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Riverhead Raceway: Soper turns up the heat

On a hazy, hot Saturday, the only thing hotter than the weather was Kyle Soper’s driving.

The Manorville driver won his second straight NASCAR Modified feature event at Riverhead Raceway and sixth in nine starts. Soper, the defending track and New York State NASCAR Whelen All American Series champion, enjoys a lofty 48-point lead over Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead heading into July.

In winning the 69-lap race, Soper collected his 15th career win, giving him sole possession of 28th on the all-time list. He is one win away from tying Ryan Preece for 27th.

Chris Young of Calverton put together a solid performance, claiming second place as he continues to seek his first career win. Rogers crossed the finish line third, with Dave Brigati of Calverton fourth and Craig Lutz of Miller Place fifth.

Third-generation driver Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank enjoyed a milestone 10th career Figure Eight victory. The 15-lap race was interrupted after a light rain fell. After the race resumed, Rogers made a bold move on the final lap. Contact sent Tom Ferrara into a spin. Rogers took the checker flag first, but after some discussion, NASCAR officials sent Rogers to the position behind Ferrara (eighth) and Hyde had his second win of the year.

Vinny Delaney of Holtsville executed a late-race charge to take second place. Eric Zeh of Sayville was third.

Former multi-time Super Pro Truck champion Lou Maestri of Deer Park reclaimed the top spot on the division’s all-time win list by taking a 20-lapper for his 31st career triumph. Jimmy Rennick of Howard Beach was the runner-up. Eddie Schultze of Oyster Bay took third.

It took Legend Race Car veteran Kevin Nowak of Medford a couple of years to grab his 10th career win two weeks ago, but he wasted no time in claiming his 11th career win. He did that in a 20-lap race that saw Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches come in second and Riley O’Keefe of Manorville third.

Phil LaManna of Smithtown might have the best looking Truck Enduro entry at the track. On Saturday he had the fastest one in a 40-lap event.

Donald Lawrence of Southampton topped the field in a 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro.

Frank Phillips of Ozone Park, the 2018 National Demolition Derby champion, made his first start of 2019 worthwhile as he captured the win in a 4/6-Cylinder Demolition Derby. He outlasted Joey Palmeri of Lindenhurst for the win.

Photo caption: Kyle Soper won for the second straight week Saturday night. (Credit: Bill Landon)