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Riverhead Raceway: Preece becomes first back-to-back Islip 300 winner

Ryan Preece enjoyed two Long Island homecomings on a picture perfect fall Saturday. The Berlin, Conn., driver’s first was when he strolled through the pit gate at Riverhead Raceway where many were waiting to greet the NASCAR Cup Series star. His second homecoming came at the conclusion of the Islip 300 when he parked his Modified in the winners circle, becoming the first repeat winner of the 300.

“Man this is great, we had a rough, rough year and to come here and win this race is special,” Preece said after his second career Islip 300 victory. He added: “We unloaded and I just didn’t like the way the car was but it’s funny. I texted my wife Heather and she wrote back that when I’m unhappy early on race day the race usually goes our way and sure enough it did.”

Runner-up Craig Lutz of Miller Place said. “We had a good year and to cap it off with second is nice.”

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville was third, Kyle Soper of Manorville fourth and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead fifth. The remainder of the top 10 were, John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Keith Rocco of Berlin, Conn., and Matt Galko of Meriden, Conn.

In a 50-lap race, NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. subbed for his nephew, Michael Berner, who was recovering a recent wrist procedure. The end result? A Rogers victory.

Owen Grennan of Glen Cove, starting from the pole position, finished second. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third.

In a 40-lap Legend Race Car main event, Mike Alcaro of Newton, N.J., scored his third career Riverhead Raceway win. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches and Brad Van Houten of Wading River were the next two finishers.