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Auto Racing: A week later, Slepian gets his prize

Sometimes you have to lose something before you win something. That was the case for Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, who one week ago came within five laps of his first career NASCAR Modified win at Riverhead Raceway before yielding to Tom Rogers Jr. and finishing second. On Saturday, Slepian scored his first career NASCAR Modified victory in a 75-lap feature event as a standing-room-only crowd looked on.

Before the excited Slepian could exit his winning car to a thunderous ovation, runner-up Rogers reached in and gave him a bear hug of congratulations.

“Finally, we had come so close, especially last week,” Slepian said in victory lane. “Feels ever more special when you can hold off a 55-time winner like Tommy, who ran me great.”

Dave Brigati of Calverton crossed the line third. The championship leader, Kyle Soper of Manorville, was fourth and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick fifth.

For the third time this season, Chris Turbush of Wading River sat in victory lane after a 25-lap Late Model race concluded. With his 15th overall career win, Turbush tied Mike Bologna of Huntington for ninth on the all-time Late Model win list. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead, an eight-time winner this year, had to settle for second place. Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Mass., was third.

In a 25-lap Crate Modified race, 14-year-old, second-generation driver Matthew Brode of East Islip took the lead on the first lap and never looked back, collecting his second win of 2019 and his career. In one his best showings to date this year, Peter Bertuccio of Bohemia, 47 years Brode’s senior, was second while Chris Rogers of Patchogue took third.

For the seventh time in 10 races, Tom Rogers Jr. won a 15-lap Figure Eight race, earning him a milestone 50th career win in the process. Eric Zeh of Selden came in second and Tom Ferrara of Patchogue was third. Rogers is three wins shy of tying the late Joe Biondolillo Jr. for second on the all-time win list.

Joe Warren of Ridge has not only burst upon the Mini Stock scene, he has taken total control of the class this year, picking up his fifth win in eight starts. He pulled away to a 10-car-length victory over defending champion Paul Wojcik of Centereach. Tom Puccia of Shirley was third.

John Palmeri of Lindenhurst scored a victory in a 40-lap 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go event. Peter Verwys of East Rockaway was second and Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka third.