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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Hard to imagine but indeed here we are writing our final regular season Eye for 2013 and once again we ponder how time went by so quickly. During the off-season our goal will be to pen at least one Eye a month unless circumstances dictate otherwise and as always could use your input along the way.
Saturday October 26th the annual 'Lil Jay Trinca Memorial & Benefit race will be presented by the East End Kart Racing group and the Senior Champ Kart feature will pay $1,500 minimum to win. Justin Bonsignore along with Linda Solomito are among those spearheading the race and Justin recently announced that East-West Marine will be the title sponsor. Keep track of this very special race and event either on Facebook by visiting Justin or Linda's page and we too will kick in some press releases on the RR web page.
As for off-season happenings first event will take place Saturday evening December 7th as Elaine Vollmoeller and Christie Harris will hold the Enduro awards dinner at JC'S of Manorville. The Enduro points and eventual championships are run independently from race track and Elaine and Christie do a fantastic job. For further information on the affair we suggest you join the Long Island Enduro page on Facebook and we'll update you in November as well.
The very next morning Sunday December 8th yours truly will again host the Long Island Automotive Swap Shop at Riverhead Raceway starting at 10:00 am in the morning. Vendor spots will be $20 per with general admission set for $5, we hope you take advantage of this event to either sell your unwanted inventory or come out to seek inventory for your race team you desire.
The annual Champions Luncheon we are hoping to host on the same date as in the past the final Sunday in January between the NFL Championship games and the Super Bowl itself. We are scouting some facilities as we might simply outgrown the Senix Creek Inn, we'll keep you posted.
Our broadcast partner Steve Halpin confirmed for us recently the the weekly Riverhead Raceway Rewind will commence in the weeks to come at TJ Halpin's of Setauket. Every Wednesday Steve will rewind the 2013 Riverhead season in order and the winners of the feature events he is rewinding on a particular night will get dinner for two free! Keep an eye on Steve's FB page and we will update ours as well.
Steve & I look forward to hosting the original Long Island Daytona 500 Party Sunday February 23rd 2014 at TJ Halpin's and of course we'll keep you informed with further details later in the winter.
Patience paid dividends for 2013 Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott and his SDS Telecommunication #4 team Saturday when he capped off his championship season in victory in the Miller Lite 50. The first 38-laps of the race went non-stop and during that very extended green flag run Jeremy was tucked up on the back bumper of Oxee's Pontiac, with Mike Bologna eventually sitting right on McDermott's rear spoiler in third. Jeremy was indeed the Swiss cheese in a very competitive sandwich but he never lost his patience and it would all payoff when the yellow waved on lap 38. On that restart McDermott was able to pass Oxee and once he was out front in the Jim Wichert owned machine checked out on the field. Earlier in the program Jeremy and his team broke out the 2012 championship Charger car and wound up 7th in the JDP Mechanical Chevy.
Somehow, someway I'm always one win behind on Roger Maynor's Figure Eight win total as his Miller Lite 20 triumph on Saturday was his 111th, not 110 like I had though and passed on to Steve. But 110 or 111 not matter how you slice it what a career the 8-time champion has enjoyed in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford as he led wire to wire for the win. Most weeks when the class runs we visit with Roger and I can tell you this his competitive juices still run as strong today as they did when he had a handful of wins and he looks forward to the 2014 season and a 9th track title! Thank you to Artie Schenk for updating Roger's win total.
Like Late Model winner Jeremy McDermott, 2013 Charger champion Eric Zeh iced the championship cake with a victory in the Miller Lite 30, in fact Vicky Curtis actually baked a championship cake which Zeh wore proudly during the post race pit party! Zeh passed good friend McDermott early in the race for the lead and had to fight off a very hungry Chad Churilla #20 who was hoping to end his season with his first career win. I for one would like to see Eric get the funding or perhaps a ride in either a Late Model or even a NASCAR Modified, remember he brings with him his father Ed Zeh who only won numerous Modifieds titles with his Dad Carl Zeh and driver Don Howe at both Islip Speedway and here at Riverhead. just thinking out loud.
