Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

LATE RACE PASS EARNS SHAWN SOLOMITO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED GRAND OPENING NIGHT VICTORY

Riverhead, NY May 14th.

After a frustrating afternoon of fighting a misfire in his Wayne Anderson owned NASCAR Modified, Shawn Solomito of Center Moriches and his team rebounded in the 40-lap main event on Grand Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway to claim the victory on the strength of a late race pass of Tom Rogers Jr. New track owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz along with their NASCAR Whelen All American Series officials moved the seven division program along with threatening weather on the horizon and the features were completed in under three hours.

Heat races were used to qualify all divisions with Shawn Solomito and Howie Brode winning the two NASCAR Modified qualifiers earning them the front row for the main event. At the throw of the green Solomito and Brode fired off turn four and ran side by side for the first lap but the driver with the best start turned out to be Tom Rogers Jr. who quickly worked his was under Brode for second going into the first corner. Rogers momentum carried him under Solomito as well heading into the third turn allowing him to take the race lead on lap 2.

Solomito would then spend the next 29 laps shadowing Rogers staying glued to the rear spoiler of the leader appearing to have the better car. Biding his time Shawn, the 2012 NASCAR Modified champion at Riverhead saw an opening under Rogers as the duo exited the fourth corner on lap 29 and by the time they raced into the first turn to start the 30th lap Shawn indeed reclaimed the lead. Once out front for good Solomito drove away to a comfortable margin of victory.

“We had a terrible misfire in practice and we were all pulling our hair out” Shawn admitted afterwards, “but we kept after it and discovered it was a valve train issue we were able to address and the hard work paid off” Shawn also noted, “We have to thank the Corwin family of Eastport Feeds, they make all of this possible for us and of course Wayne and Joette Anderson, there is just something special about winning here for Wayne”

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead was runner-up and afterwards discovered a broken rear suspension on his Jessup Landscaping Chevy with Howie Brode third in the Peter Clark Motorsports entry. Dave Brigati of Calverton and Kyle Soper of Manorville rounded out the top five.

IMG_1406The 25-lap late Model feature would turn out to be a classic between Scott Kulesa and Roger Oxee with the two former champions racing side by side for the better part of the first 17-laps. In the end however it would be Charger transplant Chris Turbush of Wading River who’d sit in victory lane at the conclusion of the contest. Right from the outset the Kulesa and Oxee tussle took center stage with Scott running the inside and Roger hanging it out upstairs for the first ten laps. The on lap 11 Kulesa was able to inch out front but a caution flag on lap 14 would put the dueling duo side by side once again. This time however on lap 17 exiting the fourth turn they got too close and made contact sending both into a spin drawing a yellow flag. Chris Turbush had a birds eye view of the incident and he quickly found himself the new race leader. When the race resumed Chris wheeling the Marcello Masonry Chevy remained out front over the final eight laps to claim the win, his first ever in the class. “Radiant” Ray Minieri of Bay Shore rebounded from a trip to the rear of the field early in the race to claim runner-up money in the Sunrise Chiropractic Chevy while Eriz Zeh of Selden crossed the line third in the Corwith’s Auto Body machine.

Dave Brigati of Calverton made history Saturday night when he won the first ever IMG_1344Riverhead Modified Crate feature event in a 20-lap affair. Brigati lined up on the outside pole alongside 2015 Legend Race Car champion Dylan Slepian and when the race went green Dave drove his car deep into the first corner to take the race lead. Slepian was able to keep pace with Brigati over the entire distance and at time took a look both to the inside and outside hoping to make a pass. However in the end Dave Brigati with plenty of open wheel racing under his belt would remain out front to post the victory in the JDL Environmental Chevy. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills was runner-up in his Hurricane Grill & Wings of Manorville entry with CJ Lehmann of Shirley crossing the line third in the Baldwin Automotive racer. CJ’s journey to the podium finish was not an easy one as the team had to swap crate motors after practice with team sponsor and Sprint Cup team owner Tom Baldwin Jr. even stopping by to lend moral support.

IMG_1504There would not be a more emotional win on Grand Opening Night than the one Ken Hyde Jr. of Mastic Beach scored in the 15-lap Figure Eight main event. It was Ken’s first trip to the winners circle since the sudden passing of his Dad, Ken Hyde Sr. Early on Scott Pedersen and Tom Ferrara ran first and second but both would have their run for the win end suddenly. Lap 7 saw Ferrara spinning from second after contact from behind and one lap later a lapped car ruined race leaders Pedersen’s night as he spun after contact from the back marker. On the 8th lap restart Roger Maynor and Ken Hyde lined-up side by side with Hyde getting the measure of the all time leading winner Maynor when the green light winked back on. Once out front Ken Hyde Jr. who had gone without a win since his fathers passing was not going to be denied taking the checker flag in the Kings Park Contracting racer. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore was runner-up in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford with Mike Mujsce Sr. of Quogue third in the Mike’s Auto Service mount.IMG_1298

