Riverhead, NY Sept. 3rd.
By Bob Finan
Myracenews File Photo
It was wall to wall racing Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway with nine feature events totaling 270-laps presented before another large turnout. When the dust settled on the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills sat in the winners circle for the third time this season while in the companion 100-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified event Michael Berner of Patchogue notched his second win of the season.
Chris Turbush and Jason Agugliaro made up the front row of the 18-car NASCAR Modified field with Turbush choosing the outside for the start of the race rather than start inside on the pole. When the green lights came on Turbush broke to the lead while Agugliaro tucked into second. On lap 4, Agugliaro making his first start in his own car got loose off turn four and made contact with cars around him including Timmy Solomito and Chris Rogers. Agugliaro was moved to the rear by race control. When the contest resume Turbush remained the race leader with Chris Young second. However Young’s run in the challengers role was short lived as Kyle Soper, who started 9th moved by for the spot. Soper was glued to Turbush over the next 14 laps and actually took the lead on lap 24, however one lap later Turbush reclaimed the top spot. One lap after taking and losing the lead back to Turbush, Just one lap later Soper would lose second to Dylan Slepian who came from the 10th starting position to race under Soper on lap 25.
Slepian seemed to be the only car getting any grip on the inside groove moved in on Turbush and the race for the lead and win was on. Riding the outside lane Turbush was able to power away from Slepian off the corners after Dylan would pull half a car length up on him in the corners. However things quickly changed on lap 32 when Turbush had a rear brake issue that forced him to bobble off turn four allowing Slepian, Jack Handley and others to get by. From lap 33 until the conclusion of the race Handley, who watched leader Slepian make the inside groove work tried to do the very same thing to Dylan. Jack would gain a run into the turns but on exit Slepian was able to scamper away.
When the race concluded Dylan Slepian brought the Eastport Feeds Chevy home for the win and afterwards lauded his crew for a great set-up, “my guys nailed it tonight, I could get this thing down low, it would turn and that’s how we wound up here. Jack gave me all I could handle in that final run, he’s close, real close”. The win is the 7th of Slepian’s career.
Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was runner-up in the Hydro Action Chevy, while an impressive run was turned in by Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead with a third place finish in the Riverhead Building Supply entry. Matt Brode of East Islip came all the way from fifteenth to finish fourth withe Kyle Soper of Manorville fifth.
The inaugural 100-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified event looked for 81-laps as though it was going to be a clean sweep for Owen Grennan of Glen Cove, but then the racing gods frowned upon the 2022 championship leader in the cruelest of ways. Grennan led the way in qualifying with a lap of 12.435, with Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace second by a mere. 0.001 at 12.436. At the throw of the green Grennan broke to the race lead with Delaney and Michael Berner in tow. Grennan was able to get away some when Delaney and Berner raced for second with Berner getting around Delaney on lap 16. Berner was able to close in on Grennan at times and others would see the race leader open a two car length or so gap on the challenger. Just after the century grind his the 80 lap mark things went south in a hurry for race leader Owen Grennan. On lap 81 as Grennan tried to get back to the gas exiting turn two his car lost power and he coasted down the backstretch with no power drawing a yellow flag. Many on hand wondered with this being the first race ever over 50-laps for the Crate Modifieds, did Owen run out of gas? The answer would come quickly as the team diagnosed a distributor issue as the culprit. The wild turn of event moved Michael Berner, who was luck not to clip Grennan when he lost power the new race leader and if he thought he was done with the Grennan family he was was as Chase Grennan now sat second. Over the final 19 laps Chase, hoping to still fly the Grennan colors in victory lane gave it all he had to try and make a run for the race lead but in the end Michael Berner in the M3 Technology Chevy hit his marks for his second win of 2022. Aside from winning his 5th career race, Berner also clinched the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series title. Chase Grennan of Glen Cove was runner-up in the Black Forest Auto Works racer while Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was third in the Rutkoski Farms Chevy.
