So with carefully thought out planning and preparation we decided to go to Riverhead Raceway for the Islip 300 this past weekend. After the ROC race at Lake Erie Speedway and the Bullring Bash at White Mountain Motorsports Park were rained out we made the phone calls around 2 pm Friday and were delighted to find out they were willing to let me race in the Islip 300.
With two hours to prepare we shifted gears and began to get ready for our new destination. We set about the task of converting the car from White Mountain over to what we needed for Riverhead. This did not involve any re scaling or gear changes, instead we spent the time we had make a stubby nose and adding bracing to the front bumper… little did I know we would need more then I had added.
We unloaded and we weren’t fast, way too tight. With three people in the pits and trying to get 7 tires figured out for later the whole day kind of got away from me. You can only do so much and by the time I knew it was time for time trials. We managed to put the left side tires on backwards and timed with less then 3 inches of stagger, my fault. I told Steven I wanted to swap lefts after time trials but I didn’t explain that they were currently marked for there eventual race time placement. Miscue…
It was an impound race so I didn’t have my usual time to come up with a plan. We didn’t have enough gear, the car needed wholesale changes but we were kind of stuck. We had 15 minuets to work before the race so I did what I thought was best and we headed out.
They say 300 laps click off quick at the head. I did not experience this sensation, I was in for a long night. We started out free which was new. We clicked off some spots and worked our way up from 19th only to get shoved into a wreck on lap 25. I could see my bumper pointing straight up in the air, but the tires were fine so we kept trucking along.
The car became tight after this, I assumed I bent the left side of the front frame section up and thus had preloaded the sway bar. We pitted to try and free it up but for the most part I would be grabbing two bites of the wheels for the rest of the night.
It was hard to roll through one and two and as much as I tried to stay out of trouble it seemed to find me often. I became the popular car to run into if you needed a caution, on some instances I’m not sure I did my best to save the car once they had me halfway around as I myself didn’t hate the prospect of some slow laps to catch my breath.
Around halfway things got worse. A “friend” hip checked me hard in the left front and jammed up my electric power steering unit. He also gave me a flat left front and we didn’t have a spare so we had to put the left rear on that we started the race with. The car was very hard to drive after that. The rack had free play from the hit and the car was very darty and unpredictable. If I could run by myself I could hang onto it but it was very hard to go side by side with anyone without bouncing off the wall.
Despite all of this, we managed to stay on the lead lap all day and once the sun went down the car started to feel a little better around lap 175. We hung onto the bumper of the red number 5 and I followed him up into the top ten until about fifty to go. This was the only part of the race where I felt we ran respectable. Not good, but we got better. I learned a better line following the red 5 car and we improved. With 50 to go a couple cars upfront pitted and we restarted in 5th. We kept our place for a couple of restarts but one the pit stop cars came I didn’t want to risk to much with my steering issues and all, but we settled into 7th or 8th.
With 15 to go we got turned around by a car that needed a lucky dog. He spun me to the right down the back stretch, all I could think about was how pissed I was going to be to put 285 laps on my engine and not finish the damn race. I gassed it and managed to slap the wall in a way that wouldn’t take me out. We got turned back around and I made it my mission to try and get a top ten.
We got a good start and I clipped off a couple guys only to get tangled up again with 8 to go. Someone jumped my left rear and we went spinning. I grabbed a gear and got back inline in front of the cars that crashed with us.
Many cars that had less drama then us were sitting pit side. My race had turned into a test of what we could endure. Its not a race I am proud of, it was in fact a race that I will be quick to forget. I am certain my better qualities as a driver were not on display this evening, but I have never been one to accept when it just isn’t my day.
I had spent 292 laps getting shoved around, driven over and breaking pieces on my car. The steering was so far off that I had to take two grabs of the wheel every corner of every lap, I have never noticed myself doing this before. We were still rolling though and a top ten was within reach. If I have one talent in a race car that never lets me down, even on my bad days its that I am a hard to kill. We weren’t out yet.
The green dropped and again I made my mischief of the restarts before I fell in line and tried to hold on. I did what I could to hold place and keep an eye on the front pack in case of a crash. On the last lap I saw a car go spinning and everyone scatter. Sue called on my radio what I could already see. As her warnings came through she let go of the push to talk and the radio reminded me one last time that the battery was dying, perfect I thought to myself. I kept my foot on the gas and weaved my way though. I knew I was around 10th and I did not want to slow down and get passed. We made it through and crossed the line.
