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Riverhead Raceway: In between raindrops, an Agugliaro victory

07/18/2016 8:48 AM |

On a night of auto racing between the raindrops, Jason Agugliaro of Islip went wire to wire in a non-stop 40-lap NASCAR Modified race to claim victory Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. NASCAR Whelen All American Series officials were able to get all 140 laps of NASCAR feature event racing completed in just a tick over two hours under threatening conditions as a near capacity crowd looked on.

Agugliaro, who claimed his third career NASCAR Modified victory, was asked if the light rain drops had him. “It was a bit slick, but not too bad,” said the driver who made up the front row along with 14-year-old rookie Dillon Steuer of Bohemia. “I was worried at the start about Dillon starting on the pole for the first time, but he did a nice job. He’s going to be a good one.”

Shawn Solomito of Center Moriches was second. Cory Midgett of East Hampton came in third, Kyle Soper of Manorville was fourth and Steuer fifth.

On the eve of his 40th birthday, Chris Turbush of Wading River survived light contact with the wall while racing for his fourth Late Model victory of the year. On Lap 15, while exiting the second turn, championship leader David Roys was under Turbush for the lead, but moved up the track, forcing Turbush to tap the wall with his right front wheel. NASCAR race officials called for a yellow flag for the purpose of sending Roys to the rear of the field for the contact. Turbush remained in the lead for the final 10 laps and secured an early birthday gift. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters took second and Eric Zeh of Selden battled his way to third. Roys stormed in fifth.

For the 116th time in his Figure Eight career, Roger Maynor of Bay Shore sat in victory lane after the 15-lap main event was completed. With one lap remaining in the race, Ken Hyde Jr. seemed to be on his way to his second straight win when all of a sudden a lapped car turned right into his path, sending the race leader into a spin, drawing a yellow flag. Afterward, Maynor said: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, I guess. It’s a shame. Kenny had a good car.”

Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach was the runner-up. Third went to Chris Elixson of Riverhead. Hyde salvaged his night by racing in fifth.

Many drivers are happy with two wins in a season, but Saturday night Jack Handley Jr. of Medford won two feature events in two separate divisions — back to back!

First up was a 20-lap Blunderbust feature event that saw Handley take his fourth win of 2016. With over five laps remaining, Handley ducked under Jim Laird Jr. of Islip Terrace to take command of the race. Tom Sullivan of Massapequa made a late-race charge to come home second while Laird finished third.

Handley then strapped in for a 20-lap Super Pro Truck main event. When the race concluded, Handley’s first words when he exited the winning truck were, “I’m truly blessed.”

Rob McCormick of Ridge was the second to cross the line. Dave Brigati of Calverton placed third.

Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches notched his second INEX Legend Race Car win of the season, triumphing in a 20-lap race. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead moved into the championship lead with his runner-up finish. Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue finished third after starting 10th.

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