The third and final Miller Lite Triple Crown Series Blunderbust race, a 30-lap contest was completed and this race too had a unusual twist to it. When the smoke cleared defending champion Cody Triola of Bay Shore became the first repeat winner of 2022, as well the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series champion. Eddie Diaz of Centereach showed the way in qualifying with a lap of 14.453, with Triola second quick at 14.485. Early on Diaz led Triola over the first 8-laps before Jim Laird ducked under Triola for second off turn two. Laird then quickly zeroed in on leader Diaz and on lap 14 pitched his car to the outside of the leader racing down the backstretch. Diaz moved up the track forcing Laird to scrape the cement losing several positions in the process and moving Triola back to second. Race control told Diaz to drop back one spot under green for the laird incident but he never heeded the directive. Lap 22 Tom Puccia hit the wall off turn two drawing a caution and track officials pulled Diaz over for a conference. When it came to for Diaz to start his car back up it would not fire as the starter became dislodged during the race and his night was now over. That wild set of circumstances moved Cody Triola to the race lead with Brandon Hubbard now second. Over the final 7-laps Triola stayed out front for his 8th career win in the Cesspool Pros entry. Brandon Hubbard of Mastic was second in the United Exhaust Shop racer while Tom Sullivan of Massapequa was third in the Island Trees Automotive Chevy.
All time leading Super Pro Truck winner Lou Maestri of Deer Park adding another notch in his belt when he won his 37th career feature, his first of ’22 in a 20-lap tilt. Joe Cerabino broke out front early leading the first five circuits of the race before Lou Maestri made an inside pass exiting turn four to start the 6th lap. Cerabino chased Maestri for two laps before championship leader Sean Glennon got by on lap 8 for second. Glennon stayed right in Maestri’s tire tracks with the crafty veteran backing up the corners not allowing Glennon to gain a run on corner exit. At the finish Lou Maestri enjoyed yet another win in the Monetary Recovery Systems Chevy. Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in the LTE Drainage Chevy while early leader Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore was third in the Lighthouse Propane machine.
It has been an up and down season for “Blankets” Joey Braun of Manorville in INEX Legend Race Car competition with Saturday being an up night as he won their 20-lap main event. Youth was served early on with Jayden Glennerster leading the first lap before Chris Sinatro got by on lap 2. Glennerster chased Sinatro for two laps before Mike Benton made his way to second on lap 4. Benton went right to work for the race lead and on lap 8 ducked under Sinatro entering the first turn for the lead with Joey Braun filling the hole opened by Benton under Sinatro for second. For five laps Braun chased Benton for the top spot and he found his opening with an inside pass for the lead exiting the fourth turn to start the 14th lap. All-time leading winner Richie Davidowitz worked his way by Benton on a late race restart and set sail for Bruan, but the driver of the Papa Carmine’s Hot Peppers entry was not to be denied scoring his second win of the year, ninth of his career. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was second in the Green Ride Medical Transportation coupe with Riely O’Keefe of Manorville third in the Get Clear, Crystal Window Cleaning racer.
Darren Krantz Jr. of Huntington continued his dominance of the INEX Bandolero Bandits when he won their 15-lap event for his fourth win in six races to date. Despite starting 15th in the 15-car field Krantz had the Raceforkids.com entry in the lead by the time the field hit the backstretch, from there DJ never looked back. Rodney Dowless Jr. of Dix Hills was second in his sponsor wanted entry while Phllip Alaimo of Miller Place was third in the Alaimo Construction Bandit.
After having over 300 stitches removed from his leg Friday night Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia put his recent race shop accident behind him when he won the 15-lap Bandolero Outlaw race. Marissa Stewart impressed early leading the first five laps before she was passed by Gavin Romano on lap 6 entering the first turn. Romano’s stay out front was short lived as Chevy Rommeney who started the race from 8th worked his way by Romano with an inside pass exiting turn four to start lap 8. Once out front Rommeney in the Hollis Court Collision mount never looked back winning his fourth race in six starts on the year, the seventh of his career. Will Sipala of Manorville was runner-up in the Posillico Paving machine with early leader Marissa Stewart of Riverhead third in the Lolly’s Hut racer.
Greg Harris of Riverhead won his second consecutive 40-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro. After teammate Kale Buckley led early on Greg Harris was on the march from his 6th place starting spot and quickly made his way to the race lead. Once out front Harris in the SGS Stone Works Chevy had to bob and weave his way through traffic before he could claim the win. Richie Carman of Port Jefferson was runner-up in the Creative Seamless Gutters Chevy with Kevin Feeney of Bay Shore third.
