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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Summer felt as though it finally arrived on Long Island Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway and to go along with it was some pretty good and at times intense racing which we will recap for you in a bit. First however we have a few "programming" motes for everyone.
Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced Monday morning that starting with this Saturday evening June 8th feature event racing will start at 6:00 pm, of course this week the card is highlighted by the annual Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 which should be a barn-burner.
The Legend Race Cars who will qualify via time trials this Saturday will find an extra 10-laps in their feature this week as they will now go 30 circuits. Plenty of lap money is on the line and again we thank Sara Sylvester and her team for putting that all together for the Legend teams.
Thirdly the rained-out May 25th 8-Cylinder Enduro will be run as the 2nd 8-Cylinder Enduro on Father's Day with those who pre-entered making up that field, of course drivers can still sign-up to race in the regularly scheduled Father's Day 8-Cylinder race by downloading an entry blank at www.riverheadraceway.com.
Timmy Solomito came into the 2013 NASCAR Modified campaign with some mighty big shoes to fill, actually three pairs of shoes when he signed on to be the driver of Wayne & Joette Anderson's Eastport Feeds #15. Aside from Wayne's 30 plus wins in the car both Donny Lia and Ted Christopher, two past WMT champions had also won in the car at Riverhead Raceway. Well fill those shoes and then some is what "The Natural" did Saturday night when he swept both ends of the Twin 30's for his third career win outside of his family owned NASCAR Modified. As usual Timmy was as smooth in his post race interview as he was behind the wheel, heck he even survived the big bear hug Wayne Anderson gave him!
Current Modified points: 1. Shawn Solomito, 110 2. Howie Brode, 108 3. Ryan Preece, 100 4. Eric Goodale, 90 5. Tom Rogers Jr., 80
Shawn Patrick #88 made sure nobody was going to get close to him in the 25-lap Late Model feature Saturday night as he ran away and hid from any potential mishaps and drove to his 6th career victory. Shawn remains without a sponsor on his Steve Mehner Race Engines Dodge and could also use some pit crew help, he lives in Brightwaters just off Sunrise Highway if you are interested.
Current LM points: 1. Roger Oxee & Jeremy McDermott, tie, 136 3. Scott Kulesa, 132 4. Mike Bologna, 128 5. Shawn Patrick, 126
Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. continued his winning ways from 2012 in Blunderbust action as he won the 20-lap main event in his Busy Bee Pest Control entry. Jimmy enjoyed a career year last season in the class and will be a serious contender this year for the track championship. White was very busy as he also ran the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro and then towed to Mountain Speedway to race in two Enduro races Sunday.
Current BB points: 1. Scott Maliszewski, 134 2. Tom Pickerell, 120 3. Tommy Walkowiak, 118 4. Bill Wegmann & Jimmy White, tie, 114
Lou Maestri #1 made it two in a row in Super Pro Truck competition as he drove the IGA of Fort Salonga Chevy to victory. Lou and John Denniston #2x made slight contact while racing early on for the lead and luckily both drivers used their collective heads and rolled out of the gas. That did allow Frank Dumicich Jr. to take the lead for a spell but Maestri was able to reclaim the top spot and the win.
Current SPT points: 1. Frank Dumicich Sr., 132 2. Frank Dumicich Jr., 130 3. Lou Maestri & Brian McElearney, tie, 126 5. Mike Albasini & Erin Dumicich-Solomito, tie, 124.
Another driver posting his second consecutive win would be Legend Race Car winner Kyle Ellwood #71x who topped the field once again in a 20-lap tilt in his Speedworld FX entry and with the triumph already boasts a 28-point lead just three races into the season. If anyone has anything for the defending champion they better start showing it beginning with this week's 30-lapper!!!!
Current Legends points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 146 2. Brendon Bock, 118 3. Brad Van Houten, 116 4. Johnnie Gloor & Jeffrey Goodale, tie, 114.
After starting scratch on the grid Christian Conklin returning to his racing roots went out and won the 60-lap 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro in the Gene's 112 Service Center racer. That's right, the same car that Burbol won so many races with he loaned to Conklin and the young driver who now races weekly in out Legend Race Car class did not disappoint!
Great to see "Maniac" Matt Mulqueen #81 pull down a hard fought win in the 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby in his Timmy's Towing mount. All Matt had to do was ward off the father & son tandem of Richard & Andrew Fowler for the win. Andrew of course was the 2012 Demo champion at the track!
Current Demo points: 1. Matt Mulqueen, 100 2. Richard Fowler, 80 3. Jason Savoy, 60 4. Four way tie among four drivers with 30 each.
With just over a lap remaining in the 30-lap Super Pro Truck feature Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 veered off the track on the backstretch not only giving-up third place in his Arenz Heating & Ac Chevy but the point lead as well. Softening the blow was the fact his father Frank Sr. in the Whitney's Deli #5 Ford took the championship lead. By the way gotta love the rivalry among siblings as for the second race in a row Frank and his sister Erin Dumicich -Solomito went toe-to-toe, Erin was runner-up to Maestri in her Sea-Level Construction Dodge.
Also taking a hit in the points was the "Racing Grandfather" Bill Wegmann #79 who ran into some issues of his own in the 20-lap Blunderbust main event. Bill in the Crackerjack Auto Stores Olds dropped from the point lead into a tie for fourth with race winner Jimmy White Jr.
