Auto Racing: Brode goes from hitting wall to victory lane



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.

“Can’t thank my guys enough,” Brode said in victory lane. “We were torn up pretty good last week and this is a very satisfying win.”

Preece was second, John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville third, Ron Silk of Norwalk, Conn., fourth, and Dave Sapienza of Riverhead fifth.

The Cromarty Cup 20 Figure Eight event turned out to be the race of the night, if not one of the best races in the 51-year history of the division. Tom Rogers Jr. prevailed, giving veteran car owner Keith Repp his first ever victory.

“It’s an honor to win the Cromarty Cup,” Rogers said moments after his 18th career win.

Roger Maynor of Bay Shore took second, and Arne Pedersen was third.

Ray Minieri of Bay Shore notched his 19th career Charger victory, leading all 20 laps. C. J. Lehmann of Mastic Beach was second, with third going to defending champion Eric Zeh of Selden.

It was a busy day for Blunderbust winner Jimmy White Jr of Southampton. After practicing his car in the afternoon, he rushed back to his hometown to be part of his sister’s wedding. With the reception in Riverhead, White was able to return to the track to drive his car to the winners circle before returning to the wedding. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was second in the 20-lap race. Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow survived a battle for third.

If you ask Erin Solomito of Hampton Bays which one of her Super Pro truck wins was the toughest, she would undoubtedly point to Saturday night’s win in which she had to withstand a torrid second-half battle with Roger Turbush of Riverhead for the victory. A last-lap shuffle saw both Mike Albasini of Flushing and Dave Koenig of Freeport get by a faltering Turbush, who wound up fourth.

Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches prevailed in a rough-and-tumble, 19-lap Legend Race Car feature. It was his second career win. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was second. Kyle Soper of Manorville placed third.