Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway


Riverhead, NY July 6thBy Bob Finan

Prior to the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway four exciting feature events were contested under threatening skies. Despite some intermittent drops of moisture from time to time Justin Brown of Manorville took down his 4th Crate Modified win of 2019 while Tom Pickerell of Huntington scored his third Blunderbust win of the season. Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville won his long awaited first career INEX Legend Race Car main event while Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow collected his first Street Stock victory of the campaign.  Fortunately the Legends and Street Stocks cooperated and ran non stop 20-lappers.

After having won the first three of five Crate Modified races this season Justin Brown wanted to put a halt to the two race win streak of Chris Rogers of Patchogue in the 25-lap main event. Rookie drivers Matt Brode and Charles Macwhinnie brought the field to green with Brode taking the advantage leading lap 1. On the second circuit seasoned veteran Dennis Krupski made an outside pass of Macwhinnie for second and hoped to set sail after the leader Brode. However Krupski soon had his mirror full of third place Sean Glennon. The fight for second got too close off turn two on lap 7 when Krupski and Glennon got together ending their tussle for second. On the ensuing restart Brode would lead Justin Brown who started the race from 7th for the 8th lap but another quick yellow waved for a Jason Hansen spin. This time when Brode and Brown lined up side by side brown would race his way to the race lead with Chris Rogers gluing himself to Brown’s rear spoiler to come from fourth to second with former two time champion Dave Brigati making his way to third. While the trio diced for position over the final dozen laps they’d not change positions as Justin Brown in his SoBol of Manorville Chevy roared to his 7th career win over Chris Rogers of Patchogue in the Middleton Environmental  Chevy and Dave Brigati of Calverton in his Quest Machining & Fabricating entry.

Blunderbust winner at Riverhead Raceway Tom Pickerell July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

It was both a clean sweep and milestone kind of night for former multi-time Blunderbust champion Tom Pickerell who first set a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 14.539 and then went out and won his 25th career main event in a 30-lap contest. Starting from the pole Pickerell wasted little time making his way to the race lead at the throw of the green flag with Jim Laird Jr. in tow. After chasing Pickerell over the first five circuits Laird soon found himself racing side by side with a strong Cody Triola for second. The duo raced door handle to door handle from laps 6 through 11 before Triola ducked under Laird exiting the second turn for the spot. Triola was able to get close to Pickerell but getting to him and then getting around him would be a different story.  Indeed Tom Pickerell in his Encore Rentals Chevy would prevail notching his third win of the 2019 campaign over Cody Triola of Bay Shore who gave it his all before settling for second in the Cesspool Pros racer. Despite struggling with his car earlier in the day and race Russ Jansen of Medford turned in a solid third place showing in the Six Juice Caprice.

INEX Legends winner at Riverhead Raceway Ray Fitzgerald July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

During his successful Enduro career Ray Fitzgerald won 15 races but since moving to the INEX Legend Race Car class had yet to break through to victory lane, that is until Saturday night. Early on impressive rookie Joseph Braun showed the way over Fitzgerald. Right out of the box on the pre-season practice day Braun has showed promise and for the first 9 laps he’d lead the veteran Fitzgerald. On lap 10 entering the third turn the challenger actually ducked under Joseph for the lead but the young lion would cross Ray back over exiting turn 4 four to maintain the lead. However two laps later Fitzgerald in the Benimax Trucking machine would work his way by Braun for the lead. Once in the lead this time Ray Fitzgerald never looked back and afterwards dedicated the race win to his long time friend and sponsor the late Dan Jones of Blue Point Auto Body. Joseph Braun of Manorville nearly held onto to second but as the field raced to the checker flag in the uninterrupted race “Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches made his way by for second place money in the Hampton Fleet Service mount. Braun in his Stewart’s Construction racer settled for third.

Street Stock winner Brian Brown at Riverhead Raceway July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

In the other non-stop race the 20-lap Street Stock race found Brian Brown breaking to the early advantage over the returning Jay Henschel who tested Brown earlier. Henschel, a former Charger driver ran second for the first four laps of the tilt before he was passed by Wesley Sammon with an inside pass off the second corner. However as the race moved along Brown was able to scamper away from the field never looking back in route to a long awaited first career win in the Staria Automotive Chevy. Sammon of Southampton in the Frank Curtis Motorsports Chevy was runner-up while Jay Henschel of Levittown was third in the Firstline Locksmith Chevy.

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

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

Legend Race Cars: 1. Ray Fitzgerald 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Joseph Braun 4. Eric Hersey 5. Mike Alcaro 6. Allan Pedersen 7. Vinny Delaney 8. Kevin Nowak 9. Riely O’Keefe 10. Jim Sylvester 11. Ed Cheslak 12. Mike Benton 13. Mike Van Houten Jr. 14. Stephen Coleman 15. Derek Debbis 16. Jason Castaldo 17. Anthony Calandro Jr. 18 Colin Hoeffner 19. Jonathan Parsons 20. Patrick Moore 21. Jeff Otto Jr. 22. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 23. Scott Cheslak 24. Steven Woytysiak 25. Joseph Costello 26. Jerry Curran

Street Stocks: 1. Brian Brown 2. Wesley Sammon 3. Jay Henschel 4. Anthony Pizzo 5. Rhett Fogg 6. Eric Zeh 7. Brian McCormack 8. Chris Lescenski 9. Gerard Lawrence 10. Dave Antos 11. Sal Sinatro 12. David White 13. James Dipietro DNS- Ed Fontana 

Justin Bonsignore Spins To Win Third Straight at Riverhead Raceway


RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Saturday night short-track racing at the highest level of modified racing.

There was contact, and even spinning, but it was enough for Justin Bonsignore to score his third straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night.

Bonsignore restarted to the inside of track regular John Beatty Jr. in overtime, and coming to the checkered flag, contact between the two drivers sent Beatty up the track, and Bonsignore spinning nose-first towards the frontstretch wall. In the midst of his spin, he crossed the line first in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac 200.

Buzz Chew Chevy Cadillac 200 winner at Riverhead Raceway Justin Bonsignore July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

The victory was Bonsignore’s third of the season and his 23rd career in Whelen Modified Tour competition. He becomes just the third driver in series history to win three straight at Riverhead, joining Mike Ewanitsko and Ryan Preece as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.

“The restart before I was able to hang with him a few laps, but John had a better car, and I was really shocked he took the outside on the last restart,” Bonsignore said. “He gave me a good shot getting into three, but you are coming to the checkered. I hate racing like that. But these races are so hard to win, and we need to win all of the races we can to get back in this points race.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Race Results

Beatty looked to have the car to beat in the final stages. He passed Timmy Solomito for the lead on lap 150 and was at the point for a near run to the finish, until a caution for a wreck down the backstretch with three laps to go closed the field up. Beatty selected the top lane, and when the field went down into turn one at the green, the contact started between the two leaders.

John Beatty #5 jumps to the inside of Timmy Solomito #16 and Justin Bonsignore #51 at Riverhead Raceway July 6th 2019 (Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews)

They leaned on each other the final two laps, until the contact in turn four, coming to the checkered, sent Bonsignore spinning. Beatty, a regular in Riverhead’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I Modified class, was disappointed in the result, but happy with his effort. He nearly became the first track regular in more than two decades to win a Whelen Modified Tour race at the oval.

“I was just keeping up with the pace and my car just kept getting better and better (before the last yellow),” Beatty said. “Everyone races their own way. I’m not the kind of guy to drive someone up a lane or two, but Justin did his job. He won the race.”

Timmy Solomito, who led 37 laps, crossed the line third. Solomito took the lead for the first time on lap 76, after contact between Coby and Solomito sent Coby spinning in turn one, while racing for the lead. Ron Silk and Craig Lutz rounded out the top-five.

RACING-REFERENCE: Justin Bonsignore Career Riverhead Stats

Coby rebounded to sixth, while Patrick Emerling, Eric Goodale, Tom Rogers Jr. and Tommy Catalano completed the top 10.

Coby leads the championship point standings by 31 over Silk, while Bonsignore is third, 32 points back.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of their annual Monster Energy Cup Series weekend on Saturday, July 20. Select drivers will also compete in the All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire on Friday, July 19.

THe NASCAR WMT Returns to Riverhead Raceway for the BUZZ Chew Chevy Cadillac 200 July 6TH 2019

The last trip for the NASCAR WMT to Riverhead Raceway resulted in a long day and night dodging the rain drops and ended with one of the 8 wins for Justin Bonsignore on his way to the 2018 championship.

Finishing right behind Justin last September was fellow Long Islander Timmy Solomito who really wants to taste victory again and home cooking for the Islip NY driver might be what the doctor ordered.

This Saturday night the roar of the Modifieds return to Eastern Long Island with a strong field of 31 cars ready to go 200 laps around the shortest track they will visit all year.

Long time Sponsor Buzz Chew Chevy Cadillac is back to support Riverhead Raceway and NASCAR’s oldest division. They have been a constant at the historic rt 58 oval for decades. Their name will also be on the #88 of rookie Mike Rutkoski making his first Riverhead NASCAR WMT start of his career.

The solid field will be led by Long Island based drivers who have won every event NASCAR WMT race going back to the June 2014 Hoosier Tire 200 won by Eric Goodale, since then Justin Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito have won all the races with Justin holding a 5-3 edge over Timmy.

This year could be a different story, multi time champion Doug Coby is having a banner year and has been as strong as he has ever been in the Mayhew Tool #2. Craig Lutz looks strong every race and coming home to Long Island might get him his first win.

