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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
This Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway we'll keep the 4th of July weekend party rolling with our annual Fireworks spectacular presented by Bay Fireworks, who year after year have created a bigger, more colorful and surprising display than the year before. After that display, the fireworks of a different kind will unfold as the second bone jarring, car destroying 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby of 2013 will be presented. Most recent Demo winner "Mad" Mike Smith told yours truly again this past Saturday that if you thought the last Demo was hard hitting wait until this Saturday night! The Cromarty Cup 50 NASCAR Modified race will highlight the stock car portion of the card and will be joined by the Figure Eights, Chargers, Blunderbusts and Legend Race Cars, features start at 6:00 pm.
Attention all Figure Eight owners and drivers - this Saturday July 6th at 11:30 am there will be a meeting for the class with NASCAR Officials on the track in turn four under the trees, please make every attempt to be there.
Speaking of Figure Eights, car owner Benny Vecchio stopped by Indy 3000 Monday afternoon and told us he had just completed a purchase of George Seus's machine, the former Ralph Tasso #3 and will now own three cars in the class. Benny didn't give me his drivers line-up but of course Scott Pedersen has been wheeling his Middle Island Towing #19 so we'll see this week.
If anyone thought that Ryan Preece's night was over on lap 93 when his right front tire went down entering the first turn during the Hoosier Tire 200 then shame on you. Preece overcame that misfortune as well as an early race tangle with Donny Lia that tore up some body work on the East-West Marine Ford and proceeded to put on a driving clinic with most of his passes on the way back to contention coming on the outside lane. The enthusiasm and talent this young driver displays whether it's a 200 lap WMT race or a Saturday night 35-lapper is amazing and right now the sky is the limit for the 22-year old. Ryan will be in the field for the Cromarty Cup 50 this Saturday and with his recent streak of three WMT wins in a row, his win in the Evans NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 June 8th he will be a favorite for the win.
NASCAR WMT points: 1. Ryan Preece 225 2. Rowan Pennink, 193 3. Mike Stefanik, 190 4. Justin Bonsignore, 175 5. Doug Coby, 172
Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. #32 was declared the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac night Blunderbust winner after Jack Handley Jr. #49 failed a rigid post race technical inspection that the top three cars went under after the race. It was White's second win of the year in the Busy Bee Pest Control racer and he now is squarely in the fight for the 2013 title.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tom Pickerell, 258 2. Jimmy White Jr., 256 3. Tommy Walkowiak, 252 4. Scott Maliszewski, 246 5. Tim Mulqueen, 212
For the second week in a row the Legend Race Car feature provided the "feel good" story of the night as Richie Davidowitz #25 drove his SAM Mechanical racer to his first career victory in what would turn out to be a non-stop 30-lapper that was worth a cool $1,000 to the winner. The Davidowitz team had been enduring a rough start to the 2013 campaign but that all turned around this past Saturday and with the big payday they couldn't have picked a better race to win!
Legend points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 276 2. Brad Van Houten, 204 3. Brendon Bock, 202 4. Justin Strumpf and Johnnie Gloor IV, tie 198.
While Davidowitz's win was the "feel good" story of the night, on the opposite end of the spectrum was Blunderbust driver "Pistol" Paul Parisi #69x who hit the first turn wall a ton with a stuck throttle. Luckily Paul emerged from the Seatow II Chevy under his own power after a few moments to gather himself but the car was a mess. As I sat in the tower I thought, knowing how Paul goes race to race on finances that his season would be over. Much to my pleasant surprise I saw photos on Facebook of Parisi and his team already stripping the car of the damaged parts and I hope he's ready to roll this week.
Doug Coby #52 the defending NASCAR WMT champion suffered the same fate just after taking the checker flag during his qualifying effort in the Reynolds Auto Wrecking Chevy. Doug too emerged okay from the car but the Wayne Darling owned machine looked to be a write off.
