Riverhead Raceway: Preece caps a big week in winning fashion

Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., wrapped up a magical week of NASCAR Modified racing Saturday night, winning the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek Memorial NASCAR Modified 50 at Riverhead Raceway. It was the third win in seven days for the talented 24-year-old driver who won two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events in a one-week span at the New London Waterford Speedbowl and Stafford Motor Speedway prior to the Riverhead triumph.

After climbing out of his car following his second Riverhead win of the season, Preece said, “I’ve won a few of these Baldwin, Evans and Jarzombek races and it always feels great.”

Asked about his recent hot streak, the happy winner said, “Granted we are on a nice roll now and hopefully we can keep it going.”

John Fortin of Holtsville drove in second, Jason Agugliaro of Islip was third, Jerry Solomito of Hampton Bays fourth and Brad Van Houten of Wading River fifth.

After the 2013 Figure Eight season, Tom Ferrara of Patchogue stepped away from racing to spend more time with his young family and take a break from the sport. During the off-season leading up to this season, Ferrara received an offer he could not turn down: driving for former NASCAR Modified car owner Grant Williams. In just their fourth race together, the tandem hit paydirt, winning a 15-lap main event. It was the seventh career victory for Ferrara, who was followed at the finish line, in order, by Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and Roger Maynor of Bay Shore.

John Baker of Brookhaven scored his second Charger win of 2015, winning a 20-lap main event just days after inking a new sponsor for his team. During the second half of the race, Baker was able to keep Eric Zeh of Centereach at bay to score his fourth career win. Zeh took second, with C. J. Lehmann of Shirley third.

It took Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills some six years to capture his first Legend Race Car victory two weeks ago, but he was not about to wait too long for an encore. He won a 30-lap main event on Saturday, padding his championship points lead in the process. Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead made a Lap-22 pass to finish second. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches crossed the line third.

Ever since he was a young boy going to races with his father, Dale Doherty of Cutchogue dreamed of was winning a race at Riverhead Raceway. He realized that dream Saturday, taking first in a 75-lap, Eight-Cylinder Enduro. Dominic Ranieri of East Northport and Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma, two of the all-time leading winners in the class, put pressure on Doherty, with Pizzo closing in on his back bumper in the waning laps. Undaunted by Pizzo’s pressure and heavy lapped traffic, Doherty took the checker flag first for his first career win. Pizzo was second and Ranieri was third.