Auto Racing: Solomito wraps up his first NASCAR Modified title


With heavy rain closing in from the west, it was a race to the finish to get the entire NASCAR Whelen All-American Series show in at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday evening. They made it just in the nick of time.

Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue notched the NASCAR Modified victory in 50-lap race, but with his third-place finish in the race, Shawn Solomito of Islip put the wraps on his first career NASCAR Modified championship. Two minutes after the completion of all the racing, the heavens opened up with a huge downpour.

After crossing the finish line, Solomito was doused with champagne.

Rogers was happy to stay out front for all 50 laps.

Howie Brode of East Islip was second in both the race and the championship standings.

Dan Jivanelli of Hampton Bays charged his way to a fourth-place finish from an 11th starting position and Timmy Solomito of Islip completed the top five.

In other races:

Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., scored his second Late Model win of the season with a late-race pass of Arne Pedersen on Lap 19. With a fifth-place finish, Mike Bologna of Melville sewed up the Late Model title for the second year in a row. Once out front, Kulesa led the remaining six laps for the win. Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach had a career best runner-up finish. Kevin Metzger of Massapequa was third.

Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach not only won the 15-lap Figure Eight feature event, but with that victory he also clinched his first career championship. Tom Ferrara of Patchogue was second in the race, and a disappointed Arne Pedersen crossed the line third.

With a fifth-place finish, Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead collected his first career Charger championship. Ray Minieri of Bay Shore led wire to wire in the non-stop 20-lap Charger feature to notch his 15th career win in the class and second of the season. Chris Turbush of Riverhead was second. Eric Zeh of Selden came in third.

After starting all the way back in the 18th spot, Tom Pickerell of Huntington drove to an eighth-place finish, good enough to win the Blunderbust championship. Sixteen-year-old Jack Handley Jr. of Medford scored his second Blunderbust win of the year when he won the 20-lap feature event. Rob Bader of Holtsville grabbed second and third went to Paul Parisi of Riverhead.

In the 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature, Lou Maestri of Deer Park won the battle but lost the war as far as the division championship was concerned. The good news for Maestri was that once he was out front, he never relinquished the lead, taking his division-leading 24th career win. The bad news for Maestri was that Roger Turbush of Riverhead finished second, good enough to give him his second Super Pro Truck championship in three years. Erin Dumicich of East Quogue was third.

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead had already sewn up the Legend Race Car championship coming into Saturday’s 20-lapper, but he wanted to ice the cake and he did that with his fifth win of the season. Chris Young of Calverton, a five time feature event winner this season in his own right, took second place. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville turned in a solid run for third.