Riverhead Raceway
1797 Old Country Road
Riverhead, NY 11901
631.842.RACE (7223)
Email Contact: info@riverheadraceway.com

Successful First Practice Day At Riverhead Raceway
Boosts Spirits After Long Winter
by Bob Finan

Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures greeted both competitors and fans alike this past Saturday at Barbara & Jim Cromarty's Riverhead Raceway for the first of two pre-season practice days for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. By the time the session ended spirits were high for all after a long and tough winter in the Northeast.

Defending NASCAR Modified champion Howie Brode of E. Islip was among some 10 NASCAR Modifieds on hand as he was joined on track by Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct., Tom Rogers Jr., of Riverhead, Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct., Dave Sapienza of Riverhead, John & Amber Fortin of Holtsville, Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville and Ken Darch of Riverhead. All were preparing for the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events that will highlight the Saturday night May 3rd opening night card. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was also on the property but was there to have his engine sealed before heading to a family wedding.

Both the Late Models and Figure Eights had some veteran drivers on hand testing & tuning their machines. Former two time Late Model champion Kevin Metzger of Massapequa was joined by fellow LM drivers Chris LaSpisa of Shirley, Ken Alfano of Southold as well rookie driver Chris Lescenski of Riverhead. Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford the defending Figure Eight champion led that class onto the track for practice and was joined by Scott Pedersen of Shirley, Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach, Johnny Vullo of Farmingville, CJ Lehmann of Mastic Beach and newcomer Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville.

Veteran Charger driver "Radiant Ray Minieri of Bay Shore was joined by Cory Midgett of E. Hampton on track in that class while Blunderbusts drivers Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge, Paul Parisi of Riverhead, Tim Mulqueen of Levittown, Tom Puccia of Shirley, Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton were joined by newcomers Ian and Devon Maliszewski of Deer Park. The latter two are the nephews of 2013 Blunderbust champion Scott Maliszewski and they are slated to share the seat in the #22 this season.

Among the Super Pro Trucks drivers on hand were defending champion Frank Dumicich of E. Quogue, former champion Lou Maestri of Deer Park, Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays, Rich Campo of Centereach and newcomer Jimmy Rennick of Howard Beach.

As per usual the Legend Race Cars came to practice days with a full field of cars and then some on hand! Brendon Bock of Franklin Square led the parade of Legends during the day and was joined by the likes if Brad Van Houten of Wading River, Kyle Soper of Manorville, Kevin Nowak of Medford and many veteran drivers. Several newcomers hit the track in the class and among them were Kurt Krieger of Rocky Point, Mike Rutkoski of Mattituck and Kevin Chew of Riverhead.

For the most part the afternoon ran incident free. Kevin Chew did make contact with the fourth turn wall in one of the Legend Race Car sessions doing damage to the right front suspension. CJ Lehmann lost the rear end in his Figure Eight car and Blunderbust veteran Bill Wegmann Sr. had to be towed off the track with mechanical woes.

After the NASCAR stock cars practiced until 4:30 pm or so it was then time for the Enduro drivers to practice which they did well into the evening. The 2014 Enduro season will get underway on Sunday afternoon May 4th at 12:00 pm.

The second and final pre-season practice day for 2014 will unfold this Saturday afternoon April 26th with the pit gates opening at 9:00 am at Riverhead Raceway with warm-ups starting at 12:00 pm. Grandstand admission is once again FREE!

For the 2014 Riverhead Raceway schedule, divisional rules and entry blanks please visit www.riverheadraceway.com or phone 631-842-RACE.

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