Nice to see veteran Paul Dodorico come away with a runner-up finish in the Dr. Martha Baker, DDS #55 in the Legend Race Car feature, Paul was among several drivers hoping for at least one yellow during the race but one never came.
Hats off to John Beatty Jr. and the North Shore Recycling #14 NASCAR Modified team who after all their hard work led the Hoosier Tire 200 for 41 laps before settling in for a head turning third place finish. We've long said that this team has always had the right frame of mind whether they win or not and it was great to see nice people have a good result and fun night!
Tommy Walkowiak #00 feels as though he and his Langdon's Automotive team have turned the corner with their new Blunderbust car and were runner-up Saturday night. Walkowiak and race winner White both had their cars torn down in post race tech by Walter Bonzcyk and his inspection staff, both were okay.
How fast did the Legend Race Car feature go? Timmy Solomito #48 thought the race would prevent him form the NASCAR WMT autograph session that was starting at 7:00 pm. Well after wheeling his Monster's Recycling machine to a fine third place effort he made that session perhaps just two or three minutes late much to the delight of his numerous fans. Sadly in the Hoosier Tire 200 an overheating issue forced Timmy and the Eastport Feeds team to the pits while running second.
Great run for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation #89/66 of defending track champion Shawn Solomito who drove to a 4th place finish. Shawn was in the mix all race long within the top ten and is already looking forward to the Green Earth Technologies 200 WMT race here September 14th. By the way the SS Motorsports team has some great T-Shirts and Sweatshirts for sale after the races weekly, check them out.
Great run for LI WMT regular Ken Heagy in the Buoy 1 Seafood #18 Ford as he was 7th in front of family and friends. As per usual the Heagy team had a great post race party and enjoyed themselves after the good showing on the track.
Rob "The Racer" McCormick made his first Legend Race Car start of the year, things didn't go quite the way the always upbeat driver would have liked and was out of the race early.
Defending Blunderbust champion Tom Pickerell #4 had sponsorship for the 30-lapper from NorthportPower.com, "Slick Pick" was 3rd in the final rundown as he seeks his second consecutive title.
Frank Vigliarolo Jr. showed some flashes from his two NASCAR Modified titles at Riverhead Raceway as he drove his Frankie's Towing Chevy #5 to an 8th place tally in the 200.
Kyle Ellwood #71x a very quiet 4th in the Legend Race Car main event but none the less he has put a strangle hold on the 2013 championship chase with a 72-point lead over teammate Brad Van Houten #09. Both race out of the Goode Motorsports shops. The third driver on that team Jeffrey Goodale missed his second straight race with a badly cut hand.
After winning earlier this season "Turbo" Tom Sullivan has had a rough go of things in his Custom Exteriors Blunderbust as he was 11th Saturday.
Great to catch up with many old friends at the WMT race as we visited with pace car sponsor Buzz Chew after the races. Bryon Chew drove the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac #88 to a solid 9th place tally in the 200.
Also got to see Lou Ewanitsko quickly, Ryan Preece was honored with the $500 Mike Ewanitsko Hard Charger of the Race Award by Jim Schaefer and his sponsorship team for his thrilling drive back to the front and eventual win.
Nice to see all the Legend drivers who were swapping seats for two weeks back in their own cars. Greg Harris was back in his Essential Chiropractic #65 and was 8th. Shawn Wanat still nursing a hand injury was on hand but did not start the 30-lapper in his Spit's Speed Shop #02, while Steve Smith was a DNQ in the Wild Child Designs #0.
Visited with Ed Flemke Jr. after the 200 and congratulated him on his 10th place finish in the Ron Bouchard Auto Stores #28 to which he dead panned, "my Dad always said even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again" His Dad of course the famed Ed Flemke Sr. one of the "Eastern Bandits" from days gone by.
Want to announce that Commercial Driver Training Inc. of West Babylon has agreed to sponsor the August 31st Super Pro Truck feature event, we welcome them and thank them for their support.
Until then - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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