Tag Archives: Riverhead Raceway


Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews
Riverhead, NY Jan 30th
By Bob Finan
Who said you can’t go home? That is exactly what veteran NASCAR Modified talent Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park will be doing in 2018 thanks to a new major sponsor that he and car owner Rich Schlegel announced today. The new marketing partner will allow the Accardi/Schlegel combination to call the NASCAR Whelen All American Series of Riverhead Raceway home in 2018 starting with the May 5th Cinco De Mayo opening night program.
“We are very happy to announce that WRS Environmental Services of Yaphank has signed on as out major sponsor for the 2018 season” Accardi disclosed Tuesday morning, “this sponsorship will allow me to return to my home track of Riverhead Raceway weekly for the first time in over 10 years. Needless to say I’m ecstatic and very excited as is Rich”. WRS Environmental Services for over 20 years has been an outstanding provider of environmental, utility and industrial services. “I can’t thank Mike Rodgers and the entire WRS Environmental Services organization enough for providing us with the backing to race weekly at Riverhead” Sal offered.
Armed with the funding they need Rich and Sal disclosed they’ll have a new car to race on Long Island, “Rick Kluth has built us an all new 2 Kwik chassis for 2018” Accardi disclosed, “we will rely on Big Sal’s Race Engine power and in fact I have the motor at the shop all ready for installation”. Heading into the new campaign Sal Accardi will be seeking his 5th career NASCAR Modified win at Riverhead as he authored four wins between August of 2004 and September of 2007, his last full season at the historic quarter mile oval. 2018 will mark the third year Rich Schlegel of West Haven, Ct. has fielded an entry for Accardi.
As pumped up as Sal is about his new car and major sponsorship there is one aspect of the upcoming season takes that excitement to another level, “I’m going to run my Dad’s number thirty-nine this year and Rich and I will paint the car red just like my father’s” Sal said beaming with pride. To that end Accardi also pointed to one race on the 2018 Riverhead slate he has circled that being the May 26th Islip 300. “Dad was very successful and well known for his drag racing exploits back in the day at Islip on the old 1/8th of a mile before he bought his first Modified” Sal explained, “to have a good run or better yet win a race with the title Islip on it would just be awesome. I know he’ll be watching over us all year”.
Joining the Accardi/Schlegel effort in 2018 will be several associate sponsors, Boutique Security Group LLC of Ronkonkoma, G. Calabrese Trucking of Medford, A-Plus Auto Salvage of Lindenhurst, J&J Auto Body of Ronkonkoma and Wurth USA Supplies. Graphics for the team will be designed by Scott Adams Designs.
“Everything has fallen into place, now we can’t wait to get going” Accardi concluded.
The 2018 Riverhead Raceway Cinco De Mayo opening night program on Saturday May 5th will kick of the NASCAR Modified season with a 40-lap feature event. The entire schedule of events for the new race season can be viewed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com and clicking on the schedule link.


Riverhead, NY Jan. 11th.
By Bob Finan
Just prior to the holiday season third year Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz released their 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series and Enduro race series schedule on the track’s web page much to the delight of race teams and race fans alike. The 2018 season will get underway with opening weekend featuring the Cinco De Mayo opening night card for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series stock cars on Saturday May 5th while the next afternoon the Enduro racers will compete in their May Meltdown opening day program.
Traditionally the NASCAR Modifieds have been the premier division of the Whelen All American Series at Riverhead Raceway a tradition that will remain intact in 2018. The weekly feature event distance for the NASCAR Modifieds is set at 40-laps but the 2018 slate of events features numerous extra distance and special events. First up on the menu will be the 2nd annual Islip 300 set for Saturday May 26th, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Dillon Steuer of Bohemia at just 15-years old triumphed in the Islip 300 last spring scoring an extremely popular victory. In June the “Mod Squad” will run the Mullet Madness 50 on Saturday June 16th and just two weeks later they’ll go to post in the 68th Year Celebration race, part of the annual Fireworks program celebrating the 4th of July.
In July the open wheel racers will compete in the popular Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial honoring three legends of the NASCAR Modified world. In conjunction with the 77 the annual Cromarty Wall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will be presented. August find a 50-lap NASCAR Night event set for August 4th while the month will conclude on August 25th with Twin 50’s slated for the NASCAR Modifieds who join the wildly popular School Bus Demolition Derby that night. Saturday evening September 15th the Whelen Engineering Night 100 will unfold featuring a Twin 50 formal with the results of this event perhaps going a long way in determining the 2018 NASCAR Modified champion at the historic quarter mile oval.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will again visit Riverhead Raceway twice in 2018 with the first of 200-lap WMT events set for Saturday night July 7th while the second race will unfold on Saturday September 8th. One WMT championship contending team who have already circled both Riverhead WMT dates off on their schedule is the Flamingo Motorsports team and their talented driver Timmy Solomito of Islip who swept the 2017 WMT races at the track where “The Natural” began his driving  career.
