Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway


Riverhead, NY Sept. 8th.
By Bob Finan

In a race season that has been dominated by weather at Riverhead Raceway more of the same was in store for Saturday night’s Miller Lite 200 program. During the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice light rain started to fall on and off and what followed was a five hour plus rain delay before racing could resume. For the four NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions on hand in support of the Miller Lite 200 that meant starting their feature events based upon the championship standings after qualifying was washed out. After a tremendous job by Riverhead Raceway track officials & staff the entire program was completed.

In the 30-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified race Justin Brown of Manorville and Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, two good friends off the track would bring the field down for the green flag. Rutkoski who came to the race trailing Brown by a mere point in the standings was able to roll the top to take the race lead at the start of the race. Brown quickly tucked into second and the race was on not only for the win but who’d lead the point standings at the conclusion of the 30-lap tilt. With so much on the line the two buddies went toe to toe during the race including a testy restart along the way. At the finish however it would be the 2016 Rookie of the Year Michael Rutkoski steering his Buzz Chew Auto Group Chevy to a divisions leading 5th win of 2018, the 7th of his two year career. The win give Rutksoki a one point advantage (669-668) heading into the next race for the Crate Modifieds September 22nd. Justin Brown was runner-up in his SEDHI Inc. Chevy while Jack Orlando of Calverton crossed the line third in his Prototype Race Fabrication Chevy.

Blunderbust winner Jack Handley Sept 8th 2018 Noah Watts Myracenews Photo

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford continued his successful 2018 Blunderbust campaign winning his 6th feature of 2018 in a 20-lap affair. Armed with the pole for the race after the field was set by points  Handley raced his way out front at the throw of the green flag with Jim Laird Jr. in tow. While able to keep pace with the race leader Laird would never really be able to get to Handley to make an attempt at the race lead. At the conclusion of the fast paced race Jack Handley Jr. in his Liccardi Builders Chevy was first under the checker flag scoring his 27th career triumph and in the process opening up a 39-point lead (544-505) in the point standings over Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead. Laird was runner-up in his Poolsmith Inc. Chevy while defending champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington placed the third in his Sequel Group Chevy.

INEX Legends winner Jim Sylvester Sept 2018 Noah Watts Myracenews Photo

Jim Sylvester of Massapequa took another step towards the 2018 INEX Legend Race Car championship when he won the 20-lap main event for the class after starting from the pole. Collecting his third win of the season would prove to be no easy task for the veteran driver of the 860 Racing entry as two of the toughest drivers in the class tested Jim along the way. Over the first 16-laps of the contest 2016 champion Vinny Delaney ran second to Sylvester before he was overtaken by “Big Money” Richie Davidowitz for second on lap 17. Davidowitz steering one of the new water cooled INEX Legend Race Cars owned by Paul Dodorico was all over the back bumper of Sylvester for the win in the closing laps of the race. However Sylvester was equal to all challenges thrown his way and drove to his third win of the season increasing his point lead over Delaney to 38, 533 to 495. Davidowitz of East Moriches was runner-up in the Dr. Martha Baker, DDS racer while Delaney of Holtsville was third in the Wise Choice Fuel Oil machine.

Street Stock newcomer Wesley Sammon of Southampton scored his

Street Stock winner Wesley Sammon September 8th 2018 Noah Watts Myracenews Photo

first career win when he topped the 20-lap feature event run just prior to the Miller Lite 200 WMT race. Veteran Rhett Fogg and Sammon brought the field down to the green flag with Sammon moving out front. Chris Lescenski who started the race from 4th was able to follow in Sammon’s tire tracks at the start to come to second and he’d chase the race leader for the first 5 laps of the race. Pole sitter Rhett Fogg rebounded after losing two spots on the start to pass Lescenski for second on lap 6 with a inside pass off turn four. Fogg trailed Sammon until the 15th lap of the race before he was passed by David Antos on lap 15. Left with just five laps to catch and then pass the leader time ran out on Antos as Wesley Sammon in his Twin Fork Fuel Camaro took home an impressive win. David Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo while Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place was third in the Fairway Golf Car Chevy.

Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Rutkoski 2. Justin Brown 3. Jack Orlando 4. Dave Brigati 5. Artie Pedersen III 6. Chris Rogers 7. Owen Grennan 8. Dennis Krupski 9. Mike Albasini 10. George Tomko Jr. 11. Peter Bertuccio 12. Scott Pedersen 13. AJ DeSantis DNS- Terry Stiles

Blunderbusts: 1., Jack Handley Jr. 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Russ Jansen 5. Cody Triola 6. Alyssa Paprocky 7. Brandon Hubbard 8. Bill Wegmann Sr. 9. Tom Puccia 10. Eddie Diaz 11. Tommy Walkowiak DNS- Jarrett Campbell, Brian Midgett Jr.

