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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Bulletin: It was announced today by Barbara & Jim Cromarty that effective with the June 23rd Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program that transponders will be mandatory in the NASCAR Modified and INEX Legend Race Car classes. Dennis Freese of Oval Speed Unlimited will be the transponder distributor and information on purchasing or renting transponders can be obtained by calling him at Oval Speed from 12:00 noon until 6:00 pm weekdays at 516-541-7920. If teams in any other division would like to use transponders to chart lap times and other information they are also free to contact Dennis but as of yet the transponders are not mandatory in their classes.
It was disclosed Saturday in a pre-race meeting to the NASCAR Modified teams that time trial qualifying will be used every week for the class. For regular 35-lap main events the top six will automatically redraw, while races 50-laps and over, including Twin 30's will have the driver setting fast time picking a pill to determine a straight-up start or a redraw.
Just got an e-mail alerting me that the annual Sidewalk Sale in Patchogue that Riverhead Raceway has been a part of for well over a decade will take place on Thursday July 5th from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm with a set-up time of 5:00 pm. I'll find out where we will be in the days to come and keep you posted, e-mail me if you want to bring your car to display.
Shawn Solomito #66 drove his heart on Saturday night in the Twin 30's to score a victory then afterwards he wore that heart on his sleeve, understandably so. Going into the 2012 season Shawn and his wife Kristy were motivated by an emotional off-season that saw them lose two people that were so very close to them in Keri & 'Lilí Jay Trinca last October. On the back of the American Tent Chevy is a photo collage in tribute to their fallen friends. After Shawn took the checker and his victory lap he was first greeted by Kristy who was soon followed by Jay Trinca, the embrace and the tears that went with it are something I'll always remember. Yes Shawn held back one of the most successful NASCAR Modifieds drivers of our time in Ted Christopher to notch the important win but really it didn't matter who was behind him, rather it was about who was riding with him in spirit, way to go Shawn. By the way the win boosted Shawn to second in points as he trails Howie Brode #96 by 24 markers, 168 to 144.
Teddy Christopher #15 pestered Solomito to the checkers and those double file restarts were a sight to behold as the duo played cat & mouse. Christopher would ever so slightly start to increase his speed going into turn three, leaving Shawn no choice but to do the same. They'd be side by side off of four with the leader "pinching" the challenger in an effort to slow his roll. In the end it was an exciting race with the two barely ever touching and Teddy winding-up second in the Eastport Feeds Chevy.
Howie Brode did another solid job in the Peter Clark Motorsports #96 to pocket 3rd place money and increase his point lead as we mentioned above. Brode's night was already made when the weekly time trial format was announced. Although it's very early in the season Howie has put himself in a very comfortable position in his Long Island Freightliner Chevy.
John Fortin Sr. #48 crossed the line 4th in his SGS Stone Works Chevy after a long week of burning the midnight oil on daughter Amber's #04. John wanted to thank Jay Trinca and Andrew Biondolillo for pitching in during the week that saw a new front clip installed as well as, of course, his dedicated crew at Team Fortin. John sits third in points with 136.
John Beatty Jr. #14 rallied the North Shore Recycling Chevy to a 5th place finish as he poises himself for his third career win in the weeks to come.
Ryan Preece #20 put on a whale of a show in the Righteous Window Cleaning Chevy and at one point passed Christopher for second before he looped off turn four just moments after making that pass. Preece was riding the outside line to wind-up 6th at the finish.
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III #8x was 7th in his Senix Creek Inn Chevy; the team is also seeking additional sponsors.
"The Natural" Timmy Solomito #99 was hoping to get back to victory lane in the James M. Becht Construction Corvette but the opening night winner had to settle for 8th.
"KO" Kevin Orlando #02 had a stellar run in the Gershow Recycling Chevy coming home 9th after starting 19th, a few more weeks in this car and a trip to the winner's circle seems on the horizon.
Ken Darch #03 won the weekly "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race by Fred Bobb Award with his 10th place effort. Ken picked up 11 spots from his original starting position to win the 5-gallons of Sunoco Race Fuel in his Precision Water Works Chevy.
Marisa Niederauer #74 scored an 11th place tally and told us before the show that she was funding the entire race program out of her salary and needs a sponsor really quick. See this lovely young lady by her car for more details.
Don Howe #2 was on the march in the Long Island Truck Parts Chevy and appeared to be the fastest car on the track when he was the innocent victim of another driver's error.
Rob "The Racer" McCormick #19 practiced his NASCAR Modified but didn't attempt to qualify it.
The big sigh you might have heard at the conclusion of the 25-lap Late Model feature was that of Roger Oxee and his talented #39 team. "RJ" made sure nothing was going to go south when he jumped from the pole to lead all the way in his Southold IGA Pontiac scoring his 61st career win in the class. Oxee admitted in victory lane he just might wear the same clothes this week as he did last, hopefully washing them however!
Scott Kulesa #10 made things interesting for Oxee along the way but in the end the Eastport Feeds backed driver had to settle for second.
