Category Archives: Riverhead Raceway


Riverhead, NY Sept. 14th.
While the hot August nights have evolved into cooler September evenings Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead remains hot at Riverhead Raceway as he again scored double victories Saturday night winning the Whelen First Responder Night 100 NASCAR Modified event and just moments later the 15-lap Figure Eight feature. The 100-lap win was Rogers 4th of the season and 56th of his career while the Figure Eight triumph was his 9th of 2019 and 52nd of his career.

John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville making his final start of 2019 set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.725 as the final car out but the top six would be inverted for the 100 with Jason Agugliaro and John Baker making up the front row after timing in 6th and 5th quickest. Baker would get the measure of Agugliaro when the race went green as the duo ran 1-2 over the first three laps. The complexion of the race would totally change on lap 3 as Tom Rogers Jr. who started 3rd in the contest made one clean and swift pass of the lead tandem to take the lead of the race. Baker chased Rogers for a lap before he was passed for position by defending NASCAR Modified champion Kyle Soper on lap 5 as Soper dipped under Baker entering the third turn. 

As Soper made his way to second many on hand were anticipating a fierce battle for the lead and the win between Rogers and Soper but that battle never did develop as Rogers in his Denise & Ken Darch owned machine was spot on for the entire 100- lap distance. Soper in the later stages of the race had his mirror fill up with former three time track champion John Fortin who peppered the current championship leader for the remainder of the race.

As the checkers flew it was Tom Rogers Jr. sitting in victory lane now just seven wins behind “Charging” Charlie Jarzombek for the all time lead in NASCAR Modified wins at the track, “what can I say about my car owners” Rogers offered after exiting the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy. “After our last race two weeks ago before the tour race Kenny stripped the car Sunday morning to a bare frame and took it to Meade’s Fabricating just to check it out. I mean we have three races left this year but that is a testament to how Denise & Kenny run their team, I’m just happy to drive for them.”

Kyle Soper of Manorville was runner-up in Wayne & Joette Anderson’s Chevy noting afterwards, “there was no sense in me pushing the envelope tonight I think we pretty much wrapped up out second championship in a row tonight”. Indeed with two races left Soper enjoys a 69-point bulge over Rogers with Tommy needing full 20 car fields to show up for the final two races of 2019 which is highly unlikely. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville was third in the John’s Fuel Oil Chevy while John Baker of Brookhaven and Chris Young of Calverton completed the top five.

Chris Turbush of Wading River has found his Late Model stride later in the 2019 campaign winning his second straight feature and fourth overall this season. Shawn Patrick paced the race over the first 3 circuits before eight time winner and championship leader Jeremy McDermott made his way by for the lead on lap 4. McDermott who dominated the first half of the LM season would find his hopes for victory dashed when the red hot Chris Turbush took over the top spot on lap 15 with an inside pass. Once out front Turbush put his B&N Moving Chevy on cruise control to notch his 17th career win in the class. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters took advantage of a McDermott bobble in lapped traffic to claim runner-up money in the Steve Mehner Race Engines entry while Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead rallied back for a third place tally in the Eastport Feeds Pontiac.

Tom Rogers Jr. made a pass at the halfway mark of the 15-lap Figure Eight feature to win his 9th race in 12 starts with his 52nd career win moving him just one behind the late Joe Biondolillo Jr. for second on the all time win list. Bryan Quilliam as he has often this season took the early race lead proceeding to lead the first four laps of the contest. Ken Hyde Jr., the best man at Quilliam’s recent wedding took over the top spot on lap 5 after Bryan spun from the lead without contact. Hyde would lead until a lap 7 double file restart that saw Tom Rogers Jr. in his United Exhuast Shops Chevy bolt out to the race lead and eventual victory. Hyde of Yaphank was runner up in his Kings Park Contracting machine while Eric Zeh of Selden was third in the Keith Repp owned Chevy Coupe. 

