MAX HANDLEY, EDDIE DIAZ, JASON CASTALDO & KYLE CURTIS SCORE BUZZ CHEW CHEVROLET 200 PRELIM WINS SATURDAY AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Riverhead, NY June 25th.
By Bob Finan

Prior to the exciting Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events were presented with two of the four race winners earning their first career wins. “Mad” Max Handley of Medford crossed the line first in a rough and tumble 25-lap Crate Modified feature for his career first while third generation driver Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays topped a non-stop Street Stock 20-lapper earning his first win.

Eddie Schutze moved to the Crate Modified lead at the start from the pole, but a quick yellow on lap on would prove to be a sign of things to come. On the restart Max Handley, who started from the outside pole moved to the race lead when the green reappeared with Alex Colasanto moving to second behind Handle. Caution waved again on lap 8 for a Mark Wolf spin in turn four and when the field reset and went back racing Handley held serve with Charles Macwhinnie getting by Colasanto for second. Only three green flag laps were run before the hardest crash of the night slowed the race on the 11th lap when Lou Maestri and Rich Gerbe made hard impact with the wall just before the starters stand. Both drivers were okay. After a clean-up the race continued with Handley remaining on top with Colasanto reclaiming second from Macwhinnie on the restart. Meantime Owen Grennan who started 18th was on the march raced his way to third and was about to make his presence known. Lap 14 saw Grennan dive to the inside of Colasanto to move to second setting his sights on leader Handley. The final yellow waved on lap 21 when AJ DeSantis and Sean Glennon got together off turn four, something leader Handley did not want to see, a restart with four laps remaining with Grennan the all time leader winner in the class alongside.

When the green waved again Max Handley was able to ward off the challenge and drive his Hydro Action Chevy to the race win with Owen Grennan of Glen Cove hot on his tail for second in the Dillner Precast Chevy. Alex Colasanto of Selden ended a string of hard racing luck with a third-place tally in the Vanguard Fire Protection Corvette.

Blunderbust winner Eddie Diaz Riverhead Raceway June 25th 2022 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

The Blunderbusts ran their first leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series going to post in a 30-lap feature event and they so often do clicked off a non-stop race with Eddie Diaz of Centereach scoring a clean sweep. In qualifying Diaz toured the track in 14.461 earning the pole. At the throw of the green Diaz quickly moved out front in search of his second career win with 2021 champion Cody Triola in hot pursuit. Early on Triola kept pace with the pace set by Diaz, but as the laps clicked off the race leader started to get away building a comfortable cushion. It became evident that Triola was going to have a shot at wrestling the lead away he’d need restart to do so but with the cautions waving it was Eddie Diaz taking home the gold in the Notorious Tattoo entry. Cody Triola of Bay Shore was runner-up in the Cesspool Pros machine while opening night winner “Hubcap” Brandon Hubbard of Mastic was third in the United Exhaust Shop racer.

INEX Legends winner Jason Castaldo Riverhead Raceway June 25th 2022 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

Like the Crate Mods, the INEX Legend Race Cars had a rough 20-lap main event but when the dust settled it was Jason Castaldo of Shirley earning his second win of the year. Mike Benton led the first four circuits taking the lead from the pole. Former champion Jim Sylvester who started 5th on the grid, passed Jerry Curran for second on lap 2 and two laps later made an inside pass of leader Benton exiting the second turn for the lead. Benton chased Sylvester until the 8th lap when he was overtaken by Jason Castaldo who started the race from 9th. The wildest crash of the night unfolded at the start of the 9th lap when several cars further back in the field got together with Ray Stulz flipping wildly down the front stretch through the winner circle. Stulz quickly exited the car uninjured. After the red flag period the race resumed with Sylvester still leading Castaldo and the duo would duel for the race lead over the following 8 laps. Just after completing the 17th lap Castaldo set up an inside pass of leader Sylvester exiting the second turn and over the final two laps remained out front in his M3 Technology mount for the win. Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was second in the Joe Ryan Race Cars coupe while defending champion George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue raced to a third place finish in his Montauk Distilling entry after starting 15th.

Street Stock winner Kyle Curtis Riverhead Raceway June 25th 2022

Kyle Curtis, grandson of popular 60’s and 70’s driver Frank “Mississippi” Curtis designed his Street Stock with the AOK number on the side of his car, paying tribute to his racing lineage. Saturday the AOK sat in victory lane once again after 20-laps of racing. When the race, which turned out to be a caution free affair got underway Curtis jumped to the race lead from the outside pole with Alyssa Paprocky giving chase for the first three laps. On the 4th lap Gerard Lawrence moved by Paprocky for second and set his sights on leader Curtis. As the race moved along Curtis had to execute some defensive driving as the handle on his car went away. Lawrence looked high and low for a lane around the leader but every time he did Kyle played defense. In the end, despite smoke billowing from his car Kyle Curtis drove to his first career Street Stock win in the Wilson Distributors Chevy. Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place was second in the Lafo’s Glass Monte Carlo with Alyssa Paprocky of Rocky Point turning in a solid performance for third in the Robert’s Asphalt Chevy.

Crate Modifieds (Unofficial) 1. Max Handley 2. Owen Grennan 3. Alex Colasanto 4. Mike Albasini 5. Terry Stiles 6. Eric Hersey 7. Charles Macwhinnie 8. Michael Berner 9. Mark Wolf 10. Eddie Schutze 11. Sean Glennon 12. Dennis Krupski 13. Kyle Ellwood 14. Patrick Glennon 15. Chase Grennan 16. Chris Rogers 17. AJ DeSantis 18. Lou Maestri 19. Rich Gerbe 20. Vinny Delaney 21. Stephen Coleman

Blunderbusts: 1. Eddie Diaz 2. Cody Triola 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Jim Laird Jr. 5. Tom Puccia 6. Bill Wegmann Sr. 7. AJ DeSantis 8. Bill Wegmann Jr. 9. Joshua Creel 10. Steve Neenan

Legend Race Cars: 1. Jason Castaldo 2. Jim Sylvester 3. George Tomko Jr. 4. Richie Davidowitz 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. Nick Morabito 7. Collin Hoeffner 8. Eric Hersey 9. Jerry Curran 10. Anthony Marsh 11. Joey Braun 12. Luke Baldwin 13. Pat Moore 14. Chris Sinatro 15. Peter Fallon 16. Colin Volpe 17. Mike Benton 18. Christopher Coleman 19. Charlie Hodge 20. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 21. Chase Van Houten 22. Jake Curran 23. Ray Stulz 24. Mike Van Houten Jr. 25. Ryan Lutz 26. Donald Doran

Street Stocks: 1. Kyle Curtis 2. Gerard Lawrence 3. Alyssa Paprocky 4. Chris Lescenski 5. Dave Antos 6. Greg Harris 7. Jarrod Hayes 8. Brian McCormack 9. Danny Pizzo 10. Rhett Fogg 11. Jamie Curtis 12. Kyle Halpin 13. Ed Fontana 14. William Kennedy 15. Jay Henschel DNS- Greg Zaleski