Archive for the 'Riverhead' Category

Timmy Solomito Set for Bristol Return

Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY has top 10 finishes in 46% of his 30 starts. The sophomore driver is seventh in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points with one top five and six top tens. He has 4 finishes outside the top 10 in his first season with Flamingo Motorsports. Since the DNF at Monadnock, Solomito had top tens at Stafford and Thompson.

“We’re not really setting the world on fire yet, but just still kind of learning each other, and learning the tracks pretty much,” Solomito said. “It’s been a long road, but little by little I feel like we’re getting there, and we’re getting the cars a little better each time, and I’m getting a little better each time with my experience level. So there’s a good 15-20 cars that can win on any given race, and I feel like we’ve been in that stretch. We just gotta kind of tie it all together.”

“Our points aren’t too bad for considering we had a few pretty bad races. We had Monadnock we got knocked out of. We struggled the first race at Thompson with some issues with tires, and whatnot, and then at Waterford we ended up getting taken out there with a lapped car. But (if) we didn’t have those three bad finishes, I think we’d be in the top five right now in points, but it’s all a part of racing … you move on and go to the next race. We try and run as strong as possible.”

Continue reading ‘Timmy Solomito Set for Bristol Return’

Tom Rogers Jr. Double Dips With Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified And Cromarty Cup Figure Eight Victories Saturday

RIVERHEAD, NY — While six NASCAR Whelen All American Series events were run Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway the biggest race if the evening would be the one promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty waged with mother nature as they attempted to beat the impending rain. It would be a race they’d win and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead was sure glad they did as he topped both the 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature as well the annual Cromarty Cup 20 for the Figure Eights.

Tom Rogers Jr. topped the charts in NASCAR Modified qualifying with a lap of 11.902 and this time lady luck would shine on him when he drew the pole for the race with Ryan Preece picking the outside pole. At the throw of the green Rogers and Preece would go side by side for a lap or two before Tom edged out front with Ryan making his first start for Bill & Barbara Park tucking into second. While Preece was able to keep in step with Rogers over the remainder of the race and draw close at times the former NASCAR WMT champion was never really able to mount a serious challenge for the lead over the remainder of the race. Defending champion Howie Brode made his way to third at the start of the race and was hoping for some fireworks between the leaders but those fireworks never did materialize.

At the checker flag it was Tom Rogers Jr. scoring his 34th career NASCAR Modified win moving him into sole possession of third place on the all-time Riverhead Raceway win list behind Charlie Jarzombek (63) and Jim Malone Sr. (50). “The guys gave me a great car tonight” Rogers offered “there are no easy wins here and having Ryan to beat was a challenge but we got the job done”. Rogers had stated before the season started he’d only run the Modified when the Figure Eights ran due to his WMT schedule among other things. When pressed about next Saturday when the Figure Eights are off Tom admitted to a change of plans ” yeah we’ll be here with this car next week and we’ll test our WMT ride too”.


Continue reading ‘Tom Rogers Jr. Double Dips With Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified And Cromarty Cup Figure Eight Victories Saturday’

Shawn Solomito Sweeps Twin 30 NASCAR Modified Features at Riverhead Raceway

RIVERHEAD, NY — Week two of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All American Series at Riverhead Raceway once again featured Twin 30 NASCAR Modified main events and when the checker flag waved on both events it was Shawn Solomito of East Moriches steering the famed Wayne Anderson entry earning the victory in both races. Shawn took over the seat in Anderson’s machine during the off season when younger brother Timmy left for the Flamingo Motorsports ride on the NASCAR WMT.

Tom Rogers Jr of Riverhead again set fast time with a lap of 11.942 but in the redraw could only muster a 7th starting position while the front row was drawn by Vinny Biondolillo and John Fortin. When the green flag dropped it was Fortin edging ever so slightly out front on Biondolillo for the first three laps before Vinny made his way to the lead on lap 4 with Shawn Solomito working by Fortin for second at the same time. Once to second Solomito wasted little time making his way under Biondolillo to the inside for the lead on lap 5 and took control of the race at that point. Biondolillo remained second up until the 20th circuit when Tom Rogers Jr. made his way by for the position to the inside. Rogers was able to draw close to leader Solomito over the final 10-laps of the first 30 but close would be as good as it would get.

When the checkers waved Shawn Solomtio in the Eastport Feeds Chevy was first underneath them with Tom Rogers Jr. runner-up in the Jessup Landscaping entry. Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. was third in the East West Marine Chevy of Bill Park. Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville and John Fortin of Holtsville completed the top five.

Continue reading ‘Shawn Solomito Sweeps Twin 30 NASCAR Modified Features at Riverhead Raceway’

Riverhead Raceway Kicks Off 30th Year Of Enduro Racing, Zaleski, Nelson, Pizzo & Mujsce Score Opening Day Wins

RIVERHEAD, NY — The curtain went up on the 30th consecutive season of Enduro racing this past Sunday at Barbara & Jim Cromarty’s Riverhead Raceway on a sun splashed afternoon with Greg Zaleski of Jamesport, Don Nelson of Rocky Point, Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma and Mike Mujsce Jr. of Hampton Bays all scoring victories. Pizzo actually won twice, sweeping the days two 8-Cylinder Enduro events.

