Riverhead, NY July 10th
Just days after coming oh so close to his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway only to have his hopes dashed by a late race caution flag John Beatty Jr. of Merrick drove to victory Wednesday night in a 50-lap midweek special. The win was the 7th of Beatty’s career and in a odd statistical twist 3 of those 7 victories have come on a Wednesday night with John having swept Twin 50 lap NASCAR Modified races in 2018.
Veteran Dave Brigati of Calverton set the standard in qualifying with a lap of 11.686 earning the pole for the race with Beatty second quick at 11.689. When the green flag waved it would be Beatty riding the outside lane to the race lead over Brigati
who then tucked into second. Over the first 15 laps not much changed up front but on lap 16 positions would start to shuffle when Tom Rogers Jr. raced his way under Brigati for second entering the third turn. Rogers would see his night go flat, literally moments later with a right front flat. That turn of events and subsequent caution led to some further key turning points of the race. Craig Lutz who made his way by Brigati for third suddenly found himself second to Beatty on the ensuing restart. Like he did in Saturday’s WMT Beatty again stuck to his guns and chose the outside grove moving Lutz under him. When the green dropped Lutz tried to make Beatty very uncomfortable in the outside grove and on lap 18 the duo touched with the end results Beatty spinning wildly but never stopping on the track while Lutz briefly coming to a halt. Unfortunately with an incident at the front of the field several good cars were damaged further back in the pack after stacking up including John Fortin Sr., John Baker, Eric Zeh and CJ Lehmann who were all finished for the night.
When the race resumed Beatty would find a new challenger testing his skills in the person of Chris Young who made his way from 8th into the top five while Kyle Soper and Dave Brigati got after each other for third. With plenty of time remaining in the race young and first stayed in Beatty’s tracks but as the laps clicked off Chris never having won a NASCAR Modified feature start to turn up the heat. At first Chris came to the rear bumper of the leader giving him a nudge from time to time but never upsetting Beatty’s car to the point of spinning. Soon the leader got tight in the corners and Young began to take a look at attempting an inside pass for the lead but Beatty was wise to the tactic and started slowing his corner speed slightly breaking the challengers momentum.
As the checker flag waved ending the high speed chess game John Beatty Jr. and his MSM Elite Motorsports team enjoyed their second win of ’19. After exiting his car all Beatty wanted to talk about was his foe Young, “Chris ran a great race, his wins are coming. He nudged me here and there but never crossed that fine line.” As for the win easing the feelings after coming so close to the WMT win Beatty noted, “it’s in the past I just have to thank my owner Mark Mina and my guys this car is spot on most every week”.
Chris Young of Calverton continues to turn heads and was second in the Contract Pharmacal Chevy while Kyle Soper of Manorville claimed third place money in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Dave Brigati of Calverton was fourth while Craig Lutz of Miller Place roared back from the lap 18 incident to grab fifth place money in the Riverhead Building Supply entry.
The magical Late Model season continues for Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who won his sixth race in seven starts Wednesday night. McDermott would lead the way in qualifying clocking in at 12.514 beating out teammate Dylan Slepian who went a 12.608. Armed with the pole after qualifying Jeremy raced right into the lead while Chris Turbush raced his way to second under Slepian after Chris started third. The race was slowed by caution only once on lap 4 for Daryn Miller who had an issue in the first turn. As was the case in the mile raced prior to the early caution when the race restarted McDermott picked up right where he left off leading the race while Turbush was driving as hard as he could to try and stay close let along making a bid for the lead while Shawn Patrick made his way from fifth to third. As has been the case to date in ’19 once McDermott was out front he never looked back driving his Eastport Feeds Pontiac to his 15th career win tying him for 8th on the all time win list with Mike Bologna. Chris Turbush of Wading River again could only watch as Jeremy drove off to victory settling for runner-up money in his Carpet Express Chevy. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was third in his Meade’s Welding entry.
Another driver dominating a division can be found in the Figure Eight class as defending champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead won his fifth race of the year in seven starts. Scott Pedersen paced the first two laps chased at the outset by Bryan Quilliam and then CJ Lehmann. It would be Lehmann racing his way out front on lap 3 with Pedersen giving chase until a 4th lap restart. On that resumption of the race Tom Ferrara made his way by Pedersen and set his radar on leader Lehmann. However Rogers was on the march from his 8th starting spot and as he so often does once to third makes short work of finding his way to the lead. As the field took the halfway mark Rogers worked his way first by Ferrara for second and then quickly made his way around Lehmann for the race lead. Once Rogers and his ultra quick Chevy Coupe were out front there was no reeling him in as he drove to his 48th career triumph in the United Exhaust Shop machine. Tom Ferrara of Patchogue made a late race pass to claim second in his Northeastern Office Equipment Cadillac while early leader CJ Lehmann of Shirley crossed the line third in the Blue Collar Bar Chevy.
