1ST ANNUAL RIVERHEAD RACEWAY GOLF SHOOTOUT SET FOR SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10TH, L.I. AUTOMOTIVE SWAP SHOP SUNDAY NOVEMBER 11TH
Riverhead, NY Oct. 28th.
The second weekend of November will be a busy one for the tight knit Riverhead Raceway racing community as two fun filled events will unfold. Saturday November 10th the 1st Annual Riverhead Raceway Golf Shootout will be held at the Vineyards Golf Club of Riverhead while on Sunday November 11th Bob Finan will host the annual Long Island Automotive Swap Shop at Riverhead Raceway.
What started off as casual social media post by NASCAR Modified driver Kyle Ellwood inquiring who’d be interested in a fall golf outing has morphed into the 1st Annual Riverhead Raceway Golf Shootout. Ellwood and Riverhead Raceway announcer Stephen Halpin got together and Halpin with his years of experience at organizing such type outings including the former Tom Baldwin Memorial events have collectively come up with the 1st Annual Riverhead Raceway Golf Shootout.
Registration will be at 11:00 am with a shot gun start set for 12 noon. The fee for the outing is $125 that includes beer on the course at no charge, lunch at the turn and a buffet dinner and two hour open bar in the clubhouse for 2 hours after the round. Cash prizes will go to the Longest Drive & Closest To Pin, with numerous giveaways and prizes also distributed. The Vineyards Golf Club is owned by Brian Slaga of East West Marine Supply fame, a long time sponsor of NASCAR Modified racing as well the East West Marine Supply Go Zone at Riverhead Raceway. The Vineyards is also the new home for the Long island Daytona 500 party in February.
Halpin and Ellwood were hopeful for a minimum of 60 golfers for the Riverhead Raceway Golf Shootout and are already two thirds of the way to that goal as of press time. To enter either a foursome or individually please contact Stephen Halpin @ 516-790-6178.
The very next morning at Riverhead Raceway longtime announcer and PR man Bob Finan will present the annual Long island Automotive Swap Shop, a race car and automotive flea market for the local racer and automotive buffs. “I can’t thank Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz enough for allowing me the opportunity to again serve as the promoter of the swap shop” Finan noted while announcing details for the event. Vendors will pay $20 per vendor spot while all other spectators will be charged $5 and Finan added, “it might be the Long island Automotive Swap Shop but all type vendors are welcome to display their wares and you really can’t beat the price”. The Long island Automotive Swap Shop will run from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Tickets for the January 11th, 2019 Riverhead Raceway Championship Awards dinner can be pre-purchased as track GM John Ellwood has disclosed he’ll have them at the Sunday L.I. Automotive Swap Shop. A special 50/50 raffle will also be staged at both the Riverhead Raceway Golf Shootout and L.I. Automotive Swap Shop to aid Sara Sylvester, who over the years has raised and distributed lap money for all divisions and racers at the track. Sara recently had her left leg amputated from the knee down, a procedure she had already endured on her right leg.
For information on both events please do not call the track office but rather for the golf outing Stephen Halpin @ 516-790-6178 while for the swap shop call Bob Finan at Indy 300 Fast Lube, 631-447-5823.
When the 40-lap NASCAR Modified feature lined up Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead trailed Kyle Soper of Manorville by 10-points for the championship. When the race took the checker flag Rogers had won the battle winning his 4th race of 2018 but the 22-year old Soper won the war securing his first career NASCAR Modified championship off his 4th place finish. Soper driving for Wayne & Joette Anderson beat Rogers out by 6 points for the 2018 Whelen All American Series title and earlier in the night won his second consecutive Late Model championship.
