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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Attention all Legend Race Car drivers this Saturday at 12:30 in turn four of Riverhead Raceway you will have a meeting with Mike Cappiello and Steve Tooker and other INEX Officials, you will be admitted into the pits ahead of time without your tow vehicle and trailer and then sign-in after the meeting when the pits open at 1:00 pm.
Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced Monday that the 50-lap NASCAR Modified finale on September 8th will be run in the memory of 'Lilí Jason Trinca and his mother Keri who tragically lost their lives last October in an auto accident. A special lap 48 leader bonus will be paid to the driver out front of the race honoring Jay's go-kart number. All the money raised for the Jay Trinca Lap 48 Leader bonus will go to the leader that gets the two to go signal, whether it's a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars! Christine Healy is the person to see at the NASCAR Registration Window to make your donation for this very special tribute for a very special young man!
Tom Rogers Jr. swept the Twin 30's for the NASCAR Modifieds this past Saturday for his 5th Riverhead Raceway points paying victory while it was his 7th for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series State and National championships. Tom and his Relay Communications team had two long weeks of work to put in after his wild ride in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 and of all his wins this year this one had to be the most satisfying. Oddly even though he has taken over the New York State points lead Tommy sits third in Riverhead Raceway points some 24 back from leader Shawn Solomito, 374 to 350, sandwiched between them is early season leader Howie Brode with 360.
Ted Christopher #15 crossed the line second again this week in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. "TC" is fourth in the championship hunt with 312 and word came out today that he would drive the Boehler Family #3 Thursday night for the NASCAR WMT race at Thompson Speedway.
John Fortin made the most of his first start since June in his SGS Stone Works Chevy coming from 7th to finish 4th showing no signs of rust from his recent layoff, hopefully John will finish out the 2012 season with us.
Point leader Shawn Solomito #66 was able to race his way to a 4th place finish in the Acme Sanitary Services Chevy. This young talent has firmly put himself into the catbird seat with five races to go for the Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified title.
Howie Brode's night got off to a fast start as the driver of the Peter Clark Motorsports #96 set fast time with a lap of 11.700 in qualifying and then in the redraw he drew the pole. Howie's car seemed to go away later in the race and he pocketed a 5th place finish. He now sits 14-points back of Solomito in the title chase.
Timmy Solomito #99 was 6th in the M. Power Corvette. During the week I spoke to Butch Capuano from the Solomito team who told me they straightened out Timmy's car from his crash in the 77 the best they could but the car really needed a new front clip, again. We hear two brand new chassis sit at the Solomito race shop for use in 2013 and that also played into the decision on the current car.
Jason Agugliaro #69 drove his Tom O'Keefe & Sons Chevy to a 7th place finish. Don't know if you are aware but former starter Bruce Noll and his son John are on Jason's team.
Rare off night for Eddie Brunnhoelzl III in the Pete's Towing 8x with a 8th place tally. We asked Eddie if he'd still be in the Ralph Solhem #0 for the Riverhead Raceway WMT on September 15th and he told us yes he would!
After a ton of work by his loyal team Chris McGuire #89x made his first start in the M3 Technologies Chevy after his hard crash on July 14th, Chris wanted to thank Ken Massa and Joe Bertuccio of Gershow Recycling for all their support.
With a bent spindle slowing his effort John Beatty Jr. was 10th in the North Shore Recycling Chevy and among the missing was his fun loving father John Sr., perhaps after his News 12 appearance he was at a Hollywood casting call?
Frank Saladino #25 won the weekly "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race Award by Fred Bobb with his 11th place finish picking-up five sports from his starting berth.
Rowan Pennink #93 made a stop at Riverhead on his way home from Stafford Speedway Friday night but his night was over before it started in turn two in a three car pile-up which ended the race for the Monk's Mechanical Hand Cleaner racer.
Chris Turbush has caught fire in the Charger ranks as he won his second straight race in a 30-lap affair in his Meadowbrook Sweeping Pontiac. After a tough start to the 2012 campaign Turbush who experienced a hard trip into the wall a few weeks back has been spot on ever since and his drive for five straight Charger championships is very much still alive. Chris is third in the standings with 394 points, 20 back of leader Jeremy McDermott #5, 414 to 394 with Eric Zeh #34 second with 404. Should be a fun few weeks for this class.
Eric Zeh #34 made a late race pass of an out of shape Jeremy McDermott to finish second in the Finishline Demolition & Masonry Chevy. Eric set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.257 and then drew the #1 pill which gave the feature a straight-up start from time trials!
Jeremy McDermott indeed was out of shape coming off turn four to receive the white flag as he made a bold move under Chris Turbush for the lead with contact made. Both drivers did an incredible job gathering up their cars with Turbush not losing a spot but unfortunately McDermott did lose one position to Zeh. However after the last two years we are sure Jeremy and his team love the position they are in with their JDP Mechanical racer heading into the final few races of the year.
CJ Lehmann with another steady effort in the Your Floor Store Chevy as he scored a 4th place finish.
John Baker #07 completed the top five in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy and he sits 4th in points with 386.
With a heavy heart Cory Midgett wheeled his R. Bono Plumbing & Heating entry to a 7th place showing. Cory's brother Brian was involved in a horrible head on collision on July 29th on Route 114 on the South Fork suffering very serious injuries. All of us at Riverhead Raceway send our thoughts and prayers to Brian and his family, both Chris and Roger Turbush dedicated their wins Saturday to Brian.
How about Kevin Nowak's Charger debut coming home 9th after starting on the outside pole, we think Kevin was driving the Brian Brown car which is now for sale and you can see Kev for more details.
