Auto Racing: Silk holds off Szegedy in 77-lap memorial

Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, Conn., had to withstand a late-race challenge from fellow NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points leader Todd Szegedy on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway before he could lay claim to the victory in the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial.

It was Silk’s second career Riverhead Raceway win, backing up his 2010 NASCAR HoF 100 victory.

Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., was second, and Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue rolled across the finish line third. Dave Brigati of Calverton placed fourth, but the drive of the race might have been turned in by Howie Brode of East Islip, who over the final 33 laps of the race charged his way back to a fifth-place finish. Brode was in second place on Lap 44 when he was clipped by a car he was lapping, sending him into a spin off turn four.

In other races:

Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach notched his third Figure Eight win of the year, taking first place in a 20-lap race. Pedersen surged into the lead on the third lap when Roger Maynor’s car lost third gear, forcing him high. Pedersen gained his seventh career victory. Maynor of Bay Shore made a quick recovery for a runner-up finish that left intact his winless streak that dates back to Aug. 22, 2009. Third place went to Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford, who raced his way from an 11th-place starting spot.

C. J. Lehmann of Mastic Beach, a 20-year-old Charger talent, rode the outside lane to reclaim the lead he had lost to Frank Dumicich Jr. three laps prior to score his second career win in a 20-lap affair. Second-year driver Eric Zeh of Selden made a late-race move to claim second place. Ray Minieri placed third.

Rob Bader of Holtsville came to the Blunderbust feature event hoping to end what he claimed to be an eight-race slump, and he ended the skid with his first victory of 2011.

As the 20-lap race hit the halfway mark, Brandon Hubbard and Bill Wegmann Jr. drove into some thick lapped traffic which was made worse by a car slowing up with a flat tire. Bader, who was third at the time, seized the moment and in one sweeping move raced his way past Hubbard and Wegmann. Bader raced away to his first victory since Sept. 11, 2010. Hubbard of Mastic was second. Tom Pickerell of Huntington drove from 11th to finish third.

Chris Turbush of Riverhead made it two in a row in the Super Pro Trucks, winning a 20-lap run for his track-leading fourth win of the season. Mike Albasini of Flushing, who was all over the Turbush brothers in the closing laps, came in second. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue drove to a third-place finish and became the division’s new points leader.