Tag Archives: Riverhead Raceway


By Bob Finan

Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz are honored and excited to announce a four race series for the NASCAR Modifieds that will encompass the extra distance races scheduled for the 2020 season, now known as the Crown Jewel Modified events, at the historic quarter mile oval. In addition to the weekly NASCAR track championship points the series will carry a separate set of points awarding the top driver the Ted Christopher Cup. Christopher one of the most successful drivers to ever strap into an open wheel Modified of any kind tragically lost his life in an airplane crash while flying to Riverhead Raceway for a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on September 16th, 2017 at 59-years young.

The four race Crown Jewel modified series is the concept of Riverhead Raceway race director Scott Tapley, who along with track GM John Ellwood put the final touches on the series. The chase for the Ted Christopher Cup will start with the biggest race of the season at Riverhead the Saturday May 30th Islip 300, a race that pays the winner a cool $7,000. The second race will unfold on Saturday July 4th during the 70th Year Celebration with the NASCAR Modifieds set to do battle in a 70-lap tilt. Race number three takes place during the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Saturday July 25th with the four race series set to conclude Saturday night August 29th during the NASCAR 100. During the victory lane celebration at the conclusion of the NASCAR 100 the Ted Christopher Cup will be presented to the champion of the series. Track management additionally disclosed the Ted Christopher Cup will be a perpetual award much like the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Drivers Cup that is presented annually to the track’s NASCAR Modified champion.

GM John Ellwood noted the rules package for the series that Chief Technical Director Randy Murray will be implementing are the same that have been used during the annual Islip 300. That allows teams who run Modified Racing Series, Race of Champions or Tri-Track Series to run their series rules while competing in the Crown Jewel modified events at Riverhead and chasing the prestigious Ted Christopher Cup at Riverhead Raceway. All teams will be required to run the track Hoosier Racing Tire. The starting field for all four races will be set via time trials with no invert or redraw in play a policy new for 2020 at Riverhead Raceway.

Prior to making the announcement on the Ted Christopher Cup concept John Ellwood spoke first with Ted’s widow Quinn, “had a wonderful conversation with Quinn the other day and she is very touched about what we are doing in honor of her husband. In fact she told me she’s going to try and make it out to the four races and we hope to have her present the Ted Christopher Cup in August” John noted.

The driving career of “TC” indeed is a fabled one spread across numerous race tracks and divisions in the northeast. Ted stood victorious in the historic Riverhead Raceway victory lane 3 times in Whelen Modified Tour competition starting with his win in June of 2002 in the famed #13 and for the 3rd time in 2006 in Eddie Whelan’s #36 machine. Weekly Saturday night racing was a passion for “TC” and in fact Ted spent one summer racing weekly at Riverhead Raceway driving for Wayne Anderson and his Eastport Feeds team with the combination winning once that year in route to a 4th place finish in the championship standings. Teddy enjoyed most of his success at the famed Stafford Motor Speedway where he was a 9 time SK Modified champion totaling 131 wins along the way. “TC” scored four Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modified titles tallying 99 victories while visiting the winners circle 47 times at the Waterford Speedbowl in a SK Modified. Ted’s WMT stats include the 2008 championship and 42 career wins, third on the all-time win list.

Despite all that on track success Ted Christopher remained one of the most popular and charismatic personalities in the game and no matter where or what he competed race fans and media flocked to him simply just to be around the man affectionately known as the “King” to many in the northeast racing community. Riverhead Raceway will honor and remember that legacy this year and for seasons to come with the Ted Christopher Cup.

Additionally, John Ellwood announced that the six divisions that make up the weekly program at Riverhead Raceway will have also have a “Triple Crown” series in 2020 presented by Miller Lite the details of which will be released next week.

The 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series at Riverhead Raceway will open Saturday May 9th with the NASCAR Modifieds, Late Models. Crate Modifieds, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and INEX Legend Race Cars all in action. Two practice days will proceed opening night on Saturday afternoon April 25th and May 2nd. The May Meltdown Enduro program will hit the track Sunday afternoon May 3rd.

