Tag Archives: Riverhead Raceway


By Bob Finan
Friday evening December 13th the twelve champions of the just completed 2019 race season at Riverhead Raceway will be honored for their championship season at the 2019 Awards Ceremony hosted by track owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz at Giorgio’s of Baiting Hollow. Aside from their 2019 championship plaques the seven champions of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series will receive Riverhead Raceway championship rings with Kyle Soper of the Manorville leading the 2019 “parade of champions” after securing his second straight NASCAR Modified championship for car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. The top five drivers in the seven NASCAR & INEX classes will also receive point fund checks along with a plaque.

In route to his second consecutive NASCAR Modified title 23-year old Kyle Soper got off to a fast start in 2019 winning a majority of his season total seven wins in the first two months of the campaign. Aside from his championship plaque and ring Soper will again be presented with the perpetual Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Driver’s Cup. Among Kyle’s 2019 triumphs was the $7,000 to win Islip 300 in June and for the second year in a row Soper and his Eastport Feeds team won the 2019 New York State championship in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. Over the past three seasons at Riverhead Soper has won four championships. Aside from his 2018 and 2019 NASCAR Modified titles Soper won the 2017 & 2018 Late Model crown for car owner Rob Pelis.

The Rob Peiis streak as a championship Late Model car owner continued in fine fashion in 2019 with his driver Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead narrowly edging out Chris Turbush of Wading Riverhead by 4 markers. Much like Soper in the Modifieds, McDermott got off to a fast start in the Late Models winning most of his 8 races on the year prior to the 4th of July. The 2019 crown is the fourth of Jeremy’s career who with his eight wins on the year set a new standard for Late Model wins in a single season at the track. For the third time in four years “The Fancy Farmer” Dave Brigati of Calverton won the Crate Modified championship utilizing a formula of consistent finishes during the summer to capture the title. Dave won once during the championship run.
One driver who stayed hot throughout his 2019 championship run was Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead who for the third year in a row won the Figure Eight championship with car owner Keith Repp, Tom’s sixth career title in the class. Tom dominated the action winning 10 of 13 race contested and he will also be presented with the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Figure Eight Driver’s Cup. Rogers is also a four time NASCAR Modified and one time Late Model champion at Riverhead Raceway. Another driver basking in the light of a sixth career track championship is 2019 Blunderbust kingpin “Slick Pick” Tom Pickerell of Huntington. Tom, a second generation driver tallied four victories in 2019. For the second year in a row Mark Stewart of Riverhead captured the Super Pro Truck championship for he and owner Andre Vega notching four wins along the way. “Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches became the all time leading winner in the INEX Legend Race Car ranks during his 5 win season that produced the soft spoke driver’s first career track championship. Richie and his father Wally are a two man low budget effort that win more often than not.

Batting .500 during the 2019 Street Stock season Eric Zeh of Selden and his Frank Curtis Motorsports team captured the 2019 Street Stock championship on the strength of 5 wins in 10 races for his first career title in the three year old division. Having enjoyed success in various forms of Enduro racing in years prior Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge burst upon the Mini Stock scene in a big way winning 7 times to secure the 2019 championship. Warren is now also the all time leading winner in the class that started in 2017. Phil LaManna of Smithtown notched his first career Truck Enduro championship while Jared Halsey of Southampton won the 8-Cylinder Enduro crown for the second year in a row while Christian Conklin of Riverhead repeated his 2018 Gut & Go Enduro championship again in 2019.
In addition to the 2019 champions the top five drivers from each of the 12 racing divisions will be presented plaques for their accomplishments with the 2019 Rookie of the Year drivers names for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and INEX classes. In the days to come the 2nd annual Most Popular Driver voting will begin at www.riverheadraceway.com with the winners to be recognized at the 2019 Riverhead Raceway Awards Ceremony.

