November 4, 2020
FORMER ISLIP 300 WINNERS DILLON STEUER, RYAN PREECE & KYLE SOPER RETURNING TO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NOVEMBER 14TH WITH HOPES OF BECOMING FIRST REPEAT WINNER
Bob Finan PR
When the paddock area at Riverhead Raceway opens bright and early Saturday morning November 14th to begin the festivities for the 4th annual Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply three Tour Type Modified drivers will stroll through the gate with the same agenda, become the first repeat winner of the race. Dillon Steuer of Bohemia, Ryan Preece of Berlin Ct, and most recent winner Kyle Soper of Manorville all hope to leave the historic quarter mile oval later that evening with another $7,000 winner's share of the purse in their hauler.
In the inaugural Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply over Memorial Day weekend in 2017 then 15-year old Dillon Steuer of Bohemia son of former two-time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Chuck stood the Tour Type Modified world on it's collective ear with a stunning victory, the first of his career no less. Steuer was hot on the heels of race leader Tom Rogers Jr. in the first 300 and when the duo split a lapped car exiting the fourth corner on lap 262 Rogers chose the outside and Steuer the inside. By the time the leading duo arrived in the first turn Steuer had the Northeastern Office Equipment Chevy out and front and led the rest of the way. After taking the checker flag the Connetquot High School student then unleashed a legendary post race burnout in celebration. Rogers was runner-up with David Schneider third.
The second edition of the Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply moved later into the annual Riverhead Raceway schedule and was contested the night before Father's Day on June 16th Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. and his TS Haulers team would go back to an old set-up in their Riverhead notebook to score the victory. On lap 66 Preece moved his way to the race lead and at that juncture of the race the game plan was to put as many cars a lap down as he could. He was able to lap up to the 6th place car before pitting for his three change tires with just under 100-lap remaining. Armed with three fresh Hoosier Tires Preece came back through the field in a hurry and on lap 215 worked his way by former four time track champion John Fortin Sr. Once back to the lead the current NASCAR Cup driving star again opened up a handsome lead that he'd enjoy the rest of the race. John Beatty Jr. made a late race charge to second and was able to stay in Preece's tire tracks late with Fortin completing the podium for the 2018 300.
Last year the 300 remained on Father's Day weekend and when the dust settled after a 10-lap dash for the cash to conclude the race Kyle Soper of Manorville would hold off the torrid advances of Tom Rogers Jr. to score the $7,000 payday in the Eastport Feeds Chevy owned by Wayne & Joette Anderson. Soper first took the lead on lap 117 from John Fortin Sr. and later would have former Go-Kart rival Craig Lutz pressure him for the lead which Lutz took with a pass of Kyle on lap 155. The 2019 Islip 300 featured a long green flag run that would not be good news for a quartet of cars as Lutz, Soper, Rogers & Jon McKennedy had yet to pit for their 3 change tires. That allowed Eric Goodale who pitted earlier to come to the lead on lap 205. Ironically Lutz would spin later stalling his car in the process. This allowed Soper, Rogers, McKennedy and Lutz who was now two laps down to pit for fresh rubber. When the race restarted on lap 258 Goodale led John Beatty Jr. but Soper was on the move with his new tires and by lap 264 passed Beatty for second and then on lap 276 moved by Goodale for the lead and eventual win. A late race caution prior to lap 290 set-up the 10-lap run to the checkers as Tom Rogers Jr. kept pressuring Soper for the lead trying to get under Kyle who was fighting a tight condition. However Soper who'd go onto to win his second straight NASCAR Modified championship later in the year would hold on for the victory. Rogers for the second time in the three year history of the race was runner-up with Craig Lutz with the aid of two well timed free passes roared back to finish third.
What pit strategy will serve as the winning formula for the 2020 Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply? Will there be another long green flag run like the 2019 race? What role will the colder November weather conditions play in the race? Those and many other questions will be answered Saturday afternoon November 14th @ Riverhead Raceway.
With the one off November date available this year due to Covid-19 moving the race from it's normal June date and no other Tour Type Modified races on the schedule several top flight names and teams have verbally committed to the Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply. 2020 NASCAR WMT champion Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville along with WMT rivals Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma., Craig Lutz of Miller Place, Dave Sapienza of Riverhead, Eric Goodale of Riverhead & Ronnie Williams of Ellington, Ct. will all be seeking their first win in the 300. 2010 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series champion Keith Rocco of Berlin, Ct. will be on hand along with rising driving talent Matt Galko of Meriden, Ct. Track officials have also been in contact with numerous other race teams who are still up in the air as to their plans.
Race teams from the ROC, MRS and Tri Track Tour Type Modified series are welcome to run their home series rules for the Islip 300 but will have to run the Hoosier Tire sold race day at Riverhead Raceway. If a team declares a series other than the WMT rules run at Riverhead they must adhere to the declared series rules fully.
The usually strong Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified contingent will look to end their shortened 2020 campaign off in a positive manner with a $7,000 victory including Tom Rogers Jr of Riverhead who recently sewed up his 5th career NASCAR Modified championship. Other top flight local teams hopeful of competing in the $32,650 spectacular include, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hill, a three time winner in 2020 as was Kyle Soper of Manorville plus Roger Turbush of Riverhead, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Howei Brode of East Islip, Chris Young of Calverton, Dave Brigati of Calverton, CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, John Baker of Brookhaven, Justin Brown of Manorville and Jack Handley Jr. of Medford all of whom placed in the top 15 in the final 2020 standings. Also readying for the race are Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach, Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches, 2020 Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown.
The Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds and INEX Legend Race Cars will run 50-lap and 40-lap feature events respectfully during the Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply program Saturday November 14th. Pits are opening at 8:00 am with qualifying set for 1:00 pm with all three classes taking time to set their feature fields. A B-Main will be run for the Legends and the Tour Type Modified only if needed. The compete race day schedule can by viewed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com, click on the Islip 300 banner for details.
In the event of inclement weather the complete Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply program would be run Sunday November 15th with the same time format in place.