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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Before we recap Saturday night past and preview upcoming Saturday evening we do want to clarify the schedule for the final weekend of racing this season Saturday September 28th and Sunday September 29th. In the event that the Saturday night portion of the doubleheader weekend gets washed out and of course letís pray it does not, only the National Demolition Derby portion from Saturday night would be made up Sunday afternoon during our Enduro finale. Please make a note of this, hopefully one we will not need!!!
Also looking way down the road I will again present the Long Island Automotive Swap Shop at Riverhead Raceway this year on a Sunday, Sunday December 8th. That is the week after the Thanksgiving holiday and we'll have further details in the weeks to follow.
As of Tuesday it appears that eight Riverhead Raceway teams will attempt to qualify for the Green Earth Technologies 200 WMT event on Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac night this Saturday. Newly crowned 2013 NASCAR Howie Brode, Dave Brigati, Jason Agugliaro, Timmy Solomito, Shawn Solomito, John Beatty Jr., Frank Vigliarolo Jr. and David Roys will be on hand. Only Roys had a hint of uncertainty in his voice Saturday but was hopeful of racing.
Mike Cappiello and Steve Tooker want to remind all Riverhead Raceway teams that no extra practice will be available this Saturday for off divisions or Enduro teams with the WMT in town. Thank you.
"The Natural" Timmy Solomito #15 silenced the critics this past Saturday night when he scored a clean sweep of the PRC Industries/Angela's House night Twin 30's. Timmy, who would much rather the winds of controversy swirled somewhere other than his pit area, went to work right off the trailer Saturday, setting fast time, drawing the pole in the redraw and then leading all 60 laps in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. If you think Timmy was happy with the win then you didn't see his car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson who were thrilled how the race turned out for their young wheelman.
Congratulations to Howie Brode and his Peter Clark Motorsports team on clinching the 2013 NASCAR Modified championship, his second career title and first since 1998, we'll have more on Howie's race later.
NASCAR Modified points: 1. Howie Brode, 453 2. tie- Ryan Preece & Timmy Solomito, 356 4. Dave Sapienza, 305 5. Tom Rogers Jr., 294
What better way to celebrate your 21st Birthday than with your second consecutive Figure Eight victory which is what Ken Hyde Jr. and his Northeastern Office Equipment team did Saturday night. Hyde was sitting second which is where he pretty much thought he would finish when all of a sudden race leader Mike Mujsce, who was car lengths ahead of Hyde just spun on his own. Indeed that turn of events would become a wonderful Birthday gift for Ken who will enjoy a 4-point lead going into the final point race September 21st.
Figure Eight points: 1. Ken Hyde Jr., 408 2. Roger Maynor, 404 3. Arne Pedersen, 402 4. Scott Pedersen, 368 5. Mike Mujsce, 350
Without question the hardest fought victory Saturday went to CJ Lehmann in his Your Floor Store #1 Charger car. Lehmann had to withstand not one but two very intense side by side battle with first Tom Anderson #23 and later Chris Turbush #81. In fact both those battles would become three car duels as Chad Churilla joined the Lehmann-Anderson fray, while "Rocking" Rich Wilson jumped in on the Lehmann-Turbush tussle. Even though the race was cut short by two laps due to the time limit when Turbush & Wilson got together on lap 18, the victory was indeed a very satisfying and sweet one for CJ and his team.
Charger points: 1. Chris Turbush, 504 2. Eric Zeh, 502 3. Ray Minieri, 492 4. CJ Lehmann, 482 5. Chad Churilla, 478
Of his 52 career wins in the Blunderbust division perhaps the span between Tommy Walkowiak's 51st and 52nd wins was the longest as "The Wildchild" won for the first time in a year plus last week. Walkowiak had a dickens of a time working his way by Tom Puccia #51 on lap 11 for the race lead but once he did was able to keep his Blaze Fuel Oil Chevy out front until the checkers. The win was not without controversy for Walkowiak as his teammate Ron Langdon got into Tom Pickerell #4 exiting the final turn sending the defending champion into a spin that dropped him down to 12th in the final rundown. Needless to say Pickerell and his team were not happy even though NASCAR Officials DQ'D Langdon from the race for the spin.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tommy Walkowiak, 510 2. Scott Maliszewski, 500 3. Tom Pickerell, 486 4. Jimmy White Jr., 446 5. Brian Brown, 436.
