Riverhead, NY Oct. 27th
By Bob Finan
Photo Michael Jaworecki
The Riverhead Raceway management team has been busy since the regular season ended the final weekend of September preparing for the 6th annual Islip 300 Saturday November 12th. In just five years the Islip 300 quickly has become a signature Tour Type Modified event paying the winner $7,000 from a total purse of $32,650. JB Fortin of Holtsville the 2021 Islip 300 victor announced this week he’ll defend his race win.
The late Eddie Partridge came up with the concept for the Islip 300, a high paying open comp race entering the 2017 season. When the inaugural was complete, 15-year old upstart Dillon Steuer of Bohemia stood the Tour Type Modified world on its collective ear scoring the win. Since that first 300 Ryan Preece, 2018 & 2020, Kyle Soper, 2019 and Fortin have all basked in Islip 300 success. As in the past the 2022 Islip 300 will be an open comp Tour Type Modified contest with teams permitted to follow the rule book of either the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Race of Champions, Modified Racing Series or Tri-Track Modifieds. It should be noted once a team declares a series, they must follow that rules package to the letter.
Riverhead Raceway GM John Ellwood revealed this week that Tour Type Modified teams along with the Crate Modified and INEX Legend Race Car teams are required to pre-register for the Islip 300 race day. Registration is free up until Wednesday November 9th and can be completed by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com. Once on the home page, click the Competitors Page link and teams will find the Islip 300 pre-registration form. “We want to conduct pre-registration for several reasons” Ellwood stated, “first it gives us a handle on how many tires we’ll need for all three classes plus helps out with other logistics before we open the gates”. After Wednesday November 9th a $150 late registration fee will be charged.
The 25 car Islip 300 field will be set by time trials while Ellwood revealed a change to the qualifying procedure for the supporting Crate Modified and INEX Legend Race Car classes. “This year we are switching how our Crate Mods and Legends qualify. Heat races will be run, with drivers drawing for their qualifying race starting positions, it simply is too time consuming to time trail nearly 100 cars during a single day event”.
Aside from the $7,000 winner share the top ten of the Islip 300 will pocket $2,500, $2,250, $2,000, $1,750, $1,500, $1,400, $1,300, $1,200 and $1,100. The 11th and 12th place finishers earn $1,000 each while 13th through 17th pays $900, $850, $750, $700 and $650. $600 will be paid to the 18th through 25th place finishers.
Pit gates will open at 7:30 am, a 9:00 am Tour Type Modified drivers meeting will be conducted. INEX Legend Race Car practice is set for 9:45-10:15 am. From 10:15 am through 11:00 am the Tour Type Modifieds will have the track with Crate Modified practice to follow from 11:00-11:30 am. Qualifying will commence at 12 noon starting with Tour Type Modified time trials. Opening ceremonies will follow completion of qualifying.
Pit admission will be $55 with no licenses required. General admission for adults is $35, kids 6-12 are $15, with 5 & under free. The Islip 300 holds a rain date for Sunday November 14th with the same format in place. If the entire weekend is washed out the Islip 300 moves to Saturday November 20th. Campers are welcome at no charge, there are no hook ups and camping is confined to the area behind the pit area in the rear parking lot only.