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford took home a division leading 4th Super Pro Truck victory of the season when he won their 20-lap main event the 7th of his career. The 20-lap affair would see not a caution flag wave with Frank Dumicich Jr. pacing the race over the first three laps with Handley in tow. Late in the third lap Handley ducked low on leader Dumicich entering the third turn to take control of the race starting the fourth lap. Dumicich chased Handley until lap 6 when he was passed for position by defending champion Mark Stewart. Try as he might Stewart was unable to reel in Jack Handley Jr. who drove to victory lane in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy. Stewart of Riverhead was runner-up in the East End Building Chevy while Dumicich of East Quogue placed third in his Sea Level Construction Chevy.
Early in the 2019 season

former Charger driver Jay Henschel of Levittown took a liking to the new Street Stock class at Riverhead Raceway and on Saturday his return to racing came full circle when he won their 20-lap feature event in a non stop race. Henschel wasted little time taking the lead from his front row starting berth and led Brian Brown of Riverhead for the first dozen laps of the tilt. On lap 13 Eric Zeh of Selden moved by Brown for second and many felt it was just a matter of laps before Zeh who has dominated the class with 5 wins in 8 start going into Saturday would pass Henschel for the lead. However the driver of the Firstline Locksmiths Chevy had other ideas and Jay Henschel drove to his first career Street Stock win. Zeh was runner up in the Best Built Construction Chevy while defending  champion David Antos of Lindenhurst came home third in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy.

Tom Puccia of Shirley avenged a DQ from the previous Mini Stock race the only way he knew how. Go out and win the non stop 25 lap main event. Making the night even sweeter for “Pooch” was the night would also be a clean sweep as he set fast time with a lap of 14.787. At the throw of the green Puccia broke to the early lead over Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge who has dominated the class in ’19. Warren had ideas about going after Puccia for the lead and win but those ideas were dashed thwarted when his teammate CJ Zurkowski of Riverhead started to challenge Warren for second. That was music to the ears of race leader and eventual winner Tom Puccia who drove his On Site Cleaning Service machine to the winners circle. Zurkowski would grab second while Warren settled for third.

In the fun filled First Responders race New York City Police officer Fred Grover of Huntington scored the 30-lap win. Grover is assigned to the training academy of the NYPD which is located in College Point, Queens.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Kyle Soper 3. John Fortin Sr. 4. John Baker 5. Chris Young 6. Michael Rutkoski 7. Dave Sapienza 8. Roger Turbush 9. Dylan Slepian 10. CJ Lehmann 11. Dave Brigati 13. Artie Pedersen III 14. Eric Zeh 15. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 16. Vinny Delaney 17. John Beatty Jr. DQ-Jason Agugliaro DNS- Chase Dowling

Late Models: 1. Chris Turbush 2. Shawn Patrick 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Jarrod Hayes 5. Darren McCabe 6. Kevin Metzger 7. Johnny Vullo Jr. 8. Dylan Slepian 9. Roger Oxee 10. Daryn Miller 11. Ryan Zurkowski 12. Ray Minieri

Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ken Hyde Jr. 3. Eric Zeh 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. Scott Pedersen 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Bryan Quilliam 8. Joe Warren Jr. 9. Charles Macwhinnie 10. Tom Ferrara 11. Vinny Delaney

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Mark Stewart 3. Frank Dumicich Jr. 4. Matt Triola 5. Eddie Schutze 6, Lou Maestri 7. Ethan Brown 8. Frank Dumicich Sr. 9. Sean Glennon

Street Stocks: 1. Jay Henschel 2. Eric Zeh 3. David Antos 4. Brian Brown 5. Brian McCormack 6. Wesley Sammon 7. Chris Lescenski 8. Sal Sinatro 9. David White 10. Ed Fontana 11. Ken Hyde Jr. 12. James Pape Jr. 13. Bob Casagrande
Mini Stocks: 1. Tom Puccia 2. CJ Zurkowski

3. Joe Warren Jr. 4. Paul Wojcik 5. Justin Squires 6. Chris Elixson 7. Thomas Cocozza 8. James O’Connell 9. Joe Cooke Jr. 10. Jamie Meyer 11. Brad Bess 12. Martin O’Connell 13. Scott Phillips
First Responders Race: Winner- Fred Grover, NYPD


Riverhead, NY Sept. 7thBy Bob Finan

Under near perfect weather conditions Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway four NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature events were contested prior to the Miller Lite 200 Whelen Modified Tour event. Taking home wins were Sean Glennon of Northport in the Crate Modifieds, Tom Pickerell of Huntington in the Blunderbusts, Kevin Nowak of Medford kept up his late season hot streak in the INEX Legend Race Cars while Eric Zeh of Selden topped the Street Stocks.

