KYLE SOPER COLLECTS SECOND STRAIGHT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY NASCAR MODIFIED WIN

Riverhead, NY July 2nd

Sophomore NASCAR Modified talent Kyle Soper of Manorville rewarded his hard working team with a win Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway winning the 66th Year Celebration 66-lap feature for his second straight Whelen All American Series triumph. Soper and crew burned the midnight all week long after a late race crash robbed them of a top ten finish in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 200 the week prior.

Soper set the standard in qualifying with a lap of 11.990 and in the redraw among IMG_6411 (2)the top six Kyle would pick the pole with Vinny Biondolillo drawing the outside pole. When the race went green Kyle Soper wasted no time in asserting himself as the car to beat taking the early race lead over Vinny Biondolillo. The two young lions ran one-two for the first half of the race before Shawn Solomito made his way around Biondolillo for second. Once Shawn got to second he began the task of trying to reel in Soper who had gotten away from the field and that effort would later be aided by a couple of late race caution flags for minor spins.

With just laps remaining the championship leader Solomito lined-up alongside Soper on the double file restarts with Kyle able to keep his machine out front of Shawn on both occasions. Hovering around in third during those late race restarts was Dave Brigati who was ready to pounce if the two leaders got together on the restarts. Solomito threw all he could at Soper but to no avail as Kyle raced off to his second consecutive win in his Jack Anthony Pools Chevy.

Once the happy winner emerged from his car Kyle Soper was quick to point out this win was indeed a team win, “First off I can’t thank my parents enough, we had two bad crashes leading up to our two wins and I told my Dad I’d understand if we took a week off. He was having none of that” Kyle shared with the large crowd on hand. “All of our sponsors stepped up as well, Atlantic Chevrolet, Dr. Martha Baker, Touch Adjust Clip, Eastport Manor Deli,Jack Anthony Pools and Jack Anthony Pools plus my crew, we were in the shop past 11:00 PM every night this week but it paid off” Kyle concluded.

Shawn Solomito of East Moriches was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds Chevy noting afterwards, “this is our tour car, we were just a tick off but hats off to Kyle he earned it”. Dave Brigati of Calverton was third in the JDL Environmental Chevy with John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville and Howie Brode of East Islip completing the top five.

IMG_6378Before he could lay claim to his 22nd career Late Model win Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma. would have to survive an intense late race side by side duel with Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters. Over the first 16-laps there would be no less than seven changes for position among the top two along. “Radiant” Ray Minieri showed the way over the first 12 laps with Shawn Patrick, Mike Bologna and Roger Oxee all running second at one time or another. Bologna would actually take the lead for a lap on the 13th circuit before Minieri roared back to lead lap 14. Bologna would roar back out front on lap 15 bringing championship leader David Roys to second with him. One lap later Roys got into Bologna sending the leader spinning and Roys to the rear of the field for rough riding. That moved Scott Kulesa and Shawn Patrick to the front row for the late race restart and over the final 9 laps of the race then tandem ran door handle to door handle in a very intense and exciting duel for the lead. When the checker flag waved both both driver powering off turn two side by side Scott Kulesa in the Eastport Feeds entry was the happy winner. “What a race” proclaimed Kulesa in the winners circle, “Shawn and i were side by side for that last run and never once did we touch, that’s racing”. Shawn Patrick would have to settle for runner-up money in his Rick’s Auto Body Chevy while defending champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead was third in the JDP Mechanical racer.

Taking the lead just two laps from the conclusion of the 15-lap Figure Eight feature IMG_6581 (2)Ken Hyde Jr. of Mastic Beach scored his second victory of the young 2016 season. Mike Mujsce Jr. led the first lap of the race before being over taken by Tom Ferrara and Scott Pedersen who ran second until misfortune struck him on lap 6. Ken Hyde Jr. moved into second behind Ferrara on lap 7 and spent the next half dozen laps challenging for the lead. With the laps winding down Hyde kept pressuring for the lead and on lap 13 made his way by Ferrara who just moments later found misfortune of his own with a broken left front suspension drawing a yellow flag. On the ensuing double file restart Hyde and rival Roger Maynor lined up side by side and when the green light came back on for the final two laps of the race Ken Hyde kept his SGS Stone Works racer out front for the win. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore was runner-up in the Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford after holding off a late race challenge by Mike Mujsce Sr. of Quogue who was third in his Mike’s Auto Service mount.