Nice to have Jimmy Zacharias III make his first start ever at Riverhead Raceway in his JDL Environmental Chevy. After getting used to the demanding quarter mile oval Jimmy pulled a 10th place finish out of the race. In speaking to his family we learned the car they bought from Ken Massa, the former Chris McGuire #89x, will be housed and maintained at Dave Brigati's Outlaw Racing shop in Calverton and they will race it as often at RR as they can for the valuable New York State Whelen All-American Series points. When I spoke to Brigati during the afternoon he told me in return he might run some Friday shows at either Spencer Speedway or Chemung Speedrome in return. That all depends on Dave's very heavy work schedule with his various companies.
Roger Oxee #39 seems to have returned to the form he is used to as he was runner-up in the 25-lap Late Model event in his North Fork Sanitation Pontiac. Indeed winner Shawn Patrick was long gone by the time RJ got to second but Oxee at the end of the race had the best car.
The returning Johnnie Gloor #1 making some noise in his return to Legend racing in the Barton/Visconti Motorsports owned 1 Stop Market machine. Johnnie was 6th Saturday night and currently sits an impressive 4th in points.
Joe Warren Jr. #7 was going for the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro "hat trick" seeking his third straight win, however he never seemed to get untracked and was 4th.
Loved the way Howie Brode and the Solomito clan raced each other Saturday night. Plenty of give and take along the way with Brode in the Petro Fuel Oil Chevy coming home second. Shawn Solomito #66 grabbed third in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chevy and among the top three cars not a scratch between them, it was classic.
Nice job by Ken Alfano #35 in the LM main event as he was a solid 5th in the Bayport Auto Body racer, a much needed and well deserved top five!
Great gesture by Rich Giordano of G-Force Collision to lend Mark Stewart his potent Dodge truck. Mark had her dirt tracking a few times through the corners bringing her home a solid 9th. Mark's own #8 is still hurting from a May 18th crash that not only ruined the front clip on the truck but the engine as well.
Eric Goodale #58 with a solid 4th place tally in the Twin 30's in his Riverhead Building Supply Chevy, which is where he also sits in the current NASCAR Modified point standings.
The "King of Queens" Mike Albasini #66 was one happy guy Saturday afternoon in the pits. Did he land a new sponsor? No. Did he hit the Lotto? No. It was the Subway Series sweep by the New York Mets of the New York Yankees earlier in the week. Mike is good friends with Mets outfielder Mike Baxter and was 4th in his Hollis Court Collision #66 in the SPT 30-lapper.
Great run for the "Mountaineer Madman" Jeff Dotzel in the Orient Country Store #2 in the 4/6-Cylinder Enduro with a runner-up finish. If not for a late race pass by Christian Conklin he would have enjoyed his first career win.
"Whiplash" Bob Genovese #444 had a ton of fun in the 4-Cylinder Demo before being knocked out of contention.
The long awaited debut of "The Wildchild" Tommy Walkowiak's all-new Langdon built Blunderbust came to be Saturday and despite a balky power steering unit he drove the Caprice #00 to a 7th place showing.
Hats off to Richie Davidowitz in his SAM Mechanical #25 Legend giving eventual winner Kyle Ellwood a handful for awhile before finishing second. A first career win might just be on the horizon for Richie and his Dad this year.
Mike Bologna #00 recovered nicely from a rough last outing in his Gershow Recycling LM with a third place finish. Mike is seeking the championship "hat trick" in the class this year.
Another driver enjoying a solid finish was Joe Seeger in the JC Automotive #33 Blunderbust; Joe was 5th for one of his better finishes recently.
Overheating woes plagued Justin Bonsignore in his M3 Technologies NASCAR Modified late in the going.
John Denniston #2x was 6th in his Hagerman Systems Chevy Super Pro Truck after starting on the pole.
Derek Stachecki #17 made his first start of the year in his DS Wood Works LM and was a fine 9th.
Kevin Orlando #00 turned heads by timing 7th in the NASCAR Modified qualifying session and then he drew the outside pole. Many wondered if "KO" would drop to the rear of the field but he didn't and showed everyone why. He didn't have to as he fit right in with his SK-type racer in which he brought home a fine 8th. A good night indeed for the Prototype Fabricating Team!
"Dangerous" Dave Koenig re-designed his Super Pro Truck in tribute to his good friend "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen even changing his number to Andy's #29. Unfortunately Dave's bad luck followed him and he was the first truck out of the race but he will bring "Daddy Cool" to the winner's circle this year, bet on it!
Greg Harris with a fine 9th place finish in his Essential Chiropractic #65 Legend.
Expecting a big field of Legends this week with all the extra loot via the lap and bonus money, time trials and now a 30-lap race. It's a great scenario for all Legend Race Car teams!
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III keeps working hard in his Senix Creek Inn Chevy #8x NASCAR Modified, he was 7th after starting 15th last week and is on the verge of inking a new sponsor that could take some of the $$$ pressure off the team.
New Newsday writer William Sammon doing a great job with the weekly Riverhead Raceway story that appears in the paper on Saturday, as well as at Newsday.com.
Who is your pick for this week's Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100; Ron Silk is the only driver to win it twice and is the defending race winner.
Until then - BF
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