The 4th annual Riverhead Raceway Awards Ceremony will start with cocktail hour at 7:00 pm with an open bar continuing throughout the affair that concludes at midnight.. Once the staff of Giorgio’s have taken entree orders at 8:00 pm the awards ceremony and dinner will commence. The band Noiz will be back to provide the musical entertainment for your listening and dancing pleasure during the course of the festive night.
Tickets are $90 per person and are now available for purchase. To obtain tickets please make a check payable to Riverhead Raceway Inc. and forward it to PO Box 1743, Riverhead, NY 11901. Please note how many tickets you require and the race team or driver you are aligned with. Tickets can also be purchased in person Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm by visiting track GM John Ellwood at Riverhead Raceway.


Riverhead, NY Sept. 29th

By Bob Finan

Noah Watts Photo

Under crystal clear blue skies the 3rd annual Laura Zegel Memorial 55 for the Street Stocks was run Sunday afternoon as part of the Enduro Extravaganza at Riverhead Raceway with David Antos of Lindenhurst scoring his second straight win in the race a victory that was worth $555 to win plus lap and other bonus money. Antos picked up an additional $200 for setting the second quickest time in qualifying and also earned lap money leading 52 of the 55 laps.
In qualifying Eric Zeh of Selden winner of five of the nine SS races run in 2019 at the track showed the way with a lap of 14.350 earning a $100 bonus for McCormick Motorsports as well a plaque. The $200 awarded to Antos for second quick time was backed by Kyle & Trish Curtis. With the top six from qualifying inverting for the start of the 55-lap contest Jay Henscehl broke to the early race lead chased by Antos over the first three laps. Antos, the 2018 SS champion knew he would have to get around Henschel soon with Zeh making his way into the top three and the driver of the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy did just that breaking to the lead on lap 4. Zeh’s march to the front was slowed when he and early leader Henschel went toe-to-toe for second which was just fine with race leader Antos. Zeh was able to move under Hanschel for second on lap 22 for second off turn four but just a few laps later Henschel and Zeh made slight contact when Jay was trying to race his way under Eric for second.

That turn of events moved Brian Brown who was forced to start at the rear of the field (15th) after leaving the impound area after qualifying to second. However there would be no reeling in David Antos on the day as he drove off to the prestigious victory his 2nd of 2019 noting afterwards, “this is how I want to win the race, not like last year” referring back to the disqualification of the race winner. “Laura was a sweet lady, big part of our Enduro family, I’m honored to win her race and this year the right way” Antos concluded.

Brian Brown of Riverhead was runner-up in the Staria Automotive Chevy putting on a show charging from the rear of the field while Eric Zeh drove his Best Built Construction Chevy not only to a third place finish but also the 2019 Street Stock championship for car owner Frank Curtis Motorsports.

For the 7th time in 2019 Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge won the Mini Stock feature event with Sunday’s win coming in a 20-lap contest. With the win Warren wraps up the 2019 Mini Stock title despite missing one of the 12 races run early in the season due to a blown engine. Newcomer James O’Connell impressed as the early race leader leading over several challengers that included Joe Cooke Jr., Justin Squires and Jamie Meyer. On lap 7 Joe Warren Jr. came to second and after spending the 7th through 11th laps reeling in O’Connell he made his way to the race lead on lap 11. Two laps later O’Connell surrendered second to Tom Puccia a three time winner in 2019. As is custom with Warren once he had the Tire Express Cavalier out front there would be no catching the all time leading winner in the class. Puccia of Shirley was runner-up in the Roli Tires entry while early leader James O’Connell of Miller Place came home third in the Walls of Fame machine.

Despite damage from contact with a lapped truck early in the race Gary Voight of Medford won his 3rd Truck Enduro of the season. Dustin Cole broke to the early lead pacing Kerry Botts for the first two laps before Gary Voight came to second. After sizing up Cole for two laps Voight made his move payoff on lap 5 passing Cole to the outside off turn 2. From that point forward the only concern for Voight was some right front damage he’d sustain after getting too close while lapping a slower truck. That plus championship leader Phil LaManna now running second gave Gary some anxious moments until he took the checker flag in the United Exhaust Shops Chevy. LaManna of Smithtown, a four time winner in ’19 was runner-up in his EP Milling & Sweeping S-10 clinching the season long championship in the process. Bobby Pease Sr. of Medford in the Fit Spot Gym was third.

