Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway


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


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.