Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway


Photos: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

Riverhead, NY Sept. 16th
Prior to the Miller Lite 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour three exciting Whelen All American Series feature events were contested Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway with Kyle Soper of Manorville notching his 6th Late Model win of 2017 in a 25 lap contest. Justin Brown of Manorville scored his first career Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate win in their 25-lapper, while John Beatty Jr. of Merrick clinched the 2017 INEX Legend Race Car feature when he won his third feature of the season in a 20-lap affair. All three winner took home a handsome trophy from Miller Lite and their L.I. distributor Boening Brothers of Lindenhurst.

Former two time Late Model champion Kevin Metzger seeking his first win of the year broke out front when the green flag dropped chased for the first lap by Eric Zeh. A quick yellow flag as the field started the second lap set up a double file restart where Kyle Soper made his way under Zeh for second to start lap 2. After sizing Metzger up for two laps Soper made his way to the race lead on as the field raced off the fourth turn on lap 4 passing Metzger for the lead to the inside. Metzger would run second to Soper but the leader was able to pull away until lap 17 when Roger Oxee tagged the third turn wall after contact from Shawn Patrick, Oxee was done for the night and NASCAR officials removed Patrick from the race. On the final restart of the race Soper held serve in the Eastport Feeds Pontiac remaining out front as John Baker made his way by Metzger for second on the restart. At the finish it was Kyle Soper extending his championship point lead to 28 entering the final two weeks of the season over Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who was third in the race in his JDP Mechanical Chevy. John Baker of Brookhaven in a rare LM start was runner-up in the Staria Automotive entry.


e Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate driver Justin Brown would lead all 25 laps of their feature event but by no means was an easy win for the former go-kart talent. When the race got underway Brown got the measure of Terry Stiles for the early race lead. Stiles making his first start since May hounded the freshman driver early on but his run at a  second career win would come to an abrupt end when his car started leaking water on the track. After being shown the black flag Stiles pulled to the infield moving two time feature event winner and fellow rookie driver Michael Rutkoski to second. Once in the challengers position Rutkoski pulled right to the rear bumper of Brown hoping to make a bid for his third win of the year. However Justin Brown in the KMS Kustoms Chevy would have none of it as he drove off to that all important first career win. Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was second across the line in his Buzz Chew Chevrolet machine while championship leader Dave Brigati of Calverton placed third in the Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy. Going into the final two races of 2017 Brigati holds a 30-point advantage over Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills for the title.John Beatty Jr. clinched the 2017 INEX Legend Race Car championship in fine style as he won his third race of the season topping the 20-lap main event. Brad Van Houten, just days removed from his 40th birthday jumped out to the early race lead over defending champion Vinny Delaney. Van Houten would pull away from Delaney just prior to the halfway point of the contest but a lap 13 caution would change the complexion of the race. On the ensuing restart Van Houten remained the race leader with veteran Kevin Nowak making his way by Delaney for second. Just two laps later as the fiel was set to start the 16th circuit Nowak got into the back of Van Houten sending the leader for a spin. Van Houten running a part time schedule in 2017 frustrated by the move parked his car during the caution and track officials requested that Nowak join him in the pits for the rest of the race. That turn of event propelled John Beatty Jr. who started the race 9th to the race lead, a lead he’d not relinquish in his Giella Electric mount for the rest of the race. Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was runner-up in the Blue Point Auto Body machine while Jeff Otto Jr. of Deer Park was third in the Strike 10 Lanes entry.

Late Models: 1. Kyle Soper 2. John Baker 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Chris Turbush 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Eric Zeh 7. Darren McCabe 8. Dylan Slepian 9. Roger Oxee 10. Steve Mastro Jr. 11. Ken Matlach 12. Ray Minieri 13. Shawn Patrick 14. Brandon Turbush

Modified Crates: 1. Justin Brown 2. Michael Rutkoski 3. Dave Brigati 4. Jack Orlando 5. AJ DeSantis 6. Dylan Slepian 7. Peter Bertuccio 8. Kurt Kreiger 9. Scott Pedersen 10. Jay Hansen 11. Cary Rogers 12. Terry Stiles 13. Dennis Krupski 14. CJ Lehmann 15. Michael Rommeney

