1797 Old Country Road
Riverhead, NY 11901
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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
On a hot and sultry evening Howie Brode #96 scored his second win of the 2013 NASCAR Modified season in his On Time Trucking Chevrolet and in the process opened up a fairly comfortable point lead in the championship chase. All that is well and good with Howie but his focus quickly turns to this Saturday's Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems as he seeks his third win in what has become a mid-summer classic at the track. Brode now has Greg Kleila working with his team, Greg of course is a former Late Model driver and set-up expert through his Island Fabrication and the added input can only help for sure.
NASCAR Modified points 1. Howie Brode, 232 2. Tom Rogers Jr., 190 3. Shawn Solomito, 186 4. Ryan Preece, 172 5. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III, 164.
There are race wins on all level of racing and there are those very special race wins and in the 25-lap Late Model feature Ken Alfano #35 indeed scored a very special and emotional race win. Ken in his Jay's Recovery Chevy was in the right spot when Kevin Metzger and Mike Bologna got into a skirmish on lap 4 and before he knew it he was no longer running third but now the race leader. Wheeling his Bayport Auto Body painted pink race car Alfano then led the final 21-laps of the race with his good friend and teammate Chris LaSpisa hot on his heels. The checkers waved and low and behold Ken Alfano won one for the love of his life, his wife Julie who passed away after a valiant fight against cancer couple seasons back just before opening night, another great moment in the 63-year history of Riverhead Raceway leaving everyone perhaps with a tear of joy in their eye for Ken and his family.
Late Model points: 1. Scott Kulesa, 225 2. Roger Oxee, 218 3. Jeremy McDermott, 215 4. Mike Bologna, 213 5. Chris LaSpisa, 211
Another uplifting scene took place at the conclusion of the 20-lap, non-stop Super Pro Truck feature event when soft spoken Mark Stewart #8 won his first career feature event in just his 5th start at the age of 15-years old. Mark is the 4th generation of the racing Turbush family and he sure does drive like one but we did kid the shy driver that he still has to learn to talk like one in victory lane. The Angela's House team did want to thank Dave Brigati and Brian Schwarz of Outlaw Racing for putting the finishing touches on the SPT which was making its first start since it was destroyed back in May.
Super Pro Truck points: 1. Frank Dumicich Jr., 216 2. Lou Maestri, 210 3. Mike Albasini, 208 4. Tie- Roger Turbush & Erin Dumicich-Solomito, 202.
Kyle Ellwood #71x scored his third Legend Race Car victory of 2013 when he won their 20-lap feature event which in turn boosted his points lead to 54 over Brendon Bock#33. Kyle won the first heat and that gave him the pole for the main event in his Riverhead Building Supply entry and the rest as they say was history. Later on in the program Kyle had an equally impressive effort in his #17x Ellwood Motorsports NASCAR Modified where he was 6th.
Legend Race Car points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 350 2. Brendon Bock, 296 3. Justin Strumpf, 284 4. Kyle Soper, 278 5. Tie-Timmy Solomito & Brad Van Houten
As dominating as Ellwood's win in the Legends was, the 8-Cylinder Enduro triumph of Anthony Pizzo #20 was just as impressive. As you can see by his car number the driver of the United Exhaust Shops Caprice came from 20th to take the lead and once out front pulled away for yet another win.
NASCAR Modified runner-up Shawn Solomito #66 did some wheeling in his Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chevy to secure the second place cash. Shawn had to first overcome a trip to the rear of the field for a spin and stall. Then while coming back towards the front he received a one position penalty under caution for passing under the yellow line.. Undaunted Solomito kept his head down and kept digging!
Aside from Alfano's LM win it was a 50-50 night for the LaSpisa Motorsports team, Chris of course was second in his McBetts Racing Engines Chevy #7. The third car found Chris Mangels making a return to racing in the #18 of LaSpisa, he was a solid 8th at the checker. The downside was the early race exit of Arne Pedersen #11 after a spin and contact off turn four.
As bad as "Dangerous" Dave Koenig #29 wanted to win the SPT for his buddy Enduro veteran "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen the runner-up finish wasn't too hard to take as he owns the winning SPT of Mark Stewart. In fact Koenig was fine tuning the timing on the Stewart entry during practice!
Nice to see Jason Agugliaro #69x pocket third place money in the NASCAR Modified feature, Jason was trying his hardest to try and find a way by Howie Brode while he was running second for his first career win, a win that would have been sweeter because it was his daughter Giovanna's 3rd Birthday. In the end though with what this team has had to endure this year it was still a very successful result one they can build on for the second half of the season. By the way Jason was the weekly winner of the "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger of the Race Award worth 5-gallons of Sunoco Race Fuels from TS Haulers.
Mike Albasini made his maiden race voyage in the Bobby Gardner built KJ Farrell's of Bellmore #66 SPT with an end result of 6th for the big guy.