Eventual winner Sean Glennon in traffic at Riverhead Raceway Sept 7th 2019 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

The 25-lap Crate Modified victory would not be decided on the track but rather in post race inspection where original winner Terry Stiles of Rocky Point came up just a few pounds light at the scales stripping him of his second career win. Stiles in his T&S Auto Clinic entry has staved off challenges from Sean Glennon in his Related Services Chevy on the track to cross under the checker flag first before coming up shy of the minimum weigh. Dennis Krupski had led the first lap of the race before yielding to Stiles on the second lap exiting the second corner. The winning move for Glennon would come about on lap 8 when he made his way by Krupski for second. Once there Sean stayed in Stiles tire tracks for the remainder of the race. Following Glennon in the amended finish would be championship leader Justin Brown of Manorville in his Motorcycle Mike Attorney At Law Chevy who started the race from 7th with third going to Dave Brigati of Calverton in his Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy.

Blunderbust winner at Riverhead Raceway Tom Pickerell Sept 7th 2019 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

Score the 30-lap Blunderbust event a clean sweep for veteran Tom Pickerell of Huntington who not only set fast time in qualifying with a lap 9f 14.627 but would lead all the way in a non stop feature event. The victory was the 4th for “Slick Pick” in 2019 and 26th of his successful driving career. Armed with the pole starting berth Pickerell quickly moved his Makely Enterprises Chevy to the race lead with recent UNOH graduate “Mad” Max Handley coming to second. Max was able to keep pace with Pickerell but staying with the leader and trying to make a bid to pass the leader would indeed be tow different matters all together. At the checker Tom Pickerell would cross under first with Max Handley of Medford runner-up in the Licciardi Builders Caprice while another young driving star Cody Triola of bay Shore was third in his Cesspool Pros entry.

INEX Legends winner at Riverhead Raceway Sept 9th 2019 Kevin Nowak Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

Kevin Nowak of Medford continued his late summer surge winning his 5th INEX Legend Race Car event of 2019 and that is just his Riverhead win total. George Tomko Jr. raced to the lead at the throw of the green and over the first 13-laps was chased by defending champion Jim Sylvester. Tomko who earlier in the season was the victim of a hard crash off the fourth turn was hoping to turn around a season that has seen more downs than ups with a win. Sylvester’s run in second came to an end on lap 13 when he spun after slight contact moving Joseph Braun to second. Braun chased Tomko for two laps before the red hot Nowak moved by on lap 16. Tomko was determined to keep rival Nowak at bay but it was not to be as racing off the fourth turn to take the two to go signal Nowak slipped his JTEC Electric machine under Tomko taking the lead with under a half mile to go in route to his 14th career victory. Joseph Braun of Manorville also made a late race pass of Tomko to claim runner-up money with his Miller & Caggiano Attoneys At Law racer. George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue in his sponsor wanted mount was third at the finish.

In the 20-lap Street Stock contest it would be Eric Zeh of Selden posting his fifth victory of 2019 a victory that did not come without slight controversy. Local talent Chris Lescenski broke to the early race lead at the drop of the green flag chased early on by former Charger driver Jay Henschel. Just prior to the halfway mark Zeh made his way to third putting himself on the rear bumper of Henschel while working lapped traffic. Enter the first turn while lapping slower cars Henschel left too much room between the cars he was lapping and himself and Zeh threaded the needle to take second on lap 12. Once to second Zeh reeled in Lescenski for the lead and was all over the leaders bumper. On lap 13 while racing the third and fourth corners Zeh got into Lescenski enough to get the leader out of sorts allowing Eric to take the race lead as the field started the 14th lap bringing Dave Antos to second with him. Antos stayed with Zeh over the final half dozen laps of the contest but in the end it would be the Best Built Construction Chevy of Eric Zeh scoring his division lading 9th career win. Dave Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy while Chris Lescenski of Riverhead recovered for third in his L.I. Poultry Chevy.


