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Tom Rogers Jr. Keeps On Rolling At Riverhead Raceway
Sweeping Twin 30's Saturday
by Bob FInan
Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue keeps on rolling along at the Riverhead Raceway as this past Saturday night he swept both ends of Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events for the Whelen All-American Series. With the wins Rogers inched closer to Shawn Solomito and Howie Brode in the season long track championship while taking sole possession of the Whelen All-American Series New York State points lead.
Howie Brode set fast time in qualifying with a solid lap of 12.700 and then picked the #1 pill signifying a straight-up start for the feature events. Brode would break to the early lead at the outset with Tom Rogers Jr., Shawn Solomito and Ted Christopher in tow. A caution flag waved on lap 2 for Marisa Niederauer, Rowan Pennink and Vincent Biondolillo who all came together in turn two. On the ensuing double file restart it would be Tom Rogers Jr. riding the outside lane to the race lead with Howie Brode tucking into second, Ted Christopher third with Timmy Solomito coming to third for a spell, Timmy would later be re-passed by brother Shawn during an extended green flag run which lasted until the checkers waved to end the first segment.
Lined-up double file to start the second portion of the Twin 30's Rogers quickly moved out front again while Ted Christopher was able to slip under Howie Brode to take over second with Shawn Solomito and John Fortin all in the mix. Like the first 30 lapper the nightcap featured an extended green flag run and that allowed Tom Rogers Jr. to check out on the field in his Relay Communication Chevy, with Ted Christopher all alone in second. The only battle for position would come when John Fortin was able to move by points leader Shawn Solomito midway through the second segment.
At the checkers it was Tom Rogers Jr. earning his 5th Riverhead Raceway points paying win of 2012, the 18th of his career. "I have to thank Joe Ambrose and Helmut from my team, we ripped the rear out of this car and got airborne in the 77 two weeks ago' Tom recalled. "There was a lot of damage, more than we even thought" When asked if the win was as easy as it looked Tom quickly replied, "there are no easy wins at Riverhead, this the most talented NASCAR Modified field in the country and you better bring your A game".
Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct was runner-up yet gain in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while John Fortin of Holtsville in his first start since June drove his SGS Stone Works Chevy to a solid third place finish. Shawn Solomito of Islip and Howie Brode of East Islip completed the top five which gives Solomito a 14-point lead over Brode, 374 to 360 in the championship race with Rogers third with 350 with five races to go in 2012.
Another driver continuing his recent winning ways would be Chris Turbush of Riverhead who won his second straight Charger feature event and third overall this season in a 30-lap affair. Eric Zeh set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.257 and in a redraw picked the pole with newcomer Kevin Nowak drawing the outside pole. At the throw of the green Zeh bolted to the race lead while veteran Brian Doyle moved from third to second and he'd chase Eric over the first six laps. A double file restart on lap 6 found Chris Turbush working his way by Doyle for second and two laps later he'd pass Zeh for the race lead. Normally that would send Chris Turbush off to another win with little resistance however that would not be the case in this race. After passing Eric Zeh for second on the 15th lap Jeremy McDermott went right to work on Turbush for the lead, with Zeh staying right in the mix as well. As the trio raced off turn four to take the white flag McDermott made contact with Turbush with both cars getting out of shape. Turbush got his car gathered up quickly while McDermott had a tougher time collecting his which allowed Zeh to pass Jeremy for second and make a last ditch run at Turbush for the race win. When the dust settled it would indeed by Chris Turbush scoring his 32nd career win in the Meadowbrook Sweeping Pontiac in a nail biter over Eric Zeh of Selden in the ILS Landscaping Chevy. Point leader Jeremy McDermott of E. Stroudsburg, Pa crossed the line third in his JDP Mechanical Pontiac.
A nearly two year winless drought and a recent run of bad luck had left Rob Bader of Holtsville scratching his head but all that changed Saturday as he won the 20-lap Blunderbust feature for his first win since September 11th, 2010. Richie Hubbard set the pace of the race over the first four laps of the tilt before Rob Bader took the lead on lap 5. A yellow flag waved on lap 7 setting-up a double file restart that found Hubbard reclaiming the lead for a lap on the outside but on the following lap Bader made an inside pass of Hubbard to move back out front. Point leader Tom Pickerell moved by Hubbard on lap 14 for second and once he got there Tom would have to go to work trying to track down race leader Bader. Late in the race lapped traffic got heavier as Bader and Pickerell picked their way through with Tom closing the gap on Bader lap after lap. However there was no stopping Rob Bader and his Total dental Care Chevy from taking home his 7th career Blunderbust win which he did when the checkers waved. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was runner-up in the Premier Utility Service Chevy, while Richie Hubbard of Mastic had a solid run for third in the Royalty Tattoo Buick.