"The Exterminator" Jimmy White Jr. wrapped up a career season in the Blunderbust ranks with his 5th win of 2013 in the Busy Bee Pest Control Cadillac, giving "The Kid" a sweep of all the 30-lap races for the class in 2013. After his win Jimmy then went out to try and win the Miller Lite National Demolition Derby Championship but his aggressive style might have done him in a bit earlier than he'd like. Jimmy did eliminate tested tough veteran "Pistol" Pete Mikos in his orange Crush which put a smile on Jimmy's face. Sunday afternoon saw White post a 6th place finish in the Grand Enduro in his #17 Chevy which he has also be running on the dirt at the Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, Pa. The Busy Bee bunch are busier than a bee hive, sorry couldn't resist.
"Dangerous" Dave Koenig wanted only one thing from the 2013 race season in the Super Pro Truck ranks, win a feature for his good friend "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen and it took until the last race of the year on Golden Auto Body night but Dave grabbed that win in a 30-lap race. Owen after a near death experience is now in a rehabilitation facility in Nassau County and the first thing Koenig made sure of on Sunday was that Andy's son, "Kid Cool" Dale Owen took the trophy to his father. Dale reports his father smiled upon seeing the hardware and can only hope it plays a small role in the recovery of Andy Owen. Job well done. Joe Kass, Dave's longtime crew chief Joe Kass was presented with a trophy of his own and $100 from Lou & Tracy Maestri in the memory of Joe DeGangi.
Jason Savoy and his Misery Machine came to the Miller LIte National Demolition Derby Championship as the defending champion and indeed a Savoy would triumph once again in the 50th annual edition of the event. Indeed Brian Savoy would pull off the upset victory in his Monster's Recycling #118. Brian and teenage talent NIcholas Malverty went toe to toe with Savoy prevailing making two last thunderous hits on Malverty. Brian did a great job and to watch Tom Kilkenny call Bob Benison of Monster's Recycling after the event I thought "The Madhatter" had won!
James Charrier notched his 4th Grand Enduro win of the year in Sunday's 50-lapper which was good enough for the driver of the Clear Beer Draft Chevy to clinch his third championship in the class. What caught my eye in the race was not the fact that Charrier started 11th but the amount of track position he made up on Phil LaManna and Bob Engelfried when he came to third and that is what put him in position to steal the win on the very last lap!
Winning all but one 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro this year propelled Greg Harris and his Wine Country Caterers #65 team to the 2013 championship. This win was difficult on two front for Greg. First for the second race in a row Ben Gregor #45 was all over Harris in his Gregor Well Drilling Chevy and secondly Greg was still very sore from his Legend Race Car tumble from the Saturday night before. He told us the car is a write off and that he'll have to buy a new one before the 2014 season, he also added that the championship Enduro truck is for sale!
Two full 8-Cylinder Enduro were contested with Anthony Pizzo #1 topping the first 75-lapper in his United Exhaust Shops Caprice which put him in the driver's seat for the 2013 championship going into the second race, another 75-lap event. In that race Rob "The Racer" McCormick #8 spanked the field once again as he did Labor Day weekend to take the win in his Sneaker Aquarium Chevy. Back the the championship tussle where a flat left front tire cost Pizzo the 2013 title, that was the bad news. The good news was his half-brother Ed Brown Jr. would win the championship in Adesa of Long Island #13, congrats to Ed on a job well done after taking some time away from racing.
The 2013 season almost got away from "The Pitbull" Steve Trimboli without a victory but that all changed Sunday at the conclusion of the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro. Joe Warren Jr. led from start to finish in his racer but after the checkers fell he was deemed by track officials to have passed a car under the yellow line and was penalized one spot for the infraction, that was the bad news for Warren. That turn of events moved the Pitbull Motors Mercedes Benz of Steve Trimboli into the winner circle for the first time this year in a car that was heavily damaged Labor Day weekend. Oh the good news for Joe Warren Jr., his runner-up finish was good enough to earn him the 2013 championship in what can easily be described as a career year!
Late Model driver Chris LaSpisa changed one of his cars from number 11 to 57 hoping it would change the cars luck and he'd drive it Saturday. Didn't work as he was first out of the race in the Sprinklers Galore Irrigation Chevy, maybe a color change for 2014 Chris?
Teenage driver Nicholas Malverty almost made history Saturday night becoming the youngest driver ever in the 50-year history of the World & national Demo Championship to win it! he is the son of former Demo and Blunderbust champion Eugene Malverty who openly admitted to us after the races, "he's 100 times better in a race car then I ever was" Nicholas was named Judge's Choice and earlier in the program drove "Pistol" Paul Parisi's #69x Seatow II Blunderbust to a fine 10th place showing. He also leads the V8 Bomber class championship chase at the Auburndale Speedway near his Spring Hill, Florida home with a handful of race yet to be run.
