Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

ROGER OXEE’S (FINAL) FAREWELL SEASON

Roger Oxee in his #39 Baretta back in the mid 90s, a car similar to one in
appearance that he will be bringing out in 2016. (photo courtesy of Roger Oxee)

by Mike Fields
December 31, 2015, Long Beach, NY— its New Year Eve, and I’ve just gotten off the phone with Roger ‘RJ’ Oxee, where we talked a bit about his team, accomplishments, and the state of Riverhead Raceway’s Late Model division.

 
RJ started (and ended) racing back in ’79 at Riverhead. That was back in the day when the track combined a Grand Am and Bomber division, which he described as a bit of a mess. For one thing, RJ, didn’t like the finish that he had, didn’t like the car he had, cut up the car after the race, and got rid of it. And that was the end of his abbreviated racing career. But then again, maybe not.

 
In 1980, after sitting around for a year, he started building another car, which he ran starting in ’81. It took until ’85 to take down his first checker, which led him to his current total of 64 wins. He’s had some good years and some lean years, including a dry spell for the last couple. In the coming final 2016 season, he would like to make every show at Riverhead, and drive off-island to Evergreen and New London-Waterford, then he’ll have the car up for sale. If it hasn’t sold by then, he’ll make the annual pilgrimage up to Thompson for the finale. The one thing left on his bucket list (well, his racing bucket list) is to win a race off of Long Island, which is the one thing on his resume that is missing.

 

Still, he sees a positive future for the division from the days when the division’s car counts were down to 7 or 8 in the mid 90’s to how it has picked up over the past few years to about 14 or so. “We’ll get more cars into the division as it’s more stable. Plus there are rising payoffs. Lately, you could win every race each week, and still come out on the losing end, because it didn’t cover the cost of tires and fuel. I think it’s a strong division.”

 
However, one thing that you won’t find at Riverhead in 2017 on any night the Late Models are scheduled, is Oxee hanging around the grandstands or in the pits. He admittedly wouldn’t be happy at all about seeing Late Models on the track without him being in on it himself. Maybe he’ll be out on his boat instead.

 
We’ll miss seeing the immaculate looking #39 both on the track and in the pits after next season. One thing that drivers, fans, and officials have noted over the years is the pristine condition of his equipment, and the fact that just about every blank space on the car has a sponsor listed, which is what most drivers try (and oft times fail) to accomplish.

 
“Appearance means a lot without duct tape,” he commented. “I try to do things so I don’t just take the money and run. I like to do it up as big and bold as you can. Some of them listed don’t give me money and I just put them on for sentimental reasons.” And how to keep a sponsor? “I try to do things right,” RJ stated. “A photo, a team sweatshirt, a plaque at the end of the season, appearances on a night off where we bring the car. I try to do my best for my sponsors.”

 
Regardless, he is insisting (once again) that this will be his final season. He has made this announcement numerous times before, and after the first one when he was still driving, many people got a little bit silly about it (including me). I’m just wondering if this season, we’ll see new sponsorship on his car from AARP, Doan’s Pills, Geritol, or Depend. Well, it just gives us all something to ponder.

 
“Me and the crew are getting older, and it’s not getting any easier,” he told me. “It’s an older division, although there’s a handful of talented younger guys. But it’s strong.” I mentioned that as of the other night when I looked at Riverhead’s website, there were 23 numbers registered to drivers. “That doesn’t mean anything,” he informed me. “Some of those guys will not come out. Some want to reserve their numbers for whenever they do come out. Some just want to see their name up on the roster.”

 
“I’d like to win again in 2016. I’d like to walk away a champion.” Whether or not he takes a checker of a championship his final year, he’ll already have walking away being a champion covered.

 
Comments, questions, and complaints will always reach us at liracenews@hotmail.com.

Welcome Aboard Mike Fields

Stephen Furst and I are committed I have committed to making 2016 a great year at Myracenews.com. To help the site grow we needed more  people who shared our passion for the sport of short track racing. Our first goal would be to get someone on board to cover our home track, Riverhead Raceway. Myracenews.com has it roots right here on the Island where we were founded several years ago.

Well today we brought on board a veteran of short track racing coverage to help meet our first goal. Mike Fields of Long Beach NY has agreed to join the Myracenews team for 2016 with his main focus to be NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing at Riverhead Raceway. Mike was a good friend of Walter Johnston the late founder of Myracenews and is excited to get back to covering the racing at Riverhead Raceway.

Mike will not be at the track to cover the blow by racing results, they can be had reading the weekly press release from the track. Mike  will be there to report what is happening behind the scenes at the track to the fans. Mike will also travel to a few select Whelen tour races and others if his work schedule allows.

Over the winter Mike will be publishing  stories to get you up to speed on the upcoming 2016 racing season.  With the Riverhead Raceway being sold to Ed and Connie Partridge there will be plenty to report, renovations, rules changes, new divisions and new touring series visits he will have a lot to report. Check on our website and Facebook page all winter to get the latest Riverhead Raceway news from Mike.

Welcome Mike Fields to the team and if you have any team or driver news you would like him to report please contact him on to cove.Facebook or through our email Myracenews@gmail.com.

 

Happy New Year

Michael Jaworecki

Editor Myracenews.com

 

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY’S ALLAN PEDERSEN CAPTURES INEX NEW YORK STATE SEMI PRO LEGEND RACE CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Riverhead, NY Dec. 20th.

With Long Island’s Riverhead Raceway serving as his base of racing operations, Allan Pedersen, 16, of Center Moriches was recently announced as the 2015 New York State INEX Champion in the Semi Pro category for Legend Race Cars. Allan along with his older brother Artie Pedersen III race under the Checkerwon Motorsports banner weekly at Riverhead under the watchful eye of their father Artie Jr.


“None of this would have been possible without my hard working team led by my father and brother” noted the soft spoken 16-year old talent. “After we lost an engine late in the season my brother Artie turned his car over to me, that was a crucial point in us winning the INEX New York State title”. Allan started 15 INEX Legend Race Car feature events at Riverhead Raceway in 2015 and was tied for 5th in the final track championship standings.

When the Legend Race Cars were not in action at his home track the Pedersen family loaded up and headed to Sullivan County to chase the valuable NY State INEX points at the Bethel Motor Speedway. In the 20 races that made up the INEX NY State Semi Pro championship Allan posted 2 wins in his category and never placed outside the top five boasting an average finish of 2.4 in route the the NY State crown.

Allan realizes the dedication his team puts forth for he and his brother Artie’s racing efforts is a key to their success, “we can’t thank John Heeg, Chris Perry and Ron Folden Jr. enough for the time and work they put in on our cars not to mention our loyal sponsors”. Pedersen also extended his appreciation to two very special ladies in his life, “my Mom Erica and sister Lauren are not only our biggest supporters but also make sacrifices so we can do what we do”.

Aside from his on track success Allan Pedersen also excels scholastically as well athletically at Center Moriches High School where he’s an Honor Student in Accelerated Programs. Allan is also the starting goalie for the schools varsity Lacrosse team since the 10th grade and will graduate in the summer of 2017.

Pedersen’s goals for the 2016 INEX legend Race Car season at Riverhead Raceway include winning his first career overall main event, “that would be very cool to accomplish” Allan admitted and added “it is our number one goal, that and a run at the 2016 championship”.

Allan Pedersen and all Legend Race Car teams will start their 2016 season at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night May 7th on Grand Opening night that will feature a spectacular Fireworks show. To view the entire 2016 Riverhead Raceway schedule please visit www.riverheadraceway.com and click on the schedule link.

To obtain 2016 Riverhead Raceway marketing and sponsorship information please call 631-842-RACE or e-mail info@riverheadraceway.com.