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Ryan Preece Out Duels Ted Christopher To Post
Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified Triumph
by Bob FInan
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct out dueled Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct to win the 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in a race that saw the two rivals go toe-to-toe numerous times in the first portion of the race during several double file restarts. Driving for Bill & Barbara Park the win was Preece's second career win at the quarter mile oval with his first coming in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on August 1st, 2009.
Shawn Solomito of Islip for the second week in a row scorched the track for fast time with a lap of 11.685 barely a tenth off Chuck Steuer's 12-year old track record. With the 35-lap race finding the top six redrawing Shawn was the first driver to pick and unfortunately he drew 6th. Early in the race Solomito drilled the wall off turn 4 doing heavy damage to his racer, Shawn was okay. Preece who timed in second and Christopher who clocked in third would draw the front row with Ryan on the pole. Right from the initial green flag the race was on between the duo who race each other three times a weekend in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series as Teddy tried to get the measure of Ryan on the outside. However with Eddie Brunnhoelzl III who timed in fifth and drew the third starting berth lurking in third Christopher would have to try and prevent him from racing under for second while he tested Preece high.
The high speed game of cat and mouse lasted up until lap 15 and featured numerous double file restarts however NASCAR Officials decided just three laps shy of the halfway point of the race to go single file after a number of minor spins and incidents. That was indeed music to Preece's ears but by no means did it erase the pressure from challenger Christopher. Teddy filled Ryan's mirror until later in the race when the leader was able to put some distance between them and gave himself some breathing room. A grinding t-bone crash involving Timmy Solomito and Rob McCormick would be the final caution of the race on lap 31 giving Teddy one last shot at Ryan. However, Preece was able to stay out front and drive to the checkers in JAD Carpet Showcase Chevy.
"You have no idea how happy I am for Bill & Barbara and this entire team" boasted Preece who also won Thursday night in a NASCAR Whelen All American Series event at the Thompson, Ct. Speedway that will improve upon his top ten ranking in the NWAAS championship chase. As for his race long duel with rival Ted Christopher, Ryan reflected, "Teddy ran me really clean and I thank him for that and if the roles are reversed next week or down the road I'll do the same for him"
Ted Christopher, who like Preece is among the top ten in the NWAAS standings, was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown had another solid outing with a third place tally in the Senix Creek Inn entry. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and former five time Riverhead Raceway champion Don Howe of Water Mill completed the top five.
Chris LaSpisa of Shirley scored his 6th career Late Model victory when he won their 25-lap main event leading all the way in the process. LaSpisa and Dennis Krupski battled for the lead on the first lap of the race before LaSpisa, who started third was able to take sole possession of the lead on lap 2. All-time leading Late Model winner Roger Oxee raced his way from fifth to second with some bold early race moves of his own and for the remainder of the race Oxee pursued race leader LaSpisa. Although Roger was able to stay with LaSpisa through out the remainder of the race there would be no catching Chris in his McBetts Racing Engines racer. After exiting his car Chris spoke of his small and un-sponsored team, "it's basically myself along with teammate Arne Pedersen and my father doing this all on our own with no financial backing, so indeed it's sweet to hold off Roger for this win". Roger Oxee of Peconic was runner-up in the Southold IGA Pontiac with Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters third for the second week in a row in his Matlach Fabricating Dodge.
Chris Turbush of Riverhead moved into sole possession of second on the all-time Charger win list as he fought off some heavy late race pressure from Jeremy McDermott to win his 31st career feature event. Derek Stachecki and Eric Zeh raced hard for the lead over the first lap, but on lap two Zeh got sideways and was hit in the left rear tire forcing him into a spin and causing a left rear flat. Once the field was relined it would be Stachecki and Chris Turbush on the front row with Turbush bolting out front with Brian Doyle in second for two laps before he was over taken by Jeremy McDermott on lap 4. Over the next 16-laps McDermott pestered Turbush for the lead but it would be the final five laps that saw McDermott really turn up the heat as Chris fought a tight race car. Jeremy was able to take an occasional peak to the inside in the corners but every time he did Turbush would close the door and drive the Meadowbrook Sweeping Chevy to victory. The 31st win breaks a tie between him and now NASCAR Official Robin Vollmoeller for second on the all-time win list which is headed up by Chris's dad "Dynamite" Dan at 52. Jeremy McDermott of E. Stroudsburg, Pa was second across the line in the JDP Mechanical racer while Brian Doyle of Ronkonkoma placed third in the Leading Edge Fabrications Chevy.
