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Brian Savoy Scores Upset Win In Riverhead Raceway
National Demolition Derby Championship,
McDermott Tops Late Models
by Bob Finan
Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty presented the 50th annual National Demolition Derby Championship before a large Miller Lite night audience and when all the crashing came to an end it was Brian Savoy of Lake Panamoka scoring an upset win to earn the $1,500 payday. Five divisions of stock car racing were presented prior to the Demo with 2013 Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead topping the 50-lap Late Model main event.
2012 LM kingpin Mike Bologna was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 13.090 but he would redraw 4th while Jeremy McDermott and Roger Oxee drew the front row. At the throw of the green Oxee, a 64 time winner in the class, was able to edge out front of McDermott for the race lead after the duo ran side by side early. Over the first 38 laps Roger seemed destined to score a milestone 65th win and the race appeared to be going caution free. That all changed however with a Kevin Metzger spin in turn four as the field came down to start the 39th lap which drew a caution and set up a single file restart upon which Oxee appeared to have either broken something on his car or suffered a mechanical issue when he hit the throttle to resume the race. McDermott, who had stayed within a car length or two of Oxee over the first 38 laps was quick to pounce on Roger's issues as he raced his way out front in the SDS Telecommunications Dodge and once he was out front able to open up a comfortable lead that he would enjoy until the conclusion of the race.
"This is the icing on the cake" the 2013 champion boasted "I can't thank Jim Wichert enough for asking me to drive this car, we joked abut winning the title but really didn't think it was in the cards this year but what a year".
Jarrod Hayes of Calverton making his third start in 2013 brought his Apple Auto Parts Chevy home for runner-up money while Mike Bologna of Melville was third in the Schlaugies Fuel Oil entry. After running a few laps after his ill fated restart early leader Roger Oxee dropped out of the race.
The Figure Eights went 20-laps for their Miller Lite trophy with Roger Maynor of Bay Shore leading wire to wire to post his 110th career victory in the class. In qualifying, which took place on the oval, Charger standout CJ Lehmann set a new track record with a lap 13.912 stunning many in the division, an adjustment after qualifying forced CJ to start 10th while John Vullo and Roger Maynor would draw the front row. Maynor took full advantage of a rare front row starting spot as he broke out in front of Vullo when the race got underway. Vullo hung tough in the second position until lap 7 when he was overtaken by Arne Pedersen but just moments later he and Pedersen would get together with Arne spinning. When the race resumed after a quick caution Maynor remained the race leader with Vullo back to second but that would be as good as it got for the challenger as Roger Maynor drove to victory lane in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford.
"We didn't have quite the year we hoped for but we'll be back in 2014 to give it another go" Maynor disclosed. John Vullo of Farmingville was runner-up in the Teddy Bear Graphics Cadillac while Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach drove his heart out to come back for a third place tally in the BNR Home Improvement Dodge.
Eric Zeh of Selden put the wraps on his 2013 Charger championship season as he won their 30-lap Miller Lite feature event. Both "Radiant" Ray Minieri of Bay Shore and Chad Churilla of Happauge turned a lap of 13.230 in qualifying with Minieri being awarded fast time as he went out first while Jayson White and John Baker drew the front row in the redraw. When the green lights winked on Jayson White worked his way out front leading Baker for the first two laps before Jeremy McDermott raced his way by Baker for second. White, while out front, was leaving too much room to the inside through the turns and on lap 5 McDermott, the 2012 champion of the class worked his way under Jayson for the lead. However a quick yellow came out after Jeremy had led a lap which set up a double file restart between himself and Eric Zeh. On that restart Zeh would indeed get the measure of McDermott to come to the race lead riding the outside groove to get there. On lap 9 Chad Churilla raced his way to second and over the following 21-laps Chad would try and figure a way around Eric for the race lead and win. Churilla who had placed second numerous times in 2013 was seeking his first career win and he tried high and low in an effort to end his season on a high note.
At the checker it would be Eric Zeh wheeling his Randy's Performance Chevy to his fifth win of 2013 to which he commented afterwards, "without my parents and my team this dream season would never have been". Chad Churilla once again had to be content with second place money in his Angela's House Pontiac while John Baker of Brookhaven turned in a solid effort to finish third in the Sunrise Medical Labs Chevy.
"The Exterminator" Jimmy White Jr. and his Busy Bee Pest Control Blunderbust team enjoyed a clean sweep of the night's action as he set fast time with a lap14.965 and went on to win the Miller Lite 30. Veterans Tim Mulqueen and Bill Wegmann Sr. via the redraw would bring the field down to the start of the race with Wegmann leading the first lap before Mulqueen roared back on the outside to lead lap 2. On the 3rd circuit Jimmy White Jr. who started 4th made his was to second around Wegmann and after spending the next three laps chasing and challenging Mulqueen he made a move to the outside of the race leader exiting turn four on lap seven and by the time the duo hit turn one White was the new race leader. Once he made his way out front Jimmy White Jr. would drive off to a convincing victory in a race that went caution free, which played right into the hands of the eventual race winner White.
