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James Charrier And Greg Harris Close Out Their Riverhead
Raceway Enduro Championship Seasons In Victory Lane
by Bob Finan
Another great season of racing came to a close Sunday afternoon at Barbara & Jim Cromarty's Riverhead Raceway with the cars and stars of the Enduro series bringing the curtain down. James Charrier of Shirley won his 4th 50-lap feature of the season in the Grand Enduro class and in doing so wrapped-up his 3rd championship, while Greg Harris of Riverhead won the 50-lap 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro clinching his title in dominating fashion winning all but one race in 2013.
Phil LaManna raced out front early in the Grand Enduro and was chased over the first 3 laps by Mike Mulcahy before the challenger was passed for position on lap 4 by Bob Engelfried. LaManna and Engelfried were able to get away from the rest of the field early on in the race while eventual winner James Charrier was trying to make his way though the field from the 11th starting spot. Charrier would eventually get to third which was a task in itself but once he got there his next challenge was to try and reel in the leading tandem of LaManna and Engelfried. With just five laps to go in the race Charrier indeed caught up to the leaders in part due to some hard driving as well the leaders getting caught up in some lapped traffic. On lap 45 Charrier snuck by his brother in law Engelfried for second and now set his sights on LaManna for the lead and the win. LaManna looked as though he might be able to hold off Charrier for the lead but on the final lap Charrier was able to make his way by Phil who led 49 of the 50 laps of the race.
At the checker it was the Clear Beer Draft Chevy of James Charrier taking what could best be described as a last minute win as well the 2013 championship. Bob Engelfried of Stony Brook was runner-up in his St. James Lumber Chevy while Phil LaManna of Smithtown was third in the EP Milling and Sweeping Chevy.
In the 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro Greg Harris via luck of the draw started near the front of the field and the driver of the SGS Stone Works Chevy wasted no time taking the lead over newcomer Matthew Larsen who ran second to Harris for the first three circuits. Robin Vollmoeller, the only other driver other than Harris to win a race this season came to second on lap 4 passing Larsen. Harris had a big scare on lap 21 when two lapped trucks got together in front of him and he had to roll out of the gas for a moment which allowed Vollmoeller to take the lead on lap 22. However father in law or not, Harris was determined to get the lead back from Vollmoeller which he did on the 32nd lap. Two laps later Ben Gregor raced by Vollmoeller for second and just like he did over the Labor Day weekend Ben tested Greg every turn of the way over the final 16 laps of the tilt.
When the race concluded it was Greg Harris crossing the line first to win yet another race as well the 2013 championship despite being extremely sore from a Legend Race Car roll over the Saturday before. Ben Gregor of Bridgehampton in his Gregor Well Drilling S-10 was runner-up with Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead third in his Spit's Speed Shop Chevy.
Coming into the final two point paying 8-Cylinder Enduro races of 2013 three drivers remained in the title hunt, Bob Baker, Anthony Pizzo and Ed Brown Jr.. Much to everyone surprise Baker was a no-show but he did indicate he might be moving out of state recently so that left Pizzo and Brown who are related to fight for the title, with Pizzo up on Brown. In the first 75-lap race Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma would take off from the pole position to take the lead and with the exception of a mid race challenge from Dominick Ranieri that found the two veterans racing each other very hard, Pizzo would prevail to take the win in his A. Voight Towing Caprice. Ranieri of East Northport was runner-up in the Westhampton Auto Salvage Chevy, while Ed Brown Jr. of Mastic Beach was third in the Adesa of LI Caprice.
The stage was now set for race number two for the 8-Cylinder class and going into the 75-lap contest Ed Brown Jr. would have to place 6 spots better than his half-brother Anthony Pizzo to wrestle the title away. As he did over the Labor Day weekend Rob "The Racer" McCormick of Calverton broke out front of the field early and never looked back as he once again scored a convincing win in his Sneaker Aquarium Chevy. Rob's biggest challenge during the race would be working his way through lapped traffic which was a big challenge in itself. Meanwhile the championship hopes of Anthony Pizzo went flat, literally as he fell out of the race early with a left front flat tire.
At the finish it was Rob "The Racer" McCormick scoring the popular win with Dominick Ranieri second and Ed Brown Jr. scoring a third place finish and the 2013 8-Cylinder Enduro championship in the process.
In the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge led from the throw of the green and had appeared to win their 60-lap feature event and the 2013 championship in the process. However after the checker flag waved Warren who crossed the line first was moved back one position for passing under the yellow line handing the win to Steve "The Pitbull" Trimboli in his Pitbull Motors Mercedes Benz. It was Trimboli's first win of 2013. Joe Warren was second and that was still good enough for the newcomer to clinch the championship which he dedicated to the late 'Lil Jay Trinca. Veteran Bob Haeger of Hampton Bays placed third in the Haeger Home Improvement entry.
Grand Enduro (top five):
1. James Charrier 2. Bob Engelfried 3. Phil LaManna 4. Kevin Nowak 5. David Antos
1. Greg Harris 2. Ben Gregor 3. Robin Vollmoeller 4. Don Nelson 5. Russ Jansen
1. Anthony Pizzo 2. Dominick Ranieri 3. Ed Brown Jr. 4. Mark Wolf 5. Jess Martines
1. Rob McCormick 2. Dominick Ranieri 3. Ed Brown Jr. 4. James Johnson 5. Kris Dane
1. Steve Trimboli 2. Joe Warren Jr. 3. Bob Haeger 4. Peter Verwys Jr. 5. Jim McCarthy
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