Auto Racing: After wait, Agugliaro gets his first career win


Jason Agugliaro of Islip scored his first career NASCAR Modified feature event win, a 50-lap affair at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday. He reclaimed the lead with 12 laps left in a wild contest. Agugliaro had to ward off a last-lap, last-turn challenge by the 2013 NASCAR Modified champion, Howie Brode of East Islip.

Exiting a turn, Agugliaro pinched Brode up against the wall, slowing his challenger enough to grab the victory.

“I know Howie is upset right now,” Agugliaro said. “I told my team I’d do whatever it would take to get a win before the season ended and I was able to keep that promise.”

Dave Brigati of Calverton made a late-race pass on Brode to claim second place. Brode placed third. Dave Sapienza of Riverhead was fourth and Timmy Solomito of Islip fifth.

In other races:

Kevin Metzger of Massapequa, a two-time champion, scored his second Late Model win of the year, taking a 25-lap main event after a thrilling battle with Shawn Patrick. After the first lap, Metzger led the rest of the way. Patrick of Brightwaters had to settle for second and third went to defending champion Mike Bologna of Melville. With a fourth-place finish, Jeremy McDermott clinched the championship. McDermott has won back-to-back championships in two separate classes. Last year he won the Charger title.

After winning the 2012 Figure Eight title, veteran Mike Mujsce of East Quogue has endured a hangover season in 2013, but that changed Saturday when he won a 15-lap feature for his first win of the year. Roger Maynor was able to race his way for second. Maynor was hoping to put enough cars between him and fellow title contenders Ken Hyde Jr. and Arne Pedersen for his ninth championship. Then Pedersen’s title hopes went south on Lap 11, with a flat tire forcing him to pit. All the championship implications didn’t matter to Mujsce, who stormed off to the win. Maynor of Bay Shore was second and Hyde of Medford not only placed third but also clinched the championship at just 21 years of age.

Eric Zeh of Selden knew that there was only one way he could avoid all the possible tie-breakers for the 2013 Charger championship with four-time champion Chris Turbush of Riverhead, and that formula was a simple one: Win the race.

Zeh knew that winning his fourth race of the year would be the way to go, and that is just what he did. Trailing Turbush by a mere 2 points going into the race, Zeh wasted little time making his way to the front. He passed rookie Rich Wilson on Lap 2 for the lead. Meanwhile, Turbush was having a rough go of it as he was sent to the rear of the field for rough riding early in the race and later had to pit with a flat tire. That was music to the ears of Zeh, but by no means was he having an easy time up front. Ray Minieri was all over him for the lead in a heated battle. In the end, Zeh, the grandson of former NASCAR Modified car owner Carl Zeh, wrapped up his championship season with a win. Minieri of Bay Shore was second. C. J. Lehmann of Shirley rebounded nicely from an early-race spin to claim third.

Without question, the wildest championship battle belonged to the Blunderbust class. Bill Wegmann Jr. of Patchogue captured his first win of the year after having come close on numerous occasions earlier in the season. Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park, who entered the race 8 points behind the points leader, Tommy Walkowiak, grabbed second place and the championship as well. Walkowiak was disqualified from the race. Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow was third across the finish line.

The Super Pro Truck 20-lap feature went non-stop, with the defending champion, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, taking full advantage of a rare pole starting position to not only lead all the way to the checkered flag but pulling away from the field in the process. Turbush’s season was full of blown engines and other mechanical breakdowns, but he still won his third race of the year. Dave Koenig of Freeport was the runner-up. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue was third. With that finish, Dumicich became the 2013 Super Pro Truck champion for the first time in his career. His father, Frank Sr., is a past champion in the class.

Timmy Solomito of Islip, on the strength of a last-lap pass, scored the Legend Race Car victory. Solomito won the race win by less than a car length over second-place Kevin Nowak of Medford. A 16-year-old driver, Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, clinched the 2013 Legend Race Car championship with his third-place finish.

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