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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Tom Rogers Jr. #0, a six time NASCAR Modified winner in 2012 finally made his way back to victory lane this past Saturday when he won the Whelen Event night 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature and on his Birthday no less! Tom told us afterwards that this was the first time he ever won on his Birthday in some 12 years and the celebration by the Relay Communications team hauler after the win was that much sweeter!
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 160 2. tie- Shawn Solomito & Tom Rogers Jr., 142 4. Ryan Preece 136 5. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III, 122
We've seen every one of Roger Maynor's 109 career Figure Eight wins here at Riverhead Raceway but the most recent of which Saturday was a classic. Maynor in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford made a textbook crossover move on leader Mike Mujsce to move out front and never look back. By the way Roger's sponsor has been with him since 1984, the last year at Islip Speedway and it may be the longest running sponsorship among active drivers today!
Figure Eight points: 1. Arne Pedersen, 142 2. Tom Ferrara, 140 3. tie- Roger Maynor & Ken Hyde Jr. 132 5. Mike Mujsce, 126.
"Radiant Ray Minieri #43 picked a good night to win his first Charger main event of the year as the 30-lapper was worth an extra $100 to win with a Sunoco Race Fuel bonus on the line, plus it broke for Minieri what has been an early season run of bad luck. Minieri was in the right spot at the right time Saturday so maybe his fortunes are turning around for him and the Sunrise Chiropractic team
Charger points: 1. Eric Zeh, 188 2 tie-Chris Turbush & Chad Churilla, 178 4. CJ Lehmann, 174 5. Ray Minieri, 168
Brian Brown #56 was another race winner in the right place at the right time last week as he scored his first career Blunderbust win in the Chet Mistrani Plastering entry. Brian as we mentioned earlier this year is under the top mentorship of former champion Frank Curtis Sr. and it didn't take long for the pairing to pay dividends.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tom Pickerell, 166 2. 3-way tie, Tommy Walkowiak, Scott Maliszewski & Jimmy White Jr., 162 5. Bill Wegmann Sr., 144
Roger Turbush #88 topped the Super Pro Truck field in his Allied Air Conditioning Chevy for his 15th career win. It was nice to see "Dynamite" Dan back by Roger's pit stall after the races and Dan held up three fingers to me telling me that's when he'd be back racing. Ah but the question is in what?
Super Pro Truck points: 1. 3-way tie- Frank Dumicich Jr., Lou Maestri & Frank Dumicich Sr., 172 4. Mike Albasini, 168 5. Brian McElearney, 164.
"Mad" Mike Smith and his posse exacted revenge Saturday in the hardest hitting Demolition Derby this announcer has ever seen. Mike took some vicious licks of his own but gave out more and that was good enough for the win in the All Island Towing #26. Without doubt the History Channel got the footage and then some they were looking for.
Demo points: 1. Jason Savoy, 140 2. Mike Smith, 130 3. Matt Mulqueen, 100 4. Andrew Fowler, 90 5. Rich Fowler, 80.
Second year Charger driver Jayson White turned the class on its collective head when he set fast time in the Gardner Specialty Auto #45 with a lap 13.350! In the 30-lap feature Jayson hung strong to come home 9th.
Another head turning qualifying effort was turned in by 15-year old NASCAR Modified sophomore Vinny Biondolillo #66 who clocked in second quickest with a lap of 11.888, only the eventual race winner Tom Rogers Jr. would top that time. Unfortunately the left rear tire went flat on Vinny when he exited turn four to start the second lap and with Vinny starting on the pole for the race several cars got caught-up as a result.
Glad to Erin Dumicich-Solomito #95 was okay after she lost an engine in a big way in her Sea-Level Construction Dodge. A flash fire saw Erin take in some smoke and our capable Trans Care Ambulance crew made sure she took in some oxygen after the scare.
With Tom Anderson under the weather Charger car owner Joe Paprocky tapped Scott Lehmann to drive the Robert's Asphalt #23 entry Saturday with Lehmann showing no signs of rust on his way to a 8th place finish. No truth to the rumor the team had to install a prescription windshield for Scotty!
No question the hard luck driver of the year in Figure Eight racing is Johnny Vullo. First he seemingly wins a race but struck a cone and was moved back in the finish the last time the class ran. This week he's on the front row and just as the field was set to go racing the right front suspension drops to the ground, sparks fly and he's done for the night. Vullo wants to keep racing this year but told us he needs a sponsor to do so.
The NASCAR Modified feel good story of the race went to Jerry Solomito Jr. in his Supreme Skylights #59 as he drove a heads-up race to claim 4th place honors. As we've noted on the PA, Jerry has parked his car with a flat or fired it right back up after a spin not wanting to draw a bogus yellow in the past, well Saturday his efforts were rewarded.
Ed Cheslak #91 made his Figure Eight debut in a former Keith Rotzi Late Model, the newcomer kept his nose clean and was 10th. We didn't get a chance to ask if he was related to former Islip F8 driver Wayne Cheslak, we will this week though.
