Auto Racing: Rogers enjoys twin Modified killing

08/06/2012 1:00 PM |

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue keeps on rolling along.

Rogers swept both ends of Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events for the Whelen All-American Series at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night. With the wins, he inched closer to Shawn Solomito and Howie Brode in the season-long track championship while taking sole possession of the Whelen All-American Series New York State points lead.

In the first race, a caution flag waved on Lap 2 for Marisa Niederauer, Rowan Pennink and Vincent Biondolillo, who all collided on a turn. On the ensuing double-file restart, Rogers rode the outside lane to the lead, with Howie Brode tucking into second and Ted Christopher third. Timmy Solomito moved into third for a spell before being passed by his brother, Shawn Solomito, during an extended green-flag run which lasted until the checkers waved to end the first segment.

Like the first 30-lapper, the nightcap featured an extended green-flag run and that allowed Rogers to check out on the field en route to his fifth win of the season and 18th of his career.

Asked if the win was as easy as it looked, Rogers replied: “There are no easy wins at Riverhead. This is the most talented NASCAR Modified field in the country and you better bring your ‘A’ game.”

Christopher of Plainville, Conn., was the runner-up. John Fortin of Holtsville, in his first start since June, drove to a third-place finish. Shawn Solomito of Islip and Howie Brode of East Islip completed the top five, giving Solomito a 14-point lead over Brode in the championship race with five races to go.

In other races:

Another driver continuing his recent winning ways was Chris Turbush of Riverhead, who won his second straight Charger feature event and third overall this season in a 30-lap affair. Turbush scored his 32nd career win at the expense of Eric Zeh of Selden, who took second. The points leader, Jeremy McDermott of East Stroudsburg, Penn., crossed the line third.

A nearly two-year winless drought and a recent run of bad luck had left Rob Bader of Holtsville scratching his head, but all that changed Saturday as he won the 20-lap Blunderbust feature for his first win since Sept. 11, 2010. It was his eighth career win. Tom Pickerell of Huntington came in second, with Richie Hubbard of Mastic third.

Roger Turbush of Riverhead notched his third straight Super Pro Truck win, triumphing in a 20-lap feature event after surviving a long side-by-side battle with Mike Albasini and a late-race challenge from his brother, Chris. While Roger Turbush drove off to his 13th career win, the points leader, Chris Turbush, had to settle for second. Lou Maestri was third.

The Legend Race Cars provided a wild last-lap, multi-car race for the win with first-year driver Christian Conklin of Flanders surviving to score his first career win in his 10th start. The race came down to a three-wide dash off turn four on the final lap of the race. When all was said and done, Conklin prevailed by a mere 0.011-second margin over runner-up Brendon Bock of Franklin Square. The points leader, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, was third.

James Charrier of Shirley took home top honors in the 50-lap Grand Enduro for his third win of 2012. Just before the halfway mark of the contest, a red flag waved for a hard three-car crash on Lap 24. Ray Fitzgerald hit the wall off turn two and made contact with both Thomas Berg and Don Carasiti. All three cars were heavily damaged but all three drivers were not injured. When the race resumed, Charrier led the rest of the way for the win. Greg Zaleski of Jamesport was second and Bob Engelfried of Stony Brook took third.

Former Car Rollover champion Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka scored a one-point win over Thaddeus Lattanzio, 13-12.