School teacher Greg Zaleski would take the field in the 50-lap Grand Enduro event to class as he broke out to the lead on lap 4 passing Tom Talbot Sr. who was making his first start in the division. Once out front in his Willow Hill Automotive backed racer Zaleski who also coaches soccer in the Bayport school district ran away and hid from his competition and afterwards made a stunning admission. “My team is really just me and my Dad and honestly we really didn’t do too much to the car in the off season” Greg offered. That nugget of news surely must have been a surprise to his fellow drivers who could only watch as Greg dominated the race. Jess Martines of Shirley was runner-up in the RP Distinctive Landscaping Chevy while former champion David Antos of Lindenhurst placed third in the G&R Performance Monte Carlo.

One year ago in the opening day Truck Enduro Don Nelson sat dejectedly by his Nelson Brothers Farms machine that had blown a motor fearing his 2014 season was over. However as the old saying goes what a difference a year makes, a saying Nelson is celebrating. Gene Burbol who over the years won numerous 4-Cylinder races made his return to racing in the Truck Enduro and drew the pole for the race. Gene quickly took the race lead and seemed to be in a zone even with Don Nelson, another former champion within striking distance in second. Suddenly on lap 26 a lapped truck broke into Burbol’s path with Gene having to hit the brakes for a split second which allowed Nelson to race on by for the race lead and eventual win. Burbol of Brookhaven was runner-up in his Gene’s 112 Service Center entry with 68-year young “Handsome” Hank Hallock of Riverhead third in the Westhampton Auto Salvage Chevy.

All race car drivers dream of starting their season off with a win so Sunday must have been double dreamy for Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma who swept the wins in both 8-Cylinder Enduro races. In the first race, a 75-lap affair Pizzo and second year driver swapped the lead during the second half of the race. Lap 41 found Anthony spinning in oil from Jarred Halsey’s blown engine handing the lead over to D’Orta. Pizzo who never stopped his car went right back to work in tracking down D’Orta and on lap 51 reclaimed the lead for good in the United Exhaust Shop Caprice. Mike D’Orta of Deer Park was second in his Mustang Magic racer while Jeff Otto Jr. of Deer Park place third in the Designs For Vision machine.

In the 40-lap nightcap Pizzo would again have to work hard to earn first place money as he raced with Ed Brown Jr. The duo swapped the lead some four times just past the halfway mark of the contest. Pizzo would take the lead for good on the 32nd circuit to score the victory with Ed Brown Jr. of Mastic Beach runner-up in the Lyly’s Auto Body Supply Chevy. Mike D’Orta was third.

Coming into the 2015 Enduro season Mike Mujsce Jr. announced he would dedicate his racing efforts to his late cousin Eleanor Geier and on Sunday in the 75-lap 4/6-Cylinder Enduro his emotional motivation turned into one of the most dominating performances in the class. Mujsce broke out front at the drop of the green in his Premier Pest Control entry and not only did he never look back he nearly lapped the entire 35 car field twice! Ed Fontana of Wading River was second in the Good Wood Shop machine while Paul Wojcik of Centereach crossed the line third. George Davis gave his fellow competitors and fans alike a scare when he flipped into the first turn after contact and fortunately Davis after exiting the car was okay, his car was totaled.

Grand Enduro (top 5)
1. Greg Zaleski 2. Jess Martines 3. David Antos 4. Brian McCormack 5. Erick Zegel

Truck Enduro (top 5)
1. Don Nelson Jr. 2. Gene Burbol 3. Hank Hallock 4. Peter Rabaglia 5. Richard Galante

1st 8-Cylinder Enduro (top 5)
1. Anthony Pizzo 2. Mike D’Orta 3. Jeff Otto Jr. 4. Michael Sorrentino 5. Donald Lawrence

2nd 8-Cylinder Enduro (top 5)
1. Anthony Pizzo 2. Ed Brown Jr. 3. Mike D’Orta 4. Sean Fitzpatrick 5. Logan Fogg

4/6-Cylinder Enduro:
1. Mike Mujsce Jr. 2. Ed Fontana 3. Paul Wojcik 4. Steve Trimboli 5. Matt Wahl

Sources: Bob Finan/Riverhead Raceway PR

Tom Rogers Jr. Sweeps Riverhead Raceway Twin 30 NASCAR Modified Features On A Chilled Opening Night

The 65th anniversary season of racing got underway Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway on a clear but chilly evening which also turned out to be the eve of a full moon arriving on Sunday. The Twin 30 NASCAR Modified features lived up to the full moon theory with the second race in particular a marathon event. In the end Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead swept the Twin 30’s earning his 32nd & 33rd career NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified victories.

In qualifying a mere 3/1000ths of a second would separate Tom Rogers Jr. and Ryan Preece with Tom having the edge 11.953 to 11.956 with Rogers picking 5th in the redraw and Preece 4th. John Beatty Jr. and rookie Kyle Soper picked the front row. When the 22 car field took the first green flag of 2015 pole sitter Beatty entering the first and second turn washed up the hill slightly opening the inside lane up and quickly jumping through the opening were both Timmy Solomito and Tom Rogers Jr. who came from their respective third and fifth starting berths to occupy first and second on lap 1. The duo who have a history ran in that order until a 9th lap restart changed the complexion of the race.

