Daytona Beach, FL — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to New York’s Long Island for the 26th season in a row this Saturday, July 31 for the Riverhead 200 at Riverhead Raceway.
At Riverhead Raceway:
• Built in 1949.
• Held its first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 10, 1985 during the NWMT’s inaugural season.
• Has held 48 NWMT races all-time, fourth-most among all venues.
• Is one of two tracks to play host to the NWMT in each of its 26 seasons of competition along with Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
• Mike Ewanitsko experienced more success than any other NWMT driver at Riverhead during his days as a competitor … His 11 wins and eight poles lead in both categories.
• Mike Stefanik is the active wins leader at Riverhead with six while Ed Flemke Jr. has the most poles – four – among current competitors.
• Ryan Preece captured the pole and the race win in last year’s event.
• Jimmy Spencer, who will be part of the VERSUS announce team for the Riverhead 200, was winner of the first two NWMT races at Riverhead in 1985.
• At .25 miles, Riverhead is the smallest track on the 2010 NWMT schedule along with Monadnock Speedway … The largest is New Hampshire Motor Speedway at 1.058 miles.
• There have been four NWMT races that have been won by Riverhead NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers, the last of which was Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. in 1995 … Last year finishers 2-4 were Riverhead NWAAS drivers.
Riverhead Raceway Data
Race: #8 of 14
Track Layout: .25-mile banked oval
Race Length: 200 laps/50 miles (Including 25-Lap Qualifying Race)
2009 Pole Winner: Ryan Preece (12.001 seconds, 74.994 mph)
2009 Race Winner: Ryan Preece (52 min. 49 sec., 42.600 mph)
Qualifying Record: Mike Stefanik (11.562 seconds, 77.841 mph, 6/24/92)
NWMT Riverhead Win Leaders
Mike Ewanitsko … 11
Mike Stefanik … 6
Donny Lia … 4
Ted Christopher … 3
seven with … 2
NWMT Riverhead Pole Leaders
Mike Ewanitsko … 8
Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
Bob Park … 3
Chuck Steuer … 3
six with … 2
Up to Speed:
• Bobby Santos opened the 2010 season with a win in the Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway on April 11 … He established a track record in qualifying as he earned the pole.
• Santos also set the track-record in qualifying at Stafford Motor Speedway for the Spring Sizzler on April 24 … The race was postponed to May 1, and was won by Ted Christopher.
• Santos was back in Victory Lane in the third race of the season on May 28 at Stafford … Prior to the race Santos also earned the Coors Light Pole Award.
• Santos earned his third win in four outings when he captured the Martinsville Speedway checkered flag on June 6 … Mike Stefanik was the pole winner.
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman captured the pole and the race win in the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 26.
• Todd Szegedy earned the pole and led all but four laps in the inaugural race at Lime Rock Park on July 3, but Dale Quarterley wound up with the checkered flag.
• In the NWMT’s first trip to Monadnock Speedway since 1990, Christopher edged pole winner Erick Rudolph for the checkered flag on July 17.
• Santos leads Christopher by 56 points in the season standings.
• The Riverhead 200 is the first of four races in a span of 19 days for the NWMT … Up next will be the Town Fair Tire 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Aug. 6.
Selected Driver Highlights:
Dave Brigati (No. 88 Integra Shocks/WPW Growers Chevrolet)
• Made first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start in this race a year ago and finished second.
• Competed in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway and South Boston Speedway.
• A competitor in Riverhead Raceway’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division.
Howie Brode (No. 96 Chevrolet)
• Has 14 top 10s in 53 career NWMT starts … Fifteen of those starts have come at Riverhead and 11 have resulted in top-10 finishes.
• Best career finish is third, twice … Both times were at Riverhead, including last year’s race.
• A competitor in Riverhead NWAAS Modified division.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has five top 10s in nine career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts … A runner-up effort at Martinsville Speedway is his best career finish.
• Is seventh in the standings with three top 10s in six races.
• Got his racing start at Riverhead … Made his NWMT debut there in 2007 … Has finished fourth in both of his previous NWMT races at his home track.
• Is competing for 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors against Richie Pallai Jr.
Ted Christopher (No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion … Has 36 wins and 21 poles in 287 career starts … His 36 wins rank third all-time and his 21 poles are ninth … Has at least one win in 12-straight seasons.
• Is second in points after seven races with five top fives, highlighted by a wins in the Stafford Spring Sizzler and Monadnock 200.
• Has three wins, two poles, 13 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 19 starts at Riverhead.
John Fortin (No. 84 Chevrolet)
• Has seven top 10s in 39 career NWMT starts … Nineteen those starts have come at Riverhead.
• Best NWMT finish was a runner-up effort in the 2002 race.
