06/02/14 2:23pm
06/02/2014 2:23 PM

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RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified champion Howie Brode of East Islip is starting to hit his stride at Riverhead Raceway. Brode swept the Twin 30 feature events on Saturday night for his second and third wins of the young season, leaving him just two points behind the points leader, Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn. The two wins give Brode at 18 career victories. (more…)

05/20/14 10:22am
05/20/2014 10:22 AM

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RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

One week after backing his NASCAR Modified into a wall at Riverhead Raceway, defending champion Howie Brode of East Islip rebounded in fine fashion Saturday night, winning a 35-lap Whelen All-American Series feature event. The triumph was the 16th of his career, vaulting him into the championship chase lead by one point over Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn. (more…)

08/05/13 12:04pm
08/05/2013 12:04 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Timmy Solomito of Islip captured the first feature of Twin 30s at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday while the points leader, Howie Brode of East Islip, topped the field in the nightcap.

Solomito scored his second win of the season, with Dave Sapienza of Riverhead second. Brode crossed the line third, Dave Brigati of Calverton was fourth and Shawn Solomito of Islip fifth.

Over the final 10 laps of the second 30-lap feature, Brode was able to distance himself from Solomito, who was the runner-up. Shawn Solomito of Islip raced in third. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead came in fourth and Jason Agugliaro of Islip was fifth.

Brode disclosed his game plan after taking the win in the second race. “We kind of played it cool in the first race and let things play out,” he said. “Then in the second race we had some luck fall our way.”

Late Model veteran Kevin Metzger of Massapequa went into Saturday’s 25-lap feature event having not won since May 22, 2010, but that all changed when the checker flag waved, giving the former two-time champion his 11th career win. With no ill effects from his brush with the wall, Metzger was able to hold off Ken Alfano of Southold for the hard-fought win. Roger Oxee of Peconic placed third.

Ray Minieri of Bay Shore visited Charger victory lane for the third time this season after he prevailed in a 20-lap main event for his 18th career win. Eric Zeh of Selden was second and third went to Chad Churilla of Hauppauge.

It has been an up and down Blunderbust season for 17-year-old Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, but it was all up for him on Saturday as he won his third feature event of the year, a 20-lap contest. Handley was immediately followed at the finish line by Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge and Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore.

Mark Stewart of Riverhead, a 15-year-old newcomer to the Super Pro Truck class, turned heads once again this week as he won his second consecutive 20-lap main event. The points leader, Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue, was second. Dave Koenig of Freeport took third.

Joe Warren Jr. of Rocky Point, who is enjoying a breakout season in the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro division, won for the fourth time in five races this season. George Davis of Patchogue was second. James McCarthy of Bellmore raced his way from 38th to a third-place finish.

07/22/13 12:23pm
07/22/2013 12:23 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Howie Brode of East Islip make a late-race pass with 10 laps remaining to win the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 NASCAR Modified race on Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.It was his third Whelen All-American Series feature win of the season.

After taking a victory lap, Brode choked back tears as he rolled into victory lane. “Even though we dropped back to third for a bit, this car was good and I just kept digging,” he said.

Afterward, Brode was presented with a trophy with a photo of all three drivers the race is named after. With his voice cracking, Brode said, “I think all three of these greats were riding with me tonight.”

Ron Silk of Norwalk, Conn., was the runner-up. Timmy Solomito of Islip scored a solid third-place finish. Dave Sapienza of Riverhead came in fourth, with teammate Dave Brigati of Calverton completing the top five.

In other races:

Scott Pedersen survived the sultry heat top triumph in a Figure Eight event that ran 13 of a scheduled 15 laps. Pedersen, the 2010 track champion, was named the race winner with the race checkered do to a time limit. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore moved up from ninth place to finish second. The defending champion, Mike Mujsce of Quogue, took third.

