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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The "Night of Destruction is upon us this Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway where we will present not one but two Demolition Derby events. Another hard hitting 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby will unfold and be joined by our first School Bus Demolition Derby. Family fun times two! Add the NASCAR Modifieds, Chargers, Blunderbusts, Legend Race Cars and a Grand Enduro and it all adds up to great family fun that starts at 6:00 pm.
A big thank you goes out to Ricky Jarzombek, Harold Seaman, Ed & Connie Partridge and Joey Bertuccio for bringing out four great vintage cars for the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems last Saturday. The #1 offset coupe stayed in the turn three midway for the fans to enjoy all night while Timmy Solomito hot lapped the #1 Vega and former driving star Kevin Keillor was in the #5 Wilsberg machine, cars all driven by "Charging" Charlie. Don Howe was in his old ride the #34 a chassis built by Richie Evans and his RE Chassis business. Thank you to all involved!
For the third time since the inception of the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 it was Howie Brode #96 taking down the win and he was every bit as emotional as the first time he won the race in a car he re-numbered 7NY in honor of his mentor and friend. When race sponsor John Denniston of Hagerman Systems presented him with a special picture with all three great drivers and their cars on it Brode got even more emotional, a heartfelt victory no doubt for the driver of the Freightliner of Long Island Chevy.
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 258 2. Tom Rogers Jr., 190 3. Tie- Shawn Solomito & Ryan Preece, 186 5. Timmy Solomito, 176.
Great first career wins for both the car owner and driver when Scott Pedersen #3 put the Benny Vecchio owned Reliable Motors Chevy into victory lane in a race that saw a wild conclusion on lap 13 due to the time limit. Scott, the soft spoken 2010 Figure Eight champion was running third and pressing leaders Tom Ferrara #14 and John Vullo #66 when it seemed that all heck broke out and when the field was reset after what would be the final caution of the race he indeed was a first time winner. As good as it must have felt for Scott, it must have felt just as good for car owner Vecchio who made the mid-season investment in the car of the former Ralph Tasso built and owned machine and Pedersen rewarded Benny with a win in his first start in the car. By the way with two other cars in the field Vecchio pocketed $850 in purse money! More on his other two drivers later.
Figure Eight points: 1. Roger Maynor, 274 2. Arne Pedersen, 268 3. Ken Hyde Jr., 264 4. Mike Mujsce, 252 5. Scott Pedersen, 246.
"Radiant" Ray Minieri #43 won the 20-lap PRC Industries/Angela's House night Charger feature and in the process might very well have done something no other driver has ever done in recent memory. He passed Chris Turbush for the lead and win. By his own admission Turbush couldn't recall anybody before Ray doing it and it was a classic race between two of the division's biggest stars with Minieri in the Sunrise Chiropractic & Wellness entry prevailing.
Charger points: 1. Tie-Chris Turbush & Eric Zeh, 276 3. Ray Minieri, 266 4. CJ Lehmann, 262 5. Chad Churilla, 252
Life begins at 50! Just ask Blunderbust winner Ron Langdon #99 who scored the 20-lap victory just days after his 50th Birthday. Langdon appeared to have lost the lead and race win in the final turn to defending champion Tom Pickerell #4. But NASCAR Officials deemed Tom went too far under the yellow line for the win and was put back a spot to second with Langdon the winner. What I liked from the tower was two things. First when Langdon still thought he had lost the race on the final corner he pulled up alongside and gave Pickerell a big thumbs-up and went to the pits and post race tech. When Pickerell was notified he was being moved back one spot he didn't rev his engine and light up the tires, he just simply went back to the pits after telling Jim Kelly the official who broke the news to him he understood the call and could see how it was made. Refreshing scene by two tested tough driving veterans. Langdon of course was driving the Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice for car owners Tommy & Gayle Walkowiak.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tommy Walkowiak, 346 2. Tie-Tom Pickerell & Scott Maliszewski, 336 4. Jimmy White Jr., 312 5. Brian Brown, 288
Kyle Soper #4 wheeling his Atlantic Chevrolet & Cadillac Legend Race Car notched his second career victory in their 20-lap main event. After the win Kyle who will be a High School Senior this year told Billy Finan that instead of college he will be enlisting in the United States Army after graduation. Soper, who missed one of the nine Legends races contested to date in 2013 for a trip to North Carolina sits third in points and one can only wonder what might have been if he was at the race instead.
