Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

SCHOOL BUS DEMOLITION DERBY SET TO THRILL RIVERHEAD RACEWAY FANS SATURDAY NIGHT, NASCAR MODIFIEDS RETURN AFTER WEEK OFF

Riverhead, NY July 13th.By Bob Finan
This Saturday night July 20th the earth will be shaking beneath the ground of Riverhead Raceway as the first School Bus Demolition Derby of 2019 is presented along with an action packed NASCAR Whelen All American series program featuring six division of stock car racing. Returning after a Saturday night off are the NASCAR Modifieds who’ll run a 50-lap feature event.


Ten races into the NASCAR Modified championship chase defending champion Kyle Soper of Manorville had controlled victory lane winning six times. With nine races left in the 2019 campaign including Saturday night many wonder of Soper can break a long standing track record for 10 wins in a single season. Gary Winters was first to reach the 10 win mark in 1962 while “Charging” Charlie Jarzombek did it twice in consecutive seasons 1976 & 1977. On the strength of such a dominating start Soper has a comfortable point lead heading to Saturday with his nearest rivals Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville and Dave Brigati of Calverton will have to get busy of they have any shot making a run at Soper. Beatty with his 2nd win of ’19 in the most recent NASCAR Modified event on Wednesday July 10th is the only other repeat winner other that Soper. Rogers and Roger Turbush have tallied single wins this year.

Another driver moving in on history is LM championship leader Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who won his sixth race in seven starts Wednesday night July 10th . With his next win Jeremy will tie both Robin Vollmoeller (1983) and Paul McElearney (1984) for the single season LM win mark of 7. Both drivers won their 7 races in 10 starts with it very much a possibility McDermott could get to 7 wins in 8 starts and 8 wins in 9 starts if somebody doesn’t come along to slow the former multi-time champion down in the remaining eight races in 2019. Only Chris Turbush of Wading Riverhead has broken into victory lane this season and more often than not he has finished second to McDermott coming to Saturday night’s 25-lapper 19 point out of the championship lead.


Rounding out the stock car portion of the program are the death defying Figure Eights where Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead will be aiming for his sixth win in eight starts as only Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank has visited victory lane this year turning the trick twice. The single season record for wins in this class is none as both the late Joe Biondolillo Jr. and Roger Maynor each reaching that mark twice in their illustrious careers. Six races remain for Rogers to attempt either tying or eclipsing that record. Also in action will be the Super Pro Trucks, Street Stocks and a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro.


After the checker flag waves on the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro it will be time to roll out the heavy hitters, literally. The 13-ton School Bus machines will hit the track for another earth shattering Demolition Derby featuring the likes of “Cheesebox” Michael Rommeney, “Stalker” Scott Phillips, “Kev-O” Kevin Rommeney, “McChicken” Rob Savoy, “Irish” Mike O’Keefe and “The Punisher” Paul Fox among others. The contest is unlike any other with the sight & sound of the huge buses coming together unlike any other.
Qualifying will start at 6:00 pm with opening ceremonies and first feature at approx. 7:00 pm. Adults are $30, kids 6-12 $10 5 and under are free. For our remaining 2019 schedule of events visit www.riverheadraceway.com. E-mails reach us at riverheadraceway1@gmail.com and the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

‘BIG MONEY’ RICHIE DAVIDOWITZ LIVES UP TO HIS NAME WITH RIVERHEAD RACEWAY SILAS HISCOCK SR. INEX LEGEND RACE CAR NATIONAL QUALIFIER TRIUMPH

Riverhead, NY July 13th

“Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches has a knack of winning the most prestigious and better paying INEX Legend Race Car events at Riverhead Raceway and Saturday night was no exception as he drove to victory in the 50-lap Silas Hiscock INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier. For Davidowitz, a UPS driver by trade it was his 4th win of the season and a track leading 24th career victory. 

