06/03/13 4:49pm
06/03/2013 4:49 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

When it was announced in late February that Timmy Solomito of Islip would drive five time Riverhead Raceway champion Wayne Anderson’s NASCAR Modified in 2013, Solomito was quick to say, “We are going to try and win some races and perhaps the track title.”

It took Solomito all of three races to attain one of those goals. He swept the Twin 30s for the NASCAR Modifieds Saturday night, earning his eighth career win.

“I can’t say enough about this team,” Solomito said after exiting the car and getting a bear hug from his car owner, Anderson.

Howie Brode of East Islip was the runner-up, with Shawn Solomito of Islip third. Eric Goodale of Riverhead drove from 14th to finish fourth with Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue credited with fifth after NASCAR officials deemed a late-race pass by Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., was too low on the track, moving Preece back a spot to sixth.

Shawn Solomito leads Brode in the division points, 110 to 108, with Preece third at 100.

Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters stole the show in the 25-lap Late Model main event, leading from wire to wire in a non-stop race to post his sixth career win. Roger Oxee of Peconic was second and Mike Bologna of Melville was third.

Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton notched his fourth career Blunderbust victory when he won a 20-lap feature event after taking the lead just prior to the halfway mark of the race. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford took second. Brandon Hubbard enjoyed a solid race, coming in third.

After an early race scare, Lou Maestri of Deer Park made it two wins in a row in Super Pro Truck action as he won a 30-lap main event for his 26th career triumph. Following Maestri, the all-time leading winner in the class, was second-place Erin Dumicich-Solomito of East Quogue and third-place Frank Dumicich Sr.

The Legend Race Car season is quickly starting to look like the 2012 campaign. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead won his second straight race, a 20-lapper. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was second, with Kyle Soper of Manorville third. After the race it was disclosed that a sample of Ellwood’s tires was being sent to a facility for testing.

Starting dead last in the 28-car field didn’t deter Christian Conklin of Flanders from taking the win in the 60-lap 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro. Jeff Dotzel of Kingwood, W. Va., was second. George Davis of Patchogue claimed third.

Matt Mulqueen of Levittown outlasted his two teammates, the father and son combination of Richard and Andrew Fowler of Wantagh, to take the win in a hard hitting 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby.

05/19/13 12:25pm
05/19/2013 12:25 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Howie  Brode of East Islip snapped a nearly three-year winless spell when he swept the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night.

Threatening skies forced the features to be moved up in the track’s running order because of  unexpected rain showers all around the facility. That didn’t seem to bother Brode, though, as he collected his 12th career win at Riverhead and his first since July 17, 2010, when he was triumphant in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial.

“That was some good racing and I sure am glad to be back here” Brode said from victory lane. “Just some good hard and clean racing.”

Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., was the runner-up, and defending champion Shawn Solomito of Islip drove in third. Ron Silk of Norwalk, Conn.,  and Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue completed the top five.

In other races:

Roger Oxee of Peconic celebrated his 61st birthday with his 62nd career Late Model victory when he topped that 25-lap feature event. Afterward, Oxee expressed sympathy for Shawn Patrick, who spun off a turn on Lap 7, enabling Oxee to go in front.

“I know I’d be upset if that happened to me,” Oxee said. “I’m really sorry for Shawn.”

Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., was second at the finish line, with Chris LaSpisa of Shirley third.

The annual Cromarty Cup 20 for the Figure Eight division drew a 12-car field for the event. When it was over, Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach hoisted the cup while celebrating his 10th career win. Johnny Vullo, making his first start in a couple of years, clipped three cones that are placed to keep drivers from cutting corners on Lap 14. That moved Pedersen’s second-place car into the lead, which he held over the final five laps. Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford came in second, and the opening-night winner, Tom Ferrara of Patchogue, took third.

Eric Zeh of Selden topped the 20-lap Charger main event to earn his second career feature event win. Chris Turbush of Riverhead was second. Chad Churilla of Hauppauge turned some heads with his solid third-place finish.

