Tag Archives: Riverhead Raceway

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

Mike Van Houten Jr. INEX Team is Out to Have Fun.

When I first talked to Mike Van Houten Jr. several weeks ago, the 2016 season at Riverhead was in doubt.

The motor was not ready, the car was not ready and he did not think he could fund the season out of his own pocket. Racing a Legends car was supposed to be affordable but to get to the track every week, all season might cost more than Mike could afford. You could tell the disappointment in his voice.

IMG_0701 (2)But when we went out to  the second Riverhead practice there was Mike with his familiar 3-V INEX Legends car getting ready to hit the track.

We spoke to Mike this week to discuss his season plans and what had changed since we last spoke, the simple answer was nothing.  Money is still tight,  he has a motor that has been rebuilt a couple of times and he still needs another major sponsor if he wants to race the full season. His main sponsors Peter Clark and Johns Tree Removal do help a lot  but he will need one more sponsor will get him through the year.

Other things that have not changed are his love for Saturday night racing, the time he enjoys with the kids at the track and the belief that the time at the track brings his family together.

Mike told me there has never been a week at the track that he doesn’t stay until the races are over so he can spend time with the kids.  Ralph’s  Italian Ices has been and continues to be a sponsor who provides certificates to hand out to the kids. Whether or not Mike wins a race it doesn’t matter as long as the kids enjoy the night. He says because the INEX Legends car he drives is so small the kids seem to relate. A good night no matter how how does on the track would be to have 40-50 of his young racing fans  come visit him  in the pits after the show is over.

Saturday night will be opening night for all the regular Saturday night divisions,  The white 3-V  Legends car will be there  with last years tires but ready to have some fun.  He told me no matter what happens any given week there is only 1 driver that will have more fun than him, that would be the race winner.

So after Saturdays features are over stop by Mike’s pit, bring your kids and he will show you the car.

If you have always wanted to get involved with a race team Mike’s could use the help so he can get to the track for all 16 races. See him at the trailer and ask how you can get involved with his INEX Legends team.

Opening night is Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway Rt 58 Rivehead New York. Heat races start at 4:30, 7 feature races start at 6:30 and  the evening will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.