RIVERHEAD, NY — Defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified champion Howie Brode of East Islip is starting to hit his stride at Riverhead Raceway. Brode swept the Twin 30 feature events this Saturday night for his 2nd and 3rd wins of the young season leaving him just two points back of point leader Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. 135 to 133. The two wins put Brode at 18 career victories.
Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead continues to dominate qualifying as he once again set fast time with a lap of 11.832 but redrew 4th in the redraw while Timmy Solomito and Howie Brode drew the front row. When the first 30 got underway Solomito broke out front with Brode content to file into second with Rogers moving to third quickly. Lap 2 found Rogers sliding under Brode for second off the second corner and setting sail for leader Solomito. The Solomito/Rogers rivalry over the last two years has heated up and indeed is not a friendly one and that would again pan out in the first feature. After pressuring Timmy for the lead from behind for 17 laps Rogers dove under Solomito in the third and fourth corner and contact was made. Solomito’s car got sideways and hit Rogers right in the right side rub rail with the yellow coming out and Timmy having to go to the rear for his spin with Rogers never stopping.
On the ensuing restart Howie Brode would find himself the new race leader with Ryan Preece now second and Rogers third. When the race went back to green Brode’s effort toward winning the race was aided by the battle that Preece and Rogers would enter for second with Tommy getting by Ryan with five to go while Howie Brode led until the checker flag.
For race two the field lined-up in their finishing order from the first race with Howie Brode breaking out front at the throw of the green and Ryan Preece muscling his way to second under Tom Rogers who was able to press on despite the damaged right side rub rail. Try as he might to make a run at Howie Brode for the race lead it was evident as the race pressed on that Ryan Preece would have to settle for second as Brode was able to keep enough distance between them in the second 30-lapper.
“I just have to thank all the guys on my Peter Clarke Motorsports Team who put so much time and effort into this car” Brode offered after receiving the victory lane hardware and Hoosier Racing Tire hats. “We were able to steer clear of Timmy and Tommy when they got together and here we are” Howie recalled and later emotionally dedicated the race to his mother, “Mom hasn’t been feeling too well so this one is for her”. Brode’s mother recently underwent triple bypass surgery.
Ryan Preece would remain the championship chased leader with his third and second place finishes in the East West Marine Chevy while Tom Rogers wound-up second and third in the twin races in his Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm entry. Jason Agugliaro of Islip and Dave Sapienza of Riverhead rounded out the top five in the first 30, while Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown and Agugliaro were fourth and fifth in the second 30.
For the 48th time in his illustrious Riverhead Raceway Late Model career Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen of Baldwin was a feature event winner topping their 25-lap feature. Former two-time champion Kevin Metzger outraced rookie driver and pole sitter Chris Lescenski to turn one when the green light came on with Eriksen and Roger Oxee quickly filing into second and third. With three of the more successful Late Model drivers running in close quarters early on it appeared as though an entertaining race was in the offering for the fans on hand. However suddenly racing through the third and fourth turn Metzger slowed to a near stop with a broken drive shaft. Eriksen somehow was able to avoid contact while Oxee peeled back his right fender after slight contact and was forced to the pits. For the restart Eriksen lined up as the race leader with Shawn Patrick second and Mike Bologna third with the latter coming to second after one lap of green. About that exciting race for the win, well, it did indeed occur as Bologna tested Eriksen entering and exiting nearly every turn for the remainder of the race. Mike later on would be distracted by Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who raced his way from 9th to 3rd to test Bologna for second which was just fine with race leader “Buzzy” Eriksen.
At the finish it was the Harley Davidson of Nassau County Chevy of Peter Eriksen sitting in victory lane with Jeremy McDermott the defending Lat Model champion runner-up in his SDS Telecom machine after he was able to get by Bologna, not without contact late in the race. McDermott slipped under Bologna in the first turn and the duo ran out of racing room in the center of the turn with Jeremy getting airborne for the second week in a row while Mike got a left front flat. Chris LaSpisa of Shirley quietly made his was from a 7th starting position to come home 3rd in his sponsor wanted operation.
The returning Blunderbusts saw Jimmy “The Kid” White Jr. of Southampton scoring his second straight win of 2014 in their 20-lap feature event. Gary Caldwell moved into the lead at the start with Bryan Sescila giving chase for the first four circuits before he was overtaken by teammate Jimmy White Jr. on lap five. Once to second White tested leader Caldwell early and often and drove out front on lap 8 with an inside pass as the tandem raced through the third and fourth corner. Caldwell hung tough in second until lap 15 when Tom Pickerell raced his way by with Jack Handley coming to third as well. With Pickerell and Handley now worried about each other for second, Jimmy White Jr. was able to drive away to victory in his Hometown Taxi racer. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford would make a white flag lap pass for second in his Relle Electric Chevy on his 18th Birthday while Tom Pickerell of Huntington settled for second in his Northportpower.com machine. After the race White waved off the victory lap as his car was overheating late in the race with the temperature reaching 280 degrees, the winner reported.