With Timmy Solomito to the inside and Rogers outside the leaders car seemed to falter off the fourth corner when the green waved and that allowed Rogers to bolt back into the lead with John Beatty Jr. now second while Solomito headed pit side to repair his car. Ryan Preece ran third behind the leaders and as the field took the halfway signal he made an inside move enter turn 1 to pass Beatty for second and set his sights on leader Tom Rogers Jr. Although he drew close at times there was no stopping Tom Rogers Jr. in the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy as he scored the win. Ryan Preece in the TS Haulers entry was runner up while rookie Kyle Soper of Manorville made a late race pass on Beatty for third in the Installations by Gemini machine. John Beatty Jr. of Merrick and Dave Sapienza of Riverhead filled out the top five.

Race two was indeed more dicey in both the fight for the lead but unfortunately also in caution flags and damaged race cars. Ryan Preece was able to break out front at the throw of the green on the outside with Rogers now in tow. Sadly in this race making a house call would be the full moon theory as this race had the “big one”. Exiting turn 2 George Brunnhoelzl III and John Fortin made contact while fighting for position in the top five and both had to check-up which stacked the field behind them. Among the cars involved and damaged in the melee were Howie Brode, both Shawn & Timmy Solomito, Brendon Bock, John Fortin Sr. & Jr. and Ken Darch. Brunnhoelzl was able to keep his forward progress and never lost a spot.

With his outside pass at the start of the second 30-lapper the chilled fans on hand figured Preece would split the doubleheader with Rogers but somebody forgot to give Tom that memo. On lap 11 as Preece worked through the fourth turn his car seemed to jump out on him which allowed Rogers to swoop in and make the pass to make it a clean sweep for the Jessup Landscaping team. Preece was runner-up once again in the East West Marine Chevy while Jason Agugliaro of Islip turned in a stellar performance for third in the Northeastern Bus Rebuilders entry. George Brunnhoelzl III of Mooresville, NC and Dave Brigati of Calverton rounded out the top five.

Former Late Model champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead topped the 25-lap Late Model field that boasted a 15-car field for opening night. 2014 Rookie of the Year Chris Lescenski broke out front at the start of the race with Kevin Metzger in hot pursuit. However Kevin’s run for the lead would hit a snag on lap 5 when he and Scott Kulesa got caught up with a lapped car drawing a yellow and sending both to the pits for repairs. On the ensuing restart Lescenski held serve at the front of the field with Jeremy McDermott, his close friend and somewhat of a teammate now second. On lap 8 McDermott cast friendship aside and made an inside pass off turn four to take the lead from Lescenski who one lap later lost second to Roger Oxee. Once out front Jeremy McDermott put the SDS Telecommunications machine on cruise control and drove off to victory. Roger Oxee of Peconic in the Sophie’s Restaurant Pontiac was rune-up while Chris Lescenski of Riverhead drove a solid race for third in the M Spero Motorsports Chevy.

Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach scored his first career Figure Eight win as he was leading the scheduled 15-lap Figure Eight feature when the time limit ran out on lap 8 during a caution. The class took to the track as the final race of the card and late in the night. Fritz, the 2013 Rookie of the Year raced his way out front when the green light came on with Mike Mujsce on his bumper. Right in line with Mujsce were the likes of Ken Hyde Jr., Roger Maynor and Tom Rogers Jr.. At one point or another all four posted a challenge to Gary who was equal to the task every time and many on hand felt even if the race went 15-laps he’d do the same. When the time limit ran out it was an elated Northeastern Office Equipment team that greeted their driver Gary Fritz Jr. in victory lane. Tom Rogers Jr. in the United Exhaust Shop Plymouth Coupe was runner-up and Ken Hyde Jr. in the Long Island Truck & Equipment racer were second and third.

Timing is everything in many sports and in the 20-lap Charger feature John Baker of Brookhaven proved it as he stunned race leader Eric Zeh of Selden on a late race restart to post his third career win. Sophomore driver Greg Immerman showed the way over the first 7 laps of the race before CJ Lehmann executed an inside pass off turn 4 for the lead coming to start the 8th lap. Lehmann quickly found defending champion Eric Zeh filling his mirror and on lap 11 Zeh worked his way by for the lead. Baker would soon then wrestle second away from Lehmann setting the stage for the exciting finish. A late race caution on lap 18 set up the single file restart, Zeh went into the third and fourth corner in the middle to the high side of the track and when the green waved Baker quickly went down under the race leader stunning not just the race leader but all those looking on as well. That move would indeed be the winning one for John Baker and his Staria Automotive race team. Eric Zeh would have to settle for runner-up money in the S&P Carting Chevy with CJ Lehmann of Shirley third in the Shore Mechanical Monte Carlo.

Jack Handley Jr. of Medford for the second year in a row won the 20-lap Blunderbust opener after taking the lead on lap 6 and never looking back. The race was marred by a personal feud that boiled over from the past two years between Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge and Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow who decided after spinning each other out during the race to have a Demo Derby with their cars. Both were removed and disqualified from the race with future penalties to be announced. As for the actual race Tim Mulqueen moved out front at the start with Tom Sullivan in tow for the first lap before Jack Handley, who started 4th got by. Once to second Jack wasted no time in his Relle Electric Chevy taking the lead which he did for good on lap 6 utilizing a crossover move off turn four. With five laps to go Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge moved his TS Haulers entry to second and try as he might there was not catching the race leader and he settled for second. 70-year young Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore was third in the Crackerjack Auto Stores Oldsmobile.