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

Blunderbusts: 1. Tom Pickerell 2. Max Handley 3. Cody Triola 4. Eddie Diaz 5. Russ Jansen 6. Bill Wegmann Jr. 7. Jarrett Campbell 8. Tom Puccia 9. Bill Wegmann Sr. 10. Tim Mulqueen 11. Alyssa Paprocky 12. Kyle Halpin 13. Ricky Carman

INEX Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Joseph Braun 3. George Tomko Jr. 4. Jim Sylvester 5. Eric Hersey 6. Brad Van Houten 7. Rcihie Davidowotz 8. Allan Pedersen 9. Riely O’Keefe 10. Jerry Curran 11. Jeff Otto Jr. 12. Artie Pedersen III 13. Jason Castaldo 14. Stephen Coleman 15. Scott Cheslak 16. Patrick Moore 17. Mike Benton 18. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 19. Mike Van Houten Jr. 20. Ray Fitzgerald 21. Jonathan Parsons 22. Jeff Castaldo 23. Colin Volpe 24. Nick Morabito 25. Joseph Costello 26. David Strohmeyer

Street Stocks: 1. Eric Zeh 2. David Antos 3. Chris Lescenski 4. Jay Henschel 5. Brian McCormack 6. Phil LaManna 7. Brian Brown 8. Johnny Cricchio 9. David White 10. Wesley Sammon 11. Ken Hyde Jr. 12. Ed Fontana 13. James Pape Jr. 14. James DiPietro 15. Bob Casagrande


Riverhead, NY Sept. 7thBy Bob Finan
It was night for milestones Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in town for the Miller Lite 200 and when it was all said and done Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville became the first driver to win four straight WMT races in the 64 WMT events contested at the demanding quarter mile facility. The hard fought victory was Justin’s 5th of the 2019 campaign and the 25th of his WMT driving career as well his 15th Riverhead Raceway triumph.

Craig Lutz of Miller Place by virtue of winning the Mayhew Tools Pole Award brought the 30 car field to the green but it wouldn’t be long before the race was slowed on lap 3 for Gary McDonald who was making his first WMT start of 2019 suffering right front suspension damage coming to a rest in turn four. When the race resumed to start the 9th lap Justin Bonsignore was scored second by Lutz quickly rallied to the inside to reclaim the lead. Lutz seeking his first career WMT win would lead until the 32nd lap where he’d be passed by track regular Tom Rogers Jr. steering the Danny Watts Racing owned Chevy. During Rogers stint in the lead the race would go for it’s longest extended green flag run with Rogers at times opening a three four car length lead on Timmy Solomito who was now second while at other time Timmy closed up on Rogers rear spoiler. During this run many including the track announcers wondered aloud if Tommy was using up too much of his car in the middle portion of the race.

The first caution in 84 laps would wave on lap 116 when Chris Pasteryak and Rob Summers came together with this yellow flag to be the first of six that would wave during the final half of the Miller Lite 200. On the ensuing restart on lap 125 Rogers spun his tires slightly off turn for with Solomito made a run to the outside to lead the 125th circuit but Rogers would muscle his way back to the lead on lap 126. Rogers and Solomito tussled again on a lap 136 restart with Rogers staying out front. A tangle between Rob Summers and Chris Young drew another caution flag period on lap 138 setting up another restart and this time Solomito took the race lead from Rogers when the race resumed on lap 146. Moments later Justin Bonsignore also made his way by Rogers to come to second.

With some 54 laps remaining in the 200 Solomito and his Flamingo Motorsports team were hoping to take home their first win of 2019 giving them some momentum going into the final three WMT races of the season. However Bonsignore had as per usual strong Ken Massa Motorsports machine under him as he tracked down his former go kart rival. Geting to Solomito was one thing, passing him under green could very well have been another thing for Bonsignore. As the laps clicked off Timmy was hoping not to see the caution flag however those hopes were dashed on lap 184 when Rob Summer, who had a rough night of it and Wade Cole came together in turn two.

