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Auto Racing: Beatty enjoys double delight

When John Beatty Jr. of Merrick pulled into Riverhead Raceway’s pit area Wednesday night for the NASCAR Modified Twin 50s, he did so with two prior career Modified wins to his credit. By the time Beatty loaded his Chevy back into his hauler at the end of the night, he had doubled his career win total to four.

At the conclusion of the first 50-lapper, Beatty, the 2017 Legend Race Car champion, enjoyed the victory while Craig Lutz of Miller Place drove in to a runner-up finish. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville made a late-race charge for third. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and Kyle Soper of Manorville were the next two finishers.

On the second lap of the second race, John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville and Rogers made contact going into a turn, stacking up the field behind them and causing heavy damage to several cars. Fortin and Rogers were forced to pit for quick repairs and adjustments. That turn of events moved Beatty into the lead for good.

“We had a perfect car tonight for the first race,” Beatty said, “the second, well, I’ll take lucky over good any day.” He concluded, “You dream about nights like tonight.”

Fortin finished second, Dave Sapienza of Riverhead was third, Kyle Soper of Manorville fourth and George Brunnhoelzl III of Mooresville, N.C., fifth.

Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead drove to his third Blunderbust win of the year. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford crossed the line second. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was third.

INEX Legend Race Car standout Mike Alcaro of Newton, N.J., is now 2-for-3 on the season at Riverhead Raceway, leading all 20 laps Saturday. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead followed him to the finish line and Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was third.

The Street Stock race went to Eric Zeh. Wesley Sammon of Hampton Bays was second and third went to Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow.

Second-generation daredevil Joey Palmeri Jr. of Lindenhurst outlasted a strong four-cylinder demolition derby field to collect his first career win.