CJ Lehmann set the Figure Eight class on their collective ear when he not only set fast time for the Miller LIte 20 but did do with a new track record of 13.219. The race was an impound race and the team was forced to add water to the Reliable Motors Camaro forcing them to start 10th and wind up 7th in the race.
Wildest story of the weekend comes from the Kyle Ellwood camp as he decided along with car owner Jeremy McDermott and Allen Reeves to literally pull the #51 out of the woods by the race car shop. After spending all night cleaning it up somewhat, going through it for both safety and mechanical reasons Kyle drove the machine to a 6th place finish in the Miller Lite 30. Now that is a died in the wool old school racer right there at the tender age of 18!
Nice run for Tim Mulqueen in his Quality Hay #77 Blunderbust Saturday leading the first six laps of the tilt before settling in for a third place tally.
Rich Giordano made his first Super Pro Truck start in a few years in his Northeastern Office Equipment Dodge winding up 6th at the checker. Rich also now has in his G-Force Collision shop a World Of Outlaws type dirt Late Model, really he does!
Roger Oxee #39 told me after the races something broke on his Southold IGA on the one and only LM restart and after dropping through the field the 64-time feature event winner pulled into the infield with his ailing Pontiac.
Good to see Phil LaManna #47 grab a third place finish in the Grand Enduro in his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy after both James Charrier and Bob Engelfried got by him on the last lap. Engelfried was runner-up in his St. James Lumber #63.
Russ Jansen, former 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro champion was 5th Sunday in his PRC Industries/Angela's House #0.
James Johnson had a fine day in the 8-Cylinder Enduro races placing 6th in the first race and 4th in the second.
Nice to see teenage newcomer Brandon Esposito #8 come home 6th in the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro, he is the nephew of the late Joey Biondolillo Jr. and once polite young man I might add.
Donald "Woot" Lawrence much against the advice of his bride of one year took part in the Demo Saturday and "Batman" lasted well into the contest in his Busy Bee Pest Control owned machine.
John Vullo #66 did all he could to try and stop Roger Maynor from the Figure Eight win but had to settle for second in the Teddy Bear Graphics Cadillac.
Chad Churilla #20 completed his 2013 campaign with a runner-up finish in the Charger feature event and we have lost count of how many second place finishes that makes for the Angela's House driver this year.
Nice field of 14 Chargers on hand, Doug Krapata was in the Rib Visconti Island Trees Automotive #3 and was 11th.
"J-Rod" Jarrod Hayes finally shook the engine bugs out of his Apple Auto Parts #08 and was runner-up in the Late Model race.
Great catching up with Charlie Rizzo of Golden Auto Body the longtime sponsor of the Super Pro Trucks back by Mike Albasini's KJ Farrell's Pub & Grill #66. "The King of Queens" was very satisfied with his 2013 season and ended it with a second place finish in the finale.
John Baker returned to the Charger ranks for the final two races of the year in his Sunrise Medical Labs #07, he was third Saturday.
Johnny "Drama" Cricchio #66 grabbing a fine 9th in the Blunderbust race, he is seeking sponsorship for a full schedule of race in the class in 2014.
Nice run for Jay Henschel in the Travis Street Collision #54 Charger car with a 5th place showing.
Scary moment in Sunday's Grand Enduro when Brian McCormack got sideways in the backstretch in his #54 and was t-boned by oncoming Glenn Simonin #11 who had nowhere to go. Brian took a hard impact to the drivers door but thanks to the safety requirements that are mandated at Riverhead Raceway he and Glenn were okay and pulled on their own to the infield. Brian's car however is a write off.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month I'd like to salute 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro newcomer Kenny King who was the #1 Sunday afternoon. His car aside from being yellow has plenty of pink on it and he races not to win races, money or championships but in honor of his sister who is a Breast Cancer survivor. Kenny has a huge sponsorship program in place for his effort from businesses mainly in the Rocky Point and Miller Place vicinity to aid this effort.
On that note we will end this Eye and thank everyone for a lifetime of memories over the years and this past season, thank you again.
Until next week - BF
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