Auto Racing: Another trip to victory lane for Rogers


Tom Rogers Jr. remained as hot as the weather on Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway, posting his second straight NASCAR Modified win. The victory in the 35-lap race was the 17th of Rogers’ career and the third of the year for the former two-time champion.

The win moved Rogers into third place in the championship chase, but it sure didn’t come easy as he had to hold off a hard-pressing Ted Christopher.

“That was good, hard short-track racing between Teddy and me,” said Rogers.

During an interview, the car owner, Joe Ambrose, discovered the right rear tire was going down. “I knew something wasn’t right,” Rogers said. “The right front just seemed off and now I know why.”

The win moved Rogers to within six points of second-place Shawn Solomito in the championship chase, Howie Brode remaining the championship leader with 284 points.

Christopher of Plainville, Conn., was once again the runner-up, his fourth straight such finish in his last four Riverhead starts. Solomito of Islip was third, Timmy Solomito of Islip fourth and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown fifth.

In other races:

Arne Pedersen of Mastic Beach also had a thrilling win Saturday in the Figure Eights. Following Pedersen in the 15-lap event were the team cars of Tom Ferrara of Patchogue and Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach.

Ray Minieri of Bay Shore withstood a last-lap challenge from Eric Zeh of Selden to score a victory in a 20-lap feature. With the race going flag to flag without a caution, Zeh trailed Minieri by less than a car length for most of the distance. Minieri earned his 15th career win, tying him with Chris McGuire for sixth on the all-time win list. Zeh finished second. The division’s points leader, Jeremy McDermott of East Stroudsburg, placed third.

Lou Maestri of Deer Park became the all-time leading winner in the Super Pro Trucks by taking first place in a 20-lap main event. It was his 23rd career victory, leaving him with one more than Danny Grennan of Glen Cove. Chris Turbush of Riverhead grabbed second place. Mike Albasini of Flushing claimed third.

Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma turned in a dominating performance to score a win in a 50-lap feature for the Eight-Cylinder Enduro class. Dege Russell of Rocky Point was second, with Jess Martines of Shirley third.

Kevin Rommeney of Maspeth, who drives a New York City Transit Authority Bus through the streets of Brooklyn for a living, triumphed in the School Bus Demolition Derby, outlasting Chris Van Cott of Commack.

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