IMG_6260When the checker flag waved on the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature event Jimmy Rennick Jr. appeared to have his first win in 33 years of racing across various classes at the track. Rennick had powered his truck out front with an inside pass of Sean Glennon off turn two on lap 6. Once out front Rennick and his Sonny’s Collision Center Chevy checked out on the field for what seemed to be a very popular win. Unfortunately post race inspection turned up unapproved valve seats in Jimmy’s engine disqualifying him from the win and race. That turn of events made Roger Turbush of Riverhead the new race winner in his Superior Systems Chevy, Roger was already home with his family when he got the news. Dave Brigati of Calverton was credited with runner-up money in his Coors Light Chevy with Mike Albasini of Flushing third in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy. Turbush’s pass of Albasini for second on lap 11 of the contest proved to be the winning pass of the race.

IMG_6654 (2)David Antos of Lindenhurst notched his second Grand Enduro win of 2016 in a 50-lap affair. Glenn Simonin of Holbrook broke out front at the start of the race and Glenn would pace the race over the first 14-laps. Antos who started the race from the 4th slot moved to second on lap 12 and two laps later made the winning pass of Simonin to the inside exiting the second turn. Once out front Dave Antos would lead the remainder of the race in his G&R Performance Monte Carlo. Veteran Greg Zaleski of Jamesport made a late race charge to finish second in the Peconic Sign Company Chevy while early leader Glenn Simonin of Holbrook placed third in his self funded car.

IMG_6795The “Captain Destructo” Brian Savoy tribute Demolition Derby would indeed produce a storybook ending with Brian’s brother Jason of Lake Panamoka scoring the emotional and popular win. Savoy in his Monster’s Recycling “Misery Machine” outlasted a star studded field to win the event in honor of his later brother. Michael “Cheesebox” Rommeney of Bohemia was named Judge’s Choice while Jamie “The Killa” Kilkenny of Howard Beach was voted Fan’s Choice.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Kyle Soper 2. Shawn Solomito 3. Dave Brigati 4. John Fortin Jr. 5. Howie Brode 6. Cory Midgett 7. John Baker 8. Vinny Biondolillo 9. Ken Darch 10. Christopher Young 11. Johnny Bush 12. Dillon Steuer 13. Ken Heagy 14. John Fortin Sr. DNS- Amber Fortin

Late Models: 1. Scott Kulesa 2. Shawn Patrick 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Kevin Metzger 5. Mike Bologna 6. David Roys 7. Chris Turbush 8. Ray Minieri 9. Kyle Ellwood 10. Brandon Turbush 11. Chris Lescenski 12. Roger Oxee 13. Eric Zeh 14. Daryn Miller 15. Steve Mastro 16. Kyle Soper

Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde 2. Roger Maynor 3. Mike Mujsce Sr. 4. John Fortin Sr. 5. Mike Mujsce Jr. 6. Scott Pedersen 7. Bob Dalke 8. Brian Hansen 9. Tom Ferrara 10. Chris Elixson 11. Gary Fritz Jr.

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Roger Turbush 2. Dave Brigati 3. Mike Albasini 4. Jack Handley Jr. 5. Sean Glennon 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Dave Koenig 8. Lou Maestri 9. Rich Campo 10. Amanda Anderson
11. Rob McCormick 12. Frank Dumicich Sr. 13. Dan Turbush DQ- Jimmy Rennick Jr.

