Auto Racing: With win, Preece bolts atop standings

05/27/2014 1:35 PM |



Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., topped a nonstop, 35-lap NASCAR Modified field at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday evening. The win was his first of the season and moved him into the championship chase lead by five points over defending champion Howie Brode of East Islip.

When told he was the new points leader, Preece seemed shocked. “Really?” he said. “Well I’m just here to win races and have fun. My schedule won’t allow me to run for the title but it is nice to lead for the moment.”

Timmy Solomito of Islip was second and John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville was third. Brode held off Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead for fourth.

In other races:

The Late Models ran Twin 15 feature events Saturday and they were a tale of two races. Mike Bologna of Melville and defending champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead split the twin bill.

For Bologna it was his 10th career win. He finished ahead of second-place Jarrod Hayes of Calverton and third-place Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead.

A restart affected the outcome of the second race. When the green flag waved, Hayes and Bologna made contact off a turn four, with McDermott going airborne for a moment. But McDermott never stopped while Hayes, Bologna, Kevin Metzger and Chris LaSpisa were forced to pit. On the ensuing restart, McDermott took over the lead, shocked his car was not damaged from its brief flight. He went on to win, with Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters and Bologna following him to the finish line in order.

C. J. Lehmann of Mastic Beach became the fourth winner in as many Charger races this season, finishing first in a 20-lap event. Eric Zeh of Selden motored in second. Cory Midgett of East Hampton continued his early-season hot streak with a third-place showing.

Mark Stewart of Riverhead made a triumphant return to victory lane, winning a 20-lap Super Pro Truck race to become the fourth winner in as many races in that class. Mike Albasini of Flushing was the runner-up. Dave Koenig of Freeport took third.

Kyle Soper of Manorville turned in a convincing performance for a 20-lap Legend Race Car victory. Justin Strumpf of Selden came in second, with Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches notching his second podium finish in as many weeks with a third.

In the night-ending, Four-Cylinder Demolition Derby, Rich Fowler of Wantagh was the last man standing.

WHITE, MCCORMICK SHARE ENDURO SPOTLIGHT Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton emerged as the winner in a 50-lap Grand Enduro on Sunday afternoon. It was his first win of the season. Rob McCormick of Calverton staved off a challenge to win a 50-lap Four/Six-Cylinder Truck Enduro. For McCormick it was his first truck win of 2014 but third overall, having won two Eight-Cylinder races on May 4.

In the first of two Eight-Cylinder races, Dominic Ranieri of East Northport scored a win in a Chevy that he has been racing and winning in for over 10 years. The 50-lap nightcap went to Anthony Pizzo.

Peter Verwys Jr. of East Rockaway made a last-lap pass for the win in a Four/Six-Cylinder Car Enduro that went 60 laps.