Auto Racing: At Riverhead Raceway, the show goes on

08/13/2012 4:00 PM |

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

With rain showers dotting the East Coast and several race tracks calling off their scheduled shows early Saturday, Riverhead Raceway rolled the dice and ran its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. Shawn Solomito of Islip was sure glad it did because he won his second NASCAR Modified feature of the season. The win stretched Solomito’s points lead to 22 over his nearest rival, Howie Brode of East Islip, with four scheduled races remaining.

Regarding his lead in the championship standings and his strategy for the final four races, Solomito said, “Right now we’re going to just try and finish in the top five and see how it goes the rest of the way.”

Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., was the runner-up. Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., was third, Timmy Solomito of Islip fourth and Brode fifth.

The only casualty of the incoming inclement weather was the Late Models, the last feature of the night which was stopped after three laps with Kevin Metzger leading the way. Track officials will announce a plan for the completion of the race.

One week ago, Cory Midgett wasn’t sure if he wanted to race his Charger car after his brother, Brian Midgett Jr., was injured in a serious head-on collision in their hometown of East Hampton the Sunday before. Well, he did race on Saturday for his recovering brother and Brian watched from the wheelchair he is using while his legs heal.

Cory, in just his 10th career start in the class, went out and led all 20 laps to score an emotional win. John Baker of Brookhaven was second, and Eric Zeh of Selden took third. Both Baker and Zeh had won their first career races earlier in the year.

The mid-season portion of the Super Pro Truck season hadn’t been too kind to Mike Albasini of Flushing, but he changed all that Saturday with a win in a 20-lap main event. It was his eighth career win in the division.

Just six laps shy of scoring what would have been his first career win, Rich Campo, with both Albasini and Frank Dumicich Sr. breathing down his neck, spun out of the lead in the first corner, drawing a yellow flag. On the ensuing single-file restart, Albasini remained out front while father and son, Frank Dumicich Sr. and Jr., fought for second, which the younger Dumicich grabbed, leaving his father third.

The 2010 Legend Race Car champion, Kevin Nowak of Medford, topped a 20-lap feature event, using his experience to take the lead from Jeffrey Goodale on a Lap 6 double-file restart. Nowak, who gained his first win of the year, was immediately followed by two teenage drivers — Brendon Bock of Franklin Square and Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead.

The Four-Cylinder Demolition Derby was run in a light rain shower, with Andrew Fowler of Wantagh topping the 17-car field. Fowler and first-time competitor Michael Suk of Patchogue were locking horns when one of the disabled cars that had been eliminated earlier caught fire and the red flag was displayed. After the fire was put out, Suk’s car would not re-fire and Fowler, the Demolition Derby points leader, took home the trophy.

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