Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead rebounded from a lap two tangle in the 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature event Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway to capture his second win of the 2014 Whelen All-American Series in a race that featured many different plots and twists most of which involved the lead cars at times.
Vinny Biondolillo was quickest in pre-race time trials with a lap of 12.017 but he would pick 4th in the redraw that found Kyle Ellwood and Dave Brigati picking the front row. Right from the drop of the green Ellwood and Brigati got after each other racing for the lead side by side for nearly the first two laps. As the duo were about to exit turn four it appeared they both went for the same piece of real estate and got together drawing a yellow flag. Ellwood was able to continue while Brigati was done with front end damage. That chain of events moved Howie Brode and Jason Agugliaro into the front row for the double file restart and when the green flag waved they too got to racing hard for the lead especially on the double file restarts. On lap 14 in turn four they indeed would get together with Brode getting turned around after contact. Al Ermmarino in his first start of 2014 had nowhere to go caught Brode with his right front wheel ending his night while Brode went to the rear of the field where he was joined by Agugliaro at the request of NASCAR Officials.
That get together meant that Kyle Ellwood who roared his way back to third would now find himself the new race leader with teammate Jeffrey Goodale in his SK type Modified now running second. Once the green flag waved Kyle Ellwood was never going to surrender the race lead again but that didn’t mean the excitement was over. As the laps were clicking off Goodale would later lose second after contact from Howie Brode who himself had contact from Jason Agugliaro with Goodale drawing the caution in turn 2. That moved Vinny Biondolillo up to second and Vinny himself was coming back from a turn two spin when he was tapped by Ken Darch. In perhaps a Riverhead Raceway first Darch put himself to the rear for his contact with Biondolillo stating afterwards, “I got him so I thought the right thing to do was put myself to the rear”
In the closing laps Biondolillo seeking his first career win stayed glued to Ellwood’s rear bumper and in fact got Kyle a little loose off turn four but in the end Kyle Ellwood would hold on for a had fought victory. Looking back at his early race jingle with Dave Brigati the race winner noted “I really don’t know what happened, I was under him thought I was good and we got together” Kyle also added, “I can’t thank my guys enough for this Riverhead Building Supply car they work hard and tonight they had to keep me calm on the radio after all that went on early”.
Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville was runner-up in his Premier Utility Service Chevy while Jason Agugliaro of Islip was third in the Tom O’Keefe & Sons Chevy after an eventful race. Championship leader Howie Brode of East Islip and Jeffrey Goodale of Riverhead completed the top five.
Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma. scored a milestone victory in the 25-lap Late Model feature as he won his 20th career race in the class. Scott was very willing to take advantage of a front row starting position as he raced his way into the race lead when it went green as pole sitter Chris LaSpisa had an engine issue forcing him to the infield. Roger Oxee would quickly find himself second to Kulesa with these two tested tough veterans needing no introduction to each other. For the entire duration of the race Scott would lead Roger but that by no means meant the race was over. Oxee, the all-time leading winner in the class was all over the back bumper of Kulesa trying to see if he should go low or to the high side to attempt a pass for the lead and win. However Scott Kulesa did a masterful job inside his Eastport Feeds Pontiac of protecting the line and he would drive off to career win number twenty. Roger Oxee of Peconic will have to wait for another race to capture his 65th career win as he was runner up in the North Fork Sanitation Pontiac while Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen of Baldwin came home third in the Harley Davidson of Nassau County Chevy.
One week ago Scott Pedersen of Shirley had to pit from the Figure Eight lead when his car threw a belt and overheated and did so with a comfortable lead to boot. Well as they say what goes around comes around and indeed it did for Scott as he won the 15-lap feature and in the process held off 111 time race winner Roger Maynor. With Pedersen taking the race lead at the throw of the green Chris Elixson and Gary Fritz Jr took turn running second over the first two laps as Tom Rogers Jr. took the spot on lap 3. Tommy’s stay in second would also be short lived as Roger Maynor came calling on lap 4 and the race for the win was on. Maynor sporting some body damage from a first lap tangle went right to work on Pedersen for the race lead but Scott was having none of it as he wanted to avenge his disappointment from the week prior not only for him but his team as well. Roger would indeed get close but that would be as good as it got as Scott Pedersen drove the Reliable Motors Chevy to a well deserved victory for he and car owner Benny Vecchio. Roger Maynor of Bay Shore was second in the Ed Horton Builders Ford while Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead was third in the PCFI Plymouth Coupe.
As the 2014 Blunderbust season hits the second half it seems that “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge is also catching fire as he won his second race in the last three Saturday night in a 20-lap affair. Bryan Sescila broke out front when the race got underway with Tim Mulqueen in tow for the first two laps when he was overtaken by Tommy Walkowiak who executed an inside pass in turn three. Once to second Tommy, who started sixth wasted no time getting after Sescila for the race lead as he took the lead on lap 4, bringing Terry Stiles along to second with him. From that point on it was up to the two most recent winners in the class to race for the win as Stiles was able to keep step with Walkowiak. While able to keep pace with the race leader Terry Stiles was never really able to mount a serious challenge for the lead and Tommy Walkowiak in his Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice drove off to his division leading 53rd career win. Terry Stiles of Rocky Point was second in his O’Brien & O’Brien Attorneys At Law Chevy while championship leader Jack Handley Jr. of Medford raced his way from 14th to finish third in the Liccardi Builders entry.
