It was a hazy and hot Saturday on Long Island and the only thing hotter than the weather remains Kyle Soper of Manorville who won his second straight feature event topping the TFCU Night 69-lap contest for his sixth win in nine starts. Soper the defending track champion as well New York State NASCAR Whelen All American Series champion now enjoys a lofty 48-point bulge over Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead heading into the month of July.
John Beatty Jr. of Merrick once again set the standard in qualifying with a lap of 11.640 however Beatty’s rough luck in the redraw continued as he drew the 6th starting spot while Dylan Slepian and Chris Young drew the front row. On the initial start of the race Slepian broke out to the lead over Young but the race was slowed as the field raced through the third and fourth corner when John Beatty Jr. and Jason Agugliaro came together going into a spin. Agugliaro unhappy with Beatty drove into the side of Beatty’s car after the caution and was excused from the remainder of the race by NASCAR officials. On the restart Slepian raced back into the lead but it was Kyle Soper who started the from 4th making his way by Young for second on lap 2. What followed for the next 40 circuits was a torrid duel between two best friends in Slepian and Soper who since their Legend Race Cars days have been best of friends. Slepian held serve over Soper for the a majority of those 40-laps but they were about to have some company as the likes of Young, John Fortin Sr., Timmy Solomito, Craig Lutz and Tom Rogers Jr. were all closing in the the lead tandem.
Sensing the calvary was closing in Soper knew friendship not withstanding it was time to make his move on his buddy Slepian which he did with an inside pass entering the third turn on lap 42 with Slepian now sitting second chasing Soper for three laps before he surrendered second to Chris Young on lap 45. As has been the case for the majority of his six wins this season once Soper had the Eastport Feeds Chevy out front he was not about to relinquish the lead as he drove off to his 15th career win giving him sole possession of 28th on the all time win list. Kyle’s next win would tie him for 27th with Ryan Preece on that list.
“It was a ton of fun racing with Dylan, his car was stout tonight but I have to do what I have to do for my owners Wayne & Joette Anderson and our sponsors Eastport Feeds, Dr. Martha Baker DDS, Atlantic Chevrolet and Blue Moon Deli” Soper proclaimed afterwards. Oddly enough Kyle noted he’ll not run this Saturday night’s Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 WMT race at Riverhead due to a family wedding he must attend.
Chris Young of Calverton put together another solid performance claiming second place money in his Riverhead Building Supply Chevy as he seeks that illusive first career win. Tom Rogers Jr. crossed the line third in his Licensed to Chill Chevy. Dave Brigati of Calverton and Craig Lutz of Miller Place completed the top five. Early leader Dylan Slepian faded to sixth late in the race.
It was a milestone 10th career Figure Eight victory for third generation driver Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank and this win came in a way the previous wins hadn’t. For the second week in a row Bryan Quilliam led the first four laps of the race chased early on by Scott Pedersen and then Tom Ferrara. With 3 laps in the books a light rain began to fall with the moisture hard enough to send the field to the pits while track officials called for the scheduled Truck Enduro to be run. That call turned out to be a good one as once the Truck Enduro was complete the track was dry after the rain had subsided and the Figure Eights were summoned back to the track. When the race resumed Eric Zeh who started the race 8th made his way by both Quilliam and Ferrara to take the race lead with Ferrara settling into second on lap 5. Ferrara chased Zeh until the 9th lap when he moved by for the race lead. Tom Rogers Jr. one lap later passed his teammate Zeh for second leaving he and Ferrara to decide who would win the 15-lapper. On the final lap Rogers made one last bold move with contact made sending Ferrara into a spin. Rogers took the checker flag first but NASCAR officials wanted to discuss the last lap contact. After discussion Rogers was sent to the position behind Ferrara (8th) in the final rundown and Ken Hyde Jr. who watched it all from third had his second win of 2019 in JHL Custom Works machine dedicating the win afterwards, “it was two years ago we lost Laura Zegel this one is for Momma Z”. Vinny Delaney of Holtsville executed a late race charge to claim second place in the Sayville South Bay Auto Chevy while Eric Zeh of Selden was third in the Keith Repp Racing Coupe.
