The late Fredrick Ligon of Riverhead and Jack Orlando of Calverton are two of three former drivers to be inducted into Riverhead Raceway’s Cromarty Wall of Champions Saturday night. Dan Jivanelli of Hampton Bays will also take his place on the wall that greets fans by the track’s third turn, the raceway announced.
Ligon, nicknamed “Spider,” died in 2014. He was remembered for patrolling the pits with a smile and a cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth. The lifelong Riverhead resident was credited with having blazed a trail for Black drivers at the track during the turbulent racial times of the late 1950s and early 1960s after becoming the first Black driver to compete.
Ligon was co-champion of the Sportsman class in 1965 with Frank Curtis. He won the Bomber championship in 1978.
Orlando excelled during the Charger division’s glory days from the mid-1980s through the 1990s. He scored the first of his 24 career Charger victories on June 29, 1985. Known as much for his talent building cars as driving them, Orlando totaled 34 wins over three divisions, also racing Late Models and Crate Modifieds.
Jivanelli’s 21 NASCAR Modified wins ties him with legendary driver Fred Harbach for 17th on the all-time win list. Jivanelli was the 1989 Modified champion and 1995 Late Model champion. He started out at Riverhead Raceway racing Figure Eights. From 1971-73 he won six Figure Eight events and two track championships. In all, Jivanelli posted 38 career victories and four track championships spread across three divisions.
HANDLEY, BRAUN WEDNESDAY WINNERS
Max Handley of Medford won a 20-lap Blunderbust feature while Joey Braun of Manorville took first in a Legend Race Car 20-lap main event Wednesday night at Riverhead Raceway. For both drivers it was their fourth win of the season.
Handley’s victory was the sixth of his career, breaking a tie with his father Jack. Brother Jack Jr. has them both covered with his 32 career Blunderbust wins. Eddie Diaz of Centereach was second and Tom Sullivan of Massapequa third.
Braun picked up his seventh career Legend Race Car win at Riverhead, moving into a four-way tie for ninth on the all-time win list. Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville made his way to second, with Eric Hersey of Ronkonkoma third.
Having authored 64 career Late Model wins in his Cromarty Wall of Champion career, Roger Oxee of Peconic was starting to wonder if he would ever win a Street Stock event. He got his answer Wednesday when he led all 20 laps for his first career win in the class. Jay Henschel of Levittown was second and Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place third.
Towing all the way from his home in Raleigh, N.C., Jacob Bradley made the trip worth the effort, winning a Bandolero 15-lap Group A feature.
Tucker Bock of East Hampton enjoyed the thrill of victory for the first time in his career in a Group B feature that was shortened to 13 laps by a time limit.
Chris Olivari of Coram survived a wild 40-lap 4/6-Cylinder Enduro for his first win of the season and second of his career.