Roger Turbush of Riverhead notched his third straight Super Pro Truck win when he topped their 20-lap feature event after surviving a long side by side battle with Mike Albasini and a late race challenge from his brother Chris. Rich Campo and Peter Rotzi started on the front row but before a lap was completed the duo got together off turn four with Campo riding over Rotzi's hood. After the clean-up the a second attempt to start the race was successful with Mike Albasini and Roger Turbush who were in the third row for the start of the race now on the front row with Albasini e\inching out front of Turbush. Over the first half of the race and them some the two past champions went side by side in a see-saw fight for the lead that eventually saw Roger take over the lead. Lap 12 found Chris Turbush working his way by Albasini for second and once again it would be the two brothers to decide the outcome. Chris made a big run at Roger for the lead with two laps to go as they actually made slight contact but Roger in his Rheem Air Conditioning Chevy would drive off to his 13th career win. Point leader Chris Turbush was runner-up in his Interboro Sprinklers Chevy, while Lou Maestri was third in the Beach Hut of Long Island entry.
Once again the Legend Race Cars would provide a wild last lap, multi-car race for the win with first year driver Christian Conklin of Flanders surviving all the madness to score his first career win in just his 10th start. Brad Van Houten set the pace over the first five laps of the 20-lap feature with both Shawn Wanat and Christian Conklin sniffing around for the top spot. Wanat would take the lead on lap six and bring Conklin to second while the likes of Kevin Nowak, Chris Young, Kyle Ellwood, Jeffery Goodale and Brendon Bock were all in the mix as well. After Nowak and Young got together on lap 13 the final seven laps of the race once it resumed were classic. Conklin now had Goodale and Bock all over his rear bumper with Ellwood lurking in fourth and the quartet would race hard and clean for the trip to victory lane. The race came down to a three wide dash off turn four on the final lap of the race and when all was said and done Christian Conklin by a mere 0.011 margin would collect the victory in his East End Limousine racer, with Brendon Bock of Franklin Square coming just that close to his third win of the season. Point leader Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was third in the Riverhead Building Supply machine.
James Charrier of Shirley took home top honors in the 50-lap Grand Enduro for his third win of 2012. Charrier broke out front just before the halfway mark of the contest which saw a red flag for a hard three car crash on lap 24. Involved was Ray Fitzgerald who hit the wall off turn two and was collected by both Thomas Berg and Don Carasiti, all three cars were heavily damaged but all three drivers were okay! When the race resumed it was James Charrier in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy leading the rest of the way for the win while Greg Zaleski of Jamesport was second in the Gallo's Used Auto Parts Chevy. Bob Engelfried of Stony Brook was third in the St James Lumber racer.
Former Car Rollover champion Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka scored the win over Thaddeus Lattanzio by one point 13 to 12 for the win in his Monster's Recycling Saturn.
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ted Christopher 3. John Fortin 4. Shawn Solomito 5. Howie Brode 6. Timmy Solomito 7. Jason Agugliaro 8. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 9. Chris McGuire 10. John Beatty 11. Frank Saladino 12. Dave Sapienza 13. Ken Darch 14. Marisa Niederauer 15. Vinny Biondolillo 16. Rowan Pennink 17. Kyle Ellwood
1. Chris Turbush 2. Eric Zeh 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. CJ Lehmann 5. John Baker 6. Ray Minieri 7. Cory Midgett 8. Kevin Nowak 9. Daryn Miller 10. Jayson White 11. Brian Doyle 12. Jack Handley Jr. 13. Dennis Cunningham 14. Derek Stachecki
1. Rob Bader 2. Tom Pickerell 3. Richie Hubbard 4. Jimmy White Jr. 5. Tim Mulqueen 6. Thomas Puccia 7. Ed Mistretta 8. Tommy Walkowiak 9. Bill Wegmann Sr. 10. Gary Caldwell 11. Bill Wegmann Jr. 12. Scott Maliszewski 13. Tom Sullivan 14. Fred Nolan 15. Paul Parisi 16. Bob Muller 17. CJ Zurkowski 18. Jessica Cohan 19. Frankie LaPocca Jr. 20. Scott Sepe 21. Jack Handley Jr. 22. Justin Wahl 23. Bryan Quilliam
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Roger Turbush 2. Chris Turbush 3. Lou Maestri 4. Brian McElearney 5. Frank Dumicich Sr. 6. Keith Rotzi 7. Peter Rotzi 8. Mike Albasini 9. Frank Dumicich Jr. 10. Rich Campo 11. Erin Dumicich
Legend Race Cars:
1. Christian Conklin 2. Brendon Bock 3. Kyle Ellwood 4. Jeffrey Goodale 5. Chris Rogers 6. Paul Dodorico 7. Vinny Delaney 8. Kyle Soper 9. Artie Pedersen III 10. Alex Urbina 11. Bill Hiscock 12. Jim Byrne 13. Shawn Wanat 14. Anthony Marsh 15. Richie Davidowitz 16. Silas Hiscock Sr. 17. Greg Harris 18. Bryan Kelly 19. Brad Van Houten 20. Eric Hershey 21. Ted Christopher 22. Kevin Nowak 23. Chris Young 24. Frank Scimeca Jr. 25. Michael Rommeney 26. Tommy Walkowiak 27. Dylan Slepian
Grand Enduro (top five):
1. James Charrier 2. Greg Zaleski 3. Bob Engelfried 4. Brian McCormack 5. Walter Stroud Jr.
Car Rollover Contest:
Winner - Jason Savoy
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