Dylan Slepain and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III raced their way out front at the start of the race with Slepian showing the way with Brunnhoelzl a close second. Brunnhoelzl raced his way by Slepian on lap 9 for the race lead with Tom Rogers Jr. who started the race 8th getting by early leader Slepian as well for second. A lap 10 caution flag would change the complexion of the race as on the ensuing double file restart Rogers was able to power his way out front passing Brunnhoelzl as the field started the 11th lap. Chris Young made his way by Brunnhoelzl for second and he’d chase Rogers until lap 28 when he was passed by Kyle Ellwood. Kyle’s stay in second was brief as he would spin in turn 2 on lap 30 drawing a caution flag.
With 10-laps to go on the restart Rogers had done all he could to win the title by leading the race. Soper in the meantime was having a racer that at times saw him close enough to Rogers to win the crown but there were a few anxious moments where Kyle dropped too far back of Rogers. When the race resumed after the Ellwood spin Rogers remained the race leader with a new challenger in Dave Brigati. Over the final 10-lap run Tom Rogers Jr. in the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy nailed down his 52nd career win and in victory lane immediately saluted Kyle Soper, “hats off to Kyle and his team on the championship” Rogers noted. “As for my team, we never quit, the car was bent late in the year and my team just kept digging and just came up short”.
In his championship interview a soft spoken Soper reflected, “It’s an honor to be able to give Wayne & Joette Anderson another championship, I have to thank them and the Corwin family of Eastport Feeds for believing in me it’s a dream come true”.
Dave Brigati of Calverton was runner-up in the JDL Environmental Chevy while John Fortin of Holtsville placed third in the Long Island Truck Parts Chevy. Soper and John Baker of Brookhaven completed the top five.
In the 25-lap Late Model feature Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead won his 2nd event of 2018. Kevin Metzger raced to the early lead but McDermott was applying the pressure early and on lap 2 executed an outside pass down the backstretch to take over the race lead. One lap later Metzger was passed by Chris Turbush for second and the race was on for the win. However Turbush’s run towards a 6th win in 2018 hit a roadblock when he spun on lap 7 drawing the caution flag. When the race resumed McDermott remained out front where he would stay in his JDP Mechanical Chevy winning his 9th career Late Model race. Kevin Metzger of Massapequa was runner-up in the Complete Well & Pump Chevy while Chris Turbush of Riverhead recovered to finish third in the NAPA Auto Parts of Cutchogue entry.
The tightest championship fight on the final night of racing belonged to the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified class with Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck and Justin Brown of Manorville separated by a mere three points entering competition. When the 25-lap feature event took the green former LM champion Peter Bertuccio who earlier in the month announced he’d retire after this race jumped to the early race lead with Chris Rogers in close quarters. For the first 10-laps it looked as though the 60-year young Bertuccio might be getting ready to go out with a win but along came another driver making his final start before retirement, Jack Orlando. Orlando was all over Bertuccio for the lead from the 6th lap until lap 10 when Bertuccio spun and Orlando was moved to the rear of the field for contact virtually ending any Hollywood storybook finish for either driver. That turn of event moved championship contenders Michael Rutkoski and Justin Brown to the top two spots and as they so often did during the entire 2018 campaign they raced for the win and title. In the end Michael Rutkoski in his Buzz Chew Auto Group Chevy won his 7th race of the season as well the Crate Modified title. Justin Brown placed second steering his SEDHI Builders Inc. Chevy. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was third in the Vecchio Cesspools Chevy. The championship is the first for the 24-year old Rutkoski.
In Figure Eight action Tom Ferrara of Patchogue scored his second win of the 2018 season as he won the 15-lap main event that saw one of the heaviest impacts at the “X” in the 55-year history of the division. Back in his Northeastern Office Equipment Cadillac Ferrara wasted no time jumping to the early lead over Scott Pedersen who was seeking his first win of the year. Suddenly on lap 2 Pedersen and Mike Mujsce Sr. collided at the “X” with thundering impact. Mujsce was quick to exit his car and check on Pedersen who was shaken up in the crash. When the race resumed Ferrara remained out front with Eric Zeh now coming to second. Zeh would chase Ferrara until late in the race when he was passed by teammate Tom Rogers Jr. with a handful of laps remaining. Try as he might to get by for the lead Tom Rogers Jr. was going to have to settle for second in this race as Tom Ferrara drove off to his 13th career triumph. While not able to win his 9th race of the year Tom Rogers Jr. did secure his 5th career championship in the class steering the Keith Repp owned Chevy Coupe. Eric Zeh of Selden was third in the United Exhaust Shop entry.
