Auto Racing: Preece makes pass for third straight tour win

09/16/2013 1:49 PM |

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., scored his fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the year Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway after he executed an inside pass of Timmy Solomito with 23 laps remaining in the Green Earth Technologies 200. The win was Preece’s third straight WMT triumph at the track, tying him with Mike Ewanitsko as the only two drivers to score the Riverhead hat trick by winning three WMT races in a row.

Preece crossed under the checker flag not only as the race winner but also increasing his WMT championship lead over the defending champion, Doug Coby, to 46 points with three races remaining.

“I just love Riverhead,” Preece said. “I knew around Lap 100, if I just stayed on Timmy [Solomito] I would find an opening sooner or later.”

Referring to his third straight win, Preece said, “Three in a row and to have my name mentioned with the great Mike Ewanitsko is just awesome.”

Justin Bonsignore was second and upbeat about his race. “If you told me on Wednesday that we’d run up front all night long and finish second, I would have told you I’ll take it,” he said.

Solomito of Islip was third. “Just a great day for us, won the pole and then led 177 laps,” he said. “I just didn’t have enough to hold off Ryan, but third is fine with me.”

Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Conn., was fourth, with Howie Brode of East Islip steering his way to a fifth-place finish. Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Penn., Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park completed the top 10.

In other races:

Two 30-lap features were presented, with Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton being declared the Blunderbust winner some five hours after the completion of the race. High school senior Kyle Soper of Manorville drove to the Legend Race Car victory by a few car lengths.

In a postrace inspection that lasted until well after midnight, it was deemed that Jack Handley Jr., who had seemingly nailed down the victory, had unapproved work done to his heads and he was disqualified from the race. That handed the victory over to White, the second time this year his team won a race in this manner. Championship contender Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park finished second. Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge recovering from a spin to claim third.

In the Legend Race Car event, Soper enjoyed his second win of the campaign. Brad Van Houten of Wading River took second, and Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches came in third.