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Auto Racing: Steuer, 15, takes Modified field to school

It’s almost back-to-school time for 15-year-old racer Dillon Steuer of Bohemia, but on Saturday night the teenager schooled the NASCAR Modified competition, winning a 40-lap Whelen All American Series feature at Riverhead Raceway. It was Steuer’s third victory of the season.

The New England Truck Series was also in action, and Danny Anderson of Bradenton, Fla., made his long tow worthwhile, taking first place in the Riverhead Nationals.

As Steuer steered to his Modified victory, the crowd roared with approval. “We’re having a pretty awesome year,” Steuer said. “We won the Islip 300 and now two regular races and we still have a month to go.”

Kyle Soper of Manorville was third, with Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead fourth and Dave Brigati of Calverton fifth.

Last year when the New England Truck Series made its first visit to Riverhead Raceway, Anderson was in the mix for the win, but some late-race misfortune ended his bid for victory. On Saturday, Anderson pretty much dominated the day. Asked if he thought the track owed him one after last year, Anderson answered: “No, I don’t think so, but we came up here and we worked very hard for this race, both leading up to it and while we were here. Hard works pays off, not what you might think you’re owed.”

Jerry Giordano of Freeport turned in a runner-up finish. Mark Stewart of Riverhead drove in third.

Part-time campaigner Jarrod Hayes of Calverton prevailed in a 50-lap Late Models race. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was second. Chris Turbush of Wading River rebounded from early-race misfortune for third.

For the second time this year, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck drove to victory in a 25-lap Modified Crate feature event. Brigati, the all-time leading winner and defending champion in the class, was second. Jack Orlando of Calverton crossed the line third.

For the sixth time in eight races Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead won a 15-lap Figure Eight event. The win was the 32nd of his career, tying him with George Brown for third on the all-time Figure Eight win list. Rogers beat Eric Zeh of Selden to the finish line. Greg Harris of Riverhead was next, coming in third.

A 20-lap Blunderbust race saw Wayne Meyer of Flanders appear to post his first career win. However, a postrace inspection determined that tech Meyer’s car was too low and he was moved back to last in the running order. That handed the win over to the all-time leading Blunderbust winner, Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge, who was leading the race late before being passed by Meyer on Lap 17. For Walkowiak, it was his second win of the season and 63rd of his career. Max Handley of Medford was second, and Bill Wegmann Sr. of North Bellmore was third.

Don Nelson Jr. of Rocky Point won a 40-lap Truck Enduro. Nelson, one of the all-time leading winners in the class, was followed by second-place Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank and third-place and Gary Voight of Medford.