Make it four opening day wins in a row in the Blunderbust ranks for Jack Handley Jr. of Medford who again topped their 20-lap lid lifter. By virtue of their respective heat race wins Eric Zeh and Handley made up the front row of the feature and they would also wage a classic side by side battle for the race lead. Handley by a mere inches would take the race lead on lap one on the outside with Zeh keeping the pressure on him from the inside. The tandem ran nearly the entire first half of the race door handle to door handle before Handley was able to pull away. Zeh not only found himself looking at the back bumper of race leader Handley but also under attack for second late in the race from Tom Puccia Jr. With Zeh and Puccia racing for second that allowed Jack Handley Jr. to claim his fourth straight opening night win in his Liccardi Builders Chevy. Tom Puccia of Shirley indeed made a late race pass with just over a lap remaining to claim second in the Ferrandino & Sons Contracting entry while Eric Zeh of Selden placed third in the Westhamton Auto Salvage Cadillac.

IMG_1179t might have taken a couple of years to earn his 10th career Super Pro Truck win but a sweet win it would indeed turn out to be for “The King of Queens” Mike Albasini of Flushing.  The 20-lap main event would be rough and tumble early on but up front Lou Maestri and Albasini raced side by side for the race lead for the first three laps before the yellow waved for an incident. On the ensuing restart Albasini was able to get the better of Maestri to the outside and race his way into the lead on lap 4. With the milestone victory in sight Mike Albasini remained out front over the remaining laps to post the win in his Hollis Court Collision Chevy. In celebration of his win Mike promised to buy 66 Miller Lite brews at the new turn three Beer Garden to mark the occasion. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach raced his was into second on lap 8 as well where he would finish in the Sonny’s Collision Center racer with defending champion Lou Maestri of Deer park third in the Star Car Repair Center truck.

“Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches topped the 20-lap INEX LegendIMG_1265 Race Car feature besting a stellar 29-car starting field. Bryan Kelly showed the way over the first 6 laps of the tilt before he was overtaken by Richie Davidowitz with an inside pass entering the first turn on lap 7. Once out front Davidowitz was able to get away from the pack somewhat thanks in part to a battle for second between Kelly and John Beatty Jr. that lasted some six laps. Beatty got by Kelly for the position on lap 14 and then tried to make a run at the race leader. However it would be Richie Davidowitz in the Thriftway Auto Body racer posting the win with John Beatty Jr. of Merrick runner-up in the D&D Auto Body entry. Brad Van Houten of Wading River turned in the drive of the night racing his way from 28th to a third place finish in the Riverhead Building Supply mount.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Shawn Solomito 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Howie Brode 4. Dave Brigati 5. Kyle Soper 6. Vinny Biondolillo 7. Ken Darch 8. Dave Schneider 9. John Fortin Jr. 10. John Fortin Sr. 11. Chuck Steuer 12. Cory Midgett 13. John Baker Heat winners- Shawn Solomito, Howie Brode

Late Models: 1. Chris Turbush 2. Ray Minieri 3. Eric Zeh 4. David Roys 5. Chris Lescenski 6. Kevin Metzger 8. Roger Oxee 9. Daryn Miller 10. Mike Bologna 11. Charlie Macwhinning 12. Shawn Patrick 13. Steve Mastro 14. Peter Eriksen Jr. 15. Scott Kulesa 16. Chris McGuire 17. Jack Orlando 18. Kyle Ellwood 19. Brandon Turbush 20. Kyle Soper Heat winners- Scott Kulesa, Roger Oxee & Peter Eriksen

Rivehead Modified Crates: 1. Dave Brigati 2. Dylan Slepian 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Dillon Steuer 5. Jason Hanson 6. Dennis Krupski 7. Peter Bertuccio 8. Terry Stiles Heat winner- Dylan Slepian

Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Roger Maynor 3. Mike Mujsce Sr. 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. Tom Ferrara 6. Chris Elixson 7. Scott Pedersen 8. Mike Mujsce Jr. 9. Bob Dalke 10. Artie Pedersen III 11. Brian Hansen 12. Tom Kraft Jr. DQ-Tom Rogers Jr. Heat winners- Tom Ferrara & Scott Pedersen

Blunderbusts: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Tom Puccia 3. Eric Zeh 4. Tom Sullivan 5. Tim Mulqueen 6. Jim Laird 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Tom Pickerell 9. Chris Busick 10. Bill Wegmann Jr. 11. Dennis Scott 12. Rob Bader 13. Derek Wegman 14. Cassandra Denis 15. Alyssa Paprocky Heat winners- Eric Zeh & Jack Handley Jr.

