05/27/14 1:35pm
05/27/2014 1:35 PM

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RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., topped a nonstop, 35-lap NASCAR Modified field at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday evening. The win was his first of the season and moved him into the championship chase lead by five points over defending champion Howie Brode of East Islip.

When told he was the new points leader, Preece seemed shocked. “Really?” he said. “Well I’m just here to win races and have fun. My schedule won’t allow me to run for the title but it is nice to lead for the moment.” (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…)

05/12/14 1:07pm
05/12/2014 1:07 PM

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RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

A pair of one-hour rain delays did not stop the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program on Saturday, or three-time NASCAR Modified champion John Fortin Sr. The Holtsville driver made a triumphant return to victory lane, sweeping the headlining Twin 30 NASCAR Modified features at Riverhead Raceway.  (more…)

05/06/14 11:00am
05/06/2014 11:00 AM
Teenage race car driver Vincent Biondolillo posed with kids at Stotzy Park last Friday during Riverhead Little League's Opening Day. (Credit: Barbarallen Koch)

Teenage race car driver Vincent Biondolillo posed with kids at Stotzy Park last Friday during Riverhead Little League’s Opening Day. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Baseball and race cars. The two worlds collided last Friday when teenage race car driver Vincent Biondolillo stopped by Riverhead Little League’s Opening Day to pose for pictures with kids in front of his No. 06 race car.  (more…)

05/05/14 1:41pm
05/05/2014 1:41 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY

The 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series got underway Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway as 2012 NASCAR Modified champion Shawn Solomito of Islip swept both ends of the Twin 30 feature events. Over the past four opening nights, either Shawn or his younger brother Timmy has won a feature at the quarter-mile track. (more…)

12/03/13 10:10am
12/03/2013 10:10 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The back parking lot of the Christmas Tree Shops overlooks a clear view of Riverhead Raceway.

It appears the parking lot of the new Saber Riverhead shopping center — featuring Dick’s Sporting Goods and other stores — gives shoppers something extra: a free view of the high-speed action that will take place next door at Riverhead Raceway.

But not for long.

Management at the Route 58 Raceway plans to erect a new section of billboards to block the view of the southern portion of the track, which can be seen from the adjacent parking lot.

“It’s not going to be an open area,” said Joseph Arian, a marketing manager for the racetrack.

He said the raceway hopes to have the new billboards in place by April, when the 2014 racing season starts.

The idea is to offset the cost of the billboards through the advertisements carried on them, Mr. Arian said.

“We’re hoping the local businesses will want to be involved, especially because of all the new shopping in the area,” he said.

The 122,000-square-foot Saber Riverhead complex, where Dick’s Sporting Goods, Christmas Tree Shops and Five Below have already opened, is one of three new large shopping centers in the vicinity.

The 271,000-square-foot Shops at Riverhead center, which will have a Costco Warehouse as its anchor, is being constructed across the street from the raceway and a new 170,000-square-foot super Walmart store is being built just west of that.

It’s possible that some shoppers in the new stores, which include a Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar and grill, will be inspired to visit the racetrack as well, Mr. Arian said, since it will be just a short walk away.

10/27/13 6:00am
10/27/2013 6:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Many attendees to Saturday's races wore Jason Trinca memorial T-shirts and sweatshirts.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Many attendees to Saturday’s races wore the Jason Trinca memorial sweatshirts and T-shirts that were on sale.

If you heard three load roars parceled out after 3 p.m. on Saturday in Riverhead, then you heard the local racing community’s way of remembering one of their own.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | 25 drivers participated Saturday.

Organizers said 25 drivers participated Saturday.

The third annual Jason Trinca Memorial Go Kart Event was held Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.

The event is run in memory of Jason Trinca, a racing enthusiast who died at the age of 7 in a car accident.

His mother, Keri, 30, also died in the Oct. 8, 2011 accident. Jason’s siblings, Marialena and Christopher, now 6 and 4, survived the crash.

The family was on its way to the Route 58 raceway that morning.

The East End Kart Racing Club and East West Marine in Manorville organized Saturday’s memorial, in which 25 drivers participated. The 48-lap race — to commemorate Jason’s racing number — was broken down into three segments so that drivers would have an opportunity to refuel.

Jason’s father, Jay, attended Saturday’s event with his children, friends and family, many of whom were bundled up in black memorial hoodies. Purple and yellow balloons — Jason’s colors — adorned the raceway.

Mr. Trinca walked onto the racetrack holding his son Christopher’s hand and climbed to the official spot where the two got to wave the green flag during the race.

TRINCA FAMILY COURTESY PHOTO \ Jason Trinca in an undated photo.

