Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

ROGER OXEE GOING RETRO FOR HIS FINAL LATE MODEL SEASON AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Riverhead, NY Mar. 4th.

Riverhead Raceway’s all time leading winning Late Model driver Roger Oxee of Peconic announced early in the off season that the 2016 campaign would be his final season behind the wheel. With that in mind Roger recently disclosed he’ll be sporting a retro look on his machine when the Late Models take to the track for Grand Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night May 7th.

Those who are familiar with Oxee have heard him discuss retirement plans in the past but this time the 64 time winner in the Late Model ranks has assured all those around him 2016 will indeed be his last. The driver also known as “RJ” to those closest to him hopes the retro look in 2016 confirms his retirement. Reflecting back upon how it all started Roger said, “my first venture into racing was back in 1979 running two Bomber races at Riverhead”. “It wasn’t pretty but it was a start”.

Fast forward to May 25th,1985 where Roger Oxee would score his first Late Model triumph with Mark Tooker calling the shots as crew chief. Tooker was himself a championship Blunderbust driver. Another noted crew chief Oxee has worked with over the years is recent Daytona 500 winning crew chief Mike Wheeler of Southold. Along the way Oxee has visited victory lane more than any other Late Model driver but like any good competitor, he is itching to get back to his winning ways noting, “I’ve been stuck on 64 for two years now, we have to change that this year”.

Known for red race cars over the years that often won the Best Appearing Car award annually at Riverhead Raceway, Oxee has announced that this year he is going back to the 90’s and away from red. “For my final year of racing I’m going with a look that was prominent on my Beretta featuring a black paint job. I’ve enlisted Wild Child Designs to put together a special graphic design for my final ride”. Oxee added, “I’m also adding Ryan’s Welding and Fabricating on my car for 2016, they built the Beretta that I enjoyed so much success with”. Tom Ryan of Ryan’s would later move onto building race cars for Hendrick Motorsports where he remains to this day.

Roger was happy to announce the addition of a new marketing partner for 2016 as J&R Steak Houses of Long Island has agreed to back the McBetts Racing Engines powered Pontiac. “I’m very excited to have J&R Steak Houses with us for this season with IGA Food Market of Southold and Sophie’s Rest  agreeing to return too”. North Fork Sanitation, Magic Fountain of Mattituck, Eastern Tire, Riverhead Beverage and Village Overhead Door will also return to Oxee’s team in 2016.

“I have to especially thank Richie Gottfried of McBetts Racing Engines my engine builder for 28 years and my career long racing associate Dennis Freese of Oval Speed Unlimited for their lifetime of support” Oxee concluded.

The Late Models will be one of seven divisions of NASCAR Whelen All American Series Grand Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway May 7th. Oxee is hopeful not only to win the 25-lap Late Model race that night but also the season long championship as well. A Fireworks extravaganza is also part of the Grand Opening Night festivities.

For the complete 2016 Riverhead Raceway schedule of events or marketing opportunities at the track please visit www.riverheadraceway.com or call us at 631-842-RACE Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 1:30 pm.

Riverhead Raceway Celebrates it 2015 Champions

The last event for the 2015  Riverhead Raceway season was today’s Champions Luncheon.  All track  champions, their family and friends celebrated the season at the Knights of Columbus in Center Moriches. A full house were greeted by master of ceremonies and long time Riverhead track announcer Bob Finan. Bob always does a great job presenting the awards, recapping the previous year telling a story or 2 along the way.IMG_9615 (2)

After everyone finished a great meal provided by TJ Halpins,  a ton of trophy’s from Barbara and Jim Cromarty were handed to the top 5 points finishers in all the regular Saturday night divisions.  A big announcement was made prior to the awards by Bob Finan, this was the last Champions Luncheon. Next year a full  banquet will return on  January 7th 2017 at Giorgio’s of Baiting Hollow, an  announcement  that was well received by all in attendance. 

IMG_9616 (2)In addition to Bob Finan, Mike Cappiello, John Ellwood and TK Tom Kraft helped hand out the hardware to all the winners and champions today and there was a lot of it. Champions received the largest cache of awards with a plaque, a trophy and a champions bag with lots of goodies from Hoosier provided by new track owners Ed and Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz.

The 2016 Riverhead Raceway champions were Tom Pickerell in the Blunderbusts, Lou Maestri in the Super Pro Trucks, John Baker in the Chargers,  Dylan Slepian in the INEX Legends, Jeremy McDermott in the Late Models and Tom Rogers who pulled the double by winning the Figure 8 and IMG_9676 (2)Modified titles in the same year. Tom is the first driver to win 2 championships in the same year since 1959. Tom also moved up to the number 3 spot in all time wins last season and almost tied a season record for wins by winning 9 races,  1 shy of Charlie Jarzombek’s record of 10 wins in a season. All in all a great year for Tom who early on did not even commit to running the entire season. As with all of the champions Tom thanked the many people that work on his car, provide sponsorship and the support their families and friends provide throughout the year.

