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Ted Christopher Finally Breaks Into Riverhead Raceway's
Victory Lane With 35-Lap Triumph Saturday
by Bob FInan
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT after posting no less than six runner-up finishes in Wayne Anderson's NASCAR Modified finally shed himself of the bridesmaid role when he won the Convoy Heavy Duty Truck Parts 35 Saturday night with the victory worth $1,820. The win was Teddy's first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victory at the competitive quarter mile oval and 4th overall in his career as he had won 3 NASCAR WMT events prior to Saturday's victory.
Points leader Shawn Solomito of Islip once again set fast time in qualifying and when it came time for the redraw he would pick the 3rd starting position while John Beatty Jr. and Ted Christopher drew the front row. At the drop of the green a great side-by-side battle between Beatty and Christopher ensued with Ted leading the first two laps by a slim margin on the outside before an early yellow flag waved for Brad Van Houten who slowed on the track with a broken left front suspension. On the double file restart Shawn Solomito was able to duck under Beatty for second and he chase Christopher for five laps before Tom Rogers Jr. worked his way by on the 9th lap with that pass also coming on a double file restart. The caution period that set-up the Rogers pass was thrown for a grinding back stretch crash that involved Ryan Preece, Danny Watts, Marisa Niederauer and Glenn Logan. Preece and Niederauer's cars were heavily damaged.
When green flag racing did resume Rogers draped himself all over Christopher's rear spoiler and the fight for the lead was intensifying lap after lap with Tommy trying a crossover move off the second and fourth turns but Teddy was able to thwart the effort every lap as the fans looked on intently. Suddenly the call came over the NASCAR Officials frequency to black flag Tom Rogers for a water leak on the Relay Communications Chevy and after trying to ignore the flag for a few laps a frustrated Rogers veered into the infield on lap 29. That turn of events moved Howie Brode, who is chasing Shawn Solomito for the title into second behind Ted Christopher for the final five laps. With Solomito running in the second half of the top ten Brode indeed would be content to follow Christopher over the final five circuits.
As the checkers waved it was the Eastport Feeds Chevy of Ted Christopher finally breaking into the winner's circle. "I can't thank Wayne & Joette enough for the chance to drive this car, I really love racing here at Riverhead, it's a fun place" Christopher said after being greeted by Barbara & Jim Cromarty. "Kenny Lechner & Mike Lamura give me a great car weekly" Teddy added, "I'll say this racing with Tommy was fun until he was black flagged, in my eyes he's the best here".
Howie Brode of East Islip trimmed 12-points off Shawn Solomito's point lead with his runner-up finish in the Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy and going into the 'Lil Jason Trinca Memorial 50 next week the final race of the year, Howie is just 12-points back of Shawn, 474 to 462. Last week's winner Justin Bonsignore of West Islip was third in the M3 Technologies Chevy while Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown and John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville completed the top five. Shawn Solomito of Islip was 8th.
Mike Bologna the defending Late Model champion took no prisoners in the Repo Joe 25 as he scored his 9th career win and in the process virtually clinched the 2012 championship. Veteran Kevin Metzger jumped from the outside pole to the early race lead with Scott Kulesa giving chase over the first five laps before a yellow flag waved for a third turn spin. On the double file restart Mike Bologna slid under Kulesa for second with an inside pass and then set his sights on leader Metzger. As soon as Mike reached Kevin he went to work on trying to take over the lead, looking to the inside and outside but Metzger was able to keep Bologna at bay. As the duo exited the second turn on lap 13 contact was made sending race leader Metzger nearly into a full spin but the veteran was able to save his car but not before he lost four positions and the race lead to Bologna. Once he had the PCHS Race Engines machine out front there was no stopping Mike Bologna, who started the race 7th from taking home the win. Going into the final points race next week Bologna has a lofty 30-point lead over Shawn Patrick, 420 to 390 and unless a full field enters next week Mike has won his second straight LM title. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma was runner-up in his Eastport Feeds Pontiac while Chris LaSpisa of Shirley was third in his McBetts Racing Engines Chevy.
