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Tom Rogers Jr. Is First Repeat Winner At Riverhead Raceway
With NASCAR Modified Victory Saturday Night
by Bob Finan
Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue became the first repeat winner in the NASCAR Modifieds at Riverhead Raceway when he topped the Rapid Recovery Towing night 35-lap feature Saturday night. For Rogers, a six time winner in 2012 it was his 22nd career win which ties him for 13th on the all-time win last with Joe Krukowski and Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr.
Rogers set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.806 and redrew 3rd while Dave Brigati and David Roys picked the front row. Right from the start of the race the battle was on as Brigati motored out front with Roys trying to hang tough on the outside with Rogers staying low with the race leader. After a few laps of good side by side action Rogers was able to take sole possession of second and he went right to work on race leader Brigati as Roys watched from third. On lap 11 that battle got a tad too close as the duo made contact with Brigati spinning and Rogers losing spots as he gathered in his car back up but luckily for the duo Kevin Orlando spun in turn three drawing a caution. With Orlando being the reason for the yellow Brigati and Rogers got their positions back and the fight for the lead was back on.
On the ensuing restart Tom Rogers Jr. knew it was go time and indeed he did as he raced his way by Dave Brigati for the race lead with Roys still third and hoping the lead tandem would get together again. However once he got out front Rogers was able to put a car length or two between himself and Brigati who now took on the role of challenger with Roys drawing closer to the second place car. Over the final half of the race Tom Rogers Jr. was able to hit his marks and drive his Joe Ambrose owned Jessup Landscaping Chevy to victory lane.
"The incident with Dave off turn four was my fault" Roger admitted in victory lane, "luckily the yellow came out for another spin right away and we able to race for the lead once again, Dave and I race well together and it was fun to do so". When quizzed if he and his Ambrose race team would take on the WMT regulars in the Hoosier Tire 200 this Saturday June 29th at Riverhead Raceway Tom's response raised some eyebrows, "I won't be in this car but I have somewhat of an offer for another ride but we'll see".
After a week of burning midnight oil to repair a front clip his WPW Growers Chevy, Dave Brigati of Calverton rewarded his hard working crew headed-up by Brian Schwarz with a runner-up finish with David Roys of Coram bringing the Angela's House entry home third. Dave Sapienza of Riverhead and "The Natural" Timmy Solomito of Islip completed the top five.
So far all-time leading Late Model winner Roger Oxee of Peconic is liking the 2013 season as he swept the Twin 15's for the class for his second win in four start this season. Oxee got the night off literally on the right foot as he set fast time with a lap of 12.588 and then promptly drew the pole in the redraw. Indeed 2013 is Oxee's kind of year. Armed with a rare front row starting spot Roger wasted no time in putting his Southold IGA Pontiac out front in the first 15 lap contest with Scott Kulesa who drew the outside pole tucking into second and Jeremy McDermott sitting third. With just four laps left in the first 15 lapper Shawn Patrick made his presence known as he made a bold first turn move that found him coming from fourth to second getting by both Kulesa and McDermott. Oxee would win the first 15-lap segment and indeed lead all 15 laps of the second segment to earn his 63rd career win in the class to which he quipped "at sixty-one I'm still having fun" On the double file restart to start the second segment Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma was able to slip under Shawn Patrick for second early and would finish in the runner-up spot in his Eastport Feeds Pontiac, with Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen of Baldwin driving his Harley Davidson of Nassau Chevy to a fine third place showing.
It was a very emotional first career win in the 15-lap Figure Eight feature for John Vullo of Farmingville as he drove his number 66 Teddy Bear Graphics Cadillac to victory. Vullo is the nephew of the late Joe Biondolillo Jr. who last drove the number 66 to victory lane in September of 1997, some years later Joey would pass away from cancer. Earlier this year Vullo thought he had won a race but was set back a spot for striking a cone but Saturday night there would be no cone contact or mechanical failure that was going to get in John's way. At the throw of the green Vullo marched into the lead with Scott Pedersen in tow for the first two laps before Roger Maynor, a 109-time race winner coming to second. Shortly thereafter Ken Hyde Jr, made his way to third and on lap 6 he got by Maynor for second for five laps before Roger reclaimed the spot back on lap 11. All that racing for second indeed played right into the hands of leader John Vullo as he was able to build ever so slightly on his advantage, an advantage he's take right to the winner's circle. "This win is for the greatest Figure 8 driver ever, Joe Biondolillo Jr." Vullo proclaimed after pounding on the roof of his winning car. Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford with a late race pass of Roger Maynor of Bay Shore took runner-up money in his Kings Park Contracting Chevy with Maynor third in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford.