For the fourth time in 2019 Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon came home the winner of the 8-Cylinder Enduro in his Lakewood Used Auto Parts Chevy. Carmine Ragusa and David Verbeeck diced for the lead early but it wouldn’t be long before Sean Fitzpatrick raced his way towards the front after starting the race from 9th. Jared Halsey of Southampton who started deep in the field for the 50-lap race drove to a runner-up finish behind Fitzpatrick good enough for the driver of the Sabrosa Mexican Grill Chevy to win his second straight championship in the class. Jared’s father Brian Halsey of Southamptoin was third in the PC Truck Repairs Chevy.

Popular Donald “Woot” Lawrence of Southampton won the 75-lap 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro for his third win of 2019 in the Gregor’s Well Drilling entry. Lawrence took the lead for good on lap 42 and was chased to the finish by runner-up Chris Olivari of Coram and Jack McKee of Riverhead.

Laura Zegel Memorial Street Stocks: 1. David Antos 2. Brian Brown 3. Eric Zeh 4. Phil LaManna 5. Wesley Sammon 6. Chris Lescenski 7. David White 8. Jay Henschel 9. Justin Ferreri 10. James Pape Jr. 11. Brian McCormack 12. Gerard Lawrence 13. Ed Fontana 14. Sal Sinatro 15. James DiPietro
Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Tom Puccia 3. James O’Connell 4. Justin Squires 5. Paul Wojcik 6. Chris Elixson 7. Jamie Meyer 8. Robert Dugre 9. Brad Bess 10. Joe Cooke Jr. 11. Matt Stawecki 12. Scott Phillips DNS- CJ Zurkowski, Martin O’Connell

Truck Enduro (top ten): 1. Gary Voight 2. Phil LaManna 3. Bobby Pease Sr. 4. Justin McGrady 5. Kerry Botts 6. Bobby Pease Jr. 7. Dustin Cole 8. Kim Daniel 9. Kevin McCartney 10. Mariah Lawrence
8-Cylinder Enduro (top ten): 1. Sean Fitzpatrick 2. Jared Halsey 3. Brian Halsey 4. Dale Doherty 5. Pat Collins 6. Dennis Jones 7. Michael Asdahl 8. Richie Hubbard 9. Ricky Carman 10. Justin McGrady

/6-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Chris Olivari 3. Jack McKee 4. Austin Elliston 5. Christian Conklin 6. Bill Brown 7. David Olivari 8. Bob Haley 9. Jason Savoy 10. Ryan Warren


Riverhead, NY Sept. 28th

By Bob Finan

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead scored his 5th NASCAR Modified victory of the 2019 season Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in a season ending 50-lap contest. The win was the 57th of Tom’s career moving him to just six wins behind all time track leader the late “Charging” Charlie Jarzombek. Rogers also won his 10th Figure Eight event of 2019 tying him with the late Joe Biondolillo Jr. for second on that all time win list with 53 tallies each. After a rough 2018 season weather wise that saw Riverhead Raceway rained out eight times the 2019 Saturday night NASCAR Whelen All American Series ran straight through from May until Saturday night without a rain out. The only blemish during the summer was two Wednesday night washouts in August.

Eric Zeh jumped to the early race lead and would pace the race for the first 15 laps with John Baker in tow. Baker who finished runner up five times in 2019 made his move to the race lead on lap 16 passing Zeh. Baker would lead up until lap 23 when he was overtaken by Chris Young for the top spot but Baker would roar back on lap 27 to reclaim the lead. Meanwhile Tom Rogers Jr. who started the race 7th was making his way towards the front with another veteran Dave Brigati who started from 9th in tow. On a double file restart just after the halfway mark of the race Rogers and Brigati would flex the years of experience with Rogers moving out to the race lead with Brigati now second.

Over the final 20-laps of the contest Tom Rogers Jr. in the Ken & Denise Darch owned Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy led the remainder of the race and afterwards reflected on the historic significance entering the 2020 season, “it would be nice to tie Charlie, he was such an iconic figure in our sport” Rogers admitted.

Dave Brigati of Calverton was runner-up in his JDL Environmental Chevy while Chris Young of Calverton wrapped up an impressive season with a third place finish in the Riverhead Building Supply Chevy. Dylan Slepain of Dix Hills and John Baker of Brookhaven completed the top five.

