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TOM ROGERS JR. ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE AND RACES FROM LAST TO FIRST TO WIN THE BUBBA 150 NASCAR MODIFIED EVENT AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY FOR 60TH CAREER VICTORY

Riverhead, NY Sept. 19th.
By Bob Finan

Photo Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead played both the role of a riverboat gambler and conservative race car driver perfectly and parlayed it into his 60th career NASCAR Modified victory in The Bubba 150 NASCAR Modified event presented by Oval Speed Unlimited. After smashing his own track record in qualifying with a lap of 11.272 Rogers and his Denise & Ken Darch team made the decision to accept the Tom Baldwin Challenge dropping to the rear of the field and going after the $750 posted by Baldwin Automotive. The challenge was open to any qualifier in the top five who fell to the rear and could win the 150. Rogers and team cleaned up with $5,910 in winnings including $1,950 in Hard Charger award monies including the Tom Baldwin Challenge.

With Rogers taking his $500 Pole Award bonus money and falling to the rear of the field it moved second quick qualifier Roger Turbush to the pole with John Beatty Jr. to the outside pole. At the throw of the green Turbush and Beatty went right to work racing each other for the lead with many but not all of the laps paying varying amounts in lap leader bonus awards. Over the first 10 laps the see-saw battle saw Beatty leading Turbush as they diced side by side. To start the 11th lap Turbush moved into sole possession of the race lead while Beatty tucked in behind him in second. Meanwhile fast qualifier Tom Rogers Jr was content merely driving around outside the top ten saving his equipment for later in the race. The 150 lap race featured green flag laps only meaning teams would not lose laps under caution in the pits and were allotted two change tires bringing pit strategy into the mix for the race as well.

During a double file restart on lap 22 John Beatty Jr. reclaimed the lead from Roger Turbush who now settled into second. Over the next 73 laps Beatty would rack up most of the lap leader bonus money on laps it was available but with most of that money front loaded by lap sponsor preference over the first 100-laps of the race. It was during that 73-lap stint out front that Beatty would pocket $3,458 of his total of $3,868 in lap leader bonus money and that he’d clinch the $250 bonus posted from most laps led. Turbush chased Beatty until lap 70 when on a double file restart defending NASCAR modified champion Kyle Soper worked his way by for second. Soper who pitted during an earlier caution then set sail for Beatty and and lap 95 he moved under the race leader entering the first turn to take the lead.

Lap 100 saw early leader Roger Turbush spin drawing a caution and with just 50-laps to go the feeding frenzy was on in the pits with Turbush, Beatty, Dave Brigati, Chris Young, CJ Lehmann and Ken Heagy all making pit stops. Soper who pitted earlier with the likes of Dave Sapienza, Dylan Slepian John Fortin Sr. and Tom Rogers Jr. were now left to do battle at the front. Soper led until lap 102 when he was passed by Sapienza for the race lead. Dave’s stay out front was short lived as Dylan Slepian made his way by on lap 104 with Sapienza holding down second until lap 106 before being overtaken by Tom Rogers Jr.

Once Rogers arrived to second he went right to work at first reeling in and then pressuring Slepian who was seeking his second win in a row for the race lead. Methodically Rogers worked on the race leader and just after the 120-lap mark made his way to the race lead getting by Slepian. Once out front in his License To Chill Chevy there was no stopping Tom Rogers Jr. from nailing down his third win of the season. After doing a burn out in turn one Rogers arrived in victory lane but quickly took race sponsor Dennis Freese of Oval Speed and race Grand Marshall Bill Park along with Bob “Bubba’ Patanjo’s family to turn one. “Bubba was a special guy around here” Rogers reflected, “we all go back to the Medford Speedway go kart track, man we had some fun back then”.

As to why he accepted the Tom Baldwin Challenge Rogers admitted the decision was twofold, “first off with all that Hard Charger and Baldwin Challenge money on the line it’s appealing but on the business side the way they score you in the New York State Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series championship it really works out to your benefit”. Looking back at his early race joyride Rogers quipped, “I challenged my inner Matt Hirschman, just paced myself saving our stuff for when it counted”.

Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills was runner-up in his Eastport Feeds Chevy while John Beatty of Merrick made a late race charge from his lap 100 pit stop to finish third in the TigerLyfe Energy Chevy. Beatty and his MSM Elite Motorsports team were the big winners in the bonus money category earning an estimated $4,500 aside from the posted purse. Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck and Roger Turbush of Riverhead completed the top five.


Taking advantage of a late race restart Chris Rogers of Patchogue scored his first Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified win of 2020 in a 25-lap event. Gerard Lawrence and former Charger champion Steve Ratti brought the field to green with Ratti getting the advantage to take the early race lead. Lawrence chased Ratti over the first 14 circuits of the tilt before opening night winner AJ DeSantis came to second on lap 16, AJ’s run in the challengers role last four laps as on lap 20 he was overtaken by Chris Rogers. Wasting no time making a challenge for the race lead and win Rogers starting looking to the inside of race leader Ratti and on lap 22 that duel got too close. Entering the third turn on lap 22 Rogers got under Ratti but the leader attempted to close the door and the two made contact shooting Ratti up the hill to a stop in turn four. NASCAR officials deemed the contact was not the fault of Rogers who when the race resumed was the new race leader with DeSantis again back to second. Over the final two laps of the race Rogers remained out front to notch his 4th career win in the Peconic Gold Oysters Chevy. DeSantis of Yaphank was runner-up in his Strong Oil Chevy while Owen Grennan of Glen Cove rounded out the podium in third with his Dillner Precast Chevy.


“Mad” Max Handley of Medford won the 20-lap Blunderbust main event for his first win of the season and second overall in his young career. Gary Caldwell broke to the early race lead at the throw of the green with Eddie Diaz in tow. On lap 3 Diaz worked his way by Caldwell for the lead but one lap later Gary reclaimed the top spot. However seasoned veteran Tom Sullivan was on the march and soon moved his way to the race lead working by both Caldwell and Diaz. For awhile it looked as though Sullivan was on his way to the winners circle but things started to change on lap 8 when Max Handley came to second. Over the next four laps Sullivan and Handley diced for the lead with Handley diving under Sullivan on lap 12 exiting the second corner to take the race lead to start the 13th circuit. Once out front Handley in his Licciardi Builders Caprice would lead the remainder of the way for the win. Sullivan of Massapequa was second in his Action Auto Wreckers Chevy while defending champion “Slick Pick” Tom Pickerell of Huntington was third in the Encore Rentals Chevy.

Kevin Nowak of Medford won the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature his first win of 2020 this after having won six times in 2019. When the race got underway Scott Cheslak moved to the race lead and would lead the first three laps of the contest before being overtaken on a double file restart to start the 4th lap by Tony Colandro Jr. After leading for eight laps and opening up a comfortable lead Colandro was outdone by a lap 12 caution flag which put Kevin Nowak who started the race 9th and came to second on lap 10 alongside. When the green light winked back on Colandro spun his wheels for a second allowing Nowak to motor out front with Allan Pedersen also getting by for second. Pedersen’s stay in second came to an abrupt end on lap 18 when he was involved in an incident off turn four that included early leader Colandro. With a green, white & checker finish in the offering Kevin Nowak was able to hold serve in his JTEC Electric coupe while Eric Hersey of Commack was second in the Long Island Luau entry. George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue was third in the D&D Auto Body machine.
After mechanical woes took him out of the most recent Street Stock event Chris Lescenski of Riverhead rebounded in a big was Saturday winning his first 20-lap race of 2020 in a non-stop affair. With lescenski moving to the race lead at the start Rhett Fogg ran second to Chris over the first 14-laps of the race. However armed with a new car Brian Brown was on the move and he was able to slip by Fogg to start the 15th lap for the second spot. Once to second Brown peppered Lescenski for the race lead and win over the final five laps looking first to the inside and then trying the outside lane. Mattered not to Chris Lescenski who drove his L.I Poultry Chevy to his second career win. Brown of Riverhead was runner-up in the former Wesley Sammon car while Fogg of Westhampton was third in the Accu-Rhett Chevy.


In a very competitive 50-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro former Figure Eight champion Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank scored his first ever win in the class after a spirited battle with early race leader Brian Halsey of Southampton. “Hot Rod” Halsey broke to the race lead at the outset leading the first 23 laps of the race. Before long Hyde was up to second and challenging leader Halsey as they diced through lapped traffic. Finally after laps of chasing the leader Hyde was able to slip under Halsey up the backstretch to take the lead on lap 24. Over the final 26 laps Halsey stayed in Hyde’s tire tracks for the remainder of the race but in the end Ken Hyde in the Erick Zegel Motorsports Chevy would take the win. Halsey in his PC Truck Repair Chevy was second while his son and defending champion Jared Halsey of Southampton placed third in the Sabrosa Mexican Grill entry.