The complete 2020 schedule will be revealed at www.riverheadraceway.com after January 1st


The 2019 Riverhead Raceway Champions Dec 13th 2019 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

By Bob Finan

Riverhead, NY Dec. 13th. The calendar might have read Friday the 13th but there was nothing but positive vibes and celebration this past Friday in the main ballroom of Giorgio’s of Baiting Hollow as Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz officially crowned the 12 champions from the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and Enduro racing with a crowd of 356 on hand for the festivities. The seven NASCAR and INEX champions once again received their tradition championship rings, Hoosier Racing jackets and the lion’s share of the 2019 point fund paid to the top five in each class.

Tour Modified Champion Kyle Soper Dec 13th 2019 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

For the second consecutive year 23-year old Kyle Soper of Manorville was celebrated as the NASCAR Modified track champion along with his car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. The 2019 title is the fourth in the past three years for the soft spoken driver of the Eastport Feeds Chevy as aside from the 2018 NASCAR Modified title he also won the championship for the Late Models in 2017 and 2018. For Wayne Anderson the 2019 championship is 8th overall, five as a driver and now three as a car owner. The tougher than nails Anderson made his way to the podium with the aid of a cane as earlier that afternoon Wayne was released from the hospital and in patient physical therapy after knee replacement surgery. Aside from the 2019 championship plaque, Hoosier Racing Tire jacket and point fund check Soper & Anderson were presented the annual Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Drivers Cup, a perpetual cup awarded annually since 2001 when John Fortin Sr. first won the trophy. Highlighting Kyle’s seven wins in 2019 was his victory in the $7,000 to win Islip 300.

The Riverhead Raceway NWAAS Champions display their championship rings Dec13th 2019 Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

Tom Rogers Jr., of Riverhead, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and John Baker of Brookhaven completed the top five in the NASCAR Modified points. 2018 Crate Modified champion Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was named 2019 NASCAR Modified Rookie of the Year while Kyle Soper was voted Most Popular Driver. Soper and Anderson have indicated they will return as a team in 2020 to try and make it three championships in a row

Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead was honored as the 2019 Late Model champion giving car owner Rob Pelis his third consecutive LM crown after winning the title in 2017 & 2018 with Kyle Soper. McDermott a former three time LM champ never lost a beat once strapped into the Eastport Feeds Pontiac and in fact set a new single season win mark having won 8 races breaking the 7 win mark in a season set by Robin Vollmoeller (1983) & Paul McElearney (1984). 
Chris Turbush of Wading River made a late season charge winning five times in 2019 but settled for second in the LM championship chase with Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters, Ray Minieri of Bay Shore and Kevin Metzger of Massapequa completing the top five. No drivers were eligible for Rookie of the Year in 2019 as none raced the mandated 50% of the 15 races. Newcomer Gerald Giordano of Freeport was voted Most Popular Driver, the 2019 NETS Truck champion made 4 starts in the former Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen LM.

For the third time in the four year existence of the Crate Modifieds “The Fancy Farmer” Dave Brigati was honored as the champion of the rapidly growing division. Briagti in his Brian Schwarz prepared Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy won once in 2019 but was the model of consistency in route to the championship. Dave also remains the all time leading winner in the Crate Mods at 11.
Sean Glennon of Northport, Chris Rogers of Patchogue, Terry Stiles of Rocky Point and Peter Bertuccio of Bohemia completed the top five in Crate Modified points. Sean Glennon who won his first career race in 2019 was named Rookie of the Year while Justin Brown of Manorville was voted Most Popular Driver, Brown will move to the NASCAR Modified ranks in 2020 in a former Solomito family car.

Domination earned Tom Rogers Jr. his sixth career Figure Eight championship winning 10 of the 13 races run in his Keith Repp owned Chevrolet Coupe. It was the third year in a row Rogers and United Exhaust Shop team have won the title however their might not be a fourth in a row as current plans are for the team to sit out the 2020 race season. Rogers will hold onto the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Drivers Cup.

Eric Zeh of Selden, teammate to Rogers was runner-up in points with Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank, Vinny Delaney of Holtsville and Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach completed the top five. Only Hyde (2) and Delaney (1) won a race in 2019 besides Rogers. Joe Warren Jr. of Ride was named 2019 Rookie of the Year while for the second year running Tom Ferrara of Patchogue won Most Popular Driver.