Defending Super Pro Truck champion Lou Maestri of Deer Park started his title defense off in style with his 28th career victory. Brian McElearney broke to the race lead at the outset but would only lead the first lap as Mike Albasini worked his way by to move out front on lap 2. Lou Maetsri who started the race 4th moved by teammate McElearney for second on lap 4 with an inside pass and then set sail for leader Albasini. Mike who has been stuck on 9 career wins since 2013 was hoping to break into the double digit win column but Lou had other ideas as he saw an opening to the inside and took it for the race lead on lap 12. Once out front Lou Maestri would not surrender the lead and drove his IGA Food Market of Fort Salonga Chevy to victory lane. Mike Albasini of Flushing was third in the Hollis Court Collision Silverado with Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach a solid third in the Mike’s Heavy Duty Recovery entry.

“Big Money” Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches topped the 28-car Legend Race Car field to win their 20-lap feature. Davidowitz set fast time with a lap of 13.726 but did not fare to well in the redraw while Vinny Delaney drew the pole and Ray Fitzgerald picked the outside pole. Delaney wasted no time taking command of the race early on as he moved out front at the drop of the green with Fitzgerald second. Davidowitz in the meantime was moving from his 4th row starting spot to the top three with all of his passes for position coming on the outside lane. Once to third Richie passed Fitzgerald to the outside off turn down for second on lap 9 and five laps later he’d use the same move to work his way by Delaney for the lead on lap 14. Once out front in his Thriftway Auto Body racer Richie Davidowitz, a five time winner in 2014 drove to victory in the 2015 opener. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville in the Wise Choice Fuel Oil machine was runner-up while Greg Harris of Riverhead drove from 7th to a podium finish with his third place tally in the SGS Stone Works mount.

1st NASCAR Modified Twin 30:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ryan Preece 3. Kyle Soper 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Dave Sapienza 6. Howie Brode 7. Jason Agugliaro 8. George Brunnhoelzl III 9. John Fortin Sr. 10 Vinny Biondolillo 11/ Brendon Bock 12. Ken Darch 13. Shawn Solomito 14. Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. 15. John Fortin Jr. 16. Dave Brigati 17. Fred Vordemeier Jr. 18. Jerry Solomito Jr. 19. Al Ermmarino 20. Kyle Ellwood 21. Ken Vogel Jr. 22. Timmy Solomito

2nd NASCAR Modified Twin 30:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ryan Preece 3. Jason Agugliaro 4. George Brunnhoelzl III 5. Dave Brigati 6. Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr. 7. Dave Sapienza 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Kyle Soper 10. John Fortin Sr. 11. Ken Darch 12. John Fortin Jr. 13. Fred Vordemeier Jr. 14. Vinny Biondolillo 15. Shawn Solomito 16. Timmy Solomito 17. Howie Brode 18. Brendon Bock 19. Jerry Solomito Jr. 20. John Beatty Jr. 21. Al Ermmarino 22. Ken Vogel Jr.

Late Models:
1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Roger Oxee 3. Chris Lescenski 4. Chris McGuire 5. Shawn Patrick 6. Kyle Harvell 7. Kevin Metzger 8. Chris LaSpisa 9. Richie Davidowitz 10. Jack Orlando 11. Mike Bologna 12. Scott Kulesa 13. Timmy Solomito 14. Jarrod Hayes 15. Kaitlyn Schober

Figure Eights: 1. Gary Fritz Jr. 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Ken Hyde Jr. 4. Mike Mujsce 5. Scott Pedersen 6. Tom Kraft Jr. 7. Roger Maynor 8. Brian Hansen 9. Bryan Quilliam 10. Tom Ferrara DNS- Mike Herbst

Chargers:
1. John Baker 2. Eric Zeh 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Owen Grennan 5. David Roys 6. Ray Minieri 7. Steve Mastro 8. Greg Immerman 9. Jason Hansen 10. Rich Wilson 11. Chris Turbush 12. Dennis Cunningham 13. Cory Midgett

Blunderbusts:
1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Joe Warren 3. Bill Wegmann Sr. 4. Tim Mulqueen 5. Terry Stiles 6. Jim Laird 7. Tom Pickerell 8. Ed Mistretta 9. Tom Sullivan 10. Tom Puccia 11. Derek Wegmann 12. Bill Wegmann Jr. 13. Robert Ehrle 14. Chris Van Cott 15. Scott Maliszewski  DQ- Tommy Walkowiak DQ- Brian Brown

Super Pro Trucks:
1. Lou Maestri 2. Mike Albasini 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Mark Stewart 5. Dave Brigati 6. Kevin Scharfenberg 7. Amanda Anderson 8. Brian McElearney 9. Gerard Giordano

Legend Race Cars:
1. Richie Davidowitz 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Greg Harris 4. Paul Dodorico 5. John Beatty Jr. 6. Dylan Slepian 7. George Tomko Jr. 8. Josh Williams 9. Chris Rogers 10. Michael Rutkoski 11. Eddie Fatscher 12. Allan Pedersen 13. Ray Fitzgerald 14. Brad Van Houten 15. Mike Van Houten Jr. 16. Shawn Wanat 17. Bryan Kelly 18. Kurt Krieger 19. Bobby Jones 20. Ed Cheslak 21. Steve Hersey 22. Eric Hersey 23. Jerry Curran 24. Bill Fitzgerald 25. Eric Henschel 26. Wally Davidowitz 27. Steve Smith 28. Artie Pedersen III

Sources: Bob Finan/Riverhead Raceway

2 Brunnhoelzls at Riverhead Opening Day

IMG_8917Bill Park stepped out of the driver’s seat of his always beautiful No. 20 NASCAR Modified, he has filled that seat with several talented drivers. Park will have a trio of drivers this year. Last year’s regular driver Ryan Preece will be back for 8 races and Ron Silk will be in the car for about 5 races plus the 2 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races.