NASCAR Modifieds Bubba 150: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Dylan Slepian 3. John Beatty Jr. 4. Michael Rutkoski 5. Roger Turbush 6. Kyle Soper 7. Dave Brigati 8. Ken Heagy 9. Howie Brode 10. CJ Lehmann 11. Chris Young 12. Dave Sapienza 13. Artie Pedersen III 14. John Fortin Sr. DNS- John Baker, Cory Midgett & Jimmy Rennick Jr.


Crate Modifieds: 1. Chris Rogers 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Owen Grennan 4. Gerard Lawrence 5. Matthew Brode 6. Sean Glennon 7. Justin Brown 8. Lou Maestri 9. Richie Davidowitz 10. Stephen Coleman 11. Kenny Southard 12. Steve Ratti 13. Eddie Schutze 14. Charlie Macwhinnie 15. Eric Hersey 16. Michael Berner 17. Terry Stiles 18. Dennis Krupski


Blunderbusts: 1. Max Handley 2. Tom Sullivan 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Eddie Diaz 5. Cody Triola 6. Jarrett Campbell 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Alyssa Paprocky 9. Jason Wegmann 10. Gary Caldwell 11. Kyle Halpin 12. Brian Brown 13. Jim Laird Jr.

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Eric Hersey 3. George Tomko Jr. 4. Brad Van Houten 5. Joey Braun 6. Jason Castaldo 7. Scott Cheslak 8. Ray Fitzgerald 9. Chris Sinatro 10. Patrick Moore 11. Mike Benton 12. Jerry Curran 13. Charlie Hodge 14. AJ Vasseur 15. Dave Strohmeyer 16. Chase Grennan 17. Mike Van Houten Jr. 18. Jonathan Parsons 19. Allan Pedersen 20. Anthony Colandro 21. Colin Volpe 22. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 23. Jim Sylvester 24. Robert Henninger III 25. Frank Hodge 26. Shawn Wanat


Street Stocks: 1. Chris Lescenski 2. Brian Brown 3. Rhett Fogg 4. Jay Henschel 5. Brian McCormack 6. Dave Antos 7. Gerard Lawrence 8. Anthony Pizzo 9. David White 10. Justin Ferreri 11. James Pape 12. James Dipietro 13. Danny Pizzo 14. Chris Mancz


8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Brian Halsey 3. Jared Halsey 4. Eric Germuth 5. Carmine Ragusa 6. Dennis Jones 7. Roger Tramm 8. Preston Prydatko 9. Christian Kalbfleish 10. Al DeCesare 11. Stacy Halsey 12. Kevin Coyle 13. Steve Jones 14. Michael Biancos 15. Joseph Boccia 16. Will Ebert 17. Ricky Carman 18. Blake Drinkwater 19. Pat Collins 20. James Muench 21. James Heym 22. David Verbeeck 23. Jennifer Hohwiesner 24. Sean Fitzpatrick 25. Michael Asdahl 26. Dwayne Sipila 27. Kal Buckley

ANDREW KRAUSE WINS DAD’S MEMORIAL RACE AT WALL SATURDAY

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Using speed, handling and a strategy that included a late race pit stop for two new tires, Andrew Krause of Holmdel raced through the field in the closing 28 laps to win the third annual “Cliff Krause Memorial” presented by NAPA Auto Parts Modified stock car race at Wall Stadium Speedway Saturday night. Andrew Krause also won the first edition of the event in 2018.

The race, which paid $7,127 to the winner, is contested each season to honor the man who is credited by most for reestablishing the third mile paved oval’s rich racing heritage. Cliff Krause passed away in January, 2018, of natural causes. His family continues to operate the speedway.

2019 race winner Eric Mauriello of Brick was the first leader of the contest as Krause began his climb to the front of the 24-car field from a 12th starting spot. Mauriello fought off a host of contenders, including Jason Hearne of New Egypt, Jon Mandato of Toms River, Tyler Truex of Little Egg Harbor and Howell’s Jimmy Blewett, through the caution plagued first 79 laps. During a lap 79 caution Mauriello and many of his fellow top runners ducked into the pit area for tires and Krause took over the lead.

During the following 20 laps the new tires on the top runners’ cars proved to be important as the group tracked down Krause. Krause then elected to pit on lap 99 for two new tires and the added traction propelled him from the rear of the field to the front. Krause then wrestled for the top spot with 15 laps remaining before securing the lead and racing on the to emotional win. Blewett and Mauriello were second and third, while Steven Reed of Jackson, who was always in contention, was fourth and Truex was fifth.

