Heading into the second week of NASCAR Modified competition at Riverhead Raceway Saturday, Tom Rogers Jr. and his team were not sure what their repaired car had in store for them after a heavy opening night crash. The team made repairs on the car but after a second round of practice, Rogers and his crew knew they needed a Plan B.
Enter Denise and Ken Darch, who had their NASCAR Modified at the track without a driver. The rest, as they say, is history. In the borrowed car, Rogers broke a seven-year-old track qualifying record with a lap of 11.482 seconds and scored his 53rd career win in the 75-lap main event.
“I can’t say enough about Denise and Kenny,” a happy Rogers said. “Fortunately, I have helped Kenny over the years. He is meticulous and has good equipment so it wasn’t a big adjustment for me.”
Rogers now sits 10 wins behind the late Charlie Jarzombek (63) for the top spot on the all time Riverhead Raceway Modified win list. Counting Rogers’ 44 Figure Eight wins, three Late Model tallies and one Legend Race Car win, he has 101 feature event wins at the track.
John Baker of Brookhaven was second, ahead of John Fortin of Holtsville. David Schneider of Huntington and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick completed the top five.
Just two weeks into the Late Model season, it has become apparent that Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead and Chris Turbush of Wading River are the two drivers to beat for the title. After Turbush won the topping night 25-lapper, McDermott took the nod Saturday night for his 10th career win. Turbush was second while teammate Dylan Slepian of Dix Hill finished third.
After a few years of trying, Sean Glennon of Northport finally grabbed his first career Super Pro Truck win, passing defending class champion Mark Stewart of Riverhead to the outside with four laps left in the 20-lap tilt. Stewart had to settle for second and Lou Maestri of Deer Park was third.
Reigning Legend Race Car champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa took advantage of a Lap 6 restart to power his way to victory on a 20-lap event. It was his fourth career win. George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue was able to ward off first-time Riverhead visitor Daniel Carter of Cortland, N.Y., to claim second.
Defending Street Stock champion David Antos of Lindenhurst got his title defense off on the right foot as he led all 20 laps to post third career triumph. Rhett Fogg of Westhampton and Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow were the next two finishers.
Sean Fitzpatrick of West Babylon took the lead early in a 40-lap eight-cylinder Gut & Go race and despite a persistent flume of smoke was able to race off to victory. Defending champion Jared Halsey of Southampton was second while Michael Asdahl of East Meadow was third.
Paul Fox of Riverhead topped a 10-bus field in a School Bus Figure Eight race.