Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead swept the Sunoco Race Fuels night NASCAR Modified Twin 49’s Saturday at Riverhead Raceway to score his fifth and sixth wins of the 2015 as well take a commanding 32-point lead in the chase for the NASCAR Modified championship at the historic quarter mile oval. 20 NASCAR Modifieds and a nice turnout of fans many of whom wore red were on hand to celebrate the life and racing career of the late Chris Young.
Qualifying found Howie Brode of East Islip fastest with a lap of 11. 820 barely edging out Tom Rogers Jr. who clicked off a lap of 11.823. Brode would pick 3rd in the redraw conducted by Leah Young while Rogers finally found some luck picking out of the bucket as he drew the outside pole alongside Eddie Brunnhoelzl III. At the throw of the green Brunnhoelzl and Rogers drag raced to the first turn with Tommy eventually getting the advantage over Eddie. As has become typical of Rogers once out front he took as much of a lead as he thought would be necessary in order not to abuse his car while the dicing for position was getting hot and heavy in his mirror. Ryan Preece who started the first 49 from sixth was on the march to the front and on lap 18 made an inside pass of Brunnhoelzl fro second exiting turn four. Ryan then pulled up to challenge Rogers for the lead but Tommy was able to pull away slightly every time his rival got too close.
At the checker flag Tom Rogers Jr. scored his fifth win of the year in the Joe Ambrose owned Jessup Landscaping Chevy while Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. was runner-up in the East West Marine Chevy. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was third in the Go Green Generators Chevy with Howie Brode and Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville completing the top five.
In between the Twin 49’s while the Super Pro Trucks ran their feature race the NASCAR Modifieds reported to impound upon where teams could utilize a fifth tire and rotate the remaining tires on the car. Also the first four finishers from race one redrew for race two with Rogers and Preece picking the pole and outside pole while Brode and Brunnhoelzl would swap third and fourth for race two.
The second Twin 49 saw Rogers pick up where he left off after his victory in the first race moving his way out front at the drop of the green. Howie Brode was able to dip under Ryan Preece to take second place as Ryan’s car didn’t seem just right at the start of the race. In fact an early race yellow waved and Preece would indeed duck into the pits for an adjustment and have to try and drive his way through the field. Meanwhile back up front it was Tom Rogers Jr. again having the car to beat and his strategy from the first race again came into play as he would only break out to a large enough lead he thought he needed. Preece in the meantime was putting on a show passing cars inside and out trying to make his way back to the race leaders and all eyes were on the hard charging Nutmeg State driver.
At the conclusion of the second Twin 49 Tom Rogers Jr. in the Relay Communications Chevy crossed the line first and in a touching and classy moment in victory lane he signed one of the two Sunoco Race Fuels trophies and presented it to Ann, Christopher and Leah Young. “When I first started racing Figure Eights one of the first pieces of advice I got was from Chris Young” Tommy recalled. “He told me whatever happens on the track, leave it there. Don’t take it home or carry it to next week and I do just that”. Going into the homestretch of the season Rogers leads Vinny Biondolillo 280 to 248 in the championship chase with Kyle Soper third with 246.
Howie Brode was runner-up in the Petro Home Services Chevy with Ryan Preece driving all the way back to third in the Elite Towing entry. Rob “The Racer” McCormick of Calverton and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III completed the top five.
In tribute to his late father Christopher Young competed in his Dad’s NASCAR Modified coming home 14th and 13th in the Twin 49’s noting the car was not where he wanted it to be set-up wise in the first race but had a better car for race two. Riverhead Building Supply, Zoom Drain, Bill Mitchell Hardcore Products, Aces Landscaping, Axel Anderson Inc and Outlaw racing all came together to make Christopher’s effort possible
Roger Maynor of Bay Shore gave himself a belated Birthday gift as he won the 15-lap Figure Eight main event for his 114th career win. CJ Lehmann took the early race lead at the start but on lap 3 Roger Maynor was able to sneak by for the top spot. Lehmann would run second until a 7th lap restart when Tom Ferrara was able to overtake him for second. The race from that point forward remained green and that was just fine with Roger Maynor in his Barrasso & Sons Mason Supplies Ford as he raced back to victory lane. The win coupled by a bad outing for championship leader Tom Rogers Jr. narrowed the title fight down to ten points with Rogers leading 376 to Maynor’s 366. Tom Ferrara of Patchogue was second in the Northeastern Office Equipment entry while CJ Lehmann of Shirley was third in the Mike’s Auto Service Chevy.
“Dynamite” Dan Turbush of Riverhead continues to click off the victories in the Super Pro Truck as he won his second straight feature event Saturday for his fourth win overall in the Rich Campo owned truck. Turbush took the lead from Mike Albasini on lap 3 with an outside pass on a double file restart and once out front he never looked back in the Clarity Window Cleaning Chevy. On lap 4 moments after the only restart of the race Albasini would yield second to Dave Brigati on lap 4. At first Dave was able to stay in step with the eventual race winner Turbush but as the laps wore down his chances at making a run and pass for the lead dwindled having to settle for second in the JDL Environmental Dodge. Mike Albasini of Flushing was third in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy.