Additional awards handed out today were “Best Appearing Car” to Bill & Barbara Park -NASCAR Modified, Roger Oxee – Late Models, Tom Ferrara- Figure Eights, John Baker- Chargers, Jim Laird Jr. -Blunderbusts, Jimmy Rennick Jr. -Super Pro Trucks and Greg Harris -Legend Race Cars.  “Rookie of the Year” honors went to  Kyle Soper , who finished second in points in his rookie year -NASCAR Modifieds, Kaitlyn Schober- Late Models, Artie Pedersen III-Figure Eights and Steve Mastro- Chargers.

Congratulations to all today’s award winners and champions from Myracenews.

The 2016 Riverhead Raceway season is only about 4 months away with  2 practices  scheduled April 23rd and April 30th. The 2016 season swings into gear on Sunday May 1st with a big afternoon of Enduro’s.  The Saturday NASCAR Whelen All American Series  schedule begins  on May 7th with a 7 division show capped off with a huge fireworks display.

Myracenews.com will be at Riverhead Raceway every week in 2016  providing great stories and photos plus news leading up to opening day, I hope you all join us.

10292517_10153852025413658_8446592618020792857_n

 

Rogers Rolls To Riverhead Crown

Third Career NASCAR Title At Long Island Bullring

By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR
January 25, 2016 – 3:30p

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Tom Rogers Jr. had a performance for the ages as he took home the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship at Riverhead Raceway in 2015.

The Patchogue, New York, native rolled to nine wins – one shy of tying the historic Long Island bullring’s all-time single-season record – en route to his third career crown in the competitive NASCAR Modified division.

Despite the significance of his success, Rogers took more satisfaction in his accomplishment for what it meant to his car owner, who he first joined forces with in 2011.

“Any championship is special,” Rogers said. “It was nice to win it for Joe Ambrose because it was his first.”

2015 NASCAR TRACK CHAMPIONS

Rogers’ nine checkered flags and 17 top fives in 19 starts behind the wheel of the No. 0 Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevrolet were good enough for third in the New York state standings, and ranked him 22nd nationally in Whelen All-American Series Division I. He defeated Kyle Soper 398-349 in Riverhead points to add 2015 to his previous track titles earned at the quarter-mile bullring in 2004 and 2010.

As to the significance of winning nearly half of the season’s races, Rogers boiled it down quite simply.

“I’m there to win. That’s what we’re all there to do,” Rogers said. “If we didn’t think we could win then we probably wouldn’t be doing it.”

Rogers counts his win in the Baldwin, Jarzombek, Evans Memorial 77 as the most memorable moment of the season, not only for how he got it, but for the occasion it marked.

“After getting the lead, I got passed by Ryan (Preece), and I was able to get it back again a few laps later,” Rogers said. “To win that race was special because I used to work on Tom Baldwin’s car, the year he passed away.”

Although he had clinched the modified title the week before, Rogers recorded his 40th career feature win in the finale to put an exclamation on the season. That same night he also won the figure eight feature and claimed his third career crown in that division as well.

The dual crowns made him the first driver since 1959 to capture two different division titles in the same season at Riverhead.

“All of my life I’ve raced two divisions, I just haven’t always raced two full-time. This year I was able to do both.” Rogers said. “In both the figure eights and the modifieds, I was able to get the car owners their first championships, so that was more important to me than anything else.”

An employee of the Town of Riverhead Highway Department by day, Rogers went to work for his No. 0 team with crew help from Michael Berner, Helmut Loesching and Sean Corsetti. Jessup Landscaping and Royal Fence provided associate sponsorship support.

While his plans for a title defense in 2016 at Riverhead are currently unsettled, Rogers has noticed the changes that have been taking place at his home track this offseason. Ed and Connie Partridge purchased the grounds last fall, and not only will they keep it operating as a race track, they have embarked on a renovation project that will make an immediate difference in the appearance of the facility.

“I live in town here and I see all of the improvements they are doing there, which is awesome,” Rogers said. “I really wish them the best of luck and I’m really happy they were able to keep it a race track.”

Rogers noted the progress to date, with a tinge of excitement.

“They put up new bathrooms, concession stands and ticket booths,” Rogers said. “They’re really sprucing the place up. I hope that he keeps going. I think he wants it to be a first class facility, and it’s heading in that direction.”

The progress is something that means a lot to Rogers, as it will to many others who’ve had longtime ties to the famed bullring.

“It’s the place I grew up at since I was two weeks old,” Rogers said. “I’ve made a lot of friends there through the years. It’s kind of my home.”

Riverhead will open up the 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season on May 7. For more information, please click HERE.

Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 57 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participated in 2015.

Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars are among the many showcases for Whelen products.

IMG_0791 (2)