Jarrod Hayes of Calverton may have only started four Late Model races in 2019 but the cagey veteran won two of those four starts for a .500 batting average winning their 25-lap finale. Starting the race from the 4th spot Hayes made his way into the race lead on lap 15 but one lap later was passed by championship contender Chris Turbush. Turbush trying to overhaul Jeremy McDermott for the 2019 crown led until the two to go signal when Hayes came calling for the race lead once again in his My Guy NAPA Auto parts entry. Once back out front Hayes never looked back taking the checker flag. Chris Turbush of Wading River was runner-up in his Polywada Beverage Chevy but fell 4 point shy of passing Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead for the 2019 LM title. McDermott in his Eastport Feeds Pontiac owned by Rob Pelis sewed up the championship on the strength of 8 wins most of which came in the first half of the season.

“The King of Queens” Mike Albasini of Flushing roared to his second Crate Modified victory of the season Saturday night in a 25-lap affair. Albasini starting from the pole led all 25-laps of the race but had several challengers along the way. Matt Brode, Dennis Krupski, Gerard Lawrence and Sean Glennon at one time or another ran second to Albasini during the tilt. Glennon among all those challengers had the most on the line as he was trying to erase a 20-plus point advantage Dave Brigati brought to the track for the 2019 championship. When the dust settled Mike Albasini in his Hollis Court Collision earned his second career win in the former TS Haulers machine. Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in in the R&R Brothers Electric Chevy while Justin Brown of Manorville with a point to prove Saturday did so with his third place tally in the Motorcycle Mike Attorney At Law Chevy. For the third time in the four year existence of the Crate Modifieds Dave Brigati of Calverton clinched the championship in his Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy beating out Sean Glennon by 13 markers.

For the 10th time in 13 Figurre Eight races in 2019 Tom Rogers Jr sat in victory lane at the conclusion of the race. The 10 wins in a single season ties two drivers Roger Maynor and Joe Biondolillo Jr. who both won 10 races in a single season twice in their illustrious careers. Bryan Quilliam took the early race lead as he had done numerous other times this season when the green flag waved. Quilliam this time however looked like if the race could go green to checker would have a chance at winning his first career feature. However it was not to be as a caution slowed the race with less than five laps to gowhich allowed Tom Rogers Jr. in his United Exhaust Shops Chevy Coupe to take the race lead on lap 12. With Rogers out front Quilliam and Ken Hyde, who was Bryan’s best man at his recent wedding tussled for second while Rogers took the checker flag. Ken Hyde of Yaphank was runner-up in his Kings Park Contracting entry while Bryan Quilliam of Manorville came home a very impressive third in his Vecchio Cesspools Chevy. Rogers won his third consecutive track championship for car owner Keith Repp.

Ever since stepping into the Blunderbust ranks Cody Triola of Bay Shore has shown it was just a matter of time before he’d find his way to victory lane, Saturday night was that night in their 20-lap main event. Alyssa Paprocky jumped to the race lead at the throw of the green with Bill Wegmann Sr. in tow for the first three laps. Lap 4 saw Max Handley move to second behind Paprocky and the recent UNOH graduate was eyeing a run at the lead while trying to ward off third place Eddie Diaz. That battle for second got too close on lap 6 when Handley went around with Diaz sent to the rear for contact. On the ensuing restart Paprocky held her lead with Bill Wegmann Jr. now in the challengers role. However lurking in third was Cody Triola and just as the pack took the halfway signal Triola used the inside lane to make his was bu the leading tandem to take the race lead on lap 10 passing Paprocky on the backstretch. Over the final half of the race Cody triola hit his marks in the Cesspool Pros entry driving off to a well deserved and long awaited first career win. Alyssa Paprocky of Coram was runner-up in the Polar Bear Air Chevy while “Mad” Max Handley of Medford recovered from his lap 6 spin to claim third in the Relle Electric Caprice. Tom Pickerell of Huntington and his Encore Rentals team took home the 2019 Blunderbust championship, the fifth of Tom’s career.

