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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Got some exciting schedule changes to bring to you before we recap last Saturday evening's racing. First off Riverhead Raceway is proud to be hosting an INEX Legend National Qualifiers race on Saturday August 18th and today Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced the race would be run over a 30-lap distance and feature time trial qualifying. Since it is a National Qualifier it's quite possible we could get some invading drivers for that race.
With the recent announcement of the added full card of Enduro racing on Sunday August 19th, the 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro originally scheduled for Saturday August 18th will not be run since the trucks run on Sunday.
The final NASCAR Modified feature of 2012 set for Saturday September 8th will now be a 50-lap affair and why not after the season we've had to date. Only fitting the final race going into the off-season is extra distance! The Grand Enduro for September 8th will now slide to the next week September 15th.
Steve Tooker & Mike Cappiello want to alert all Riverhead Raceway competitors that if your division is qualifying via time trials you must rent a transponder for the night. So this week it will be the Super Pro Trucks who had time trials added to this show a couple of months ago who'll need to rent transponders. The Figure Eights were on the original schedule to take time this week but those plans have been shelved and will run a 20-lap feature only.
What a week of NASCAR Modifieds lies ahead of us this Saturday July 21st with the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial race on Mobil 1 night. I can hardly wait to see 4 of Charlie Jarzombek's restored race cars at the track. This race will be the final tune-up for the July 28th Riverhead 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race so you don't know who might stop by to compete this week!
The Tom Rogers Jr. #0 express rolled on last week with the driver of the Relay Communications Chevy nailing down his 4th win of 2012 which moves him to just 8 points behind points leader Howie Brode #96, 312 to 304, with Shawn Solomito sandwiched in between with 308. Tom made no bones about it in victory lane last week; his car owner Joe Ambrose who has spent his entire adult life at the track has never won a track championship and Rogers is out to change that this year!
For the fifth time Ted Christopher #15 had to settle for runner-up money in the Eastport Feeds Chevy capping a very busy and long day for the tested tough wheelman. At the conclusion of the NASCAR WMT race at New Hampshire Saturday afternoon it was off to a local airport, fly to Westhampton and then race across the Twin Forks to Riverhead Raceway. Oh and then the flight back to Connecticut, all in a day's work for "TC". Ted vaulted to 4th in the Riverhead rankings and now has 246 markers.
What a great effort for Jason Agugliaro #69x last week as he timed into the top six in qualifying and then posted his best finish of the season with a 3rd place tally in the Tom O'Keefe & Sons racer. Jason drew the pole after qualifying and led the first two laps of the race before Tom Rogers got by him on lap 3, Jason never lost his rhythm and gave his family owned team a much needed podium finish.
Howie Brode #96 scored a 4th place finish in his Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy and with Rogers taking the win can now firmly hear the footsteps. However Howie always gets himself geared up for the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 and in fact is a two-time winner of this race. Howie was very close with "Tiger" Tom and still carries a small #7NY on his door so keep on eye on him this week!
Timmy Solomito #99 did some job recovering from an early race spin in turn four after contact with race winner Rogers. Timmy marched from the back of the pack to salvage the evening with a 5th place finish in the James Becht Construction Corvette.
If you thought Timmy had a rough night, well you better check on his brother Shawn who had to rebound from two flat tires and subsequent trips to the pits to come home 6th in the SS Motorsports Chevy #66.
Oh there was one Solomito who had a worse day at the races, that being oldest brother Jerry Jr. who did not start the race in his American Tent #59 due to a blown engine.
Dave Sapienza #36 drove his Flemington Furs entry to a fine 7th place showing and it won't be long before the auto repair shop owner makes some noise!
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III #8x crossed the line 8th in the Pete's Towing entry and on Monday it was announced by Jim Schaefer that Eddie would drive Ralph Solhem's #0 July 28th for the Riverhead 200 WMT Race!
Ken Darch #03 for the second time this year won the "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race by Fred Bobb Award with his 9th place finish in the Precision Water Works Chevy.
Vinny Biondolillo #06 scored a top ten with a 10th place showing in his Kennedy Realty Chevy and he continues to impress with the poise he has shown all season at just 14!
Kyle Ellwood after his Legends win was a start & park in Tom Rogers #9.
John Beatty Jr. and the North Shore Recycling team took a week off to re-group; they'll be back this week for the 77 and might even attempt to qualify for the Riverhead 200!
Brad Van Houten #09 should be back this week after sitting out a week in the BMC Contracting Camaro with engine issues.
Great show by the Late Model troops Saturday with Chris LaSpisa #7 in his un sponsored Chevy warding off some heavy late race pressure from Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen #68 to score his second win of 2012. In the areas of experience and sponsorship it truly was a "David vs. Goliath" scene but LaSpisa was undaunted and drove off to the popular win. Keep in mind that Chris, aside from looking for sponsorship also has the #11 team car of his for sale. Arne Pedersen is driving the car to sell it for Chris and the price is right.
"Buzzy" made some bold late race attempts at wrestling the lead away from Chris hoping to annex his 46th career win and snap the tie that he and Paul McElearney share for second on the all-time win list. All was not lost on the driver of the Harley Davidson of Nassau County driver as he was able to renew friendships with former Freeport Stadium announcer Kevin Van Meter who was at the track last week, as was former LM driver Cookie Visconti! By the way Peter is now just 12 points back of Mike Bologna #00 in the chase for the LM crown, 322 to 310.
