DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND TO USHER IN 73RD SEASON OF RACING AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SATURDAY MAY 6TH & SUNDAY MAY 7TH

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Riverhead, NY Jan. 25th

By Bob Finan

2022 Islip 300 @ Riverhead Raceway Noah Watts/Myracenews

Entering their eighth season as owners and promoters of Riverhead Raceway, Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz announced the 2023 schedule of events at the annual championship awards ceremony in early January. The new schedule is once again packed full of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing as well popular and entertaining family fun programs. The curtain goes up on the busy ’23 campaign with a double header weekend May 6th & May 7th. Saturday night seven NAAWS divisions go to post on opening night, while Sunday afternoon finds the annual May Meltdown Enduro opener complemented by the INEX Bandolero racers.

The weekly Saturday night program runs from May 6th through September 30th featuring the NASCAR Modifieds as the headlining division. Sixteen regular season, championship points paying races are slated for the Modifieds during the spring/summer, six of which make up the 2023 Crown Jewel Series for the 3rd annual Ted Christopher Cup. The chase for the TC Cup starts with the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 which moves up to a June 17th date for ’23. The Crown Jewel Series quickly returns July 1st for the 73rd Year Celebration/Flying Dutchman tribute race. A yet to be titled, distance to be determined fourth Crown Jewel Series event is slated for July 29th and will be followed by the 4th annual Oval Speed Unlimited Bubba 150 on August 19th and the Palm Tree 160 September 23rd. The Ted Christopher Cup will be determined and presented at the conclusion of the 7th annual Islip 300 Saturday afternoon November 11th. Races that are not part of the Crown Jewel Series will be 50-laps in feature distance.

Kyle Soper of Manorville and his Eastport Feeds team will be aiming for their fifth NASCAR Modified track championship over the past six seasons in 2023, while John Beatty Jr. of Merrick is expected to defend his 2022 Crown Jewel Series title that yielded his MSM Elite Motorsports team the Ted Christopher Cup last November.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is gearing up for three events in 2023 at Riverhead. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 will get things going on Long Island for the WMT troops Saturday May 20th, followed by the Miller Lite Salutes Mike Ewanitsko 200 on June 24th and concludes with the Eddie Partridge 256 September 16th. During the second stop of the WMT the tour and Riverhead Raceway will honor and salute Mike Ewanitsko, the all-time leading winner of WMT races at Riverhead with 11 victories. Mike will serve as Grand Marshall for the Miller Lite 200. The third WMT race will celebrate the life and vision of the late Eddie Partridge, two years after his untimely passing.  

All six champions of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series are expected to defend their 2022 championship starting with the May 6th opener. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters, (Late Models), Owen Grennan of Glen Cove (Crate Modifieds), Scott Pedersen of Shirley (Figure 8), Cody Triola of Bay Shore (Blunderbusts), Sean Glennon of Northport (Super Pro Trucks) and Eric Hersey of Commack (Legends) are all currently working with their respective teams preparing for a title defense. All six support classes will partake in the three race Miller Lite Triple Crown Series dotted through their season.

The dust will barely settle from opening night when it leaps back into action for the May Meltdown Sunday afternoon May 7th. The Street Stock and Mini Stock racers get right down to business as both will kick off their Miller Lite Triple Crown Series during the opener and are joined by the Truck Enduro, 8-Cylinder Enduro and Gut & Go Enduro divisions. 2022 champions Dave Antos of Lindenhurst (Street Stocks), Andrew Farnham of Baldwin (Mini Stocks), Woot Lawrence of Southampton (Trucks), Pat Collins of Southampton (8-Cylinder) and John Palmeri of Lindenhurst (Gut & Go) are expected to defend their 2022 championships. All five Enduro classes when not racing during the two Sunday shows this season will be in action on select Saturday evenings during the year. The 2023 Enduro season will conclude as it started, with a Sunday stand alone show on September 24th

The wildly popular INEX Bandoleros are back for season three kicking off at the May Meltdown with the Bandit and Outlaw classes in action. Ben Morabito of Miller Place scored the Bandit title in ’22, while Chevy Rommeney of Bohemia topped the Outlaw championship chase. The highlight of the 2023 INEX Bandolero schedule finds the youngsters part of the two Wednesday night special in August.

A plethora of family fun nights are scheduled to entertain young and old alike at the historic oval. Fireworks are set for the 73rd Year Celebration July 1st and return for I Love America Night on August 12th. School Bus events are plentiful this spring/summer with School, Bus Figure Eight events on May 13th and June 3rd followed by hard hitting School Bus Demolition Derby contests July 15th and Wednesday evening August 2nd. The car crushing fun of Monster Trucks return for the Night of Destruction July 22nd along with the special midweek Back To School Spectacular Wednesday evening August 23rd. The National Stock 4/6-Cylinder Demolition Derby will be presented on First Responders Night September 9th.

Two Wednesday night midweek specials will be presented on August 2nd and August 23rd. 

Two Saturday afternoon practice days have been set aside by track management featuring free grandstand admission, they will unfold on April 22nd and April 29th.

Competitors should register their 2023 car number and update all information pertaining to their race team as soon as possible. Teams should visit www.riverheadraceway.com and click on the Competitors Page to find and complete the mandated form.  Car numbers are not considered reserved until all information is correctly filled out and a confirming e-mail is received in return.

The complete 2023 schedule of events can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com, e-mails reach us at [email protected] while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE. 

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