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Riverhead Raceway Beats The Rain, Shawn Solomito
Extends Point Lead With NASCAR Modified Victory
by Bob FInan
With rain showers dotting the east coast and several tracks calling their shows early Saturday, Riverhead Raceway promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty rolled the dice and ran their Miller Lite Night NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program and Shawn Solomito of Islip was sure glad they did as he won his second NASCAR Modified feature of the season. The win stretched Shawn's point lead to 22 over nearest rival Howie Brode with four scheduled races remaining.
Tom Rogers Jr. set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.763 and in the redraw among the top six he could only muster a 3rd place starting berth while Shawn Solomito and John Fortin Sr. drew the front row. At the throw of the green it was Solomito breaking out front with Fortin and Rogers in tow over the first four laps of the race before the first double file restart of the race came into play. After one attempt at getting the race restarted failed the second was successful with Solomito and Fortin still running one-two while Ryan Preece made his way by Rogers for third. The battle for second between Fortin and Preece got intense which was just fine with leader Solomito as the race hit an extended green flag run.
Preece looked high and low to try and find a way by Fortin and with a textbook short track maneuver entering turn three Preece snuck under Fortin on lap 10 to take over second and set sail for the race leader Solomito who had built up a comfortable lead during the fight for second. Preece was able to pull to within a car length or two of Shawn as the race moved into its second half. Fortin now found himself fighting with Ted Christopher for third in what would turn out to be another heated battle that saw Christopher eventually taking the position. With Solomito leading, his two rivals in the championship chase were having rough nights. Howie Brode had to fight his way back towards the front after an early race tangle with Timmy Solomito which forced both to the pits. Tom Rogers Jr., third in points coming to the race, had his overflow bottle come loose after early race contact from behind and he lost several laps in the pits making repairs after being black flagged.
As the checkers waved Shawn Solomito survived a close call of his own early in the race and posted the win in his Acme Sanitary Service Chevy. After receiving the Miller Lite trophy he looked back, "on that early restart John went early and I'm glad the officials caught that." As for his lead in the championship standings and his strategy over the final four races Shawn then looked forward, "right now we're going to just try and finish in the top five and see how it goes the rest of the way".
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. was runner-up in the Elite Towing Chevy while Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct was third in the Eastport Feeds entry with Timmy Solomito of Islip and Howie Brode of East Islip completing the top five, salvaging their night in the process.
The only casualty of the incoming weather would be the Late Models who were moved to the last feature of the night and after just three laps into their race rain started to fall during a yellow flag period halting the event with Kevin Metzger leading the way. Track officials will announce Monday the plan for the completion of the race.
One week ago Cory Midgett wasn't sure if he wanted to race his Charger car after his brother Brian Midgett Jr. was injured in a serious head -on collision in their hometown of East Hampton the Sunday before. Well, he did race last Saturday for his recovering brother and this week Brian watched from the wheelchair he's forced to use while his legs heal. Cory, in just his 10th career start in the class, went out and led all 20-laps to score an emotional family win. Brian Doyle and Midgett made up the front row for the start of the race with Midgett grabbing the early race advantage. Doyle would soon find himself in a wild battle for second with the likes of Derek Stachecki, Ray Minieri and CJ Lehmann among others and that battle got too close on lap 4 as a multi-car tangle involving all but Lehmann would ensue causing a yellow flag. On the restart Cory Midgett picked-up right where he left off leading the race with John Baker making his way to second and championship contender Eric Zeh moving to third. Over the remainder of the race Cory Midgett was a driver on a mission as he wanted to give his brother the best possible medicine in the world, a victory, which he did leading the rest of the way in his R. Bono Plumbing & Heating machine until the checkered flag waved. Victory lane was indeed an emotional one as Brian Midgett Jr. clutched the Miller Lite trophy his brother Cory had just earned. John Baker of Brookhaven was runner-up in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy while Eric Zeh of Selden was third in the ILS Landscaping Chevy. Both Baker and Zeh earlier in the year had won their first career races.
