Riverhead, NY Sept. 26th
By Bob Finan
Jimmy “The Kid” White Jr. of Southampton and Gene Burbol of Brookhaven each scored their second straight victories Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway when they won their respective 50-lap feature events. White topped the Grand Enduro event while Burbol not only won the Truck Enduro feature but also clinched the championship in that class with the win..
Glenn Simonin led the first 13 circuits of the Grand Enduro before being passed by championship hopeful Greg Zaleski for the top spot on lap 14. Greg who came into the race two points back of David Antos for the 2015 title knew if he won the final race he at worst would clinch a tie for the championship. Zaleski’s plan was playing out just the way he hoped until lap 38 when Jimmy White Jr. made a successful inside pass for the race lead in turn two on lap 38. Once out front the driver of the Busy Bee Pest Control Chevy never looked back driving off to victory.
As for the championship battle David Antos of Lindenhurst made a late race pass on Greg Zaleski of Jamesport for second which gave the driver of the CR Customs Chevy his second career Grand Enduro championship. Zaleski crossed the line third in his Peconic Signs entry just four points shy of the championship.
Gene Burbol went out and notched his first career Truck Enduro championship in style taking the lead from Ben Gregor on lap 4 with an outside pass down the front stretch. Once the former 6-Cylinder Enduro champion had his Gene’s 112 Car Care S-10 in the lead the veteran driver stayed out front for the remainder of the race. “Handsome” Hank Hallock of Riverhead was runner-up in the Westhampton Auto Salvage Chevy with former champion Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point third in the Nelson Brothers Racing truck.
Like Burbol, Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma clinched the 8-Cylinder Enduro crown in style winning their first 75-lap race of the night. Sean Fitzpatrick, Donald Lawrence and Rhett Fogg all took turns leading the way before Pizzo in his United Exhaust Shops Caprice took the lead of the race for good with just 15-laps left in the contest. Making the victory and championship that much sweeter for Pizzo was he had to overcome a hard Memorial Day Weekend crash before laying claim to the 2015 title. Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon was runner-up with Dale Doherty of Cutchogue third in the Jamesport Auto racer.
In the nightcap for the 8-Cylinder Enduro ranks “Blackjack” Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue broke out front early and went on the win the 40-lap finale in the TJ’S Heros Chevy. Rhett Fogg of Westhampton was second with Anthony Pizzo third.
In the held over 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro from September 12th Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays took home the win in the 50-lap main event taking the lead on the very last lap of the race from Peter Verwys Jr. of East Rockaway. Mujsce, who due to his work schedule was forced to sit out a few late season races, was a man on a mission in the Premier Pest Control entry. Verwys in the Usedautoparts.com racer was second with Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge third.
In the regularly scheduled 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro young talent Brandon Esposito of Farmingville scored a popular win in the Gene’s 112 Car racer. Driving a number 66 in honor of his late uncle, former multi time Figure Eight champion Joe Biondolillo Jr., Brando was running second in the race when misfortune struck race leader Joe Warren Jr. Joe lost a rear tire late in the going allowing Esposito to inherit the lead. Once the 19-year old lead foot was in the lead he never looked back and celebrated with family and friends in victory lane.
Second year driver Paul Wojcik of Centereach earned the 4/6-Cylinder Enduro championship with a second place finish in his Fisher Shirts and Signs machine with veteran George Davis of Patchogue third in the Sign Designs entry.
Peter Verwys Jr. of East Rockaway might not have won his second straight 4/6-Cylinder Enduro title but he would triumph in the 50-lap Gut & Go Enduro. Verwys steering the Usedautoparts.com machine took the lead on lap 34 to secure the victory. Gary Voight of Medford who led until lap 34 was runner-up in the A Voight towing backed racer with Matt Brown of Farmingville third.
When the checker flag waved on the second 8-Cylinder Enduro it brought the curtain down on the racing career of promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty who brought Enduro racing to Long Island in 1986. Barbara & Jim would like to thank all the Enduro and NASCAR racers and fans for their loyal support during their 38-year run and wish the new owners of Riverhead Raceway, Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz the very best on their new venture.
The new management team will debut with the Fall Frenzy Enduro and Legend Race Car program Sunday November 1st at 12:30 pm, details on that event can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com. Excitement for this new event is building with many teams completing Fall Frenzy entry blanks Saturday night.
Grand Enduro (top five) 1. Jimmy White Jr. 2. Dave Antos 3. Greg Zaleski 4. Erick Zegel 5. Mike Mulcahy
Truck Enduro (top five) 1. Gene Burbol 2. Hank Hallock 3. Don Nelson 4. R.J. Gage 5. Richard Galante
1st 8-Cylinder Enduro (top five) 1. Anthony Pizzo 2. Sean Fitzpatrick 3. Dale Doherty 4. Kevin Coyle 5. Justin Ferreri
2nd 8-Cylinder Enduro (top five) 1. Bryan Kelly 2. Rhett Fogg 3. Anthony Pizzo 4. Mark Wolf 5. Logan Fogg
1st 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro (top five) 1. Mike Mujsce Jr. 2. Peter Verwys Jr. 3. Joe Warren Jr. 4. Paul Wojcik 5. Brandon Esposito
2nd 8-Cylinder Car Enduro (top five) 1. Brandon Esposito 2. Paul Wojcik 3. George Davis 4. Matt Wahl 5. Ed Fontana
Gut & Go Enduro (top five) 1. Peter Verwys Jr. 2. Gary Voight 3. Matt Brown 4. Brandon Esposito 5. Jeff Gregor