Brendon Bock of Franklin Square scored the Lewin Medical Supply night Legend Race Car feature event win. This was a first career victory for the 15-year old second generation driving talent but it did not come easily as the class provided another nail biter of a finish. Veteran Tom Sherman of Farmingdale set fast time with a lap of 13.860 and when it came time to pick the pill for a redraw or straight-up start Tom drew the #1 straight up pill. Right from the drop of the green flag the race lead was a hot commodity with Sherman moving out front and Kyle Ellwood in tow. The race was red flagged on lap two after Kevin Nowak and Chris Young came together with the wall and each other off turn four that saw Young flip over, he was okay and would return to the race to finish 6th. Later on lap 8 Bock was able to slip by Ellwood for second and he quickly set sail for leader Sherman, while Kyle Ellwood and Kyle Soper were right on their heels in third and fourth. Brendon spent several laps racing side by side with Sherman for the race lead and finally on lap 15 was able to take the lead with Sherman now finding himself in the role of challenger. Tom took some runs at Brendon and over the final five laps the duo ran side by side with Ellwood and Soper waiting in the wings in case the leaders got together. As the white flag flew it was evident that a photo finish was in the offering with Brendon Bock able to withstand one last challenge to the inside by Tom Sherman to post that all important first win. Brendon's father, former NASCAR Modified driver George Bock who now operates a business in China flew 13-hours to watch his son take the win in his un-sponsored racer. Tom Sherman was second in the Oval Speed Unlimited racer, while Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was third in the Riverhead Building Supply machine.
Physical Education Teacher Greg Zaleski of Jamesport took the Grand Enduro field to school as he won their 50-lap feature event. Greg wasted no time taking command of the race as he broke out front with Bob Engelfried running second. After an early red flag for a disabled Greg Berkowitz the race resumed with Zaleski nearly a straight away ahead of Engelfried who lap after lap slowly chipped away at that advantage. Eventually Bob did catch Greg and just laps later James Charrier seeking his third straight win in the class, made his way to third after way back in seventeen. The trio ran nose to tail weaving through lapped traffic with both Engelfried and Charrier taking runs at Zaleski but in the end it was the Gallo Used Auto Parts racer taking down the victory. James Charrier of Shirley made a last lap pass of brother-in-law Bob Engelfried of Stony Brook for second with both steering Clear Beer Draft Chevy's.
1. Ryan Preece 2. Ted Christopher 3. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 4. John Beatty 5. Don Howe 6. Howie Brode 7. Kevin Orlando 8. Jason Agugliaro 9. Dave Sapienza 10. Brad Van Houten 11. John Fortin 12. Vinny Biondolillo 13. Amber Fortin 14. John Fortin Jr. 15. Glenn Logan 16. Chris McGuire 17. Jerry Solomito Jr. 18. Rob McCormick 19. Timmy Solomito 20. Marisa Niederauer 21. Al Ermmarino 22. Shawn Solomito 23. Ken Darch
1. Chris LaSpisa 2. Roger Oxee 3. Shawn Patrick 4. Mike Bologna 5. Rob Tribuzio 6. Kevin Metzger 7. Scott Kulesa 8. Peter Eriksen 9. Dennis Krupski 10. Arne Pedersen
1. Chris Turbush 2. Jeremy McDermott 3. Brian Doyle 4. Eric Zeh 5. John Baker 6. Derek Stachecki 7. Cory Midgett 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Jayson White 10. Ray Minieri 11. CJ Lehmann
Lewin Medical Supply Legend Race Cars:
1. Brendon Bock 2. Tom Sherman 3. Kyle Ellwood 4. Kyle Soper 5. Paul Dodorico 6. Chris Young 7. Jim Sylvester 8. Vinny Delaney 9. Jeffrey Goodale 10. Raven Schrantz 11. Richie Davidowitz 12. Chris Rogers 13. Jay Sendlewski 14. Shawn Wanat 15. Anthony Cacioppo 16. Artie Pedersen III 17. Anthony Marsh 18. Frank Scimeca Jr. 19. Jim Byrne 20. Mike Smith 21. Alex Urbina 22. Bryan Kelly 23. Fred Card 24. Eric Hershey 25. Christian Conklin 26. Kevin Nowak DNS- Greg Harris
Grand Enduro (top five):
1. Greg Zaleski 2. James Charrier 3. Bob Engelfried 4. Steve Mastro 5. Glenn Simoninn
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