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mike Albasini 2. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 3. Lou Maestri 4. Owen Grennan 5. Rob McCormick 6. Frank Dumicich Sr. 7. Frank Dumicich Jr. 8. Dave Brigati 9. Kevin Scharfenberg 10. Amanda Anderson 11. Roger Turbush 12. Sean Glennon 13. Rich Campo Heat winners- Lou Maesti & Frank Dumicich Sr.

Legend Race Cars: 1. Richie Davidowitz 2. John Beatty Jr. 3. Brad Van Houten 4. Bryan Kelly 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. Vinny Delaney 7. Dylan Slepian 8. Michael Rutkowski 9. George Tomko Jr. 10. Eric Hersey 11. Greg Harris 12. Chris Rogers 13. Kevin Nowak 14. Jim Sylvester 15. Kyle Ellwood 16. Jerry Curran 17. Silas Hiscock 18. Anthony Marsh 19. Johnnie Gloor 20. Mike Van Houten 21. Jeff Otto Jr. 22. Will Hiscock 23. Kyle Kwansa 24. Kenny Southard 25. Allan Pedersen 26. Joe Warren 27. Ed Cheslak 28. Steve DeFriest 29. Bill Fitzgerald Heat winners- Bryan Kelly, Greg Harris & Richie Davidowitz

Riverhead Raceway, There is a New Sheriff in Town

First off we want to congratulate all of the  2016 opening night winners at Riverhead Raceway.  Shawn Solomito, Dave Brigati, Chris Turbush, Kenny Hyde , Richie Davidowitz, Jack Handley and Michael Albasini.

All of the racing was good tonight,  7 divisions of cars and trucks ran 14  heats and 7 features in about 5 hours time including the heats.

Full results are listed n another story on Myracenews.com.

For the first time in many years the track ran heats in all divisions. I heard comments at the drivers meeting that some drivers had never even  run heats before. Many any fans had been asking for time trials to be eliminated in favor of the heats and this week they got their wish.  After week one I think the change was welcomed by both fans and drivers.  All the heats were real races and the drivers did not ride around like it was another practice.

IMG_0813In tonight’s drivers meeting run by John Elwood and Race Director Scott Tapley the tone was set. Scott outlined how it will be at Riverhead this year  He set the rules on how it will be on the track and in the pits. Drivers are expected to be professionals., acting accordingly. One driver learned early in the day that the new group of officials will take no BS and was set down  before practice was even over.

Scott told the drivers that he does not like to talk and that his actions will be how he speaks.

Drivers seem to have taken notice as there were few car that spun that sat on the track, cars dropped into line quickly and the pace of the show seemed brisk.

The Good: Heats, all classes ran heats for the first time in many years. The figure 8’s ran their 2 heats on the figure 8 course.

IMG_1372 (2)Side by side racing, Roger Oxee in his #39 Late Model  on the outside ran  outside of #10 Scott Kulesa for many laps until they got together in turn 4. Roger showed all attending last night races he will be in contention for a couple of wins this year.

In the modified feature after dropping back from his pole position start  early, Shawn Solomito in the #15 Wayne Anderson IMG_1432 (2)modified passed last years champion  #0 Tom Rogers Jr. for the  win and never looked back. Chris Turbush in a beautiful new  #81  Late Model came through the field to take his first Late Model race in his first race in the division.

Car counts: They  were good in most divisions, modifieds lost a few cars due to opening night being pushed back a week and the WMT race at Waterford. But other classes especially the Legends with 29 and the largest Late Model count in years at 20 bode well for good counts through out the year. Figure 8’s look to rebound a bit this year brought 13 cars for opening night.

Weather,  it held out all night when it rained all around long Island.

The track: All of the improvements to the facility, clean new bathrooms, better concessions, cool new pace cars and trucks, the band in turn 3 who sang a great Star Spangled Banner and my personal favorite the new lighting system,

The Bad: No many.

IMG_0796Car trouble for the #74 team.   The first night did not go ff without hitches,. The #74 Visconti racing Crate Modified driven by CJ Lehman had motor issues after the first practice. They changed  anything they could think of bt the issues could not be solved, eventually they had to swap motors. It took the team about 1  1/2 hours between the heats and the feature to get the car ready to run. CJ started last and finished 3rd in the initial Crate Mod feature.

In the same feature Terry Stiles did some pretty heavy damage to the #41 as he hit the front stretch wall a ton and sheared off the right front. We hope Terry can get the car back together for their next race in 2 weeks.

Weather: As it was lucky  it didn’t rain, the threat of rain kept the opening night crowd down even with fireworks on the card.

IMG_1182 (2)The potential bad weather also virtually eliminated on track  victory lane for the drivers who were more than understanding.  Only the Super Pro Truck winner Mike Albasini got to exit his truck for an interview and photos on track.