The six support divisions of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series have all seen an increase of schedules events in 2018 headed up by the Late Models who’ll again run 25-lap main events weekly. Three 50-lap races have been planned for the Late Models on June 23rdJuly 21st and August 18th. Ever since their inception prior to the 2016 race season the Eagle Auto Modified Crate class has grown in both numbers and popularity and again will be a weekly fixture competing in 25-lap feature events. Three extra distance 30-lap time trial races are planned for June 2ndJuly 14th and September 8th.  The “world famous” Figure Eight troops will be back for yet another exciting campaign of racing and are booked for 14 events in ’18.
The heavy hitting racing action provided by the Blunderbusts returns in 2018 as they’ll run 20-lap main events weekly with three extra distance 30-lap races set for May 19thJune 23rd and July 7th. Super Pro Trucks like the Blunderbusts compete in 20-lap feature events weekly and will also run 3 extra distance 30-lap contests in ’18 on June 16th, August 8gth and September 15th. The INEX Legend Race Cars will be a weekly fixture at Riverhead this season as well racing in 20-lap feature events weekly. Four extra distance races have been scheduled for the Legend racers, three 30-lappers on May 12thJune 30th & August 25th will be joined by the annual INEX National Qualifier a 50-lap affair set Saturday September 22nd,
A popular addition to the pit area at Riverhead Raceway in 2017 were the Long Island Vintage Auto Racing Series racers and their vintage race cars. Starting with the Cinco De Mayo opening night show May 5th the LIVARS machines will go to post six time in 2018 with shows on May 19thJune 9thJuly 28thAugust 4th and September 22nd joining the May 5th opener. Former five time NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe of Water Mill swept the five race LIVARS series in 2017.
Open cockpit fans can again look forward to the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites making their annual visit to Riverhead on Saturday June 2nd. Last year former Riverhead NASCAR Modified champion Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville wheeled the Bertrand Motorsports entry to victory in the 25-lap Allan Cantor Memorial 25 by IGA Food Markets NEMA Midget event.
Since 1986 the Enduro drivers have thrilled the Riverhead Raceway faithful with their brand of competition and will again be a vital part of the 2018 race season. After the Sunday May 6th May Meltdown opener the Enduro race teams will be right back in action Sunday May 27th for the Spring Smack Down. Afterwards the next stand alone Sunday show will be presented with the Summer Shootout on August 12th. The Sunday series will conclude with the annual Sunday Labor Day weekend event and later on September 30th the Enduro Extravaganza will conclude the season. As in past years all of the Enduro classes will see Saturday night action in ’18.
Once again Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz will present some great family attractions to join the weekly racing throughout 2018. Aside from the 68th Year Celebration Fireworks spectacular set for June 30th the annual I Love America Night Fireworks presentation is set for Saturday night August 11th.
School Buses will be getting a workout at Riverhead this coming season as School Bus Figure 8 races planned for Saturday May 12th and June 2nd. Later in the season the 13-ton machines will be destroyed in two hard hitting School Bus Demolition Derby events Saturday July 21stand again Saturday August 25th.
Saturday evening July 14th the Monster Trucks will again converge on Riverhead Raceway for another wild “free-style” event featuring the diesel burning & churning XDP Diesel Monster Truck along with several other top name trucks. It is sure to be a car crushing good time for young and old to enjoy alike.
Four bone jarring, car destroying Demolition Derby contests are set for 2018 with two 4-Cylinder Demolition Derbies on June 16th and again June 30th. The first 8-Cylinder Demo will unfold August 11th and then the big one, the National Demolition Derby championship Saturday night September 22nd. The Demo schedule is tentative as one of the two June dates could very well be moved.
Marketing opportunities are plentiful with the diverse 2018 Riverhead Raceway schedule of events, everything from the two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, the Islip 300 or any other race for any division at Riverhead Raceway. Seasonal marketing opportunities for any class of racing along with comprehensive billboard packages also available. For further marketing information please call 631-842-RACE Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm or send an e-mail to us at info@riverheadraceway.com.
To view  2018 Riverhead Raceway schedule in it’s entirety please visit www.riverheadraceway.com.


Peter Milano Photo
Riverhead, NY Dec. 15th.
On a cold blustery & snowy Friday evening on Long Island over 300 guests filled the banquet room at Giorgio’s of Baiting Hollow to celebrate the 2017 Riverhead Raceway champions. Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz crowned 13 track champions in both the Enduro race series as well the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. The seven NASCAR WAAS champions not only received a championship plaque but also a commemorative championship ring in a tradition the ownership trio of the track introduced in 2016.
Two 2017 champions received not one but two championship plaques & rings Friday night with Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead taking the NASCAR Modified and Figure Eight championships while Dave Brigati of Calverton won the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate and Super Pro Truck titles this past season. For Rogers it was the second time in the past three years he swept the NASCAR Modified and Figure Eight championships having turned the trick in 2015. Tom’s race team and family surprised him when they arranged for his first major sponsor  John Wellman of the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island join them Friday night. “George Brown saw something in this little skinny kid back in my Go Kart days and put me in a Figure Eight car. John Wellman had enough faith in me and my team to become our first major sponsor back in those Figure Eight days, without them along with a loyal legion of family members and team members I’m not standing here tonight” Rogers noted. In a tradition that has been continued by both the former and current owners of Riverhead Raceway the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Modified and Figure Eight Drivers Cups were presented to Rogers with Wellman who introduced the cups proudly looking on. For Rogers the NASCAR Modified and Figure Eight championships are the 4th career titles in each class. He also has a Late Model championship to his credit.