Legend points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 392 2. Brendon Bock, 340 3. Kyle Soper, 328 4. Justin Strumpf, 324 5. Timmy Solomito, 308
Word reaches us that the Legend Race Cars will qualify through time trials this week for their Jos. M Troffa & Sons night 20-lap feature event before they enjoy a well deserved week off August 3rd.
What an effort by the Monster's Recycling #48 Legend team of "The Natural" Timmy Solomito who had his car heavily damaged in his heat race. Many pitched in and the team was able to borrow a rear-end from the Visconti/Barton Motorsports team of Johnnie Gloor IV to start the race in one of three provisional spots. Timmy then did the rest, rallying from a 26th starting position to a 9th place finish to salvage the night. By the way with the Legends feature second last week the Kevin Strumpf team didn't have plenty of time to make the repairs either. Good job gang!
Son, can I borrow the car? Those perhaps were the words uttered by "The Racing Grandfather" Bill Wegmann Sr. after he lost an engine in his Crackerjack Auto Stores #79 Olds. Son Bill Jr. turned his #76 over to Dad with a 12th place finish in store for the team, which was not bad considering the race went non-stop. Bill dropped to 6th in points with 278.
A trio of drivers made their Figure Eight debuts Saturday, a trio of drivers that if you told me at the start of the season would run the "8" I would have bet against you! Scott Lehmann had the best result with a 5th in the Benny Vecchio owned Reliable Auto Sales Chevy with an outstanding 5th. Ron Langdon started the #11 that Tommy Walkowiak purchased off Michael Rommeney recently. Ron drove the car until a mid race caution when Walkowiak got into the car with the team 12th in the final rundown. CJ Lehmann fresh off his 4th place Charger effort in the Lido Stone #1 was in the Vecchio Racing #91 and was 10th. By the way all three loved it and hope to be in those same three cars when the Figure Eights return Saturday August 17th!
Great to see pace car sponsor Bill Donaldson of Donaldson's Volkswagen & Subaru enjoying a Miller Lite and watching the 77-lap Memorial race out in front of the tower.
Spoke with Dave Wheeler of the Ryan Preece #20 East-West Marine team as to what caused the left front tire to go down under caution on lap 44 forcing Ryan to pit while leading. Dave simply shrugged his shoulders as to say they didn't know if it rolled off the bead, they picked-up debris on the track or if it was from contact. No matter what caused the flat it might have stopped Preece from his forth straight win in his last four starts.
Vinny Delaney #17 had a solid night winning his heat and then coming home a strong second in his John's Fuel Oil Legend racer.
A tip of the hat to Gary Fritz Jr. #9 who scored a career best 4th place finish in the Northeastern Office Equipment machine in the Figure Eight feature.
"Krazy" Ed Mistretta #27 back in Blunderbust action with the help of Hummel & Hummel Bakery as well Bams Auto Body, Ed was 9th in the feature.
John Baker #07 back in his usual fine form in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy taking home 3rd place Charger money.
Jim Sylvester #2 in the Planet Earth Recycling Legend and newcomer Colin Hoeffner #07 raced from Sullivan County once their home track rained out for the chance to race at Riverhead Raceway. Jim was 14th and Colin was 21st.
The SAM Mechanical #25 Legend of Richie Davidowitz came home third Saturday.
The Sapienza Motorsports team of Dave Sapienza #5 and Dave Brigati #36 were 4th and 5th in the 77-lapper in their Frankie's Towing backed machines.
Hard luck Legend driver of 2013, hands down, goes to Jeffery Goodale in the Riverhead Building Supply #46, his luck on and off the track for that matter has been dismal.
Ken Heagy #18 on hand to shake down his Buoy One Seafood NASCAR Modified getting ready for the Monadnock race this weekend.
Had to feel for Arne Pedersen #34 in his Seatuck Fish Figure Eight racer, his car suffered heavy left front suspension damage as he and Ken Hyde Jr. #58 were caught up in other drivers' shenanigans. Hyde was able to pull away and finish 6th in his KPC Chevy.
Until next week - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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