"The Jack Attack" Jack Handley Jr. of Medford triumphed in the 20-lap Blunderbust main event driving his Relle Electric machine from 12th to do so. Paul Parisi jumped to the early race lead and would lead the first five circuits of the race over opening night winner Justin Wahl who was applying the pressure to Parisi. Suddenly exiting turn four to start the sixth lap Wahl's car threw it's left rear tire drawing a yellow and during that yellow leader Parisi was summoned by NASCAR Officials to check on smoke that was coming from his car. Turned out to be a transmission leak and Paul was sent to the pits for repairs. That gave the lead over to Bill Wegmann Jr, who first had to ward off the advances of Ed Mistretta who chased him until lap 16 when he would be passed by Jack Handley Jr. for second. Once to second Handley and race leader Wegmann found themselves right back to where they were a week ago racing for the win. This week though there would be no contact and near spin as Jack made a clean inside pass of Bill for the lead exiting turn 2 to take the lead and the eventual popular win. When asked about his progress from 12th to the race win the 17-year old talent noted "you just have to go and go quick". Bill Wegmann Jr. of Patchogue was second in the Cracker Jack Auto Stores Chevy while defending champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington made some moves of his own to finish third after starting 14th in the Premier Utilities Chevy.
After seven years of trying to secure his first career win in several different classes of racing soft spoken Frank Scimeca Jr. of Bay Shore scored the 20-lap Legend Race Car victory. By virtue of his win in the first heat race Frank would start on the pole with second heat race winner Bryan Kelly alongside. The duo raced one-two for the first three laps of the race before an early race yellow set-up a double file restart on on that restart Justin Strumpf was able to peddle under Kelly for second. For the remainder of the race Strumpf, who graduated from Newfield High School earlier in the day was looking high and low for a way by Scimeca for the lead and as any good race leader would do Frank was looking for a way to thwart those challenges. The race for the lead indeed was as entertaining as it was intense and in the late stages of the contest enter Timmy Solomito, Strumpf's teammate who raced his way from 11th to 3rd. However it mattered not to Frank Scimeca Jr. who was running second or third he just knew he was within laps of grabbing that elusive first career win and he wasn't going to let anyone or anything get in his way. Indeed Frank would drive under the checkered flag first and when asked what was the difference in this race than others Scimeca quickly pointed out, "Set-ups by J-Rod, Jarrod Hayes he got the car right, we won our heat and I'm just so thrilled right now". Justin Strumpf of Selden and Timmy Solomito of Islip were second and third in the Monster's Recycling team cars.
For the third time in four starts Greg Harris of Riverhead took down the win in the 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro 40-lap main event. Once again the race became a duel between Harris and his father-in-law Robin Vollmoeller for the win with Harris in the SGS Stone Works scoring the victory for his ailing mother. Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead was second in the Spit's Speed Shop Chevy with Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point third in the Nelson Brothers Farms entry.
Rapid Recovery Towing NASCAR Modifieds:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Dave Brigati 3. David Roys 4. Dave Sapienza 5. Timmy Solomito 6. Kevin Orlando 7. Jason Agugliaro 8. Howie Brode 9. Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. 10. Mike Odwazny 11. Kyle Ellwood 12. Chad Churilla DNS- Vinny Biondolillo
1. Roger Oxee 2. Scott Kulesa 3. Peter Eriksen 4. Mike Bologna 5. Chris LaSpisa 6. Kevin Metzger 7. Shawn Patrick 8. Ken Alfano 9. Jeremy McDermott 10. Chris McGuire 11. Arne Pedersen 12. Scott Pedersen 12. Kevin Orlando
1. John Vullo 2. Ken Hyde Jr. 3. Roger Maynor 4. Scott Pedersen 5. Arne Pedersen 6. Mike Mujsce 7. Gary Fritz Jr. 8. George Seus 9. Brian Hansen 10. Ed Cheslak 11. Tom Ferrara
1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Bill Wegmann Jr. 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Jimmy White Jr. 5. Tommy Walkowiak 6. Scott Maliszewski 7. Tom Puccia 8. Tim Mulqueen 9. Tom Sullivan 10. Ron Langdon 11. Ed Mistretta 12. Brian Brown 13. Bill Wegmann Sr. 14. Paul Parisi 15. Justin Wahl
Legend Race Cars:
1. Frank Scimeca Jr. 2. Justin Strumpf 3. Timmy Solomito 4. Christian Conklin 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Kyle Soper 7. Greg Harris 8. Brad Van Houten 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Dylan Slepian 11. Eric Hersey 12. Vinny Colletti 13. Artie Pedersen III 14. Anthony Marsh 15. Joe Sedotto 16. Bryan Kelly 17. George Tomko Jr. 18. Alan Pedersen 19. Mike Van Houten 20. George Baker 21. Chris Rogers 22. Johnnie Gloor 23. Brendon Bock 24. Shawn Wanat 25. Richie Davidowitz 26. Alex Urbina
4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro (top five)
1. Greg Harris 2. Robin Vollmoeller 3. Don Nelson Jr. 4. Russ Jansen 5. Hank Hallock
Could Be Here
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