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Riverhead Raceway: Riverhead driver eyes two championships

With a standing-room-only crowd looking on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead double-dipped. The hard charging driver topped a 40-lap NASCAR Modified field as well a winning in a 15-lap Figure Eight event to pad his championship lead in both divisions.

Rogers’ fourth NASCAR Modified win of the year gave him a 35-point bulge over John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville while his seventh Figure Eight triumph of 2017 leaves him with a 22-point cushion over Tom Ferrara of Patchogue as the season enters its final month of competition. Rogers’ 47th career NASCAR Modified victory left him just three behind Jim Malone Sr. for second on the all-time win list.

Following his Modified win, Rogers gave the rest of his competition some bad news. “We’re making this car better,” he said. “A few more adjustments and we’ll have [it] where we want it.”

Dave Brigati of Calverton was the second Modified finisher, followed by Kyle Soper of Manorville, Dillon Steuer of Bohemia and Howie Brode of East Islip.

Soper is another driver making strides towards a championship. His fifth Late Model win of the year gave him a 23-point lead over defending champion Jeremy McDermott. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead finished second, but was moved to last in the running order because of an infraction in the postrace inspection. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., bounced up to second and Eric Zeh of Selden was third.

Rogers took home the winners trophy for the seventh time in nine Figure Eight races run. His triumph in a 15-lapper moved him into sole possession of third on the all-time win list with 33. It also separated him by 22 points from second-place Tom Ferrara in the standings. Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach and Vinny Delaney of Holtsville were second and third, respectively.

Mark Stewart of Riverhead posted his 12th career win in Super Pro Trucks, placing the teenage driver to sixth on the all-time win list. Brigati was second and Owen Grennan of Glen Cove placed third.

Ellwood grabbed first in a 30-lap Legend Race Car for the 30-lap time trial event, his 18th career win at Riverhead. He sits one win behind all-time leader Danny McNamara of Water Mill. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick built a 101-point championship lead over defending champion Vinny Delaney with his runner-up finish. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third.

Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow drove to his first career victory in a 30-lap Street Stock race. Championship leader Greg Harris of Riverhead made his way from 12th to second. Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays was third, his best finish of 2017.

Michael Rommeney of Bohemia outlasted John Denniston of Westbury to claim a win in the School Bus Demolition Derby.