A familiar face will drive the car on opening night at Riverhead (NY) Raceway. Former Long Islander George Brunnhoelzl, III will venture north from North Carolina to pilot the East West Marine/Elite Towing and Transport/Meade’s Welding & Fabricating car. He will be returning to Riverhead for the first time since 2011, when he drove a NASCAR WMT race.

I talked to George Monday about coming back to Riverhead, coming back to Long Island to drive for Bill Park and his season in general.

Continue reading ‘2 Brunnhoelzls at Riverhead Opening Day’

Schneider to Pursue VMRS, Riverhead Events

Dave Schneider is planning to compete on the Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) full-time and the Tour-Type Modifieds at Riverhead (NY) Raceway as his schedule allows. Schneider acquired a brand new 2008 Troyer at the end of last year and will use it as his an VMRS car. His old car will be used at Riverhead.

He is also looking at the Northeast Auto Car and Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series depending on how the season is going. “It’s a great series (Tri Track),” Schneider said. “They have a great selection of tracks and the promoters are awesome people.”

Schneider will also have a new paint scheme. The car will still be red, but have other colors added.

Schneider had a tough season last year. He blew a motor at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. He crashed in his first race back at New London-Waterford (CT) Speedbowl and clipped the car. Schneider came down with mono. He had his ups though at the end of year. A fifth at Seekonk (MA) Speedway, seventh at Lee (NH) USA Speedway and Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park were among his best finishes. “I’m looking to improve exponentially on that.”

Continue reading ‘Schneider to Pursue VMRS, Riverhead Events’

NBC Sports Adds Evernham, Sheheen for Whelen Modified Coverage

Legendary Crew Chief Teams with Veteran Motorsports Broadcaster for All 14 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. — April 15, 2015 — NBC Sports today welcomed three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham and seasoned broadcaster Ralph Sheheen to its growing lineup of motorsports experts. Evernham and Sheheen will handle coverage of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN. The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production for NBC Sports and NBCSN.

2015 marks the 30th Anniversary season for the northeast-based NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which traces its roots back to the very first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the beach and road course at Daytona Beach, Fla. in 1948. Evernham, who began his remarkable career in motorsports working on short track race cars at age 15, will first team with Sheheen to cover the 41st running of the Icebreaker from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Conn., airing on Saturday, April 18 at 12:30 a.m. ET (late Friday night). The complete NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour telecast schedule on NBCSN is listed below.

“We’re are thrilled to continue our 2015 NASCAR Touring Series with the knowledge and experience of Ray Evernham and Ralph Sheheen behind the microphone,” said Behnke. “This is a win for all race fans and the enthusiastic followers of the Whelen Modified Tours.”

Continue reading ‘NBC Sports Adds Evernham, Sheheen for Whelen Modified Coverage’

NWMT: Nocella to Compete for Sunoco ROY

Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA will move to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour full-time in the KLM Motorsports No. 64. 

“(I) want to thank Mike Murphy and Ron both for offering me the ride and having the confidence in me,” Nocella said. “So hopefully we’ll run good with them and it’s definitely a big opportunity for me. … It’s something that we can go out and have some good strong runs and get top tens and fives and hopefully better than that. Maybe get the Rookie of the Year, which would be a big deal.”

“I was pretty excited when I got the call to be able to go and try to run that. Pretty tough competition I’d say and I was excited that they thought that I’d be able to do it and giving me the opportunity. … Mike Murphy there and Ron both seem pretty excited and I thought it was a real great opportunity to be able to go out try to run.”

Mike Murphy’s car has been driven by Ron Yuhas, Jr. recently. He was injured last September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Yuhas posted on Facebook that he is still recovering from his injuries and thankful for the support. The Groton, CT driver has raced for Murphy since 2011 in the Fast Track Electric/Hughes Motors car.

Continue reading ‘NWMT: Nocella to Compete for Sunoco ROY’

Goodale Bound for New Smyrna

Eric Goodale of Riverhead, NY will enter at least three nights of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway. His brother Kevin may enter three races, while the car will be there for the duration.

“We’re going down there with the intention of trying out a bunch of new things, hopefully being able to gain some speed this year,” Goodale said. “The last couple of years we’ve been there, it’s been very beneficial to us during the season. We’ve been able to try some things that we wouldn’t have the time to normally in the course of a day at the racetrack with the tour schedule, so it’s nice to go down there pick everybody’s brain about what they want to do and find some things that work, and some things that don’t work, and then you don’t have to waste your time with them during the season.”

Goodale will be focusing on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with his father Edgar’s No. 58 Troyer. The Goodie Motorsports crew will return along with the support of the family business, Riverhead Building Supply.

