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Riverhead Raceway: Victory catapults Rogers into championship lead

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead notched his third NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified win of 2017 Saturday night and in the process took over the championship lead by one point over John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville. The triumph in the 50-lap event was the 46th of Rogers’ NASCAR Modified career, moving him four wins behind Jim Malone Sr. on the all-time win list.

After climbing out from his car, Rogers said, “That was some fun racing tonight.” He said the second- and third-place finishers, 15-year old Dillon Steuer of Bohemia and Howie Brode of East Islip “ran me real hard but real clean and that’s all you can ask for.”

Chris Young and Dave Brigati, both of Calverton, were in the hunt all race long and rounded out the top five.

Late Model championship leader Kyle Soper of Manorville scored his fourth win of the year, winning a 25-lap race to expand his lead over defending champion Jeremy McDermott to nine points. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was second and McDermott of Riverhead took third.

In just his fifth Blunderbust start, Max Handley of Medford nailed down a 20-lap victory, steering a car that took his older brother, Jack, to the 2016 championship in the class as well 21 career wins. Championship leader Tom Pickerell of Huntington grabbed second. Tom Sullivan of Massapequa came in third.

It was both a milestone and a bittersweet 30th career Super Pro Truck win for Roger Turbush of Riverhead, who won in a 20-lap main event in what could have been his last race in the class. Turbush later this week will embark on a new racing venture when he makes his debut in the NASCAR Modifieds. Since his first win on Aug. 8, 2009, Turbush enjoyed a successful run in his truck. Sean Glennon of Northport came in second, with Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach third.

Similarly, the 17th career Legend Race Car victory for Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead could be his last. His team sold the winning car to Go Kart standout Jeffrey Farruggia and his family, who took postrace delivery of the car in the pits after the races. Starting sixth in the 26-car grid, Ellwood worked his way to the front for the triumph, ahead of second-place John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and third-place Eric Hersey of Commack.

Kevin Coyle of East Meadow scored a career first 8-Cylinder Enduro win in a 40-lapper. He was immediately followed, in order, by Dennis Jones of Calverton and Dominick Ranieri of East Northport.

Brandon Esposito of Farmingville didn’t let a 40th starting position in a 43-car Enduro field deter him as he raced his way through thick and thin to take a 50-lap victory. After scoring the hard-fought win over Christian Conklin of Flanders and C.J. Zurkowski of Riverhead, who were second and third, Esposito dedicated the win to his late grandfather, Joe Biondolillo Sr., a former Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway Figure Eight racer who died earlier this summer.