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Tom Rogers Jr. Becomes First Riverhead Raceway
NASCAR Modified Repeat Winner In Rapid Recovery Night 35
by Bob FInan
Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue became the first NASCAR Modified repeat winner of the 2012 Whelen All-American Series at Riverhead Raceway this past Saturday night as he won the Rapid Recovery night 35-lap feature. The win for Rogers was the 16th of his NASCAR Modified career and moves him to fourth in the 2012 Riverhead championship chase.
Pre-race time trials saw Tom Rogers set fast time with a lap of 11.643 and in the redraw among the top six he drew outside pole while Timmy Solomito picked the pole. As the race started Solomito and Rogers went side-by-side with Timmy leading the first lap before the first of several early race yellow flags waved setting up an early double file restart that actually determined the outcome of the race. As Solomito and Rogers lined-up side by side once again Tom inched ahead of Timmy as they were ready to hit the throttle off turn four with Rogers becoming the new race leader as they completed lap two with Shawn Solomito sitting third and actually testing his younger brother for second.
Numerous double file restarts dotted the first portion of the race before an extended green flag period was run. John Fortin Sr then moved to third to the outside of Shawn Solomito who spun his tires on one of those restarts. Once the race did hit its rhythm Tom Rogers Jr, wheeling the Relay Communications Chevy, was able to build a comfortable enough lead over Timmy Solomito so that he could enjoy it to the checkered flag although the challenger never gave up late in the race trying to make-up some ground on the eventual winner.
After being presented the Rapid Recovery Towing trophy in victory lane Tom Rogers looked back to the first few laps of the race, "Timmy is a good hard nosed racer but on the first lap he squeezed me pretty good and I let him know I wasn't too happy with that move" Rogers recalled. "I can't thank my owners Joe & Debbie Ambrose for all that they do, I live about an hour and a half away from the race shop and with work and all, it's tough to get out there so Joe does a lot of this on his own".
Timmy Solomito of Islip was runner-up in the James M Becht Construction Corvette while John Fortin of Holtsville was third in the SGS Stone Works Chevy trimming eight points off the point lead of Howie Brode in the process, 254 to 232. Shawn Solomito of Islip and Dan Jivanelli of Hampton Bays in Wayne Anderson's #15 completed the top five.
Jarrod Hayes of Calverton sure picked a good night to make his 2012 Late Model debut as he dominated their 50-lap feature event to pocket the win and $200 in Sunoco Race Fuel bonus money in the process bringing his winner's share to $735. Jarrod's domination of the event started in qualifying when he posted a lap of 12.388 just shy of three tenths off the track record of Ed Densieski set in 1992 at 12.19. Hayes then picked the #1 tag signifying a straight-up start for the top six in time trials which put Scott Kulesa to the outside of Hayes on the front row. When the green light came on Hayes motored out front in his East End Firewood & Mulch racer with Scott Kulesa in tow which as the race wore on was the safest place to be. Several incidents involving many of the 2012 championship contenders would unfold behind the leaders drawing a series of yellow flags prior to halfway. Once the race settled down it was Jarrod Hayes out front and at times it looked as though he was out for a Sunday drive as he drove to his 10th career victory. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma was second in the Eastport Feeds Pontiac while Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters had another solid outing in his Matlach Fabricating Dodge for third. Patrick now trails defending LM champion Mike Bologna by just 8 points, 278 to 270 going into their next race July 14th.
16-year old Jack Handley Jr. of Medford notched his second career Blunderbust win as he topped their 20-lap main event driving all the way to the victory from a 17th staring berth! Second year driver Tom Puccia Jr. showed the way for the first lap of the race before he was over taken by "Turbo" Tom Sullivan on lap 2. Sullivan set the pace until the 8th lap when Rob Bader passed him exiting turn four to the outside to take over the lead. Bader, who has had a rough run of early season racing luck, was looking to turn that around with a win but Jack Handley Jr. had other ideas. After moving to second on lap 9 Jack chased Rob until the 13th lap when he ducked under the race leader exiting turn two for the top spot. Once out front Jack Handley Jr. would drive off to the win in his Kudrick's Auto Body entry with Rob Bader of Holtsville taking home second place money in his Tropical Smoothies Chevy. Tom Sullivan of Massapequa crossed the line third in his Custom Exteriors Lincoln.
