Riverhead Raceway: Solomito holds off Christopher for victory

AMY SPERO PHOTO | Shawn Solomito of Islip recorded his first victory of the season Saturday.


The NASCAR Modified Twin 30s Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway was a short-track classic. Shawn Solomito of Islip held off numerous challenges by Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., to sweep both 30-lap segments for his first victory of the season. The duo went head to head no less than six times in double-file restarts that had the fans on the edge of their seats.

Over the final 10 laps of the second 30-lapper, Solomito was able to pull slightly away from Christopher. It was an emotional victory for the driver, who choked back tears at the thought of two friends who were killed in a motor vehicle accident last October.

Christopher was second. The division’s points leader, Howie Brode of East Islip, crossed the line third. That gave him a 24-point lead over Solomito. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick completed the top five race finishers.

In other races:

Roger Oxee of Peconic notched his 61st career Late Model win in a 25-lap feature event, a win that Oxee hopes changes his 2012 racing fortunes for the better. The all-time leading winner in the class was followed by the second-place Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., and the third-place Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters.

Even though Tommy Walkowiak won 50 Blunderbusts main events going into the 30-lap main event on Saturday, it still is good to have a little luck fall your way once in a while. Jack Handley Jr., on the verge of his 16th birthday, was the leader when he spun out with two laps to go. Scott Maliszewski had to take evasive action by ducking under the spinning Handley, and that was all Walkowiak needed as he raced by for the lead and his 51st career win. Tom Pickerell of Huntington, who was running fourth at the time of Handley’s undoing, found himself with a runner-up finish. Handley did well to reel in a third-place finish.

Roger Turbush of Riverhead made it two in a row in the Super Pro Trucks as he led wire to wire in a non-stop 20-lap feature event. His brother, Chris Turbush of Riverhead, was second. Lou Maestri of Deer Park came in third.

Chris Young of Calverton, the defending Legend Race Car champion, scored his third win of the year by taking a 20-lap feature event. Kyle Soper of Manorville was second, with Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead placing third.