INEX Legends 1. Jim Sylvester 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Vinny Delaney 4. Ray Fitzgerald 5. Eric Hersey 6. Allan Pedersen 7. Brad Van Houten 8. George Tomko Jr. 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Riely O’Keefe 11. Jonathan Parsons 12. Jeff Otto Jr. 13. Matt Brode 14. Mike Benton 15. Stephen Coleman 16. Pat Moore 17. Steve Woytysiak 18. Steve Hersey 19. Mike Van Houten 20. Rich Braun 21. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 22. Jerry Curran 23. Scott Cheslak DNS- Kyle Ellwood, Anthony Marsh, Artie Pedersen III, Will Lambros, Dean Lambors

Street Stocks: 1. Wesley Sammon 2. David Antos 3. Gerard Lawrence 4. Anthony Pizzo 5. Brian McCormack 6. Rob Bader 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Mark Wolf 9. Greg Harris 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Brian Brown 12. Justin Ferreri DNS- Ed Fontana

Justin Bonsignore Scores Season Sweep at Riverhead

Extends NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Points Lead With Seventh Win

Kerry Larsen Myracenews Photo

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Justin Bonsignore just continues to pull away in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race.

Miller Lite 200 Winner Justin Bonsignore Sept. 8th 2018 Riverhead Raceway Kerri Larsen Myracenews Photo

The Holtsville, New York, driver found himself carrying the checkered flag for the seventh time this season on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore took the lead from Timmy Solomito on Lap 133 and went on to capture his sixth career win at his home track, sweeping the two races at the New York bullring this season. The victory was the seventh in the first 13 races of the season and his 19th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition.

“We circle these races for sure, if you can’t win anywhere else, you better win at home,” Bonsignore said. “You have to put on a show for the hometown fans. I put extra effort in as a driver to make sure I am on top of my game when I come here.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Miller Lite 200 Results

After qualifying was rained out, Bonsignore’s No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet started from the outside pole position after the field was set by practice speeds. Bonsignore didn’t have the car to beat in the early laps, though, as polesitter Doug Coby was at the point for the first 64 circuits.

But, when Coby spun from the lead off Turn 2 on lap 65, Bonsignore found himself in the middle of a battle with fellow hometown favorite Solomito for the win. After chasing the back bumper of Solomito’s No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford for more than 50 laps, Bonsignore made his move on Lap 133, sliding around and putting himself in control.

A final caution flag on Lap 152 gave Solomito one last chance to mount a charge, and he was able to lead the field across the line on Lap 159. But, just one lap later, Bonsignore took back the top spot and never looked back.

The second-place finish was the best result of the season for the Islip, New York, driver.

“We faded a little bit towards the end, but I wanted to get up there and lead some laps,” Solomito said. “We haven’t really had the speed all year, but to come here and give them a run for their money, we kept them honest tonight.”

Chase Dowling, who is still looking for his first career Whelen Modified Tour win, scored his eighth podium finish in 54 career starts with a third. Coby, who spun from the lead early, rallied through the field during a green flag run and finished fourth.

Dave Sapienza, who ran as high as third spot before a crash on a restart, rallied back to finish fifth. John Fortin was sixth, followed by John Beatty, Shawn Solomito, Chris Pasteryak and Rob Summers.

Drivers with Modified Division background at Riverhead as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series filled six of the top-10 positions at the checkered flag.

With his seventh win, Bonsignore extended his points lead to 81 points over Dowling with three races remaining in the championship points schedule. Solomito is third, 106 points back.

The Miller Lite 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 13, at 6 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the inaugural Musket 250 on Saturday, Sept. 22.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Miller Lite 200 Results


At Riverhead Raceway

Riverhead, N.Y.

Lap length: 0.25 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (2) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 59.801 mph.
  2. (4) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 200.
  3. (5) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (10) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (11) John Fortin, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (7) John Beatty, Jr., Merrick, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
  8. (6) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
  9. (18) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
  10. (3) Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
  11. (12) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
  12. (19) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
  13. (8) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 198.
  14. (14) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 198.
  15. (20) Blake Barney, Lakewood, N.J., Chevrolet, 198.
  16. (16) Roger Turbush, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 197.
  17. (22) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 192.
  18. (9) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 190.
  19. (21) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 160, accident.
  20. (23) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 25, ignition.
  21. (17) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 16, rear end.
  22. (15) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 15, accident.
  23. (13) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 8, accident.
  24. (24) Cory Osland, East Hampton, N.Y., Ford, 7, accident.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 50 minutes, 10 seconds

Margin of Victory: 1.744 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (75.847 mph, 11.866 seconds)

Caution Flags: 4 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes: 6 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Coby 1-57; T. Solomito 58; D. Coby 59-64; T. Solomito 65-132; J. Bonsignore 133-158; T. Solomito 159; J. Bonsignore 160-200.

