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Auto Racing: Turbush trades in his truck for a Modified

Roger Turbush moved to the top of the class in Super Pro Trucks. Now he is joining another class.

Turbush is making a move, and it’s a big one.

Riverhead Raceway’s all-time career wins leader in Super Pro Trucks is joining the NASCAR Modified ranks for the first time, and he will take his trademark No. 88 with him. His first Modified race will be Saturday.

“I’ve accomplished basically all that I can with the truck and I wanted to move up to a division where there’s more of a challenge,” said Turbush, who lives in Riverhead. “That’s the top division that you can go around here, obviously, and why wouldn’t you want to try to accomplish that?”

Before moving on, Turbush had one final piece of business to attend to this past Saturday. He went out in style, winning his last Super Pro Truck race in what proved to be a bittersweet milestone. With that victory, the 30th of his career, Turbush pulled ahead of Lou Maestri of Deer Park as the track’s all-time leader in the class.

“It’s bittersweet because this is where I started in 2008,” said Turbush.

Now Turbush looks forward to the challenge of racing in the Modified division, which involves greater speed and expense. The difference between racing Super Pro Trucks and Modifieds is considerable.

“It’s like night and day, from the lower class to the premier class,” said Chris Turbush of Wading River, Roger’s brother who drives in the Late Model class at Riverhead. He added: “When you see all the racing papers, everything is headlined by Modified. We’re super excited for him and I think he’s going to do pretty well.”

Despite racing part-time this season, Roger Turbush has three wins at Riverhead and one at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. He sits seventh among 14 drivers in Riverhead’s Super Pro Truck point standings.

(Chris Turbush has five wins in his No. 81 car and is sixth in the Late Model standings).

Chris Turbush said his nephew, Mark Stewart, will move into Roger Turbush’s truck this week.

“It’s very exciting,” Roger Turbush said of the next phase of his racing life. “It’s nerve-racking because, you know, you’re scared. You’re always watching these guys and you don’t know if you can do it. But I’ve been racing so long, I can’t wait to do it.”

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Photo caption: Roger Turbush, left, with his brother, Chris Turbush, in Riverhead Raceway’s pit area Saturday. (Credit: Bob Liepa)