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Riverhead Raceway: Soper clinches track, state titles

09/23/2019 1:58 PM |

On the strength of his third-place finish at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night, Kyle Soper sewed up the NASCAR Modified championship. It’s the second consecutive track title for the Manorville driver, who earlier in the week was officially declared the New York State champions of the Whelen All American Series for the second year running.

“Two championships in two full years together is pretty impressive if you ask me,” said Soper.

C.J. Lehmann of Shirley drove off to his second win in the past three NASCAR Modified events, scoring a victory in a nonstop 50-lap race. As the race hit its final 10-lap run, Lehmann opened up nearly a full straightaway lead that he enjoyed until the checker flag waved.

“This is great, after how we started the month of August to come back and win two of the past three track races is a testament to my … team,” said Lehmann.

Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck was second. John Baker of Brookhaven and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead followed Soper.

It appeared as if Justin Brown of Manorville had sewed up his sixth Crate Modified win of 2019 in a 25-lap main event. However, that victory remained up in the air earlier this week as results were awaited for a postrace inspection. The top six cars — of Brown, Chris Rogers of Patchogue, Mike Albasini of Flushing, Terry Stiles of Rocky Point, Dave Brigati of Calverton and Sean Glennon of Northport — were summoned for a check of their cams to make sure they were in compliance with crate motor specs. The second-through-sixth-place cars passed inspection, but irregularities arose with Brown’s cam. Randy Murray, the chief tech, and track general manager John Ellwood gave Brown’s team the option for the track to impound the engine for further evaluation. That evaluation was to take place early this week.

Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank almost made a decision to sit out the 20-lap Blunderbust main event. Fortunately for him, he had a change of heart and, with it, his first career win. Cody Triola of Bay Shore came in second and Alyssa Paprocky of Coram took third.

Sean Glennon of Northport notched his second Super Pro Truck win of 2019. Mark Stewart of Riverhead was the second to complete the 30 laps. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue came in third.

Kevin Nowak of Medford scored his sixth Legend Race Car win of the season, moving his career total to 15. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was second and defending champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa came back from early race misfortune to finish third.

Reigning Eight-Cylinder Enduro champion Jared Halsey of Southampton won his third race of the year. Veteran Mark Wolf of Shirley and Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank were the next two finishers.

The National Stock Demolition Derby boiled down to a battle of brothers as John Palmeri of Lindenhurst outlasted his brother, Joey Palmeri Jr.

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