Jack Handley Jr. of Medford iced the cake on his 2nd career Blunderbust championship by winning their 20-lap main event for his 8th win of the season and 29th of his career. Tommy Walkowiak in what would be the final race of his illustrious career took the early race lead over Russ Jansen and then Jim Laird Jr. The all time leading winner of the class with 63 victories was hoping to go out on top but just past the halfway mark along came Jack Handley Jr. who took the race lead on lap 11. Walkowiak settled into second but soon found himself racing for that spot with Laird. The fight for second was music to the ears of Jack Hanldey Jr. who pulled away for the victory in his Relle Electric Chevy. Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead was second in the Poolsmith Inc. Chevy while “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak was third in his Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice ending a 27-year driving career.
Like Handley, 2018 Super Pro Truck champion Mark Stewart of
Riverhead wrapped up his championship season with a win, his 7th of the season and milestone 20th career victory. Eddie Schutze broke out front at the drop of the green and early on opened up a healthy lead over Lou Maestri who ran second. Stewart who started 4th made his way by Maestri for second on lap 4 and began the process of reeling in leader Schutze. After 13 laps of catching Schutze challenger Stewart was able to make his bid for the lead exiting the fourth turn with an inside pass as the due took the two to go signal. With just two laps to go 20-year old Mark Stewart in the M Spero Motorsports Chevy drove to the checkers and the 2018 Super Pro Truck title. Schutze of Oyster Bay was runner-up in the Rock Tech Inc. Chevy with Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach third in the Sonny’s Collision Center machine.
Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches became the all time leading INEX Legend Race Car winner at the track when he won his 20th career race in their 20-lap feature event. Jeff Otto Jr. paced the field early on leading the first four laps of the race. Ottos was chased by the likes of Stephen Coleman, Riely O’Keefe and Brad Van Houten with Van Houten getting by for the race lead on lap 5 with an inside pass off turn 2. It wouldn’t be long before Davidowitz debuting his new water cooled car made his way to and by Van Houten for the race lead. Once the driver known as “Big Money” moved to the lead he’d never look back in his 860 Racing entry winning his 6th race of 2018 in the process. Van Houten of Wading River was runner-up in the Van Houten Trucking machine while Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was third in the Checker Won Motorports mount. Jim Sylvester of Massapequa came to the race having already clinched the 2018 INEX Legend Race Car championship, the first for the driver of the Oval Speed Unlimited #2NY.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Dave Brigati 3. John Fortin Sr. 4. Kyle Soper 5. John Baker 6. John Beatty Jr. 7. Chris Young 8. CJ Lehmann 9. Ken Darch 10. Dylan Slepian 11. Artie Pedersen III 12. Roger Turbush 13. Tim Lento 14. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 15. Kyle Ellwood 16. Dan Jivanelli 17. Eric Zeh
Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Kevin Metzger 3. Chris Turbush 4. Kyle Soper 5. Dave Brigati 6. Chris McGuire 7. Rob Pelis 8. Tom Rogers Jr.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Rutkoski 2. Justin Brown 3. Artie Pedersen III 4. Dennis Krupski 5. Chris Rogers 6. George Tomko Jr. 7. Peter Bertuccio 8. Jack Orlando 9. Scott Pedersen 10. AJ DeSantis DQ- Mike Albasini, Terry Stiles
Figure Eights: 1. Tom Ferrara 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Eric Zeh 4. Vinny Delaney 5. Joe Warren Jr. 6. Charles Macwhinnie 7. Ken Hyde Jr. 8. Brian Hansen 9. Bob Dalke 10. Mike Mujsce Jr. 11. Mike Mujsce Sr. 12. Scott Pedersen
Blunderbusts: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Tommy Walkowiak 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Cody Triola 6. Russ Jansen 7. Alyssa Paprocky 8. Joshua Creel 9. Bill Wegmann Sr. DNS- Tim Mulqueen
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Eddie Schutze 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Lou Maestri 5. Dave Brigati 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Jerry Solomito Jr. 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Darren McCabe
Legend Race Cars: 1. Richie Davidowitz 2. Brad Van Houten 3. Allan Pedersen 4. Kyle Ellwood 5. Jim Sylvester 6. Ray Fitzgerald 7. Jerry Curran 8. Eric Hersey 9. George Tomko Jr. 10. Jeff Otto Jr. 11. Will Lambros 12. Vinny Delaney 13. Jonathan Parsons 14. Ed Cheslak 15. Scott Cheslak 16. Mike Benton 17. Pat Moore 18. Stephen Coleman 19. Silas Hiscock 20. Steve Hersey 21. Rich Braun 22. Steve Woytysiak 23. Riely O’Keefe 24. Matt Brode 25. Mike Van Houten Jr. 26. Jeff Farruggia Jr.
Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway had a little bit of everything unfold during the NASCAR Whelen All American Series H.O. Penn night of racing and when the dust settled Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck pocketed his 6th Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified win of the season. Invading INEX Legend Race Car talent Noah Korner of Canton, Ct. made a late race pass to win the 50-lap U.S. Legend Cars National Qualifier while 25-year Demolition Derby veteran “Fearless” Frank Phillips of Ozone Park won a hard hitting National Demolition Derby Championship event, the first of his career.
In the 25-lap Crate Modified tilt Owen Grennan of Glen Cove moved by Chris Rogers of Patchogue for the race lead on lap 2 and would lead the remainder of the race seemingly having won his fourth race of 2018. Rogers, “Jumping” Jack Orlando and Michael Rutkoski all took turns running second to Grennan during the race but would be unable to catch the teenage talent. However after taking the checker flag Grennan’s winning car was found to have unapproved fuel and was stripped of the win. Michael Rutkoski who came to the race in his Buzz Chew Chevrolet machine just a point up on Justin Brown of Manorville would be declared the winner of the race earning his 8th career win in the process. Jack Orlando of Calverton was runner-up in his second to last race at Riverhead in his Prototype Race Fabrications Chevy while Justin Brown placed third in his SEDHI Inc. Chevy. With one race meet remaining Rutkoski leads Brown by a mere three points for the 2018 championship.
Mike Alcaro of Newton, NJ showed the way in qualifying for the 50-lap U.S. legend Cars National Qualifier with a lap of 13.773. However early on in this hotly contested event it would be Richie Davidowitz and Kyle Ellwood dicing for the race lead. Both drivers along with Danny McNamara are tied for the all time lead in legend Race Car wins at 19. A lap 9 double file restart found Ellwood moving out front to lead lap 10 but just one lap later Davidowitz powered his way back to the race lead. On lap 18 another double file restart was in order and again Ellwood was able to motor out front and this time he would not let Davidowitz reclaim the race lead. In fact Davidowitz chased Ellwood up until the 39th circuit where he was passed for position by Noah Korner. Ellwood was enjoying a comfortable enough lead and appeared to be on his way to his 20th career victory when mechanical disaster struck the leader. Suddenly on lap 45 Ellwood ducked off the backstretch onto the infield the victim of rear end assembly failure.
That wild turn of event propelled Noah Korner into the race lead with just four laps remaining in the race. Davidowitz know as “Big Money” for his penchant for winning bigger races was all over Korner over the final mile of the race setting up for what would turn out to be a wild finish. Davidowitz was making a run to the outside of Korner off the final corner to what would be a yellow/checker finish with slight contact made sending the challenger into the wall under the starters stand while Noah Korner in his Mid State Site Developement entry enjoyed his first career Riverhead raceway win. Davidowitz of East Moriches was a disappointed runner-up in the Dr. Martha Baker DDS machine while Ray Fitgerald of Manorville who ran among the top five all race long was third in his Blue Point Auto Body racer. Jim Sylvester of Massapequa with his 5th place tally sewed up the 2018 Riverhead Raceway INEX Legend Race Car championship with one race remaining.
