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Riverhead Raceway: Baker, Schneider are Modified winners

09/25/2017 12:02 PM |

John Baker of Brookhaven and David Schneider of Northport split two 40-lap NASCAR Modified events at Riverhead Raceway Saturday. They were the second career wins for both drivers.

The NASCAR Modified championship will be decided between two three-time track champions this coming Saturday with John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville taking a four-point lead over Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue into the final night of racing.

Baker’s season had seen some good runs but also some tough results along the way. He triumphed Saturday ahead of the runner-up, Fortin. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was third, Rogers fourth and Dave Brigati of Calverton fifth.

In the nightcap, after leading early and then surrendering the lead, Schneider rebounded for the win. Howie Brode of East Islip was second, followed by Kyle Soper of Manorville, Fortin and Legend Race Car champion John Beatty Jr. of Merrick.

After chasing C.J. Lehmann of Center Moriches for a good part of the race, Brigati, successfully defended his Modified Crate championship. He drove to victory in a 30-lap event for his ninth career win and sixth of the season. Lehmann was second and Justin Brown of Manorville was third.

Rogers has owned the Figure Eight division this year. He secured his eighth win of the year (and 34th of his career) to clinch the championship. Rookie Greg Harris of Riverhead drove in second and Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach came in third.

A ninth-place finish was enough for Tom Pickerell of Huntington to clinch the 2017 Blunderbust title. Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge appeared to have recovered from a recent blown engine to record his 64th career win in the class, but his car was moved to last place for “unapproved engine seals.” That moved Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead into victory lane for the third time this season. Bill Wegmann Sr., 73, of North Bellmore was second, with Tim Mulqueen of Levittown third.

In what some are calling one of the best races in the 67-year history of the track, Mike Albasini of Flushing outlasted teenage sensation Mark Stewart of Riverhead to win a 20-lap Super Pro Truck race. The win was Albasini’s 12th of his career, tying him with Stewart and Brigati for sixth on the all-time win list. Sophomore driver Sean Glennon of Northport finished third.

The Super Pro Truck championship will come down to Saturday’s final 20-lap feature, with Brigati leading Owen Grennan of Glen Cove by seven points.

Brad Van Houten of Wading River made his first visit to victory lane this year after taking a 20-lap Legend Race Car main event. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead gave Van Houten a run for his money before settling for second. Jeff Otto Jr. of Deer Park placed third.

Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays officially clinched the Mini Stock championship when he won Saturday night. Paul Wojcik of Centereach was second and third went to Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue.

Second generation driver Jamie Kilkenny of Howard Beach collected his second career National Demolition Derby Championship.

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