The mid-season portion of the 2012 Super Pro Truck season hadn't been too kind to the "King of Queens" Mike Albasini of Flushing, but Mike changed all that Saturday with a win in their 20-lap main event. In just his sixth start newcomer Rich Campo broke out front from his pole starting position to take the early race lead with Mike Albasini and Frank Dumicich Sr. in pursuit. Albasini and Dumicich, both former champions in the class, got to racing for second allowing Campo to pull away slightly. Dumicich got by Albasini on lap 4 but six laps later Albasini got back by on lap 10 as they now closed in on leader Campo. Just six laps shy of scoring his first career win, Rich Campo, with both Albasini and Dumicich breathing down his neck, would spin from the lead in the first corner drawing a late race yellow. On the ensuing single file restart Mike Albasini would remain out front while father and son, Frank Dumicich Sr, and Jr. fought for second with the latter taking the position on lap 17. Once to second Dumicich Jr. quickly reeled in leader Mike Albasini but nobody was going to get by the driver of the Gardner Specialty Auto Chevy as he raced to his 8th career SPT triumph. Frank Dumicich Jr. of E. Quogue was runner-up in the Crossfit of Long Island Chevy, with father Frank third in his Arenz Heating and Air Conditioning Ford.
2010 Legend Race Car champion Kevin Nowak of Medford topped their 20-lap feature event using his vast experience to take the lead from Jeffrey Goodale on a lap 6 double file restart. At the drop of the green Jeffrey Goodale who started on the pole by virtue of winning the first heat took the early race lead over teammate Brad Van Houten who had won the second heat. Van Houten was quickly overtaken by Kevin Nowak on lap 3 as Nowak quickly made his way from a 5th place starting position. Once to second Nowak's pursuit of leader Goodale was aided by a lap 6 yellow flag setting-up a double file restart that found Nowak out running Goodale to take the race lead on lap 7. Goodale soon found himself in a fight for second with Brendon Bock as the two teenage drivers fought it out for seven laps before Bock took the spot on lap 15, which allowed the leader Nowak to build what would be an insurmountable lead. At the finish it was Kevin Nowak in his Tropical Smoothies Cafe Sedan scoring his first win of 2012 with Brendon Bock of Franklin Square settling for runner-up money. Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead was third in his Riverhead Building Supply machine.
The 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby was run in a light rain shower with Andrew Fowler of Wantagh topping the 17-car field in his Timmy's Towing entry. Fowler and first time competitor Michael Suk of Patchogue were locking horns for the win when one of the disabled cars eliminated earlier caught fire and the red flag was displayed. After the fire was put out Suk's car would not re-fire and Fowler, the Demolition Derby point leader took home the win and Miller Lite trophy. Suk was voted Judge's Choice, while Matt Mulqueen of Levittown won the Fan's Choice money.
1. Shawn Solomito 2. Ryan Preece 3. Ted Christopher 4. Timmy Solomito 5. Howie Brode 6. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 7. John Fortin Jr. 8. Ken Darch 9. John Fortin 10. Marisa Niederauer 11. Chris McGuire 12. Frank Saladino 13. Dave Sapienza 14. Vinny Biondolillo 15. Tom Rogers Jr. 16. Jason Agugliaro 17. Amber Fortin 18. Kevin Orlando
1. Cory Midgett 2. John Baker 3. Eric Zeh 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Daryn Miller 6. Jeremy McDermott 7. Jack Handley Jr. 8. Dennis Cunningham 9. Tom Sullivan 10. Chris Turbush 11. Ray Minieri 12. Derek Stachecki 13. Brian Doyle 14. Jayson White
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Mike Albasini 2. Frank Dumicich Jr. 3. Frank Dumicich Sr. 4. Keith Rotzi 5. Roger Turbush 6. Anthony Vecchio 7. Peter Rotzi 8. Lou Maestri 9. Kevin Scharfenberg 10. Chris Turbush 11. Brian McElearney 12. Rich Campo 13. Erin Dumicich
Legend Race Cars:
1. Kevin Nowak 2. Brendon Bock 3. Jeffery Goodale 4. Kyle Ellwood 5. Kyle Soper 6. Brad Van Houten 7. 8. Richie Davidowitz 9. Chris Rogers 10. Greg Harris 11. Michael Rommeney 12. Eric Hershey 13. Artie Pedersen III 14. Silas Hiscock Sr. 15. Frank Scimeca Jr. 16. Joe Scibelli 17. Dylan Slepian 18. Anthony Marsh 19. Jim Sylvester 20. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 21. Bryan Kelly 22. Christian Conklin 23. Jay Sendlewski 24. George Tomko Jr. 25. Shawn Wanat 26. Bill Hiscock 27. Vinny Delaney
4-Cylinder Demolition Derby:
Winner- Andrew Fowler
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