July 23rd, 2018
ANNUAL BALDWIN, EVANS & JARZOMBEK 77 SET FOR RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SATURDAY, PETER "BUZZY" ERIKSEN & FRED RODGERS TO BE INDUCTED ON CROMARTY WALL OF CHAMPIONS
Bob Finan PR
Collectively they were three of the most recognizable, popular and successful NASCAR Modified drivers ever to strap into a car and Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway "Tiger" Tom Baldwin, "The Rapid Roman" Richie Evans and "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek will be fondly remembered and honored with the annual running of the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 NASCAR Modified event. As part of this very special Whelen All American Series program the annual Cromarty Wall of Champions induction ceremony will be held with former four time Late Model champion Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen of Baldwin and three time Blunderbust champion Fred Rodgers of Aquebogue to be enshrined.
It was Riverhead Raceway that served as the springboard for Charlie Jarzombek's ultra-successful career and the driver who grew up right up the road from the quarter mile in Baiting Hollow. Charlie remains the all-time leading Modified winner with 63 at the Route 58 oval. Charlie was also a five time champion at the track and found success at Long Island's other two historic race tracks at Islip Speedway and Freeport Stadium. As for Rome, NY native Richie Evans his visits to Long Island often ended up with a trip to the winner's circle as the former 9-time NASCAR National Modified champion won 17 times at Islip, twice at Freeport and once at Riverhead. It would be that August 1985 win that would be Richie's last on the Island before his untimely passing. While Tom Baldwin of Bellport might not have won as much as Jarzombek & Evans his impact and popularity in NASCAR Modified racing is undisputed and over the years Tom did visit victory lane at Riverhead 11 times in his career. Indications are that Ricky Jarzombek will be bringing some of Charlie's race cars to Riverhead Saturday for an on and off track display.
Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead comes to the 77 Saturday as not only the defending race winner but also the defending NASCAR Modified champions. Rogers, a 49-time career winner as of press time could very well tie Jim Malone Sr. for second on the all-time win list behind Jarzombek with a victory in the 77. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville chased Rogers to the line in the 77 last year and he'll be seeking his second win of 2018 Saturday. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown had a solid third place tally last in year in the 77 and hopes to notch his second career win in this year's edition. Dave Brigati of Calverton crossed the line 5th last year and hopes to pocket his first win of 2018 Saturday. 2018 championship leader Kyle Soper of Manorville, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, David Schneider of Northport, John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville, Howie Brode of East Islip and Chris Young of Calverton all sit in the top ten in the standings heading to the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek classic and are all very capable of winning the 77. Roger Turbush of Riverhead, Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park, CJ Lehmann of Shirley, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and Eric Zeh of Selden are all also hopeful of a good run in the 77.
During the opening ceremonies for the race program the Class of 2018 will be inducted onto the Cromarty Wall of Champions. Peter "Buzzy" Eriksen with his 48 career Late Model wins that rank him second on the all-time win list and his four titles (1988, 89, 93 & 2001) will take his rightful place on the wall. Only Roger Oxee of Peconic won more than Buzzy with his 64 wins in the LM ranks. Eriksen's L.I. racing exploits also found him enjoying much success at the track where it all started for him the Freeport Stadium as well over the Islip Speedway after Freeport closed. These days Buzzy, 57 soon to be a grandfather for the second time can be found working alongside his father Peter Sr. at their busy All Island Marine business. Fred Rodgers was the first dominant driver in the Blunderbust ranks having won three consecutive crowns (1983-1985) while posting 23 career wins from June of 1984 through August of 1987. Known as "The Flying Fuzz" during his driving days the retired Riverhead Town police officer can now be found working as a Suffolk County Park Ranger as well still serving as a flight instructor for aspiring young pilots.
In the spirit of the nostalgic theme of the night the Long Island Vintage Auto Racing Series vintage cars will be in action for a 15-lap event. in the three LIVARS events run this season Jim Kelly of East Moriches, Frank Saladino of Huntington and Don Howe of Water Mill have all shared victory lane. Completing the special night of racing will be the Late Models, Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, Super Pro Trucks, INEX Legend Race Cars, Mini Stocks and a Truck Enduro.
Opening ceremonies will be at approx. 6:45 and be proceeded by qualifying. Adult admission is $30, kids 6-11 are $10 and 5 & under are free. Questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org while the complete race day event schedule can be viewed @ www.riverheadraceway.com