Riverhead Raceway: Solomito just loves opening night

AMY SPERO PHOTO | Timmy Solomito won the featured race on opening night at Riverhead Raceway for the second consecutive season Saturday.

Timmy Solomito of Islip scored his second straight opening night victory when he topped the second segment of the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified features on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Dave Brigati of Calverton, who was second, said: “I did all I could to pass Timmy. I hope the fans liked the show.”

Frank Vigliarolo Jr. of Mount Sinai, a two-time champion, was third, ahead of fourth-place Howie Brode of East Islip and fifth-place Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue.

The defending Late Model champion, Mike Bologna of Melville, was one of several 2011 champions who started their title defense with a victory; he prevailed in a 25-lap Late Model feature. It was his eighth career win. Peter Eriksen of Baldwin was the runner-up. Kevin Metzger of Massapequa survived a rough early portion of the race to cross the finish line third.

Sometime a driver is in the right place at the right time. That was the case when Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach won the Figure Eight 15-lap main event.

For the first 14 laps of the race, Mike Mujsce showed the way over Kenny Hyde Jr. and the two rivals went at it. After taking the white flag, Hyde made contact with Mujsce going into the third turn of the course and both cars went spinning. That turn of events opened up the door for Pedersen to drive from third place to victory lane, starting his championship defense off in fine fashion.

Mujsce of Westhampton Beach came in second place. His teammate, Tom Ferrara of Patchogue, was third.

The 2011 Charger rookie of the year, John Baker of Centereach, turned a winter’s worth of hard work into a trip to victory lane as the sophomore driver scored his first career win in a 20-lap Charger feature. Ray Minieri of Bay Shore, a tested veteran, did all he could to try and pass Baker, but had to settle for second. Eric Zeh of Selden drove in third.

Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge is one step closer to his 50th career Blunderbust win after collecting his 49th in a 20-lap feature event. Bill Wegmann of North Bellmore placed second. Tom Pickerell moved into third after working his way up from 13th.

In a non-stop Super Pro Truck event, Lou Maestri of Deer Park led wire to wire to post his 22nd career win, tying him for the top spot on the all-time win list with Danny Grennan. Mike Albasini of Flushing came in second, with Frank Dumicich of East Quogue third.

The defending Legend Race Car champion, Chris Young of Calverton, picked up right where he left off last year, winning a 20-lap race. He was immediately followed in order by Kyle Ellwood of Calverton and Paul Dodorico of Miller Place.