Talk about ending a dry spell. That is just what Blunderbust driver Tom Sullivan of Massapequa did as he won a 20-lap main event for his first win since August of 2005. Sullivan did a masterful job of thwarting challenges made by Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park. Sullivan was victorious for the third time in his career. Maliszewski held on for second while Tom Pickerell of Huntington was third.

Opening night found Lou Maestri with a heavily damaged Super Pro Truck sitting atop his open trailer, but those bad fortunes turned good Saturday as Maestri won the 20-lap feature event for his 25th career win. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue was second, and his sister, Erin Dumicich-Solomito of East Quogue, was third.

The defending Legend Race Car champion, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, scored the 20-lap main event win in dominating fashion. Outfitted in one of his father John’s old driving uniforms after his was damaged in a fire at the Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut in April, Ellwood quickly jumped to the lead from the pole position. The race was slowed when Justin Strumpf hit into a wall before a lap was recorded. When the race resumed, it ran its 20-lap distance without another yellow flag. This aided Ellwood more than it did Vinny Delaney of Holtsville, who was second. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was third.

05/07/13 4:00pm
05/07/2013 4:00 PM

Riverhead Raceway, Route 58, Riverhead Toyota

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.

05/04/13 10:00am
05/04/2013 10:00 AM
Riverhead Raceway, Route 58, Riverhead Toyota

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The 2013 Riverhead Raceway season begins tonight.

The 2013 season at Riverhead Raceway begins tonight with a full slate of races beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Today’s races will feature twin 30′s modifieds (time trials) as well as figure 8′s, late models, chargers, blunderbusts, super pro trucks and legends (time trials).

General admission gates open at 3 p.m. and time trials start at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.

Shawn Solomito of Islip is the defending modified champion after tallying 504 points last year.

On Sunday general admission opens at noon for enduro racing and practice for all divisions. The racing starts at 12:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 for adults.

For more information, visit riverheadraceway.com.

01/30/13 7:00pm
01/30/2013 7:00 PM
AMY SPERO FILE PHOTO  |  Shawn Solomito of Islip was officially crowned the modified champion

AMY SPERO FILE PHOTO | Shawn Solomito of Islip was officially crowned the modified champion Sunday afternoon at the raceway’s annual luncheon.

Shawn Solomito of Islip received a standing ovation and was officially crowned Riverhead Raceway’s 2012 NASCAR Modified champion on Sunday afternoon during the raceway’s annual champions’ luncheon in Center Moriches. After being presented with the championship hardware from Riverhead Raceway, Solomito was then awarded the perpetual Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Driver’s Cup, becoming the 12th driver to be given the cup.

Going into the season, Solomito and his SS Motorsports team dedicated their season to two fallen friends, Keri and Jason Trinca, who died in October of 2011. Solomito’s racecar carried a tribute collage to the Trinca family all season long. “I know I had two angels riding with me all season long en route to this championship,” Solomito said, “and I know somewhere in heaven Keri and little Jay are smiling down on us.”

It is the first NASCAR Modified championship of Solomito’s career.

Race teams and fans turned out to salute all eight track champions. Joining Solomito in the 2012 “parade of champions” were: Mike Bologna of Melville (Late Model), Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach (Figure Eight), Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead (Charger), Tom Pickerell of Huntington (Blunderbust), Roger Turbush of Riverhead (Super Pro Truck), Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead (Legend Race Car) and Andrew Fowler of Wantagh (Demolition Derby).

Rookie of the Year awards were handed out to Chris McGuire of Shirley (NASCAR Modified), Jeremy McDermott (Late Model), George Seus of Ronkonkoma (Figure Eight) and Cory Midgett (Charger).

10/01/12 2:00pm
10/01/2012 2:00 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

The curtain came down on the 63rd season of racing at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday evening with a full card of Enduro racing that saw Bob Engelfried of Stony Brook take his first career victory in a 50-lap Grand Enduro. Greg Harris of Riverhead scored his second win of the year in the Four/Six-Cylinder Truck event. The two drivers, however, took different paths to the winner’s circle.

