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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Before we review the happenings from the Green Earth Technologies 200 WMT event on Buzz Chew Chevrolet & Cadillac night we do want to clarify the time schedule for this Saturday evening September 21st.
The schedule notes a 4:30 pm starting time but we are going to modify that some. The first Legend Race Car heat will hit the track at 4:00 pm. Once the three Legend Race Car heats have been completed the NASCAR Modifieds will qualify for their 50-lapper via time trials. At 5:15 we will have the National Anthem and pace car parade and the first feature event will go green at 5:30 pm. The pits will open at 12 noon with practice starting at 1:30 pm. With seven divisions in action plus victory lane interviews for the race winners and 2013 champions the time change is needed for our Track Champions Night program.
As excited as Ryan Preece was after his third straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at Riverhead Raceway, the 22-year old emerging NASCAR star was just as thrilled to have tied Mike Ewanitsko as the only driver to accomplish the fete. Ryan ran a very smart race in his East-West Marine Ford and waited for the right time to make his way under Timmy Solomito #15 racing into turn three on the 176th circuit. Ewanitsko by the way was on hand to watch Ryan tie his three in a row win streak and was smiling ear to ear afterwards realizing the potential Preece has.
"The Exterminator" Jimmy White Jr. #32 once again found himself taking a Blunderbust victory in post race inspection as he was declared the winner of the Buzz Chew Chevy-Cadillac 30. Now Jimmy and Busy Bee Pest Control Cadillac team would much rather take the victory out on the track but in the end a win is a win. Jack Handley Jr. had crossed the line first but was disqualified in post race inspection for unapproved heads. White along with four other drivers passed what was a very intense and long tear down that didn't end until nearly 12:30 am or so.
Blunderbust points: 1. Tommy Walkowiak, 556 2. Scott Maliszewski, 548 3. Tom Pickerell, 530 4. Jimmy White Jr., 496 5. Brian Brown, 474
Kyle Soper topped the 30-lap Legend Race Car main event for his second win of the season after drawing the pole in the redraw among the top 8 drivers from qualifying. Soper had to contend with Brad Van Houten #09 for a spell but as the race entered its latter stages Soper was able to build a comfortable lead in his Atlantic Chevrolet-Cadillac #4, a lead he'd keep over Van Houten until the checkered flag waved.
Legend Race Car points: 1. Brendon Bock, 596 2. Timmy Solomito, 588 3. Kyle Soper, 558 4. Kyle Ellwood, 534 5. Justin Strumpf, 518
Scott Maliszewski in his Rush Hour Towing #22 will go into the final Blunderbust points race of the year this Saturday trailing Tommy "The Wildchild" Walkowiak by 8 markers. Scott along with White, Walkowiak, and Tom Pickerell #4 all passed the post race tear down of their Blunderbust engines. For Scott to wrestle the title away from the former five-time champion he'll need to finish 5 spots better this week.
Over in the Legend Race Car championship chase Brendon Bock #33 and his A&S Bagels team will also have an 8-point lead over Timmy Solomito #48 and his Monsters Recycling team, 596 to 588 heading to what is the last Legend Race Car event of 2013. Timmy will need to be 5 spots better than Brendon this week to take the title.
Kyle Ellwood #71x nearly broke his own track record in Legend qualifying as the Riverhead Building Supply driver turned a lap of 13.685. Kyle would redraw 8th for the feature and finish 7th.
Hats off to Brian Brown and his Chet Mitrani Plastering LLC #56 Blunderbust team. Brian was on his get up to speed lap in qualifying when his right front tire went down and he was forced to the infield. That meant a 24th starting position in what was the largest field of 2013 Saturday. Brown drove one heck of a race to place 7th, nice job Brian!
How about the night for "The Natural" Timmy Solomito! Won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Green Earth Technologies 200 WMT race, led for 176 laps surviving numerous double file restarts with eventual winner Ryan Preece #16 before he settled for a fine third place finish. Solomito, 21 and Preece, 22 thrilled the crowd with their fierce restarts and it was great to watch. Timmy prior to the WMT race was 4th in the Legend feature in the Line-X of Long Island #48.