Legend Race Cars: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Ray Fitzgerald 3. Jeff Otto Jr. 4. Jim Sylvester 5. Jerry Curran 6. Vinny Delaney 7. Mike Van Houten Jr. 8. Richie Davidowitz 9. George Tomko Jr. 10. Ed Cheslak 11. Dennis Kurras 12. Riley O’Keefe 13, Matt Brode 14. Joey Villatoro 15. Silas Hiscock Sr. 16. Brad Van Houten 17. Kevin Nowak 18. Jonathan Parsons 19. Artie Pedersen III 20. Eric Hersey 21. Mike Benton 22. Steve Woytysiak 23. Wally Davidowitz


Riverhead, NY Sept. 16th
After losing the lead to defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. with 45 laps to go, Timmy Solomito of Islip used that very same lapped traffic to take the lead back from Coby with four laps to go in the race to win the Miller Lite 200 Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. The win was Solomito’s fourth of the 2017 WMT campaign. During opening ceremonies for the 200 the somber news of the passing of Ted Christopher in a plane crash in route to the Long island oval was made official casting a somber mood on an otherwise very exciting race.
Timmy Solomito wheeling the Starrett Tools Ford won the Coors Light Pole Award with a lap of 12.107 besting two Riverhead Raceway regulars Kyle Soper 12.154 and 15-year old Dillon Steuer 12.172. After Tom Rogers Jr took three laps in the Danny Watts owned machine that Ted Christopher was to drive in the race taking a ceremonious final checker flag for TC the start of the Miller Lite 200 found Timmy Solomito seeking his first win since the June 24th race at Riverhead breaking out front. Kyle Soper, who earlier in the program won his 6th Late Model race of the year gave chase to Solomito. Dicing for the lead early on it would primarily be Solomito showing Soper the way around the tricky quarter mile facility.
During the 138th lap Doug Coby flexed his muscles as he ducked under Soper for second entering the third turn for second. Once in the challengers position Coby quickly reeled in Solomito at the front of the field. Enetering the first turn to start the 155th lap Coby powered his way under Solomito in lapped traffic to take over the race lead. For awhile it appeared as though Coby would be on his way to his first career Riverhead Raceway triumph. However Solomito, the author of 18 career Riverhead wins in both the NASCAR Whelen All American Series as well the WMT never gave up and on lap 196 he slid underneath Coby entering the third turn in lapped traffic to reclaim the race lead.
Over the final mile of the race Timmy Solomito stayed out front to earn his 19th career victory at the track where he started his successful NASCAR Modified career. “While it is a great win for myself and our Starrett Tools team our thoughts are with Ted Christopher’s family on this very sad day” Timmy noted after being interviwed by NBCSN. As for the race itself Solomito reflected, “Doug is a great racer and he got by us in lapped traffic but I never quit, I knew if I played my hand right that lapped traffic might be to my advantage later on and it was”
Doug Coby after the checker flag waved sat dejected and collecting his thoughts before exiting his Mayhew Tools machine, “given the circumstances of today it would have been nice to have a Connecticut based team win but alas it was not to be, again” Coby stated.
Kyle Soper of Manorville rounded out the podium in the Wayne & Joette Anderson owned Eastport Feeds Chevy, “we were in the mix for most the race and to finish behind these two great drivers is like a win for us” Soper admitted after the race.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct in the TS Haulers Chevy and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville in the Phoenix Communications Chevy completed the top five.
Aside from Soper’s third place tally Riverhead Raceway regulars had a strong night headed up by the upstart 6th place finish for CJ Lehmann of Shirley and his IGA Food Markets team. Right behind Lehmann in 7th was Dillon Steuer of Bohemia while Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead turned heads all race long running inside or just outside the top five before settling for 8th in Wade Cole’s back-up car.
Miller Lite 200: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Doug Coby 3. Kyle Soper 4. Ryan Preece 5. Justin Bonsignore 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Dillon Steuer 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Eric Goodale 10.Rob Summers 11. Ronnie Williams 12. Walter Sutcliffe Jr. 13. Wade Cole 14. Dave Sapienza 15. Shawn Solomito 16. Cory Midgett 17. Calvin Carroll 18. Craig Lutz 19. Matt Swanson 20. Gary McDonald 21. Rowan Pennink 22. Roger Turbush 23. Melissa Fifield Withdrew- Ted Christopher

Solomito Scores Crucial Win at Riverhead

Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

Fourth Win of 2017 Keeps Him in NASCAR Whelen Modified Title Hunt

 RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Timmy Solomito needed a win to keep pace in the frantic NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race. He got it at his home track.

