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"EYE ON RIVERHEAD" by Bob Finan
The second month of the Riverhead Raceway off season is now in the books as we get closer and closer to the release of the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and Enduro Series schedule. If all goes well the new schedule will be up on our web page before Christmas. While much of it looks the same there will indeed be some changes along the way that we hope you will like.
Timmy Solomito scored the win in the Turkey Derby Legend Race Car main event on Friday of Thanksgiving weekend as he drove the Kevin Strumpf owned Monster's Recycling #48 to victory lane. "The Natural" held off a banner field of Legend Race Car stars, many of whom he races with in the class at Riverhead Raceway as well as throughout the Northeast. Speaking of Kevin Strumpf, he has undertaken the project of restoring a former Tom McCann #16 Pinto NASCAR Modified and although it might be tight he hopes to have it completed by the end of the 2014 race season.
This past Sunday yours truly hosted the Long Island Automotive Swap Shop and I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it perhaps the best one to date. Yes it was cold but the wheeling and dealing was red hot and we were able to grab some news along the way so here we go!
The most pleasant surprise of the day came very early on as former NASCAR Modified driving star Peggy Smith and her sister Linda rolled through the gate. Peggy has been in a tough fight against cancer but she was her usual "spunky" self as she told me, "I have to get rid of some of this stuff in my garage" She looked good and when one young man admired a couple of model cars Peggy had she handed them over to him as an early Christmas gift, class act as always.
Former Islip Speedway Street Stock driver JP Gallagher was on hand taking in the Swap Shop and he looks as though he could get into a Charger car and be competitive!
Ken Darch confirmed what we had heard along the way that he indeed has a brand new Troyer Race car chassis that he purchased through Jamie Tomaino. Not only will Darch have a new Precision Water Works #03 in 2014 but also a new motor program that will also be based out of the Garden State. The car he raced this past season is for sale, turn key at just $11,500.
Darch will be one of four race teams that we know of that will have a new Troyer chassis beneath them in 2014 as Dave Sapienza #36, Eddie Brunnhoelzl III and Timmy Solomito in the Wayne Anderson #15 all have new cars in their shops.
Former NASCAR Modified driver Chris Young had a banner day at the Swap Shop as he sold his white box truck race car hauler to Gary Fritz Sr. who will use it to haul the #9 Northeastern Office Equipment Chevy Figure Eight car for his son Gary Jr.
Chris LaSpisa had the #57 Late Model on hand, which for most of 2013 was the #11 machine. Chris would like to trim back by one his LM fleet of three and the car is priced to sell at $7,000 turn key. He would then like to purchase a Legend Race car for his daughter Emily.
Spoke with former four time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Bill Park later in the day and he told us that as it stands now Ryan Preece more than likely will run the same slate of races in 2014 as he did in 2013 in the famed #20. The only hitch would come if Preece was able to get more than the two Nationwide Series starts he is currently slated for in Tommy Baldwin Jr's. cars at New Hampshire and Richmond. Bill noted he'd like to run another driver in the car when Ryan can't make it but time will tell on that part of the team's schedule this year.
One of the better deals we saw was the #11 Figure Eight Monte Carlo of Tommy Walkowiak with the car priced at a mere $2,500 minus engine. The car as some of you might recall is the former George Sprague #10 and at that price is a steal!
Robin Vollmoeller and his lovely wife Elaine were on hand and he confirmed to us he would not be returning to our staff as a NASCAR Official in 2014 but rather has purchased a Legend Race Car for competition next season! I wouldn't bet against him winning a feature along the way. Elaine meanwhile was just days removed from having Thyroid surgery but that did not deter her from attending the Swap Shop!
"Jumping" Jack Orlando unloaded the Gershow Motorsports #2 NASCAR Modified from his trailer, the car is the lime green machine that features a Spafco chassis and is for sale as a roller for #3,500, that my friends is a good buy!
Daryl Baker #07 had his Charger car there as well as a roller for just $1,200, this is the car that his son John drove to victory lane.
As usual Dave Brigati and his Outlaw Racing team unloaded a bevy of racing equipment from their trailer. Brian Schwarz of Dave's team amazes me as he knows the history of each and every part that was on display. Brigati confirmed he sold his race car hauler to Joe Bertuccio and is awaiting an all-new state of the art hauler!
Robert Clock and his extensive photo collection from Islip, Freeport and Riverhead had plenty of traffic by his truck all morning long. We might try and do something with Robert bringing his collection to an indoor venue early in 2014 if we can work the logistics out.
At this time I'd like to thank Barbara & Jim Cromarty for the use of the track for the Swap Shop as well as John Ellwood for all his help and my lovely wife Lori who gives me a big hand. Lori will be undergoing hip replacement surgery this Wednesday December 11th but toughed it out on Sunday.
While we were at the track Sunday, 2013 Figure Eight champion Ken Hyde Jr. #58, Arne Pedersen #34 and CJ Lehmann #1 all had their cars in the annual Shirley-Mastic Christmas Parade which travels west down the Montauk Highway business corridor. Hyde will be part of the Moriches parade this weekend we hear.
Due to the Atlantic City Indoor event in late January, we have been forced to seek another date for our 2013 Riverhead Raceway Champion's Luncheon which we are currently organizing. Please stay tuned right here at www.riverheadraceway.com or on Facebook for further info!
Until next time - BF
2013 Eye On Riverhead Archive
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