The 20-lap Legend Race Car event went green to checker with championship leader Dylan Slepian of Dix Hils collecting his fourth win of 2015. Pole sitter Allan Pedersen broke out to the early race lead and in fact would lead the first five laps of the contest. Lap 6 found Dylan Slepian making an inside pass of Pedersen for the lead on the back stretch. One lap later Slepian’s nearest rival in the points race Vinny Delaney worked his way by Pedersen for second and the race was on. Vinny was able to pull up to the rear bumper of Dylan and at times gave him a slight tap to let him know he was there. Dylan Slepian was equal to all the challenges thrown his way and would drive off to victory lane in his Hurricane Grill & Wings racer. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville did all he could do legally to try and nail down his second straight win but settled instead for second in the Cleary’s By The Water machine. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead was also in the mix all race long and placed third in the SGS Stone Works entry.
“Handsome” Hank Hallock of Riverhead won the 50-lap Truck Enduro and at 68-years young showed the younger generation how it’s done in the process. Mariah Lawrence made her return to the class by leading the first 3 laps of the race before former champion Don Nelson Jr. worked his way by for the lead. Nelson’s stay out front lasted three laps as hank Hallock made what would be the winning pass on lap 8. Nelson stayed right with Hallock after losing the lead to him and joining the party as well would be Woot Lawrence. However as the race wore on Hank Hallock’s Westhampton Auto Salvage truck got better and better and would be first under the checker flag. Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point was runner-up in the Nelson Brothers Farms Chevy while Woot Lawrence of Southampton was third in the Wheel Racing entry.
When the new Bone Stock Demolition Derby rules were introduced prior to the 2015 season they were drawn up with the intent of novice drivers having a chance to find success. Well mission accomplished as Damon Aiello of Bay Shore in his first ever Demo Derby took down the win. Damon is the son of former Blunderbust driver Anthony Aiello and in victory lane was as surprised as anyone else about his victory in the K&K Auto Transport entry. Aiello outlasted another newcomer Alonzo Tukes of Brentwood to claim the win, Tukes in the Astro Moving & Storage machine was named Judge’s Choice. Phil Ebert of Hauppauge was voted Fan’s Choice in the L.I. Truck & Equipment Repair mount.
NASCAR Modified 1st Twin 49:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Ryan Preece 3. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 4. Howie Brode 5. Vinny Biondolillo 6. Jason Agugliaro 7. Ken Darch 8. Kyle Soper 9. Rob McCormick 10. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 11. Jeffrey Goodale 12. John Fortin Jr. 13. Brad Van Houten 14. Christopher Young 15. Danny Watts 16. John Fortin Sr. 17. Al Ermmarino 18. Ken Vogel Jr. 19. Amber Fortin
NASCAR Modified 2nd Twin 49:
1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Howie Brode 3. Ryan Preece 4. Rob McCormick 5. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III 6. Jason Agugliaro 7. Jeffrey Goodale 8. Vinny Biondolillo 9. Kyle Soper 10. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 11. Danny Watts 12. Brad Van Houten 13. Christopher Young 14. Ken Darch 15. Al Ermmarino 16. Ken Vogel Jr. 17. John Fortin Jr. 18. John Fortin Sr. 19. Amber Fortin
1. Roger Maynor 2. Tom Ferrara 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Mike Mujsce 5. Ken Hyde Jr. 6. Scott Pedersen 7. Tom Rogers Jr. 8. Bryan Quilliam 9. Artie Pedersen III 10. Brian Hansen 11. Gary Fritz Jr.
Super Pro Trucks:
1. Dan Turbush 2. Dave Brigati 3. Mike Albasini 4. Brian Brown 5. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 6. Jerry Giordano Jr. 7. Mark Stewart 8. Lou Maestri 9. Brian McElearney 10. Anthony Vecchio 11. Amanda Anderson
Legend Race Cars:
1. Dylan Slepian 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Kyle Ellwood 4. Brad Van Houten 5. Allan Pedersen 6. Kevin Nowak 7. Richie Davidowitz 8. Greg Harris 9. Artie Pedersen III 10. Ray Fitzgerald 11. Eric Hersey 12. Bryan Kelly 13. George Tomko Jr. 14. Mike Van Houten Jr. 15. Shawn Wanat 16. Steve Hersey 17. Wally Davidowitz 18. Bill Fitzgerald 19. Bobby Jones 20. Terry Stiles DNS- Steve Bolland
Truck Enduro (top five)
1. Hank Hallock 2. Don Nelson Jr. 3. Woot Lawrence 4. Ben Gregor 5. Gary Voight
Winner- Damon Aiello
Judge’s Choice- Alonzo Tukes
Fan’s Choice- Phil Ebert
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release. Photo Credit: Michael Jaworecki Photo