The 25-year-old from Islip, New York, powered by Doug Coby with four laps left to take the Miller Lite 200 checkered flag Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Solomito, dominant for the first two-thirds of the event in the No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford, was outmaneuvered by Coby in lap traffic for the lead on Lap 155. The four-time tour titlists Coby was poised for his first career win at Riverhead, but Solomito recaptured the lead on the fronstretch on Lap 196 and drove to the checkers.

It marked Solomito’s fourth win of the season and eighth of his career. Earlier in the day he captured the Coors Light Pole Award.

Coby held on for second with rookie Kyle Soper third, Ryan Preece fourth and Justin Bonsignore fifth. CJ Lehmann, Dillon Steuer, Kyle Ellwood, Eric Goodale and Rob Summer brought home the top 10.

Solomito had finished 15th or worse in two of his last three starts, and hadn’t been to Victory Lane since the last time the tour was at Riverhead in June. After leading the points after the first 10 races, he had slipped back to fourth.

The win brought Solomito to within nine points of the championship lead, still maintained by Preece with 500. Coby is second at 494 with Solomito at 491.

Prior to green flag, news broke that 2008 Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ted Christopher passed away in a plane crash en route to Riverhead, and his impact on the sport was recognized in an impromptu pre-race ceremony. Christopher had been scheduled to compete in the event in the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet.

STORY: Champion Christopher Passes Away

The Whelen Modified Tour will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 23 with the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 14th of 16 races on the 2017 calendar.

The Miller Lite 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Miller Lite 200 Results


At Riverhead Raceway

Riverhead, N.Y.

Lap length: 0.25 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (1) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 200 laps, 53.603 mph.
  2. (4) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  3. (2) Kyle Soper, Manorville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (13) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (15) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (12) CJ Lehmann, Shirley, Pa., Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (3) Dillon Steuer, Bohemia, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (6) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (17) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (10) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (8) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
  12. (23) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 198.
  13. (19) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 197.
  14. (5) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 197.
  15. (7) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 197.
  16. (16) Cory Oslund, East Hampton, N.Y., Ford, 197.
  17. (18) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 197.
  18. (14) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 196.
  19. (20) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Ford, 194.
  20. (21) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 193.
  21. (11) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 163, accident.
  22. (9) Roger Turbush, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 132, rear end.
  23. (22) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 6, handling.
  24. (24) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 0, dns.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 0 hours 55 minutes 58 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.610 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: T.Solomito (74.894 mph, 12.017 seconds)

Caution Flags: 6 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: T. Solomito 1-22; K. Soper 23; T. Solomito 24-154; D. Coby 155-195; T.

Solomito 196-200.

Standings: 1. R. Preece, 500; 2. D. Coby, 494; 3. T. Solomito, 491; 4. J. Bonsignore,

476; 5. R. Pennink, 467; 6. E. Goodale, 453; 7. D. Sapienza, 417; 8. M. Swanson, 405; 9.

  1. Zachem, 402; 10. R. Summers, 394.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enters the final four races of the season, Timmy Solomito needs to gain ground in the championship standings if he wants capture his first title. And he couldn’t be heading to a better track as he looks to get that job done.

The Islip, New York, driver is heading for his home track of Riverhead Raceway for the Riverhead 200 on Saturday just 17 points from the lead, with three wins already under his belt in 2017. The driver of the No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford won the first race at Riverhead on June 24, starting from the pole and leading 151 laps en route to the victory. But he hasn’t won a race on the Tour since. Three finishes outside the top 10 in the last six races, including two accidents, have put Solomito behind some of his closest challengers in the championship chase. He enters the race fourth, chasing Ryan Preece, Doug Coby and Rowan Pennink.

Solomito’s success at Riverhead surely will give him confidence heading back to the quarter-mile bullring. In his last three races there, he has two wins and a runner-up finish.

