October day last fall when her mother & brother lost their lives and both drivers really wanted to grab that win for her.
Howie Brode's early summer boating plans will go on hold for the first part of Memorial Day weekend as his 4th place finish in the Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy vaulted him to the top of the Riverhead championship standing. Brode, who over the past few years has run the first few shows before heading out on the water will indeed be racing this Saturday night. He'll take a 6 point lead over Dave Brigati #98x into the first 35-lap feature of the season, 104 to 98. Tom Rogers Jr. #0 is third with 86.
Ted Christopher #15 was chasing Ron Silk for the lead early in the contest before his Eastport Feeds Chevy started to lose the handle, Teddy was able to race his way to a 5th place finish.
John Fortin Sr. #48 was 6th at the checkers in his SGS Stone Works entry, Fortin told us early in the day that all three of his cars could use some sponsorship and soon!
Dave Brigati crossed the line 7th and we hear he should be debuting the Jim Wichert owned Late Model once the engine is ready for that machine.
Dave Sapienza #36 wheeled the Buncee Inc Chevy to a 8th place finish and it won't be long before "Sap" finds his way to victory lane.
Jon McKennedy never laid eyes on Riverhead before Saturday but when the 100-laps were complete he drove the Coors Light Chevy home for 9th place money. Again a big thank you to David Hill and Hillbilly Racing for making the trek up from North Carolina. The team earned the $100 Charlie Jarzombek Hard Charger Award as voted on by Jim Schaefer and his "posse".
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III completed the top ten in his Senix Creek Inn Chevy. Eddie's cousin, George Brunnhoelzl III was spotted watching practice before he headed off to a family party.
NASCAR HoF quick notes: Richie Pallai Jr. earned the Tom Baldwin Hard Charger by Fred Bobb award with his 11th place finish, improving 15 spots from 26th...Kevin Orlando #02 was a teammate to Don Howe #2 for the 100, they were 16th & 17th led by Kevin..."Preece Lighting" Ryan Preece sensed an engine issue in the Park #20 and wisely pulled to the infield. A bad lifter is suspected...A bad clutch slowed Brad Van Houten #09...Frank Vigliarolo Jr. #38 raced just hours after burying his mother and had a rough outing...Timmy Solomito was frustrated after the race as he felt his car was not right, it wasn't as Monday the team discovered a bent front clip from their week 2 crash in the second turn.
With his win in the Cromarty Cup 20 last week Ken Hyde Jr. did something his father Kenny Sr never did and that was to win the prestigious race and the Cromarty Cup. Pound for pound or should we say lap for lap this was the best effort we've seen the driver of the Maples Bar & Grill entry run, not because he won but more so how he got there. Nice job kid!
"The Alter Boy" Tom Ferrara #14 stayed with the eventual race winner lap after lap but had to be content with runner-up money in the Bill Beener Tree Service Chevy.
Mike Mujsce #13 was third in line in his K. Clement Landscaping racer and remains the point leader by 4 over Hyde, 144 to 140.
Arne Pedersen #34 finished 4th in his BNR Home Improvement Dodge and he sits third in the standings with 138.
Roger Maynor #28 completed the top five in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford.
Bill Farrell #16 made his first start in a very long time in the Efficiency Contracting racer as his son Tim was in a big Pool Tournament, really!
George Seus has purchased the Ralph Tasso Chevy #3 and made his debut but it was a short one with electrical issues.
"The Racing Grandfather" crossed the Blunderbust finish line second but found himself in victory lane none the less in his Cracker Jack Auto Stores Olds. What I found amazing in his post race chat with Billy Finan was he built this car back in 1989, which make the car only 7 years younger than Billy!
Joe Seeger #33 had his best run that we can recall with a runner-up finish in the JC Automotive Chevy after leading early in the race. Seeger is another driver known for a part-time racing schedule but he told us before the races last week he indeed is hoping for a full season in 2012!
Rob Bader #19 was thought to be the race winner but NASCAR Officials thought Bader dipped below the line to pass Seeger and moved him behind Joe after Rob took the checkers. What I like about how this situation was handled was Steve Tooker didn't totally cut Rob's legs from under him and make him the last car on the lead lap. No instead he moved him behind Seeger in the running order, so all was not lost for the TDC Discount Plan Chevy team. By the way the penalty would have been levied during the next caution but the race went non-stop.
Great to see Fred Nolan #71 finish 4th in the Mike's GM Village of Lindenhurst Buick, which he now owns outright for those keeping score at home!
"The Pistol" Paul Parisi #69x completed the top five in his Signature Bagels Chevy.
Despite an out of character spin in turn four Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak #00 still sits atop the point standings, barely by 2 markers over Tom "Slick Pick" Pickerell #4, 132 to 130, with Jack Handley Jr. #49 and Bader knotted for third with 128. By the way Pickerell in the Premier Utility Service Chevy was 6th in the 20-lap main event.
Nice to see Tim "Lightening" Mulqueen #77 grab an 8th in the Timmy's Towing BB, however his Figure Eight outing was done early in a tangle with "Downtown" George Brown #43.
Engine woes forced Jessica Cohan #8 into a start & park in her Rick's Buy & Sell machine.
After catching-up on some much needed sleep after his Senior Prom, Chris Young #49 drove to his second Legend Race Car victory of the year in his Ray The Plumber racer. The win also gives Chris an eight point cushion over Kyle Ellwood #71x in the championship rankings, 148 to 140.
Tested tough veteran Kevin Nowak #53 was runner-up in his "sponsor wanted" mount, Kevin didn't let Young out of his sights but was unable to reel him in.
What a start to 2012 from second generation wheelman Brendon Bock #33 as he was a stellar 3rd in his un-sponsored machine. Brendon has truly come into his own early on this year.
Kyle Soper #12 was 4th in the Eastport Manor Deli backed entry.
Kyle Ellwood completed the top five in his Riverhead Building Supply/Goodie Motorsports racer.
Congrats by the way to Jeffrey Goodale on being accepted to Sacred Heart College in Connecticut, he was 8th Saturday.
Jay Sendlewski was 7th in the Blendex Industries #22.
Greg Harris unable to race his #65 due to injuring his knee at work late last week. Greg is day to day as they say!
Time trials for the added Legend Race car feature this Saturday and of course since it's their first ever test against the clock so the driver who sets fast time will also be the track record holder!
Dege Russell in his Kelly Russell Realty #2 scored yet another 8-Cylinder win in the 75-lap race that closed out last weeks card. Russell and many other previous winners have gotten together by the way and will NOT register for the second 8-Cylinder on Father's Day June 17th. Are they mad at the track? No. Are they out of money? No. What they are hoping to do for that second 8-Cylinder race is have a first time winner! So they'll sit it out and let a first time winner enjoy all that goes with a race victory! Class act by all those involved.
Dominic Ranieri #4 was runner-up in the Spare Parts racing Chevy, with Anthony Pizzo #1 third in the United Exhaust Shops Caprice.
Until next time - BF
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