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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
What a glorious night it indeed was Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway, a S.R.O. crowd, plenty of fans on hand, kids visiting in the pits after the races and the smiles on their collective faces spoke volumes of what NASCAR Home Track racing is all about! Thank you to all our loyal race teams for being part of what truly was a great night; you all gave the children a lifetime of memories!
Dave Brigati made his return to Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified racing complete Saturday when he topped the 35-lap main event over teammate Dave Sapienza #5. "The Fancy Farmer" was quick to point out in victory lane if it were not for a phone call from Dave Sapienza his season might very well have been over. However it all worked out in the end and it was a great one-two finish for the Frankie's Towing team.
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 274 2. Timmy Solomito, 194 3. Tom Rogers Jr., 190 4. Ryan Preece, 188 5. Shawn Solomito, 186
Eric Zeh #34 could very well be on the verge of a career season in the Charger ranks as the EEKR graduate scored his third victory of 2013 in the Talmage Farms Agway night 20-lap main event. Eric started 7th in the 11-car field and had some work to do in the ILS Landscaping Chevy before he could lay claim to the popular win.
Chargers points: 1. Eric Zeh, 326 2. Chris Turbush, 322 3. Ray Minieri, 310 4. CJ Lehmann, 302 5. Chad Churilla, 300
It might not have been the most popular win of the night but it was a win none the less for Jimmy "The Kid" White Jr. and his Busy Bee Pest Control team in the 12-lap Blunderbust feature event (time limit). White and race leader Bill Wegmann Jr. were racing for the lead with Wegmann trying to hold off White when contact was made and Wegmann and his Crackerjack Auto Stores machine wound-up in the turn one wall drawing what would be the final caution of the race. When the field was reset White was the race winner for the second time this year, perhaps not the way he wanted to win but than again a win is a win.
Blunderbust points: 1. Scott Maliszewski, 378 2. Tom Pickerell, 376 3. Tommy Walkowiak, 368 4. Jimmy White Jr., 362 5. Brian Brown, 334
He had come so very close on more than one occasion tom winning his first career Legend Race Car feature but Saturday night nothing was going to get in Vinny Delaney's #17 way as he won the Jos. M Troffa & Son Mason & Landscape Supplies night main event. Vinny nearly didn't score the win as "The Natural" Timmy Solomito #48 was making his way by off turn four as the field began to take the white flag. A grinding crash in a very dangerous spot on the front stretch forced the yellow to come back before the other lap was completed by the field, That turn of events put Delaney back out front as the race reverted back to lap 18 and armed with a second chance at victory he kept the John's Tree Removal entry out front for the final two laps.
Legend Race Car points: 1. Kyle Ellwood, 404 2. Brendon Bock, 378 3.-tie Kyle Soper & Justin Strumpf, 368 5. Timmy Solomito, 356
Safe to say that James Charrier #36 has this Grand Enduro racing thing figured out as he topped the 19-car field for what I believe to be his fourth win of 2013. Charrier almost lost the race when a red flag was needed on lap 29 for a stalled car under the starters stand as Jimmy White Jr. caught James napping when the green came back out. Charrier in his Clear Beer Draft Chevy put his head down and kept digging to reclaim the lead and eventual race win on lap 45. By the way James you may or may not know is employed at Baldwin Automotive in East Patchogue.
Jason Savoy and his "Misery Machine" came out on top of the 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby just 6-days after the Monster's Recycling driver won a Small Car Demo at the Orange County Fair. The win was worth $550 for Savoy, who is the defending National Demolition Derby champion.
Demolition Derby points: 1. Jason Savoy, 340 2. Rich Fowler, 190 3. Mike Smith, 130 4. Andrew Fowler, 120 5. Matt Mulqueen, 100
Perhaps the most popular win of the night came in the final event as "Cheesebox" Michael Rommeney topped the School Bus Demolition Derby over Jason Savoy. It was payback kind of as Rommeney was runner-up to Savoy in the 8-Cylinder Demo. Michael was also a winner at the Orange County Fair as he won the Big Car Demo, so a good day for the Riverhead Raceway daredevils in Middletown, NY on July 21st!
The black cloud of bad racing luck continues to hover over Blunderbust driver Jack Handley Jr. and his #49 team. Prior to the races the 17-year old driver was happy to announce that former Late Model driver James Vaccaro was coming on board as a sponsor through his Goodfellas Auto Repair of Medford. His night however would not bring further good news as his rear suspension came apart while racing through the third and fourth turn ending his night in 16th. Hang in there Jack it's got to get better!
"The Natural" Timmy Solomito did some wheeling in his Monster's Recycling Legend Race Car, wheeling and dealing his way from 8th starting spot to challenge eventual winner Vinny Delaney for the win. How talented is Solomito? I think he could get a Zamboni to the front. Timmy was third in the NASCAR Modified feature in the Eastport Feeds Chevy.
