July 25, 2020
NEW SURFACE IN FIRST AND SECOND TURN AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY PRODUCES BLISTERING NASCAR MODIFIED TIMES IN TESTING, CHRIS YOUNG GOES 11.226
Bob Finan PR
For some time there are those who have felt the NASCAR Modifieds of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series at Riverhead Raceway have been on the razors edge turning laps in the mid 11 second range with the current track record sitting at 11.482 set by Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead last May. By the time the second week of testing was in the record books this past Saturday even the most seasoned of observers were left shaking their collective heads when Chris Young of Calverton blistered the track in the 5th NASCAR Modified session of the day at 11.226. Test session times do not go toward track records but it is apparent Rogers record could be in peril.
Prior to the 2019 season track owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz milled and repaved the third and fourth turn of the now 70-year old facility and the stop watch and Race Monitor times reflected the improvement on week two on May 11th when Rogers set the new standard for the NASCAR Modifieds. New track records were also set last season in the Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts and Street Stocks.
During this past off season the Riverhead ownership trio then addressed the first and second turn of the quarter mile facility as well as areas of the Figure Eight course on the infield. During the first test session of 2020 on July 18th Dave Brigati of Calverton set the NASCAR Modified standard with a lap of 11.452 in his all new JDL Environmental Chevy.
However nobody was ready for what transpired Saturday. The first driver to break into the 11.2's would be John Baker Jr. of Brookhaven in his Staria Automotive Chevy who in the third session of the day toured the track at 11.281 prompting longtime track announcer Bob Finan and Stephen Halpin who were observing the session on Race Monitor to do a double take. Finan noted "these are Mahoning Valley Speedway times" referring to the Leighton, Pa. egg shaped oval. The best was yet to come.
The best was still to come. In the fifth NASCAR Modified session second generation driver Chris Young went out and turned in his 11.226 in the Riverhead Building Supply Chevy. Afterwards as impressed Young was with his effort he also realized what it means in the big picture of things, "hey it was great to go 11.226 I'm thrilled don't get me wrong" the 27-year old Purdue University engineering graduate stated, "but there is no trophy, money or points so we really have won nothing yet". When quizzed as to what he thought would be the times the class would turn in in this Saturday night's opening night 50-lapper Young still seeking his first career win offered, "I think we'll race in the 11.5', 11'6 range"
After Young turned in his time Dave Brigati who parks next to Chris climbed into his car and race drivers ever the competitors they are trophy, points, money or not commented. "I'm shooting for an 11.1" with a smile. While he didn't get to an 11.1 or match Young's time Dave did improve greatly on his time from the week prior going a 11.299 in the 6th session of the afternoon.
With all the testing and tuning complete Riverhead Raceway now moves towards a seven division opening night this Saturday August 1st featuring the NASCAR Modifieds who will be joined by the Late Models, Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars. For event scheduling, Covid-19 regulations and other information please visit www.riverheadraceway.com