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Riverhead Raceway: 15 years later, Bertuccio returns to victory lane

July 14, 2007, had been the last time J.R. Bertuccio visited Riverhead Raceway’s victory lane after a NASCAR Modified race. That changed Saturday when the former champion returned to the track, his racing roots, and victory lane.

During those past 15 years, Bertuccio, the 2002 champion at Riverhead Raceway, had spent time either chasing the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Southern NASCAR WMT or on the sidelines.

Bertuccio was the first over the finish line in Saturday’s 50-lap feature event for his 29th career win at Riverhead, ranking the Centereach driver 11th on the all-time win list.

Championship leader Kyle Soper of Manorville was the runner-up. Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck had his strongest run of the season, racing from an eighth-place starting spot to finish third. Dave Brigati of Calverton and Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills were fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the best race of the night, Chase Grennan of Glen Cove survived a three-car duel in the closing laps to score his first career 25-lap Crate Modified victory.

Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach picked up his first career Late Models win in a race that was shortened to 31 laps because of numerous cautions that wiped out nearly half of the 19-car starting grid.

In a 20-lap Super Pro Truck event, Sean Glennon of Northport won his second race of 2022.

Defending Legend Race Car champion George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue pocketed his second win of the year in a 20-lapper. Anthony Marsh of Riverhead made his way to second.

A series of disqualifications moved Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays from sixth place to victory lane in a 30-lap Mini Stocks race. C.J. Zukowski of Riverhead was second Chris Elixson of Riverhead third.

Phil LaManna of Smithtown, starting 11th in the field, won a 40-lap Truck Enduro for his first win of the year.