Chad Churilla #20 is knocking on the door of Charger victory lane as he was runner-up in the Angela's House entry and it won't be long before he does Krantz Motorsports proud with a win. We hope Bob Policastro, founder of Angela's House some 28-years ago and his family had a good time Saturday!
While Churilla had a good night for the PRC Industries team, David Roys and his #26 NASCAR Modified had a rough outing as a rocker arm broke during hot laps ending his race before it even got going.
The late race crash in the Legend Race Car feature sure did some damage to the Riverhead Building Supplies team cars of point leader Kyle Ellwood #71x and Jeffery Goodale #46. I spoke with Kyle afterwards and asked him what condition the cars were in and he shot back a one word answer, "junk". Kevin Nowak's Sunoco 112 machine also got dinged up in the crash but the good news is all three drivers walked back to the pit area on their own!
Nice job by 15-year old Vinny Biondolillo in his Premier Utility Service #06 to come back to a 6th place finish after getting turned around early in the NASCAR Modified feature.
Great to see "Lightening" Tim Mulqueen #77 grab runner-up money in the Blunderbust feature event in his Timmy's Towing racer.
Greg Zaleski #18 drove his Gallo's Used Auto Parts Grand Enduro machine to a third place tally in their 50-lapper.
Nice to have Brandon Hubbard #58 back in the Blunderbust fold, "Hubcap" told us sponsor Royalty Tattoo & Piercing has stepped up to the plate, Hubbard was 9th in the feature.
How about this Artie Pedersen III #51 kid in the Legends as he was 5th in his Integrity Auto Service entry Saturday, a career best I do believe.
Christian Conklin took a hard hit early in the Legend feature and his Cooper Pool Service machine might be done for the season, the young talent will need some sponsorship help to get the car ready for the next race Saturday August 10th.
Cory Midgett was trying like the dickens to win the 20-lap Charger main event as the 1 year anniversary of brother Brian's crash approaches. Brian is doing well but none the less Cory wanted to put the Quackenbush Cesspools #14 but it was not to be as he wound up 5th after leading a couple of laps at the halfway point of the race.
Brian Brown taking home third place in the Blunderbust feature event in his Chet Mitrani Plastering LLC #56.
Brendon Bock #33 has sure closed in on Kyle Ellwood in the Legends championship chase. With Ellwood's hard crash two laps from the end of the race and Bock's 7th place finish in the A&S Bagels entry Bock's deficit is 26 points going into August 10th; it was over 50 heading into last Saturday.
Nice to have Kevin McCarthy #24 back in Grand Enduro racing with his K-Mac Electric Chevy.
Kevin Nowak wheeled the Erick Zegel Autosport Designs #55 Grand Enduro in the 50-lap main event.
How about the brand new John Beatty Jr. #11 NASCAR Modified! The team gets to the track with the all new Troyer built machine only to discover a clutch line was leaking. With practice now in full swing Beatty and his Glenn Dixon led team dropped the transmission and drive shaft repaired the line and he was able to sneak some 6 to 8 laps of practice in. So it's going to be a long night, right, No sir Beatty promptly set fast time in the Freeport Collision Chevy with a lap 11.822 and redrew the pole. John would be shuffled to the rear on a double file restart when the inside opened up on him and would rally for a 7th place tally.
"V-Ride" Mike Van Houten was all smiles after the races Saturday after his 14th place Legends finish in the Van Houten Trucking #3V, a career best.
Chris Turbush #81 bringing the Wild Flower Smoke Shop #81 Charger home third in Saturday night's 20-lapper.
Nice run for the returning David Antos #73 in the Grand Enduro as he was 4th in the G&R Performance Chevy.
Dylan Slepian #63 very quietly is having a good Legends season as he worked his way from 18th to finish 9th in the Bagel Lovers & Deli mount, Slepian sits 10th in points.
Late Models return this Saturday to start a busy month of August for the class as they race three weeks in a row! Scott Kulesa #10 leads Roger Oxee #39 in points, 225 to 218.
Super Pro Trucks back at it this week as well with Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 leading Lou Maestri in the championship chase, 216 to 210.
Before we close out this week's Eye want to thank some folks. First the race teams that turned out Friday for the Family Fun Night in Patchogue last Friday, Arne Pedersen. Ken Hyde Jr., Gary Fritz Jr., CJ Lehmann, Erick Zegel and Kevin & Justin Strumpf, thank you again.
Also thank you goes out to Joe Bertuccio of Gershow Recycling for the School Buses and to John Denniston of Hagerman Systems for transporting them from Medford to the track.
Thank you to Dennis Scott and his team that worked on getting the buses ready to be wrecked, the fans truly enjoyed the fruits of your labor!
Until next week - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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