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Riverhead Raceway: Soper, Beatty split Modified 50s

It was a busy night of NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing Saturday at Riverhead Raceway with some 270 laps of feature event racing, highlighted by the Twin 50s for the NASCAR Modifieds. Kyle Soper of Manorville won the opening 50-lapper while John Beatty Jr. of Merrick topped the second 50-lap race. With a runner-up finish in the second race, Soper takes an 11-point lead over defending champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead into the season finale Sept. 29.

In the first race, Soper drove off to his ninth career win. “This win is for my grandmother, who we lost last week,” a tearful Soper said in an emotional victory lane ceremony.

Rogers was second, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick third, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead fourth and John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville fifth.

Beatty took the second race. With three laps left in the contest, Soper moved by Chris Young of Calverton for second. Young had his best outing of the season with a third-place tally. John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills rounded out the top five.

Chris Turbush of Wading River is on a hot streak in Late Model competition. He won his second race in a month, triumphing in a 25-lap feature for his 11th career win. The win ties him with Gary LaMountain, Dan Jivanelli, Sean Egan and Glenn Tyler for 11th on the all-time Late Model win list. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead made his way to second. The championship leader, Soper, took third. With two races remaining in the season, Soper leads McDermott by 34 points in the standings.

Rogers drove to his seventh win in nine Figure Eight races, taking a 15-lap feature for his 42nd career win. Eric Zeh of Selden was second, with Tom Ferrara of Patchogue third. Rogers leads Zeh by 34 points going into the final two races of the season.

Defending Blunderbust champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington scored his second win of the season when he won a 20-lap race for his 22nd career victory. Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead and championship leader Jack Handley Jr. of Medford were the next two to cross the finish line. Handley leads Pickerell by 36 points and Laird by 38 with two races remaining.

Mark Stewart of Riverhead continued his successful Super Pro Truck season, winning his fifth race of the year in a 30-lap event. Stewart drove off to his 18th career win, ranking him fourth on the all-time win list for the class. Dan Turbush of Riverhead was second, with Dave Brigati of Calverton third. Stewart leads Brigati by 32 points atop the standings with two races to go.

Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches made Legend Race Car history by winning a 20-lap race. The win ties Davidowitz with Danny McNamara and Kyle Ellwood for the all-time lead in wins with 19, but it was also the first for a water-cooled U.S. Legend Cars machine on Long Island. Eric Hersey of Commack was second and Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches third. With two races left, the class leader, Jim Sylvester, holds a healthy 53-point lead over Vinny Delaney.

In a 20-lap First Responders race, Dege Russell took home the win for the third year in a row.