Rob Bader #19 finally got the dark cloud that had been hanging over his head to move out of town with his 8th career Blunderbust victory Saturday. Once he got to the front Rob in the Tropical Smoothies Cafe machine made sure he built up what would become an insurmountable lead. Rob races for Camp Sunshine which helps children who have terminal illnesses, a nice gesture for sure.
Point leader "Slick Pick" Tom Pickerell #4 was closing in on Bader when the race ended but had to be content with runner-up money in his Premier Utility Equipment Chevy which in the process increases his lead over "The Wildchild" Tommy Walkowiak #00 to 20, 394 to 374, not a bad position to be in at all!
The "Comeback Kid" Richie Hubbard #58 drove his Royalty Tattoo Buick to a season best third place finish. Richie had no intentions of driving the former Anthony Aiello #88 but when son Brandon was sidelined by health issues he strapped back in. Brandon by the way from what he tells us will be okay!
Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. #32 was 4th in the Busy Bee Pest Control racer and currently is 5th in points with 340 just 4 back of teammate "Krazy" Ed Mistretta #27 who has 344.
Very quietly Tim Mulqueen has put together a good 2012 season and he was 5th last week in the Quality Hay racer, "Lightening" as he is known to his family and friends is just out of the top five in points with 326.
Great debut for both Gary Caldwell #21 who was 10th and Bill Wegmann Jr. #76 in 11th for their first starts of the year. By the way Bill Wegmann Sr's #79 now states on the back of his Crackerjack Olds "follow the racing great grandfather" to Riverhead Raceway! Great grandpa was 9th in the race.
"Turbo" Tom Sullivan had a day he'd rather forget and in a hurry. First on the way to get his tow vehicle and car to go racing Tom's work truck broke down. Then once he got on the road to come to the track his tow vehicle blew the transmission! To the rescue came Rich Giordano of G-Force Collision as he lent Tim his dually pick-up and Tom made it in time to race. By the way that didn't too well either as he was 13th.
Make it three in a row for Roger Turbush #88 in the Super Pro Trucks ranks as he scored his 4th overall win of the year in his Rheem Air Conditioning Chevy. Roger had to endure a classic side by side short track slugfest for the lead with Mike Albasini that lasted the first half of the race and then some. Once in the lead his brother Chris came along to rattle his cage once or twice but Roger was able to hold on for the win! Two nights earlier Roger ventured up to the Thompson Speedway for a New England Truck Series race where he scored a top ten finish.
Chris Turbush #81 was runner-up in the Interboro Sprinklers Chevy and with that tally is now 10-points up on Roger and Lou Maestri #1 who are tied for second, 366 to 356.
Brian McElearney #99 was 4th in his Finishline Demolition & Masonry truck and was kind enough to raffle off two tickets to the Sprint Cup race at Pocono as he was unable to attend that race to race with his kids in the EEKR go-kart race at Riverhead last Sunday.
Frank Dumicich Sr. rounded out the top five in his Otis Ford Auto Body Ford.
It might not have been the closest finish in the 63-year history of Riverhead Raceway (Jack Reinhardt & Johnny Washburn tied a Modified race many moons ago) but our new transponder system tells us it was without doubt the closest Legend Race Car finish with Christian Conklin #84 edging Brendon Bock by a mere 0.011. Needless to say by a whisker. Conklin who came to the class via the Enduro races has been improving week after week in this his freshman year of Legend racing and in just his 10th start he drives the East End Limo machine to the winner's circle. Conklin is another driver racing for a good cause, the Timothy Hill Ranch for Children right here in Riverhead.
Bock threw all he could at Conklin for the win but he'd have to be happy with runner-up money on the night. Brendon did move to second in the 2012 title fight but is some 42-points back of leader Kyle Ellwood #71, 520 to 478 and will have a long uphill climb to try and wrestle the championship away.
Kyle Ellwood was third in the Riverhead Building Supply entry. His NASCAR Modified was supposed to be ready last week but time ran out on him and his team in getting the car ready so he did a start and park in Tom Rogers Jr. #9.
Ellwood's teammate Jeffery Goodale #46 had a fine run in his Buckley's Irish Pub machine with a 4th place finish.
Chris Rogers #00 was 5th in his Maggio's Sanitation mount.
Great turnout of 31 Legends for the night and we can't wait to see how many more join us for the INEX National Qualifier Legend Race Car event on Repo Joe night August 18th!
James Charrier topped yet another Grand Enduro in his Clear Beer Draft #36 Chevy to score his third win of 2012 in a 50-lap tilt. James didn't get through unscathed though as his right side door had a big gash down the side.
Greg Zaleski #18 seeking his second win of the year was runner-up in the Gallo Used Auto Parts Chevy.
Bob Engelfried #63 was third in the St. James Lumber Chevy.
Great effort for Brian McCormack as he hustled his #54 home in 4th.
Completing the top was Walter Stroud Jr, in his Gene's 112 Service Center #49 Chevy.
Hardest crash in the history of the Grand Enduro division took place off turn two when Thomas Berg #58 could not avoid a spun with Ray Fitzgerald #16 with heavy contact made and to make matters worse Don Carasiti #39 also piled in hard. All three cars were heavily damaged but the good news is the drivers were okay!
Jason Savoy topped the Car Rollover Contest in his Monster's Recycling entry; Jason has kept busy when a Rollover or Demo isn't on tap here at Riverhead by running some Demolition Derby events at the famed Orange County Speedway in Middletown, NY. Jason should be in the field for this week's Miller Lite night 4-Cylinder Demo.
Until next time - BF
2012 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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