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S.R.O. Crowd Sees Dave Brigati Make Triumphant Return
To Riverhead Raceway Victory Lane Saturday
by Bob Finan
Dave Brigati of Calverton shook off a run of bad racing luck this past Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway when he held off teammate Dave Sapienza of Riverhead to win the 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature event. "The Fancy Farmer" as Dave is known as raced off Long Island for the past few seasons and this was his first win since returning to Riverhead full time at the start of the 2013 season.
John Beatty Jr. of Merrick in a brand new race car that perhaps had eight laps of practice on it set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.822 and would draw the outside pole for the feature while Dave Brigati drew the pole. At the throw of the green Brigati was able to get the measure of Beatty going into the first turn to take the race lead, a lead he would never surrender. On an 11th lap double file restart Brigati once again got away from the pack while Timmy Solomito eased his way under John Beatty for second and "The Natural" would try and set sail for the race leader but soon he'd have his hands full with a hard charging Dave Sapienza for the second position.
After several laps of riding Solomito's back bumper Sapienza would finally find his way by Timmy and set sail for the race leader Brigati who ironically was driving Sapienza's other car. Once "Sap" got to Brigati many figured the tandem would run single file to the checkers but that would not be the case as Sapienza nudged the race leader on more than one occasion but it would be to no avail.
At the finish it was one relieved and happy Dave Brigati scoring a much needed win, one that wouldn't have come without a phone call from the runner-up Dave Sapienza, "I tore-up all my equipment early in the season" Brigati reflected, "I was done and then "Sap" calls me and asked if I wanted to drive his older car and now I'm glad I said yes". Dave concluded, "I have to thank Brian Schwarz, Butch Capuano, JDL Environmental and my wife Cindy for all their support, it feels great to win here in front of a large crowd at my home track".
Following runner-up Dave Sapienza in his Buncee.com Chevy was Timmy Solomito of Islip in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while Howie Brode of East Islip and Jason Agugliaro of Islip completed the top five.
Eric Zeh of Selden worked his way through the Talmage Farms Agway night Charger field from a 7th starting position to score his third win of the 2013 season and in the process reclaimed sole possession of the points lead. John Baker charged into the race lead when the green light winked on with rookie Rich Wilson in tow for the first lap. Lap 2 found Cory Midgett slipping under a high and wide Wilson for second. After chasing down race leader Baker, Midgett was able to claim the top spot just prior to the halfway mark of the race on lap 9, with Eric Zeh also getting by Baker who was a touch out of shape after prior contact. Zeh, wheeling the ILS Landscaping Chevy wasted little time in making what would be the winning pass as Eric ducked under Cory off turn two for the lead on lap 13. Once out front Zeh's biggest concern over the final five circuits would be Chad Churilla who made his way to second and was hungry for his first career win. However Eric Zeh would indeed prevail with Chad Churilla of Hauppauge settling for runner-up money. Chris Turbush of Riverhead crossed the line third in his Wild Flower Smoke Shop Chevy.
The Blunderbust division normally can be counted on for quick running feature events with many going flag to flag without a yellow but that was not the case Saturday as they had a rough and tumble race which ended on lap 12 due to time running out. The storyline on Bill Wegmann Jr's 2013 season will be that he has led numerous feature events going into the closing laps and that again was the case as Bill led the race but unfortunately also be the reason for the races final caution flag. Tim Mulqueen chased Wegmann for the first 11-laps of the race but as the field started the 12th lap he was passed by Jimmy White Jr. and a yellow flag soon waved for Jack Handley Jr. who has a rear suspension failure in turn four. The field was reset with Wegmann Jr. leading White and when the race went back to green contact was made going into the first turn and Wegmann was up against the wall. NASCAR Officials had warned the drivers over the one way radio that the next yellow would be the races final one and when scoring and timing lined the cars back up Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton in the Busy Bee Pest Control entry was declared the race winner. Jimmy was met with a chorus of boos when he exited his car but in the end had notched his second win of 2013. Tim Mulqueen of Levittown was runner-up in the Timmy's Towing entry while Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow was third in the Chet Mitrani Plastering machine.