‘I wish my dad was here to enjoy this win with me,” Krause said after the race. ‘He was my best friend and I miss him so much. He loved this place just like my mother and sister do. Wall Stadium meant a lot to him.

“I have to thank my family and everyone who works on the car for this. I think a lot of people were second guessing us when we pitted late for tires. I guess it worked!”

Former champion Mike Montano of Freeport, N.Y. won the companion 25-lap race for the Factory Stocks, grabbing the lead from Howell’s John Carpenter near the 20-lap mark. Elliot Wohl of Beachwood, Rahway’s Billy Both and point leader Bryan O’Shea of Neptune City wrapped up the top four. Carpenter was fifth.

Point leader Ryan Maher of Neptune City raced to the lead on lap 18 and took his third win of the season in the 4 Cylinder Stock 25-lap race. Alonzo Morales of Burlington raced to second and early leader Ian Ashford of Farmingdale was third. Hazlet’s Sal Liguori and Billy Pross of Hazlet were fourth and fifth.

Mike Alcaro of New Milford took the lead early and never looked back in winning the Legend Cars 25-lapper. Riley O’Keefe, Wall’s Rob Silver, Peter Bruno of Little Silver and Quinn Trimmer of Waldwick wrapped up the top five.

The 2020 Saturday night regular season continues this Saturday (Sept. 26) evening with the Modified stock cars racing in a 40-lap event while the Factory Stocks, 4 Cylinder Stocks, Sportsman cars and the Limited Late Models are on the card in 25-lap main events. The pit area will open at 1:00 p.m. Grandstands will open at 4:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 5:30 p.m. and main event action starts at 7:00 p.m.

Current plans call for Saturday night racing action to continue through October 10 with updated schedule details always available at wallspeedwayracing.com.

Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is ckmotorsports@aol.com.

– THE END –

RACE RESULTS

MODIFIED FEATURE – 127 Laps – 1. ANDREW KRAUSE, HOLMDEL, 2. Jimmy Blewett, 3. Eric Mauriello, 4. Steven Reed, 5. Tyler Truex, 6. Kyle Scisco, 7. Ricky Collins, 8. Shaun Carrig, 9. 9. Roger Coss, 10. Jason Treat, 11. Zach Alspach, 12. Jon Mandato, 13. Anthony Sesely, 14. Marc Rogers, 15. Eddie McCarthy, 16. Adam LaCicero, 17. Robert French, 18. Jack Ely, 19. Ron Frees, 20. Kenny Van Wickle, 21. Derek Hopkinson, 22. Kevin Davison, 23. Joey Merlino, 24. Jason Hearne, DID NOT QUALIFY Glenn Slocum, Mike Brennan, Vinnie Marone

FACTORY STOCK – 25 Laps – 1. MIKE MONTANO, FREEPORT, N.Y., 2 Elliot Wohl, 3. Billy Both, 4. Bryan O’Shea, 5. John Carpenter, 6. Brian DeSarno, 7. Nick Kilmer, 8. Gary Burton, 9. Matt Malachatka, 10. Mike Baldwin, 11. Mickey Montano, 12. Scott Riggleman, 13. Matt Badessa, 14. Brian Osborn, 15. Nancy Riggleman, 16. Pete Reinke, 17. Nick Catone, 18. Steve Mangano, 19. Tom Rajkowski, 20. Tim Majek, 21. Robert Stack, 22. Tony Bartone

4 CYLINDER STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. RYAN MAHER, NEPTUNE CITY, 2. Alonzo Morales, 3. Ian Ashford, 4. Sal Liguori, 5. Billy Pross, 6. Doug Ashford, 7. TJ Graves, 8. Sean Vulsanic, 9. Darianne McLaren, 10. Kayleigh Sharry, 11. Nicole Razzano, 12. Deanna McLaren, 13. Bill Schwarz, 14. Richard Smith, 15. Cody Critelli

LEGEND CARS FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. MIKE ALCARO, NEW MILFORD, 2. Riley O’Keefe, 3. Rob Silver, 4. Peter Bruno, 5. Quinn Trimmer, 6. Bryan Gardella, 7. Eric Green, 8. Steve Stull, 9. Phil Bogdan, 10. Joe Przybylinski, 11. Roger Nickerson, 12. Steve Woytysiak

GSPSS Kicks off Star Classic with a spectacular finish

Photo Tom Morris

The Granite State Pro Stock series made its annual trip to Star Speedway to compete on opening night of the 55th annual Star Classic Friday night and Derek Griffith and Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk put on a show for the ages.

