Riverhead, NY Sept. 25th.
By Bob Finan
Collectively they both are the all time leading winners in their respective divisions and have combined for 127 victories between them and this Saturday October 3rd at Riverhead Raceway Roger Oxee of Peconic and “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge will be enshrined onto the Cromarty Wall of Champions. The induction ceremony will take place during the annual Baladwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 NASCAR Modified event that will highlight the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing series program.
Ever since posting his first Late Model win over Memorial Day weekend of 1985 on May 25th Roger Oxee embarked on what many consider a legendary driving career that now finds him joining three other LM Cromarty Wall of Champion inductees Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen (48), Paul McElearney (45) and Steve Tooker (30). All told “RJ” as he is known to close family and friends would post 64 career Late Model wins as well as the 2005 LM title. As fast as his cars were week in and week out he also always kept them in immaculate condition no matter what may have transpired the week prior and over the entirety of his career remained popular with fellow competitors and fans alike.
“The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowaik scored his first of 63 Blunderbusts wins on June 30th, 2001 after spending several seasons competing in Spectator Drag, Car Rollover, 8-Cylinder Enduro and Demolition Derby events. It was during a Spectator Drag event that Walkowiak was dubbed “The Wildchild” as he competed in his candy apple red Corvette that was is in showroom condition, he won. Aside from his 63 career victories Walkowiak went on a championship run that found him winning five Blunderbust titles in six years, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011. In fact Walkowiak is only one of four drivers who have won a Blunderbust championship at the track since 2003 with only Scott Maliszewski, Tom Pickerell and Jack Handley Jr. having joined Tommy as champion of the class.
On track Riverhead Raceway will pay homage to three NASCAR Modified legends in presenting the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77. “The Fancy Farmer” Dave Brigati of Calverton won the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 in 2019 and if he is to repeat will have his hands full with the likes of Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Howie Brode of East Islip, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, defending champion Kyle Soper of Manorville, Chris Young of Calverton, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick & John Baker of Brookhaven.
The Saturday October 3rd event at the track will be history making as it marks the first time in the 70-year history of the facility racing will take place through the month of October due to the delayed start of the race season due to the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic. With October racing and the cooler temperatures that come with the 10th month of the year qualifying for the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek could very well yield a new NASCAR Modified track record. Tom Rogers Jr. set the new benchmark in qualifying prior to The Bubba 150 event on September 19th with a lap of 11.272 and the question might very well be will it stand up come Saturday.
Also in action October 3rd are the Late Models, Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks (30-laps, TT), INEX Legends, Vintage All Stars and a Truck Enduro.For those who can’t be at the track for this very special evening you can watch our live stream at RiverheadRaceway.Tv, the link for the live stream along with all other pertinent information can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com. E-mails reach us at Riverheadraceway1@gmail.com and our phone number remains 631-842-RACE.