Another driver basing in the spotlight of a sixth career track title was Blunderbust veteran Tom Pickerell of Huntington who most recently won the crown in 2017. Tom along with primary sponsor Marc Makely of Premier Infrastructure & Energy won four races on their way to the 2019 title. Cody Triola of Bay Shore Russ Jansen of Medford, Bill Wegmann of North Bellmore and Alyssa Paprocky of Coram rounded out second through fifth in points. Eddie Diaz of Centereach was the 2019 Rookie of the Year while Alyssa Paprocky won the Most Popular Driver.

For the second year in a row Mark Stewart of Riverhead, a fourth generation driver of the famed Turbush racing family was saluted as the Super Pro Truck champion. Salute is the appropriate term as Mark will not defend his championship in 2020 as he has enlisted and will be departing for a 4-year stint in the United States Air Force early in the new year. “The Real Deal” won four times in his Andre Vega owned East Side Builders Chevy ranking him 3rd on the all time win list with 24 wins. Lou Maestri of Deer Park, Sean Glennon, Eddie Schutze of Oyster Bay and Frank Dumicich Jr. of E. Quogue completed the SPT top five. Ethan Brown of Floral Park was named 2019 Rookie of the Year as well Most Popular Driver.

“Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches has always known how to get to INEX Legend Race car victory lane and in fact now leads the track all time win list with 25 triumphs but now he can add a track championship to his already impressive driving portfolio. Davidowitz, a route driver for UPS during the week won five times in 2019 in the car owned by his father Wally and backed by Benimax Trucking. In 2020 Benimax will also back Richie as he heads to the Crate Modifieds in addition to his Legend Race car driving duties. Eric Hersey of Commack, Kevin Nowak of Medford, Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches and Riely O’Keefe of Manorville were second through fifth. Joseph Braun of Manorville won both the 2019 Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver honors.
Having won five of the ten Street Stock races in

2019 Eric Zeh won the 2019 title for the full bodied race cars in 2019 along with car owner Frank Curtis Motorsports and the Best Built Construction team. Chasing Zeh were 2018 champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst, Wesley Sammon of Southampton, Brian McCormack of Holbrook and Brian Brown of Riverhead.  Chris Lescenski of Riverhead was voted the Most Popular Street Stock driver.

Enter 2019 Joe Warren Jr. had never won a Mini Stock race. By the time the 2019 Mini Stock season was complete Joe Warren Jr. was the all time leading winner in the class having won seven times this season in route to the 2019 championship. As he does after every win no matter what division Joe dedicated his championship to ‘Lil Jason Trinca. Chris Elixson of Riverhead, Paul Wojcik of Centereach, Tom Puccia of Shirley and Jamie Meyer of Riverhead rounded out the top five. Newcomer Matt Stawecki of Bayport was voted Most Popular.

Midway through the 2018 season Enduro veteran Phil LaManna of Smithtown bought a Enduro Truck and just one season later the driver of the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy found himself the Truck Enduro champion winning 4 of the 7 races contested. Three time winner Gary Voight of Medford was runner-up with Bobby Pease of Medford, Justin McGrady of Selden and Dustin Cole of Port Jefferson second through fifth.

Third generation driver Jarred Halsey of Southampton won his second straight 8-Cylinder Enduro title winning twice in 2019 in his Sabrosa Mexican Grill entry. Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon, Dennis Jones of Calverton, Brian Halsey of Southampton (Jarred;s Dad) and Dale Doherty of Jamesport completed the top five.

Despite a mid season flip and a wrecked Gut & Go Enduro car Christian Conklin of Riverhead with a little halp from his family and friends prevailed as champion of the Gut & Go class for the second year in a row. Conklin won three times in his Ham Racing/Spit’s Speed Shop racer and was chased by Woot Lawrence of Southampton, Robert Savoy of Medford, Eric Germuth of Hicksville and second generation racer Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindehurst.

During the evening aside from all the awards attendees enjoyed a five hour open bar, gourmet dinner and then danced the night away to the band Noiz.

With 2019 officially in the books track management announced the two Safety Tech Inspection Days leading up to the 2020 season will be held Saturday April 11th and 18th. The two pre-season practice days are set for Saturday April 25th and May 2nd while the 2020 opening weekend will usher in the new race season Saturday evening May 9th and Sunday afternoon May 10th. The complete schedule will be released shortly.

To contact the track during the off season please e-mail us at Riverheadraceway1@gmail.com. The track phone number remains 631-842-RACE.


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.