Prior to Saturday night, the last time a Riverhead Raceway regular won a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at the track was in 1995.
Well, score one for the home team.
Riverhead Raceway’s reining champion, Kyle Soper of Manorville, reclaimed the lead from defending WMT champion Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville with 10 laps remaining in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200. Soper’s first career WMT win came 27 years and a day after Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won back on June 24, 1995.
“I wasn’t even born yet when Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. won his WMT race,” the 26-year old Soper said. “Feels pretty good to get one, though.”
The second-place Bonsignore said it has “been a long time since Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr’s win here and it’s cool to see a Riverhead team win, just a shame he beat us to do it.”
Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct., finished third among the 26-car grid. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass., and Riverhead regular Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills were fourth and fifth. Completing the top ten were Kyle Bonsignore of Bay Shore, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, Timmy Solomito of Islip, Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa., and Doug Coby of Milford, Ct.
Earlier Saturday, two of the four race winners earned their first career wins. Max Handley of Medford crossed the line first in a 25-lap Crate Modified race and third-generation driver Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays topped a non-stop Street Stock 20-lapper. Jason Castaldo of Shirley earned his second win of the year in a 30-lap Legend Race Cars event. Defending champion George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue raced in third after starting 15th.