Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY TO PREVIEW 2018 SEASON WITH TWO FREE TO THE PUBLIC PRACTICE DAYS APRIL 21ST & APRIL 28TH

Riverhead, NY Apr. 2nd.
By Bob Finan
The sweet sound of race engines and the aroma of Sunoco Race Fuel will again fill the air surrounding Riverhead Raceway Saturday afternoon April 21st when the track kicks off it’s 68th year of racing with the first of two free to the public practice days for it’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series stock cars and Enduro competitors. Over the off season Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz announced free grandstand admission would return for the two practice days allowing race fans a free preview of the Saturday May 5th Cinco Di Mayo NASCAR opening night as well the Sunday May 6th May Meltdown lid lifter for the Enduro race series.
The track will open at 12 noon for the NASCAR stock cars for practice on both April 21st and April 28th with race director Scott Tapley reminding all teams that all cars mush be equipped with a working transponder for all on track activity in 2018 including the two practice days. After numerous rounds of NASCAR practice that will last into late afternoon the Enduro race teams will take over the track to shake down their machines. Riverhead GM John Ellwood and Chief Technical Inspector Randy Murray remind teams that no car will be permitted to practice on either practice day without first passing Safety Tech Inspection. With that in mind the pit gates will open at 9:00 am on April 21st and April 28th to allow teams that did not take advantage of two inspection days at the track April 7th and 14th an opportunity to be ready for when practice starts.
Race fans are encouraged to come out and enjoy all the on track action free of charge and to bring a camera to grab some photos of their favorite drivers as they prepare for another exciting race season. The refreshment stand in turn three will be open serving both the grandstand and pit area during the afternoon.
Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified Champion Tom Rogers Jr. Michael Jaworecki Myracenews Photo

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead will be back to defend both his 2017 NASCAR Modified and Figure Eight championships in 2018 looking to double dip for the third time in his successful career. Other 2017 champions expected to defend their title in 2018 are Kyle Soper of Manorville in the Late Models, Dave Brigati of Calverton in the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate and Super Pro Trucks along with Tom Pickerell of Huntington who’ll be gunning for yet another Blunderbust title. The INEX Legend Race Car title will be up for grabs in 2018 as 2017 champ John Beatty Jr. of Merrick will compete in the NASCAR Modifieds during the upcoming campaign vacating the title. All seven NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions plus the LIVARS Vintage Race Cars will make up the Saturday May 5th Cinco Di Mayo opening night card.

Greg Harris of Riverhead won the 2017 Street Stock championship and is readying for a title defense in 2018 while 2017 Mini Stock champion Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays unsure of his racing plans as the 2018 season nears. Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point (Trucks), Dominic Ranieri of East Northport (8-Cyilnders), Kevin Augustine of Bay Shore (Gut & Go) and Brandon Esposito of Farmingville (Mini-8) will all be part of the May Meltdown Enduro program Sunday afternoon May 6th completing the opening weekend doubleheader.
The complete 2018 schedule of events for our 68th season of racing can be found by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com. Our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

The 2018 NASCAR WMT Season Gets Back to the Track at Myrtle Beach

It seems like  the 2017  NASCAR WMT season was just put in the books,  Doug Coby driving the #2 Mayhew Tools LFR chassis Modified notched another championship. Ryan Preece driving the #6 TS Haulers Troyer won the owners championship for Eddie  Partridge, the first time that the owners championship did not belong to the championship drivers car owner.

But that was 5 long months ago.  As the northeast digs out of its its  3rd Nor’easter in 10 days NASCAR WMT teams from New England and all over the east coast have made their way to the state of South Carolina  for the  start the 2018 season at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

30 teams from up and down the east coast have entered the only event in the state of South Carolina,  we will have a final car count later this morning.

We had a chance to talk to three people who will be a big part of the upcoming NASCAR WMT season.

Doug Coby 2017 Champion:

We are ready for the 2018 opener.  2 LFR cars are ready and by the time we get to the Icebreaker at Thompson a 3rd LFR car should be ready giving us a solid stable of cars to look to win a 6th championship.

