Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

Whelen Modified 2016 Schedules Announced

Concord, Oswego, Seekonk Return; East Carolina A Newcomer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – What was old has become new again as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour 2016 schedules have been revealed.

Upstate New York’s Oswego Speedway and Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway have returned to the Whelen Modified Tour schedule for the coming season, reuniting the northeast-based circuit with two venues that have played an integral part of the tour’s history. Likewise, North Carolina speedplant Concord Speedway has also rejoined the Whelen Southern Modified Tour calendar for next year while East Carolina Motor Speedway is a newcomer to the southern circuit.

The 32nd season for the Whelen Modified Tour will feature nine different facilities and 17 championship races, the most for the tour since 2005. Here is a breakdown of the 2016 calendar:

• Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will once again hold the season opening and season closing events as well as two midseason races. Each of Stafford Motor Speedway’s four traditional dates also return to the famed Nutmeg State oval.
• The Whelen Modified Tour will remain a fixture on the racing card for both New Hampshire Motor Speedway NASCAR national series weekends.
• The Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours will return to Bristol Motor Speedway for the eighth edition of the annual combination event during the popular August NASCAR race week.
• Long Island New York’s Riverhead Raceway once again will return with events while Monadnock Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl will feature one race each.
• The late spring run of consecutive Connecticut events at New London-Waterford, Stafford and Thompson returns for the second year, but is spaced out over the course of a month this time around.
• Oswego, a .625-mile oval near the shore of Lake Ontario, contested four Whelen Modified Tour races in both 1988 and 1989. Seekonk, bordering Rhode Island and its capital city Providence, held its first Whelen Modified Tour race in 1987. The .333-mile oval welcomed the tour back for five races between 2000 and 2005.

The 12th season of Whelen Southern Modified Tour competition will feature 11 points races at seven different southeastern tracks. Here’s how the 2016 schedule shakes out for the southern tour:

• North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway will once again play host to the season opener. The venerable oval will have three subsequent dates, one more than a year ago.
• A champion will once again be crowned at Charlotte Motor Speedway, marking the seventh consecutive year the tour has visited the frontstretch quarter-mile at the legendary North Carolina facility.
• Virginia’s South Boston Speedway will return with two events while famed Bowman Gray Stadium has its traditional summer showcase.
• Concord, a high-speed, half-mile tri-oval located in the heart of North Carolina’s NASCAR industry, held one previous Whelen Southern Modified Tour event in 2009.
• East Carolina’s high banks are set to play host to the first Whelen Southern Modified Tour event in its history. The D-shaped, .375-mile oval is located in Robersonville, North Carolina.

The All-Star Shootout will also return for a third season as part of the July NASCAR race weekend at New Hampshire. The non-points event features champions, race winners and Sunoco Rookies of the Year from both the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours.

The 2015 Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour seasons concluded in mid-October with Doug Coby and Andy Seuss the respective titlists.

Next year’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule was released earlier this week by NASCAR while the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series calendars are nearing completion. The 2016 television broadcast schedules for each of NASCAR’s regional touring series will be announced at a later date.


Date Track Location
4/10 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
4/24 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
5/14 New London-Waterford Speedbowl Waterford, Conn.
6/3 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
6/15 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
6/25 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway (All-Star Shootout) Loudon, N.H.
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
7/23 Monadnock Speedway Winchester, N.H.
8/5 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
8/10 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
8/17 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWSMT) Bristol, Tenn.
8/27 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
9/3 Oswego Speedway Oswego, N.Y.
9/10 Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, Mass.
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
10/2 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
10/16 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.


Date Track Location
3/12 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
3/19 Concord Speedway Concord, N.C.
4/9 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
4/16 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
7/1 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
8/6 Bowman Gray Stadium Winston-Salem, N.C.
8/17 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWMT) Bristol, Tenn.
9/3 East Carolina Motor Speedway Robersonville, N.C.
9/17 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
9/24 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway (.25-mile) Concord, N.C.

Statement from East Carolina Motor Speedway owner Wayne M. Perry:
“East Carolina Speedway is proud to have the opportunity to host the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the first time. We really enjoy being a part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and this will be a great opportunity to bring a popular NASCAR Touring Series to our track for the fans. It’s going to be a great show.”

Statement from Concord Speedway race promoter Darren Hackett:
“We’re very happy to help get a race at Concord Speedway back on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. We decided to take one of our races that we would have held at Caraway Speedway and move it there, and the competitors are excited to get to go back to an ultra-fast track.”

Statement from Oswego Speedway co-owner John Torresse:
“Budweiser International Classic Weekend is a staple event in open-wheel pavement racing and it should be treated as such. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of this amazing racing weekend we felt the time was right to work together with NASCAR to bring back one of the traditions of this great weekend. A long distance, Saturday night special, featuring some of the best Modified drivers anywhere in the country – fighting for the distinguished right to be called a Classic champion at Oswego.”

Statement from Seekonk Speedway Director of Business Development Ed St Germain:
“Seekonk Speedway is excited to add another top flight open wheel race to its 2016 schedule. Our fans have spoken to us and we have listened. We strive to give our fans the best touring series and weekly racing that we can put on the track every Saturday night. We feel that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour embodies the best of open wheel racing that the country has to offer. We look forward to seeing the top notch drivers of the NWMT test their skills on the 1/3 mile bull ring at Seekonk.”

New Riverhead Raceway Owners Release the 2016 Schedule

.NSC WHELEN 4C PRT(1)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 GMIMG_9919 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.

Oct192013_0185 (2)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 willIMG_5015 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

A Holiday Message From John Ellwood General Manager at Riverhead Raceway

With the holidays among us, I am very excited about the new year with our new owners, Connie and Ed Partridge and Tom Gatz! I could not be more excited to work with this new team in the upcoming season. We just finished the 2016 Riverhead Raceway Schedule, and all I can say is, much thanks to our new owners for giving us the tools for success! I am announcing today there will be a new Enduro Division “MINI 8” which will compete on our Famed Figure 8 course. Looking to build interest on the “X”, also, the Car Demolition format will be a “Bone Stock Demo” for all shows, including Championship Day!
Tom Gatz and I, along with my pal, Mike Cappiello, will be flying to Charlotte this coming Wednesday for Championship week, NASCAR workshops and Banquets for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. Congratulations to all weekly Champions!
Stay tuned for the 2016 schedule release!
We are actively looking for marketing partners for the 2016 racing schedule. If there is any interest in being a part of the excitement, please contact me at the Raceway office 631-842-7223. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
John T Ellwood JR – General Manager
Riverhead Raceway