Erin Dumicich of East Quogue rebounded from some recent motor issues to score her second Super Pro Truck win of 2012 in the Convoy Heavy Duty Truck Parts 20. Taking full advantage of her pole starting position Erin bolted quickly into the lead with rookie driver Rich Campo in tow. Campo had another good early race showing as he went toe-to-toe with Mike Albasini for second over the first five laps and that battle allowed Erin to build a handsome lead. Albasini did work his way under Campo for second on lap 6 in the fourth turn and then started the task of trying to reel in race leader Dumicich. The caution that Erin Dumicich never wanted to see did indeed wave on lap 10, ironically enough for brother Frank who got into the turn two wall. The yellow flag put not only Mike Albasini right on Erin's rear bumper but also the likes of Chris Turbush, Lou Maestri and Roger Turbush within striking distance. When the green light came back on Erin Dumicich went right back to work as the race leader while Albasini and Chris Turbush raced hard for second, which is exactly what Erin wanted to see and she again was able to get away from the pack over the second half of the race. As the race concluded it was Erin Dumicich in her Sea Level Construction Dodge notching her 3rd career win while Chris Turbush of Riverhead would come to second where he'd finish in his US Merchants Chevy, while brother Roger Turbush of Riverhead was third in the Allied Air Conditioning Chevy. Chris leads Roger by 2 points going into the points finale this week, 446 to 444, with Lou Maestri third with 436.
For the second week in a row Chris Young of Calverton left his dorm room at Purdue University in Indiana to catch a flight in Indianapolis to fly home for the Repo Joe 20 Legend Race Car feature and once again he prevailed scoring his 5th win of 2012. Newcomer Anthony Marsh and veteran Paul Dodorico made up the front row of the 27-car field and it was Dodorico raking the early advantage over Marsh for the first lap, with Chris Young making his way by Marsh for second on lap 2. Dodorico and Young would test each other over the next eight laps and like he did the week prior to take the lead Chris would drive to the outside of the race leader going into the third turn to take over the lead. Once Chris Young had the Ray The Plumber entry out front there was no looking back as he drove to his 10th win in the past two seasons making that long commute from Indiana well worth it once again! Paul Dodorico of Miller Place was runner-up in the Dr Martha Baker, DDS racer while Kevin Nowak of Medford placed third in the Tropical Smoothies Cafe mount. With one points race to go next week, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead with his 4th place finish clinched the 2012 Legend Race Car championship in his Riverhead Building Supply Sedan, it's the 17-year old driver's first career championship, one he can take to the start of his senior year at Riverhead High School that starts this Wednesday.
The Repo Joe 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby boiled down to a duel between father & son with youth winning out as Andrew Fowler of Wantagh outlasted his father Rich to score the victory and in the process clinched the 2012 Demolition Derby championship. The Fowler's in their Timmy's Towing machines first went to work eliminating the likes of George Astacio and Ed Primavera before they were left as the only two standing with Andrew taking home the win and title. With 410 points going into the $1,500 to win Miler Lite National Demolition Derby Championship September 22nd Andrew's nearest rival is his father Rich who has 240 points.
1. Ted Christopher 2. Howie Brode 3. Justin Bonsignore 4. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 5. John Fortin Sr. 6. John Beatty Jr. 7. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 8. Shawn Solomito 9. John Fortin Jr. 10. Dave Sapienza 11. Jason Agugliaro 12. Kyle Ellwood 13. Timmy Solomito 14. Vinny Biondolillo 15. Chris McGuire 16. Ken Darch 17. Brad Van Houten 18. Tom Rogers Jr. 19. Ryan Preece 20. Marisa Niederauer 21. Danny Watts 22. Glenn Logan DNS-Frank Dumicich Jr., Tony Anello, Amber Fortin, Frank Saladino & Kevin Orlando
1. Mike Bologna 2. Scott Kulesa 3. Chris LaSpisa 4. Jeremy McDermott 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Shawn Patrick 7. Arne Pedersen 8. Greg Kleila 9. Dennis Krupski 10. Frank Dumicich Jr. 11. Artie Pedersen III 12. Peter Eriksen 13. Kevin Orlando
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Erin Dumicich 2. Chris Turbush 3. Roger Turbush 4. Lou Maestri 5. Mike Albasini 6. Brian McElearney 7. Frank Dumicich Sr. 8. Keith Rotzi 9. Anthony Vecchio 10. Rich Campo 11. Peter Rotzi 12. Frank Dumicich Jr.
Legend Race Cars:
1. Chris Young 2. Paul Dodorico 3. Kevin Nowak 4. Kyle Ellwood 5. Jeffery Goodale 6. Dylan Slepian 7. Anthony Marsh 8. Bryan Kelly 9. Silas Hiscock Sr. 10. Chris Rogers 11. Kyle Soper 12. Greg Harris 13. Richie Davidowitz 14. Jim Sylvester 15. Jay Sendlewski 16. Eric Hershey 17. Michael Rommeney 18. Alex Urbina 19. Bill Hiscock 20. Brad Van Houten 21. Kevin Rommeney 22. Bobby Jones 23. Christian Conklin 24. Steve Hershey 25. Brendon Bock 26. Vinny Delaney 27. Artie Pedersen III
4-Cylinder Demolition Derby:
Winner - Andrew Fowler
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