There is no better way for a racecar driver to start off a title defense than with a victory. That is exactly what Shawn Solomito of Islip did Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. He swept the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events on the opening night of the 2013 Whelen All American Series.
John Beatty Jr. of Merrick was second to Solomito in the first 30-lap segment. The second 30-lap tilt saw Solomito remain the race leader for his fourth career victory.
Beatty crossed the line second, but postrace technical inspection found unapproved carburetor barrels and he was disqualified. That turn of events moved Dave Brigati of Calverton to a runner-up finish, with Eric Goodale of Riverhead third, Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., fourth and Howie Brode of East Islip fifth.
The 2012 Charger champion, Jeremy McDermott, will not defend his championship in that class so that he can focus on driving a Late Model. That proved to be a wise choice on opening night as he drove from a 10th-place starting berth to his first career victory in a 25-lap feature. Peter Eriksen of Baldwin made a charge over the final half of the race to come back for a runner-up finish. Mike Bologna of Melville made a recovery himself, coming in third.
Tom Ferrara of Patchogue scored the opening night Figure Eight victory in a 15-lap main event as he led wire to wire. It was his sixth career win. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore was second and Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach claimed third.
Chris Turbush of Riverhead scored his 34th career Charger victory in a 20-lap main event. Tom Anderson of Medford and Eric Zeh of Selden were second and third, respectively.
Controversy turned up in the 20-lap Blunderbust feature event. The win awarded to Justin Wahl of Centereach, his second career triumph.
The controversy arose on the final turn of the final lap. Both Scott Maliszewski and Jack Handley Jr. came off the turn out of shape after contact. Maliszewski spun while Handley managed to cross the line first. However, NASCAR officials deemed that Handley was “rough riding” and set him down to the last car on the lead lap, moving Wahl, who was racing in third when the lead duo got together, as the winner. Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore spun across the line for second place. Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton was third.
Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue drove to victory in the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature event as he bested his father, Frank Sr., in the process. He drove to his 13th career victory. The senior Dumicich was second, with Dave Koenig of Freeport third in his first start since winning the championship.
Kevin Nowak of Medford, who drew the coveted pole position, topped the Legend Race Car feature event, leading all the way in the 20-lap race. The next two places went to Paul Dodorico of Miller Place and the defending champion, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead.
TWO GREGS COME UP WINNERS The 28th consecutive season of Enduro racing debuted Sunday afternoon at Riverhead Raceway. Greg Zaleski of Jamesport topped the 50-lap Grand Enduro while Greg Harris of Riverhead scored the victory in the 50-lap 4/6-Cylinder Truck Enduro.
One, Greg had a convincing win, while the other had to work right up until the last turn to claim his win.
The Grand Enduro was a hotly contested race right from the drop of the green flag with seven position changes taking place for first and second over the first 27 laps of the contest. Following Zaleski to the line at the end were second-place James Charrier of Shirley and third-place Erick Zegel of Medford.
Harris didn’t allow anyone near him in his quest for the 4/6-Cylinder Truck victory as he quickly moved from his third-place starting berth to take the lead as the green flag waved. Don Nelson of Rocky Point was second and Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead emerged from deep in the field to claim third.
Two 8-Cylinder Enduros were run. Ed Brown Jr. of Mastic Beach made a triumphant return to racing with a victory in the first 75-lap race after taking last season off. Brown took the lead for good on Lap 39. Kris Dane of Hicksville was second, and veteran Spiro Germanakos of Elmont took third.
Anthony Pizzo of Ronkonkoma drove to victory in the 40-lap nightcap for the 8-Cylinder class and was followed by Dominic Ranieri of East Northport and Bob Baker of Shirley.
Teenage driver Joe Warren realized the dream of a lifetime when he scored his first career win in a 50-lap 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro. Jeff Dotzel of Kingwood, W.V., was second and third went to Peter Rabaglia of Bohemia.