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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
As we announced at the track Saturday evening two schedule notes will get this edition of the Eye going. First off this Saturday the Legend Race Car event will feature time trial qualifying rather than heat races. Why you ask, well a few weeks ago we announced the gift of trees for every green flag thrown on Whelen Event night this Saturday June 16th through the NASCAR Green program. Well to optimize the amount of trees that Riverhead Raceway owners Barbara & Jim Cromarty will donate to the Town of Riverhead and Supervisor Sean Walter, Barbara thought that the green will wave some 30 times for time trials, plus some 20 plus for the NASCAR Modifieds and all the features that follow, well you get the idea by now! Also the Legends are now also part of the Fireworks spectacular set for July 7th and that also will be a time trial show!
Also this Saturday is the first bone jarring, car destroying 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby of 2012, are you ready to wreck some cars???
It was a beaming Ryan Preece who emerged from Bill & Barbara Park's #20 Saturday night as he won the 35-lap NASCAR Modified contest, this after a hard fought duel with rival Ted Christopher #15. My broadcast partner Steve Halpin noted when I got back upstairs that he never saw owner Bill Park quite as happy after a win and come to think of it, neither have I! It was a great win all the way around for the Righteous Window Cleaning team and also combined with Ryan's win two night earlier at Thompson only add to his climb in the national NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings.
For the second straight week Ted Christopher has to settle for second but of course not from a lack of trying. "TC" did all he could to race his way around Preece in the Eastport Feeds Chevy to no avail. Teddy is also on the march in the national NWAAS rankings and for the latest standings that are usually updated Wednesday visit www.nascar.com and click on Home Tracks. Won't be long before Wayne Anderson will be racing his way to victory lane to greet his winning driver as Park did this past week.
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III dodged a close call up the back stretch to finish third in the Senix Creek Inn Chevy and the third generation driver was in the perfect position to pounce on the lead of the race in case the Preece/Christopher duel got too close. Eddie is now 6th in Riverhead Raceway points with 128.
John Beatty Jr. #14 crossed the line fourth in the North Shore Recycling Chevy moving him to third in the championship chase with 154. We told you last week about NEWS 12 reporter Sean Bergen scheduled to shoot one of his On the Job segments this coming week with the Beatty team, I think it's going to John Beatty Sr's head a bit. He asked me last week what time should he be in the make-up room!
Don Howe #2 scored a fine fifth place tally in the Gershow recycling Chevy of Joe & Teri Bertuccio, this after racing his way from the 13th starting spot. I'd say Don is readying for a trip to victory lane again.
Points leader Howie Brode #96 increased his lead with a sixth place finish in the Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy which now gives the 1998 NASCAR Modified champion a rather hefty 42-point margin over John Fortin Sr. #48, 198 to 156. Brode should also be leading the New York State NWAAS rankings when they come out mid-week.
"KO" Kevin Orlando #02 with another top ten in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy placing 7th after starting 15th, another good outing for this local driving talent.
Jason Agugliaro #69x didn't let a flat tire during his qualifying effort ruin his night, no sir as he drove the Tom O'Keefe & Sons Inc. Chevy to an 8th place finish from last in the field, 23rd. That's good enough to win last week's "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race by Fred Bobb Award and 5-gallons of Sunoco Race Fuel.
Dave Sapienza #36 was 9th at the line in the Flemington Furs Chevy. After the races he told me that Frank Vigliarolo Jr. #38 should be out this week in the Frankie's Towing Chevy.
After fighting an overheating issue during practice the #09 BMC Contracting Camaro of Brad Van Houten would complete the top ten after storming his way from 20th!
Shawn Solomito #66 had one if not the worst crash in history of the Riverhead Raceway as far as damage is concerned. The impact at the outset of the race left the Acme Sanitary Services Chevy virtually destroyed. Not only was the front clip bent but also the center section and the engine was hurt pretty badly too. Shawn who set fast time once again last Saturday for the third time this year came into the action second in points behind Brode but falls to 4th with 146. Hopefully Shawn can find a ride for the rest of 2012 because there is a lot of racing left to do and this talented driver remains in the title hunt and would do any car owner and sponsor good, on and off the track!
Brother Timmy injured his good wrist early in the race in the Power #99 and later in the race he T-boned through no fault of his own Rob "The Racer" McCormick #19 who was turned sideways under the starters stand. It was one of the hardest T-Bone hits I've ever seen and luckily both drivers were okay, as we said Timmy's wrist injury may have come earlier in the race.