Continue reading ‘Goodale Bound for New Smyrna’

Ellwood to Split Time on NWMT, Riverhead

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, NY will enter several NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races this season. He plans four races at Thompson (Icebreaker and World Series) and both races at his home track, Riverhead (NY) Raceway. Ellwood is looking for more races if financing is available, especially the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway.

“That’s going to be the biggest part this year is running these couple of tour races that we’re going to run and finding enough people do to it,” Ellwood said. “It all depends on how funding goes, and how our team is, and how Jeff’s (Goodale) doing. … on how the cards fall, and how the first couple weeks at Riverhead go.”

Ellwood made his initial foray into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last year at Riverhead in June and the World Series at Thompson.

“It was a great experience. I got to learn a lot, a lot of seat time and you get to learn a lot about the car too in the longer races.”

Continue reading ‘Ellwood to Split Time on NWMT, Riverhead’

Brode Records Riverhead Repeat

Third Career Title At Long Island Bullring

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Howie Brode may not have had as many friends on or off the track in 2014 as he did the previous season, but that didn’t impede his pursuit and procurement a second-consecutive championship at Riverhead Raceway.

Most title defenses don’t go unchallenged. There’s an inherent elevated level of competitiveness, and even jealousy, when challengers size up the crown bearer. Brode, of East Islip, New York, experienced this first-hand.

2014 NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES TRACK CHAMPIONS

So what was the difference for Brode in 2014 as the reigning Riverhead NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champ?

Continue reading ‘Brode Records Riverhead Repeat’

Bock Moving to NASCAR WMT

Legend Car Grad to Compete in Modifieds and Super LM

Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, NY will pursue a limited NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule driving the No. 29 car. Bock will be trading the No. 33 that came with his Legend Car for the one his father used. He plans to enter five races at Riverhead Raceway (1), Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (2 each).

“Modifieds have always been around me,” Bock said. “I’m very close to those, all my guys knows those well. It just makes sense to run a Modified for us.”

An expanded schedule is dependent on sponsorship. Bock wants to add Bristol after attending last year’s race. ” I really want to try Bristol, but I don’t know how that might shape out in the future. I went to watch it last year, I just loved it so much.”

Bock will enter selected NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races at Riverhead. He will use the events for additional seat time at the quarter mile oval. Bock enjoys the fact that he will be able to continue to race with some of his friends who are moving up to the Modifieds.

“The Modifieds are so special. They’re so sick, they’re so powerful and they look so badass. It’s just hard to find something that compares to them on the big asphalt tracks.”

Continue reading ‘Bock Moving to NASCAR WMT’

Moran Enjoying Second Title, Looking Forward to 2015

Phil Moran of Naugatuck, CT has spent his life in racing. For Moran, the second championship is “a little more special,” Moran said. “…This is our team as far as me concerned I’m the team manager, truck driver, the whole nine yards.”

11 years ago, Moran won his first championship with Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT driving for Don Barker. The team had a lot of technical support from Chassis Dynamics.

Moran did not get to celebrate as much as he wanted at Thompson since he had to drive the transporter. Besides getting ready for the World Series, he has been busy building new cars for next season and NASCAR’s commitments as the championship team. He expects it to hit him during the celebration in Charlotte Saturday. The NASCAR Night of Champions honors the regional touring series. He especially wants to bring the championship trophy back to the shop.

It is first championship for Mike Smeriglio, III, owner of the Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance No. 2 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Driver Doug Coby of Milford, CT claimed his second title in the last three years.

“It was a well thought out move when we did it last year and it worked out for the good. It was a really good year.”

Continue reading ‘Moran Enjoying Second Title, Looking Forward to 2015’

Eye on Riverhead: November 2014

NASCAR WMT Visits Riverhead Twice in 2015

Great news to start off our first off season Eye On Riverhead comes from promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty who disclosed today that the 2015 Opening Weekend at Riverhead Raceway Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd. Of course it will be the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series stock cars kicking off their season on Saturday May 2nd while the Enduro season will go green the next afternoon May 3rd. The two pre-season practice days will take place on Saturday April 18th and again the following week April 25th.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will once again make two visits with the first race set for the tradition last Saturday in June that being June 27th in 2015. The second WMT event will unfold a tad earlier this year as the Saturday August 29th has been tabbed as the date for the second 200-lapper for the popular series. The entire 2015 schedule is still in the works as Barbara Cromarty works her magic and will be released in the weeks to come.

A quick reminder that your truly will be once again hosting the Long Island Automotive Swap Shop on Sunday December 7th in the pit area of the track. It’s time to clean out the garage and turn all that stuff you been tripping over into cold hard cash. Robert Clock will be on hand once again with his huge photo album collection for those who like to take a look back to the golden era of racing. Last year was indeed a very successful Swap Shop and from all indications this year will be bigger and better. The biggest item moved last year was when Gary Fritz Sr. bought Chris Young’s enclosed ramp truck. Don’t miss out on either selling or buying this year. It is just $20 per vendor spot and a $5 general admission, so come on out!

Continue reading ‘Eye on Riverhead: November 2014’

New Ride for Timmy Solomito

‘The Natural’ in Flamingo Motorsports Car for 2015

Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY will drive the No. 16 Modified for Eric Sanderson on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour next season. The rumor mill has been churning since Ryan Preece announced his departure from Flamingo Motorsports on October 20, one day after winning the Sunoco World Series. One year removed from winning a championship, Preece is moving to Eddie Partridge’s No. 6 TS Haulers Motorsports car.

