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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The cars and stars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visit Riverhead Raceway this Saturday July 28th and we want to let our race teams in on the time schedule for the day. We'll start with our Blunderbust and Charger teams as Mike Cappiello and Steve Tooker announced the pits will open for these two divisions at 12 noon. Practice will start at 1:00 pm. The Blunderbusts will take time first at 3:45 pm with the Chargers to follow at 4:15 pm. Remember, teams in both divisions will need to rent transponders for this week.
As for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams, as per NASCAR, your schedule has the haulers entering at 9:00 am with practice running from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm. Time trial qualifying is set for 5:00 pm with the 25-lap qualifying race set for 6:30 pm if needed. The 175 lap WMT feature will start at 8:30 pm.
As per usual with the annual WMT race date no "extra" cars will be able to practice this Saturday, only those who will attempt to qualify for the three feature events are permitted.
We would like to Ricky Jarzombek and all those involved with bringing four of Charlie J's family owned cars to the 77-lapper this past Saturday. The work and sacrifice that went into having the "Bug", Coupe, Vega and Cavalier is truly a labor of love in the memory of "Charging" Charlie. Timmy Solomito and Ted Christopher took turns driving the car for some hot laps and were really hustling the Kinney Chevrolet machine around!
Ed & Connie Partridge brought along the fifth car that Charlie drove with the Wilsburg #5 and their WMT driver Ronnie Silk really had that thing humming out there!
Bob Krollage took some laps in the Ambrose 7-11 that took Joe Krukowski and Junior Ambrose to many a victory and as always the car was immaculate.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was the restored Carl Zeh owned, Don Howe driven Corwith's Auto Body #34. Don and his current car owner Joe Bertuccio worked up until 2:00 pm Saturday to make sure the car, which is an RE Chassis built by Richie Evans himself was on hand for the 77. Thank you guys!
The Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 turned out to be a race that all three of these legends would have loved to be in with all the position jockeying and wheel to wheel combat. In the end it was "Preece Lightening" Ryan Preece scoring the win for car owners Bill & Barbara Park in their Elite Towing #20. Bill raced for many years at Islip and elsewhere against all three drivers and I really don't recall seeing Bill and his team that pumped up after a win. Preece didn't let a sixth place start via the redraw get him down as he tugged on the belts and went out to collect his third career win at the track. Ryan of course will be in the Flamingo Motorsports Team #16 for the WMT race this week and he'll go into the race with a big head of steam.
Shawn Solomito #66 drove a heads-up race the entire way and put himself in position to win over the final 10-laps. Shawn was able to get his Acme Sanitary Services Chevy right to the rear spoiler of Preece in the closing laps before he collected the runner-up money. That finish moves Shawn to the point lead by 12 over Howie Brode #96, 346 to 334 with the regular season to resume Saturday August 4th with Twin 30's. A good night indeed for the SS Motorsports Team in the 77.
Todd Szegedy #2 made his second ever Riverhead Raceway regular season start in the 77, a race that he was runner-up in 2011. This time around the driver of the Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer Repair machine was third when the checkers waved after he was among the top five for a majority of the race. Todd was runner-up as well last year in the WMT race won by Justin Bonsignore and he hopes to grab the Buzz Chew Chevy night hardware this year.
Ted Christopher #15 didn't let a wild spin through the paved infield in the third and fourth turn on lap 33 ruin his night, although it took away any chance he had of winning the race. No sir, Teddy put his head down and stormed his way back through the field for a 4th place finish in the Eastport Feeds Chevy, which by the way he'll race in the WMT race this Saturday night!
Eric Goodale #58 drove a sharp race to pocket 5th place money in his Heritage Wood Plank Flooring Chevy. Oh what a story it would be if this Riely Avenue School alum could win the race this Saturday in front of his former teacher Jim Schaefer!
Ron Silk #6 came to the race as the defending race winner but he seemed to lose the handle on his car just past halfway. After a pit stop or two Ronnie hustled the TS Haulers Chevy back to a 6th place finish.
John Beatty Jr. #14 drove the North Shore Recycling entry to a 7th place effort and afterwards he told me he and his team were weighing out their options on trying to qualify for the Riverhead 200 this week.
After getting turned around early in the race and dodging a couple of more bullets Kevin Goodale crossed the line 8th in his Riverhead Building Supply Chevy. Keep in mind it was just a few years back Kevin nearly pulled off an upset win in this race.
Dave Sapienza #36 was 9th in his Flemington Furs racer. By the way what a spread "Sap" and his Frankie's Towing teammate Frank Vigliarolo Jr. #38 put out after the race Saturday. Frank will be among the entrants this week for the WMT race.
Howie Brode #96 was 10th after being docked a lap in his Long Island Freightliner Chevy, one of three drivers losing a lap for drawing a caution.
Tom Rogers Jr. #0 was also put a lap down for stopping with a flat but his night got even worse when his left rear wheel, which was damaged by earlier contact flew off the car in turn three. Tom spun wildly though the air in his Relay Communications Chevy and finished 15th. Rogers is third in points with 316.