If you told defending Super Pro Truck champion Mark Stewart of Riverhead before the 2019 campaign he’d be 6 races into the new season without a win he with justification would of looked at you cross-eyed.Such was the case heading into the midweek 30-lap SPT event and when it was all said and done Stewart sat in the winners circle. Sean Glennon showed the way in qualifying as the final truck of the session went a 13.329 with Stewart second quick at 13.434. Knowing full well he needed to get his East Side Building machine out front early Stewart did just at the throw of the green getting the measure of Glennon who ticked into second with Jimmy Rennick Jr. third. With no cautions flags slowing the race Stewart would be able to also avoid any double file restarts as on this night everything was going the fourth generation drivers way. When the checker flag waved Mark Stewart had career win number 21 in his pocket. Mark’s next win will him with Danny Grennan for third on the all time win list. Sean Glennon of Northport brought the R&R Brothers Electric Chevy home second while Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach was third in his Metropolitan Recycling machine.
Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge made it two Mini Stock wins in a row when he topped their 25-lap main event. Tom Puccia of Shirley led the way in qualifying with a lap of 14.932 with Warren second quick with a 15.101. When the race got underway Pucia edged out front over Warren and defending champion Paul Wojick with the top three cars running under a blanket for the first five laps before Puccia and warren got away slightly for the 6th & 7th lap. Lap 8 would be the downfall for leader Puccia would got himself trapped behind a lapped car allowing Warren to swoop by for the lead. One Warren was out front he never looked back driving off to victory lane in his self funded racer and as always dedicating his win to the late ‘Lil Jay Trinca and his mom Keri.Tom Puccia of Shrley was second in his On Site Cleaning Service machine while Chris Elixson of Riverhead brought the Mike’s Auto Service racer home third.
Phil LaManna of Smithtown may have waited a long time for his first career Truck Enduro win earlier this year but wasted no time in grabbing career win number two in a 40-lap affair Wednesday. Defending champion Don Nelson Jr. and Gary Voight diced early on and in fact over the first 24 circuits of the tilt. Nelson had a miscue in turn four dropping him form the lead moving Voight out front with LaManna now second. A dozen laps later LaManna put his EP Milling Sweeping Chevy out front on the 36th cycle and he’d lead the final four laps for the win. Bob Pease of Medford was second in the Fit Spot Gym entry while Nelson recovered nicely from his earlier contact to finish third in the Abner’s Tree Experts Chevy S-10.
In a thoroughly entertaining 15-lap School Bus Figure Eight race Kevin Rommeney of Maspeth became the third different winner in as many races in 2019. Rommeney who by trade is a New York City bus driver for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Brooklyn made a late race charge to get by both his brother Michael “Cheesebox” Rommeney and most recent winner “Irish” Mike O’Keefe as the fans roared with approval.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Chris Young 3. Kyle Soper 4. Dave Brigati 5. Craig Lutz 6. Jon McKennedy 7. Dylan Slepian 8. Tom Rogers Jr. 9. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 10. Roger Turbush 11. Jack Handley 12. John Fortin Sr. 13. John Baker 14. Eric Zeh 15. CJ Lehmann 16. Dillon Steuer
Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Chris Turbush 3. Shawn Patrick 4. Dylan Slepian 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Jason Kreth 7. Darren McCabe 8. Frank Dumicich Jr. 9. Ray Minieri 10, Daryn Miller DNS- Dave Brigati
Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Tom Ferrara 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Ken Hyde Jr. 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Gary Fritz Jr 7. Scott Pedersen 8. Eric Zeh 9. Brian Hansen 10. Bryan Quilliam 11. Bob Dalke
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Sean Glennon 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Eddie Schutze 5. Lou Maestri 6. Ethan Brown 8. Frank Dumicich Jr. 9. Frank Dumicich Sr.
Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Tom Puccia 3. Chris Elixson 4. Matt Stawecki Joe Cooke Jr. 6. Scott Phillips 7. James O’Connell 8. Martin O’Connell 9. Justin Squires 10. Paul Wojcik 11. Jamie Meyer 12. Jay Conrad
Truck Enduro: 1. Phil LaManna 2. Bobby Pease 3. Don Nelson Jr. 4. Gary Voight 5. Justin McGrady 6. Kerry Botts 7. Bobby Pease Jr. 8. Doug Tittle 9. Dustin Cole 10. Emily Hubbard 11. Danielle Cohen 12. Joe Brodman 13. Mariah Lawrence
School Bus Figure Eight race: Winner- Kevin Rommeney