When the 2015 race season gets underway at Barbara & Jim Cromarty’s Riverhead Raceway on opening weekend Saturday May 2nd & Sunday May 3rd it will mark the 65th season of stock car racing at the historic Route 58 quarter mile oval. Running under the NASCAR Whelen All American Series banner as they have since their first year as race promoters at Islip Speedway in 1977, the Cromarty’s have some special events planned for the 65th anniversary season.
The NASCAR Modifieds will again headline the weekly race card and for opening night on May 2nd will go to post for Twin 30-lap feature events. Joining them will be the Late Models, Figure Eights, Chargers, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars. In fact that very same card of racing will also be presented for the second week of the season on Saturday May 9th. Completing the opening day weekend festivities on Sunday afternoon May 3rd at 12:30 pm are the cars and stars of the Enduro race series featuring the Grand Enduro class. They are joined by the 8-Cylinders, Truck Enduro and 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro divisions for the afternoon.
The 2015 NASCAR Modified slate looks a tad different this year but indeed there will be two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races contested, the first of which is the Hoosier Tire 200 on Saturday June 27th. The WMT troops make a return visit to Riverhead Raceway for a new race date Saturday August 29th and again will race in a 200-lap event.
The annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek Memorial race has been moved up to Whelen Event night on Saturday June 6th, while the annual Cromarty Cup race will also be among the changes in 2015 as that July 4th race has been increased from 50 laps to 65 in honor of the special anniversary season. The “Mod Squad” will also run 50-lap main events on June 20th and September 19th with Twin 50’s set for August 8th.
Another format change for ’15 finds the NASCAR Modifieds qualifying most night via time trials but several nights of racing will see the feature event line-up by the track handicapping rules, something that both competitors and fans have been asking for recently. Also new for 2015 will be an off night for the NASCAR Modified teams on Saturday July 25th.
The Late Models, Figure Eights, Chargers, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars will all again play a major role in the weekly racing with all classes racing in extra distance races spread throughout the 2015 campaign. Six of the seven track champions from 2014 are expected to defend their titles this season as Howie Brode (Modifieds), Mike Bologna (Late Models), Roger Maynor (Figure Eights), Eric Zeh (Chargers), Tom Pickerell (Blunderbusts) and Lou Maestri (Super Pro Trucks) indicated as much at the recent Champion’s Luncheon. 2014 Legend Race Car champion Kyle Soper announced recently that he would venture into the NASCAR Modified class in 2015 in a car he bought from Dave Brigati.
Look for a new format in the regular season Demolition Derbies at the track starting with the first contest set for Saturday May 23rd, as track operations manager John Ellwood introduces “bone stock” rules for the class which will use 8-Cylinder cars for this season. Regular season Demolition Derby events will be presented on June 13th, July 4th and August 8th. The National Demolition Derby Championship spectacular has been moved up to the Saturday of Labor Day weekend September 5th. That race will continue to use the old Championship rules with a purse increase for the winner of the National Championship to be announced as well.
Change has not been limited to the Saturday night programs or divisions as track officials announced recently the formation of the Mega Gut & Go Enduro class for 4/6-Cylinder cars. As of press time two such races are planned for 2015, the first Sunday afternoon May 24th and the second Sunday September 6th. Once again the regular Enduro classes will see limited action on select Saturday nights in 2015 to go along with their stand alone Sunday programs.
The 2015 schedule once again accents family entertainment events including two great Fireworks shows Saturday July 4th and again on I Love America night Saturday August 22nd. The wildly popular School Bus Demolition Derby events are back as well with the first set for Saturday night July 18th and the second joining I Love American night August 22nd. Fire breathing, car eating Transaurus will be back for a fun filled show on Saturday August 1st.
The annual Wall of Fame night will be presented on Saturday August 15th which will also serve as the date for Old Timers night. The annual Eastern Long Island Racing Go-Kart & Bandolero exhibition will take place Saturday night June 20th.
Two pre-season practice days will proceed opening weekend and they are scheduled for Saturday afternoon April 18th and again on April 25th featuring free grandstand admission and start at 12 noon.
For the entire 2015 Riverhead Raceway schedule, rules or other information please visit www.riverheadraceway.com.
-Bob Finan/Riverhead Raceway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo