Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway

RISING LONG ISLAND DRIVING TALENT ARTIE PEDERSEN III ANNOUNCES 2019 TOUR TYPE MODIFIED PLANS TEAMING UP WITH NOTED MEADE BROTHERS RACING

Center Moriches, NY Feb. 23rd.


Second generation racer and rising Long Island driving talent Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches announced his 2019 plans over the weekend that will find him competing in a Tour Type Modified with hopes of racing a diverse schedule of events that will be contingent on sponsorship. The 22-year old youngster will align himself with John & George Meade known in racing circles as simply the Meade Brothers who bring with them six decades of racing experience of Modified car building and set-ups.


During his Sunday announcement Pedersen revealed “I’m happy to announce CheckerWon Motorsports has entered into a purchase/merge agreement for the potent Ken Vogel/Meade Brothers Racing Modified for the upcoming 2019 NASCAR Tour Type Modified season”. The soft spoken driver continued “I can’t thank Ken Vogel Sr., John & George Meade for their continued support and guidance as we move forward. We are actively seeking marketing partners and sponsorship for our new venture and we offer varying packages to potential partners”.

Ever since his first race in a Long Island Karting Association go kart “AP3” as he is known has found success behind the wheel. Pedersen won the 2008 LIKA Junior Yamaha title and two years later captured the Super Yamaha crown. Among his other accolades earned in his budding career include the 2015 Figure Eight Rookie of the Year at Riverhead Raceway as well the 2017 US Legend Cars New York State Pro championship. During that season Artie also captured his first open wheel victory in a SK Modified race at Bethel Speedway. 2018 found Pedersen tabbed to drive the Ben Vecchio Crate Modified at Riverhead Raceway where he was the top point earning freshman driver placing third in the final rankings winning a main event along the way.


John & George Meade have been longtime fixtures on the eastern Tour Type Modified scene dating back to the days of their youth at islip Speedway where their father George used to field the #9A NASCAR Modified for Bobby Holmberg. Not only did the team race the famed 1/5 of a mile at Islip but also usually made the trek for Friday night racing at the then paved Albany-Saratoga Speedway and any major paved Modified race up and down the eastern seaboard. John would later embark on a driving career of his own in his “Spirit In The Sky” #79 machines. While the Meade men worked away in the pit area their mother Freda was part of the Islip Speedway race day office staff.


One race the new combination has circled on their calendar given the Meade family heritage at Islip Speedway is the June 15th, 2019 Islip 300 at Riverhead Raceway to which Pedersen noted, “we are really excited for and looking forward to the Islip 300. John & George have so much history at Islip and this race means a lot to them”. Then Artie took the sentiment one step further disclosing “in honor of John & George we’re going to run the #79 on the car”.
As to what other or when they’ll race in 2019 Pedersen was direct “it all depends on sponsorship, if we find a partner who wants to race Riverhead weekly we are there. If they want to run some NASCAR Whelen Tour events or Valenti Modified Racing Series races or some of the Race Of Champions circuit, we will do that too. It is all about sponsorship backing at this point”.

For further information and marketing opportunities please contact Artie Pedersen III @ chkrwon5101@gmail.com

FESTIVE TURNOUT HELPS RIVERHEAD RACEWAY CELEBRATE 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS FRIDAY NIGHT

Riverhead, NY Jan. 11th By Bob Finan

Noah Watts Photos


Friday night at Giorgio’s of Baiting Hollow it was time to celebrate the 2018 Riverhead Raceway championship drivers and teams of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and Enduro competition as a festive crowd of 325 turned out at the gala affair hosted by Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz. Leading the 2018 parade of champions with both his NASCAR Modified and Late Model titles in ’18 was 22-year old Kyle Soper of Manorville.

All seven NASCAR Whelen All American Series champions received championship rings from Riverhead Raceway while the top five in each of those classes also taking home a 2018 point fund check and plaque.

Modified Champion Kyle Soper with his 2018 Big Brother Big Sister Trophy

In his first full season as the driver of the Wayne & Joette Anderson owned NASCAR Modified Kyle Soper would pilot the Eastport Feeds Chevy to victory lane three times earning his first ever NASCAR Modified title. For Wayne Anderson the 2018 championship was his 7th overall at the track having won five as a driver and now two as a car owner. For the second consecutive year Soper won the Late Model title for car owner Rob Pelis with that effort also backed by the Corwin family of Eastport Feeds. Kyle won three LM features in route to the crown.

Crate Modifed Champion Michael Rutkoski

Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was honored as the 2018 Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified champion winning six of the sixteen races contested driving for his grandfather Buzz Chew. Rutkoski had to survive a tight championship battle with close friend Justin Brown before laying claim to the championship in his Buzz Chew Chevrolet entry. 2018 Figure Eight champion

Figure 8 Champion Tom Rogers Jr.

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead simply dominated the class in 2018 on his way to a fifth career title. Wheeling the Keith Repp owned United Exhaust Shop Chevy Coupe Tom won 8 of the 11 races run.

Blunderbust Champion Jack Handley Jr.


Also dominant on his way to his third career Blunderbust championship would be 22-year old Jack Handley Jr. of Medford who won 8 of the 14 races run in ’18 steering his Relle Electric Chevy owned by his Mom Cyndi. Handley indicated he’ll make a title run in the Super Pro Trucks in 2019 in a Mike Albasini owned entry.

Super Pro Truck Champion Mark Stewart

The 2018 Super Pro Truck champion Mark Stewart of Riverhead also turned in a dominant performance on his way to his first career title in the Andre Vega owned East End Builders Chevy winning 7 of the 12 races contested.

INEX Legends Champion Jim Sylvester

Another driver enjoying a first career championship was 2018 INEX Legend Race Car kingpin Jim Sylvester of Massapequa who won three races along the way in his 860 Racing entry which he self owns and fields with a very modest sized team.


Dave Antos of Lindenhurst was feted for his 2018 Street Stock championship, his third overall at the track having won two Grand Enduro titles in the past. Antos was a two time winner in his CR Customs Chevy during the season. Soft spoken Paul Wojcik of Centereach won the 2018 Mini Stock title, the second career championship for the driver of the VDR Graphics machine having won a 4/6-Cylinder championship in the past. Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point repeated as the Truck Enduro champion with his Abner Tree Experts team.


Two drivers who enjoyed a first career championship in 2018 were Jarred Halsey of Southampton in the 8-Cylinder class and Gut & Go champion Christian Conklin of Riverhead. Jarred now joins his father Brian as a 8-Cylinder champ at the track and the driver of the Sabrosa Mexican Grill entry dedicated the championship to his later grandfather “Hot Rod” Halsey who also ran Riverhead Raceway. Conklin’s path to the Gut & Go title was a dominant one with the driver of the Spit Speed Shop Hyundai honoring his late mother Fran during his championship speech.


Six Rookie of the Year drivers were saluted during the ceremony with Roger Turbush the top freshman driver in the NASCAR Modifieds. Charles Macwhinnie (Late Models), Chris Rogers (Crate Modifieds), Russ Jansen (Blunderbusts), Tom Sullivan (Super Pro Trucks) and Scott Cheslak Legend Race Cars) all taking Rookie of the Year honors as well. There were no eligible drivers in the Figure Eight division in 2018.


Fan voting via the track web page determined the 2018 Most Popular Driver in nine of the twelve divisions with those drivers announced Friday night. Kyle Soper (Mods & Late Model), Justin Brown (Crate Mods), Tom Ferrara (Figure 8), Alyssa Paprocky (Blunderbusts), Jimmy Rennick Jr. (Super Pro Trucks), Allan Pedersen (Legends), Brian Brown (Street Stocks) and Russ Jansen (Mini Stocks) were all voted Most Popular Driver.


Led by GM John Ellwood with Mike Cappiello, Randy Murray and Tom Gatz banquet hosts Bob Finan and Stephen Halpin completed all the award presentations in one hour allowing attendees three hours to socialize, enjoy a gourmet meal with dessert and dance to the sounds of the band Noiz until the clock struck midnight.