Shawn Patrick #88, the Late Model divisionís version of a one man band had another solid outing with a 3rd place finish. Patrick is still looking for some crew and sponsorship help for the remainder of the year.
Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen #68 was 4th in the Harley Davidson of Nassau County Chevy and in the process trimmed two points off Mike Bologna's point lead, 190 to 184.
Bologna was 5th in the Russell H Nill Roofing Chevy.
Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak #00 admitted he was looking at a third place night with just a few laps to go in the 30-lap Blunderbust main event when all of a sudden the seas parted and he drove to his 51st career win at the controls of his Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice. After the win Tommy and the second and third place cars were tore down after the Modified feature and all came up legal.
Tom Pickerell #4 was runner-up in his Premier Utility Chevy and he was looking at a 4th place finish prior to the wild last laps. I'm going to get a hold of the Food Network to do a spot about the after the races cookout that "Slick Pick" and his team host!
Jack Handley Jr. #49 had to be bitterly disappointed about his late race bobble in the first and second turn that cost him the race win but the 16-year old driver did a remarkable job in salvaging a 3rd place finish in the Relle Electric entry.
The BB standings are tight with Walkowiak leading Pickerell, 182 to 178, with Handley third at 174. They're off this week but back the following.
"Turbo" Tom Sullivan #7 had a great run for 4th in the Custom Exteriors Lincoln; Tom is still somewhat on the mend from off-season back surgery.
Jimmy "The Kid' White Jr. continues to impress in the Busy Bee Pest Control racer with a 5th this week and he sits 4th in points at 148!
Rob Bader reported a valve train issue slowed the TDC Family Plan Chevy dropping him to 19th.
Ken Hyde Jr. made his first start in the class in the Cohan-Quilliam Motorsports Chevy and was 14th.
Roger Turbush #88 scored his second consecutive win in the Super Pro Trucks as he won their non-stop 20-lapper in the Allied Air Conditioning Chevy. Rog's brother Chris trailed him over the second half of the race and was hot on his heels when the race ended.
Chris was runner-up in the "Dangerous" Dave Motorsports Chevy and told us before the races that his truck owner and defending SPT champion Dave Koenig has had his hours switched by the City of Long Beach for whom he is employed and that's why the #97 has missed the last two races.
Lou Maestri #1 completed the top three in his IGA of Fort Salonga Chevy; Lou wanted to thank Charlie of IGA for all his support.
"The King of Queens" was 4th in his HCC Collision Chevy, Mike told us before the show that he is good friends with NY Mets outfielder Mike Baxter who crashed hard into the left field wall during Johan Santana's no hitter Friday. Small world.
Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 was 5th in the Crossfit of Long Island Chevy.
There is now a three way tie for first in the ultra competitive Super Pro Trucks with Erin Dumicich, Frank Dumicich Sr. and Chris Turbush knotted at 178; Erin holds the current tie-breaker with one win in 2012.
Richie Campo debuted his #38 SPT, the former Jimmy Denis/Bobby Jones machine. Rich is the son of one of the original Long Island Mini-Modified drivers Roger Campo!
Chris Young #49 posted his third Legend Race Car victory of the year in his Ray the Plumber racer and in the process stretches his lead to 6 over Kyle Ellwood #71, 240 to 234. The only disappointment for Chris and his dad over the weekend was that their trip to Linda's Speedway to run dirt on Friday was put on the back burner due to the ominous weather in Pennsylvania.
Kyle Soper was looking for his second win in a row before he settled in for second in the Jack Anthony Pools #12. Soper is third in the championship chase with 230.
Kyle Ellwood crossed the line 3rd in the Buckley's Irish Pub machine.
Brendon Bock #33, the soft spoken son of former NASCAR Modified driver George Bock was 4th continuing his breakout season.
Vinny Delaney #17 rounded out the top five in the Joe Sole Racing entry.
Great to see my Bay Shore neighbor Frank Scimeca Jr. have a fine night in both his heat and then driving to a 6th place finish in the #9.
Scary crash occurred when George Baker Jr. #96 hit the third turn wall and gate a ton in the Beaver's Towing entry. George walked away okay but the car will need some major repairs that might take a few weeks.
Cliff Corwith has taken over the driving chores in the Narda #98 from "The Mac Attack" Danny McNamara, who himself is still sore from a grinding front stretch crash a few weeks back. Danny told us he damaged his rotator cuff and is done for the time being.
Dennis Nelson #10 made it two wins in six days in the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro topping their 50-lapper. Nelson made a bold move to race his Repo Joe Saturn from third to the race lead in lapped traffic going into turn one to collect the winner's trophy.
Early race leader Richard Galante #4 has to be still shaking his head trying to figure out where Nelson came from, Galante was runner-up.
Steve "The Pitbull" Trimboli #11 crossed the line third in his Pitbull Motors Mercedes; Steve will be in action again this week with his Grand Enduro as they race under the lights this Saturday.
Don't forget the East End Kart Racing go-kart demonstration will be on tap this Saturday as well; always have a good time track side announcing this exhibition.
Until next time - BF
2012 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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