"What a great year, we swept all of the 30-lappers, won five races and I can't thank my Dad and this team enough, can't wait for next year" Jimmy proclaimed after receiving his Miller Lite trophy and product. 2013 Blunderbust champion Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park was runner-up in his Rush Hour Towing Chevy, while Tim Mulqueen of Levittown never dropped out of the top three to place third in his Quality Hay entry.
The most emotional win of the evening came in the Golden Auto Body night 30-lap Super Pro Truck feature with "Dangerous" Dave Koenig of Freeport winning one for his good friend "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen. A lap of 13.406 would earn Roger Turbush the fast qualifier but the 2012 champion could only muster a 7th in the redraw while tested tough veterans Dave Koenig and Mike Albasini drew the front row. It was Enduro talent Andy Owen who brought Dave Koenig to his first race at the old Freeport Stadium and early in the 2013 season sadly Owen suffered a aortic aneurysm and doctors gave him little to no chance of survival. Dave in tribute to his fallen friend changed his truck number from 97 to Owen's 29 and over the course of the summer had finished second numerous times. Well not this past Saturday as "Dangerous" Dave, the 2011 SPT champion raced his way out front when the race got underway and despite the fact that Mike Albasini stayed glued to his tailgate all race long, Koenig in his Nelson's Auto Salvage Chevy would indeed win one for "Daddy Cool" Andy Owen.
Choking back tears in victory lane Dave paid tribute to his friend, "this one is for Andy, I wanted to win one so bad for him this year. He is a modern medical miracle as he is in physical therapy now and the road remains a long one but at least his son Dale who is on my team can tell him we did this for him". "The King of Queen" Mike Albasini of Flushing was second in his HCC Collision Chevy while Lou Maestri of Deer Park was third in the Star Car Repair Center Chevy. Lou and his wife Tracy presented Dave Koenig's crew chief with a handsome trophy and $100 in memory of Joe DeGangi.
The cream of the crop turned out for the 50th edition of the Miller Lite National Demolition Derby Championship and when the event boiled down to the final two drivers it was clear an upset was in the making as Brian Savoy of Lake Panamoka and teenage sensation Nicholas Malverty of Spring Hill, Fla. were the last two standing. Many in the crowd would not have been too surprised if you told them prior to the event that Savoy and Malverty would decide the winner but they perhaps would have thought you meant Jason Savoy, brother to Brian and Eugene Malverty, father to Nicholas and a former winner of both the World & National Championships. After all the tested tough veterans dropped out of the contest it would be Brian Savoy in his Monster's Recycling entry delivering two last fateful blows on Malverty to take down the win.
"I can't thank Bobby Benison and Tom Kilkenny and the entire crew at Monster's Recycling, this is a dream come true" Brian noted. Joining Al Frazer of Miller Lite in victory lane to present Savoy with his trophy would be the 1976 World Demolition Derby Champion Bobby Thompson of Sayville who won his crown at Islip Speedway. Nicholas Malverty in his All-American Auto Wreckers machine nearly became the youngest driver ever to win the title and was named Judge's Choice and was just thrilled to be in the event. "It was an honor to come back to our home track and be out here with all these great drivers" Nicholas stated. "Jumping" Joey Palmeri of Lindenhurst was voted Fan's Choice in his J&J Towing station wagon and the veteran admitted, "I'll be sore for a few days".
1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Jarrod Hayes 3. Mike Bologna 4. Shawn Patrick 5. Scott Kulesa 6. Kevin Metzger 7. Peter Eriksen 8. Roger Oxee 9. Chris Mangels 10. Kevin Orlando 11. Chris LaSpisa
1. Roger Maynor 2. John Vullo 3. Arne Pedersen 4. Mike Mujsce 5. Scott Pedersen 6. Tom Ferrara 7. CJ Lehmann 8. Brandon Hubbard 9. Ken Hyde Jr. 10. Gary Fritz Jr.
1. Eric Zeh 2. Chad Churilla 3. John Baker 4. Chris Turbush 5. Jay Henschel 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Jeremy McDermott 8. Rich Wilson 9. Cory Midgett 10. Jayson White 11. Doug Krapata 12. CJ Lehmann 13. Derek Stachecki 14. Ray Minieri
1. Jimmy White Jr. 2. Scott Maliszewski 3. Tim Mulqueen 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Brian Brown 6. Bill Wegmann Jr. 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Gary Caldwell 9. Johnny Cricchio 10. Nicholas Malverty 11. Jessica Cohan 12. Bryan Quilliam 13. Robert Duffus Jr. 14. CJ Zurkowski 15. Richie Hubbard
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Dave Koenig 2. Mike Albasini 3. Lou Maestri 4. Roger Turbush 5. Brian McElearney 6. Rich Giordano 7. Rob Bader 8. Bobby Gardner 9. Mark Stewart 10. Kevin Scharfenberg 11. Amanda Mujsce
National Demolition Derby" Winner: Brian Savoy
Judge's Choice: Nicholas Malverty
Fan's Choice: Joey Palmeri
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