By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Noah Watts/My Race News
Riverhead Raceway isn’t messing around.
After the announcement of the cancellation of their NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race scheduled for September 19 due to COVID-19 fan restrictions, the quarter-mile in New York decided they were going to put some big money on the line that night no matter what. Little did they know how all of the racing community would get behind the race with them.
Track PR writer and announcer Bob Finan has been trying to keep up with the many sponsors which continue to pour in.
Without the Whelen Modified Tour, due to the cost required to bring them in and pay their purse, Riverhead is going forward with one of the biggest paying local modified races of the year in the region.
Riverhead is also permitted a small portion of race fans who can enter through the grandstands and watch the night of racing. Masks are required at all times by all patrons, including those in the pits.
The track will honor Bob “Bubba” Patanjo, a long-time Bill Park team member, who passed away over the winter with a 150-lap Tour Modified event this Saturday, September 19, along with five other of their weekly divisions. As of story publishing on Wednesday night, the race is already $2,900 to win, with bonuses provided by the Patanjo family and friends, Oval Speed Unlimited (race sponsors) and more.
Tommy Baldwin, a former Daytona 500 winning crew chief, and current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner, has also jumped in on the fun. Baldwin will provide the Tommy Baldwin Challenge Award, which places $750 to any driver who qualifies in the top-five, but elects to drop to the rear of the field and wins the race. If someone happens to accomplish the tasks, special bonuses awarded will be over $2,500, but they must earn the checkered flag.
A $1,200 hard charger award is on the line, with bonus money provided by Doug Ogiejko, Baldwin Automotive and the Patanjo family. Before the race even starts, drivers will compete in a qualifying time trial session, which pays $500 the polesitter. Sponsors of this award include My Race News, Natural Designs & Concepts, Spider Web Racing in memory of Spider Ligon, Brigandi Brothers Automotive of Nesconset, JTEC Electric, L.I. Poultry and Mike Farrell.
Riverhead Raceway will offer this race as part of their RiverheadRaceway.TV PPV package, with a ticket set for just $25 for the entire night of racing. Practice starts at 3:30 p.m., with qualifying taking the green at 5:30 p.m. Feature event racing will follow and the Bubba 150 is slated to be the second-to-last race of the night, with only an enduro following it.
Some additional awards have also been posted:
-$250 Late Place award: $200 from Ralph Beaver and $50 from Short Track Race Razzle
-$50 13th place finisher award from JTL Enterprises in memory of Ted Christopher
-$29 to 9th place qualifier in time for JB Fortin NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team in memory of Ed Cahill
-$25 to the 5th place runner on lap 67 from Okula Motorsports
-$25 to 10th place car on lap 57 from Okula Motorsports
-Nicole Fortin will pay $25 to the leader of lap 34 & 84 and will pay $25 for the fourth-place finisher and $16 for last place finisher.
-John’s Fuel Oil is posting $84 for the leader of lap 84 and $16 for the last car on the lead lap at lap 34.
-Bobby Mason & Ace’s Landscaping have sponsored laps 60 and 98, with $100 to the leader of those laps.
-Eastport Feeds and Crescent Duck have posted a $500 bonus for the Bubba 150 — with $250 going to the second-place finisher, $150 for third-place finisher and $100 for fourth.
For more information on the race, or to provide bonus money, fans are encouraged to visit RiverheadRaceway.com.