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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Mother Nature has sure messed things up so far in 2013 at Riverhead Raceway as of the four scheduled weeks of racing, three have been effected by wet weather. This past Saturday night's show was washed out with Barbara & Jim Cromarty making the call very early in the day as it was evident there was no chance of racing, so we will try again this Saturday June 1st with our Twin 30's for the NASCAR Modifieds and a 30-lap Super Pro Truck feature event on tap.
The 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby set for this past Saturday will be the only event carrying over to this week's June 1st card. The 8-Cylinder Enduro that was set to race before the rains came will be made-up on a date that we will announce during the week after the Eye has be written.
Co-Chief Stewards Mike Cappiello and Steve Tooker along with our Tech guru Walter Bonzcyk did announce Sunday that for the Twin 30's this week and the June 8th Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 that a "soft" impound will be in place after qualifying. The trio want to make it easier for all race teams for these two races and will do away with the NASCAR WMT type "hard" impound.
There was some breaking news this past week despite the rain out as it has been disclosed that Chris McGuire and Ken Massa have parted ways. In fact Massa who also owns the M3 Technologies #51 WMT team of title contender Justin Bonsignore has sold the #89x minus motor to the famed Zacharias family in upstate New York. McGuire told me in a FB message Monday morning there are no hard feelings and that he's hopeful of landing a Late Model or Charger ride before the year is out.
With the rainout Saturday several teams were on hand Sunday prior to the Enduro program to practice and among them were the NASCAR Modified teams of Tom Rogers Jr. #0, Dave Brigati #98x and Kevin Orlando #00. Also on hand was two-time defending Late Model champion Mike Bologna #00 in the Schlaugies Fuel Oil machine which was pretty banged-up in the May 18th event. Derek Stachecki made his first laps in his DS Wood Works Late Model as well.
Others on hand included Chris Turbush, Roger Turbush, Chad Churilla, Cory Midgett and almost a dozen Legend Race Cars including defending champion Kyle Ellwood, Dylan Slepian, Kyle Soper, Steve Smith, Shawn Wanat, Vinnie Colletti, Mike Van Houten, Kevin Nowak and several others.
Sunday action found Bob Engelfried #63 notching his second career Grand Enduro victory in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy. Brother-In Law and frequent visitor to the winners circle James Charrier reeled Bob in but on lap 44 exiting the fourth corner the JC Performance #36 looped and Engelfried drove off to victory.
Greg Harris is now a perfect two for two in 4/6-Cylinder Truck action as he took the lead going into the final turn from his Father-In Law Robin Vollmoeller ##2 when he made the wrong lane choice in lapped traffic . Harris noted after exiting his SGS Stone Works Chevy, "I'm the guy that usually picks the wrong groove in traffic", well not Sunday Greg.
Jess Martines, an 18-year veteran of the 8-Cylinder Enduro wars scored the 1st 8-Cylinder victory in his JC Performance Chevy, he too used lapped cars to his advantage in passing Dominic Ranieri for the race lead and eventual win on lap 14. Martines would back his win up with a runner-up finish in the second race for the 8-Cylinders.
The nightcap fell to Anthony Pizzo # 4 who dominated that 50-lap tilt in his United Exhaust Shops Caprice, Pizzo was 4th in the first race after early race contact seemed to mess up his race set-up.
Joe Warren Jr. #9 is another Enduro driver batting 1,000% in 2013 as he won the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro, once again dedicating his win to 'Lil Jay Trinca. No rest for Warren and his young team as they were leaving the track to go work on the car for this Saturday evening's 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro under the lights!
"Kid Cool" Dale Owen drove his father's #29 Penn Toyota machine in the Truck race in what was truly an emotional race for the 18-year old driver. Dale's dad is the popular "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen who suffered a serious medical episode two weeks back and is fighting an up hill battle for his life. Dale actually led the first two laps of the race and as the event moved on settled into 5th place where it appeared as though he'd finish. Unfortunately it was the lapped truck of Dale Owen that Robin Vollmoeller got caught up with on the final lap, no fault of either driver but it did end a solid day for "Kid Cool" All of us at Riverhead Raceway continue to pray and root for Andy Owen.
Another heartbreaking finish came for Grand Enduro talent Chris Lescenski #46 who broke out to the early race lead in their 50-lapper. Lescenski in the Long Island Poultry Farms Chevy was enjoying a comfortable lead when he got collected by a lapped car which sent his car into the wall off turn two. The car rode the wall all the way down to the turn three exit gate and "Short Round" was done for the race.
Great day for newcomers in both the 2nd 8-Cylinder Enduro as well the 4/6-Car Enduro as Gene Jenks #20 was 5th in his Crown Victoria in the 8-Cylinder race, while Brandon Esposito #11 was 5th as well in the 4/6-Cylinder Car race!
Great to see the Mountaineer Madman" Jeff Dotzel #7 score runner-up honors in his Orient Service Center racer in the 4/6-Cylinder Car contest.
Opening Day Grand winner Greg Zaleski #18 salvaged his day after heavy early race contact with a runner-up finish in the Gallo's Used Auto Parts Chevy. The right side of Greg's car looked like somebody took a can opener to it but Greg pressed on for the good finish.
Robin Vollmoeller #2 was able to reel in his Spit's Speed Shop truck to finish second in that race after the last lap contact. Robin, the first class guy he is went right over to Dale Owen to check on him after their mishap.
Dominic Ranieri #4 was reeling Jess Martines in for a spell in the first 8-Cylinder race before he had issues with lapped cars, he was runner-up in the Westhampton Auto Salvage Chevy in that race and a DNF in race #2.
Super run for Mariah Lawrence in the Wild Rose Ranch #01 4/6-Cylinder Truck as she was 5th at the finish, she too was quick to check on Dale Owen after the race in turn three.
Speaking of the Trucks many were among the missing as just a dozen showed-up Sunday. Among those missing have been the Gregor family who usually bring 4-5, Jim Wichert, Greg DeCanio, David Walters and Doug Dickson to name just a few. Hopefully this trend will correct itself quickly!!!!
Ed Brown Jr., opening day winner in the 8-Cylinder ranks has added Adessa Auto of Long Island as a sponsor, he was 3rd in the first race Sunday.
George Davis #8 racing in memory of Bud Harvey Sunday grabbed a 3rd place finish in his Sign Design 4/6-Cylinder Car.
Veteran Phil LaManna #47 took home 3rd place money in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy in the Grand race.
The Grand Enduro troops will run with the Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 on Saturday night June 8th, 20 were on hand for Sunday hopefully a few more will come out and play that night!
Until then - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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