When the race went back to green on lap 189 Bonsignore gained the run he needed on the outside to take the race lead with Solomito now moved back to second but the race was quickly slowed on lap 192 when Tom Rogers Jr. rode over the left rear of Ron Silk in the corner giving Silk a left rear flat. Both drivers were in the top five when the incident occurred. That gave Solomito a crack at trying to reclaim the lead on the ensuing restart however when the race resumed on lap 196 Bonsignore stayed out front making Solomito uncomfortable to his outside. As the old adage goes cautions breed cautions and such was the case in the closing laps of the Miller Lite 200 as a four car crash involving Blake Barney, Chris Young, Ron Silk and Michael Rutkoski set up an overtime finish.
Solomito, a 20 time career winner at Riverhead Raceway would have one more shot at scoring his 4th career WMT win at his home track in OT. When the race went back green Bonsignore again ran hard into the corner while Solomito peddled as hard as he could to the outside. In the end Justin Bonsignore and his Phoenix Communications Inc. team would bask in the spoils of victory lane, Justin’s 8th career WMT win at Riverhead moving him to just three behind all time leader Mike Ewanitsko. “Ryan Stone and my guys just give me an amazing car wherever we go but especially here at Riverhead” Justin boasted in victory lane afterwards. As to the late race restarts and how the leader has to race when starting on the inside Bonsignore was very honest with his thoughts, “it’s just a product of how they treat the outside groove here, the only line of defense the car has on the inside is to make the guy alongside of you as uncomfortable as you can. It’s not the way anyone wants to race but you have little choice”.

Timmy Solomito of Islip was runner-up in his Sanderson & MacLeod Inc. Ford and afterwards to a degree he echoed Bonsignore’s remarks, “it’s just how it goes here at Riverhead, they treat the outside but not the inside, I was sent way up the hill but it’s just a product of how it goes here”.

Craig Luz of Miller Place crossed the line third in the Riverhead Building Supply Chevy and admitted afterwards, ” I was kinda hoping the leaders would get together in those final few corners, heck one time I had the car turned so far left I punched myself in the leg”.

Kyle Soper of Manorville was the highest finishing Riverhead Raceway regular as the defending track champion drove the Eastport Feeds Chevy to a fourth place finish after starting tenth. Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park completed the top five in his Sahlen’s Chevrolet.
Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville was sixth while JB Fortin of Holtsville, JR Bertuccio of Centereach, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and John Beatty Jr., of Merrick rounded out the top ten. Afterwards Rogers who led 113 laps disclosed why he chose to run as hard as he did in the middle portion of the race, ” with my car I was better off having those guys chase me rather than me chasing them. Heck we only got two laps of practice as we had a crank trigger go bad, the car will roll into the truck so it was a good night” Rogers surmised.
The 8th place showing for JR Bertuccio impressed many on hand, JR drove a second Gershow Motorsports entry as a teammate to Chuck Hossfeld and after receiving a free pass scored the top ten finish in his first race since 2016, “not too bad, I wasn’t totally comfortable in the car but for my first race in awhile I’ll take it”. JR noted afterwards.

John Beatty Jr. who nearly won the July WMT race didn’t have the race he was hopeful for right from qualifying although ran in the top ten most of the race until some late race shuffling dropped him to 10th. “I got shoved in the wall at the end, run the entire race with little to no contact and them boom” Beatty deadpanned.

Riverhead Raceway regulars Chris Young of Calverton (17th), Michael Rutkoski (21st) and Roger Turbush (25th) were all at one time or another involved in incidents slowing their efforts.
Miller Lite 200: 1. Justin Bonsignore 2. Timmy Solomito 3. Craig Lutz 4. Kyle Soper 5. Patrick Emerling 6. Chuck Hossfeld 7. JB Fortin 8. JR Bertuccio 9. Tom Rogers Jr. 10. John Beatty Jr. 11. Matt Swanson 12. Tommy Catalano 13. Eric Goodale 14. Tommy Catalano 15. Doug Coby 16. Ron Silk 17. Chris Young 18. Wade Cole 19. Rob Summers 20. Blake Barney 21. Michael Rutkoski 22. Chris Pasteryak 23. Dave Sapienza 24. Calvin Carroll 25. Roger Turbush 26. Dave Salzarulo 27. Ken Heagy 28. Sam Rameau 29. Melissa Fiffield 30. Gary McDonald