With a recent run of bad racing luck Roger Turbush of Riverhead put all that behind him Saturday when he won his 19th career race leading from wire to wire to score the 20-lap Super Pro Truck victory. Needless to say when the green light came on Roger Turbush wasted no time taking the race lead with Brian McElearney in hot pursuit. However Brian’s night would come to a sudden end on lap 6 when he collected the second turn wall, Brian was okay but voiced his displeasure with Mike Albasini afterwards. When the race went back green Turbush once again picked up where he left off as the race leader with Albasini now second but Mike would have some company for that position later in the race as Lou Maestri came up to challenge him. That was even sweeter music to the ears of the race leader as he was able to pull away some. All that came to an end on lap 17 when a late race yellow flag waved and on the ensuing restart Maestri threw his truck to the outside of Albasini to take second. However it would prove to be too little too late as Roger Turbush in the Superior Systems Chevy nailed down the win. Lou Maestri of Deer park was second in the Star Car Collision Center entry while Mike Albasini of Flushing had to be content with third place money in Hollis Court Collision machine.
If there is no outside groove at Riverhead Raceway please don’t tell Legend Race Car winner Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches as that is exactly the line he used to win his fourth feature event of 2014. Pole sitter Vinny Delaney who won the first heat race broke out front at the throw of the green with Artie Pedersen III giving chase over the first 6 laps. A double file restart would find Brad Van Houten slipping under Pedersen for second on lap 7 and he would spend the following eight laps trying to figure a way around race leader Delaney. However on lap 16 RIchie Davidowitz worked his way by Van Houten for second with an inside pass and then he quickly switched lanes to make an outside pass off turn 4 on lap 17 to take the lead from Vinny Delaney. Once out front in his Thriftway Auto Body of Lindenhurst racer Richie never looked back notching his 5th career triumph. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was runner-up in the Cleary’s On The Water machine while Brad Van Houten of Wading River crossed the line third in the TJ Halpin’s mount.
The 75-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro saw defending champion Ed Brown Jr of Mastic score the win. Donald “Woot” Lawrence of Southampton took the lead from the pole when the 33 car field got underway. “Woot” had them all covered as he led the race and was lapping some pretty good cars in the process. However disaster struck on lap 56 when he made contact with one of those lapped cars and his right rear tire started to go flat. Ed Brown Jr who was at that time at least a half lap behind Lawrence suddenly found himself as the new race leader, a lead he would never give up in his Brownstone Body Works Caprice. Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma was second in the A Voight Towing Chevy with Jeffrey Otto Jr. of Deer Park scoring a career best third place tally in the Schubert’s Auto Body Chevy.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. Vinny Biondolillo 3. Jason Agugliaro 4. Howie Brode 5. Jeffrey Goodale 6. Russell Savoy 7. Jack Handley Jr. 8. Ken Darch 9. Al Ermmarino 10. Dave Brigati
Late Models: 1. Scott Kulesa 2. Roger Oxee 3. Peter Eriksen Jr. 4. Mike Bologna 5. Kevin Metzger 6. Jeremy McDermott 7. Chris Lescenski 8. Shawn Patrick 9. Artie Pedersen III 10. Chris LaSpisa
Figure Eights: 1. Scott Pedersen 2. Roger Maynor 3. Tom Rogers Jr. 4. Ken Hyde Jr. 5. Mike Mujsce 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Gary Fritz Jr. 8. Bryan Quilliam 9. Chris Elixson
Blunderbusts: 1. Tommy Walkowiak 2. Terry Stiles 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Jimmy White Jr. 5. Tom Pickerell 6. Bill Wegmann Sr. 7. Brian Brown 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Bill Wegmann Jr. 10. Joe Warren 11. Bryan Sescila 12. Tom Puccia 13. Tim Mulqueen 14. Ray Shannon 15. Ed Mistretta 16. CJ Zukowski 17. Devin Maliszewski 18. Jessica Cohan 19. Bryan Quilliam 20, Richie Hubbard
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Roger Turbush 2. Lou Maestri 3. Mike Albasini 4. Erin Solomito 5. Frank Dumicich Jr. 6. Frank Dumicich Sr. 7. Dave Koenig 8. Amanda Anderson 9. Mark Stewart 10. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 11. Brian McElearney
Legend Race Cars: 1. Richie Davidowitz 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Brad Van Houten 4. Brendon Bock 5. Dylan Slepian 6. Kyle Soper 7. Eric Hersey 8. Bryan Kelly 9. Vinny Colletti 10. Allan Pedersen 11. Ray Fitzgerald 12. Jim Sylvester 13. Mike Van Houten 14. Greg Harris 15. Kevin Chew 16. George Tomko Jr. 17. Tom Marsh 18. John Harley 19. Artie Pedersen III 20. Joe Oliver 21. Ed Cheslak 22. Eric Henschel 23. Wally Davidowitz 24. Steve Hersey DNS- Kurt Krieger
8-Cylinder Enduro (top five): 1. Ed Brown Jr. 2. Anthony Pizzo 3. Jeff Otto Jr. 4. Mike D’Orta 5. Kris Dane
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release. Photo Credit: George Buzzie Bogart