.By Bob Finan
Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz, along with track General Manager John Ellwood, announced today an exciting 2016 race schedule for the historic quarter mile oval. The comprehensive slate will continue many long standing traditions as well introduce some new and exciting race series, events and family fun nights along the way. The team put a lot of time and effort into creating what they collectively feel is the best schedule in Riverhead Raceway History. After two pre-season practice days April 23rd & 30th, the May Meltdown program featuring a full card of Enduro racing will mark the official start of the new season Sunday May 1st. The 2016 NASCAR Whelen All American Series will get underway on Grand Opening night Saturday May 7th complete with a Fireworks display to usher in the new era of Riverhead Raceway.
The weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series programs will once again feature the mighty NASCAR Modifieds who will find their main events going 40-laps with some extra distance races sprinkled in along the way. Joining them regularly will be the Late Models, Figure Eights, Riverhead Modified Crates, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars. All support divisions will also race in extra distance races during the 2016 campaign with a few of the classes doing some Sunday racing along the way.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will again make two visits to Riverhead Raceway next summer with the first 200-lapper set for Saturday June 25th with a return trip for the WMT racers set for Saturday August 27th. Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville swept the 2015 races and one can bet Justin will circle the two 2016 Riverhead Raceway WMT dates in hopes of a repeat performance.
Special races planned for the NASCAR Modifieds include the popular Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Saturday June 4th while the very next week the class will run in the Mullet Madness 100, a Twin 50 feature event program June 11th. While spectators and participants will be encouraged to wear their best business in the front, party in the back hairdo, rest assured it will be all business on the track! Saturday July 2nd the open wheeled warriors will compete in a 66-lap feature event on the 66 Year Celebration night as well run in the Elvis Night 100 with that race a good old school 100-lapper, where Elvis himself may even make an appearance. The chase for the 2016 NASCAR Modified championship will conclude on Saturday September 17th with Twin 30 feature events.
When they took over Riverhead Raceway Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz expressed to track GM John Ellwood that they wanted to bring in a variety of racing series new to Long Island and Ellwood went right to work in booking three such type races. Saturday May 28th on Wall of Fame night the Northeastern Midget Association will make their first ever visit to Riverhead Raceway for the Alan Cantor Memorial. Cantor, a long time car owner on the NEMA tour and lifelong Glen Cove, L.I. resident passed away in 2015 and will be honored by his fellow NEMA racers. Vintage Midgets and Vintage Stock Cars will join the NEMA Midgets, NASCAR Modifieds, Riverhead Modified Crates and Legend Race Cars on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday July 9th the New England Truck Series will invade Long Island for the first time led by NETS 2015 champion Roger Turbush of Riverhead along with the racing Dumicich family, Franks Sr., Frank Jr. and Erin Solomito of Quogue, all also NETS regulars. The 50-lap NETS race should be very interesting as many of the Riverhead Raceway Super Pro truck teams will be eyeing this date as well. The NASCAR Modifieds, Riverhead Modified Crate, Blunderbusts and Legend Race Cars will complete the July 9th show.
Saturday July 30th will find the Granite State Pro Stock tour crossing Long Island Sound to Riverhead Raceway for a 100-lap contest, the furthest south the popular New England series has ever ventured. Joining the full bodied racers will be the NASCAR Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and a 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro.
2016 not only finds some new racing events taking place at the track as Family Fun and Theme nights will also play a major role. Saturday May 14th has been dubbed Pack The Track & Spring Sports night, while the Mullet Madness 100 program is set for Saturday June 11th. Saturday July 23rd will find the wildly popular Monster Trucks returning to Riverhead Raceway for a night of car crushing excitement. After the Elvis Night on August 13th, a Fall Sports Night will be presented on Saturday September 3rd. One week later on Whelen Event Night September 10th the night will be set aside for PBA members, Firefighters and Ambulance Corps. with a Gut & Go Enduro for the local volunteer firefighter being presented.
Three Fireworks extravaganzas will be presented in 2016. After the Grand Opening night display on Saturday May 7th the pyrotechnics will return on Saturday July 2nd for the 66 Year Celebration of Riverhead Raceway as well the 4th of July and again on Saturday August 20th for I Love America night.
Children will be able get in on the racing action as well in 2016 as the new track management has set aside four Big Wheel race dates for the kids. The first will take place on Saturday May 21st, with Big Wheel races also planned on June 11th, July 23rd and August 6th.
The popular School Buses will be plenty busy in 2016 as they will run in a School Bus Figure 8 race Saturday May 21st, the first time these 13-ton monsters have run on the Figure Eight course in over five years. The first of two School Bus Demolition Derby spectaculars will take place Saturday July 16th and be followed by another such event Saturday August 6th.
The Bone Stock Demolition Derby format will be back for the new season at Riverhead Raceway with Demolition Derby events set for June 14th, July 2nd and again August 20th. Then on Saturday September 24th the grand daddy of all Demolition Derby contests the National Demolition Derby Championship will be contested under the Bone Stock rules package.
The cars & stars of the Riverhead Raceway Enduro Series will be plenty busy in 2016. Sunday May 1st they will kick off the racing with the big May Meltdown program that will be followed four weeks later by the Spring Showdown Sunday May 29th. Sunday August 14th the Enduro racers will compete in the Summer Smackdown program and then return Sunday September 4th for the Labor Day Luau. The 2nd annual Fall Frenzy will take place on Sunday November 6th after an ultra successful debut this past fall. All Enduro classes included the recently announced Mini8 class will also race on Saturday nights during the course of 2016.
The 2016 season preview will come on Saturday afternoon April 23rd and Saturday April 30th with the two pre-season practice days for all racing divisions.
For further information on Riverhead Raceway marketing packages, rules or any other information please call 631-842-RACE or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.