Chuck Steuer of Bohemia seized first place in the modified point standings Saturday at Riverhead Raceway after winning the Cromarty Cup 50. At the midway point of the season Steuer has 432 points, just ahead of Tom Rogers Jr., who has 430.
Steuer earned his second win of the season as he set the fast time and drew the pole. It was the third time in as many time trials that Steuer turned a lap of 11.766 seconds and the first time his team drew the pole.
John Fortin, the points leader coming into the race, hit the wall hard exiting turn two at the start of the second lap after his car glanced off Steuer’s. Fortin’s car suffered heavy damage and was done for the night.
Donny Lia of Jericho settled for runner-up money after starting 15th on the grid. Timmy Solomito raced his way from 18th to a third-place finish. Dave Brigati of Calverton was fourth and Eddie Brunnhoelzl of Levittown completed the top five.
Steuer, who in two previous time trial shows did not do well in the redraw, admitted a change in strategy.
“I didn’t pick this time,” he said. “I let my engine builder Big Sal go up and pick and sure enough he drew the pole.”
In the 25-lap late model feature event Mike Bologna of Huntington raced from the outside pole to take the early lead and proceeded to dominate. For the first time in his late model career Bologna has multiple wins in a single season. It was his second win of the season. Roger Oxee of Peconic was second while Ken Alfano of Southold was third for the second week in a row.
Brian Doyle of Ronkonkoma scored his second career win in the chargers. His first win also came on the July Fourth weekend last year. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead finished in second while Chris McGuire of Shirley settled for third. The race came down to Doyle and McDermott in the closing laps. McDermott closed to within the rear spoiler of Doyle as he tried inside and outside to make a run at Doyle for the win. Doyle called it “just some good old-fashioned, hard short-track racing.”
The blunderbust division has provided late race excitement week in and week out and the drivers delivered again. Rob Bader of Holtsville notched his first win of 2010. Newcomer Fred Nolan paced the race for the first two laps before suddenly spinning on his own and handing the lead to Bader, who withstood some late pressure to hang on for the victory. Bill Wegmann of North Bellmore finished in second after starting 12th on the grid and Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge further padded his points lead with a third-place finish.
Shawn Wanat of Riverhead continued his domination of the six-cylinder enduro division. Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka took down his second demolition derby triumph when he won the eight-cylinder demo. Peter Mikos of Lake Ronkonkoma was named the judge’s choice and James Killkenny won the fan’s choice.
The night concluded with a fireworks display from Bay Fireworks.