• The defending Riverhead track champion and NWAAS New York State Champion.
Ed Flemke Jr. (No. 10 Ron Bouchard’s Auto/Kleer Lumber Chevrolet)
• Has 17 wins and 16 poles in 388 career starts … Has made a record 331 consecutive starts … The last time he did not start a race was on July 22, 1992 at Riverside Park Speedway.
• Is 15th in points after seven races with a pair of top 10s.
• Has a win (2002), four poles, 12 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 33 starts at Riverhead.
Chuck Hossfeld (No. 59 Ed Bennett Properties Chevrolet)
• Has seven wins, eight poles and 69 top 10s in 120 career starts.
• Is 10th in points after seven races … Best finish was sixth at Stafford on May 1.
• Has five top 10s in nine starts, an average finish of 11th and a best finish of second at Riverhead.
Bill Park (No. 20 JAD Carpet Showcase/Elite Towing Chevrolet)
• Has 12 top 10s in 38 career NWMT starts … All but three of those starts have come at Riverhead and all 12 top 10s have come at his home track.
• Best NWMT finish was a runner-up effort in the 2007 race … Earned the pole for the 2008 race.
• A multi-time champion in Riverhead NWAAS Modified division.
• The uncle of two-time NWMT championship runner-up Steve Park.
Woody Pitkat (No. 28 Ramar-Hall/TSI Harley-Davidson Chevrolet)
• Has 15 top 10s in 37 career starts.
• Is eighth in 2010 points with a pair of top 10s.
• Finished 15th in his only previous race at Riverhead in 2009.
Ryan Preece (No. 3 Mizzy Construction/Reynold’s Auto Wrecking Chevrolet)
• Has four poles, three wins and 25 top 10s in 50 career starts.
• Is fifth in points after seven races … Has finished in the top five in 12 of his last 16 starts.
• The defending Riverhead pole and race winner … Has an average finish of sixth in three starts.
Erick Rudolph (No. 98 Mohawk Northeast/Original Pizza Logs Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and 15 top 10s in 28 career starts … Is ninth in 2010 points with three top 10s.
• Earned first career pole last time out at Monadnock, and a season-best finish of second.
• This will be his first race at Riverhead.
Bobby Santos (No. 4 “Mystic Missile” Dodge)
• Has four wins, three poles and 18 top 10s in 36 career starts.
• Leads in points after seven races … Has three wins, a second, a third and a fifth to his credit … Only result of the year outside the top 10 was a 17th place finish at Lime Rock Park.
• Became the first driver in NWMT history to win three of the first four races of a season.
• Also earned the pole for the first three races of the year … Set track records during qualifying in the first two races of the season.
• This will be his first NWMT race at Riverhead.
Ron Silk (No. 6 T.S. Haulers Chevrolet)
• Has four wins, two poles and 34 top 10s in 74 career starts.
• Moved from 10th to sixth in points with top fives in the last three races … Season-best finishes of third came in his road course debut at Lime Rock, and last time out at Monadnock.
• Has an average finish of 14th in four starts at Riverhead with a best effort of second in 2008.
• Won the Riverhead NWAAS Modified feature on May 15.
Mike Stefanik (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Pontiac)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Has 70 wins, 43 poles and 269 top 10s … Holds NWMT records for most championships, wins, poles, top fives and top 10s.
• Made in 400th career start last time out at Monadnock.
• Is fourth in points after seven races on the strength of five top 10s.
• Has six wins, two poles, 19 top 10s and an average finish of ninth in 32 starts at Riverhead.
Chuck Steuer (No. 11 Northeastern Office Equipment Chevrolet)
• Has three poles and seven top 10s in 23 career NWMT starts … All have come at Riverhead.
• Best NWMT finish is fourth, twice.
• A competitor in Riverhead NWAAS Modified division.
Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Delicacies Gourmet/Wisk/Snuggle Ford)
• The 2003 NWMT champion … Has 13 wins, seven poles and 83 top 10s in 130 career starts.
• Is third in points after seven races with five top fives … Best finish was second at Lime Rock.
• Has three top 10s in nine career starts at Riverhead with an average finish of 14th and a best finish of seventh in 2002.
Jamie Tomaino (No. 99 Supreme Racing Chevrolet)
• The 1990 NWMT champion … Has three wins, six poles and 237 top 10s in 518 career starts.
• Has missed only five of the 523 races in the history of the NWMT (1985-present) and is currently the only driver to record starts in each of the 26 years of the NWMT.
• Is 20th in points after six races … Lone top 10 came at Lime Rock.
• Has 20 top 10s in 46 career starts at Riverhead with an average finish of 13th and a best finish of fourth on five occasions.
Sources: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR WMT PR