Mark Stewart of Riverhead clinched his second consecutive Super Pro Truck championship in grand style winning their 20-lap finale Saturday night for his fourth win of 2019. Former multi time SPT champion and all time win leader Lou Maestri broke to the early race lead at the start of the race with Stewart quickly coming to second. A lap 4 Sean Glennon spin slowed the race and also set up a game changing restart that found Mark Stewart, a fourth generation driver from the famed Tuirbush racing family taking the lead in his East End Building Chevy. Once out front there would be no looking back for Mark Stewart who drove off to his 24th career win, a win that could be his last one for awhile as Mark has indicated he’ll be joining the United States Air Force. Stewart’s crew chief was also presented the annual $100 Joe DiGangi Crew Cheif of the Race award from runner-up Lou Maestri and his wife Tracy of Deer Park and their Line-X Truck Bed Liners of L.I. team. Eddie Schutz of Oyster bay was third in his Patriot Group Chevy.

Right from practice day in April Joseph Braun of Manorville a INEX Legend Race Car rookie showed speed and promise and on Saturday he delivered with his first career win in a 20-lap feature event. Popular “V-Ride” Mike Van Houten took the race lead at the start leading the first two circuits of the event. On lap 3 “Blankets” Joseph Braun jumped to the outside of Van Houten to take the race lead with Van Houten second for the third lap before being passed again to the outside by defending champion Jim Sylvester for second. Despite having the reining class champion behind him Joseph Braun kept his poise clicking off the laps in his Miller & Caggiano Attorneys At law entry all the way to the checker flag for his first career win. Jim Sylvester of Maasapequa was runner-up in the 860 Motorsports machine while Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was third in the Benimax Trucking entry. On the strength of his 8th place finish and five wins in 2019 “Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches clinched his first career track championship in the Hampton Fleet Service #25.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Dave Brigati 3. Chris Young 4. Dylan Slepian 5. John Baker 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Jack Handley Jr. 8. Michael Rutkoski 9. Eric Zeh 10. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 11. Jason Agugliaro 12. Kyle Soper 13. Chris Turbush DQ- Vinny Delaney

Late Models: Jarrod Hayes 2. Chris Turbush 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Dylan Slepian 5. Shawn Patrick 6. Jerry Giordano Jr. 7. Ray Minieri 8. Kevin Metzger 9. Johnny Vullo 10. Darren McCabe 11. Daryn Miller
Crate Modifieds: 1. Mike Albasini 2. Sean Glennon 3. Justin Brown 4. Chris Rogers 5. Gerard Lawrence 6. Terry Stiles 7. Matthew Brode 8. Dave Brigati 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Jason Hansen 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Peter Bertuccio 13. Dennis Krupski 14., Lou Maestri 15. Carey Rogers 16. Alex Calasanto

Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ken Hyde Jr. 3., Bryan Quilliam 4. Scott Pedersen 5. Eric Zeh 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Bob Dalke 9. Gary Fritz Jr. 10. Vinny Delaney 11. Paul Cummings
Blunderbusts: 1. Cody Triola 2. Alyssa Paprocky 3. Max Handley 4. Eddie Diaz 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. Tom Pickerell 7. Gary Caldwell 8. Joshua Creel 9. Kyle Halpin 10. Bill Wegmann Sr. 11. Tim Mulqueen
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Lou Maestri 3. Eddie Schutze 4. Ethan Brown 5. Frank Dumicich Jr. 6. Sean Glennon 7. Joe Cerabino 8. Thomas Cocozza

Legend Race Cars: 1. Joseph Braun 2. Jim Sylvester 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Brad Van Hounten 5. Kevin Nowak 6. Allan Pedersen 7. Eric Hersey 8. Richie Davidowitz 9. Riely O’Keefe 10. Jerry Curran 11. Anthony Colandro 12. Ed Cheslak 13. Mike Van Houten Jr. 14. Stephen Coleman 15. Patrick Moore 16. Jeff Otto Jr. 17. Scott Cheslak 18. Art Marrero 19. Joseph Costello 20. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 21. Nick Morabito 22. Charlie Hodge 23. Mike Benton 24. Chris Sinatro 25. Jake Curran 26. Colin Volpe