Solomito did not have anything set going into the season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. He expected to return to Anderson’s No. 75 car or at least run part time.

Flamingo Motorsports Crew Chief Sly Szaban asked Solomito’s car owner Wayne Anderson within days of the season finale about their plans for 2015. Szaban expressed interest in Solomito driving for Flamingo Motorsports. Anderson, the 1994 series champion, was supportive of the 22-year-old driver’s opportunity.

Continue reading ‘New Ride for Timmy Solomito’

Riverhead 200 Photos

Photos by Michael Jaworecki

Continue reading ‘Riverhead 200 Photos’

Whelen Modified Tour Rained Out At Riverhead

Riverhead 200 Cancelled; Tour Returns To Action Sept. 20 At New Hampshire

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (Sept. 13, 2014) – Due to inclement weather Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, the Riverhead 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race has been cancelled.

Rain moved over the track during afternoon practice and persisted into the evening, forcing the cancellation of the event by NASCAR and track officials.

Due to local regulations that prohibit Riverhead Raceway from running events after the month of September, no make-up date is available to reschedule the Riverhead 200. The Whelen Modified Tour has scheduled events the next two weekends to close out the month.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Modified Tour Rained Out At Riverhead’

PRACTICE: Bonsignore Leads At Riverhead

Fastest In Rain-Shortened Riverhead 200 Session

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Justin Bonsignore led the way in an abbreviated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice session Saturday afternoon at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore, from Holtsville, New York, posted a fast lap of 12.088 seconds (74.454 mph) around the Long Island bullring before rain moved into the area.

The season-high 31-car field had approximately 35 minutes on the track in preparation for Saturday’s scheduled Riverhead 200 before the rain came.

Continue reading ‘PRACTICE: Bonsignore Leads At Riverhead’

Whelen Modified Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Riverhead 200 At Riverhead Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Riverhead 200 on Saturday at Riverhead Raceway on New York’s Long Island. Below is a statistical look at the performance of tour and selected drivers at the track:

Riverhead 200 Setup:
• Championship points leader Doug Coby is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events this year. A winner of 10 races at four different tracks during his career, Coby will vie for his first Riverhead Raceway victory this week.

• Defending Riverhead 200 victor Ryan Preece has four wins and has averaged a podium finish across his nine career starts at the Long Island bullring.
• The first 10 events this year have featured three first-time winners, including Eric Goodale’s June triumph at Riverhead. A fourth first-timer would be the most the Whelen Modified Tour has seen since there were five in 2002.

At Riverhead Raceway:
History
• Opened in 1951 as a dirt track and converted to asphalt in 1955.

• Held its first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 10, 1985 during the NWMT’s first season. The inaugural race was won by Jimmy Spencer.
• Has held 54 NWMT races all-time, fourth-most among all venues.
• Is one of two tracks to play host to the NWMT in each of its now 30 seasons of competition, along with Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Modified Stat Advance: Riverhead’

Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

First-Time Winners Abound In 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has long been constituted of accomplished veterans who regularly reach Victory Lane. First-time winners are more of the exception than the rule, but the 2014 season is bucking that trend.

Three of the 10 races this year have featured first-time winners, including the June event at Riverhead Raceway, where the Whelen Modified Tour will return to for Saturday’s Riverhead 200. A fourth in any one of the four remaining dates would be the most since there were five in 2002.

Eric Goodale was the first breakthrough winner this year when he earned a hometown victory at Riverhead in June. Woody Pitkat reached Victory Lane at his home track Stafford Motor Speedway in early August, then last time out at Bristol Motor Speedway rookie Tommy Barrett Jr. captured his first win.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead’

Goodale Gets First Win at Home

Long Island Driver Scores Whelen Modified Victory At Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — It was happy homecoming for Eric Goodale.

The 28-year-old from Riverhead scored his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win Saturday night in the Hoosier Tire 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

Goodale powered the No. 58 GAF Roofing/RBSCorp.com Chevrolet past Ted Christopher shortly after a Lap 170 restart and led the final 25 laps en route to the victory.

Goodale’s previous best finish in 77 starts was second at Riverhead last June. He also finished runner-up in the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway.

[Photo Galleryby Paul Fohlin

Continue reading ‘Goodale Gets First Win at Home’

QUALIFYING: Beatty Takes Top Spot

Earns First Whelen Modified Coors Light Pole At Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — John Beatty Jr. earned his first Coors Light Pole Award Saturday in just his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start.

The 38-year-old from Merrick, New York, posted a lap of 11.959 seconds (75.257 mph) around the quarter-mile in qualifying for Saturday night’s Hoosier Tire 200.

Beatty ran the Whelen Modified Tour race twice at Riverhead last year, qualifying in the top five both times, and finished third at his home track in the June race.

[Photo Galleryby Paul Fohlin

Continue reading ‘QUALIFYING: Beatty Takes Top Spot’

PRACTICE: Preece Heating Up at Riverhead

Tops Hoosier Tire 200 Practice Session

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Ryan Preece led the way in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice Saturday afternoon in preparation for the Hoosier Tire 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

Preece toured the .25-mile oval on New York’s Long Island with a fast lap of 11.982 seconds (75.113 mph), recorded late in the 90-minute afternoon session.

Winner of three consecutive Modified Tour wins at Riverhead, Preece will look for his fourth consecutive and fifth out of nine career starts this evening. He has an average finish of 3.1 at the track.