Chris LaSpisa #7 nailed down his first Late Model win of 2012 as he kept all-time leading winner Roger Oxee at bay in their 25-lap feature event. Chris truly runs a family owned; grass roots team with his McBetts Racing Engines Chevy and his back-up car driven by Arne Pedersen #11 which is For Sale. Chris's first thought when he climbed from his winning machine was that his dad was picked-up on one of our golf carts to be brought to victory lane, because after all as he stated he couldn't do any of this without his father! LaSpisa and Kevin Metzger #23 are tied for 4th in points with 208; Metzger was 6th Saturday in his Long Island Fuel Oil Accessories Chevy.
Roger Oxee seeking back-to-back wins was runner-up in the Big City Burgers of Mattituck Pontiac after making some early race runs at LaSpisa in the lead. RJ and Scott Kulesa #10 are tied for 6th in points with 206.
For the second week in a row Shawn Patrick #88 was third in the Ron Gibbs Racing Dodge and he moves to second in points with 224 just ten back of leader Mike Bologna #00, 234 to 224.
Bologna was 4th last Saturday in his PCHS Race Engines Chevy after starting in the last row of the feature in 9th.
Rob Tribuzio #01 made his second start of the year up from St. Simon Island, Georgia and he completed the top five. Rob noted he'll be back for the June 23rd, 50-lap time trial show and word is he'll have a new body from Prototype Fabrication on the Iguana's Sports Bar entry!
If you would have bet that four-time defending Charger champion Chris Turbush would have been shut out of victory lane until the second week of June people might have thought you lost your mind! Well Chris righted the ship Saturday night as he won his 31st career feature in the Meadowbrook Sweeping Chevy which sends him into sole possession of 2nd on the all-time win lost. Oh and by the way don't look now but he and the driver he held off to capture the win Jeremy McDermott #5 are tied for the point lead with 180!
McDermott kept the pressure on Turbush until the final turn before he settled for second in the JDP Mechanical entry. McDermott was looking high and low for a path by the eventual winner.
Brian Doyle #73 was third in the Leading Edge Fabrications Chevy and moves up to fifth in the standings with 170 points.
John Baker #07 was 5th in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy and the opening night winner ranks 4th in points with 176.
"Turbo" Tom Sullivan made his first start of the year in his Custom Exteriors racer and was 8th in the final rundown.
15-year old Brendon Bock #33 set fast time prior to the Lewin Medical Supply night Legend Race Car feature with a lap of 13.964 and then in one of the most thrilling and competitive races ever contested he would earn his first career win. You can read the race result story for the play-by-play but what made the win extra sweet was his father, former NASCAR Modified driver George Bock flew in from China, some 13-hours away to see his son's first triumph! An early Father's Day gift you could say! Bock sits fourth in Legend points with 262.
Tom Sherman #27 who led the first 14-laps of the race is to be commended for his run as the veteran driver threw all he could at the teenage driver in an effort to regain the race lead. The Oval Speed Unlimited driver would cross the line second. Tom is eyeing a trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway later this summer to run in the Legend's Million! Tom by the way led the lap money earned for the race with a total of $146. The lap money was raised by Sara Sylvester who we thank.
Kyle Ellwood #71x was in the mix all race long before crossing the line third in the Riverhead Building Supply entry which outs him in a tie for the championship lead with Chris Young #49 at 280 points each.
Kyle Soper #12 was 4th in the Moriches Bay Diner entry and ranks third in the current standings with 274.
Paul Dodorico #55 came home 5th in the Dr. Martha Baker "The Racers Dentist" machine, Paul is 5th in points with 210, this despite missing a race in May!
After flipping on his lid Chris Young ran perhaps the race of his young career to finish 6th in the Ray the Plumber entry, minus most of the front body work and the like!
Great effort by Jimmy Sylvester #2 with a 7th in the Planet Recovery racer.
Allentown, Pennsylvania's Raven Schrantz #14 never laid eyes on Riverhead Raceway until the first practice and she made her debut an impressive one with a 10th place finish after starting 18th. Great job Raven and we hope to see you back here soon!
Aside from Young, Kevin Nowak #53 and Bryan Kelly #01 also had some heavy damage during the feature; the good news is that all three drivers were okay!
Greg Harris had to scratch his Lowell Electric #65 just moments before the feature.
Greg Zaleski "The Flying School Teacher" scored the Grand Enduro win in his sharp looking Gallo's Used Auto Parts Chevy. Greg did a masterful job keeping his cool in lapped traffic while both Bob Engelfried and James Charrier were breathing down his neck in lapped traffic. Congratulations Greg and family on the big win.
James Charrier #36 was seeking his third win of the year before placing second in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy passing his brother-in-law Bob Engelfried on the final lap. Engelfried was third in the JC Performance entry.
Until next time - BF
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