The dream season of freshman Super Pro Truck driver Mark Stewart #8 rolled on as the 15-year old lead foot notched his 4th win of the 2013 campaign taking perhaps his most impressive win of the season. Mark would use a late race charge to the front in his Angela's House Chevy to best both his truck owner "Dangerous" Dave Koenig #29 with whom he had a torrid battle for the lead as well Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 the current point leader. The early season woes are nothing more that a distant memory for this 4th generation driver!
Super Pro Truck points: 1. Frank Dumicich Jr., 436 2. Mike Albasini, 426 3. Lou Maestri, 422 4. Frank Dumicich Sr., 400 5. Mark Stewart, 396
The 8-Cylinder Enduro came very close to matching the intensity of the earlier Charger feature as veteran Ed Brown Jr. and Dominick Ranieri went toe-to-toe in their 75-lap feature event. Brown in the United Exhaust Shop Caprice would eventually take the win over Ranieri in his Westhampton Auto Salvage Chevy. Their race for the win was indeed very intense as well entertaining.
In most sports many will tell you second stinks or is the first loser but I bet there are two drivers who finished second this past Saturday who would disagree.
First would be Blunderbust driver Tom Puccia #51 who not only led the first 11 laps of the main event but after being passed by Tommy Walkowiak stayed with the eventual race winner. Several cars would slip by Tom in the closing laps but they all got involved with each other and a well deserved runner-up finish was the result for the Ferandino & Sons Contracting team, nice job Tom!
Jayson White #45 was another runner-up as he survived the wild Charger feature event and perhaps was the only driver not to be involved in a caution flag. Jayson of course endured a very hard crash in July but he and his father who make-up this two man team never gave up nor did their sponsor Gardner Specialty Auto. Nice to see nice results for nice people.
With his third place finish in the first Twin 30, Howie Brode clinched the 2013 NASCAR Modified title for he and his Freightliner of Long Island race team. As we mentioned earlier it is Brode's second track crown with 15 years between his first championship and this one. Do keep in mind however that over that span Howie went out on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and later ran several part time seasons to spend time with his growing family. Back full time in 2012 Howie was runner-up to Shawn Solomito last year and this year steered clear of all that went on around him to earn the championship.
CJ Lehmann backed up his Charger victory with a fine fourth place finish in the Figure Eight feature event in the Benny Vecchio Reliable Motors #19.
Dave Sapienza continued his late season NASCAR Modified surge, which began when he switched to the Heller Construction #5 mid-season with finishes of 7th and 3rd in the Twin 30'S, good enough to move him to 4th in the championship standing with one race remaining September 21st.
Mike Albasini #66 was 4th in the Super Pro Truck feature in and the driver of the KJ Farrellís Pub & Grill Chevy will face a 10-point deficit going into the final point race on September 21st. That means he'll have to better Frank Dumicich Jr. and his Sea-level Construction #42 team by 6 spots on the track, a tall but not impossible task.
Tough night for Scott Pedersen and his Reliable Motors team as the #3 Figure Eight machine blew a rear-end as Scott hit the gas to take the green.
Forgettable night for Eric Zeh and his ILS Landscaping Charger team who came into last week as the championship leader. Misfortune dropped Eric to an 8th place finish which finds him now trailing Chris Turbush and his Eastern Fuels #81 team by two points going into the final points race September 21st, 504 to 502.
After posting a 5th place run in the first Twin, Justin Bonsignore #51 on the strength of an early restart move would grab runner-up money in the nightcap in his M3 Technology Chevy, which by the way now features Elssaser Race Engine power under the hood. Elssaser of course was closely associated with former Charger champion Larry LaFountaine #53 during his driving career.
Jessica Cohan made her first start of 2013 in the Blunderbusts in the Lou's Towing #8 and was 13th, two spots back of her boyfriend Bryan Quilliam #84 who posted a season best 11th.
Brian Brown pulled into the top five of the Blunderbust championship standings with his third place finish in the Wilson Distribution #56.
Grand Enduro regular Don Carasiti returned to the 8-Cylinder class for a race and promptly place third in the IRIE Riding Stables Chevy.
Tom Rogers Jr. with a heavy heart raced Saturday night taking home a 6th and 4th in the Twin 30'S. Spoke to Tom's sister Cindy Rogers-Berner who disclosed that the family has set-up a Rogers Children's Fund for Tom's children after Kim Rogers passed away a week ago. You can either see Cindy at the track or find her or myself on Facebook, the fund is being handled through Suffolk County National Bank.
(NOTE: Please check point standings page as points may have changed after this week's EYE)
Until next week - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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