The Super Pro Trucks would race a 30-lap main event on this evening with Roger Turbush leading the way in qualifying with a lap of 13.604. Roger could only muster a 5th place starting berth in the redraw while Mike Albasini and Erin Solomito drew the front row. For the second week in a row Mike Albasini not only took the early race lead but would lead deep into the race in his HCC Collision Chevy. Lou Maestri would run second to Albasini over the first 24 laps of the contest before 16-year old Mark Stewart, who started the race 7th got by the multi-time champion for second. Once again leader Albasini would hear the footsteps of Stewart in the closing laps and sure enough on lap 26 Mark made the winning bid to race off to his second straight win and 6th career triumph in his sponsor wanted entry. Mike Albasini of Flushing would have to settle for second as the division heads into an off week this week while Lou Maestri of Deer Park claimed third place money in his Gershow Recycling Chevy.
Brad Van Houten of Wading River rewarded car owner Russell & Cathy Goodale for their off season investment of a new Legend Race Car by winning the 20-lap feature event. At the season ending Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium last year “BVH” wrecked badly but his car owners promptly ordered a new car and Saturday Brad won the first heat race for the class giving him the pole for the feature with Anthony Marsh joining Van Houten on the front row. Van Houten wasted little time taking the race lead at the start with Marsh second for the first lap before being passed by Richie Davidowitz on the second lap. Richie is no stranger to throwing his car to the outside of another competitor which he indeed attempted to do on Van Houten for the lead early on lap 6 however Kyle Soper raced his way by Davidowitz for second and even after that pass the two youngsters continued their duel. That was just fine with Brad Van Houten who raced off in his Lighthouse Market entry for his second career win in the class. Kyle Soper of Manorville was runner-up in the East Moriches Auto racer with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches third in the Thriftway Auto Body mount.
Steve “The Pitbull” Trimboli of Freeport reclaimed the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro race lead a third of the way through the race to score his first victory of the 2014 season. Starting 4th Trimboli raced his Mercedes Benz into the race lead before the 34-car field completed a lap with rival Joe Warren Jr. coming from 6th to 2nd on the first lap. Lap 8 saw Warren move to the race lead over Trimboli as they worked heavy lapped traffic early on. As the race wore on things were going according to plan for Joe Warren Jr., the defending champion in the class. However on lap 24 he made contact with another car on the congested track and his left front tire started to lose air affecting the handling. Steve Trimboli quickly reeled Warren in and on lap 25 put his Pitbull Motors car out front for good. Peter Verwys Jr. of East Rockaway saw his 2 for 2014 streak snapped as he was runner-up in the Usedautoparts.com racer while young lion Brandon Esposito of Farmingville was third in his sponsor wanted entry.
Riverhead Raceway Results – May 31, 2014
NASCAR Modifieds 1st Twin 30- 1. Howie Bride 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Ryan Preece 4. Jason Agugliaro 5. Dave Sapienza 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Ken Darch 8. Timmy Solomito 9. Amber Fortin 10. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 11. John Fortin Jr. 12. John Fortin Sr. 13. Vinny Biondolillo 14. Jeffery Goodale 15. Mike Bologna 16. Dennis Krupski DNS- Dave Brigati
NASCAR Modifieds 2nd Twin 30- 1. Howie Brode 2. Ryan Preece 3. Tom Rogers Jr. 4. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 5. Jason Agugliaro 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. John Fortin Sr. 8. Timmy Solomito 9. Ken Darch 10. Amber Fortin 11. Dave Sapienza 12. Mike Bologna 13. Dennis Krupski 14. John Fortin Jr. 15. Vinny Biondolillo 16. Jeffrey Goodale DNS- Dave Brigati
Late Models: 1. Peter Eriksen 2. Jeremy McDermott 3. Chris LaSpisa 4. Shawn Patrick 5. Chris Lescenski 6. Ken Alfano 7. Mike Bologna 8. Roger Oxee 9. Rob Pelis 10. Kevin Metzger
Blunderbusts: 1. Jimmy White Jr. 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Tom Pickerell 4. Bill Wegmann Sr. 5. Bryan Sescila 6. Joe Warren Jr. 7. Bill Wegmann Jr. 8. Tom Sullivan 9. Paul Parisi 10. Bob Muller 11. Johnny Cricchio 12. Gary Caldwell 13. Tom Puccia 14. Ian Maliszewski 15. Tommy Walkowiak 16. Terry Stiles 17. Brian Brown 18. Tim Mulqueen 19. Richie Hubbard
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Mark Stewart 2. Mike Albasini 3. Lou Maestri 4. Erin Solomito 5. Frank Dumicich Sr. 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 8. Rich Campo 9. Dave Koenig 10. Brian McElearney 11. Amanda Anderson 12. Roger Turbush
Legend Race Cars: 1. Brad Van Houten 2. Kyle Soper 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Artie Pedersen III 5. Justin Strumpf 6. Greg Harris 7. Anthony Marsh 8. Brendon Bock 9. John Beatty Jr. 10. Dylan Slepian 11. Michael Rutkoski 12. Allan Pedersen 13. Chris Rogers 14. Ray Fitzgerald 15. Bryan Kelly 16. Vinny Delaney 17. Eric Hersey 18. George Tomko Jr. 19. Dave Koenig 20. Kurt Krieger 21. Kevin Chew 22. Ed Cheslak 23. Steve Hersey 24. Shawn Wanat 25. Timmy Solomito 26. Mike Van Houten
4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro (top five) 1. Steve Trimboli 2. Peter Verwys Jr. 3. Brandon Espositio 4. Mike Mujsce Sr. 5. George Davis
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release by Bob Finan. Photo Credit: Riverhead Raceway