Auto Racing: A driver’s perfect wedding gift — a win


Despite some stubborn weather systems that hung over Riverhead Raceway until late Saturday afternoon, the track beat Mother Nature to get its entire NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program in the books. And Jason Agugliaro of Islip beat the field in a 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature. Agugliaro fended off a hard-pressing Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead for his second career win.

It was also a fitting wedding gift. Agugliaro announced in victory lane that the big win came 24 hours after he and his fiancée, Theresa, were married on Friday. “Theresa puts up with a lot and to win on the weekend we got married, well it makes this all the more special,” he said.

It was a welcome victory in what has been a tough season for Agugliaro and his race team mainly due to engine issues. Earlier in the season, he ran as Rogers’ teammate.

Asked if he had been given a teammate “discount” from Rogers in the closing laps, Agugliaro said: “No sir. Tom raced me as hard as he’d race anybody and did it cleanly and you can’t ask for more than that.”

Agugliaro admitted it has been a tough year. “We lost our new motor in week two but thanks to Tom and his car owner at the time, Joe Ambrose, we never missed a race and I learned a lot from them and thank them.”

Rogers saw his two-race win streak come to an end. Howie Brode of East Islip made a late-race inside pass of Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., but that pass was called back as NASCAR officials felt that Brode dipped under the line to make the pass. Preece ended up third, Brode was fourth and Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville fifth.

In other races:

Mike Bologna of Melville earned his second Late Model win of 2014 after starting seventh in the 25-lap contest.

Chris LaSpisa of Shirley, another driver besieged by engine woes this season, came in second place and Roger Oxee of Peconic crossed the line third.

The defending Charger champion, Eric Zeh of Selden, notched his third win of the year in a 20-lap main event. With the victory, Zeh drew to within 2 points of Chris Turbush of Wading River in the standings. Turbush took second. Ray Minieri of Bay Shore was third.

Former two-time Super Pro Truck champion Roger Turbush of Riverhead scored a milestone victory in a 20-lap race, winning for the 20th time in his career. It was his third win of the season. Frank Dumicich Sr. of East Quogue finished second, and Mike Albasini of Flushing was third.

Greg Zaleski of Jamesport was in the right place at the right time to win the 50-lap Grand Enduro. He was followed to the line by the second-place Steve Mastro of Port Jefferson and the third-place rookie driver Cody Triola of Bay Shore.