Riverhead, NY Sept. 29th
By Bob Finan
Noah Watts Photo
Under crystal clear blue skies the 3rd annual Laura Zegel Memorial 55 for the Street Stocks was run Sunday afternoon as part of the Enduro Extravaganza at Riverhead Raceway with David Antos of Lindenhurst scoring his second straight win in the race a victory that was worth $555 to win plus lap and other bonus money. Antos picked up an additional $200 for setting the second quickest time in qualifying and also earned lap money leading 52 of the 55 laps.
In qualifying Eric Zeh of Selden winner of five of the nine SS races run in 2019 at the track showed the way with a lap of 14.350 earning a $100 bonus for McCormick Motorsports as well a plaque. The $200 awarded to Antos for second quick time was backed by Kyle & Trish Curtis. With the top six from qualifying inverting for the start of the 55-lap contest Jay Henscehl broke to the early race lead chased by Antos over the first three laps. Antos, the 2018 SS champion knew he would have to get around Henschel soon with Zeh making his way into the top three and the driver of the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy did just that breaking to the lead on lap 4. Zeh’s march to the front was slowed when he and early leader Henschel went toe-to-toe for second which was just fine with race leader Antos. Zeh was able to move under Hanschel for second on lap 22 for second off turn four but just a few laps later Henschel and Zeh made slight contact when Jay was trying to race his way under Eric for second.
That turn of events moved Brian Brown who was forced to start at the rear of the field (15th) after leaving the impound area after qualifying to second. However there would be no reeling in David Antos on the day as he drove off to the prestigious victory his 2nd of 2019 noting afterwards, “this is how I want to win the race, not like last year” referring back to the disqualification of the race winner. “Laura was a sweet lady, big part of our Enduro family, I’m honored to win her race and this year the right way” Antos concluded.
Brian Brown of Riverhead was runner-up in the Staria Automotive Chevy putting on a show charging from the rear of the field while Eric Zeh drove his Best Built Construction Chevy not only to a third place finish but also the 2019 Street Stock championship for car owner Frank Curtis Motorsports.
For the 7th time in 2019 Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge won the Mini Stock feature event with Sunday’s win coming in a 20-lap contest. With the win Warren wraps up the 2019 Mini Stock title despite missing one of the 12 races run early in the season due to a blown engine. Newcomer James O’Connell impressed as the early race leader leading over several challengers that included Joe Cooke Jr., Justin Squires and Jamie Meyer. On lap 7 Joe Warren Jr. came to second and after spending the 7th through 11th laps reeling in O’Connell he made his way to the race lead on lap 11. Two laps later O’Connell surrendered second to Tom Puccia a three time winner in 2019. As is custom with Warren once he had the Tire Express Cavalier out front there would be no catching the all time leading winner in the class. Puccia of Shirley was runner-up in the Roli Tires entry while early leader James O’Connell of Miller Place came home third in the Walls of Fame machine.
Despite damage from contact with a lapped truck early in the race Gary Voight of Medford won his 3rd Truck Enduro of the season. Dustin Cole broke to the early lead pacing Kerry Botts for the first two laps before Gary Voight came to second. After sizing up Cole for two laps Voight made his move payoff on lap 5 passing Cole to the outside off turn 2. From that point forward the only concern for Voight was some right front damage he’d sustain after getting too close while lapping a slower truck. That plus championship leader Phil LaManna now running second gave Gary some anxious moments until he took the checker flag in the United Exhaust Shops Chevy. LaManna of Smithtown, a four time winner in ’19 was runner-up in his EP Milling & Sweeping S-10 clinching the season long championship in the process. Bobby Pease Sr. of Medford in the Fit Spot Gym was third.
For the fourth time in 2019 Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon came home the winner of the 8-Cylinder Enduro in his Lakewood Used Auto Parts Chevy. Carmine Ragusa and David Verbeeck diced for the lead early but it wouldn’t be long before Sean Fitzpatrick raced his way towards the front after starting the race from 9th. Jared Halsey of Southampton who started deep in the field for the 50-lap race drove to a runner-up finish behind Fitzpatrick good enough for the driver of the Sabrosa Mexican Grill Chevy to win his second straight championship in the class. Jared’s father Brian Halsey of Southamptoin was third in the PC Truck Repairs Chevy.
Popular Donald “Woot” Lawrence of Southampton won the 75-lap 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro for his third win of 2019 in the Gregor’s Well Drilling entry. Lawrence took the lead for good on lap 42 and was chased to the finish by runner-up Chris Olivari of Coram and Jack McKee of Riverhead.
Laura Zegel Memorial Street Stocks: 1. David Antos 2. Brian Brown 3. Eric Zeh 4. Phil LaManna 5. Wesley Sammon 6. Chris Lescenski 7. David White 8. Jay Henschel 9. Justin Ferreri 10. James Pape Jr. 11. Brian McCormack 12. Gerard Lawrence 13. Ed Fontana 14. Sal Sinatro 15. James DiPietro
Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Tom Puccia 3. James O’Connell 4. Justin Squires 5. Paul Wojcik 6. Chris Elixson 7. Jamie Meyer 8. Robert Dugre 9. Brad Bess 10. Joe Cooke Jr. 11. Matt Stawecki 12. Scott Phillips DNS- CJ Zurkowski, Martin O’Connell
Truck Enduro (top ten): 1. Gary Voight 2. Phil LaManna 3. Bobby Pease Sr. 4. Justin McGrady 5. Kerry Botts 6. Bobby Pease Jr. 7. Dustin Cole 8. Kim Daniel 9. Kevin McCartney 10. Mariah Lawrence
8-Cylinder Enduro (top ten): 1. Sean Fitzpatrick 2. Jared Halsey 3. Brian Halsey 4. Dale Doherty 5. Pat Collins 6. Dennis Jones 7. Michael Asdahl 8. Richie Hubbard 9. Ricky Carman 10. Justin McGrady
/6-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Chris Olivari 3. Jack McKee 4. Austin Elliston 5. Christian Conklin 6. Bill Brown 7. David Olivari 8. Bob Haley 9. Jason Savoy 10. Ryan Warren