Standings: 1. J. Bonsignore, 574; 2. C. Dowling, 493; 3. T. Solomito, 468; 4. D. Coby, 458; 5. C. Lutz, 440; 6. R. Summers, 418; 7. E. Goodale, 407; 8. D. Sapienza, 391; 9. R. Williams, 380; 10. R. Pennink, 341.

Riverhead Raceway NASCAR WMT Miller Lite 200 Entry List

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Riverhead Long Island for the final time this season this Saturday September 8th for the Miller Lite 200.

The first race this year at Riverhead was one of the best ever held at the 1/4 mile oval on the eastern end of Long Island.  Justin Bonsignore won a thrilling race after battling Ryan Preece for most of the evening.

Point leader Justin Bonsignore leads the Long Island gang home and will be one of the favorites again along with Timmy Solomito, Eric Goodale, and Dave Sapienza who all cut their eye teeth on racing at Riverhead Raceway.

Doug Coby has run strong at Riverhead over that last couple of years but will need a couple of wins in the last 6 weeks of the season and trouble for the drivers ahead of him to have any shot at winning another championship.

5 Riverhead  Raceway regulars have entered this weeks Miller Lite 200 lap  event. While there is always a chance, it would take hard luck for several tour regulars for a Riverhead regular to be the first NASCAR WMT at Riverhead winner since Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. won  in 1995.

Sadly this years Miller Lite 200 is one week shy of the anniversary of the  passing of Ted Christopher.  Ted was on his way to race at Riverhead for last years September 16th tour race but perished when his plane went down in the woods outside North Branford Ct. TC was a 3 time  NASCAR WMT winner at Riverhead and was always a threat to take the win, his presence as a racer, family member and friend is sorely missed.

Miller Lite 200 Schedule: SaturdayGarage Opens: 12:45 p.m., Final Practice: 3:15-4:30 p.m., Qualifying: 6 p.m., Miller Lite 200: 8 p.m.


Updated entry list 9/6/2018

Note: Kyle Soper #95 has withdrawn

Nbr Driver Owner Car Crew Chief Sponsor
1 01   Melissa Fifield   Kenneth Fifield Chevrolet   Chad Dow   Truck Stop Northeast
2 2   Doug Coby   Mike Smeriglio III Chevrolet   Phil Moran   Mayhew Tools
3 3   Matt Swanson   Jan Boehler Chevrolet   Greg Fournier   Cape Cod Copper / USNE Inc.
4 04   Cory Osland   Brian Midgett Ford   TBA   Keith Grimes Excavating
5 05   John Beatty, Jr.   Mark Mina Chevrolet   TBA   Dee Snider
6 14   Blake Barney   Richard Barney Chevrolet   Robert Barney   Atlantic Sprinkler
7 15   Chase Dowling   Rob Fuller Chevrolet   Steven Kopuk   15-40 Connection
8 16   Timmy Solomito   Eric Sanderson Ford   Stanley Szaban   Starrett
9 18   Ken Heagy   Robert Pollifrone Ford   Desmond Gorman   Buoy One Seafood
10 21   Ronnie Williams   Joseph Bertuccio Chevrolet   Michael Bologna   Empower Financial Advisory
11 25   Calvin Carroll   Joe Carroll Chevrolet   Joe Carroll   Power With Prestige / Cruising With Betty
12 26   Gary McDonald   Sean McDonald Chevrolet   Chad McDonald   Lakeland Landscaping Supply / TRC Electric
13 33   Wade Cole   Wade Cole Chevrolet   Richard Rodenbaugh   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
14 36   Dave Sapienza   Judy Thilberg Chevrolet   Tommy Grasso   Sapienza Enterprises
15 46   Craig Lutz   Russell Goodale Chevrolet   Douglas Ogiejko   Riverhead Building Supply
16 51   Justin Bonsignore   Kenneth Massa Chevrolet   Ryan Stone   Phoenix Communications Inc.
17 54   Tommy Catalano   Amy Catalano Chevrolet   Dave Catalano   Catalano Motorsports
18 58   Eric Goodale   Edgar Goodale Chevrolet   Jason Shephard   GAF Roofing
19 64   Rob Summers   Mike Murphy Chevrolet   Steve Lemay   Hoosier Tire East / FastTrack Electrical
20 66   Shawn Solomito   Jerry Solomito Chevrolet   TBA   Acme Sanitary
21 75   Chris Pasteryak   Charles Pasteryak Chevrolet   Nick Walsh   Dawley’s Collision & Custom
22 82   Woody Pitkat   Pamela Hulse Chevrolet   Jarod Zeltmann   Horton Ave. Materials
23 84   John Fortin   Nicole Fortin Chevrolet   TBA   Johns Tree Removal
24 88   Roger Turbush   Patt Kennedy Chevrolet   TBA   Rheem
25 91   Kyle Ellwood   Steven Booker Chevrolet   TBA   TBA
26 95   Kyle Soper   Wayne Anderson Chevrolet   Tom Soper   Eastport Feeds