Ray Minieri of Bay Shore claimed victory in a 20-lap Charger race. Chris Turbush of Wading River may have been would motor off to his 35th career win but had other ideas. The two tested tough veterans put on a great side-by-side race for the lead over the final six laps. With two laps to go, Minieri made an inside pass of Turbush and stayed in front to score his second win of the year and 17th of his career.

“Chris and I ran hard but clean for the win,” Minieri said. “I hope the fans enjoyed it.”

Turbush, who had to settle for second, said, “I can’t recall being passed for the race lead but it was a good race.”

John Baker of Brookhaven was the third to cross the finish line.

With his AARP card tucked in his wallet, Ron Langdon of Wantagh celebrated his recent 50th birthday by winning a 20-lap Blunderbust feature event.

Tom Pickerell of Huntington dove under Langdon for the lead and was the first under the checker flag. However NASCAR officials determined that Pickerell’s last-turn pass found him under the yellow line, a decision that Pickerell agreed with in a sportsmanlike manner. That decision put Pickerell back one spot into second place, and Langdon, who began his driving career at Freeport Stadium, was declared the winner. Langdon’s car owner, Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge, finished third.

Soon to be high school senior Kyle Soper of Manorville scored his second career win in a Legend Race Cars 20-lap feature. His winning move took place when the race started. Armed with an outside pole starting spot, Soper was able to beat the pole sitter, Justin Strumpf, to the lead. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was second, and Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches placed third.

07/15/13 2:29pm
07/15/2013 2:29 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Howie Brode of East Islip scored his second win of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday when he took first in a 35-lap Modified feature. It was his second win of the season and the 13th of his career.

With threatening, extremely hot and humid weather, competitors’ emotions ran high during the course of the program. It took numerous attempts to get the race underway, with minor spins and crashes, jumped restarts, passes under the yellow line and one incident that saw Tom Rogers Jr. disqualified from the race.

Asked if being out in front of the wild action behind him was the key to victory, Brode replied: “Any night you’re out front it’s a good thing but tonight for sure. I don’t know what was going on but I’m glad I wasn’t back there.”

Brode now finds himself atop the division with a commanding 42-point lead over Rogers.

Shawn Solomito of Islip earned his runner-up finish. Jason Agugliaro of Islip posted his best run of 2013 with a third-place tally. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was fourth and Jerry Solomito Jr. of Islip was fifth. It was Solomito’s second straight top-five showing in his last two starts.

Emotions were also high in the 25-lap Late Model race but for a different reason. Ken Alfano of Southold drove to his first Late Model win since the death of his wife, Julie, a couple of years ago. She had cancer.

Alfano led the final 21 laps of the race when his biggest challenge was keeping tears from blurring his vision. After the win he parked his car against a wall, exited the car and blew kisses to the sky.

Alfano’s teammate, Chris LaSpisa of Shirley, driving a car painted pink in honor of the late Julie Alfano and others battling cancer, was a happy runner-up. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., took over the division points lead with his third-place finish.

The fourth generation of the famed Turbush racing family made his way to victory lane. Mark Stewart of Riverhead won a 20-lap Super Pro Truck contest. Stewart, the grandson of all-time leading Charger winner Dan Turbush and the nephew to brothers Chris and Roger Turbush, broke to the front at the throw of the green flag and stayed there the rest of the way. Dave Koenig of Freeport was second, and Roger Turbush of Riverhead won a battle for third.

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead pocketed his third Legend Race Car win of the year in what was another dominating performance for the defending champion. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was second, moving him to second place in points, trailing Ellwood by 54 markers. Kyle Soper of Manorville motored in third.

Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma continues to be the driver to beat when it comes to Eight-Cylinder Enduro events at Riverhead Raceway. He won yet again on Saturday. Rob McCormick of Calverton barely made it to the track in time after spotting for a driver in a race in New Hampshire. He nonetheless drove his car from 25th to second. Ed Brown Jr. of Mastic Beach led the race early and ended up third.

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.