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Howie Brode Makes Late Race Pass To Claim Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Gold At Riverhead Raceway Saturday
by Bob Finan
Howie Brode of East Islip rallied late in the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems NASCAR Modified race Saturday at Riverhead Raceway to make a late race pass with 10-laps remaining to win his third Whelen All-American Series feature of 2013. For Brode, who was very close with "Tiger" Tom Baldwin and considered him a mentor it was his third win in the 77 lap Memorial and despite winning prior was every bit emotional after this triumph which was worth $1,600.
Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville set fast time with a lap of 11.876 but could only muster a 7th in the redraw while Howie Brode drew the pole with Jason Agugliaro picking the outside of the front row. When the green flag dropped on the field Brode would take the race lead while another former winner of this race Ron Silk quickly jumped under Agugliaro from his third starting spot to race the outside pole sitter from second. Silk took the position and quickly turned his attention to race leader Howie Brode. With the leaders car tight upon exit Silk was looking to execute an inside pass for the race lead with Ryan Preece, a winner in his last three Riverhead starts making his way quickly from sixth to third. With Preece testing Silk for second Brode was able to gain some breathing room although that would be shirt lived.
On lap 16 Preece worked his way by Silk for second just two laps after a 14th lap caution flag with Ryan taking advantage of the double file restart to his advantage. After chasing race leader Brode for a dozen laps and testing him numerous times, Preece was able to work his way under Howie for the race lead entering turn three with Silk also able to get by Brode for second taking advantage of the opening as well. Once in the lead Preece would start to motor away from Silk and Brode but a 44th lap caution flag period would turn Ryan's night upside down. While circling the track under yellow the left front tire on the Bill & Barbara Park owned entry went flat and Ryan was forced to surrender the lead and what appeared to be certain victory when he pitted.
When the race went back to green Ron Silk found himself the race leader with 35-laps remaining in the race as he was hoping to give his car owner Ed Partridge another win in the 77 as Ed was very close with Charlie Jarzombek. However as the laps started to wind down early race leader Howie Brode who had dropped to third was starting to make his way back to the race leader. On lap 67 Brode ducked under Silk and the race leader tried unsuccessfully to pinch his challenger off but Howie was having none of it as he put his Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy out front for good.
After taking the victory lap Howie Brode chocking back tears rolled to victory lane and admitted his motivation afterwards, "even though we dropped back to third for a bit this car was good and I just kept digging" John Denniston of Hagerman Systems surprised the race winner not only with the winners trophy but also a picture with all three drivers cars and images on it and with his voice cracking Howie admitted, "I think all three of these greats were riding with me tonight, I can never thank Tom Baldwin enough for what he instilled in me". Brode also took home the checkered flag for the race from starter Mike Rickert and his family.
Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. was runner-up in the TS Haulers Chevy while "The Natural" Timmy Solomito of Islip scored a solid third place finish in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Dave Sapienza of Riverhead had a solid race coming home fourth with teammate Dave Brigati of Calverton completing the top five. Ryan Preece would rally over the final 35-laps for a sixth place showing.
A few weeks back Scott Pedersen's car owner Benny Vecchio purchased the former Ralph Tasso Figure Eight car for his race team and this past Saturday in just his first start in the Reliable Motors Chevy Scott would take down the win. Perhaps it was the sultry heat that led to a wild race for the class that found them running 13 of a scheduled 15-laps with the finish of the event looking like a WWE event. Tom Ferrara led the first 12 laps of the race and for the first 9 laps was chased by Scott Pedersen before he gave way to John Vullo on lap 10. Once to second Vullo, who was going for his third consecutive quickly went to work on race leader Ferrara with Pedersen still in he mix. The top three cars ran extremely close as the laps started to wind down to a precious few. On lap 12 Ferrara went for a spin after contact from behind and he wasn't happy about it and waited for Vullo the new race leader. On lap 13 Ferrara made contact with Vullo and John would then retaliate with a caution flag being thrown in the process. Caught-up in the Ferrara & Vullo mess would be two innocent victims Arne Pedersen and ken Hyde Jr., with Pedersen's car heavily damaged. During the yellow NASCAR Officials sent Vullo to the rear of the lead lap cars for rough riding, Ferrara was finished for the night with a damaged car and when scoring and timing put the field back in order Scott Pedersen, the 2010 track champion was out front and named the race winner with the race checkered do to the time limit. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore came from 9th to finish second in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford with defending champion Mike Mujsce of Quogue third in the Bill Beener Tree Service racer.
