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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and we'd like to thank those of you who spent part of it with us at Riverhead Raceway! We do have a few schedule changes to bring you up to speed on.
The Saturday August 4th NASCAR Modified feature was set to be a 35-lap event with time trials. However, Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced the features will now be Twin 30's for that first Saturday in August! A Car Rollover Contest was also added to that date earlier this spring.
With there no longer any 100 Foot Drag Racing at Riverhead Barbara & Jim announced this past weekend that they have added a full Sunday card of Enduro Racing for August 19th featuring the Grands, 4/6-Cylinder Trucks, 8-Cylinders and 4/6-Cylinder Cars. The phrase "Schedule Subject To Change" has sure come into play in 2012, but I salute the Cromarty's for having the foresight to adjust on the fly and try to get more racing for all involved!
Saturday June 16th will be tree planting day at Riverhead Raceway, no you don't have to bring a shovel but this is very much an exciting program through the NASCAR Green Initiative. We are just one of five tracks selected by NASCAR for this program in which a tree will be donated for every green flag thrown that night and the track can donate to the recipient of our choice. The Cromarty's have chosen the Town of Riverhead and Supervisor Sean Walter and his family will be on hand to accept and have some fun on Whelen Event night.
Chris McGuire #89x, in just his 4th NASCAR Modified start, found himself the winner of the time limit NASCAR Modified feature Saturday night in the M3 Technologies Chevy. While some races have been cut short by rain in the past this may have been the first time limit race but it mattered not to Chris and his hard working team. Chris admitted in his post race interview that he was almost ready to give the car back to owner Ken Massa after a slow start but hard work and pure determination has the former Charger standout happy he didn't make that move! By the way long time crew chief for McGuire, Warren Collins, made a start in the 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro Sunday, mechanical woes forced him out early in their 50-lapper.
John Beatty Jr. sure didn't want to see that checker flag at lap 15 but none the less will take his runner-up finish in the North Shore Recycling Chevy. We are currently working with Art Mochi of NEWS 12 and formerly Trackside LI, to have Sean Bergen tape one of his "On The Job" segments with Sean becoming a pit crew member for a day and that team will be Beatty's. The segment will be taped either June 16th or 23rd based up Bergen's schedule.
Shawn Solomito #66 was another driver wanting to see another green but he'd wind-up third in the American Tent Chevy and currently sits 4th in points with 104.
Tom Rogers Jr. #0 was on the march when the race ended and placed 4th in his Relay Communication Chevy, he's now tied with Dave Brigati #98x for second in points behind leader Howie Brode #96. Brode has 132 markers to 120 for the Rogers/Brigati tandem.
Great effort for sophomore driver and 2011 Rookie of the Year Jason Agugliaro #69x in his South Shore Boat Transport Chevy as he was 5th.
John Fortin #48 didn't have time to enjoy his 6th place effort in his SGS Stone Works Chevy as he was busy reviewing the damage to daughter Amber's sponsor wanted #04. A new front clip will be needed to get the talented Amber back on track which the team hopes to have complete by this Saturday's Twin 30's main events. John Sr. completes the top five in the standings with 102.
Point leader Howie Brode brought the Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy home 7th and will more than likely end up racing more than he thought he would in 2012. The team with that increased schedule is seeking some additional sponsors.
Ryan Preece #20 came from 20th to finish 7th in just 15 circuits, good enough to earn him and car owners Bill & Barbara Park the "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race by Fredd Bobb Award, worth 5-gallons of Sunoco Race Fuel to the JAD Carpet Showcase team.
Brad Van Houten nearly won that fuel with his fine run in the Shea Trucking Camaro as he moved the #09 from 19th to an 8th place finish. Good to have Brad and his father Mike Sr and brother Mike Jr. with us more often this year.
Dave Brigati #98x completed the top ten in his Beaver Development Chevy and is very much in the title hunt for the NASCAR Modified crown, as well as that of the Whelen All American Series for New York State which is very lucrative!
Ken Darch #03 tapped John Beatty Jr. to take a few laps in his Precision Water Works Chevy in practice, John reported back the car had good bite and turned well. Ken was 12th in the final tally. Ken's associate sponsor Rocco's Pizza of Riverhead was the lunch of choice for the staff Sunday afternoon and man was it good. Darch tells us if we thought the pizza was good we should check out the dinner menu of the Riverhead eatery.
6th through 10th in points are John Beatty Jr., Jason Agugliaro, Chris McGuire, Dave Sapienza and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III
Mike Bologna must have read a book on how to start off a championship defense as he won his second Late Model race of the year in the Twin 15's for the class. Mike and his PCHS Race Engines team are focused on making sure the 2012 championship doesn't come down to the last night like it did last year! Bologna enjoys an 8-point cushion on Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen #68, 148 to 140.