Former multi time Super Pro Truck champion Lou Maestri of Deer Park reclaimed the top spot on the division’s all time win list when he won their 20-lapper for his 31st career triumph. Lou and now NASCAR Modified pilot Roger Turbush had been knotted at 30 wins each in the class. Frank Dumicich Jr. and Eddie Schutze ran one-two over the first seven laps of the tilt. Just prior to the halfway mark Lou Maestri who started the race from 6th made his way to the race lead with Jimmy Rennick who started 8th coming to second at the same time. Rennick would be able to stay in Maestri’s tire tracks for the remainder of the race but in the end Lou steering the Line-X Truck Bed Liners of Long Island made his way to victory lane. Rennick of Howard Beach in the Sonny’s Collision Specialists Chevy was runner-up while Eddie Schutze of Oyster Bay claimed third in the Rock Tech Inc. entry.
It might have taken INEX Legend Race Car veteran Kevin Nowak of Medford a couple of years to grab his 10th career win last Saturday but Kevin wasted no time at all collecting his 11th career win which he did in a 20-lap tilt Saturday. Impressive newcomer Stephen Coleman took the race lead at the throw of the green and the teenage driver showed well of himself leading the first 9 laps of the race from the outside pole. Scott Cheslak, Jeff Otto Jr. and Riely O’Keefe all took turns chasing Coleman in the lead. It was the tested tough veteran Nowak however that would come to second on lap 9 passing O’Keefe. One lap later exiting the forth turn Nowak set up Coleman to the inside to make what would be the winning pass as the field took the halfway crossed flags. Two laps later Coleman was overtaken by Richie Davidowitz for second and with eight laps remaining in the contest the question became could Richie catch and then pass Nowak. The answer would be no as Kevin Nowak and his JTEC Electric team goes back to back for their second win of 2019. Davidowitz of East Moriches was second in the 860 Motorsports entry while Riely O’Keefe of Manorville was third in the Mil-Aero Solutions mount.
Phil LaManna of Smithtown might just have the best appearing Truck Enduro entry at the track race in and race out and this past Saturday he had the fastest one as he won their 40-lap event. Bobby Pease led the first 12 laps before LaManna came calling for the race lead on lap 13. Pease now second found himself in a fight for second with Gary Voight which was music to the ears of eventual winner Phil LaManna in his EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy who took home his first win of the year.
Popular Donald “Woot” Lawrence of Southampton topped the 4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro in his “Batman” machine. Starting from the front row Lawrence quickly made his way out front in his self funded car to claim the victory.
In the 4/-6-Cylinder Demolition Derby the 2018 National Demolition Derby champion Frank Phillips of Ozone Park made his first 2019 start worthwhile as took home the win. Phillips in his Tire Express entry had to outlast Joey Palmeri of Lindenhurst for the win. Palmeri was named Judge’s Choice while Danny Zasowski of Holbrook was voted Fan’s Choice.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Kyle Soper 2. Chris Young 3. Tom Rogers Jr. 4. Dave Brigati 5. Craig Lutz 6. Dylan Slepian 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. CJ Lehmann 9. Timmy Solomito 10. John Fortin Sr. 11. John Baker 12. Eric Zeh 13. Roger Turbush 14. Jack Handley DQ- Jason Agugliaro
Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Vinny Delaney 3. Eric Zeh 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. CJ Lehmann 6. Bryan Quilliam 7. Tom Ferrara 8. Tom Rogers Jr. 9. Bob Dalke 10. Scott Pedersen 11. Paul Cummings 12. Joe Warren Jr.
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Lou Maestri 2. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 3. Eddie Schutze 4. Mark Stewart 5. Sean Glennon 6. Joe Cerabino 7. Matt Triola 8. Frank Dumicich Jr 9. Ethan Brown 10. Frank Dumicich Sr.
Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Richie davidowitz 3. Riely O’Keefe 4. Vinny Delaney 5. Jerry Curran 6. Eric Hersey 7. Joseph Braun 8. Jeff Otto Jr. 9. Allan Pedersen 10. Ed Cheslak 11. Jim Sylvester 12. Scott Cheslak 13. Mike Benton 14. Jonathan Parsons 15. Patrick Moore 16. Anthony Colandro 17. Steven Woytysiak 18. Tyler Desantis 19. Colin Volpe 20. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 21. Alex Halinar 22. Stephen Coleman 23. Jason Castaldo 24. Rich Braun 25. Ray Fitzgerald 26. Joseph Costello
Truck Enduro: Winner- Phil LaManna
4/6-Cylinder Gut & Go Enduro: Winner- Donald Lawrence
Demoltion Derby: Winner- Frank Phillips Judge’s Choice- Joey Palmeri Jr. Fan’s Choice- Danny Zasowski
-Riverhead Raceway Press Release
-Photo credit: Myracenews