Kyle Soper #4 seems to be regaining his race winning form from 2012 in his Moriches Bay Diner Legend Race Car as he was 3rd Saturday.
Keep an eye on Artie Pedersen III and his #51 Park Line Asphalt Legends team, the young lion was 8th in the feature.
Chris McGuire #89x grabbing a 5th in the Late Model main event in his Gershow Recycling Chevy, Chris told me Monday that he and crew chief Warren Collins have some tweaking to do but feel they are going in the right direction.
Oops, it was Dege Russell in the 8-Cylinder Enduro machine backed by Aurora Construction, not Bob Leonard. Always great to see Dege and his family after the races and thanks for setting me straight.
Scott Kulesa #10 was the biggest mover and shaker in the LM feature coming from 9th to finish 3rd in his Eastport Feeds Pontiac.
Wayne Anderson confirmed to yours truly that he indeed has ordered a new NASCAR Modified chassis for his Eastport Feeds team and driver Timmy Solomito. The new car will be used for some WMT races while the Riverhead car will remain just that.
Tough hit for Frank Dumicich Sr. and his Tonino's Pizza #5 SPT team. Going into the 20-lap feature Saturday Frank, his son Frank Jr and Lou Maestri were in a three way tie for the points lead. However a failed spark plug or two sent Frank to the infield for a 13th place finish and a drop to 6th in points.
Rob "The Racer" McCormick #25 was involved in three races Saturday, one in New Hampshire, one westbound on the Main Road and the Enduro at Riverhead Raceway. Rib is the new spotter for NASCAR WMT driver Cole Powell #73, he did their race in the afternoon and then caught the Orient Point Ferry in New London. After the trip southbound on the Long Island Sound Rob was hammer down on Route 25 and made it to the track just in time to sign in and get into his car as the Enduro field was pulling onto the track. So how did he do? He roared from 25th to finish second in the 60-lap race! A busy but worthwhile day for the always upbeat driver!
Eddie Brunnhoelzl III #8x drove his Hagerman Systems Chevy from 11th to 4th in the 35-lap NASCAR Modified event and his family owned and run team is knocking on the door of victory lane.
Hats off to Jerry Solomito Jr. #59 who scored his second consecutive top five finish in his last two starts in the Supreme Skylights Chevy. His wife Erin Dumicich-Solomito #95 brought her Sea-Level Construction SPT home in 5th place as well!!!
Dave Brigati was going to take the week off he told me before the show after the rough run of luck he has endured early in 2013. However Dave Sapienza offered up his Buncee.com #36 NASCAR Modified for the night and "The Fancy Farmer" agreed to drive it. Well the bad luck found its way to Brigati even in another car, in an upbeat tone told me he's going to win a feature this year and he ain't going nowhere until he does! Dave Sapienza in the #5 he owns was 7th in the Frankie's Towing Chevy.
Great job by the Legend Race Car team of Joe Sedotto to get the Titan Global Security #56 back on track after a practice crash. Joe races for the Wounded Warrior Project and this Friday July 19th the Wounded Warrior Project starts its Bike Ride Around LI at Babylon Town Hall at 9:00 am. Check it out of you can.
As of press time NASCAR WMT regulars Justin Bonsignore, Ron Silk and Ryan Preece all will be in hand this Saturday for the 77 lapper with perhaps more to follow.
Brian Brown made his Legend Race Car debut in the Dan Jones Blue Point Auto Body owned #24, he'll be back in his Gregor Well Drilling Blunderbust this Saturday.
Charger return Saturday night for their PRC Industries/Angela's House night 20-lap main event in honor of their seasonal sponsor.
Figure Eights back in action Saturday as well, can John Vullo #66 make it three in a row?
After being the subject of the Newsday story Saturday Roger Oxee had a suspension failure ruin his night in the Southold IGA Pontiac LM, geez I hope it's not like the Sport Illustrated cover jinx. RJ was still 10th despite the misfortune.
Nice field for both the LM and SPT with 13-each not like the old days but these days not a bad field.
Bill Finan will join me in the broadcast booth as Steve Halpin as he traditionally does will join the Turn 2 Crew for the 77.
Ed Brown Jr. #7 was 3rd in the 8-Cylinder Enduro Saturday in his Adesa Auto of LI Caprice after leading early.
"Wolfie" Mark Wolf made his Enduro return with a 6th in the K-Mac Electric #23.
Grand Enduro division will join the School Bus and 8-Cylinder Demolition Derbies and NASCAR stock car racing next Saturday July 27th.
Be sure to check out the Historical Museum at 111 Main Street in Stony Brook. They will be featuring exhibits on the history of Long Island racing from now to September. Of course, Riverhead Raceway is included as well as Islip Speedway and all the other racetracks that once graced Long Island. Interesting stuff for any Long Island race fan.
Until then - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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