I called up to the spotter. Top 10? No answer. Again, did I make it back to the top 10? Where was I? Finally Sue answered. Yup! 9th! Which was exciting since ninth place paid the exact amount of my tire bill. That is a win! Other then the 6 wheels and the 84 dollars those crooks charged me to cross the George Washington bridge with an open deck trailer I think we did OK. We made the most of a very bad night where we were not 100 percent and finished 300 laps at the Head in the top ten. That’s not the goal we started with, we always want to win but considering the obstacles it felt OK on this night.
Big thank you to Jake, Steve and Sue for coming with. Big thanks to the Riverhead Raceway and all of its fans for being so welcoming and thoughtful whenever they talked to me. It was cool. We will be back someday and much smarter as far as what we need to do. For the moment though I think my 300 laps has satisfied my Riverhead ambitions for awhile.
As in the first two Islip 300 contests at Riverhead Raceway the 3rd annual edition of what has quickly become a short track classic had it’s share of pit strategy, extended green flag runs and late race drama. In the end defending NASCAR Modified champion Kyle Soper of Manorville would hold off a torrid late race challenge of Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead to take home the $7,000 victory for he and car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. It was Soper’s 4th win of 2019 but by far the biggest of his budding career.
John Beatty Jr. would click off the quickest lap in qualifying in his MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy with a lap of 11.532 earning a $300 bonus from Brigandi Brothers Automotive of Nesconset while Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct was second quick at 11.564. Beatty and Preece brought the 23-car Islip 300 field to green with Preece gaining an early advantage over Beatty at the throw of the green flag. In the 2018 300 Preece’s game plan was to pout as many cars a lap down as he could before pitting in and around the 200 lap mark of the race. However this year with 23 cars, the largest field to date for the 300 on hand and a splattering of early race yellow flag the first of which flew on lap 6 for Roger Turbush who damaged his right front after catching the wall last years game plan was out the window. Preece would lead the early going dictating the pace of the race with Beatty in his tire tracks. Then during a caution flag slowdown the unthinkable occurred when Preece’s car came to a stop at the turn three exit gate on lap 28 unable to move due to a drive shaft malfunction.
When the field line-up for the restart It was John Beatty assuming the race lead with John Fortin Sr. now second and the two Riverhead regulars would run that way until lap 46 when Fortin moved under Beatty for the race lead. On lap 60 Kyle Soper who started the race 4th made his way by Beatty for second and he’d follow leader Fortin for the next 56 laps before moving out front with an inside pass entering the first turn on lap 117. As the cautions fell after the 100-lap mark teams starting revealing their tire strategy with several team ducking in for their change tires either 1, 2 or all 3 tires that were allotted for the race. Craig Lutz made his presence known when he made his way to second on lap 126 during a double file restart. Soper and Lutz both graduates of the former go-kart program at the track would run one-two until lap 155 when Lutz changed the running order by taking the lead from Soper.
As the race bore down on the 200 lap marker all but a quartet of the top running cars Lutz, Soper, Rogers and Jon McKennedy had been in for tires and as the race ran a long green flag period the four drivers struggled to keep their cars under them. This allowed Eric Goodale who was one of the teams to pit between the 100-200 lap mark to march his way to second in quick order and by lap 205 Goodale became the new race leader with Soper second. For the four drivers who had yet to pit it looked as though their game plan was going up in smoke when suddenly Lutz would spin off turn two. Unfortunately for Craig his car stalled in the spin and would not re fire right away putting him two laps down. However he along with Soper, Rogers and McKennedy roared into the pits for their much need change tires.
When the race resumed on lap 258 Goodale led Beatty but all eyes were on the drivers who had fresher rubber with all four on the march. Soper moved by Beatty on lap 264 for second and after chasing and catching Goodale over the next 11 laps Kyle would move to the race lead on lap 276. Just one lap later Tom Rogers Jr. worked by Goodale for second and he drive right up to challenge Soper for the rich victory. Some well placed cautions late in the race found Lutz awarded the lucky dog twice putting him back on the lead lap. With the race format having caution laps count up until lap 290 a yellow flag waved just prior to lap 290 and it would set up a dash for the cash between Riverhead rivals Soper and Rogers.
During those final ten laps it was evident Rogers had a better car from the center of the corner off as Soper’s car tightened up but Kyle was wise wise enough to slow his car up in the center of the turns stalling any run to the inside Rogers was attempting to make. The final 10-laps of the race alone were worth the price of admission with Kyle Soper prevailing in his Eastport Feeds Chevy as the large crowd on hand roared with approval.