"Radiant" Ray Minieri of Bay Shore may have accomplished something no other Charger might have as he won the 20-lap PRC Industries/Angela's House Charger feature event and in order to do so passed Chris Turbush for the race lead. Cory Midgett paced the race over the first five laps before both Chris Turbush and Ray Minieri came calling in the form of an inside pass in turn three. With Turbush and Minieri now running one-two many on hand thought Chris would motor off to his 35th career win but Ray had other ideas. The two tested tough veterans put on a great side by side race for the lead over the final six laps of the race with John Baker waiting for the leaders to get together and he'd drive off to victory lane. With the two to go signal in the air Minieri made an inside pass of Turbush and after some minor paint swapping Ray would keep his Sunrise Chiropractic & Wellness Center Dodge out front to score his second win of the year and 17th of his career. "Chris & I ran hard but clean for the win, I hope the fans enjoyed it" Ray noted in victory lane. Chris Turbush of Wading River was runner-up in the Carpet Express Chevy and later reflected, "I can't recall being passed for the race lead but it was a good race". John Baker of Brookhaven would cross the line third in the Sunrise medical Labs Chevy.
With his AARP card tucked in his wallet, Ron Langdon of Wantagh celebrated his recent 50th Birthday by winning the 20-lap Blunderbust feature event. Right from the outset Ron Langdon showed he was the driver to beat as he broke out front of Paul Parisi and "Turbo" Tom Sullivan. Sullivan would pass Parisi for second but the race as can be typical with the Blunderbust drivers would be a caution free event and that played into Langdon's hand. That is until defending champion Tom Pickerell came to second on lap 12. Over the last eight laps of the race Pickerell reeled in race leader Langdon in rapid fashion and now the race for the win was on! As the duo raced into the final corner Pickerell went for broke and dove under Langdon for the lead, they touched off turn four and Tom would be first under the checker flag. However NASCAR Officials determined Pickerell's last turn pass found him under the dreaded yellow line, a decision that Tom agreed with in a very sportsman like manner. They put him back on spot and low and behold Ron Langdon who began his driving career back at Freeport Stadium was the race winner in the Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was runner-up in the Premier Utility Service Chevy while Langdon's car owner "The Wildchild" Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge was third in the Langdon's Automotive machine.
Soon to be High School senior Kyle Soper of Manorville would score his second career win in their 20-lap feature event and his winning move would actually take place when the race took the green flag. Armed with an outside pole starting spot by virtue of his win in the second heat race Soper got some good forward bite off turn four and was able to beat pole sitter Justin Strumpf to the lead. Strumpf would run second for the first two laps but found himself stuck on the outside groove to long and on lap 3 was passed by Vinny Delaney for position. The race was a very clean run affair with minimal caution flags which also played into the hands of Kyle Soper, a third generation driver who after he graduates in June of 2014 will enlist in the US Army. When the race concluded it was indeed the Atlantic Chevrolet and Cadillac of Bay Shore entry of Kyle Soper taking down the win. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was second in the John's Fuel Oil machine with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches placing third in the SAM mechanical mount.
Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 by Hagerman Systems:
1. Howie Brode 2. Ron Silk 3. Timmy Solomito 4. Dave Sapienza 5. Dave Brigati 6. Ryan Preece 7. David Roys 8. Justin Bonsignore 9. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 10. Vinny Biondolillo 11. Ken Darch 12. Jason Agugliaro 13. Ken Heagy
1. Scott Pedersen 2. Roger Maynor 3. Mike Mujsce 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. Scott Lehmann 6. Ken Hyde Jr. 7. Arne Pedersen 8. Tom Ferrara 9. John Vullo 10. CJ Lehmann 11. Brian Hansen 12. Ron Langdon
PRC Industries/Angela's House Chargers:
1. Ray Minieri 2. Chris Turbush 3. John Baker 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Eric Zeh 6. Cory Midgett 7. Rich Wilson 8. Jayson White 9. Tom Anderson 10. Chad Churilla
1. Ron Langdon 2. Tom Pickerell 3. Tommy Walkowiak 4. Scott Maliszewski 5. Justin Wahl 6. Brian Brown 7. Tom Sullivan 8. Tim Mulqueen 9. Ed Mistretta 10. Jimmy White Jr. 11. Tom Puccia 12. Bill Wegmann Sr. 13. Jack Handley Jr. 14. Paul Parisi DNS- Bill Wegmann Jr.
Legend Race Cars:
1. Kyle Soper 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Brendon Bock 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Justin Strumpf 7. Kevin Nowak 8. Christian Conklin 9. Timmy Solomito 10. Brad Van Houten 11. Greg Harris 12.. Johnnie Gloor IV 13. Dylan Slepian 14. Jim Sylvester 15. Artie Pedersen III 16. Alex Urbina 17. Shawn Wanat 18. Vincent Colletti 19. Anthony Marsh 20. Bryan Kelly 21. Colin Hoeffner 22. Mike Van Houten 23. Bobby Jones 24. Steve Hersey 25. Allan Pedersen 26. Steve Smith 27. Eric Hersey
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