Eriksen was runner-up to Bologna in his Harley Davidson of Nassau County Chevy. With the Memorial Day weekend one of the biggest for "Buzzy" and his family at their All Island Marina they were a bit later in arriving than normal and very early to leave after the races. Who could blame them!
Shawn Patrick #88 was third in his sponsor wanted Dodge and that is also where he sits in points with 132.
Chris LaSpisa #7 brought his McBetts Racing Engines Chevy home 4th and he too, like Patrick, is seeking sponsorship for his machine. He'd also like to remind everyone that the #11 2011 Figure Eight champion Arne Pedersen is driving is still for sale.
Roger Oxee #39 was 5th in the Big City Burgers Pontiac and is overdue for a win.
Kevin Metzger #23 is 4th in points with 128, while LaSpisa completes the top five with 124.
Ken Alfano brought his Bayport Auto Body #35 out on what would have been his late wife Julie's 49th Birthday; he was 6th in an emotional ride.
Scott Kulesa #10 set fast time with a lap of 12.600 in his Eastport Feeds entry, he won the first 15-lap segment but after that his night took a turn for the worse and was 9th.
The Unique Golf Late Model should be back soon, owner Jim Wichert has been waiting on an engine and the driver or should I say drivers might surprise you!
CJ Lehmann went back-to-back in the Chargers as he drove the Your Floor Store Chevy, complete with a new body and graphics by Magic Mike to victory in a wild 20-lapper. Lehmann was running third when the two drivers ahead of him Chris Turbush and Ray Minieri were sent to the rear for earlier rough riding incidents to find himself in the lead. Chris Turbush was coming on strong in the end but CJ, who installs pools for a living and arrived late at the track like Eriksen held on for the win. It's safe to say his dad Scott is almost beaming! Lehmann leads Minieri by 6-points currently 142-136.
Chris Turbush #81 put on a driving display to rally from the back to a fine runner-up finish in the A&M Electric Chevy, all he needed was another lap or so.
Brian Doyle #73 collected a solid third place finish in his Leading Edge Fabrications Chevy.
Opening night winner John Baker #07 was fourth in the Sunrise Medical Laboratories racer, hopefully his dad Daryl can get his Late Model out here soon. Baker is third in the current Charger points with 134.
Jeremy McDermott #5 recovered from one near spin and a spin to hold on for 5th place honors in the JDP Mechanical racer. Great job by Jeremy to keep his cool and hang on for the top five.
Track officials may have to rekindle the thoughts of making two classes into one very shortly.
Former champion Roger Turbush #88 did a masterful job in taking the Super Pro Truck win in his Allied Air Conditioning Chevy. Since about the 4th of July last year Roger has had a rough run of luck but hopefully the third generation driver has gotten the racing Gods back on his side.
Erin Dumicich #95 tried from her pole position to ward off Roger on the first lap but she'd have to tuck into second where she would finish in the Sea Level Construction Dodge.
Points leader Frank Dumicich Sr. #5 was third in the 20-lapper that had only one yellow flag along the way. Frank also is the points leader with 140, just two ahead of daughter Erin 142 to 138. Now that would be some fun if it came down to them the last race, don't you think?
Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 was 4th in the Crossfit of Long Island Chevy and sits 5th in points with 124.
Chris Turbush #81 completed the top five in his Long Island Poultry Chevy; he's 4th in points with 130, just two behind third place Mike Albasini #66 who has 132. During the race Turbush and Albasini went at it toe-to-toe in what looked like a UFC match!
Conspicuous by his absence was 2011 SPT champion "Dangerous" Dave Koenig #97.
Anthony Vecchio made his first start in the Ideal Cesspools #17 and was 9th.
Hands down the 20-lap Legend Race Car feature event was among the best races overall in recent memory at Riverhead Raceway! When all the position changes among the top five over the final five laps were complete it was a triumphant Kyle Soper #12 who sat for the first time in his career in the winner's circle. Soper in the News 12 Long Island racer basically took the lead as the white flag was waving to take that all important first ever win. The real winner as well were the fans and crews who had the pleasure of watching no less than five cars decide the race win with side by side, at times three wide and best of all clean racing to determine the winner! Congratulations to Kyle and his racing family as you all indeed earned it!
Kyle Ellwood #71x was runner-up in his Riverhead Building Supply machine and once again had his car in position for victory at the end of a race, something he's done all season long as indicated by his 2.5 average finish. Kyle really wanted to win for his mom Suzanne's Birthday but it wasn't meant to be.
Vinny Delaney almost had his first career win in the Joe Sole Motorsports #17 before he was passed on the final lap by Soper and later Ellwood. Vinny is another one of the young lions in the class whose first career win in his sponsor wanted car is on the immediate horizon!
The "Old Man" of the top five honors fell to Tom Sherman #27 who was 4th in the Oval Speed Unlimited racer, now don't kid yourself Tom is very much younger than yours truly but in the Legends, well that's another story!
