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Auto Racing: Steuer holds on for rain-shortened victory

Over the Memorial Day weekend, 15-year-old Dillon Steuer of Bohemia won the longest NASCAR Modified race on the 2017 Riverhead Raceway schedule, the Islip 300. Saturday night the soft-spoken teenager very well could have won the shortest race of the year. He was leading on Lap 27 when rains came, putting a halt to the scheduled 40-lap NASCAR Modified event. At the time of the rain, Steuer and 45-time career winner Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead were entangled in a torrid race for the lead with the youngster collecting his second career triumph.

The closest call to Steuer’s race came on a 22nd-lap restart when Rogers got a great launch off the fourth corner, nearly muscling his way under Steuer for the lead. However, Steuer was equal to the task and kept his race lead.

On Lap 27, under the advisement of NASCAR officials, race director Scott Tapley called for the yellow flag because of rain and Steuer was declared the winner. The victory was a much-needed one for the Steuer team, which lost an engine at the Georgetown Speedway in Delaware some 24 hours prior to the Riverhead race.

Tom Rogers Jr. was second and Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville third. Chris Young of Calverton roared back from an early-race spin to finish fourth while Kyle Soper of Manorville made a comeback of his own after having to pit during an early tangle to place fifth.

When a 30-lap national qualifier in the INEX Legend Race Cars concluded, Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was first under the checker flag, seemingly having won his fourth race in a row. However INEX official John Kelly put the finish of the race on hold for a postrace technical inspection. The engine in Bock’s car was confiscated by Kelly to be sent to INEX for further review. Richie Davidowitz was second, with Kevin Nowak of Medford third, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead fourth and Jim Sylvester of Massapequa fifth.

It was spin and win for Late Model championship leader Kyle Soper of Manorville, who collected his third win of the season. Soper lost valuable track position after spinning from early contact before recovering, taking the lead with five laps remaining and winning. Ray Minieri of Bay Shore took second while defending champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead was third.

Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead posted his second win in a row and the third overall in his career in a 30-lap Blunderbust event. Wayne Meyer of Flanders had a season-best, second-place finish. Championship leader Tom Pickerell of Huntington was third.

Don Howe of Water Mill made it a perfect 4-for-4 in a 15-lap Long Island Vintage Racing Association feature. Jim Kelly of East Moriches was second while Mark Miller of Hauppauge crossed the line third.

In a 25-lap Mini 8 Enduro, Bryan Kelly of Aquebogue staved off the late race challenges of Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge to score the win.

Warren finished second, with Brandon Esposito of Farmingville third.