Grand Enduro: 1. Davis Anots 2. Greg Zaleski 3. Glenn Simonin 4. Brian McCormack 5. Anthony PIzzo 6. Phil LaManna 7. Jimmy Denis 8. Jeff Otto Jr. 9. Ed Brown Jr. 10. Brandon Hubbard 11. Dale Doherty 12. Drew Forhkolb 13. Jess Martines 14. RJ Gage 15. Rhett Fogg 16. James White Jr. 17. Sal Sinatro

Demolition Derby: Winner- Jason Savoy Judge’s Choice- Michael Rommeney Fan’s Choice- Jamie Kilkenny

Oswego Speedway Demolition Derby to Pay $1,000 to the Winner on July 16

 OSWEGO, NY (July 6, 2016) – When the checkered flag falls on Oswego Speedway’s Summer Championship, set for Saturday, July 16 and presented by Crop Production Services, the return of the fan favorite Demolition Derby will take center stage.

Drivers in the Derby must be 16 years of age or older, participating in a six or eight cylinder vehicle.

The last car running will be declared the winner of the Derby, with $1,000 going to the winner.  The runner-up will earn $300 with third place taking home $200, making for a $1,500 total purse for the event.

There is no entry fee to take part, but an entry blank must be filled out to participate.  Full rules, regulations, and entry forms are available under the forms section of www.oswegospeedway.com.  Entry forms can be mailed to the Speedway at PO BOX 3043 Oswego, NY 13126 or dropped directly to the Speedway box office.

All cars participating must be at the Speedway by 4 p.m. on July 16 for pre-derby inspection.  Participants and pit crew members must purchase a pit pass for the evening.

The Demolition Derby will follow the night’s Summer Championship events which will feature a 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main and a 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS feature.

Pit gates will open at 3:15 p.m. on July 16 with practice beginning and grand stand gates opening at 4:30 p.m.  The night’s first heat race will take place at 6:30 p.m.

The Demolition Derby will immediately follow the Novelis Supermodified main event.

Before the Summer Championship, the Speedway will return to action this Saturday, July 9 for King of Wings VIII.

The Speedway’s pit window will open at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday with the main pit gate opening at 2 p.m.  Hot laps will take place at 3:30 p.m. with the opening on the spectator gates with ISMA time trials at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for King of Wings VIII.  Tickets can be purchased at the Speedway box office or by phone.

General admission seating is available for $30 with padded reserved seating for $35.  Pit admission on Saturday is $40 with VIP seating available for $90.

For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.

To purchase tickets for the 2016 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.

Gleason Brothers: A Long Path to Victory Lane

(THOMPSON, CT) – At the age of just 10 and 11, Brent and Jesse Gleason could be found circling a makeshift dirt go-kart track carved into their Uncle’s backyard. Regularly the two would take to the track until their not so friendly neighbors had the track shut down due to noise complaints. This was just the start for a pair of brothers who are best friends and have now both etched their names into the Thompson Speedway history books as feature event winners.

So it was on to the next adventure, which was a legend car arrive and drive event at Waterford Speedbowl. Jesse, the older of the two Gleason boys by just over a year, was old enough to hop aboard the speed regulated legend car and turn some laps around the shoreline oval. After turning some efficient lap times the boys got back in the family car as dad drove them home.

When they got home, they affixed a homemade splint on Jesse and added some bandages just for visual effect. The story they told Mom was that he had crashed the car. As you would expect Mom didn’t exactly see the fun in the joke, but it may have just set in motion a chain of actual crashes and bad luck that made Brent’s path to victory lane full of trials.

Jesse started racing at Waterford a few years earlier and once Brent was old enough to get into the pits he served as a crewmember. In 2003 while in college, Brent purchased an X-Car for only $400, added a seat, seat belts, and a fuel cell and he was off to the races.

The second night out, Brent found himself head on into the front stretch wall with another car buried into the right side of his machine.

“The door bars from the right side door where about 6 inches from my seat,” recalled Brent. “When the grandstand starts cheering when you get out you know you hit pretty hard.”

Brent stayed out of the driver’s seat until 2008, but in the interim after his own struggles at the Speedbowl, Jesse decided to turn his focus to Thompson. He found success by winning 15 races in the span of 10 years including five victories in 2012 which was enough for a runner-up finish in the final standings, with assistance from Brent.