Chris Turbush of Wading River is on a late season roll in Late Model competition winning his second race in a row and fifth overall in 2018. Chris McGuire paced the 25-lap tilt early on before he was passed by Kyle Soper on a double file restart on lap 5. Dave Brigati who stormed his way from 8th to second chased Soper until lap 9 when he was overtaken by Chris Turbush. Meanwhile Soper’s night took a turn for the worse on lap 10 when his car during a caution flag period suddenly stalled sending the championship and race leader to the pits. Suddenly Chris Turbush found himself as the new race leader with 15-laps to go and the driver of the East Side Building Chevy drove off to his 12 career Late Model win tying him with “Mighty” Mike Mortimer for 10th on the all time win list. Dave Brigati of Calverton was second in the Bekiesz Garage Doors Pontiac while Jarrod Hayes of Calverton was third in the MSM Elite Motorsports entry. With one race meet remaining Kyle Soper leads Chris Turbush by 11 points for the 2018 LM title, Jeremy McDermott is third 29 back of the lead.
Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead had to withstand late race contact with Tom Ferrara of Patchogue before he could claim his track leading 8th win of 2018 in the 15-lap Figure Eight feature. Ferrara seeking his second win of the year took the early race lead besting Scott Petersen on the start. A lap 1 caution bought a double file restart with Ken Hyde Jr. moving to second behind Ferrara on lap 2. Lap 4 found Tom Rogers Jr. making his way through the field to pass Hyde for second and the race for the win with Ferrara was on with Rogers moving out front on lap 6. On the 10th lap Ferrara and Rogers racing hard for the lead made side to side contact with neither driver lifting. The end results was Ferrara going around drawing a caution while Rogers was able to race on keeping his lead. When the race resumed Rogers was now being chased by teammate Eric Zeh of Selden. Zeh late in the race was passed by Ken Hyde Jr. but it didn’t matter as Tom Rogers Jr. scored his 43rd career win, sewing up the 2018 Figure Eight championship for he and car owner Keith Repp. The title is Rogers 5th of his storied driving career. Hyde of Mastic Beach was second in his SGS Stone Works entry while Zeh was third in the United Exhaust Shops Coupe.
It’s not often 63-time Blunderbust winner “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge gets passed late in a race for the win but that is exactly what Jack Handley Jr. of Medford did to take home his 7th win of the season. Walkowiak who announced on social media the last race of 2018 would be the last of his career took the early race lead over Alyssa Paprocky when the race got underway. Alyssa ran second until lap 3 when she was passed by a high flying Jack Handley Jr. Getting to second behind Walkowiak would be one story, passing him for the lead would be another in what turned out to be a non stop 20-lapper. After repeated attempts Handley with the laps winding finally moved his way by Walkowiak for the lead and eventual race win in his Liccardi Builders Chevy. The win also wraps up the 2018 Blunderbust title for Handley who at the start of the season has no intentions of chasing points. Tom Pickerell of Huntington also with a late race pass claimed second in his Pickerell Clam Chevy while Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge was third in the Blaze Fuel Oil entry.
The career season for Mark Stewart of Riverehad rolls on as he won the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature event, his 6th win of the season and 19th of the 20-year olds career. Sophomore driver Eddie Schutze led the first 14 laps of the contest and seemed destined to win his second career race. However Frank Dumicich Jr. made contact with the third turn wall drawing a yellow flag on lap 14 setting up what would turn out to be the deciding moment of the race. When the field was reset the front row was made up by Schutze and 30-time winner Lou Maestri but the winning move would come from the second row when the race resumed as Mark Stewart charged his was from third to the race lead when the race got back underway. Once out front there was no stopping the fourth generation driver as Mark Stewart drove to victory in his Flemington Furs Chevy. Lou & Tracy Maestri once again presented a $100 bonus to the winning crew chief which happened to be Mark’s uncle and LM winner Chris Turbush. The award is in the name of the late Joe DeGangi, longtime crew cheif for Maestri of Deer Park who was second in his Hunter Business School Chevy. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach was third in the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy.