Kevin Metzger #23 had a fine run in his Long Island Fuel Oil Accessories entry as the former two-time champion placed third.
Mike Bologna #00 raced his way to a fourth place finish in the Schlaugies Fuel Oil Chevy after starting 7th allowing him to stay atop the standings.
Roger Oxee #39 completed the top five with a 5th in the Southold IGA Pontiac.
No less than three drivers made their 2012 and Late Model debut Saturday night. Having the best success was Jeremy McDermott in the Jim Wichert Statewide Roofing Dodge as he was 7th in the 25-lapper. Frank Dumicich Jr. hopped a ride in the Ken Alfano back-up car renumbered #42 with his Charger engine installed and was 11th. Artie Pedersen III took his dad's Sherwin Williams Paint #1 out for the first time and was 12th.
Best LM field of the year with 12 cars Saturday.
All of us at Riverhead Raceway send our thoughts and prayers to LM driver Rob Tribuzio #01 who broke his neck in a diving accident late last week in St. Simon Island, Georgia. Rob is doing very well after surgery and his doctors told him he is one lucky guy and will make a full recovery!
Justin Wahl #61 became the second first time winner in as many weeks in Blunderbust competition as he won a non-stop 20 lapper. Wahl made a nice pass of veteran "Turbo" Tom Sullivan to take the lead with just four laps remaining in the race to score the win in his R&B Quality Electric Chevy. Wahl is an Enduro graduate who right from the first practice day in April has shown signs of catching on in this tough class and Saturday he earned his diploma!
Perhaps the best car on the track when the race ended was that of "Slick Pick" Tom Pickerell #4 who raced his way to a runner-up finish from deep in the field. Tom and his Premier Utility Equipment Chevy team are the new point leaders with 346, eight up on Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak #00 who has 338; Tommy was 6th in his Blaze Fuel Oil Chevy.
Down a cylinder, Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr #32 was third in his Busy Bee Pest Control racer backing up his win from the previous week. Jimmy is 5th in points with 296.
Early race leader Tom Sullivan #7 was able to hold on for a 4th place finish in his Custom Exteriors Lincoln once he lost the lead to Wahl with just a mile to go.
Great run for Fred Nolan in the Mike's GM Village of Lindenhurst Buick #71 with a 5th place run which moves him to 8th in points.
Third place point man Jack Handley Jr. #49 was 6th in the Relle Electric machine and this talented teenager might very well be in a Charger car this week, we'll wait and see.
Engine woes forced Rob Bader to scratch his Tropical Smoothies #19.
Kyle Ellwood #71x snared his 4th Legend Race Car win of 2012 after he held off rival Chris Young #49 in a race long duel, one Kyle had looked forward to all year. Well the two did not disappoint and waged a torrid battle for the lead, all the while racing each other clean! Ellwood in his Riverhead Building Supply machine has a comfortable lead in points going into their two week break as he enjoys a 40-point cushion on Kyle Soper #12, 474 to 434.
Chris Young threw all he could at Ellwood trying to get around him for his 4th win of the year but he'd have to settle for second in the Ray the Plumber #49. Chris sits 3rd in points with 432.
Brendon Bock #33 made some charge, racing his way from 11th to a fine 3rd place finish when the race concluded. Bock is now 4th in the standings with 430.
Kyle Soper wheeled his News 12 Long Island #12 to a 4th place finish and like the three drivers ahead of him is looking forward to the August 18th National Qualifier for the Legends!
Career best performance was turned in by Christian Conklin in the East End Limousine #84 as he was 5th at the checkers, nice job by the Enduro graduate. Christian did want to send a shout out to Shawn Wanat of Spit's Speed Shop for all the work he put in the car during the week.
By the way Wanat was the biggest mover and shaker in the race as he finished 7th after starting 22nd and of course Wanat is another Enduro graduate, see a pattern here?
Jim Sylvester #2 was 9th in the Johnny Mica Custom Kitchens racer.
Third generation driver Alex Urbina #19 had a solid effort with a 10th place finish in the Cafe Amici machine.
Heat race damage forced Richie Davidowitz to scratch his SAM Mechanical #25 for the feature.
In the 50-lap 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro Steve "The Pitbull" Trimboli #4 didn't just walk the dog; he let the whole kennel out! If my eyes didn't fail me Trimboli in his Pitbull Motors Mercedes Benz lapped the entire field, I'd call that domination!
Ed Fontana of Wading Rivers was runner-up in the CB'S Bar & Grill of Hampton Bays #7.
Anthony Pizzo #2 got dinged up in an early race tangle but was able to press on for third in the United Exhaust Shop racer.
George Davis brought the Sign Design #10 home for fourth place money in a fine ride.
Ed Primavera III completed the top five in his #17.
Multi-time champion Gene Burbol was knocked out early, a victim of somebody else's mess in his Gene's 112 Car Care Saturn.
Amanda Anderson #9 wanted to thank Mike Mujsce for all he has done to keep her on the track!
Until next time - BF
2012 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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