The 2019 season will commence at Riverhead Raceway with opening weekend set for Saturday night May 4th and Sunday afternoon May 5th. The complete 2019 schedule of events can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com. To contact the track forward an e-mail to riverheadraceway1@gmail.com. The track phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY KICKING OFF 69TH SEASON OF RACING WITH OPENING WEEKEND MAY 4TH & 5TH, WEDNESDAY NIGHT SHOWS AND RAIN DATES ANNOUNCED

Riverhead, NY Jan 6th

By Bob Finan


Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz released their 2019 event schedule on New Year’s Day with the 69th season of racing and family entertainment at the historic quarter mile oval getting underway with opening weekend Saturday evening May 4th and Sunday afternoon May 5th. The 2019 slate of events features plenty of new twists and turns along with way, most noticeably the implementation of Wednesday night rain dates for full card Saturday night rain outs where applicable. The promotional trio also revealed in the new schedule they’ll stage three regularly scheduled Wednesday night events in 2019. Riverhead Raceway like so many tracks in the Northeast during a soggy 2018 season was besieged by rain having suffered 8 washouts along the way. 

The NASCAR Whelen All American Series weekly menu of racing will be headlined by the NASCAR Modifieds who’ll find their weekly feature event distance increased to 50-laps. The open wheel warriors will have many special races dotting the 2019 slate  including the 3rd annual Islip 300 on Saturday June 15th with the race now carrying double track points. Another signature race returning for 2019 will be the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 that will compliment the annual Cromarty Wall of Champions induction ceremony on Saturday evening July 27th. Other extra distance races planned for 2019 include the 69th Year Celebration event Saturday June 29th and a 100-lap affair set for Whelen Engineering Night September 14th. Three 75-lap feature event races are also on the new schedule taking place on May 11th, June 1st & August 24th. In total 19 scheduled points paying events are scheduled for the NASCAR Modifieds of Riverhead Raceway in 2019.


The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make their two customary visits to the Route 58 oval on Saturday evening July 6th and again Saturday September 7th featuring 200 lap events. The regulars of the WMT consider the two Riverhead races “wild card” events that can quickly change the complexion of the 2019 championship chase. 

The backbone of the Whelen All American Series are the various support division that compliment the NASCAR Modifieds weekly and all six of those classes will be in action for opening night

Saturday May 4th. The INEX legend Race Cars will be nearly as busy as the Mod Squad this year going to post 18 times during the spring & summer. The Late Models, Crate Modifieds, Blunderbusts and Super Pro Trucks all go to post 15 times with the Figure Eights in action 13 times in ’19. The Street Stocks as well the Mini Stocks will race 12 times in the new year. The newly announced Vintage All Stars will see action on 4 occasions.


Another new twist in 2019 finds the Enduro racers having just two stand alone Sunday events book ending the schedule on opening weekend Sunday May 5th and then final weekend Sunday September 29th. The loyal “Enduromania” racers will transition more towards Saturday night racing in 2019. The Truck and 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro classes have 7 races planned while the 8-Cylinder class is scheduled for 6 races.


The first of the three Wednesday night shows will entertain fans on July 10th and be followed by mid week events on August 7th and August 28th. The final Wednesday night will be the 2nd annual Back to School special with a special event to be announced at a later date.


The new Wednesday rain date policy for 2019 is explained on the Riverhead Raceway schedule as follows: “In the event of a full card rain out on a Saturday, Riverhead Raceway will attempt to make up the event on the Wednesday following that rained out event date. Exceptions to this will be all Whelen Modified Tour events. Possible exceptions to this may also include, but are not limited to: Any special event such as the Islip 300, Fireworks night, INEX National Qualifier, etc. Riverhead Raceway will communicate any possible rain dates as soon as a decision is made.”

The 2019 schedule is again chock full of fun and exciting family entertainment attractions including 4-Cylinder Demolition Derbies, Fireworks, School Bus Figure Eight & Demolition Derby events, Monster Trucks and Kids Big Wheel races. New in ’19 will be a Mini School Bus/Van Demolition Derby contest.


Two practice days will preview the new season of racing Saturday afternoons April 20th & 27th featuring free grandstand admission for spectators. The track Technical Inspection staff will host two Safety Tech inspection days Saturday April 6th & 13th, no car can take to the track on the two practice days without first going through and passing Safety Tech.

Complete details as to what is happening, new & exciting in 2019 at Riverhead Raceway can be found at www.riverheadraceway.com. Marketing and race sponsorship opportunities are plentiful for 2019 with further details available by e-mailing the track at riverheadraceway1@gmail.com. The track phone number remains 631-842-RACE.