Riverhead, NY July 23rd.

It was a hot & sultry summer night at Riverhead Raceway Saturday and with the NASCAR Modifieds off for the evening the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate drivers took center stage for a 40-lap main event with Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills scoring his second win of 2016. Slepian the 2015 INEX Legend Race Car champion went wire to wire for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series triumph.

IMG_7639With a $1,000 carrot dangling for the quickest time in qualifying thanks to the efforts of Wayne Okula, Dillon Steuer of Bohemia not only won the cash prize with his lap of 12.702 but also two Hoosier Tires among other prizes. Since this was the first time the class has qualified via time trials Steuer’s lap becomes the track record. Dillon drew the number four pill after qualifying signifying the top four cars would redraw for the main event with Steuer drawing the outside pole while Dylan Slepian second quick in time drew the pole.

When the green flag waved for the 40-lap feature Dylan Slepian got the jump on the 14-year old Dillon Steuer for the race lead with CJ Lehmann and Dave Brigati in tow from third and fourth. During the race which was slowed by just one caution flag Slepian was able to get away from his rivals thanks in part to Lehmann attempting to challenge Steuer for second. This also allowed Brigati running fourth to take a peek at working his way around Lehmannn for third. With all that going on behind him Slepian was able to hit his marks and get into a rhythm at the front of the pack. Meanwhile Lehmann was still trying to figure a way around Steuer who was equal to all challenges thrown his way.

IMG_8065When the checker flag waved it was the Hurricane Grill & Wings Chevy of Dylan Slepian taking the win and afterwards he revealed it was no easy win. “I can’t thank Kenny Darch enough, he had the transmission out of this car twice tonight despite his dislocated elbow”. Oddly enough Slepian and Darch would again have to remove the transmission a third time in post race tech as the top three cars were mandated to do so by NASCAR Technical Inspectors. All three cars were deemed legal.

Dillon Steuer despite finishing second enjoyed a $1,325 payday including his fast time bonus in the Northeastern Office Equipment Chevy with CJ Lehmann of Shirley third in the IGA Food Markets entry. Championship leader Dave Brigati of Calverton and Peter Bertuccio of Bohemia completed the top five.

IMG_7875Defending Figure Eight champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead had been sidelined from racing since May for health reasons made a triumphant return to action Saturday winning his 25th career feature event in the 15-lap main event. Rogers started the race scratch on the field (12th) as he subbed for the vacationing Tom Ferrara in the Northeastern Office Equipment machine. After Tom Kraft Jr. led the first two laps of the race Scott Pedersen moved out front on the third lap. However once again Pedersen’s luck would turn sour while out front as he was the victim of contact from a lapped car. That turn of events moved Mike Mujsce Sr. into the race lead on lap 7 and the former champion would show the way until he was passed by Ken Hyde Jr. on lap 12. In the meantime Rogers was busy barn storming his way towards the front and with just two laps remaining in the contest Tom would make his way around Hyde for the race lead and eventual victory. Ken Hyde Jr. of Mastic Beach would have to settle for second in the SGS Stone Works racer with championship leader Roger Maynor of Bay Shore third in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford.

Defending Blunderbust champion “Slick Pick” Tom Pickerell of Huntington overcame his disqualification from the previous week in true racing form as heIMG_8019 (2) went out and won the 20-lap feature event for the 17th time in his career. That moves Tom into a three way tie for third on the all time win list with the still active Scott Maliszewski and retired Mark Tooker. Joshua Creel set the pace of the race for the first three circuits with Pickerell in pursuit. As the tandem exited the fourth turn to start the fourth lap Pickerell made his way to the outside to overtake Creel for the race lead. Creel would run second until just prior to the halfway mark when he was passed by championship leader Jack Handley Jr. on the 9th lap. Once to second Jack started to reel in the leader and in fact got to Pickerell’s rear bumper but that would be as good as it got for the four time feature event winner. At the finish it was indeed the USIC Utility Locating Chevy of Tom Pickerell earning his second win of 2016. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was runner-up in the Relle Electric Chevy while “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge was third in the Blaze Fuel Oil entry.

IMG_7775Owen Grennan of Glen Cove continued a family tradition when he went out and won the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature event. Owen’s father Danny won some 22 races as well two track championships (2002, 2003) in the division prior to hanging up his helmet to focus on his son and his racing career. Starting from the pole Grennan, 16 jumped right to the race lead at the throw of the green with both Jimmy Rennick and Mike Albasini in tow. As the race moved along the fight for second would grow intense between Rennick and Albasini who went side by side for the position. from the 4th lap up until lap 15 the duo swapped second no less than five times before Albasini claimed it on lap 15. All the the side by side racing for second was just fine with leader Grennan who was able to build a comfortable cushion over the field. Meanwhile Albasini would soon find himself in another battle for second with just laps remaining with Roger Turbush further allowing the leader breathing room. When the checker flag waved it would do so first over the hood of the Evergreen Fences & Estate Screening Chevy of Owen Grennan who now adds a Super Pro Truck along with his 2015 Charger win to his racing resume. Roger Turbush of Riverhead with a last lap pass claimed runner-up money in the Baldwin Automotive Chevy while Mike Albasini of Flushing settled for third in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy.

