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Riverhead Raceway: Solomito gets high grade for textbook pass

Defending NASCAR Modified champion Shawn Solomito of Center Moriches executed a textbook pass Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway to score his second straight victory in the Mullet Madness 50. The victory was the 17th of Solomito’s career.

Solomito’s victory came on his son Landon’s second birthday. “Of all my wins here this one is very special,” he said. “It’s my son’s birthday and with time trial qualifying working in our favor it’s pretty cool to win, especially tonight.”

Solomito, who nearly gave the lead up in an aborted restart when his car got stuck in high gear, admitted afterwards, “With the early-season bad luck we’ve suffered through on the Whelen Modified Tour and even here at Riverhead, it was about time we got a break in our favor.”

Kyle Soper of Manorville, making his first start of 2017, came home second while veteran John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville took over the championship points lead on the strength of his third-place tally. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars Brendon Bock of Franklin Square and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville completed the top five.

In other races:

After going winless in 2016, Late Model veteran Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters found his way back to victory lane, winning a 25-lap feature event. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead claimed runner-up money while Soper assumed the points lead with his third-place finish.

Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills notched his fourth career Modified Crate victory after starting the race from the seventh spot in a 25-lap main event. In just his third start, Kurt Kreiger of Miller Place was an impressive second. Dennis Krupksi of Calverton placed third.

For Figure Eight winner Tom Ferrara of Patchogue, his 11th career triumph in a 15-lap main event saw his emotions ran the gamut of high and low as he pulled into the winners circle with a blown motor in his Cadillac. Ferrara was able to slip by Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, a 27-time career winner in the class, for the lead on the eighth lap. Once in the top spot, Ferrara was able to stay there, but with two laps to go his car started to billow heavy smoke as Ferrara nursed it home for the win. Rogers was second. Rookie talent Greg Harris of Riverhead was in the mix late for the win before settling for third.

Tom Pickerell of Huntington scored a milestone 20th career Blunderbust victory, his second win of the year. The 20-lap affair saw Jim Laird of Riverhead make a late-race pass for second. Wayne Meyer of Flanders crossed the line third.

Defending Super Pro Truck champion Roger Turbush of Riverhead earned his 28th career win in the class, finishing first in a 30-lap main event. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was the runner-up. Owen Grennan of Glen Cove finished third.

Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue notched his fourth win in six starts in the Mini Stocks when he won a 30-lap race. Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays was second, with Steve Fuller of Manorville third.

Demolition Derby rookie John Palmeri of Lindenhurst was the last man standing when a Four-Cylinder Demolition Derby concluded.