June 26, 2019
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR TO HEAT UP RIVERHEAD RACEWAY JULY 6TH IN BUZZ CHEW CHEVROLET-CADILLAC 200, JUSTIN BONSIGNORE HOPES TO KEEP HOME TRACK WIN STREAK INTACT
Bob Finan PR
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour after a month long hiatus will return to action Saturday July 6th at Riverhead Raceway competing in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 the first of two stops for the WMT at the historic quarter mile oval. Defending race winner and WMT champion Justin Bonsignore, 31 of Holtsville is hoping to keep his home track win streak intact after sweeping both 2018 WMT races in route to the title.
The first of Bonsignore's two Riverhead wins came in an event that featured a torrid pace set throughout the 200 lap distance with a mere three caution flags slowing the race for just 21 laps despite the fact 30 cars started the race. Indeed a rarity at the time rough and tumble bullring. Wheeling the Phoenix Communications entry out of the Ken Massa Motorsports shops Justin passed Ryan Preece on lap 171 and would lead the rest of the way for the popular victory. Bonsignore not only has his Riverhead momentum going his way approaching the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 as he also won the most recent 2019 WMT tilt June 5th at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, a track where he's now won 6 in a row.
To date this season WMT teams have been chasing former five time champion Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. who has visited victory lane three times in seven races. However Doug a 27-time WMT winner has yet to visit victory lane at Riverhead having come so very close before with numerous podium finishes but never sealing the deal. Several WMT teams with Long island connections will be in the hunt for the win including Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct who drivers for the Riverhead based Danny Watts Racing team. Craig Lutz of Miller Place is closing in on his first career WMT win while Eric Goodale of Riverhead captured his first win in 2014 at the track that is virtually in his backyard. Jimmy "Showtime" Blewett of Howell, NJ will steer the Gershow Motorsports entry out of Medford, L.I. and is hoping to give owner Joe Bertuccio his first WMT victory at the end of the 200. Other top ten teams capable of winning readying to invade Riverhead include Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct., Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY and Blake Barney of Jackson, NJ.
Other members of the Long Island Gang hoping for a successful night are Timmy Solomito of Islip who swept the 2017 WMT races at his home track. Ranked 12th coming to the 200 Solomito is keenly aware that the "home cooking" of Riverhead can start to turn his 2019 fortunes around in the right direction. Ken Heagy of Riverhead, JB Fortin of Holtsville and Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead have all won NASCAR WAAS Modified features over the years at Riverhead and hope to pull off the ultimate upset. Former two time track NASCAR Modified champion Frank Vigliarolo Jr. of Medford will make his first start in a few years subbing for the injured Dave Sapienza in the SAP Enterprises Chevy. Another returning veteran racing the event is George Brunnhoelzl III of Moorseville, NC., with the West Babylon native and former multi time NASCAR Southern Modified Tour champion piloting the Eddie Harvey Racing entry.
Since the inception of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 1985 a strong contingent of Riverhead Raceway regulars have successfully competed in the Riverhead races with the last true track regular to win a WMT contest Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. in 1995. Among the Riverhead drivers indicating they'd attempt to run the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 include John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Roger Turbush of Riverhead and rookie Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck are hopeful of competing. However all those teams have also noted their participation would be contingent on how they fared in the track's June 29th 69-lap feature event the Saturday before (June 29th). The NASCAR WAAS Modifieds also have a Wednesday night points paying show July 10th, just four days after the 200 making for a quick turnaround for the local teams.
Saturday July 6th will find the Riverhead Raceway WMT garage opening at 12:45 pm, final practice will run from 3:15 pm through 4:30 pm, qualifying at 6:00 pm while the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac set for 8:00 pm.
Joining the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 are the Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars and Street Stocks. The race day schedule for those classes will be announced on the track web site www.riverheadraceway.com.
Camper are welcome in the south parking lot of the track in the designated area, there are no hook-ups or fees for campers.
Pit fees are $41 from NASCAR & INEX License holders, $61 without a license. General admission is $38 for adults, children 6-12 $10, 5 & under free. Parking is always free.
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