Riverhead, NY Sept. 7thBy Bob Finan
Under near perfect weather conditions Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway four NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature events were contested prior to the Miller Lite 200 Whelen Modified Tour event. Taking home wins were Sean Glennon of Northport in the Crate Modifieds, Tom Pickerell of Huntington in the Blunderbusts, Kevin Nowak of Medford kept up his late season hot streak in the INEX Legend Race Cars while Eric Zeh of Selden topped the Street Stocks.
The 25-lap Crate Modified victory would not be decided on the track but rather in post race inspection where original winner Terry Stiles of Rocky Point came up just a few pounds light at the scales stripping him of his second career win. Stiles in his T&S Auto Clinic entry has staved off challenges from Sean Glennon in his Related Services Chevy on the track to cross under the checker flag first before coming up shy of the minimum weigh. Dennis Krupski had led the first lap of the race before yielding to Stiles on the second lap exiting the second corner. The winning move for Glennon would come about on lap 8 when he made his way by Krupski for second. Once there Sean stayed in Stiles tire tracks for the remainder of the race. Following Glennon in the amended finish would be championship leader Justin Brown of Manorville in his Motorcycle Mike Attorney At Law Chevy who started the race from 7th with third going to Dave Brigati of Calverton in his Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy.
Score the 30-lap Blunderbust event a clean sweep for veteran Tom Pickerell of Huntington who not only set fast time in qualifying with a lap 9f 14.627 but would lead all the way in a non stop feature event. The victory was the 4th for “Slick Pick” in 2019 and 26th of his successful driving career. Armed with the pole starting berth Pickerell quickly moved his Makely Enterprises Chevy to the race lead with recent UNOH graduate “Mad” Max Handley coming to second. Max was able to keep pace with Pickerell but staying with the leader and trying to make a bid to pass the leader would indeed be tow different matters all together. At the checker Tom Pickerell would cross under first with Max Handley of Medford runner-up in the Licciardi Builders Caprice while another young driving star Cody Triola of bay Shore was third in his Cesspool Pros entry.
Kevin Nowak of Medford continued his late summer surge winning his 5th INEX Legend Race Car event of 2019 and that is just his Riverhead win total. George Tomko Jr. raced to the lead at the throw of the green and over the first 13-laps was chased by defending champion Jim Sylvester. Tomko who earlier in the season was the victim of a hard crash off the fourth turn was hoping to turn around a season that has seen more downs than ups with a win. Sylvester’s run in second came to an end on lap 13 when he spun after slight contact moving Joseph Braun to second. Braun chased Tomko for two laps before the red hot Nowak moved by on lap 16. Tomko was determined to keep rival Nowak at bay but it was not to be as racing off the fourth turn to take the two to go signal Nowak slipped his JTEC Electric machine under Tomko taking the lead with under a half mile to go in route to his 14th career victory. Joseph Braun of Manorville also made a late race pass of Tomko to claim runner-up money with his Miller & Caggiano Attoneys At Law racer. George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue in his sponsor wanted mount was third at the finish.
In the 20-lap Street Stock contest it would be Eric Zeh of Selden posting his fifth victory of 2019 a victory that did not come without slight controversy. Local talent Chris Lescenski broke to the early race lead at the drop of the green flag chased early on by former Charger driver Jay Henschel. Just prior to the halfway mark Zeh made his way to third putting himself on the rear bumper of Henschel while working lapped traffic. Enter the first turn while lapping slower cars Henschel left too much room between the cars he was lapping and himself and Zeh threaded the needle to take second on lap 12. Once to second Zeh reeled in Lescenski for the lead and was all over the leaders bumper. On lap 13 while racing the third and fourth corners Zeh got into Lescenski enough to get the leader out of sorts allowing Eric to take the race lead as the field started the 14th lap bringing Dave Antos to second with him. Antos stayed with Zeh over the final half dozen laps of the contest but in the end it would be the Best Built Construction Chevy of Eric Zeh scoring his division lading 9th career win. Dave Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy while Chris Lescenski of Riverhead recovered for third in his L.I. Poultry Chevy.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Sean Glennon 2. Justin Brown 3. Dave Brigati 4. Chris Rogers 5. Dennis Krupski 6. Peter Bertuccio 7. Matthew Brode 8. Gerard Lawrence 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Lou Maestri 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Alex Colasanto 13. Terry Stiles DQ- Jason Hansen DNS- Mike Albasini
Blunderbusts: 1. Tom Pickerell 2. Max Handley 3. Cody Triola 4. Eddie Diaz 5. Russ Jansen 6. Bill Wegmann Jr. 7. Jarrett Campbell 8. Tom Puccia 9. Bill Wegmann Sr. 10. Tim Mulqueen 11. Alyssa Paprocky 12. Kyle Halpin 13. Ricky Carman
INEX Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Joseph Braun 3. George Tomko Jr. 4. Jim Sylvester 5. Eric Hersey 6. Brad Van Houten 7. Rcihie Davidowotz 8. Allan Pedersen 9. Riely O’Keefe 10. Jerry Curran 11. Jeff Otto Jr. 12. Artie Pedersen III 13. Jason Castaldo 14. Stephen Coleman 15. Scott Cheslak 16. Patrick Moore 17. Mike Benton 18. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 19. Mike Van Houten Jr. 20. Ray Fitzgerald 21. Jonathan Parsons 22. Jeff Castaldo 23. Colin Volpe 24. Nick Morabito 25. Joseph Costello 26. David Strohmeyer
Street Stocks: 1. Eric Zeh 2. David Antos 3. Chris Lescenski 4. Jay Henschel 5. Brian McCormack 6. Phil LaManna 7. Brian Brown 8. Johnny Cricchio 9. David White 10. Wesley Sammon 11. Ken Hyde Jr. 12. Ed Fontana 13. James Pape Jr. 14. James DiPietro 15. Bob Casagrande