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Riverhead Raceway: Soper nabs third Modified title in four years

Kyle Soper of Manorville celebrated his third NASCAR Modified title in four seasons Saturday at Riverhead Raceway with a victory in the regular-season finale.

Soper, 25, not only won a 50-lap event, but on Friday was announced as the New York State champion in Division I of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.

Soper secured his 24th career win and sixth overall track title. Aside from his NASCAR Modified titles, he has won two Late Model championships (2017 and 2018) as well the 2014 Legend Race Car title.

“No matter what others think, our success comes from nothing more than hard work,” said Soper, a 40-time winner over four classes at Riverhead Riverhead.

In his best performance of 2021, Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown came in second. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills finished third, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck fourth and Chris Young of Calverton fifth.

Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead clinched his third consecutive Late Model title with a win in the division’s 40-lap finale. The title is his sixth overall, and the win is the 25th of his career. Brandon Turbush of Manorville was second, with Dave Brigati of Calverton third.

Fourth-generation driver Mark Stewart of Riverhead won his third Crate Modified feature, a 25-lap affair. A.J. DeSantis of Yaphank took the runner-up spot. Richie Davidowitz was third. That finish, coupled with Owen Grennan coming in fourth sewed up the Crate Modified championship for Davidowitz.

In what truly could be termed a good news/bad news scenario, Tom Ferrara of Patchogue scored a milestone 20th career Figure Eight win in a 15-lapper. That was the good news. The bad news for him was that he fell short in the championship chase. Scott Pedersen of Shirley secured his second career championship, his first in 10 years. Pederson’s nephew Allan Pedersen, was third in the race.

Cody Triola of Bay Shore, on the strength of a fourth-place finish, won his first career Blunderbust championship. Veteran Jim Laird Jr. of Ridge won a 20-lap race, his 10th career victory tying him with Rob Bader for 11th on the all-time win list. Max Handley of Medford was second, followed by Brandon Hubbard of Mastic.

Jack Handley clinched his second straight Super Pro Truck championship with a fourth-place finish in a 20-lap race. Joe Cerabino of Bay Shore led the nonstop race all the way for his second win of 2021 and his career. Ethan Brown and Max Handley, Jack’s brother, were the next two to cross the finish line.

With his fourth-place finish, George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue clinched the Legend Race Car championship. Third-generation driver Sean McElearney, 15, of North Babylon became the youngest driver to win a Legend Race Car event. The 20-lap event saw Anthony Marsh of Riverhead take second and Riely O’Keefe of Manorville grab third.