Chris Young #49 fought a loose race car over the distance and was 5th in the Ray The Plumber mount. Chris is now just two markers up on Kyle Ellwood in the Legend points, 190 to 188 with Soper close by in third with 182. By the way the soon to be Mercy High School graduate is heading off to race on the dirt this Friday night at the Linda's Speedway in Pennsylvania, good luck!
Nice run for the Peter Clark Motorsports #96 of George Baker Jr. with a 7th.
Ditto for newcomer Richie Davidowitz in 8th with his SAM Mechanical entry.
Former Legends driver Don Conradis #38 walking the pits, told me he's getting the itch and may buy a Legend real soon!
34-Legend Race Cars for an added race that was announced less than two weeks ago, great job guys. Only Paul Dodorico (wedding) and Michael Rommeney (family vacation) were among the missing and indeed very understandable.
Lewin Medical Supplies night is coming up June 9th for the class, another time trials show featuring lap money as raised by Sara Sylvester.
Great to see veteran Rich Fowler get the 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby win in a hard hitting affair. Fowler in the Timmy's Towing #6 had to fend off Jason Savoy #86 and Matt Mulqueen #81 before laying claim to the the win!
Savoy was hobbled by a driver's door hit in his Monster's Recycling machine but pressed on for Judge's Choice. Savoy was okay as he also ran on Sunday during our Enduro show. The offending driver Thaddeus Lattanzio was disqualified from the event.
Matt Mulqueen was voted Fan's Choice for his outstanding effort during the Demo.
Fowler is the points leader with 100, Savoy (80) and Mulqueen (60) follow, while all others in the field have 30-points.
2011 Demolition Derby champion James "Killa" Kilkenny not in the field, we are told the recently married Jamie is starting a family and time is short at the moment.
Sunday afternoon James Charrier made it two-for-two in the Grand Enduro 50-lap in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy. Once again James the 2012 champion in the class walked away from the field once he took the lead from Chris Lescenski #46 on lap 9. By the way his sponsor is a firm who'll clean out your draught beer systems and lines if you're in the bar or restaurant business.
Brother-In-Law Bob Engelfried #63 was runner-up in his JC Performance Chevy, while Steve Mastro placed third in his Atlantic VW-Audi #45. By the way his crew member Richie Campo will debut the #38 Super Pro Truck he bought from Jimmy Denis in the weeks to come, he's the son of former LI Mini-Modified driver Roger Campo.
Don Carasiti #39 in the iriehorses.org Chevy and Joe Parcelluzzi in the Blue Point Auto Body #28 completed the top five.
The feel good win of the day belonged to "Handsome" Hank Hallock in his Westhampton Auto Salvage #08 as at 65-years young he won his first career 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro. Hank didn't back into this win either as he drove like a 20-year old once he got to second on lap 15 and 26-laps later he drove around "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen to take the lead and very popular win. Miller Lite Hank!
Robin Vollmoeller was on the march when the race ended and was runner-up in the Spits Speed Shop #2, while Ben Gregor was third in the Gregor Well Drilling Chevy.
Andy Owen had to settle for 4th in his Pitbull Motors Inc racer after leading 41 of the 50-laps.
Don Nelson Jr. completed the top five in the Repo Joe @ Riverhead Bay Motors #38.
Dege Russell is on a tear in the 8-Cylinder Enduro ranks winning by his calculations his third straight race in the Kelly Russell Realty Chevy, Dege was so happy he withdrew from the second race which he pre-entered!
Dominic Ranieri #9 in the Western Beef Chevy and Anthony Pizzo in his United Exhaust Shop Caprice were second and third not just in the first race, a 75-lapper but the 40-lap nightcap too!
That race was won by the sponsor wanted #1 of Jess Martines.
For Father's Day June 17th the veteran and multi-time winners like the above mentioned drivers and then some will not re-enter for the second 8-Cylinder race. These drivers feel as though it's time for a new driver to win in the 8-Cylinder class and perhaps it will draw more entries in the process! It's a great gesture by these drivers like Russell, Ranieri, Pizzo, Ed Brown Jr., Martines and all the others who will take a seat in the grandstand and greet the new winner when the race is over!
Dennis Nelson #16 drove his Repo Joe Saturn to victory in the 4/6-Cylinder Enduro for Cars. Nelson made a late race bid on leader Gene Burbol to post the win for Nelson Brothers Racing.
Burbol was runner-up in the Gene's 112 Service Center #5, while Mitchell Pattern #29 was third in the MoJo entry.
The versatile Anthony Pizzo #15 was 4th while young Joe Warren Jr. #22 was 5th. I must admit Warren put on a show rim riding the track all race long and was as high as 2nd at one point before finishing 5th!
Until next time - BF
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