“This is awesome” Soper boasted upon exiting his car and receiving the unique Islip 300 trophy created by ASI Racewear, “Tommy had a better car no doubt, I had to back up the corners so he couldn’t get a run off under me, I’m sure if the roles were reversed he’d do the same”. The triumph was Kyle’s 13 career win tying him with Frank Vigliarolo Jr. and Justin Bonsignore on the all time win list. “I say it all the time but I just can’t say enough about Wayne & Joette, the Corwin family of Eastport Feeds, Dr. Martha Baker, DDS and all our partners but especially my Dad Tom, he spends countless hours on this car and it shows”.
Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, who marked his 41st birthday on Father’s Day was runner-up in his Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy and reflected afterwards, “I was trying to gain a run on Kyle underneath but he did a great job protecting his lead. I have to thank Gino Tucci of Evolution Race Engines, we had a cracked cylinder head and he had the engine back to us on Wednesday, great team effort”.
Craig Lutz of Miller Place saved his night in a big way roaring back to third in his Riverhead Building Supply entry, “kinda messed up when I spun and couldn’t get it started back up but the cautions fell right for the lucky dog, I think we needed one more caution though” Lutz said through a smile. “My Goodie Racing team and I weren’t sure if we were going to race the race or just practice, we had a good night and learned some things for the WMT race here July 6th” Lutz concluded.
Eirc Goodale of Riverhead was fourth in his GAF Roofing entry after having started the race from 16th earning him the “Ironman” Sonny Densieski Hard Charger of the Race worth $400 from the Densieski family. John McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma was fifth in the throwback 747 car of Tommy Baldwin Racing, a bright orange color scheme in tribute to Tom Baldwin Sr’s Falcon he ran at Islip Speedway early in his racing career.
Chris Rogers of Patchogue has waited a long time to visit victory lane at Riverhead Raceway never having done so in his INEX Legend Race Car driving days but now the wait is over as Chris won the 25-lap Crate Modified main event. After winning his heat race Jason Hansen jumped to the race lead at the start with Mike Albasini on his rear spoiler. Hansen also seeking his first career win at the track had it all come apart on lap 8 when his car tightened up in the third and fourth turn, Hansen tried to correct the car but instead he spun drawing a caution flag. That put Albasini into the lead for the restart with rookie driver Sean Glennon alongside for the restart and when the race went back green Glennon rode the outside lane to the race lead. Undaunted Albasini came back two laps later and passed Glennon for the lead on lap 11. The lead tandem also had Dave Brigati and Justin Brown hot on their heels in third and fourth and on lap 13 the dicing got too close as all four wound up coming together off turn two. That turn of events moved Chris Rogers into the race lead with impressive rookie Matt Brode now second. For the remainder of the race Chris, cousin to NASCAR Modified & Figure Eight standout Tom Rogers Jr. kept his Captain Ralph’s Seafood Safari Chevy out front for the remainder of the race for his first career win at his home track. His only regret, “my folks who missed my only Legends win at Bethel Speedway were away at a family function today and missed this one too” Chris revealed. Matt Brode of East Islip in the Milro Environmental Chevy was a career best second while championship leader Justin Brown of Manorville raced his was back to a third place finish in the SoBol Acai Bowls of Manorville Chevy.
Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead scored his second Blunderbust win of 2019 when he topped a competitive 20-lap main event field. Alyssa Paprocky and Eddie Diaz brought the field to green with Diaz from the outside pole taking the early race lead. Laird quickly made his way to second on lap 2 from his 4th starting berth and one lap later made his way by Diaz for the race lead with an inside pass in the third and fourth corner. Despite surrendering the lead Diaz hung tough with Laird before he was overtaken with five laps in the race by Cody Triola. With just five laps remaining Triola right away turned up the heat on Laird for the win but in the end the driver of the My Country 96.1 FM Caprice was not going to give up the lead or trip to victory lane, the 9th of his career. Triola of Bay Shore was runner-up in the Drexler Construction racer while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford made it interesting in the closing laps before claiming third in the Relle Electric Chevy.