Former Blunderbust talent Tom Puccia of Shirley took advantage of a late race restart to claim his first career Mini Stock win in a 20-lap event. Ryan Warren moved to the race lead at the throw of the green and led the first 14-laps of the race, pressured for a spell by Puccia who is a good friend of Warren’s off the track. The caution waved on lap 14 when Tom Cocozza got crossed up on the homestretch just passed the start/finish line. On the enduing restart Puccia was able to motor out front in his Ferradino & Sons Contracting racer and would have to withstand heavy late race pressure from Andrew Farnham and Paul Wojcik before he could claim the popular win. Wojcik of Centereach with a late race pass was second while Farnham of Baldwin rebounding from a heavy Labor Day weekend crash was third.
“Fearless” Frank Phillips outlasted a star studded 8-Cylinder Demolition Derby field to win the $1,000 National Demolition Derby title. Phillips has to outfox former multi time event winner “Deathwish” Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka to score the win in his Tire Express of Bay Shore machine. John Palmeri of Lindenhurst was voted Judge’s Choice while Savoy and Danny Zasowski of Holbrook split Fan’s Choice honors.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Rutkoski 2. Jack Orlando 3. Justin Brown 4. Chris Rogers 5. Dennis Krupski 6. Artie Pedersen III 7. AJ DeSantis 8. Peter Bertuccio 9. Glenn Simonin 10. Scott Pedersen DQ- Owen Grennan
Late Models: 1. Chris Turbush 2. Dave Brigati 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Jeremy McDermott 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Chris McGuire 7. Kyle Soper 8. Scott Kulesa
Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ken Hyde Jr. 3. Eric Zeh 4. Scott Pedersen 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Tom Ferrara 7. Gary Fritz Jr. 8. Joe Warren Jr. 9. Bob Dalke 10. Mike Mujsce Jr. 11. Brian Hansen 12. Mike Mujsce Sr. 13. Charles Macwhinnie
Blunderbusts: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Tom Pickerell 3. Tommy Walkowiak 4. Alyssa Paprocky 5. Russ Jansen 6. Jim Laird Jr. 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Cody Triola 9. Jarrett Campbell 10. Eddie Diaz
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Lou Maestri 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Dave Brigati 5. Eddie Schutze 6. Frank Dumicich Sr. 7. Darren McCabe 8. Frank Dumicich Jr.
Legend Race Cars: 1. Noah Kroner 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Brad Van Houten 5. Jim Sylvester 6. Will Lambros 7. Derek Debbis 8. Glenn Korner 9. Dean Lambros 10. Mike Van Houten 11. Jonathan Parsons 12. Stephen Coleman 13. Jeff Otto Jr. 14. Matt Brode 15. Mike Benton 16. Scott Cheslak 17. Alex Halinar 18. Kyle Ellwood 19. Ed Cheslak 20. Steve Woytysiak 21. Riely O’Keefe 23. Allan Pedersen 24. Jerry Curran 25. Eric Hersey 26. Pat Moore 27. George Tomko Jr. 28. Vinny Delaney DNQ- Jeff Farruggia Jr, Silas Hiscock
Mini Stocks: 1. Tom Puccia 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Andrew Farnham 4. Russ Jansen 5. Steve Fuller 6. Ryan Warren 7. Mitch Pattern 8. Jamie Meyer 9. Joe Cooke Jr. 10. Brandon Esposito 11. Heather Dugre 12. Tom Cacozza
National Demolition Derby Championship: Winner- Frank Phillips