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Riverhead Raceway: Beatty, master of late-race restart, triumphs

A late-race caution flag with four laps left shuffled the deck Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in The Flying Dutchman 90 NASCAR Modified race. That was just fine with John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, master of the late-race restart, who captured his 10th career win.

The race was run on the 30th anniversary of Fred Harbach winning the final race of his career, leading to the track championship on Sept. 19,1992.

“Truly an honor to win a race run for Fred Harbach,” Beatty proclaimed upon exiting his car.

Runner-up Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was left to winder what could have been if not for that late-race caution. Third place went to Kyle Soper of Manorville, fourth to John Baker of Brookhaven and fifth to J.B. Fortin of Holtsville.

In Crate Modified action, Michael Berner of Patchogue roared to his fourth career win, leading all 25 laps. Eric Hersey of Commack was second and Owen Grennan of Glen Cove third.

Defending Figure Eight champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley won a 15-lap feature for his first win of the year. Ryan Warren of Ridge was second, with Gary Fitz Jr. of Mastic Beach third.

Another 2021 champion, George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue, took a 20-lap Legend Race Car feature for his fourth career win. Hersey had to settle for second. Nick Morabito of Miller Place came in third.

The race was red-flagged when former champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa flipped on a turn, destroying a new race car. He was treated and released from Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, sore but otherwise OK, said the raceway.

After missing the first Eddie Partridge Vintage All Star event due to illness, five-time NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe of Water Mill took the lead on Lap 3 and led to the finish. Tony Ferrante Jr of New Hyde Park was second and Mark Miller of Hauppauge third.

Woot Lawrence of Southampton won a 40-lap Truck Enduro.