[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin

Continue reading ‘PRACTICE: Preece Heating Up at Riverhead’

Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Hoosier Tire 200 At Riverhead Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Hoosier Tire 200 on Saturday at Riverhead Raceway on New York’s Long Island. Below is a statistical look at the performance of tour and selected drivers at the track:

Hoosier Tire 200 Setup:
• Season points leader Justin Bonsignore earned his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway in 2011, the same season he also captured the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title.
• Ryan Preece has won four of his eight career NWMT starts at Riverhead, including the last three races in a row. The defending tour titlist will look at the Hoosier Tire 200 as an opportunity to gain his first win of 2014.
• In addition to Bonsignore, Donny Lia and Rowan Pennink also earned their first career victories at Riverhead. Lia is tied with Preece for the most wins among active drivers at the quarter-mile with four.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Riverhead’

Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

Top Rookie Solomito Right At Home At Riverhead

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Timmy Solomito hopes that returning home to New York’s Riverhead Raceway for Saturday’s Hoosier Tire 200 will be the perfect opportunity to capture his first tour checkered flag.

Solomito, a 22-year-old from Islip, grew up racing at the famed Long Island bullring. Although he’s a true rookie at most all of the venues the Whelen Modified Tour visits, Solomito was asked if his experience at Riverhead will prove to be an equalizer this week.

“Without a doubt,” Solomito said. “Having so many laps there – I’ve been racing go-karts since I was eight there and stock cars since I was 16 – so I have a lot of laps there, which definitely helps me I feel.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead’

Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition

High Expectations for Icebreaker Winner

Change is good for Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY, who began the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in victory lane. The Icebreaker was his second victory at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Ken Massa’s M3 Technology team. Bonsignore led three times for 14 laps, including the final eight circuits. He bested Coors Light Pole Award winner Woody Pitkat and former champion Doug Coby for the victory. Long Islanders Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.

“That was wild,” Bonsignore said. “I hope everybody enjoyed it. If they didn’t enjoy that I don’t know what they’re going to post on Facebook but great car. Oh my God. I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the guy to mess it up the last 25 laps. I knew I had a little bit better car.”

“He’s (Pitkat) going to win his fair share of them,” Bonsignore said. “Hopefully we go back and forth this year … He had a great car. I knew he was going to be the guy we had to beat. They tested here last week. Everybody said they were real quick. They showed it all weekend that they were real quick. They were a tick off on their pit stop and we were just a tick better and that’s all it took. The competition is so close you guys can see it. Just drove my butt off and was able to get it done.”

Continue reading ‘Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition’

Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler

One of the most successful cars in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history will return for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Rookie Jimmy Zacharias of Candor, NY will pilot the Boehler Racing Enterprises (BRE) #3 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 26-27.

” My dad and Michael (Boehler) just started talking and put the deal together,” Zacharias said. “… Hopefully all goes well and we can continue out the season on the tour and run for Rookie of the Year. I’ll also be at Chemung Speedrome on Friday nights defending my NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified championship.”

Zacharias will be driving for one of the most storied team’s in local Modified racing. The Boehler family has fielded a race car since 1957. Bugs Stevens became the first driver to win three consecutive national Modified championships in Lenny Boehler’s Ole Blue. Wayne Anderson captured the 1994 crown, while Tony Hirschman, Jr. captured back to back championships in 1995 and 1996. The inaugural Spring Sizzler was won by the late Fred DeSarro in 1972.

“It’s awesome ,” Zacharias said. “I’m so thankful that they allowed me an opportunity. The car and team have been around Modified racing for a very long time. And the car has a great deal of success over the years with some great Modified drivers behind the wheel.”

Zacharias is hopeful that his sponsors will provide financial support to the BRE team. The BRE crew will work on the car, with possibly some of Zacharias’ crew members assisting. 

Continue reading ‘Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler’

Tommy Baldwin Racing Signs Ryan Preece to Drive No. 36 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series

Mooresville, N.C., — Tommy Baldwin Racing has hired Ryan Preece, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, to run two races in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 2014 in the No. 36 Chevrolet. Preece will make starts at Richmond International Raceway as well as returning to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Preece, a member of the prestigious NASCAR Next program, has a decorated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career under his belt. He made his career debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Tommy Baldwin Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In seven years in the NWMT Preece has made 95 career starts including nine wins, 42 top five finishes, 54 top 10 finishes and 11 pole position starts.

East West Marine, based out of Manorville, N.Y., will adorn Preece’s No. 36 Chevrolet for both races.

Continue reading ‘Tommy Baldwin Racing Signs Ryan Preece to Drive No. 36 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series’

2014 Whelen Modified Schedule Announced

Fourteen Race Schedule Covers Seven Tracks

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule features a strong lineup of traditional dates along with a pair of marquee non-points events.

The Whelen Modified Tour’s 29th season will see 14 championship points events spread across four states. Added to the season-opening non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway is another special event paired with the June visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

When the tour makes its summer visit to New Hampshire, the points race on Saturday, July 12, will be preceded by a unique, invitation-only 25-lap shootout the day before. The race will feature a limited field and is only open to past NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour champions and race winners, along with 2013 Sunoco Rookies of the Year for both tours.
Continue reading ‘2014 Whelen Modified Schedule Announced’




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