With a late restart ensuing, Kyle Soper knew he’d have to defend the lead from a hard-charging John Fortin Sr. for five laps to earn the victory on Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway (NY) on Saturday.

He did just that.

Soper won his heat race and started third in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event. Fortin, who went from sixth to first between Laps 9 and 13, was possibly the strongest car in the 40-lap feature but came up short in his battle with Soper.

“It was fun racing cleanly against [Fortin],” Soper said. “It was a great race with this legendary car and a great team, and I just remember as a kid watching my dad in this car. It’s just cool to race this car.”

Vincent Biondolillo, who started second, finished third and Fortin’s son, John Jr., came home fourth. Pole sitter David Brigati started off strong but fell to seventh late in the running.

“I’ve got to thank the team, they all did their best,” Fortin Sr. said.” They put their heart and soul into the car. We’ll get it; we’re not done yet.”

Biondolillo said the race was “fun.” He jumped a restart after the first caution and was warned by race control to not do it again. Fortunately for him, he maintained his position and earned the top-five.

Ryan Preece was expected to race at the quarter-mile track, but his trailer suffered a mechanical failure and didn’t make it to Long Island. In two weeks, Riverhead will host the second annual Islip 300.


-By John Haverlin, Speed51.com Northeast Contributor – Twitter: @JohnHaverlin

-Photo Credit: Michael Jaworecki


Full results:

  1. #15 Kyle Soper
  2. #84 John Fortin Sr.
  3. #3 Vincent Biondolillo
  4. #34 John Fortin Jr.
  5. #19 David Schneider
  6. #5 John Beatty Jr.
  7. #98 David Brigati
  8. #9 Tom Rogers Jr.
  9. #8x Ed Brunnhoelzl III
  10. #07 John Baker
  11. #36 Dave Sapienza
  12. #46 Craig Lutz
  13. #03 Brad Vanhouten
  14. #88 Roger Turbush
  15. #49 Chris Young
  16. #33 C.J. Lehmann
  17. #55 Dan Jivanelli
  18. #96 Howie Brode
  19. #43 Eric Zeh
  20. #14 Corey Osland
  21. #39 Sal Accardi


Soper Fends Off Fortin For Riverhead Raceway Opening Night Victory