Most recent winner Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was fastest in qualifying with a lap of 13.601 while Richie Davidowitz clocked in second at 13.646 pitting the two veteran drivers against each other in the front row.  When the 26-car field took the green flag in the race honoring the life and racing career of the late Silas Hiscock Sr. it would be the outside pole sitter Davidowitz wining the drag race to the first corner over Fitzgerald. After running one-two for the first two laps  the tandem shot up the hill in the corner on lap 3 allowing Kevin Nowak to driver underneath to race his way to the lead from third. Nowak would then lead Davidowitz for 14 laps before “Big Money” made his way back into the race lead on lap 17 passing Nowak to the outside racing down the back stretch. Despite surrendering the lead Nowak wasn’t done trying to get it back from Davidowitz as they race nose to tail for a extended period of time. 

However with the lap money and other bonus money on the line Richie Davidowitz would live up to his nickname in the Natural Design Concepts racer leading the remainder of the way to the checker flag. In victory lane Richie was presented with a very special trophy provided by Race Director Scott Tapley in honor of winning the Silas Hiscock Sr. 50. The classic trophy was won by Scott’s Dad when he raced back in the day in New England. 

Kevin Nowak of Medford was a close runner-up in the JTEC Electric sedan while the drive of the night might just have been turned in by third place finisher Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches who by his own admission a poor qualifying lap made his way to the podium finish in the Sign Design entry. Fitzgerald of Manorville and Eric hersey of Commack completed the top five.

Crate Modified winner Matt Brode in victory lane at Riverhead Raceway July 13th 2019 (Kerri Larsen/Myracenews)


You might say 14-year old Matt Brode of East Islip is a quick learner. In just his seventh Crate Modified start the son of former three time NASCAR Modified champion Howie Brode promptly went out and won his first career race in a 25-lap contest. After winning his qualifying heat Brode took full advantage of his front row starting berth taking the lead at the drop of the green flag. Former Late Model champion Peter Bertuccio chased Matt over the first 10 circuits before he was overtaken by another rookie driver Sean Glennon on a lap 10 double file restart. Once to second Glennon was able to stay within striking distance of leader Brode over the final 15-laps but never was able to mount a strong challenge for the lead. With his proud father spotting for him Matt Brode crossed under the checker flag first in his Milro Environmental Chevy in what many feel for the first of what will be many trips to victory lane. Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in the LTE Drainage Chevy while Justin Brown of Manorville completed the top three in third with his SEDHI Construction Inc. Chevy.

Blunderbust winner Alyssa Paprocky at Riverhead Raceway July 11th 2019 (Kerri Larsen/Myracenews)


Until Saturday night if you asked Alyssa Paprocky of Coram to describe her 2019 Blunderbust race season to date she might use the word nightmare. After the 20-lap main event Paprock was now living a dream as she won her first career feature event after an early season of struggles over the first seven races of ’19. From the pole Paprocky broke out to the race lead at the start chased for the first four laps by Eddie Diaz. Lap 5 saw Bill Wegmann Sr. pass Diaz for second and the 70-plus year old racing great grandfather chased Alyssa until there were five laps left in the tilt. 25-time race winner Tom Pickerell made his way by Wegmann for second on lap 15 but by the time he arrived in the challengers position Alyssa Paprocky in her Polar Bear Air machine had built up a comfortable enough cushion that she’d enjoy to the finish. Alyssa exited her car to loud cheers from the large crowd on hand. Pickerell of Huntington was second in his Encore Rentals Chevy while Cody Triola of Bay Shore was third in the Cesspool Pros racer.


For the third time this season Tom Puccia of Shirley topped the non-stop 20-lap Mini Stock contest. Third generation driver Jamie Curtis took the race lead at the throw of the green and she’d lead the first 3 laps of the race. Puccia made his way to second on lap 2 when he passed James O’Connell and chased Meyer for two laps before he made his bid for the lead. Racing down the back stretch Puccia ducked under Mayer to take over the race lead a lead he’d not surrender in his On Site Cleaning Services special. Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge was second while Chris Elixson of Riverhead placed third.
Another three time winner in 2019 is Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon who won the 40-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro contested just after the Monster Truck Night of Destruction. Fitzpatrick in his Tire Express Chevy raced his way by Michael Asdahl at the halfway mark to secure the win. Asdahl of East Meadow was second with Brian Halsey of Southampton third.