John Baker #07 had a transmission failure on the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy end his Charger race end early, he'll be back looking for race wins according to his Facebook post Monday
Won't be long before "Dangerous" Dave Koenig graces Super Pro Truck victory lane in his tribute truck to "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen. Dave wants so bad to put Andy's #29 into victory lane for his friend he's known since he was 14-years old and trust me it will be emotional when he does.
Way to go Bob Muller who finished the Blunderbust race in 6th place in his Steve's Transmissions #93, nice job.
The Dirty Socks Racing Team of Charger rookie Richard Wilson had the transmission out of the Foley Lawn Care entry twice Saturday before the race and still brought her home 6th!
A broken pinion in the rear-end of the Eastport Feeds #15 is what forced "The Natural" Timmy Solomito to the infield while racing for the race lead and win Saturday.
The Blunderbust race featured some movers and shakers Saturday. Jimmy White Jr. who was runner-up started the race 13th, third place driver Tom Pickerell came from 16th and fourth place finisher Tommy Walkowiak started 15th. I suggest you watch this trio again this Saturday!
Two casualties from the BB race Saturday. Bryan Quilliam had a head gasket let go while staging his #84 for the race, while Paul Parisi #69x lost an axle in practice and was a start and park.
Nice touch by Dave Sapienza to have John Beatty Jr. start the #5 Frankie's Towing Modified and it got even better for Beatty as when Dave's own Buncee.com Chevy was done for the night early, Dave jumped in the #5 and got John 7th place points!
Nice run for Glenn Logan in the FD Sage Media Group #44 with an 8th place finish in the 35-lapper.
CJ Lehmann #1 and his team made drastic changes to the Lido Stone Chevy over the week leading up to the Charger feature and were rewarded with a runner-up finish.
Former Go-Kart standout EJ Heim #28 made his NASCAR Modified debut Saturday and was 11th; the team told me during practice they'll run a part time schedule for the rest of the year.
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III didn't let the early race tangle get him down, no sir he put his head down and went to work and drove to a third place finish in the Senix Creek Inn #8x.
Howie Brode #96 for the second week in a row had to rally from an early race spin which the driver did with a 5th place finish in the Petro Fuel Oil Chevy.
Ken Hyde Jr. #58 was not thrilled with his 5th place finish in the Figure Eight feature Saturday so he and his King Park Contracting team were back at the track Sunday to try and dial the car in better for this week.
Although the Late Models were off, Chris McGuire was on hand in the Kevin Metzger owned yellow LM. Chris wants to thank Kevin and Greg Kleila for the chance to drive this car as well as his sponsor Wise Choice Fuel. Not only did Chris practice Saturday but he was back at it Sunday prior to the Enduro show as well!
As for Sunday and the annual Father's Day Enduros James Charrier #36 scored his second win of the year in the Grand Enduro in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy!
Robin Vollmoeller #2 had to survive a three truck fight for the lead that took up nearly the entire 50-lap distance of the 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro before he could lay claim to the win in his Spit's Speed Shop Blue Deuce.
Jess Martines in is JC Peformance #3 scored the win in the first 8-Cylinder 60-lap feature, while Anthony Pizzo #4 romped in the 60-lap nightcap in his A Voight Towing racer.
Joe Warren #16 really coming into his own in the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro ranks as he is now three for four in the class winning handily for his Dad on Father's Day.
"Handsome" Hank Hallock #08 who a year ago to the day won his first career race had to scratch his Westhampton Auto Salvage truck prior to the race.
After being frustrated by engine woes all of the early part of this season, Steve Mastro #45 finally had a good run in the Grand race until contact did heavy left side damage to the car.
Dominic Ranieri in the Spare Parts Racing 8-Cylinder machine dropped out of both races with an obvious overheating problem.
Greg Harris #65 and Ben Gregor threw all they could at Robin Vollmoeller in the Truck race but Harris would be runner-up in the SGS Stone Works Chevy, while Gregor placed third in the Gregor Well Drilling Chevy. The trio put on a driving clinic during the race as they were always bunched up dicing for the lead.
Bob Baker had a good day in the 8-Cylinder races with two runner-up finishes, not a bad day at the pay window.
Tough break in the first 8-Cylinder race as "Corporal Punishment" Justin Daley overheated and Eric Germuth with an unknown issue were on the infield before the green ever waved.
4/6-Cylinder Trucks join the NASCAR Whelen All American Series this Saturday evening June 22nd, hopefully racing under the lights will draw a few more trucks than this past Sunday!
Prior to the Enduros Jason Agugliaro was out trying some new set-ups on his Tom O'Keefe & Sons NASCAR Modified, Jason sat out a two week suspension and can come back for the Rapid Recovery night races this week.
Ryan Lutz, son of former Charger champion Eric was out taking some laps in his US Marines Legend Race Car #36 that he races in New England. We hear Ryan loved it and would like to try Riverhead in competition.
Until then - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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