IMG_7962Just a week after a jarring crash that left his Elaine Vollmoeller owned INEX Legend Race Car heavily damaged Kyle Soper of Manorville won the 20-lap Legend Race Car feature. Aside from the typical burning of the midnight oil by Elaine and her husband former racer Robin a trip to North Carolina to have chassis repairs was also needed before Soper could race the car again. Starting from the pole Kyle wasted no time in moving out to the race lead with Brad Van Houten and John Beatty Jr. giving chase. Beatty would make his way around Van Houten on lap 3 for second and the race was now on between he and leader Kyle Soper. On more than one occasion Beatty tried to execute a crossover move exiting the corners with Soper equal to those challenges each and every time, With all the hard work and effort out in by his team during the week Kyle Soper was not going to deny them a chance to celebrate their hard work with a win in the sponsor less machine. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick was second in the Giella Electric entry while Kevin Nowak of Medford raced his way from a 9th place starting berth to finish a solid third in the JTEC Electric racer.

Charlie Guardino of Westbury is now two for two in 2016 as he won the Spectator Drags while Connor Walsh topped the Big Wheel Race for children. The program concluded with the KSR Motorsports Monster Trucks thrilling the crowd with Hurricane Force, Webslinger, Storm Damage and the Rislone Defender performing.

Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crates: 1. Dylan Slepian 2. Dillon Steuer 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Dave Brigati 5. Peter Bertuccio 6. Dennis Krupski 7. Bobby Gardner 8. Jason Hansen 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Terry Stiles

Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ken Hyde Jr. 3. Roger Maynor 4. Scott Pedersen 5. Tom Kraft Jr. 6. Gary Fritz Jr. 7. Bob Dalke 8. Mike Musjce Sr. 9. Chris Elixson 10. Conner Aguirre 11. Dan Lynch 12. Brian Hansen

Blunderbusts: 1. Tom Pickerell 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Tommy Walkowiak 4. Joshua Creel 5. Jim Laird 6. Tom Puccia 7. Eric Zeh 8. Tim Mulqueen 9. Scott Maliszewski 10. Tom Sullivan 11. Bill Wegmann Sr. 12. Derek Wegmann 13. Cory Comiskey 14. Cassandra Denis 15. Bill Wegmann Jr. DNS- Alyssa Paprocky DNS- Chris LaSpisa

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Owen Grennan 2. Roger Turbush 3. Mike Albasini 4. Jack Handley Jr. 5. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 6. Dave Brigati 7. Lou Maestri 8. Sean Glennon 9. Frank Dumicich Jr. 10. Mark Stewart 11. Frank Dumicich Sr. 12. Amanda Anderson 13. Rob McCormick

INEX Legend Race Cars: 1. Kyle Soper 2. John Beatty Jr. 3. Kevin Nowak 4. Kyle Ellwood 5. Vinny Delaney 6. George Tomko Jr. 7. Ryan Lutz 8. Ray Fitzgerald 9. Greg Harris 10. Jim Sylvester 11. Dylan Slepian 12. Mike Van Houten Jr. 13. Jerry Curran 14. Joe Warren Jr. 15. Will Hiscock 16. Kyle Kwasna 17. Jeff Otto Jr. 18. Ed Cheslak 19. Paul Dodorico 20. Bryan Kelly 21. Eric Hersey 22. Brad Van Houten 23. Richie Davidowitz 24. Chris Rogers

Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint Returns This Wednesday

Written by Joe Coss
Photo Credit: Clarus Studios
(THOMPSON, CT) – Oval track action returns to Thompson Speedway on Wednesday night for the 3rd Annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint. It’s all part of “For the Drivers Night” featuring free admission for all drivers.
Sunoco Modifieds
The two prior Sunoco 20/20 Sprint races have been won under very different circumstances. Ryan Preece, a regular at the speedway won the inaugural event in 2014, while Eric Berndt in a second Ceravolo modified captured victory in his first race of the season last year in dominating fashion.
The event is comprised of two 20-lap features that both count for championship points. The final 10-lap Sprint to the finish provides the excitement of one last dash for the dollars. That was put on display earlier this season during the Late Model 20/20 Sprint when William Wall and Rick Gentes put on a 10-lap battle for the ages.
Winning the 20/20 Sprint is no easy task. Instead of the usual challenge of winning one event on a given day teams must compile three strong finishes, usually win one of the races, and not have any mistakes over the course of the three segments. It’s a tall order for anyone in the field.
“To be honest, with the Sunoco Modified it is not like a Tour car where the car will transition throughout a run,” said Preece. “This year it might be a little different running a softer tire because we do see some transition through a run. Some people get tight, some people get loose and it might work out to my favor if you have run the same tire in all three (races). My car seems to get better and better the longer into a run and it seems like others might be fading a little.”
Woody Pitkat, the defending track champion said, “You’ve got to see where you start, but you obviously try to win every race. You definitely got to use your head more and probably not take some chances that you would take if there was just one race, to keep it safe and run all three.”
Wednesday night might just be the best opportunity all year for anyone to catch Keith Rocco. Rocco has gone undefeated in the four events held so far, but with three races on one night, history shows that more than one car will visit victory lane. In the five events using this format including both the Late Model and Sunoco Modified divisions, no single car has swept all three segments. Rocco is hoping to changes the course of history on Wednesday night.
Late Models
Rick Gentes put a brand new motor in his car prior to the last event and the power plant seemed to make a world of difference. There was no question Gentes had the fastest car on the property during the main event on July 9, earning a dominant victory. The win added to a long list of victories for Gentes, but snapped a winless streak that saw him shut out of victory lane since September of 2014.
Gentes’ most recent success is enough to make anyone in the field nervous. William Wall who seemed untouchable to start the season now has a white and red number 70 looming larger in the rear view mirror. Wall has two consecutive finishes outside the top five after making three trips to victory lane early in the year. Only 10 points separate the two at the top at the mid-point of the season.
Larry Gelinas who has one feature win to his credit sits third, but did have to switch cars after destroying their primary Thompson car earlier in the year. The team has certainly faced adversity this year and are still in the hunt with five races remaining.
Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman
Like Gentes in the Late Models, Corey Hutchings has found his stride midway through the summer, cruising to victory during the last event after a slow start to the season. It broke a streak of first time winners in the division and for the first time saw a veteran of the division make a triumphant return back to victory lane.
Even with 4 different winners this season, Ryan Waterman leads the championship chase by 11 markers and is yet to win, but has finished 2nd on three occasions and outside the top-5 only once in five events. Waterman has become the picture of consistency all season and has been able to harness his aggressive style into good finishes week in and week out. Waterman will be back on track attempting to get back to victory lane for the first time since June of last year.
Mini Stocks
After winning three straight events to start the season, defending champion Dave Trudeau relinquished the point lead for the first time after a last place finish at the most recent event. He now trails in the standings by 9 points behind Wayne Burroughs, Jr. Burroughs has one victory so far and has finished no worse than 3rd all season setting up what could be the most exciting Mini Stock championship battle we have seen in years.
Ed Field and Brad Caddick, who won the last event that was held, could still have a shot by continuing to have solid finishes and with a little help if bad luck were to strike Burroughs or Trudeau.
For the Drivers Night takes place on Wednesday, July 27 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park headlined by the Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint. General admission tickets are available for $20, veterans, seniors, and active military are $18, and kids 12 and under are free. For more information visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.

E.J. Wade Construction Returns as Sponsor for BK Racing and Matt DiBenedetto at Pocono

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 25, 2016) – BK Racing announced that E.J. Wade Construction will return as a primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto’s No. 83 E.J. Wade Construction Toyota Camry in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The race on July 31, 2016 will be E.J. Wade Construction’s third race with BK Racing, debuting at Richmond in April.  E.J. Wade Construction is a Class A Contractor and a VDOT Prequalified Contractor that has highly trained professionals who have their tradesman licenses in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas fitting tradesman licenses.
E.J. Wade Construction is a company that believes in quality, reliability, friendliness, and putting the concerns of the client first.
“I’m excited to have E.J. Wade Construction continue to back our No.83 car,” said DiBenedetto. “It’s a testament to the work we are putting in both on and off track and I’m looking forward to having Jeff and his team back with us at track.”
“We’re proud to welcome back E.J. Wade Construction,” said Doug Fritz, CMO of BK Racing. “They continue to grow their marketing platform through their NASCAR sponsorship and we’re proud to have them as part of our team.”
“The guys of BK Racing are such a great group of guys,” said Jeff Wade, President of E. J. Wade Construction. “We have enjoyed being with them earlier this season, and we are eager to be back again. We are so proud to be a part of their team.”
For more information on E.J. Wade Construction visit www.ejwadeconstruction.net and to learn about the E.J. Wade Foundation visit www.ejwadefoundation.org

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