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Riverhead Raceway: National demolition derby title goes to Buksa

Fifty-four-year-old Mike Buksa of Islip won his first national championship since 1988 in the National Stock Demolition Derby championship at Riverhead Raceway Saturday.

Also, After completing his rookie season in the NASCAR Modified ranks one week ago, John Baker of Brookhaven returned to his full-body racing roots to win a 50-lap Late Model cone race.

In the Late Model feature, Baker’s teammate for the night, Kevin Orlando of who now calls Statesville, North Carolina, motored in second. Eric Zeh of Selden took third.

Dillon Steuer, a 14-year-old upstart driver from Bohemia, scored his third Modified Crate win of 2016 in a 50-lap event. Dave Brigati of Calverton and C.J. Lehmann of Shirley were second and third, respectively.

The 50-lap Blunderbust cone race went to Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge as he checked off career win No. 61. Tom Pickerell of Huntington was the runner-up. Tim Mulqueen of Levittown placed third.

The 2016 Super Pro Truck champion, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, scored his 27th career win in the class — and fourth of the season — when he topped a 50-lap cone race. Owen Grennan of Glen Cove was second before Brigati crossed the line third.

For the first time in his long INEX Legend Race Car career, Jim Sylvester of Massapequa won at his home track as he was declared the winner of a 50-lap cone race that was shortened to 37 laps due to numerous yellow flags and hard crashes.

Brad Van Houten broke to the early race lead over Eric Hersey when the race got underway and they’d run in that order up until the 32nd lap of the race. On Lap 32 the fight for the lead got too close when Eric Hersey got into the back of Brad Van Houten, sending him into a spin from the lead. Hersey was sent to the rear for his role in the incident. Just laps later Van Houten went flipping off a turn while attempting to race his way back through the field. He was checked out at a local hospital and released with a concussion.

Having inherited the lead on Lap 33, Sylvester was challenged by Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue once the race restarted. However, while under a caution on Lap 37 and the race already over an hour old, officials decided to end it, making Sylvester the winner. Kelly was second and Kevin Nowak of Medford came in third.

Unfortunately for the competitors of the 4/6-Cylinder Car Enduro, Bryan Kelly took his Legend Race Car frustrations out on them, finishing first in a 50-lap race for his second win of the year. Ed Fontana of Wading River was second. Steve Trimboli of Freeport secured the title with his third-place finish.

Buksa outlasted a star-studded Stock Demolition Derby roster to win the national championship in what could be called an upset. Buksa outlasted the likes of defending champion Jamie Kilkenny, Michael Rommeney, Jason Savoy and Mike Smith among others to take home the win.