Two of the brightest young NASCAR Modified stars waged a classic battle Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 100. Timmy Solomito of Islip held off the hard-charging Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville in a battle that race fans will be talking about for years to come. The victory was Solomito’s second in three races in 2011 and the sixth of his career.
Bonsignore, who tweaked his wrist on Lap 10, toughed it out for a stellar runner-up finish. He was the first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular to cross the finish line. Zane Zeiner of Bath, Pa., who never before laid eyes on the demanding Riverhead oval, did a masterful job of coming in third. Howie Brode of East Islip and John Fortin of Holtsville completed the top five.
In other races:
Mike Bologna of Melville enjoyed the best season of his Late Model career in 2010 and picked up where he left off with a wire-to-wire win in the 25-lap Late Model main event. It was his sixth career Late Model triumph at Riverhead Raceway. Peter Eriksen of Baldwin was second, with the opening-night winner, Chris LaSpisa, of Shirley placing third.
Chris Turbush of Riverhead, the three-time and defending Charger champion, took advantage of a rare third starting position to score the win in a 20-lap feature event. With his 26th career win, Turbush broke a tie with his uncle Rusty for third on the all-time win list. C.J. Lehmann of Mastic Beach was second and Jeremy McDermott of East Stroudsburg, Pa., took third.
Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park scored an emotional win in the 20-lap Blunderbust feature event, just over a month after his mother Patricia passed away. Maliszewski, who placed his mother’s picture inside his race car for inspiration, won for the 14th time in career. That moved him into a tie for fourth on the all-time Blunderbust win list with Ron Harrison. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was second in the race, ahead of the third-place Michael Rommeney of Maspeth.