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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Prior to the racing Saturday night past Riverhead Raceway promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty announced three drivers who will be enshrined on our Wall of Champions on Saturday August 17th. Former five-time NASCAR Modified champion Wayne Anderson will have his name added to the Wall of Champions over in turn three, as will four-time NASCAR Modified champion Bill Park. Both drivers were notified by Barbara & Jim in person prior to the racing Saturday night and both were very happy and honored by the news. Barbara & Jim then visited with Andrew Biondolillo by his son Vinny's #06 NASCAR Modified to tell him that his late brother Joe Biondolillo Jr. will join Anderson and Park on the Wall of Champions, all three are splendid choices. Speaking of August 17th, the Figure Eights have been added to the program in honor of Joey's induction.
Regretfully we must announce that the August 18th Sunday Enduro program has been canceled as 2013 has found this form of racing struggling with car counts, not just at Riverhead but also in the Northeast at other tracks. Barbara & Jim did want to stress that the Sunday September 1st and September 29th cards WILL be run as will the Saturday night Enduro races that remain on this year's schedule.
The Ryan Preece express rolled on in the Cromarty Cup 50 Saturday night on Miller Lite night as Ryan scored his 7th career win and 3rd of the season in the Elite Towing #20 of Bill & Barbara Park. Ryan set fast time but redrew 6th for the 50-lap tilt but had the lead of the race right at the halfway mark for his second win in less than 24 hours as he won the SK Modified feature the night before at Stafford. Ryan will return to Riverhead next Saturday night for the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems where he hopes to keep his "Summer of Preece" rolling.
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 202 2. Tom Rogers Jr., 190 3. Ryan Preece, 172 4. Shawn Solomito, 158 5. David Roys, 146.
Just hours after finding out his Uncle Joe Biondolillo Jr. would be placed on the Wall of Champions, John Vullo marked the occasion by winning his second straight Figure Eight feature event. The Teddy Bear Graphics teams was fighting an overheating issue all day long on the #66 and John had to overcome that plus a race long challenge from all-time leading track winner Roger Maynor before he could lay claim to the Miller Lite hardware. A great day indeed for Vullo and his family.
Figure Eight points: 1. Arne Pedersen, 230 2. Roger Maynor, 226 3. Ken Hyde Jr., 224 4. Tom Ferrara, 208 5. Mike Mujsce, 206
Chris Turbush #81 wheeled his Carpet Express Chevy to its second Charger win of 2013 and 35th overall in his illustrious career taking the Miller Lite 20. After having a tough time taking the lead from John Baker #07, "Bub" then had a scary moment when he and Chad Churilla came together just as the yellow waved for Baker who suffered a flat tire. Luckily for both the yellow was for John but Chad now had a flat of his own and Chris remained the race lead and is now 17 wins behind his Dad, "Dynamite" Dan on the all-time win list.
Charger points: 1. Eric Zeh, 234 2. Chris Turbush, 228 3. Chad Churilla, 220 4. CJ Lehmann, 218 5. Ray Minieri, 216
The only way to redeem yourself from a DQ is to go out and win the very next race and prove to the racing world the unapproved part had nothing to do with your success. That is just what "The Jack Attack" Jack Handley Jr. #49 did as he won the 20-lap Miller Lite Blunderbust main event. What I admired most about the win wasn't how Jack got to the lead of the race and the win; we've all seen that before. No sir, it was how he manned-up in the post race interview and how he and his Relle Electric team have moved forward, very mature for a 17-year old.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tommy Walkowiak, 300 2. Scott Maliszewski, 292 3. Tom Pickerell, 288 4. Jimmy White Jr., 280 5. Bill Wegmann Sr., 250
Johnnie Gloor IV lived up to his nickname "Put It To The Floor" when he drove the Barton/Visconti Motorsports # Legend Race Car to victory in their Miller Lite 20. Gloor who had fallen off the race scene for awhile jumped at the chance to become the driver of the One Stop Market of East Hampton machine, which is being set-up by Jarrod Hayes and his Set Ups By J-Rod. All the stars lined-up for Johnnie Saturday and he enjoyed his first win in three years!
Legend points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 300 2. Tie-Johnnie Gloor IV & Brendon Bock, 248 4. Justin Strumpf, 246 5. Tie-Kyle Soper & Brad Van Houten, 232.
Aside from his win Preece also won the weekly "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race Award picking-up five spots in the race worth 5-gallons of Sunoco Race Fuel from TS Haulers.
Benny Vecchio has purchased the former Ralph Tasso Figure Eight car from George Seus and last week had Tom Rogers Jr. in the reliable Motors of Deposit, NY Chevy. I'm sure the late Tasso, who built that car was smiling upstairs with the choice of Rogers who won a race for Ralph two years back. Vecchio now owns three Figure Eight cars and told me to go on a diet and get a fire suit, what did he mean by that?
