Riverhead, NY July 31st
By Bob Finan
Photo Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews
Originally slated to debut in 2020 the Crown Jewel Series for the Buzz Chew Chevrolet NASCAR Modifieds will premier this Saturday August 7th at Riverhead Raceway with the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77. The 77 is the first in a three race series that will award the 2021 Crown Jewel Series champion the Ted Christopher Cup. The 2021 Crown Jewel Series was scheduled to be four races however a poorly timed rain out of the 71st Year Celebration 71 on July 3rd has trimmed the series down to three races.
The 2021 Crown Jewel Series will award separate points for the Baldwin Evans & Jarzombek 77 as well the two other signature races,The Bubba 100 on August 28th and the Islip 300 on Saturday afternoon November 13th. At the conclusion of the 300 the driver with the highest ranking in the Crown Jewel Series will be presented the Ted Christopher Cup. Leading up to the 2020 season Riverhead Raceway race director Scott Tapley formatted the Crown Jewel Series concept into reality and named the winning trophy after one of the most successful and iconic racers in Modified racing Ted Christopher. Sadly it was while on his way to compete in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead on September 16th, 2017 that the private plane that Ted was aboard crashed killing Christopher and the owner/pilot Charles Dundas.
“We wanted to come up with a special way to remember and honor a special man” Riverhead GM John Ellwood commented, “we feel that the Crown Jewel Series with the championship cup bearing the name of Ted Christopher accomplishes that”. The rules that apply to the Islip 300 will also be in effect for the Crown Jewel Series with Tour Type Modified teams able to run the rules package of the touring series they compete in. Race of Champions, Tri-Track Series and Modified Racing Series teams can run their rules package but should note the series rules you declare must be followed to that series rule book in totality. The Riverhead Hoosier Racing Tire will be the only tire permitted.
Taking the race lead with just 10-laps remaining in the 2020 Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead comes to this years race as the defending race winner and he’ll defend that win in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry. Former champion and current championship leader Kyle Soper of Manorville, the only two time winner this season has the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 on his racing bucket list and hopes to check that off that box Saturday. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Chris Young of Calverton, defending track champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, John Baker of Brookhaven, John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville, Roger Turbush of Riverhead and CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove will all be aiming for the win and improve their ranking in the top ten in championship points.
The Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 annually honors three of the most successful & popular drivers ever to strap into a NASCAR Modified. Charlie Jarzombek from right up the road in Baiting Hollow remains the all time leading winner of Modified races at Riverhead with 63 while Richie Evans of Rome, NY is a nine time NASCAR National Modified champion and is enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tom Baldwin of Bellport left an indelible mark on NASCAR Modified racing with a combination of on track success, an unmatched personality as well at the time of his passing working as a liaison of sorts between the teams and officials of the NASCAR WMT.
Some special awards have been posted for Saturday’s Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 with Jimmy & Angela Rennick of JCR Motorsports posting three awards. The JCR Pole Award is worth $177 to the driver quickest in qualifying, $177 Hard Charger Award for improving the most positions and $150 for the driver finishing 7th. JCR Motorsports will be fielding an entry in the 77 for Shawn Solomito of Islip, a winner earlier this year at Riverhead. Myracenews.com and founder Michael “Jaws” Jaworecki has added $77 to the Pole Award while James Vaccaro through his Goodfellas Auto Repair in Medford will sponsor the Hard Luck Award, $77 to the first car out fo the race.
Saturday night August 7th will also be a big night for the INEX Legend Race Cars at Riverhead Raceway as they compete in their annual US Legend Cars National Qualifier, a 50-lap event with time trial qualifying. The average car count of near 35 to 40 cares weekly for the INEX Legend Race Cars with that number expected to swell even further Saturday. Thanks to Sara Sylvester all 50-laps of the race are sponsored in lap money. The Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds, Super Pro Trucks, Blunderbusts and a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro will also be in competition Saturday.
Spectator gates open at 4:00 pm with qualifying to start at 5:30 pm. Adults are $30, kids 6-12 $10 with 5 & under free general admission tickets are sold at the track only on race day. Pit fees are $36 with a NASCAR/INEX License, $56 without.