When Brent finally got the itch to return to the driver’s seat he was working part-time as a mailman, and the finances were in place to go racing. He chose to start in the mini-stock division where it was a struggle from the start. Before the first three races were up he had already replaced a piston in the engine and as he tried to figure out the track setup, he allowed Jesse to jump behind the wheel. Big mistake.

In the middle of the practice round, Jesse got loose on some oil and spun sideways directly in front of another car which t-boned the newly finished mini-stock. It took Brent until 2009 to rebuild the car and get back on the track, but his return wasn’t met with welcoming arms. Instead, motor problems plagued the operation and it was as Brent describes it, “headache after headache.”

Still Brent pressed on and was not deterred from his misfortune and continued with the mini-stocks until 2013, earning a career best finish of second along the way. Eventually, he had enough and it was time to shift gears and head in a new direction.

A few years prior, engine builder Terry Brick brought over an extra chassis and the Gleason’s stored it in the back yard under a tarp with no idea what to do with it. Brent dug it out, cut the cage off the frame and built a Limited Sportsman from the ground up. The original car was an old Late Model chassis so a new frame was added and the final touches were completed at 2am the night before the season ending World Series.

After coming home a respectable 14th in the car’s debut, Brent soon found out his wife was expecting their first child and the car had to go. He sold everything, including the tools and spare parts to his dad and older brother who went racing in 2014 as Brent sat on the sidelines helping on the crew once again.

Right about the time his son was born he earned a full time job at the Post Office at the end of 2014.

“Driving 5 mph between mailboxes all day gets really boring,” said Gleason. “You can’t drive with any aggression you have to be nice and cordial so people don’t think your crazy.”

Soon after, Dad came around and offered Jesse a frame along with whatever spare parts he could scrounge up. It was back to burning the midnight oil once again as over the winter. Brent put every nut and bolt of the car together in his garage without insulation in the walls and uneven floor.

At the last minute, the car was finished and off to the track he went, but the gremlins of the mini-stock days returned. This time it was constant brake issues that hindered his success on the track. Meanwhile later that season, the beloved “tarp car” was finally sitting in victory lane with Jesse behind the wheel, but Brent was still winless as he continued to fight mechanical issues.

As 2015 progressed, Jesse hurt a motor in practice and Brent decided to give up his car to his brother. Big mistake number two, maybe. Three laps in, Jesse wrecked the car bad enough that it would need a new clip. However, in the exchange they swapped motors in the two cars and after sitting several races out, Brent returned with a fresh power plant and a new front clip.

Then it clicked. During the extra distance event this season, all of a sudden they found speed in Brent’s home built car. Jesse found himself yet again in trouble, with his car damaged enough to put him on the sidelines and the tables turned as he became a crewmember for the younger Brent for the first time.

“It was exactly reverse,” said Jesse. “He was my Maurice Petty and I was Richard and now I am Maurice and he is Richard and I’m crewing for him for now. He has passion to do something with driving he has something to prove. “

On June 15, the dream became a reality as Brent Gleason drove to victory lane for the first time in a car built by a mailman moonlighting as a chassis builder.

“When you have a brother like Jesse driving your cars, you learn to fix them and fix them quick if you want to be competitive,” said Brent.

Jesse announced his retirement at the start of the season to focus on expanding his antique business and has accomplished the goal he set at the start, see Brent go to victory lane. After tasting victory, Brent is hungry for more. Jesse will return Saturday night driving in one of the Waterman family cars and is expected to return with his own car before the end of the season. You can be sure that Brent won’t be giving up the keys to his ride anytime soon.

Racing returns to Thompson Speedway’s oval on Saturday, July 19 as part of the For the Fans Night. Tickets are only $12 with grandstands opening at 3:30pm. The event also features Ladies Night with all female crew members, officials, or family members will be invited to a BBQ at 5pm. The event will also count toward O’Reilly Auto Parts Triple Crown points for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock competitors.

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