For the second time in three years John Palmeri of Lindenhurst scored the National Stock Demolition Derby Championship victory. Palmeri in his J&J Towing Toyota outlasted tested tough Demo veteran “Pistol” Pete Mikos of Lake Ronkonkoma before he could claim the win that included a $500 bonus from “Mad” Mike Smith, a former competitor in his own right.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Dylan Slepian 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Jeff Goodale 4. Matt brode 5. Kyle Soper 6. Chris Young 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. Timmy Solomito 9. Michael Rutkoski 10. Chris Turbush 11. Dave Brigati 12. Artie Pedersen III 13. Chris Rogers 14. Jason Agugliaro 15. Richie Davidowitz 16. Brian Brown 17. Justin Brown 18., Eric Zeh
Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael berner 2. Chase Grennan 3. Michael Rutkoski 4. Eric Hersey 5. Alex Colasanto 6. AJ DeSantis 7. Terry Stiles 8. Sean Glennon 9. Kyle Ellwood 10. Charles Macwhinnie 11. Vinny Delaney 12. Mike Albasini 13. Stephen Coleman 14. Chris Rogers 15. Dennis Krupski 16. DJ Doyle 17. Eddie Schutze 18. Mark Wolf 19. Owen Grennan 20. Max Handley
Blunderbusts: 1. Cody Triola 2. Brandon Hubbard 3. Tom Sullivan 4. Jim Laird Jr. 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. Bill Wegmann Sr. 7. Cassandra McCormick 8. AJ DeSantis 9. Brad Bess 10. Joshua Creel 11. Eddie Diaz 12. Joe Densieski 13. Tom Puccia 14. Gary Caldwell
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Lou Maestri 2. Sean Glennon 3. Joe Cerabino 4. Frank Dumicich Sr. 5. Erin Solomito 6. Daniel Creegan 7. Liam Patrick 8. Matt McGrath 9. Matt Triola DQ- Jack Handley Jr. DNS- Pat Brown, Rob Corwin
Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Riely O’Keefe 4. Ray Fitzgerald 5. Mike Benton 6. Christopher Coleman 7. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Eric Hersey 10. Anthony Marsh 11. Nick Morabito 12. Timmy Solomito 13. Chase Van Houten 14. Jayden Glennerster 15. Jim Sylvester 16. Jake Curran 17. Pat Moore 18. Charlie Hodge 19. Chris Sinatro 20. Mike Van Houten Jr. 21. Kevin Ohrnberger 22. Joe Costello 23. Brad Van Houten 24. Ed Stadtlander 25. Ray Stulz 26. Michael Metcalf
Bandolero Bandits: 1. Darren Krantz Jr. 2. Rodney Dowless Jr. 3. Phillip Alaimo 4. Ben Morabito 5. Reid Halpin 6. Giavanna Agugliaro 7. Kix Bock 8. Emmett Grattan 9. Layla Quilliam 10. Brooke Meyer 11. Aiden Pelis 12. Carson Cobble 13. Nick Hodge 14. Nora Schelin 15. Aria Ligon
Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Chevy Rommeney 2. Will Sipala 3. Marissa Stewart 4. Tucker Bock 5. Wayne Meyer 6. Gavin Romano 7. Jayden Owens-Bader 8. Julianna Kramer 9. Haylie Denis
8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Greg Harris 2. Richie Carman 3. Kevin Feeney 4. Pat Collins 5. Kevin Coyle 6. Kale Buckley 7. James Heym 8. Kris Dane 9. Woot Lawrence 10. Ricky Carman 11. David Verbeeck 12. Donny Oliver 13. Joe Boccia 14. Jody Fickeissen 15. Brandon Hubbard 16. James Muench 17. Steve Jones 18. Will Ebert 19. Tim Healey 20. Ed Graeff 21. David Cohen 22. Moody Enaya 23. John O’Rourke 24. Christian Kalbfliesch 25. Pat Collins Jr. 26. Roger Tramm 27. Charles Smith 28. Carmine Ragusa 29. Jack McCarthy
Demolition Derby: Winner- John Palmeri