For Dave Brigati as much as he enjoyed taking his second consecutive Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate championship in 2017 remaining the only champion the division as ever known the driver dubbed “The Fancy Farmer” was super excited about his Super Pro Truck championship this past season. “We really wanted that truck championship this year, my guys led by the tireless efforts of Brian Schwarz put us in a position to go out and get it plus we took the Modified Crate crown so we are happy, we are very happy” Dave commented. In addition to his two Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate titles and the Super Pro Truck crown Dave in his formative years of racing won the 2000 Charger championship at the track.
Rising racing talent Kyle Soper of Manorville capped off a dream season Friday night when he was recognized as the 2017 Late Model champion after scoring six wins in the Rob Pelis owned machine. The youthful team paired during the off season when Kyle’s family owned NASCAR Modified could not be run in 2017 due to lack of funding. Soper turned some important heads with his Late Model performance so much so that he was tabbed to drive the famed Wayne and Joette Anderson NASCAR Modified six races into the 2017 campaign. Both Kyle’s teams are backed by the Corwin family of Eastport Feeds.
No stranger to the annual Riverhead Raceway “parade of champions” is Blunderbust veteran Tom Pickerell who on Friday night was feted for the 5th time in his career as champion of the class. In route to the 2017 crown Pickerell won twice with his second triumph a milestone 20th victory of his career. Among those the soft spoken veteran driver thanked was his fiancée Kelly for always standing by his side in his racing ventures.
Prior to the 2016 season INEX Legend Race Car veteran John Beatty Jr. of Merrick returned to the class at the urging of Kevin Temme to have some fun racing again after having run some NASCAR Modified events in prior seasons. Well in 2017 Beatty and Temme indeed had some fun as they won three times on their way to the 2017 INEX Legend Race Car title with the Giella Electric entry which they have since sold as Beatty in 2018 will eye a return to NASCAR Modified racing.
The 2017 Riverhead raceway Rookie of the Year drivers were named Friday night with second generation talent Chris Young of Calverton tabbed the NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year. Steve Mastro Jr. of Port Jefferson won the award for the Late Models while Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was the top Modified Crate Rookie in 2017 having won twice during his freshman season. Greg Harris of Riverhead was awarded Figure Eight Rookie of the Year while “Mad” Max Handley of Medford was the top freshman driver of the Blunderbust class. Eddie Schutze of Huntington was named RoY in the Super Pro trucks while Michael Benton of East Hampton won the award in the INEX Legend Race Cars.
Incorporated into the NASCAR awards dinner this year were the faithful Enduro race teams with Riverhead Raceway crowning the first ever Street Stock and Mini Stock champions. Former multi time Truck Enduro champion Greg Harris of Riverhead earned the Street Stock title in 2017 with two wins to his credit during the championship run, one of which was a very emotional win in August when Greg made an old school charge to the front to win the Laura Zegel Memorial 55 in his SGS Stone Works Chevy.
The road to the first ever Mini Stock championship was not an easy on for eventual champion Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays. Mike had built a car for the new class but after just one race knew the machine was not what he had hoped for so he went back to his race shop and started from scratch building a new car. The result of all that hard work and dedication by the second generation driver would be 4 victories during the summer taking the Mini Stock championship in the process. Unfortunately Mike was unable to attend the awards function Friday evening.
Once again Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point was honored as the Truck Enduro champion for his efforts in the Abner Tree Care Chevy S-10 while Dominick Ranieri of East Northport took home the 8-Cylinder Enduro championship in his Spare Parts Racing Chevy. “Captain America” Kevin Augustine of Bay Shore earned his very first career championship topping the Gut & Go Enduro division that saw some 113 plus drivers take part in the division. Brandon Esposito of Farmingville was presented with the 2017 Mini 8 championship, Brandon is the nephew of the late Figure Eight racer Joe Biondolillo Jr. who ranks second on the all time win list in the division.
When banquet guests arrived they found on their table a copy of the 2018 Riverhead Raceway schedule in spread sheet form. The 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series will open Saturday night with Cinco De Mayo Opening Night May 5th with all seven divisions in action plus the LIVARS Vintage Race Cars. The Islip 300 Tour Type Modified race will return on Saturday evening May 26th while the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make two stops at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday July 7th and again Saturday September 8th.
The 2018 Enduro race season will start with the May Meltdown program on Sunday May 6th. Two Inspection Days have been set aside for Saturday April 7th & 14th with the two traditional pre-season practice days set for Saturday April 21st and April 28th.
To view the complete schedule as well keep track of off season press releases and news please visit www.riverheadraceway.com or phone 631-842-RACE Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.