Crate Modifieds: 1. Matt Brode 2. Sean Glennon 3. Justin Brown 4. Peter Bertuccio 5. Terry Stiles 6. Dave Brigati 7. Chris Rogers 8. AJ DeSantis 9. Dennis Krupski 10. Jason Hansen 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Carey Rogers 13. Mike Albasini


Blunderbusts: 1. Alyssa Paprocky 2. Tom Pickerell 3. Cody Triola 4. Bill Wegmann Sr. 5. Russ Jansen 6. Bill Wegmann Jr. 7. Jarrett Campbell 8. Eddie Diaz 9. CJ Zurkowski 10. Cassandra Denis 11. Gary Caldwell 12. Kyle Halpin DNS- Jim Laird Jr.


Legend Race Cars: 1, Richie Davidowitz 2. Kevin Nowak 3. Allan Pedersen 4. Ray Fitzgerald 5. Eric Hersey 6. Riely O’Keefe 7. George Tomko Jr. 8. Anthony Colandro Jr. 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Vinny Delaney 11. Eugene Drew 12. Jeff Otto Jr. 13. Colin Hoeffner 14. Daniel Carter 15. Paul Dodorico 16. Jonathan Parsons 17. Mike Van Houten Jr. 18. Patrick More 19. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 20. Steve Woytysiak 21. Jim Sylvester 22. Mike Benton 23. Joseph Braun 24. Jerry Curran 25. Scott Cheslak 26. Joseph Costello

Mini Stocks: 1. Tom Puccia 2. Joe Warren Jr. 3. Chris Elixson 4. Paul Wojcik 5. Jamie Meyer 6. Scott Phillips 7. James O’Connell 8. Joe Cooke Jr. 9. Martin O’Connell DNS- Justin Squires, Matt Stawecki & Tom Cocozza


8-Cylinder Enduro (top ten) 1. Sean Fitzpatrick 2. Michael Asdahl 3. Brian Halsey 4. Jared Halsey 5. Pat Collins 6. Kevin Coyle 7. Dale Doherty 8. Brandon Hubbard 9. Dennis Jones 10. Eric Germuth

Noah Watts Photo

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JOHN BEATTY JR. REBOUNDS FROM WMT DISAPPOINTMENT TO CAPTURE RIVERHEAD RACEWAY 50-LAP NASCAR MODIFIED WEDNESDAY NIGHT SPECIAL

Riverhead, NY July 10th
Just days after coming oh so close to his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway only to have his hopes dashed by a late race caution flag John Beatty Jr. of Merrick drove to victory Wednesday night in a 50-lap midweek special. The win was the 7th of Beatty’s career and in a odd statistical twist 3 of those 7 victories have come on a Wednesday night with John having swept Twin 50 lap NASCAR Modified races in 2018.


Veteran Dave Brigati of Calverton set the standard in qualifying with a lap of 11.686 earning the pole for the race with Beatty second quick at 11.689. When the green flag waved it would be Beatty riding the outside lane to the race lead over Brigati
who then tucked into second. Over the first 15 laps not much changed up front but on lap 16 positions would start to shuffle when Tom Rogers Jr. raced his way under Brigati for second entering the third turn. Rogers would see his night go flat, literally moments later with a right front flat. That turn of events and subsequent caution led to some further key turning points of the race. Craig Lutz who made his way by Brigati for third suddenly found himself second to Beatty on the ensuing restart. Like he did in Saturday’s WMT Beatty again stuck to his guns and chose the outside grove moving Lutz under him. When the green dropped Lutz tried to make Beatty very uncomfortable in the outside grove and on lap 18 the duo touched with the end results Beatty spinning wildly but never stopping on the track while Lutz briefly coming to a halt. Unfortunately with an incident at the front of the field several good cars were damaged further back in the pack after stacking up including John Fortin Sr., John Baker, Eric Zeh and CJ Lehmann who were all finished for the night.