Greg Zaleski, who started the Grand Enduro race 11th, moved by a struggling James Charrier for the lead on the 34th lap. Laps after surrendering the lead, Charrier, a five-time feature event winner, dropped to the infield with a left rear flat tire that had slowly been losing air.

Despite falling out of the race while seeking his sixth win of the year, Charrier clinched the 2012 Grand Enduro title on the strength of his five wins. It is Charrier’s second title in three years.

Once out front, Zaleski pulled away from the field and seemingly won his third race of the year. However, Riverhead Raceway’s chief technical inspector, Walter Bonczyk, told the top six finishers that an involved teardown would take place. Zaleski was one of four drivers who refused the teardown, earning an instant disqualification. Phil LaManna (fourth), David Antos (fifth) and Erick Zegel (sixth) all balked at the teardown as well.

Engelfried moved into the winner’s circle as his Chevy passed inspection. Steve Mastro of Port Jefferson was second. Glenn Simonin of Holtsville who, one week earlier had a career-best fifth-place finish, improved upon that tally with third-place honors. Chris Lescenski of Riverhead and Michael Retus of Manorville completed the top five.

Greg Harris liked the feeling of his first career Enduro win a few weeks back so much that he went out and won another 50-lapper.

“I guess the saying is true, the first win is the toughest, the rest get easier,” said Harris.

With a runner-up finish, Robin Vollmoeller of Riverhead sewed up the Four/Six-Cylinder Truck Enduro championship. Dale Owen of Oceanside was third, Don Nelson of Rocky Point fourth and Greg DiCanio of Seaford fifth.

Frustrated with how his Labor Day weekend Eight-Cylinder Enduro effort panned out, Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma was a driver on a mission Saturday as he scored a convincing win in a 75-lap feature that was the first of two for the class that day. Dominic Ranieri of East Northport clinched the Eight-Cylinder Enduro championship with his runner-up finish in the race. Jess Martines of Shirley was third, Dege Russell of Rocky Point fourth and Rob McCormick of Calverton fifth.

In the second Eight-Cylinder race that went a distance of 50 laps, Russell ended his season on a high note, driving to victory. Ranieri was second, with Pizzo third in the nightcap. Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville and Mark Wolf of Shirley were fourth and fifth, respectively.

As Steve Trimboli saw it, there was only one way for him to clinch the Four/Six-Cylinder Car Enduro title, and that was by going out and winning Saturday’s 50-lap main event. That is just what the Freeport driver did. Trimboli worked his way by the early race leader, Mitchell Pattern, on the eighth lap to take the lead, and once he was out front he dominated the remainder of the race. In a postrace interview, Trimboli disclosed that this win and championship would be his final one in the class as he will concentrate on a full Grand Enduro effort for 2013. Bob Haeger of Hampton Bays was second in the race. He was followed, in order, by Joe Warren Jr. of Rocky Point, Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach and George Davis of Patchogue.

09/24/12 2:00pm
09/24/2012 2:00 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

For the first time in his young career, Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka won the 2012 National Demolition Derby Championship on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. In addition, Jarrod Hayes of Calverton topped the field in a 50-lap Late Model feature for his second win in as many starts this season.

Savoy overcame star-studded field to win his title, outlasting Mike Smith of Kings Park when they were the last two standing. Smith, in his first Demolition Derby in eight years, took one last hit from Savoy on the left front suspension of his car that ended up being the fateful final blow.

Smith was named Judge’s Choice, while the Fan’s Choice went to Joey Palmeri of Lindenhurst. Other drivers in the field included Pete Mikos, Tim Mulqueen, Jack Levix, Bryan Fass, Brian Savoy, Rich Predmore, 2012 track champion Andrew Fowler and his father, Rich.

In the Late Model feature, Hayes ducked under Roger Oxee, a 61-time winner in the class, while entering a turn to take the lead on Lap 28. From there he pulled away to victory. Oxee of Peconic was second, with Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead third.

Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach took home the win in the Figure Eight class, leading from green flag to checker flag. It was his third win of the season. George Brown of Fort Meyers, Fla., chased Pedersen to the finish and came in second place. Tom Ferrara of Patchogue was third.

Chris Turbush of Riverhead collected his 33rd career Charger victory when he won a 30-lap event. Turbush scored his fourth win of the year in the CWC Motorsports Pontiac. After winning the race, Turbush extended congratulations to the class champion, Jeremy McDermott, who made a late-race move to finish second in the race. Ray Minieri of Bay Shore was third.

One driver who didn’t want to see the 2012 Blunderbust season end on Saturday was Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton, who won his second consecutive 30-lap feature event. White drove to his third career win, all of which came this season. Jack Handley Jr of Medford made a last-lap pass for second, and Rob Bader of Holtsville followed him in third.

In the Super Pro Truck 30-lap feature, Roger Turbush of Riverhead put the wraps on his second championship in three years with his fifth win of the year and 14th of his career. Mike Albasini of Flushing was the runner-up. Third place went to Lou Maestri of Deer Park.

James Charrier of Shirley continued his winning ways in the Grand Enduro ranks as he won a 50-lap event for his fourth win of the year. Steve Mastro of Port Jefferson and Walter Stroud of Yaphank were second and third, respectively.

09/17/12 2:00pm
09/17/2012 2:00 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

The old saying that good things come to those who wait rang true on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to Long Island to run the Riverhead 200, a race that was rained out on July 28. It was the 51st WMT race in Riverhead, and arguably the most competitive of them all. Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., survived a green, white checker to collect his second WMT victory of the season. Jimmy Blewett Jr. of Howell, N.J., actually took the checker flag first, getting the jump on Preece on the final restart, but NASCAR officials ruled that Blewett got to the line first and dropped him to last of the lead-lap cars, 12th.

Preece, a two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winner at Riverhead in 2012, won the pole position for the 200-lap race.

A late-race caution for a minor spin set up the green, white and checker finish. When the green light came on, Blewett got the better of Preece as the crowd went wild for the former Riverhead Raceway regular.

After being declared the winner, Preece said he knew that when Blewett beat him to the line on the restart, NASCAR would address the issue. “They preach to us at every meeting, the leader has to be the first to the line, so I knew NASCAR would handle it,” he said.

Preece also took a moment to dedicate the race to his grandfather, famed former car owner Bob Judkins. “My grandfather had a heart attack yesterday, he’s going to be fine but this win is for him,” said Preece.

Justin Bonsignore of West Islip was second and Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., was third. Howie Brode of East Islip led the Riverhead Raceway regulars with a fourth-place finish.

Brode was in the mix all race long. He placed second in the final Riverhead Raceway standings and did a good job managing his tires to post the finish. Many teams were thrown by the minimal cautions flags and caution-flag laps during the race that had two extended green-flag runs.

Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., fought back from a two-lap deficit to come home fifth.

Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue, a six-time feature event winner, was sixth. Former two-time Riverhead Raceway champion Frank Vigliarolo Jr. of Mount Sinai was 13th. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was 16th.

The Mike Ewanitsko Hard Charger of the Race Award went to Blewett. Ewanitsko, an 11-time NASCAR WMT winner at Riverhead, was impressed with the youth on the current tour. “Man, I’m feeling really old watching guys like Ryan Preece … and Justin Bonsignore go at it the way they do,” he said. “The WMT is in good hands with all these young guys running today.”

In other races:

Jimmy White Jr. set the fastest qualifying time, drew the pole and then led all 30 laps of Saturday night’s Blunderbust feature at Riverhead Raceway to score his second win of the year. Paul Dodorico of Miller Place waited until the final Legend Race Car event of the year to post his first win of the year in a 30-lap INEX Legend National Qualifier. The two races were a prelude to the Riverhead 200.

Following White to the finish line were second-place Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park and division champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington, who placed third.

For the second year in a row, Dodorico won the class’s final race of the year, wheeling to his second career victory. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was second, and Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was third.