Griffith, the hottest man in northeast pro stock racing of late, showed up to star just off an airplane after competing in an ARCA car at Bristol the night before. “Pole” came to star winless in 2020 and feeling like their season had been sub-par. Their seasons would collide in spectacular fashion before the night was over.

In Claremont Derek Griffith was perfect. Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time Challenge winner, heat winner, drew #1 in the GSPSS redraw and won the race. Star seemed to be more of the same. Fast time, heat race win, #1 in the redraw and dominant through 83 laps of the race.

Point leader Ray Christain III would win his heat race and start on the outside of row one after pulling #2 in the redraw. Christain III came into the event with a six point lead over Polewarczyk and looked to expand on that at the classic where he was the defending winner.

Through lap 83 Griffith seemed to be untouchable. Each time the field got bunched up he would get a great restart and pull away to a comfortable lead which at one point was three seconds over the competition. A lap eighty three caution would change everything.

On the restart it would be Griffith on the inside with “Pole” on the outside of the front row. The two would run side by side for a couple of laps until another caution came out. This time “Pole” would be the control car as he was the leader on the last completed lap. To the surprise of everyone present, the Hudson NH Driver would chose the outside.

For the remainder of the race the pair would battle side by side for the lead and the win. “Pole” would get the clear of Griffith at one point but the winner of the last two races he entered would get back to the inside and the two would continue to race door handle to door handle.

In the end it would be Joey Polewarczyk for the win by .04 seconds in the most exciting pro stock race in recent memory. In victory lane both drivers showed the highest level of respect for each other as they exchanged congratulations and celebrated an outstanding performance.

Ryan Kuhn would race inside the top five for the majority of the event and wind up in the third spot holding off Christain III and Jake Matheson in a fantastic battle over the the closing laps. Kuhn, competing in his first GSPSS event of the season, would have arguably his best ever run with the series and a great view of the battle at the front.

Point leader Christain III would battle back from a late race flat tire to finish fourth and minimize the damage in the point standings. Coming in with a six point advantage, Christain III heads to Waterford Speedbowl two points behind Polewarczyk. Waterford is Christain III’s home track and a track that “Pole” has won twice at in Late Model competition.

Jake Matheson would round out the top five with a career day for the second year driver. The highlight of the day for the young driver would be the fact that he had to go to GSPSS post race technical inspection for the first time in his career.

Rookie Casey Call would finish in sixth with 2019 series champion Joey Doiron in seventh and Rusty Poland who would battle back from late race contact to finish eighth. Mike Hopkins would finish in ninth with Mike Mitchell rounding out the top ten.

Third place point man Angelo Belsito had an off day by their standards and struggled to an eleventh place finish losing valuable ground in the point standings. Belsito will head to Waterford needing a strong run and a little luck to get him back in the battle for the championship.

 Three races remain on the 2020 GSPSS schedule. Saturday September sixth the series heads to the newly renovated Waterford Speedbowl for a $3000 to win 150 lap affair. From there it’s a date with Russ Conway’s Oktoberfest at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday September forth. The season will conclude with a second date at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday October 24 where the 2020 champion will officially be crowned.

For more information visit the series at www.gspss.net or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Results:

1 – 97 Joey Polewarczyk

2 – 12g Derek Griffith

3 – 72 Ryan Kuhn

4 – 93ct Ray Christian III

5 – 52nh Jake Matheson

6 – 90nh Casey Call

7 – 73 Joey Doiron

8 – 44p Rusty Poland

9 – 15 Mike Hopkins

10 – 40 Mike Mitchell

11 – 8b Angelo Belsito

12 – 66c Bobby Cabral

13 – 12p Bobby Pelland

14 – 18 John Lowinski-Loh

15 – 48g Larry Gelinas

16 – 77 Jeremy Sorel

17 – 88 Kevin Casper

18 – 55 Cody LeBlanc

Contingency Awards :

Sunoco Race Fuels heat race winners – 5gallons of race fuel – 12g Derek Griffith, 93ct Ray Christain III

AR Bodies hard luck award – $100 product certificate – 77 Jeremy Sorel

Crazy Horse Fast Time Challenge – 1st $125 -12g Derek Griffith – 2nd $75 – 93ct Ray Christain III – 3rd $50 – 52nh Jake Matheson

Magnus Performance Parts – 7th place finisher $100 product certificate – 73 Joey Doiron

Matco Tools : product certificates – winner $75 – 97 Joey Polewarczyk – Random Draw $75 – to be drawn at the next event

Bassett Wheels – 3rd 72 Ryan Kuhn

    American Racer Hard Charger – one free tire – 44p Rusty Poland