Notes:

IMG_1061Old and new faces racing on opening night.  #11 Chuck Steuer was back in a brand new LFR chassis. Chuck was joined by son #6 Dillion in the Crate mod division. Dillion’s car was dad’s old modified.  Chuck struggled a bit to finish 11th and son Dillion after a couple of spins finished 4th in he Crate race. Once both father and son figure their new cars out they will be a threat to win each week.

Michael Albasini could not have been happier to win his first truck race in about 3 years.

Dave Brigati was busy with a Super Pro Truck, a Crate Mod and a Tour modified all in the same night. Dave had a crate win a 4th in the Tour mods and an 8th in the Truck race.IMG_1504

Kenny Hyde took his first Figure 8 win in about 2 years with a third to first pass on a a late restart.

Richie Davidowitz won his second INEX legends race in 2 weeks after taking the win at last at Wall Stadium.

John Beatty Jr drove his beautiful #8 Legends car to a fine second place finish.

In the Blunderbust feature #41 Thomas Puccia had one his strongest runs in a long time to a runner up spot.

Week one is finally in the books and hopefully weekend weather gets better and warmer. Week 2 will feature a Figure 8 School bus race. The track has acquired many more buses than they had in the past so this should be a great show.

See you next week.

 

 

 

05/14/16 Riverhead Raceway Feature Finishes

Here are the full rundowns from last nights Rivehead Raceway Features.

Congratulations to all the opening night winners.

Super Pro Truck
1    Michael Albasini
2    Jimmy Rennick Jr.
3    Lou Maestri
4    Owen Grennan
5    Rob MCCormick
6    Frank Dumicich Sr.
7    Frank Dumicich Jr.
8    David H. Brigati
9    Kevin Scharfenberg
10    Amanda  Andersen Mujsce
11    Roger Turbush
12    Sean Glennon
13    Rich Campo

INEX Legend
1    Richie Davidowitz Jr.
2    John Beatty
3    Brad Van Houten
4    Bryan Kelly
5    Ray Fitzgerald
6    Vinny Delaney
7    Dylan Slepian
8    Michael Rutkoski
9    George Tomko Jr.
10    Eric Hersey
11    Gregory Harris
12    Chris Rogers
13    Kevin  Nowak
14    Jim Sylvester
15    Kyle Ellwood
16    Jerry Curran
17    Silas Hiscock
18    Anthony Marsh
19    Johnnie Gloor
20    Mike Van Houten Jr.
21    Jeff Otto Jr.
22    William Hiscock
23    Kyle Kwasna
24    Kenny Southard
25    Allan Pedersen

26  Denis Kurras
27    Joe Warren
28    Ed Cheslak
29    Steve Defriest
30    Bill Fitzgerald

Blunderbust
1    Jack Handley Jr.
2    Thomas Puccia
3    Eric Zeh
4    Tom Sullivan
5    Tim Mulqueen
6    Jim Laird
7    William A. Wegmann
8    Tom Pickerell
9    Chris Busick
10    William J. Wegmann
11    Dennis Scott
12    Rob Bader Jr.
13    Derek Wegmann
14    Cassandra Denis
15    Alyssa Poprocky

16 Ryan Zukowski

Riverhead Modified Crate
1    David H. Brigati
2    Dylan Slepian
3    CJ Lehmann
4    Dillion Steuer
5    Jason Hanson
6    Dennis Krupski
7    Peter Bertuccio
8    Terry Stiles

Late Model
1    Chris Turbush
2    Ray Minieri
3    Eric Zeh
4    David Roys
5    Chris Lescenski
6    Kevin Metzger
7    Jeremy McDermott
8    Roger Oxee
9    Daryn Miller
10    Mike Bologna
11    Charlie Macwhinnig
12    Shawn Patrick
13    Steve Mastro
14    Buzzy Eriksen
15    Scott Kulesa
16    Chris McGuire
17    Jack Orlando
18    Kyle Ellwood
19    Brandon Turbush
20    Kyle Soper

Tour Modified
1    Shawn Solomito
2    Tom Rogers Jr.
3    Howie Brode
4    David H. Brigati
5    Kyle Soper
6    Vinny Biondolillo
7    Ken Darch
8    David Schneider
9    John Fortin Jr.
10    John  Fortin
11    Chuck Steuer
12    Cory Midgett
13    John Baker

Figure 8
1    Kenneth Hyde Jr.
2    Roger Maynor
3    Mike Mujsce Sr.
4    Gary Fritz Jr.
5    Tom Ferrara
6    Chris Elixson
7    Scott Pedersen
8    Mike Mujsce Jr.
9    Bob Dalke
10    Artie Pedersen III
11    Brian Hansen

12    Tom Kraft Jr