The cars & stars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will descend upon Riverhead Raceway Saturday night June 24th for the Riverhead 200 with defending race winner and current WMT championship leader Timmy Solomito of Islip leading the charge to the historic quarter mile oval. Solomito knows the tricky confines of Riverhead all too well having won 17 times in his career dating back to his first NASCAR Whelen All American Series triumph June 27th, 2009. The 200-lapper will be contested on Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac night.
In a race that featured nine lead changes among four drivers Timmy Solomito would score his first career Riverhead WMT victory in the 2016 Riverhead 200 and the driver Long Island race fans have come to know as “The Natural” could be found two hours after the race greeting fans and signing autographs. Timmy will come to the 2017 edition of the race with a slim two point margin over Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon, Pa.in the WMT championship tussle 206-204. Pennink has adapted well to Riverhead over the years and has authored a WMT victory at the track.
Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville chased Solomito to the checkers last summer with the 11 time Riverhead Raceway winner hoping to reverse those roles Saturday night. Drivers who posted a top ten finish in the 2016 Riverhead 200 hoping to improve upon those results include Dave Sapienza of Riverhead, Max Zachem of Preston, Ct., Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Matt Swanson of Acton, Ma. and defending NASCAR WMT champion Doug Coby of Milford, Ct.
Fresh off his June 14th win at the most recent WMT race at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. is hopeful momentum will carry him to victory lane at the conclusion of the Riverhead 200. WMT veteran Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct. enjoying his first season as the driving for Jeff Goodale of Riverhead would love to deliver his owner with a first career WMT win Saturday.
In a late breaking development Donny Lia and his Tommy Baldwin Racing team announced Thursday morning after the Thompson Speedway event that they are adding the Riverhead 200 to their part time schedule of events with the WMT. A Lia win in a Baldwin prepared machine would truly be a popular one at Riverhead Raceway.
Defending Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Shawn Solomito of Center Moriches is hoping to end a tough spell of racing luck on tour this season with his first career WMT win at the track where car owner Wayne Anderson is a former five time champion. Shawn, like his younger brother Timmy is a 17-time winner at Riverhead. Two other Long Island residents Brendon Bock of Franklin Square and Craig Lutz of Miller Place are also eyeing their first career WMT victory in the 200.
Among the teams who call the Whelen All American Series of Riverhead Raceway home that have indicated they’d run the 200 include Islip 300 winner Dillon Steuer of Bohemia as well CJ Lehmann of Shirley and Ronnie Williams of Tolland, Ct. in the Gershow Motorsports Chevy. In the past Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, Howie Brode of East Islip, John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville and Dave Brigati of Calverton have all run Riverhead WMT races in the past but their plans for the 200 of press time were unknown.
Joining the Riverhead 200 Saturday night are the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crates who’ll compete in a 30-lap feature event joined by the Blunderbusts and INEX Legend Race Cars. All feature event winners will take home the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac trophy from the Southampton car dealer that has served as a pace car sponsor at Riverhead Raceway since 1985.
The complete race day schedule and other information can be obtained by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com or calling the track at 631-842-RACE.
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com