DAVE BRIGATI QUICKEST NASCAR MODIFIED OF THE DAY
Riverhead, NY Apr. 21st.
If Long Island race fans were looking for something to lift their collective spirits after a long off season they found it Saturday afternoon at Riverhead Raceway as the track staged it’s first of two practice days leading up to the 2018 season. A sunny, cool and crisp day greeted race teams and fans as everyone gears up for the Cinco de Mayo NASCAR Whelen All American Series opener Saturday May 5th and the May Meltdown Sunday Series opening day the next afternoon May 6th. Before 12 noon the pit area was two thirds full and bustling with activity in anticipation of the first cars taking to the track.
A healthy 19 NASCAR Modifieds logged in for the day with “The Fancy Farmer” Dave Brigati of Calverton clicking off the quickest time with a blistering 11.741 in the fourth of five session on the day. Defending NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead clocked in with a best lap of 11.939 while Kyle Soper of Manorville was third quick with a lap of 11.994. Craig Lutz of Miller Place, 12.053 and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, 12.078 completed the top five.
Former Late Model champion Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma was tops on the day in the class with a lap of 12.814 in the second session of the day. Defending champion Kyle Soper was second fastest at 12.835 and Chris Turbush of Riverhead was third quick at 12.901. “The King of Queens” Mike Albasini of Flushing made a spectacular debut in the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate class as he was quickest with a circuit of 12.804 in the first session. Artie Pedersen III of Moriches was second quick at 11.866 with veteran Jack Orlando of Calverton next in line with a lap of 12.892.
2017 championship runner-up Tom Ferrara of Patchogue topped the Figure Eight division with a lap of 17.308 with Eric Zeh of Selden, 17.731 and defending champion Tom Rogers Jr., 17.802 next in line. All defending Blunderbust champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington needed to test his car for his title defense was the 8 laps he ran in the first session where he laid down the fast time of the day at 15.047. Alyssa Paprocky of Rocky Point, 15.081 and Tim Mulqueen of Levittown, 15.130 were second and third quick.
Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach has surrounded himself with a new crew for 2018 and it paid off as he set the fast time of the day for the Super Pro Trucks during the first session with a circuit of 13.426. 2017 Rookie of the Year Eddie Schutze of Huntington, 13.623 and Sean Glennon of Northport, 13.705 were next in line. It will come as no surprise that “Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches set fast time for the INEX Legend Race Cars with a lap of 13.672 as he starts what he hopes to be a championship season. Artie Pedersen III testing Paul Dodorico’s car, 13.742 and Vinny Delaney of Holtsville, 13.874 were second and third quick.
Street Stock newcomer Eric Zeh introduced himself to the class by setting fast time of the day in the second test session with a lap of 14.829. Gerard Lawrence of Rocky Point, 14.838 and Dave Antos of Lindenhurst, 14.922 rounded out the top three. Steve Fuller of Manorville topped the Mini Stock charts at 15.129, while Gary Voight of Medford was quickest in the Trucks at 16.153.
Completing the on track activity on the day were the Long Island Vintage Auto Racing Series vintage race cars who were not required to be equipped with scoring transponders while the 8-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro completed the on track activity Saturday.
This Saturday April 28th Riverhead Raceway will host another pre-season practice session with free grandstand admission for spectators. Cars will take to the track at 12 noon. The pit area will open at 9:00 am this Saturday for race teams, pit admission is $36 with a NASCAR license, $56 without. .
Saturday May 5th starts the 2018 chase for the Riverhead Raceway championships with Cinco de Mayo opening night. Fans will see 8 great main events for a reduced adult admission of $20. That reduced adult admission will also be in effect for the May Meltdown Sunday Series opening day May 6th.