Frank Dumicich Jr. of E. Quogue went winless during the 2011 race season in the Super Pro Trucks and he wasn't going to allow that to happen again this year and indeed he didn't as he won their 20-lap main event. Keith Rotzi set the tone over the first four laps of the contest as he led the way before Frank Dumicich Jr. made an inside pass for the lead on lap 4 exiting the fourth corner. Rotzi chased Dumicich until the halfway point of the race when on a single file restart to begin the 11th lap former champion Mike Albasini zipped to the outside of Rotzi to take over second. It didn't matter to the race leader who was second as he raced off to win his 12th career SPT race in his Crossfit Of Long Island Chevy moving him into a tie for fourth in points with his dad Frank Dumicich Sr. "The King of Queen" Mike Albasini of Flushing was runner-up in his Hollis Court Collision Chevy while Lou Maestri of Deer Park placed third in his Star Car Repair Center Chevy.
Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead is on a roll in the Legend Race Car division as he won his second race in a row Saturday, his third overall in 2012. By virtue of his second heat race win Kyle started on the outside of the front row with Chris Rogers on the pole and right from the throw of the green Ellwood was again the driver to beat. Rogers, the cousin of the NASCAR Modified feature winner Tom Rogers Jr., chased Ellwood at first before former champion Kevin Nowak made his way by but he too could only watch from second as Ellwood drove off. As the race ended it was Kyle Ellwood flashing under the checker flag first in his Riverhead Building Supply machine and afterwards he noted "a guy can get used to this". Kevin Nowak of Medford would take home second place honors in his sponsor wanted entry while Ellwood's teammate Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead was third in the Buckley's Irish Pub mount.
Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead collected his second 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro win of 2012 as he topped a 50-lap event for the class. Ben Gregor moved out front early with Vollmoeller in tow and the two tested tough veterans tussled for the lead with Robin moving out front on lap 3. Once in the lead it appeared as though Vollmoeller hit the afterburners turning in his own dominating performance and before it was all said and done he lapped all but the second place truck in his Spit's Speed Shop Chevy. Greg Harris of Riverhead, Robin's son-in-law, was second in his SGS Stone Works Chevy with Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point third in his Repo Joe Used Auto Sales Chevy. Nelson just went a lap down to the race winner as the race ended.
Rapid Recovery NASCAR Modifieds:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Timmy Solomito 3. John Fortin Sr. 4. Shawn Solomito 5. Dan Jivanelli 6. Brad Van Houten 7. Howie Brode 8. Dave Sapienza 9. John Beatty Jr. 10. Ken Darch 11. Jason Agugliaro 12. Chris McGuire 13. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 14. Vinny Biondolillo 15. Al Ermmarino 16. John Fortin Jr. 17. Amber Fortin 18. Don Howe 19. Bill Park 20. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 21. Jerry Solomito Jr. 22. Rob McCormick 23. Kevin Orlando DNS- Frank Saladino, Marisa Niederauer
1. Jarrod Hayes 2. Scott Kulesa 3. Shawn Patrick 4. Mike Bologna 5. Peter Eriksen 6. Dennis Krupski 7. Ken Alfano 8. Chris LaSpisa 9. Kevin Metzger 10. Roger Oxee 11. Rob Tribuzio 12. Arne Pedersen
1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Rob Bader 3. Tom Sullivan 4. Jimmy White Jr. 5. Scott Maliszewski 6. Tom Puccia Jr. 7. Fred Nolan 8. Paul Parisi 9. Ed Mistretta 10. Tom Pickerell 11. Tim Mulqueen 12. Tommy Walkowiak 13. Justin Wahl 14. Ken Hyde Jr. 15. Bob Muller 16. Mike Accordino 17. Scott Sepe 18. Jessica Cohan 19. Bryan Quilliam 20. Ray Shannon 21. Bill Portney Sr. 22. Richie Hubbard
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Frank Dumicich Jr. 2. Mike Albasini 3. Lou Maestri 4. Chris Turbush 5. Erin Dumicich 6. Roger Turbush 7. Frank Dumicich Sr. 8. Keith Rotzi 9. Anthony Vecchio 10. Peter Rotzi 11. Rich Campo
Legend Race Cars:
1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Kevin Nowak 3. Jeffrey Goodale 4. Chris Rogers 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Chris Young 7. Brendon Bock 8. Christian Conklin 9. Kyle Soper 10. Richie Davidowitz 11. Frank Scimeca Jr. 12. Anthony Marsh 13. Jim Byrne 14. Shawn Wanat 15. Greg Harris 16. Alex Urbina 17. Silas Hiscock Sr. 18. Bill Hiscock 19. Joe Scibelli 20. Anthony Cacioppo 21. Jim Sylvester 22. Kevin Rommeney 23. Brad Van Houten 24. Artie Pedersen III 25. Jay Sendlewski 26. Tommy Walkowiak 27. Michael Rommeney
4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro (top five):
1. Robin Vollmoeller 2. Greg Harris 3. Don Nelson Jr. 4. Greg DiCanio 5. Russ Jansen
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