Near summer like weather dawned this past Saturday on Long Island as Riverhead Raceway promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty swung the gates open for the first of two pre season practice days. The day was deemed a success both in the pit area as well on the race track by both NASCAR Officials and competitors alike.
Some 14 NASCAR Modifieds were on hand for testing and tuning led by 2014 NASCAR Modified champion Howie Brode who will be seeking his 4th career title and third in a row this season. Brode was shaking down a new Peter Clarke owned chassis. Among the other drivers on hand were the three Solomito brothers with Shawn Solomito taking his first laps for new car owner Wayne Anderson. Timmy Solomito was in the family owned car that he’ll run in select shows at Riverhead in 2015 while the eldest of the brother Jerry Jr. hopes to run the full Riverhead slate in a car owned by him and his wife Erin. Ron Silk strapped into the Bill & Barbara Park #20 which he’ll share with Ryan Preece among others. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III was all smiles after the session after taking his first laps in his all new LFR Chassis built machine.
Also on hand were Vinny Biondolillo who has a new engine package for 2015, Dave Brigati. David Schneider, Ken Darch, Ken Vogel Jr., “Fast” Al Ermmarino and rookie driver Kyle Soper all also looked impressive during the day. Schneider came to the track with two cars for testing while Dave Brigati also took laps in a Super Pro Truck he purchased during the winter and will run this season.
The Late Models seem ready for a rebound season in 2015 as no less than 10 were signed into the pits. Former champions Kevin Metzger, Jeremy McDermott and Scott Kulesa headed up the troops and were joined by Chris LaSpisa, Kyle Harvell, Jarrod Hayes and Chris McGuire. Legend Race Car standout Richie Davidowitz was in Chris LaSpisa’s second car which he will run for the first few shows of the season before Emily LaSpisa takes over the driving chores when she returns from college.
The Blunderbusts boasted some dozen cars for the first practice day with last year’s point runner-up Jack Handley Jr. who is completing his freshman year at St. Johns University among those on hand with a new red paint scheme for 2015. Scott Maliszewski, Tom Puccia, Terry Stiles, Timmy Mulqueen, Joe Warren Jr., Tom Sullivan, Dennis Scott, and the Wegmann brothers Derrick and Andrew took laps. Ron Langdon drive Tommy Walkowiak’s machine for the day as Tommy was in Aruba on vacation.
Once again the Legend Race Cars set the pace in the car count department with some 20 on hand. Newcomers Jerry Curran, Bill Fitzgerald, Eddie Fatscher and Josh Williams too their first laps on the quarter mile. Fatscher and Williams are Legend veterans having run at the Summer Shootout Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway among other venues. Paul Dodorico, Vinny Delaney, Bryan Kelly, Dylan Slepian, Ray Fitzgerald, Kurt Krieger, Richie Davidowitz, Chris Rogers and Artie Pedersen III and his brother Alan were some of those on track.
The Figure Eights, Chargers and Super Pro Trucks might not have had the car counts the other classes had but none the less had some spirited track time during the day. Once the NASCAR machines were finished the track in the late afternoon was then turned over the Enduro teams which were plentiful as well.
This Saturday April 25th the second practice day of 2015 will be presented with the pits opening at 9:00 am with practice starting again at 12 noon. The entire Riverhead Raceway schedule along with divisional rules and entry blanks can be found by visiting www.riverheadraceway.com or calling 631-842-RACE
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo