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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
What a glorious celebration of our great country Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway with perhaps the best Fireworks show ever presented by Bay Fireworks and capped off by a School Bus Demolition Derby that featured some hard hits along the way. Prior we also saw some fantastic NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing in four classes that we will recap for you in a little bit. We will continue the Family Fun this weekend with two great shows over the Labor Day weekend featuring the annual Monster Truck spectaculars both Saturday and Sunday evenings. Big Foot will be joined by Stinger, Instigator and Metal Monster both nights with both featuring another Riverhead Raceway first, a Monster Truck Figure Eight competition. They of course will crush some cars, perform "slap wheelies" and do some cyclones along the way. A 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby will join the Saturday night show with NASCAR stock cars that starts at 6:00 pm. Please note that Sunday's show will start at 5:00 pm, a change from previous years and again feature our wonderful Enduro races!
Co-chief Stewards Mike Cappiello and Steve Tooker want all Saturday night and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams to know that a special practice session will be held this Sunday prior to the Enduro show. The pits will open at 1:00 pm and the practice will go green at around 1:15-1:30 pm or so. It is hoped a full two hours of warm-ups can be given to teams that take advantage of this special session. The practice takes place just two weeks prior to the Green Earth Technologies 200 for the WMT on Saturday September 14th so it will be interesting to see who takes advantage!
For the 23rd time in his career Tom Rogers Jr. #0 won a NASCAR Modified feature event Saturday night but I have a feeling none was more gratifying to Tom than this particular win. Coming off a five week suspension Rogers, wheeling the Stakey's Pumpkin Farm Chevy of Joe Ambrose didn't miss a beat as he led all 35-laps of the Donaldson's VW-Subaru night feature. Tom noted maybe his luck in the redraw got better while he was away as he drew the pole for the race, I'd say!
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 382 2. Timmy Solomito, 296 3. Ryan Preece, 287 4. Shawn Solomito, 274 5. Dave Brigati, 245.
Prior to the Figure Eight feature second generation Figure Eight driver Ken Hyde Jr. #58 struck a one race sponsorship deal with Grant Williams of Northeastern Office Equipment to sponsor his machine for the race and lo and behold Ken delivered a victory, his 1st of 2013 as a way of saying thank you! Hyde took full advantage of Mike Mujsce's continued bad luck to take the race lead on lap five and held off the Pedersen brothers, Arne & Scott for the sweet victory.
As you read this the Figure Eight points are being corrected and we will have them for you next week.
In the days leading up to Saturday night former four-time Charger champion Chris Turbush signed two new marketing partners to his #81 race team as he welcomed aboard Goodale Farms and Eastern Fuel to his team in a big way with his 35th career win. Also part of the SRO crowd were the folks from his longtime sponsor Carpet Express, so suffice to say, "Bub" had a good night for himself and his sponsors!
Charger points: 1. Eric Zeh, 466 2. Chris Turbush, 462 3. Ray Minieri, 446 4. Chad Churilla, 440 5. CJ Lehmann, 432.
It may have taken Legend Race Car talent Vinny Delaney a few seasons to notch his first career win a few weeks back but he didn't have to wait long for his second in his John's Fuel Oil #17 as he won the 20-lap main event Saturday night. Over the years myself and Steve Halpin always would kid a first time winner about the first win the toughest to get and the rest will come easier, well that kidding turned to fact for Vinny who had to withstand race long challenges from both Richie Davidowitz #25 and Brendon Bock #33.
Legend Race Car points: 1. Brendan Bock, 510 2. Timmy Soloist, 496 3. Kyle Ell wood, 494 4. Kyle So per, 466 5. Justin Strum pf, 448.
Pleasant surprise to see former NASA Modified driver "Flying" Brian Miller #14 at the track last week, while we were catching up with Brian and his handsome family he looked at me and said he "might have some things in the works for next year" Now that would be nice to see and fun!
Mike Coll made his return to racing Saturday as he wheeled the T. Paris Home Improvements #54, Mike was 11th in the Charger feature as he was getting used to his new ride in a new class.
Also making his first Charger start of 2013 was Rob Visconti #3 in his Island Trees Automotive machine, Rob was 9th in his maiden voyage.
Talk about a bad night, Kyle Soper #4 who suddenly found himself the point leader in the Legends during the week had a rough outing as he suffered a flat tire and lost some time on the infield. Kyle wound-up 24th in the feature and fell to 4th in the points.
Ryan Preece #20 fresh off his win the night before at the Stafford Motor Speedway was runner-up in the Elite Towing Chevy. After that 8th win of 2013 at Stafford the inspectors took his car apart, I mean apart as they removed the entire body off the #40, the car passed with flying colors we are told. Ryan was all over Tom Rogers Jr. for awhile but then fell off somewhat with a stagger issue we hear.
Shout out to Legend driver Eric Hersey #69 who nabbed a solid 8th place finish in the 20-lap main event in his sponsor wanted entry, nice job Eric!
Okay let's see if you can keep up with this. A month or so ago George Seus sold the #3 to Benny Vecchio which is now driven by Scott Pedersen in Figure Eight competition. That gave Benny three cars to field in the class weekly, that is until Saturday when Seus re-appeared and bought the #91 of Vecchio! So basically it was sort of a swap of cars I'm thinking.
Former NASCAR WMT champion Donny Lia joined us in the booth for the Modified and Figure Eight feature, Lia was very impressed with how a Figure Eight race looks from above.
Bryan Kelly #01 had a great run in the Legend Race Car feature as he rode his Roadhouse Pizza of Riverhead machine from 18th to finish 9th, nice job "Buckshot"!
Howie Brode #96 with his 4th place tally last week in the Freightliner of Long Island NASCAR Modified now has a comfortable 86-point bulge on Timmy Solomito #15 in the championship chase which translates to a 43 position difference on the track over the final three points races (Aug. 31st, Sept. 7th & 21st).
After his hard hit a few weeks back great to see Jayson White #45 back in his Gardner Specialty Auto Charger car, White was 6th in the 20-lapper.
Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. #8x and his Senix Creek Inn team came to a conclusion this past Saturday night, their 2000 Troyer is tired and they need a new car. Of course easier said than done as they will need some sponsorship help or perhaps even a car owner to step-up prior to the 2014 season. I spoke with Jason Kwasna, Eddie's crew chief and cousin and he told me via Facebook he just can't watch Eddie running the way he is so they have to upgrade. If you are interested in getting involved with one of the more legendary names in Long Island NASCAR Modified racing you can find both Kwasna or Keri Brunnhoelzl on Facebook, or contact me and I'll get you in touch. Brunnhoelzl was a frustrating 11th Saturday.
Chris Rogers can't catch a break in the Legend ranks in 2013. Early in the year he had an engine issue with his own Steven's 112 Ford #00 and thought he was done for the year. Enter car owner Jimmy White of Hampton Fleet Service and his driver Tommy Walkowiak and their #99. Walkowiak agreed to give Chris the ride but unfortunately this past week during warm-ups it looked as though that car fell to an engine issue as well. Hard luck to say the very least.
Former NASCAR Modified champion Chuck Steuer #11x was in the Grant Williams Northeastern Office Equipment entry Saturday as they had a night off from their dirt racing. Chuck was 10th in the 35-lapper.
To say Michael Rommeney's School Bus demolition Derby win was a popular one would be an understatement as the "Cheesebox" chant during the event was great to hear.
Another solid showing by Jason Agugliaro #69x with his third place tally in the NASCAR Modified feature in the South Shore Boat Transport Chevy.
The chase for the 2013 Charger title looks as though it will go down to the wire (points end September 21st) as Eric Zeh #34 was runner-up to Chris Turbush in the Charger feature in his DC Customs Chevy. As you read above Zeh has a slim 4-point lead over Turbush.
The SAM Mechanical #25 Legend Race Car of Richie Davidowitz came across the line 3rd Saturday, Richie had pressured eventual winner Vinny Delaney early on.
Nice run for "KO" Kevin Orlando in the RP Landscaping #00 NASCAR Modified as he was 9th after coming from 17th earning him the "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Hard Charger Award and 5 gallons of Sunoco Race Fuel from Hoosier Tire of Calverton.
Hats off to Tom Anderson and his TJ'S Heroes #23 Charger team on their 5th place showing.
Five points separate Late Model point leader Jeremy McDermott #4 and Roger Oxee #39 heading into this week, 349 to 344, just 8 out of the lead is defending two-time champion Mike Bologna with 341, gonna be a tight fight all the way!
Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 tops the Super Pro Truck championship chase heading into Saturday by a mere six markers over Lou Maestri #1, 348 to 342, Mike Albasini #66 is just ten out of the lead with 338.
Until next week - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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