Mayhew Tools is back for a second season as the primary sponsor of the team and are very happy with the relationship. Mayhew is a 160-year-old company and has used racing the last 2 years for brand awareness and name recognition. Mayhew also likes the TV exposure that the tour gives them and the huge rolling billboard that the hauler for the #2 takes to the track

Doug spoke about last year’s 5th championship. When we asked if he was confident on championship #5 after his early season troubles his answer was if I said yes, I would be lying. He didn’t think he had a shot to continue the championship streak until Stafford in August when he finished second to Ryan Preece.

We asked Doug if he feels the teams that go to Fla. have an advantage In February and why his team does not head south. Doug said that absolutely some of his competitors get a small advantage as they work the bugs out of new equipment, but work commitments keep him up north.

Doug  won his 5th championship in unusual style. 2017 he flipped flopped his successful tracks with tracks he normally did poorly. NHMS and Thompson were not his best tracks in 2017 which is very unusual.  Putting aside the Icebreaker at Thompson where he barely made 1 lap being caught up in a wreck he feels the completion has really stepped up at those tracks closing that gap.

Riverhead which for many years was a thorn in his side including the 2013 when his throttle hung during his time trial run costing him a race and probably a chance at a championship. That changed last year he came away with a 2nd and a 3rd and feels the focus on getting better at Riverhead helped those finishes.

Last year Doug won only 1 race, the first time with that total since 2014, we asked Doug if he felt he could increase that number this year. Doug said they come to the track with the mentality to win each race and this year would be no different so he hopes he can increase that number.

This season Doug will have a few new crew members and crew members doing different jobs than they had in the past. Doug said many of the crew members are also his friends and have been for many years and that helps

Series Director Jimmy Wilson:

We reached out to Jimmy as we get close to opening day to ask his views on the state the tour for 2018.

Fist we asked Jimmy about his outlook for the 2018 season.

We are very pleased with the scheduling for 2018. With the Seekonk race being moved to June 2nd NASCAR has broken up the long stretch during the summer. With the longest road trip for the teams heading to Bristol it gives them a week off at the end of August before the stretch run to the end of the season.

As far as rules for 2018 there are no major rules changes for the upcoming season

Jimmy is also pleased with the young drivers that are coming up in the series, it bodes for a bright future for the tour.

Two things that Jimmy really likes about the 2028 season are the winners purses , point fund and the new crown jewel event at NHMS.

Whelen Engineering Winner of the Race award has increased this year from $500.00 per race to $3,500.00. That will push the winner of most of the races to a minimum of $10,000. The only races below that will be the 2 Riverhead races plus the Thompson mid-week race. When we spoke about the purse money Jimmy always likes to point out the NASCAR pays more than any tour out there. The purse, bonus and point fund the money is second to none of any Modified tour.

Jimmy is also very excited is the Full Throttle weekend Friday September 21st and September 22nd.  The weekend will feature the WMT, K & N East and for the first time Pinty series from Canada. The winner of the Modified feature will take home a minimum of $25,000. With bonus and announced lap monies a driver who dominates the race and leads many laps could win upwards of $30,000 or more.

We asked about the format of the race and the expected tire count that will be needed. He said there will be a 5-minute break at a lap to be determined. As far as the tires, there will be a Hoosier tire test before the Eastern Propane 100 July 21st to determine the needed compound.  Hoosier had some uncharacteristic issues with the right front tires that they want to resolve before the next WMT race at NHMS.

NHMS will be issuing press releases with more information about the race format as the year progresses. Increased access to the cars and drivers that the fans have not enjoyed in the past will be part of the show. Unfortunately, NHMS lost a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup weekend but they are putting a significant effort into making the WMT/Pinty/K & N as great a weekend as any Cup race they have hosted..

Eddie Partridge owner of the TS Haulers #6:

Eddie took 2 cars to Fla. With Ryan Preece but only came back with 1 intact car.

What is the status of the white #6 that left the park at Bronson Speedway?

“The white #6 was not repairable, Troyer is  building us a new one hopefully to be finished by the Icebreaker. The team will run the 2018 season splitting races between the beautiful new black #6 that they shook down at New Smyrna Speedway and the white #6 that will be delivered shortly.

Ed pointed out that while Ryan Preece is still his full-time driver he will have to miss a minimum of 2 races as Ryan continues to race for Joe Gibbs on the Xfnity Tour.

When asked if Ryan could have a shot at the championship Ed responded that  they  have a shot at the owners championship again Ryan and his fill in,  Jimmy Blewett . Jimmy will drive the car today at  Myrtle Beach and at  one race at Riverhead.

Making the task a little tougher this year, at Thompson Ryan will start last at the Icebreaker after racing at Texas in the Xfinity series on that Saturday. With veteran Jimmy Blewett filing in the team should not miss a beat.

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Lastly as we start the 2018 season the tour will have a big void. While there is always great optimism as a season starts, this year there is a feeling something is missing. One of the all-time greats TC Ted Christopher will not be in the field. Teds untimely passing last year left us stunned and saddened.  Ted was not only a great driver but a great friend to many.  Ted touched many with his bumper, his humor, his friendship and his hard as nails attitude. Ted will be missed and surely never  forgotten.

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Notes: The Myrtle Beach opener March 17th is called the St Patrick’s Day 300 Race. The program will feature Late Models, Chargers, Super Trucks, Mini Stocks and NASCAR WMT Modified division.

The official entry list-http://racing-reference.info/entrylist/2018-01/N/E

The NBCSN TV schedule is out, Derick Pernesiglio and company will be back covering the NASCAR WMT starting with the opening day Myrtle Beach race. It will be broadcast the following week Wed. March 21  at 6:00PM on tape delay.

Myracenews will be at the track as the gates open Saturday at 9:30AM and give you updates throughout the day. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

NEW SPONSOR STEERS SAL ACCARDI JR. BACK TO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY FOR FULL SEASON OF NASCAR MODIFIED RACING IN 2018

Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews
Riverhead, NY Jan 30th
By Bob Finan
Who said you can’t go home? That is exactly what veteran NASCAR Modified talent Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park will be doing in 2018 thanks to a new major sponsor that he and car owner Rich Schlegel announced today. The new marketing partner will allow the Accardi/Schlegel combination to call the NASCAR Whelen All American Series of Riverhead Raceway home in 2018 starting with the May 5th Cinco De Mayo opening night program.
“We are very happy to announce that WRS Environmental Services of Yaphank has signed on as out major sponsor for the 2018 season” Accardi disclosed Tuesday morning, “this sponsorship will allow me to return to my home track of Riverhead Raceway weekly for the first time in over 10 years. Needless to say I’m ecstatic and very excited as is Rich”. WRS Environmental Services for over 20 years has been an outstanding provider of environmental, utility and industrial services. “I can’t thank Mike Rodgers and the entire WRS Environmental Services organization enough for providing us with the backing to race weekly at Riverhead” Sal offered.
Armed with the funding they need Rich and Sal disclosed they’ll have a new car to race on Long Island, “Rick Kluth has built us an all new 2 Kwik chassis for 2018” Accardi disclosed, “we will rely on Big Sal’s Race Engine power and in fact I have the motor at the shop all ready for installation”. Heading into the new campaign Sal Accardi will be seeking his 5th career NASCAR Modified win at Riverhead as he authored four wins between August of 2004 and September of 2007, his last full season at the historic quarter mile oval. 2018 will mark the third year Rich Schlegel of West Haven, Ct. has fielded an entry for Accardi.
As pumped up as Sal is about his new car and major sponsorship there is one aspect of the upcoming season takes that excitement to another level, “I’m going to run my Dad’s number thirty-nine this year and Rich and I will paint the car red just like my father’s” Sal said beaming with pride. To that end Accardi also pointed to one race on the 2018 Riverhead slate he has circled that being the May 26th Islip 300. “Dad was very successful and well known for his drag racing exploits back in the day at Islip on the old 1/8th of a mile before he bought his first Modified” Sal explained, “to have a good run or better yet win a race with the title Islip on it would just be awesome. I know he’ll be watching over us all year”.
Joining the Accardi/Schlegel effort in 2018 will be several associate sponsors, Boutique Security Group LLC of Ronkonkoma, G. Calabrese Trucking of Medford, A-Plus Auto Salvage of Lindenhurst, J&J Auto Body of Ronkonkoma and Wurth USA Supplies. Graphics for the team will be designed by Scott Adams Designs.
“Everything has fallen into place, now we can’t wait to get going” Accardi concluded.
The 2018 Riverhead Raceway Cinco De Mayo opening night program on Saturday May 5th will kick of the NASCAR Modified season with a 40-lap feature event. The entire schedule of events for the new race season can be viewed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com and clicking on the schedule link.