Local favorites Tom Rogers Jr could show all the invaders that its his track and after finishing second in the Islip 300 he would love to move up one spot and take the big money. John Fortin has had his best season in many years with his new LFR chassis and has been fast since opening night. While the 05 is listed as driver TBD, if its John Beatty he will be a stout competitor after taking the pole for the Islip 300 over the toughest field in history.

31 drivers will start the evening competing for the Mathew tools pole award and try to start from the front row at one of the toughest tracks to pass on the circuit. Blewett, Goodale, Silk, Pitkat, Swanson, Brunnhoelzl III, Emerling and a host of others will tighten the belts and try and take home the big cash from Long Island.

Take the Long Island Expressway, take a ferry, but come early and enjoy the day near the Long Island Hampton’s. Summer is here an the NASCAR WMT is back at the RT 58 Riverhead Raceway. 1/4 mile oval.

RACE DAY SCHEDULE Saturday July 6th : Garage Opens: 12:45 p.m., Final Practice: 3:15-4:30 p.m., Qualifying: 6 p.m., Riverhead Buzz Chew Chevy Cadillac 200: 8 p.m.

Entry List As of July 1st 2019

  Nbr Driver                   Owner CAR Crew Chief
1 01   Melissa Fifield   Kenneth Fifield Chevrolet   Jesse Prince   Crowells Towing
2 1   George Brunnhoelzl III   Eddie Harvey Chevrolet   Eddie Harvey   Dunleavys
3 2   Doug Coby   Mike Smeriglio III Chevrolet   Phil Moran   Mayhew Tools / AJ Romano
4 3   Matt Swanson   Jan Boehler Chevrolet   Greg Fournier   SYP Industries
5 05   TBA   Mark Mina Chevrolet   TBA   MSM Elite
6 06   Sam Rameau   Randy Rameau Chevrolet   Daniel Stebbins
7 07   Patrick Emerling   Jennifer Emerling Chevrolet   Jan Leaty   Sahlens
8 8   Roger Turbush   Pat Kennedy Toyota   TBA   Kennedy LI Realty
9 09   Tom Rogers,, Jr.   Sean Corsetti Chevrolet   Sean Corsetti   SGS Stoneworks
10 14   Blake Barney   Richard Barney Chevrolet   Robert Barney   Atlantic Sprinkler
11 16   Timmy Solomito   Eric Sanderson Ford   Stanley Szaban   RB Enterprise
12 18   Ken Heagy   Robert Pollifrone Ford   Desmond Gorman   Buoy One Seafood Restaurant
13 21   Jimmy Blewett   Joseph Bertuccio Chevrolet   Joseph Bertuccio   Gershow Recycling / Blewett Scrap
14 25   Calvin Carroll   Joe Carroll Chevrolet   Joe Carroll   Power With Prestige / Cruising With Betty
15 26   Gary McDonald   Sean McDonald Chevrolet   TBA   TBD
16 33   Wade Cole   Wade Cole Ford   Richard Rodenbaugh   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil / 1812 Auto
17 34   J.B. Fortin   Nicole Fortin Chevrolet   Jason Blatz   Golden Jalapeños Cafe
18 36   Frank Vigliarolo, Jr.   Judy Thilberg Dodge   Tommy Grasso   Sapienza Racing
19 38   Kyle Ellwood   Linda Rodenbaugh Chevrolet   Robert Bourne   Performance Engines / 1812 Paint & Body
20 45   Timmy Catalano   Dave Catalano Chevrolet   Zach Reissner   Catalano Motorsports
21 46   Craig Lutz   Russell Goodale Chevrolet   Douglas Ogiejko   Riverhead Building Supply
22 51   Justin Bonsignore   Kenneth Massa Chevrolet   Ryan Stone   Phoenix Communications Inc.
23 54   Tommy Catalano   Amy Catalano Chevrolet   Dave Catalano   Catalano Motorsports
24 58   Eric Goodale   Edgar Goodale Chevrolet   Jason Shephard   GAF Roofing
25 64   Rob Summers   Mike Murphy Chevrolet   Russell Montgomery   Dell Electric / Lumiere Electric
26 75   Chris Pasteryak   Charles Pasteryak Chevrolet   Cam McDermott   Dawleys Collision
27 78   Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.   Steven Sutcliffe Chevrolet   Kevin Anderson   Last Minute Racing
28 82   Woody Pitkat   Danny Watts Jr. Chevrolet   Jarod Zeltmann   Horton Avenue Materials
29 84   John Fortin   Nicole Fortin Chevrolet   TBA   Johns Fuel Oil Inc / Triangle Pub
30 85   Ron Silk   Kevin Stuart Chevrolet   Kenny Stuart   Stuarts Automotive
31 88   Mike Rutkoski   Buzz Chew Chevrolet   Aaron Clifford   Buzz Chew Motorsports