COURTESY PHOTO | Jason Trinca in an undated photo.

Shortly before the race began, Mr. Trinca told the News-Review that auto racing was always family affair.

“I’m here every Saturday in the spring and summer,” he said. “I got my son involved with racing and it’s something that’s been a part of our family. It’s what we do.”

Mr. Trinca said that he’s grateful for the racing community’s support — and for their prayers for his children.

“We’re two years into it and everybody is still with us,” he said. “Their support is overwhelming.”

A trust has been set up to help support the Trinca family.

Donations can be made to Trinca Family Memorial Trust, 41 East Main St. in Riverhead.

jennifer@timesreview.com

09/23/13 1:38pm
09/23/2013 1:38 PM

RIVERHEAD RACEWAY ROUNDUP

Jason Agugliaro of Islip scored his first career NASCAR Modified feature event win, a 50-lap affair at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday. He reclaimed the lead with 12 laps left in a wild contest. Agugliaro had to ward off a last-lap, last-turn challenge by the 2013 NASCAR Modified champion, Howie Brode of East Islip.

Exiting a turn, Agugliaro pinched Brode up against the wall, slowing his challenger enough to grab the victory.

“I know Howie is upset right now,” Agugliaro said. “I told my team I’d do whatever it would take to get a win before the season ended and I was able to keep that promise.”

Dave Brigati of Calverton made a late-race pass on Brode to claim second place. Brode placed third. Dave Sapienza of Riverhead was fourth and Timmy Solomito of Islip fifth.

In other races:

Kevin Metzger of Massapequa, a two-time champion, scored his second Late Model win of the year, taking a 25-lap main event after a thrilling battle with Shawn Patrick. After the first lap, Metzger led the rest of the way. Patrick of Brightwaters had to settle for second and third went to defending champion Mike Bologna of Melville. With a fourth-place finish, Jeremy McDermott clinched the championship. McDermott has won back-to-back championships in two separate classes. Last year he won the Charger title.

After winning the 2012 Figure Eight title, veteran Mike Mujsce of East Quogue has endured a hangover season in 2013, but that changed Saturday when he won a 15-lap feature for his first win of the year. Roger Maynor was able to race his way for second. Maynor was hoping to put enough cars between him and fellow title contenders Ken Hyde Jr. and Arne Pedersen for his ninth championship. Then Pedersen’s title hopes went south on Lap 11, with a flat tire forcing him to pit. All the championship implications didn’t matter to Mujsce, who stormed off to the win. Maynor of Bay Shore was second and Hyde of Medford not only placed third but also clinched the championship at just 21 years of age.

Eric Zeh of Selden knew that there was only one way he could avoid all the possible tie-breakers for the 2013 Charger championship with four-time champion Chris Turbush of Riverhead, and that formula was a simple one: Win the race.

Zeh knew that winning his fourth race of the year would be the way to go, and that is just what he did. Trailing Turbush by a mere 2 points going into the race, Zeh wasted little time making his way to the front. He passed rookie Rich Wilson on Lap 2 for the lead. Meanwhile, Turbush was having a rough go of it as he was sent to the rear of the field for rough riding early in the race and later had to pit with a flat tire. That was music to the ears of Zeh, but by no means was he having an easy time up front. Ray Minieri was all over him for the lead in a heated battle. In the end, Zeh, the grandson of former NASCAR Modified car owner Carl Zeh, wrapped up his championship season with a win. Minieri of Bay Shore was second. C. J. Lehmann of Shirley rebounded nicely from an early-race spin to claim third.

Without question, the wildest championship battle belonged to the Blunderbust class. Bill Wegmann Jr. of Patchogue captured his first win of the year after having come close on numerous occasions earlier in the season. Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park, who entered the race 8 points behind the points leader, Tommy Walkowiak, grabbed second place and the championship as well. Walkowiak was disqualified from the race. Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow was third across the finish line.

The Super Pro Truck 20-lap feature went non-stop, with the defending champion, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, taking full advantage of a rare pole starting position to not only lead all the way to the checkered flag but pulling away from the field in the process. Turbush’s season was full of blown engines and other mechanical breakdowns, but he still won his third race of the year. Dave Koenig of Freeport was the runner-up. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue was third. With that finish, Dumicich became the 2013 Super Pro Truck champion for the first time in his career. His father, Frank Sr., is a past champion in the class.

Timmy Solomito of Islip, on the strength of a last-lap pass, scored the Legend Race Car victory. Solomito won the race win by less than a car length over second-place Kevin Nowak of Medford. A 16-year-old driver, Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, clinched the 2013 Legend Race Car championship with his third-place finish.