Great Legend finish for Eric Hersey in the #69 Island Steel entry, Eric has been getting some advice from former Late Model standout "Mighty" Mike Mortimer who seems to have this team pointed in the right direction with their 9th place finish.
As good as that effort was, how about the finish for the Riverhead Trailer #11 of Anthony Marsh who was 5th in the Legend race, a job well done.
"Radiant" Ray Minieri #43 was runner-up to Chris Turbush in the Charger main event in his Sunrise Wellness Center Dodge.
"Krazy" Ed Mistretta #32 as eligible to return to Blunderbust racing last week but we are told the personable driver needs a sponsor to do so, he is on Facebook if interested.
Spotter Freddie Kraft told us after the Cromarty Cup 50 that a missed shift was the culprit on the restart when Timmy Solomito #15 lost the lead of the race to Howie Brode #96, "The Natural" kept digging and brought the Eastport Feeds Chevy home for third place money.
Both Shawn Wanat #02 and Steve Smith#0 had plenty of work to do before the Legend heat races as both their cars hit the wall in practice. Wanat was not in his when his right front got torn off but he and his Dad, former driver John Wanat among others got the car back out for 22nd, while Smith and his team crossed the line 25th but the fact they made the heat race let alone the feature was an accomplishment.
Roger Maynor #28 was runner-up in the Figure Eight tilt despite the fact he was nursing a very sore back in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford. Roger was quick to give Vullo credit for backing him up off the corners breaking any momentum Maynor had built up.
Howie Brode #96 was third in the Petro Fuel Oil Chevy and with Tom Rogers Jr. #0 forced to the pits during the race with a leak forcing him to come from the back. Howie gained 8 points on Rogers who was 7th in the Jessup Landscaping Chevy.
Off night for defending Legend Race Car champion and current point leader Kyle Ellwood #71x, a rear end issue forced the team to make hasty repairs dropping the Riverhead Building Supply driver to 14th at the finish. However Kyle's NASCAR Modified effort made up for it as he was 9th in the TS Haulers #17x. Kyle wanted to thank Mike Smith and his wife Julie for their help on the Mod.
Arne Pedersen #34 had the best seat in the house for the Vullo-Maynor tussle for the Figure Eight win before he settled for third in the Seatuck Fish Dodge.
Congratulations to Blunderbust driver Justin Wahl and his now fiancé' Kristin who got engaged on the 4th of July, Justin was 4th in the Darling Electric machine. By the way the team wanted to give a shout out to Neal ”The Wheel" Feola for his help two weeks back.
Dave Sapienza has moved over to the Frankie's Towing #5 NASCAR Modified of teammate Frank Vigliarolo Jr. for the time being, "Sap" was 6th in the Cromarty Cup race coming from 12th. Rumor has Dave ordering a new chassis but we did not get a chance to speak with him after the races to confirm last week.
The Monster's Recycling Legend Race Car team of Justin Strumpf #15 and Timmy Solomito #48 with another solid night as they were second and fourth respectfully.
Several NASCAR Modified teams bitten by a stagger issue during the Cromarty Cup race including defending champion Shawn Solomito in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation #66. His dad Jerry told me afterwards their right rear grew some 5 to 6 inches. Other teams that might have been affected were Ron Silk #6 and Dave Brigati #98x. Hoosier Tire is working to correct the issue and all should be well.
Jayson White #45 and his Charger team forced to sit out last week due to finances but hope to be back next week for the PRC Industries/Angela's House night festivities.
Ken Darch #03 made his first NASCAR Modified start of the season in the Precision Water Works Chevy sporting a sharp new color scheme, Ken logged some laps and was 13th and very happy, not a mark on the car!
Jason Savoy and his Monster's Recycling Misery Machine took the 4-Cylinder demo win as he bested Rich Fowler #6 in his Timmy Towing entry; Fowler was named Judge's Choice.
Demo points: 1. Jason Savoy, 240 2. Rich Fowler, 160 3. Mike Smith, 130 4. Matt Mulqueen, 100 5. Andrew Fowler, 90.
Larry "The Cable Guy" Guyette was shaken-up during the Demo. At first it was feared he broke some ribs but X-Rays were negative which indeed is good news. Larry was voted Fan's Choice.
1959 Riverhead Raceway Sportsman champion Jimmy Reed and his JR's Fuel Oil business sponsored the #99 Blunderbust of Ron Langdon with a tire last week, Langdon was around the front of the pack before late race misfortune dropped him to a 9th place finish. The ironic part of all this, Ron's car owner Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak #00 owns Blaze Fuel Oil, Tommy was runner-up in the Miller Lite 20.
Justin Bonsignore #51 grabbed a 4th place finish in the M3 Technologies Chevy of Ken Massa in the Cromarty Cup 50, JB should indeed be a factor in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems July 20th.
Until then - BF
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