Timmy's older brother Shawn Solomito #89 was fastest in practice when he moved to the top of the speed charts late in the session. Shawn and his Acme Sanitary Service Chevy ran in the top ten until a spin later in the race would find him winding up 12th in the finish.
"BVH" Brad Van Houten #09 looked as though he was going to make it two in a row in the Legend feature as he tested Kyle Soper for the lead early on in the 30-lapper. "BVH" was runner-up in the FX Speedworld entry.
Justin Bonsignore did a great job in the Green Earth Technologies 200 making his way to second with 6-laps to go to post a runner-up finish in the M3 Technology Chevy. JB and car owner Ken Massa now relying on Elssaser Race Engines under the hood of their machines, if that name sounds familiar it should be as that was the engine used by former Charger champion Larry LaFountaine #53.
According to "The Wildchild" Tommy Walkowiak he has his old #00 Blunderbust car for sale. The car has won six championships one with former owner Ray Dominguez and five with Tommy at the wheel to go along with nearly 50 feature wins. Asking price is just $6,000, see Tommy this week for more info.
Prior to having his night go south in post race inspection Jack Handley Jr set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 15.292. I for one felt bad at the outcome but it doesn't take away from the fact that this kid can drive and that this is just a bump in the road.
2013 NASCAR Modified champion Howie Brode had a successful outing in the 200 with his Petro Fuel Oil #96 running in the top three most of the race before coming home 5th.
A broken rear-end assembly was the culprit that kept "The Fancy Farmer" Dave Brigati #98x from taking time for the 200 in his JDL Environmental Chevy.
Jason Agugliaro in his Tom O'Keefe & Sons Inc. #69x and Danny Watts in his Danny's Cesspools #82 also did not qualify. Electrical gremlins forced Watts to miss most of the pre-race practice which got him behind the eight ball.
Nice effort for Legend Race Car newcomer George Tomko Jr. #5 in qualifying as he timed in 14th, he would later finish 13th in his sponsor wanted racer.
Frank Vigliarolo Jr. and his Lou Sapienza East Hampton Masonry #5 were once again fast all race long but a right rear flat tire dropped his from the race with just laps to go in the 200.
Six titles will be on the line this Saturday night September 21st in the final points paying features of 2013, we already explained the Blunderbusts and Legend Race Cars points earlier.
Late Models: 2012 Charger champion Jeremy McDermott #4 takes a 9 point cushion over Roger Oxee into the 25-lap main event this week, with third place
Scott Kulesa #10 12 out. For Oxee to overhaul McDermott he'll need to be 7 spots better. Kulesa meanwhile needs to be 7 better than McDermott while still placing 2 better than Oxee.
It gets really tight in the Figure Eight race as Ken Hyde Jr. #58 seeking his first career title at 21-years old has just a 4-point lead over Roger Maynor #28 and just six over third place Arne Pedersen #34. If Hyde places ahead of both then it is academic. Maynor needs to finish 3 better than Hyde while keeping Pedersen behind him. For Pedersen he needs to be 4 spots better than Hyde while also finishing 2 positions ahead of Maynor!
The tightest race is the Chargers where Chris Turbush #81 has a slim 2 point lead over Eric Zeh #34 who has to place 2 spots better than the former four time champion. "Radiant" Ray Minieri is 12 markers back of Turbush and will need to finish 7 spots ahead of Turbush while still being six better than Zeh, which in all honesty is a tall order.
Super Pro Trucks finds Frank Dumicich Jr. #42 having the most comfortable lead of all point leaders going into the final point race of '13 with a margin of 10 over Mike Albasini #66. Albasini will have to be 6 positions better then Frank. Third is Lou Maestri #1 who is 14 out of first and 4 back of second. Maestri needs to be 8 spots better than Dumicich and 3 better than Albasini at the end of the race to sneak away with the crown.
No matter who takes the championships this week you don't dare want to miss how they are won, we are betting there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.
Until next week - BF
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