Riverhead, NY May 16th.
By Bob Finan
A 32-year tradition at Riverhead Raceway will live on for a 33rd year over Memorial Day weekend as Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz present a doubleheader holiday weekend of racing at the historic quarter mile oval. An energetic card of NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing will get things started Saturday evening May 26th while the Spring Smackdown Sunday series program takes center stage the very next afternoon May 27th. The very first Memorial Day weekend twin bill was presented back in 1986 with some 200 Enduro cars turning out for the inaugural Sunday race.
Eight action packed feature events plus qualifying are set for Saturday’s show with the Blunderbusts stepping into the spotlight for a 30-lap main event with time trial qualifying setting the field. Opening night winner Jack Handley of Medford and defending class champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington will be ranked among the favorites in the 30-lap tilt as will Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead. Laird completed the opening night race on May 5th third. The NASCAR Modifieds will go 40-laps while the Late Models and Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crates are set for 25-laps of main event racing. Completing the NASCAR portion of the show are the Super Pro Trucks and Figure Eights. The Mini Stocks and Truck Enduro classes from the Sunday series will run their first races of 2018 Saturday night.
Saturday’s event schedule will find the competitor pit area opening at 2:00 pm with practice to run 3:15 pm through 5:00 pm. Qualifying time trials and races will commence at 5:30 pm followed by opening ceremonies and feature event racing at approximately at 6:30 pm.
With the Spring Smackdown show just 12 hours or so after the completion of Saturday night racing it will be a quick turnaround for the Mini Stock and Truck teams who’ll battle again Sunday afternoon. The Street Stocks, 8-Cylinder Enduros, Gut & Go Enduro and a Mini 8 race will complete the six feature events set for the second half of the doubleheader weekend.
The competitor pit area on Sunday will open at 10:00 am with racing to start at 12:30 pm. Practice time will be announced on the track’s web site during the week of the race. Saturday night NASCAR teams are welcome to practice on Sunday for those drivers who feel the need for more seat time or wanting to try some new set-ups.
Additional information can be obtained by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com or calling 631-842-RACE.