Timmy Solomito's night got off on the right foot when he set fast time with a lap of 11.664, earning $100 from Brigandi Brothers Automotive. His night went south in a hurry as he suffered a flat after contact and would be the third driver penalized for stopping on the track. If that weren't bad enough "The Natural" slammed the front stretch wall and reports say that the car will need its second clip of the season if it's going to return. A team spokesperson told me Saturday night that the James Becht Construction Corvette was more than likely done for the year but time will tell.
Ed Brunnhoelzl III was in the Ralph Solhem #0 for the 77, the car that he will attempt to make the Riverhead 200 field in this week, Eddie was 13th in the LI Mod Maniac racer.
Chris McGuire did a start and park in the Gershow Motorsports #13 as his own #89x is still sidelined after heavy damage from the week before.
With son Eddie in the #0, papa Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. was a start and park in the Senix Creek #81x.
Defending WMT race winner Justin Bonsignore #51 was an early race casualty in his M3 Technology Chevy, a repeat win is just what the Ken Massa owned team needs this week.
For a couple of laps Roger Maynor and Arne Pedersen found themselves racing for third behind two new drivers and very quickly that battle turned into another duel between the two for the race win. When the checkers waved it was Roger Maynor scoring career win number 107 in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford. Arne Pederesen #34 wheeled his BNR Home Improvement Dodge to runner-up money and in the process is just two points out of the lead in the championship chase which is shared by Ken Hyde Jr. and Mike Mujsce with 320 each, Arne has 318.
Ken Hyde Jr. crossed the line third Saturday in his Planet Automotive racer and we hear on Sunday he finally lost to his sister Kim in bowling. Well the first half of the weekend was good anyway!
"The Alter Boy" Tom Ferrara #14 was fourth in the Bill Beener Tree Service machine and he's still in the title hunt from 4th in points with 314.
Despite an ill-handling car, the product of unwanted early race contact, Mike Mujsce #13 pressed on for a fifth place finish in the K. Clement Landscaping entry.
Having Chris Turbush start on the outside of the front row in a Charger race that doesn't have time trials is like giving Lebron James 10-points in a game of 21! Well after a couple of bad races for the four-time and defending champion that is exactly where he started and was able to drive to his 31st career win in the East-West Marine Chevy. Oh his old buddy Jeremy McDermott #5 was able to keep step with Chris but staying with him and then passing him was quite another story.
McDermott was runner-up in his JDP Mechanical Chevy and with that tally is now 12-points up on Eric Zeh #34 in the championship chase, 368 to 356. With time trials to set the field this week for a 30-lapper don't be at all surprised if McDermott and his pal Turbush are at it again!
Eric Zeh was third in his Randy's Performance Chevy and I'm sure when the restored Don Howe #34, owned by his grandfather Carl, came through the gate it put some jump in his and his father Eddie's step!
John Baker #07 continues his steady 2012 campaign with a 4th place finish in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy which puts him and Chris Turbush into a tie for third in points with 344 each.
Great run for Derek Stachecki #33 who roared his way from 10th to 5th in the 20-lap main event. Derek is looking for some sponsors on his effort for the rest of the year and into next as well.
Fourteen Chargers was one of the stronger turnouts for the class over the last two years.
Rob Visconti #3 made his first start of the year in the Island Trees Automotive racer and was 8th in the final rundown.
Jack Handley Jr. made his first start in Ray Minieri's back-up car, the F&S Race Fuels Pontiac #49 and he was 10th in his maiden voyage.
Roger Turbush had anything but an ordinary week coming into the 20-lap Super Pro Truck event as during the week he and his girlfriend Stephanie Brigati were engaged to be married. To celebrate the good news Roger then went out and led all 20-laps of the race to take home his 12th career win in the Allied Air Conditioning Chevy. Roger drew the #2 pill in the redraw among the top six from time and he was off and running after that and now sits third in points with 306.
Brother Chris Turbush #81 after a race long fight with Lou Maestri #1 would finish second in his M Cary Inc. Chevy and with that now leads the SPT points with 318, eight up on Lou who has 310.
Maestri #1 would cross the line third in his Star Car Repair Center Chevy and one could sense his frustration during a mid-race caution flag when he pulled alongside Chris to "chat". Lou did set fast time in pre-race time trials with a lap 13.684 but was only able to pull the #4 pill in the redraw, which started his frustration I'm guessing.
What a 2012 debut Brian McElearney made in his Randy's Performance #99 as he stormed from 10th to a 5th place finish, better yet the next day his son won his EEKR Go-Kart feature! Now that's a weekend!
Thirteen Super Pro Trucks on hand also one of their better turnouts in recent memory!
Kevin Scharfenberg back with his Brightview Distribution Corp #44 and the truck seemed to be improved with Kevin taking home a 8th place finish.
Rich Campo #38 scored a 10th place finish in his NY Auto Giant Chevy.
Glad to see "The King of Queens" Mike Albasini #66 okay after a hard turn three hit after he and Frank Dumicich Sr. got together, both were done for the night.
Reports say Erin Dumicich #95 lost the engine in her Sea-Level Construction Dodge and that is why she veered into the infield early in the race.
Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 brought the Crossfit Long Island Chevy home for fourth place money.
Until next time - BF
2012 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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