The 20-lap Jos. M. Troffa & Sons Landscape & Mason Supplies Legend Race Car feature Vinny Delaney of Holtsville finally grabbed the brass ring after being oh so very close before to win his first career main event. Kyle Ellwood set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.378 but drew 7th in the redraw while Delaney nabbed the pole and Jeffrey Goodale drew the outside of the front row. When the race got underway Delaney wasted no time putting his John's Fuel Oil entry out front with Paul Dodorico able to slide from third to second under Goodale. After an early race caution a lap 2 double file restart found Kevin Nowak racing under Dodorico for second and for the next dozen laps Delaney would lead Nowak, while all eyes were on Timmy Solomito who was making his way toward the leaders from his 8th starting spot. Solomito worked his way by Nowak for second on lap 18 and now the race for the win was on. At one point as the field race off turn four to take the white flag Timmy had actually got under Vinny for the lead but a grinding front stretch crash saw the race revert back to the last fully completed lap, lap 18. That put Delaney back in the lead for a green, white and checker and he was not about to open the bottom up for Solomito with his second chance at victory. Indeed Vinny Delaney protected the low groove long enough give car owner Joe Sole their first career victory together. Timmy Solomito of Islip was runner-up after making one last bid off turn four in the Monster's Recycling entry, "The Natural" came up a half car length short. Veteran Paul Dodorico of Miller Place claimed third place money in the Dr. Martha Baker, DDS coupe.
James Charrier of Shirley continued his domination of the Grand Enduro racing in 2013 when he topped their 50-lap feature. After Glenn Simonin and Greg Zaleski led early on Charrier came to the race lead on lap passing Zaleski. A red flag was necessary on the 29th lap when early race leader Simonin had his right front suspension collapse just before the starters stand and when the race went back to green Jimmy White Jr. caught Charrier napping to take over the lead. Driving with some more motivation Charrier wasn't going to be beaten that way and on lap 45 he put his Clear Beer Draft Chevy back out front and would lead the final five laps of the race. Jimmy White Jr, was runner-up in the Hometown Taxi entry while Greg Zaleski of Jamesport was third in the Gallo's Used Auto Parts racer.
In the 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby defending National Demolition Derby champion Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka scored the victory in the car he calls the "Misery Machine". Savoy outlasted veteran "Cheesebox" Michael Rommeney of Maspeth to lay claim to the victory, both drivers were coming off wins the Sunday before at the Orange County Fair. Rommeney was named Judge's Choice while the Fan's Choice went to hard hitting talent George Astacio of Shirley.
In the School Bus Demolition Derby Michael Rommeney rebounded for the win after outlasting guess who? That's right Jason Savoy as the duo went toe-to-toe in the Gershow Recycling buses with the "Cheesebox" taking the win as the crowd roared with approval and chanted out his nick name. Chris Van Cott of Commack was third.
1. Dave Brigati 2. Dave Sapienza 3. Timmy Solomito 4. Howie Brode 5. Jason Agugliaro 6. Vinny Biondolillo 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. Ed Brunnhoelzl III 9. Ken Darch 10. Eric Zeh 11. David Roys
1. Eric Zeh 2. Chad Churilla 3. Chris Turbush 4. Ray Minieri 5. Cory Midgett 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Jayson White 8. Tom Anderson 9. Richard Wilson 10. John Baker 11. Tom Sullivan
1. Jimmy White Jr. 2. Tim Mulqueen 3. Brian Brown 4. Tom Sullivan 5. Scott Maliszewski 6. Tom PIckerell 7. Justin Wahl 8. Paul Parisi 9. Brandon Hubbard 10. Tom Puccia 11. Bob Muller 12. Bill Wegmann Sr. 13. Ron Langdon 14. Bill Wegmann Jr. 15. Tommy Walkowiak 16. Jack Handley Jr. 17. Bryan Quilliam
Legend Race Cars:
1. Vinny Delaney 2. Timmy Solomito 3. Paul Dodorico 4. Justin Strumpf 5. Artie Pedersen III 6. Kyle Soper 7. Brendon Bock 8. Anthony Marsh 9. Dylan Slepian 10. Johnnie Gloor IV 11. Brad Van Houten 12. Chris Rogers 13. George Tomko Jr. 14. Mike Van Houten 15. Frank Scimeca Jr. 16. Allan Pedersen 17. Steve Smith 18. Steve Hersey 19. Kevin Nowak 20. Kyle Ellwood 21. Jeffery Goodale 22. Shawn Wanat 23. Bryan Kelly 24. Richie Davidowitz 25. Greg Harris 26. Christian Conklin DQ- Alex Urbina DNS- Bob Goleski
Grand Enduro (top five):
1. James Charrier 2. Jimmy White Jr. 3. Greg Zaleski 4.David Antos 5. Steve Mastro
8-Cylinder Demolition Derby Winner:
School Bus Demolition Derby Winner:
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