Six racers into the 2019 INEX Legend Race Car season one thing has become evident with the class that in the past has been uncharacteristic is the rough and tumble nature of their 20-lap features. Such was the case Saturday and when all the dust settled Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches did a masterful job of avoiding the carnage to post his first win of the season, second of his career. Rookie Joseph Costello broke to the early lead at the outset with Scott Cheslak second. However Cheslak’s night was over as fast as it started when on lap two a shove from behind found him in the turn one wall, Kevin Nowak was sent to the rear for contact. That adjusted the running order to Costello the new leader and George Tomko Jr. second when this young tandem lined-up for the double file restart disaster struck as the two cars locked together off turn four hitting the wall hard. Both drivers were transported and later released from a local hospital returning to the track. This latest turn moved Jason Castaldo to the race lead with Riely O’Keefe and Pedersen in close quarters. Lap 6 saw O’Keefe make a daring 3-wide move which allowed Pedersen to get by him for second with Allan’s forward momentum eventually carrying him by Castaldo as well for the lead lap 6. O’Keefe was able to pas Castaldo for second and he’d chase Pedersen over the following 4 laps before he was passed by former champion Vinny Delaney at the halfway mark. However there would be no stopping college sophomore Allan Pedersen from bringing his Ricco’s Clothing entry under the checker flag first for the win. Dealney of Holtsville on his Fine Design Landscaping mount was second with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches third in his Hampton Fleet Service machine.
Jimmy Reed of Central Islip at the spry age of 82-year young won the 15-lap Vintage All Stars event proclaiming it to be his first win in over 50-years! Mark Miller paced the race for the first two laps before Reed in his Tango Argentinean Steak House Cavalier swooped by on the outside for the lead on lap 3 and once out front Reed, who still drives his self owned oil delivery truck in the winter marched off to a very popular win.
Islip 300: 1. Kyle Soper 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Craig Lutz 4. Eric Goodale 5. Jon McKennedy 6. John Fortin Sr. 7. David Schneider 8. Dylan Slepian 9. Andy Jankowiak 10. John Beatty Jr. 11. Howie Brode 12. Michael Rutkoski 13. Sam Rameau 14. CJ Lehmann 15. Dave Brigati 16. Calvin Carroll 17. Artie Pedersen III 18. Jimmy Blewett 19. Chris Young 20. John Baker 21. Ryan Preece 22. Max Zachem 23. Roger Turbush Crate Modifieds: 1. Chris Rogers 2. Matt Brode 3. Justin Brown 4. Terry Stiles 5. Peter Bertuccio 6. AJ DeSantis 7. Sean Glennon 8. Mike Alabsini 9. Dennis Krupski 10. Jack Handley Jr. 11. Jason Hansen 12. Charles Macwhinnie 13. Dave Brigati 14. Carey Rogers Blunderbusts: 1. Jim Laird Jr. 2. Cody Triola 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. Eddie Diaz 7. Cassandra Denis 8. Jarrett Campbell 9. Alyssa Paprocky 10. Kyle Halpin 11. Brian Midgett Jr. 12. Bill Wegmann Sr. 13. Russ Jansen DNS- Joe Warren Jr. Legend Race Cars: 1. Allan Pedersen 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Riely O’Keefe 5. Eric Hersey 6. Ray Fitzgerald 7. Jeff Otto Jr. 8. Jason Castaldo 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Kevin Nowak 11. Pat Moore 12. Mike Benton 13. Steve Woytysiak 14. Tyler DeSantis 15. Alex Halinar 16. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 17 Jeff Castaldo 18. Rich Braun 19. David Strohmeyer 20. Chris Sinatro 21. Nick Morabito 22. Joseph Braun 23. Jim Sylvester 24. Ken Massa Jr. 25. Joseph Costello 26. Scott Cheslak 27. George Tomko Jr.
The road to Roger Turbush’s first career NASCAR Modified victory at Riverhead Raceway may have been a bumpy one but the Riverhead native rode it out over numerous double file restarts and a late race challenge from former three time track champion John Fortin of Holtsville to finally reach NASCAR Modified nirvana. The rough and tumble 50-lap affair was the final tune up before the 3rd annual Islip 300 this Saturday June 15th with many teams facing a long week of work in the race shop prior to the $7,000 to win race. Two drivers seeking their first NASCAR Modified triumph brought the field to green with Roger Turbush and Eric Zeh making up the front row and the duo diced side by side for the lead over the first two circuits before Turbush took sole possession of the top spot on lap 3. Zeh tucked into second and seemed to be having a career night going for him but that all came to a grinding halt when he received contact from behind turning him into the third turn exit gate ending his night. Tom Rogers Jr. was sent to the rear of the field
by NASCAR officials for contact. When the race resumed after the Zeh clean-up Turbush was now joined on the front row by and equally as hungry driver who also was seeking his first win, Chris Young. Turbush, a third generation wheel man and Young a second generation talent went at it heavy and hard for the race lead trading paint and clanging nerf bars along the way with either driver more guilty or innocent than the other. Their fight for the lead was so intense that during another yellow flag period officials spoke with both drivers and warned them of elimination from the race if they continued to race each other too hard.
