Auto Racing: Anderson caps comeback with 32nd career win
Wayne Anderson of Yaphank, a five-time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion, completed his comeback from a heart problem he had last year with a victory in a 35-lap feature Saturday night. The win was Anderson’s 32nd career triumph at Riverhead Raceway, tying him with Bill Park for fourth on the all-time win list.
Over the closing laps, Justin Bonsignore tried to sneak the nose of his car under Anderson exiting the corners, but the crafty veteran was equal to the challenge. It was Anderson’s first win since May 10, 2008. When asked about his comeback, Anderson changed the subject and praised his sponsors.
Bonsignore of Holtsville wasn’t scheduled to be in Riverhead on Saturday, but a scheduling change made it possible for him. His second-place finish moved him into the division’s points lead. Shawn Solomito of Islip had a solid outing, coming in third. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was fourth and John Fortin of Holtsville fifth.
Jarrod Hayes of Calverton, who set the fastest time during the time trials, won the 50-lap main event for the Late Models. Hayes took the lead from Scott Kulesa on the 22nd lap and went on to drive to his eighth career Late Model win, his first since May of 2007. Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., was second and Roger Oxee of Peconic third.
The 20-lap Blunderbust feature event appeared to have a feel-good, first-career-win story going for it for Gary Caldwell of Miller Place, but in the end it didn’t turn out that way.
After taking the lead from Scott Sepe on Lap 4 of the race, it looked as if Caldwell had his first career win. However, a postrace inspection found Caldwell with unapproved suspension parts in his front end, and he was disqualified. When the issue was explained to Caldwell, the soft-spoken driver nodded his head in agreement and calmly walked away, giving back the trophy he thought he had won.
That turn of events made Ed Mistretta of New Hyde Park the winner, his first victory since August of 2007 and the fourth of his career. A newcomer, Jack Handley Jr. of Medford, turned plenty of heads during the race and was second. Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge was third.
Brian McElearney of North Babylon enjoyed the thrill of a first career win when he topped the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature event. McElearney, the son of Late Model legend Paul McElearney, a 45-time winner at Riverhead Raceway, held off second-place Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue. Lou Maestri of Deer Park was third.
Chris Young of Calverton collected his second win of the year in a 20-lap Legend Race Cars feature event. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was second and Kyle Soper of Manorville was third.
Robin Vollmoeller Sr. of Riverhead collected the win in the Four/Six-Cylinder Truck Enduro after taking the lead late in the 50-lap race. Vollmoeller passed Jimmy Denis for the race lead on Lap 37. Denis of Middle Island finished second. Third place went to Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point.
Gene Burbol of Brookhaven made it 2 for 2 in the Six-Cylinder Enduro ranks by winning a see-saw battle with Mitchell Pattern in a 50-lap affair. Pattern of Southold was second, and Peter Rabaglia of Bohemia took third.