Race: Riverhead 200
Place: Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, New York
When: 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .25-mile asphalt oval
2016 Polesitter: Shawn Solomito
2016 Winner: Justin Bonsignore
Event Schedule: Garage Opens: 12:45 p.m., Practice: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Qualifying: 6 p.m., Miller Lite 200: 8 p.m.
Track Contact: Bob Finan,
Track Twitter: @RiverheadRacewa
Event Hashtag: #Riverhead200
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley,



The Race: The Riverhead 200 is the 13th of 16 championship events on the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points schedule. This is the second and final appearance at Riverhead Raceway this season. Timmy Solomito won the race back on June 24.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the entry blank is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 22 positions for the race will be determined through the qualifying process, while there will also be six provisionals available. The race is scheduled for 150 laps.

The Track: A quarter-mile slightly banked asphalt oval, Riverhead Raceway opened in 1949. The track has held a total of 59 races since the Whelen Modified Tour began in 1985, and is only one of two venues to play host to the Tour in each of its 31 seasons.

Race Winners: There have been 25 different drivers that have reached Victory Lane at Riverhead, led by Mike Ewanitsko’s 11 wins. Timmy Solomito has won two of the last three races at the track. Justin Bonsignore is the defending race winner.

Pole Winners: Thirty-five different drivers have won a Coors Light Pole award at Riverhead, led by Ewanitsko’s eight. Chuck Steuer set the one-lap qualifying record with a time of 11.546 seconds (77.949 mph) back in 2000. Timmy Solomito sat on the pole when the Whelen Modified Tour visited Riverhead earlier this season.

Riverhead 200 Notes:

Crucial Race For Preece: Over the last three months, it’s been tough for anyone to beat Berlin, Connecticut, driver Ryan Preece. And that doesn’t only include races on the Whelen Modified Tour. In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts over that time, Preece finished second at New Hampshire and scored his first win at Iowa Speedway. On the Whelen Modified Tour, Preece has top five finishes in all of his last nine starts, dating all the way back to the end of April. In that time, Preece has visited Victory Lane five times behind the wheel of his No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet. Although he currently leads the championship standings by nine points, the Riverhead race will be a crucial one for the 26-year-old. He is slated to miss the next series event at New Hampshire on Sept. 23 to run the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa, which means he needs to lead Riverhead with maximum points in order to still have a shot at the driver’s championship.

Time For Bonsignore To Score: The start to the 2017 season has been solid for Justin Bonsignore, but he is craving more. The Holtsville, New York, driver hasn’t been able to visit Victory Lane yet, but does have nine top 10 finishes in the first 12 races, including four top five runs. He has been consistent enough to keep himself in the championship fight heading for the stretch run. However, if he wants to make a move towards the top of the standings from his fifth-place position, he will need to use his home track to his advantage. Bonsignore finished fifth at Riverhead in June and has four of his 12 career wins at the quarter-mile oval. In his last five starts there, Bonsignore has three wins, a second and the fifth. A victory on Saturday would certainly help in his quest to capture his first career championship.

Riverhead Regulars: Each time the Whelen Modified Tour visits Riverhead, the weekly stars take their shot at battling some of NASCAR’s best. And Saturday’s Riverhead 200 will be no different. Riverhead Crate Modified regular CJ Lehmann will make his fourth start of the year behind the wheel of the No. 74. Lehmann has a best finish of 18th so far, which came in the June race at Riverhead. Other drivers planning to take the green include Dillon Steuer, who won the Islip 300 at Riverhead back in May. Steuer made his first career Whelen Modified Tour start at Riverhead in June and finished ninth. Kyle Soper, another New York driver, is always slated to take the green.

Winning: Through the first 12 races of the season, Preece and Solomito continue to be the only drivers to have more than one victory. Preece has five wins, while Solomito has three. Doug Coby, Patrick Emerling, Bobby Santos and Rowan Pennink have each visited Victory Lane once so far.

NASCAR Home Tracks: Whelen All American Series On Racing Card

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will not be the only division on track Saturday at the .25-mile oval in New York. The Late Models will return to the track with the Riverhead Crate Modifieds and Legends Cars also set for feature action.