With Turbush trying to keep the hard pressing Young and bay the due slowed the pace of the race allowing John Baker to reel them in and join the battle. Baker jumped to the outside of the dueling duo and on lap 26 was scored second just before yet another caution flag waved setting up a race changing restart. While Turbush and Baker made up the front row of the restart Young sat third behind Turbush and John Fortin Sr. who started the race 15th now sat fourth. When the race went back green Young appeared to shove Turbush into the first corner moving the leader up the hill some and into second place Baker who slapped the first turn wall ending his race with heavy damage. It was during the Baker clean-up that NASCAR officials based on their earlier warning excused Chris Young from the remainder of the race.
When the race resumed once again Turbush broke out front of Fortin who now sat second and a fast closing Kyle Soper who was making his way back through the field after he was caught up in the Zeh incident on lap 18. Veteran race fans sat and wondered how long it would be before Fortin, a 32-time career winner would make his bid for the lead and win on Turbush while the leader as is his right protected his lead with a vengeance. Aiding Turbush late in the race was Soper‘s challenges of Fortin for second allowing the 30-time Super Pro Truck winner a brief respite.
As the laps clicked off late it became apparent that Roger Turbush was going to realize the dream of a lifetime which he indeed did crossing under the checker flag first after the rough race. “I always imagined what this moment would feel like and now here it is” Roger shared in victory lane. “I can’t say enough about Kennedy Long Island Realty for having the faith in me to wheel this car and my loving wife and son Stephanie & Gavin who sacrifice time with me to allow me to chase my dreams” the happy winner added. As for the earlier racing for the lead Turbush claimed, “we were both racing hard for our first win but Chris kept driving into my door but we made it through”.
John Fortin of Holtsville was runner-up in his John’s Fuel Oil Chevy and lamented of what could have been afterwards, “I didn’t get enough heat in the right front on one of the restarts and the car took off and just touched the wall. Hats off to Roger and his team he did a great job”. Despite his front bumper leaning on the radiator of his Eastport feeds Chevy Kyle Soper of Manorville was third at the conclusion. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and Dave Brigati of Calverton completed the top five.
The Tom Rogers Jr. Figure Eight express rolled on in the 20-lap Figure Eight main event as the defending champion won his third race in four starts this season. In the early going Vinny Delaney paced the race at the start chased for the first lap by Bryan Quilliam. A lap 2 restart saw Quilliam replaced in second by Gary Fritz Jr. but his time in the challengers position would be short lived as Tom Rogers Jr. who started 9th in the race made his way by on lap 4 to now challenge leader Delaney. Try as he might to ward off his challenger Delaney would yield the lead on lap 5 to Rogers and the news got worse for Vinny as Tom’s teammate Eric Zeh followed in the new leaders tire tracks to come to second. As has been the case so many times before once the two Keith Repp Chevy Coupes are out front they very rarely if at all relinquish their advantage and such was the case with Rogers taking career win #46. Zeh of Selden was second in the United Exhaust Shop Chevy while early leader Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was third in the Northeastern Office Equipment entry.
