Auto Racing: After six runner-ups, Christopher snags victory

09/04/2012 3:30 PM |

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

After posting no less than six runner-up finishes, Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., finally hit victory lane on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. Christopher picked up his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victory of the season and fourth of his career, taking first in a 35-lap event.

“I really love racing here at Riverhead,” Christopher said. “It’s a fun place.”

Howie Brode of East Islip trimmed 12 points off Shawn Solomito’s division lead with his runner-up finish. Going into the final race of the year, Brode sits 12 points behind Solomito. Justin Bonsignore of West Islip, who won a week earlier, was third. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown and John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville completed the top five. Shawn Solomito of Islip was eighth.

In other races:

Mike Bologna, the defending Late Model champion, scored his ninth career win and in the process virtually clinched the 2012 championship. Bologna, who started the race seventh, holds a 30-point lead over the No. 2 driver, Shawn Patrick, going into the last race of the season. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., was second and Chris LaSpisa of Shirley took third.

Taking full advantage of her pole starting position, Erin Dumicich of East Quogue rebounded from some recent motor issues to score her second Super Pro Truck win of 2012. Dumicich notched her third career win while Chris Turbush of Riverhead came in second. His brother, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, was third. Division leader Chris Turbush leads Roger Turbush by two points going into the points finale.

With one points race to go, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, with his fourth-place finish, clinched the Legend Race Car championship. It is the 17-year-old driver’s first career championship.

For the second week in a row, Chris Young of Calverton left his dorm room at Purdue University in Indiana to catch a flight home for the 20-lap Legend Race Car feature, and once again he prevailed, scoring his fifth win of the year. It was Young’s 10th win over the past two seasons. Paul Dodorico of Miller Place was second. Kevin Nowak of Medford placed third.

The Four-Cylinder Demolition Derby boiled down to a duel between father and son. Andrew Fowler of Wantagh outlasted his father, Rich, to score the victory and clinch the division championship.

ZALESKI, NELSON ROLL Greg Zaleski of Jamesport scored his second Grand Enduro win of the year on Sunday afternoon. Don Nelson of Rocky Point topped the Four/Six-Cylinder Truck Enduro for his first win of 2012.

Zaleski passed into the lead on the ninth lap of the 50-lap race before pulling away from the field for a comfortable victory. James Charrier of Shirley was second, with Steve Mastro of Port Jefferson third.

The 50-lap Four/Six-Cylinder Truck Enduro saw Nelson take the lead on Lap 5 and make his way around lapped trucks for the victory. Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead made a late-race move to claim second place. Third went to Ben Gregor of Bridgehampton.

Two Eight-Cylinder Enduro races were contested. The first, a 75-lap affair, went to veteran Dominic Ranieri of Northport, who moved one step closer to the championship. The second one went 50 laps, with Dege Russell of Rocky Point overtaking Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma for the win.

Steve Trimboli of Freeport crossed the line first in a hotly contested Four/Six-Cylinder Car Enduro, but was later found to have unapproved rear suspension parts/adjustments. Following a lengthy discussion, Trimboli was disqualified, and Ed Fontana of Wading River was declared the race winner.

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