When the race resumed Beatty would find a new challenger testing his skills in the person of Chris Young who made his way from 8th into the top five while Kyle Soper and Dave Brigati got after each other for third. With plenty of time remaining in the race young and first stayed in Beatty’s tracks but as the laps clicked off Chris never having won a NASCAR Modified feature start to turn up the heat. At first Chris came to the rear bumper of the leader giving him a nudge from time to time but never upsetting Beatty’s car to the point of spinning. Soon the leader got tight in the corners and Young began to take a look at attempting an inside pass for the lead but Beatty was wise to the tactic and started slowing his corner speed slightly breaking the challengers momentum.


As the checker flag waved ending the high speed chess game John Beatty Jr. and his MSM Elite Motorsports team enjoyed their second win of ’19. After exiting his car all Beatty wanted to talk about was his foe Young, “Chris ran a great race, his wins are coming. He nudged me here and there but never crossed that fine line.” As for the win easing the feelings after coming so close to the WMT win Beatty noted, “it’s in the past I just have to thank my owner Mark Mina and my guys this car is spot on most every week”. 

Chris Young of Calverton continues to turn heads and was second in the Contract Pharmacal Chevy while Kyle Soper of Manorville claimed third place money in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. Dave Brigati of Calverton was fourth while Craig Lutz of Miller Place roared back from the lap 18 incident to grab fifth place money in the Riverhead Building Supply entry.


The magical Late Model season continues for Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who won his sixth race in seven starts Wednesday night.  McDermott would lead the way in qualifying clocking in at 12.514 beating out teammate Dylan Slepian who went a 12.608. Armed with the pole after qualifying Jeremy raced right into the lead while Chris Turbush raced his way to second under Slepian after Chris started third. The race was slowed by caution only once on lap 4 for Daryn Miller who had an issue in the first turn. As was the case in the mile raced prior to the early caution when the race restarted McDermott picked up right where he left off leading the race while Turbush was driving as hard as he could to try and stay close let along making a bid for the lead while Shawn Patrick made his way from fifth to third. As has been the case to date in ’19 once McDermott was out front he never looked back driving his Eastport Feeds Pontiac to his 15th career win tying him for 8th on the all time win list with Mike Bologna. Chris Turbush of Wading River again could only watch as Jeremy drove off to victory settling for runner-up money in his Carpet Express Chevy. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was third in his Meade’s Welding entry.


Another driver dominating a division can be found in the Figure Eight class as defending champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead won his fifth race of the year in seven starts. Scott Pedersen paced the first two laps chased at the outset by Bryan Quilliam and then CJ Lehmann. It would be Lehmann racing his way out front on lap 3 with Pedersen giving chase until a 4th lap restart. On that resumption of the race Tom Ferrara made his way by Pedersen and set his radar on leader Lehmann. However Rogers was on the march from his 8th starting spot and as he so often does once to third makes short work of finding his way to the lead. As the field took the halfway mark Rogers worked his way first by Ferrara for second and then quickly made his way around Lehmann for the race lead. Once Rogers and his ultra quick Chevy Coupe were out front there was no reeling him in as he drove to his 48th career triumph in the United Exhaust Shop machine. Tom Ferrara of Patchogue made a late race pass to claim second in his Northeastern Office Equipment Cadillac while early leader CJ Lehmann of Shirley crossed the line third in the Blue Collar Bar Chevy.


If you told defending Super Pro Truck champion Mark Stewart of Riverhead before the 2019 campaign he’d be 6 races into the new season without a win he with justification would of looked at you cross-eyed.Such was the case heading into the midweek 30-lap SPT event and when it was all said and done Stewart sat in the winners circle. Sean Glennon showed the way in qualifying as the final truck of the session went a 13.329 with Stewart second quick at 13.434. Knowing full well he needed to get his East Side Building machine out front early Stewart did just at the throw of the green getting the measure of Glennon who ticked into second with Jimmy Rennick Jr. third. With no cautions flags slowing the race Stewart would be able to also avoid any double file restarts as on this night everything was going the fourth generation drivers way. When the checker flag waved Mark Stewart had career win number 21 in his pocket. Mark’s next win will him with Danny Grennan for third on the all time win list. Sean Glennon of Northport brought the R&R Brothers Electric Chevy home second while Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach was third in his Metropolitan Recycling machine.


Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge made it two Mini Stock wins in a row when he topped their 25-lap main event. Tom Puccia of Shirley led the way in qualifying with a lap of 14.932 with Warren second quick with a 15.101. When the race got underway Pucia edged out front over Warren and defending champion Paul Wojick with the top three cars running under a blanket for the first five laps before Puccia and warren got away slightly for the 6th & 7th lap. Lap 8 would be the downfall for leader Puccia would got himself trapped behind a lapped car allowing Warren to swoop by for the lead. One Warren was out front he never looked back driving off to victory lane in his self funded racer and as always dedicating his win to the late ‘Lil Jay Trinca and his mom Keri.Tom Puccia of Shrley was second in his On Site Cleaning Service machine while Chris Elixson of Riverhead brought the Mike’s Auto Service racer home third.


Phil LaManna of Smithtown may have waited a long time for his first career Truck Enduro win earlier this year but wasted no time in grabbing career win number two in a 40-lap affair Wednesday. Defending champion Don Nelson Jr. and Gary Voight diced early on and in fact over the first 24 circuits of the tilt. Nelson had a miscue in turn four dropping him form the lead moving Voight out front with LaManna now second. A dozen laps later LaManna put his EP Milling Sweeping Chevy out front on the 36th cycle and he’d lead the final four laps for the win. Bob Pease of Medford was second in the Fit Spot Gym entry while Nelson recovered nicely from his earlier contact to finish third in the Abner’s Tree Experts Chevy S-10. 

In a thoroughly entertaining 15-lap School Bus Figure Eight race Kevin Rommeney of Maspeth became the third different winner in as many races in 2019. Rommeney who by trade is a New York City bus driver for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Brooklyn made a late race charge to get by both his brother Michael “Cheesebox” Rommeney and most recent winner “Irish” Mike O’Keefe as the fans roared with approval.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. Chris Young 3. Kyle Soper 4. Dave Brigati 5. Craig Lutz 6. Jon McKennedy 7. Dylan Slepian 8. Tom Rogers Jr. 9. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 10. Roger Turbush 11. Jack Handley 12. John Fortin Sr. 13. John Baker 14. Eric Zeh 15. CJ Lehmann 16. Dillon Steuer
Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Chris Turbush 3. Shawn Patrick 4. Dylan Slepian 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Jason Kreth 7. Darren McCabe 8. Frank Dumicich Jr. 9. Ray Minieri 10, Daryn Miller DNS- Dave Brigati

Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Tom Ferrara 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Ken Hyde Jr. 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Gary Fritz Jr 7. Scott Pedersen 8. Eric Zeh 9. Brian Hansen 10. Bryan Quilliam 11. Bob Dalke
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Sean Glennon 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Eddie Schutze 5. Lou Maestri 6. Ethan Brown 8. Frank Dumicich Jr. 9. Frank Dumicich Sr.
Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Tom Puccia 3. Chris Elixson 4. Matt Stawecki Joe Cooke Jr. 6. Scott Phillips 7. James O’Connell 8. Martin O’Connell 9. Justin Squires 10. Paul Wojcik 11. Jamie Meyer 12. Jay Conrad
Truck Enduro: 1. Phil LaManna 2. Bobby Pease 3. Don Nelson Jr. 4. Gary Voight 5. Justin McGrady 6. Kerry Botts 7. Bobby Pease Jr. 8. Doug Tittle 9. Dustin Cole 10. Emily Hubbard 11. Danielle Cohen 12. Joe Brodman 13. Mariah Lawrence
School Bus Figure Eight race: Winner- Kevin Rommeney