The Super Pro Trucks competed in a 30-lap event with time trials setting the field with Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach setting fast time with a lap of 13.338 earning him the pole. Rennick broke to the lead at the throw of the green with Jack Handley Jr in tow for the first lap before he was overtaken on lap 2 by Mark Stewart who ducked under Handley exiting the second turn. Laps two through eight found Rennick leading Stewart, Handley and fourth place Lou Maestri as the quartet ran in nose to tail. The race would go green to checker without a caution flag with the action picking up as the race was nearly a third of the way complete. On the 8th lap entering the third turn Handley jumped to the outside of Rennick successfully taking over the lead. Once to the front Handleywas able to scamper away as Rennick and Stewart raced for second with Mark grabbing the spot on lap 12 with a pass in turn four. Over the final 18 laps there would be no catching Jack Handley in the Mike Albasini owned Hollis Court Collision Chevy as he drove off to his 5th career SPT win, second of ’19. Defending champion Mark Stewart of Riverhead was runner-up in the East End Building Chevy while Lou Maestri
The INEX Legend Race Cars went 20-laps and for the second week in a row their race featured a case of yellow fever but while under green the contest was a spirited and competitive affair with RichieDavidowitz of East Moriches winning his third race of 2019. Scott Cheslak, 2018 Rookie of the Year broke to the early race lead chased for the first two laps by young lion Stephen Coleman. Veteran driver Kevin Nowak made his way into the tussle for the race lead and on lap 3 passed Coleman for seocnd. Riding the wave of momentum Nowak seeking his 10th career win made an inside pass of Cheslak for the lead on the front stretch to take control of the race. Two laps later Cheslak would yield second to impressive rookie Jason Castaldo on lap 6 but another tested tough veteran was on the march as RichieDavidowitz worked his way by Castaldo for second on lap 7 with an inside pass in the third and fourth turn. From that point the race for the lead and win would boil down to Nowak and Davidowitz who in the past have shared Kevin’s enclosed trailer for trips off L.I. with “Big Money” Davidowitz jumping to the outside of Nowak as they barreled down the back stretch for the race lead. Once in the lead RichieDavidowitz led the remainder of the race in his Hampton Fleet Service coupe to collect his 23rd career win. Kevin Nowak of Medford was second in his JTEC Electric sedan while reining champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was third in his Oval Speed coupe.
In Street Stock action Eric Zeh won his third race of the season when he topped their 30-lap main event. Defending champion David Antos blistered the track in qualifying setting a new track record with a lap of 14.146 but in the redraw picked starting berth 6. Wesley Sammon broke to the early race lead at the start of the race with RhettFogg in pursuit. Fogg ran second until lap 3 when he was overhauled by Eric Zeh who executed on outside pass on Rhett. Once to second it was a battle of cousins for the race lead as Sammon paced Zeh, both in Frank Curtis MotorsportsChevys. Lap 5 saw Zeh duck to the inside of Sammon as they raced down the backstretch putting his Best Built Construction Monte Carlo into the lead. Once out front there was no reeling in Zeh who drove off to his division leading 7th career win. Wesley Sammon of Southampton was runner-up in his sponsor wanted machine with RhettFogg of Westhampton third in the McBetts Racing Engines Chevy.
Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge put on a driving clinic when he won the 20-lap Mini Stock feature event with a daring pass for the lead thrown in for good measure. Newcomer James O’Connell paced the race from the outset and was chased by another new driver Matt Stawecki who ran second for the first 3 circuits.
Paul Wojcik seeking his third win in a row made his way to second on lap 4 but one lap later the move of the race would be forthcoming courtesy of Joe warren Jr. In one clean sweep Warren entering the third turn passed Wojcik and then with O’Connell going wide around a lapped car Joe pounced and threaded the needle between O’Connell and the lapped car to take the lead a quarter way through the race, this after starting last. From that point forward it was all Joe Warren Jr in his self funded racer taking his first career Mini Stock win. Wojcik of Centereach was second in his Energy Kinetics mount while Justin Squires of Flanders despite clipping the wall during the race came home third in his Roadworks Construction machine. In the 40-lap Gut & Go 4/6-Cylinder event Christian Conklin of Riverhead was slated to start 9th but the driver who has totally dominated the class the past two years voluntarily dropped to the rear of the 33-car field self testing his skills as well as wanting to put on a show for the fans. Mission accomplished as Conklin in his Spit’s Speed Shop Hyundai charged his way through the field to take the race lead on lap 27 and then pull away for yet another win. Christian has won all but one race over the 2018 and current season. Another wild and entertaining 15-lap School Bus Figure Eight race was contested with “Irish” Mike O’Keefe of Manorville coming out on top after a race long duel with
Kevin Rommeney of Maspeth. Rommeney is an actual New York City MTA bus driver with his route in Brooklyn as well a former Legend Race Car competitor. O’Keefe lost the lead more than one to Rommeney but roared back each time to claim the popular win.
Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Eric Zeh 3. Vinny Delaney 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. Brian Hansen 6. Paul Cummings 7. Scott Pedersen 8. Bob Dalke 9. Joe Warren Jr. 10. Bryan Quilliam 11. CJLehmannDQ– Tom Ferrara, Ken Hyde Jr.
Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Justin Squires 4. Tom Puccia 5. Chris Elixson 6. Jamie Meyer 7. Matt Stawecki 8. James O’Connell 9. Martin O’Connell 10. Joe Cooke Jr. 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro: Winner- Christian Conklin School Bus Figure Eight race: Winner- Mike O’Keefe