When the 2017 Riverhead Raceway schedule hit the presses during the winter months the event that immediately caught the eye of competitors and race fans alike was the Islip 300 Saturday May 27th. Soon thereafter Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz disclosed the Modified extravaganza would pay the winner a handsome $7,000 heads were no doubt turning. Today the trio announced the entire $32,650 purse structure to be paid out to the 25 drivers that qualify for the Memorial Day spectacular.
The race will pay homage to the old All Star 300 races at the “World Famous” Islip Speedway that were usually contested late in the race season at the 1/5 of a mile facility. A virtual who’s who in Modified racing would trek to Long Island for the annual 300 which back then was run on a Sunday afternoon. These days with the late summer and early fall race dates chock full of big season ending races, the thought process of Riverhead Raceway management was to establish a Memorial Day weekend event that hopefully over time will become a late spring classic. With $7,000 to win on the line May 27th an “all star” caliber line-up from the various Modified tours could very well make their way to Riverhead Raceway for what might turn out to be the biggest race in Long Island racing history.
The runner-up of the Islip 300 will collect a cool $2,500 while third though fifth are worth, $2.250, $2,000 and $1,750. Sixth through tenth will pay $1,500, $1,400, $1,300, $1,200 and $1,100. $1,000 will be paid out to the 11th & 12th place drivers with $900, $850 and $750 up for grabs from 13th through 15th. The 16th spot will pay $700 and 17th $650 while 18th through 25th are worth $600 per position.
Not long after the race was announced 2011 Riverhead Raceway champion and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship contender Justin Bonsignore indicated he and his Ken Massa owned team would be on hand for the 300. Bonsignore made his disclosure in a Speed.51.com story. Additionally Justin recently told Riverhead publicist Bob Finan the Phoenix Communications team would be on hand for opening night at his old home track Saturday May 6th, no doubt in part readying for the 300.
Another WMT contender indicating he and his team would be headed to Riverhead Raceway for the Islip 300 is Eric Goodale with the Riverhead Building Supply team, Eric made his intentions known in a Area Auto Racing News story.
Ryan Preece who campaigns the Eddie & Connie Partridge owned TS Haulers Chevy will also be at the ready for the $32,650 spectacular. Preece and his team are hopeful of running some 40 races plus in 2017. Sal Accardi Jr. of Deer Park who spent 2016 on the Tri Track Series circuit has also noted he will be on hand for the Islip 300 at Riverhead as well the Modified Touring Series race June 17th.
Licking their collective chops at a potential $7,000 payday will be the talented Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Whelen All American Series regulars headed-up by 2016 NASCAR Modified champion Shawn Solomito. Dave Brigati, Howie Brode, Kyle Soper, Vinny Biondolillo, John Fortin Sr., John Fortin Jr., Tom Rogers Jr., John Baker, Dillon Steuer, Ken Darch, Jason Agugliaro and Cory Midgett will all be looking forward to the 300.
In the event of inclement weather the Islip 300 carries a Sunday May 28th rain date.
Riverhead Raceway race director Scott Tapley and GM John Ellwood are putting the final touches on race procedure and tire regulations for the Islip 300 and they will be announced in the very near future.
To view the entire 2017 schedule of events please visit www.riverheadraceway.com. The track phone number remains 631-842-RACE.
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com