Riverhead Raceway to honor memory of three drivers tonight

07/21/2012 1:00 PM |

GETTY IMAGES | Charlie Jarzombek was one of Riverhead Raceway’s most beloved drivers before he was killed at Martinsville, VA, in 1987.

Three of the most respected drivers to ever compete at Riverhead Raceway will be remembered tonight during a special 77-lap event. Riverhead Raceway will honor the memory of Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans and Charlie Jarzombek, all of whom all died from racing-related injuries.

The event is aptly dubbed the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77.

Jarzombek, known as “Chargin’ Charlie,” raced at many tracks across his career as he tallied 200 career victories, but Riverhead was always his hometown track. A member of the Long Island Sports Hall of Fame, Jarzombek began racing at 20 year old in 1962. One of his most celebrated wins came in the 1986 Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway. In 1985 he claimed the Stafford Speedway Modified Championship.

At Riverhead his 63 modified victories is the most all-time, a mark that won’t soon be broken. The most wins for an active driver is 28.

A native of Baiting Hollow, Jarzombek died in 1987 after an accident at a race in Virginia. More than 2,000 people attended his funeral at St. Isidore’s Church in Riverhead.

Evans was a recent inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He tallied 20 career victories on Long Island, 17 of them coming at Islip. His last Long Island win came at Riverhead Raceway in 1985, two months before he died from a crash.

Baldwin won 11 races at Riverhead from 1978 to 1992 and was the Most Popular Driver for the modified tour in 2003. An East Patchogue native, Baldwin died in 2004 after an accident at the Thompsen International Speedway. Baldwin’s son, Tom Jr., is the team majority owner of Tommy Baldwin Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Tonight’s 77-lap event will feature the likes of Howie Brode, Tom Rogers Jr. and Shawn Solomito among others all jockeying for the win. There will also be a 20-lap Figure Eight main event, plus chargers and super pro trucks. Feature events begin at 6:15 p.m.

joew@timesreview.com