08/25/14 1:52pm
08/25/2014 1:52 PM



One of the largest Riverhead Raceway crowds in recent memory celebrated “I Love America Night” and watch Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., capture a non-stop, 35-lap NASCAR Modified victory on Saturday. The triumph was Preece’s third of the year and snapped Tom Rogers Jr.’s four-race win streak. (more…)

09/16/13 1:51pm
09/16/2013 1:51 PM


Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., scored his fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the year Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway after he executed an inside pass of Timmy Solomito with 23 laps remaining in the Green Earth Technologies 200. The win was Preece’s third straight WMT triumph at the track, tying him with Mike Ewanitsko as the only two drivers to score the Riverhead hat trick by winning three WMT races in a row.

Preece crossed under the checker flag not only as the race winner but also increasing his WMT championship lead over the defending champion, Doug Coby, to 46 points with three races remaining.

“I just love Riverhead,” Preece said. “I knew around Lap 100, if I just stayed on Timmy [Solomito] I would find an opening sooner or later.”

Referring to his third straight win, Preece said, “Three in a row and to have my name mentioned with the great Mike Ewanitsko is just awesome.”

Justin Bonsignore was second and upbeat about his race. “If you told me on Wednesday that we’d run up front all night long and finish second, I would have told you I’ll take it,” he said.

Solomito of Islip was third. “Just a great day for us, won the pole and then led 177 laps,” he said. “I just didn’t have enough to hold off Ryan, but third is fine with me.”

Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Conn., was fourth, with Howie Brode of East Islip steering his way to a fifth-place finish. Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Penn., Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park completed the top 10.

In other races:

Two 30-lap features were presented, with Jimmy White Jr. of Southampton being declared the Blunderbust winner some five hours after the completion of the race. High school senior Kyle Soper of Manorville drove to the Legend Race Car victory by a few car lengths.

In a postrace inspection that lasted until well after midnight, it was deemed that Jack Handley Jr., who had seemingly nailed down the victory, had unapproved work done to his heads and he was disqualified from the race. That handed the victory over to White, the second time this year his team won a race in this manner. Championship contender Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park finished second. Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge recovering from a spin to claim third.

In the Legend Race Car event, Soper enjoyed his second win of the campaign. Brad Van Houten of Wading River took second, and Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches came in third.

08/12/13 1:15pm
08/12/2013 1:15 PM


Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., raced his way into the lead with just eight laps remaining to post his third win of the season Saturday night in a 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All- American Series Modified main event at Riverhead Raceway.

Jason Agugliaro was driving his heart out in hopes of scoring his first career NASCAR Modified feature event win, but as the race hit the halfway mark, Preece started to make his presence known. On Lap 18 Preece was able to wrestle second away from Dave Brigati and after a few laps closed in on the leader, Agugliaro.

With 10 laps remaining in the race it looked as though Agugliaro might be able to keep Preece at bay but then Preece, exiting a turn on Lap 26, made a charge under Agugliaro. By the time the duo raced through the third and fourth turns, Preece had the lead, a lead he never surrendered over the final eight laps.

“Jason had a good car but as the race wore on he got tight off the corner and my car was great on the bottom and I was able to get by,” said Preece.

After coming in second, Agugliaro of Islip joked, “I wish there was a tour race somewhere tonight we would have won.”

Dave Sapienza of Riverhead made a late-race move to secure third place. Dave Brigati of Calverton and Chuck Steuer of Bohemia were the next two finishers.

In other races:

On the strength of an early-race outside pass, Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead scored his second Late Model win of the year in a 25-lap main event. The race saw many of the championship contenders going into the contest have issues, notably the points leader, Scott Kulesa, and challenger Roger Oxee. Kulesa was knocked out with a damaged shock while Oxee was stopped by a right front flat and fell from the race. That didn’t matter to McDermott, who drove off to victory. Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was the runner-up. Chris LaSpisa of Shirley made a great comeback from an early-race flat to finish third.

The 20-lap Chargers race saw C. J. Lehmann of Shirley motor to his first win of the season. Chad Churilla of Hauppauge had to settle for second. Chris Turbush of Riverhead made some late-race moves to finish third.

The 20-lap Super Pro Truck feature was decided by three drivers in yet another closely contested short-track classic. The defending champion, Roger Turbush of Riverhead, scored his 16th career win. In a photo finish for second, Brian McElearney of North Babylon edged Mike Albasini of Flushing.

The defending Legend Race Car champion, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, extended his points lead, driving to his fourth win of the season in the 27-car field. Timmy Solomito of Islip was second and third went to Kyle Soper of Manorville.

Jason Savoy of Lake Panamoka scored his second consecutive Demolition Derby win of 2013 as he topped newcomer Andrew Ferrante of Riverhead.

06/10/13 12:42pm
06/10/2013 12:42 PM


Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., won another signature event at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night. He earned his fifth career win at the track, taking first place in the Evans Nascar Hall of Fame 100.

Among Preece’s wins in the past are two Nascar Whelen Modified Tours, including last year’s race, as well as the 2012 Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial last July in Nascar Modified.

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, the 2011 Riverhead champion, was second. Ron Silk of Norwalk, Conn., placed third, Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue was fourth and Howie Brode of East Islip rallied from a 25th-lap spin for fifth.

Brode and Preece are knotted for the points lead with 136, but Preece has commitments over the next two weeks that will take him away from Long Island, Shawn Solomito is third with 112.

In other races:

Eric Zeh of Selden won his second Charger race of the season the old-fashioned way, with an outside pass of John Baker with just two laps remaining in the race. The race, which did not involve a single caution flag, saw John Baker of Brookhaven come in second. Newcomer Chad Churilla of Hauppauge made a late-race move for his second consecutive third-place tally.

Timmy Solomito of Islip cashed in on a 30-lap Legend Race Car feature event, leading all the way to score the victory. He was followed by second-place Johnnie Gloor IV of Flanders and third-place Brendon Bock of Franklin Square.

James Charrier of Shirley notched his first Grand Enduro win of 2013 in dominating fashion in a 50-lap main event. Brian McCormack of Holbrook was the runner-up. Jimmy White of Southampton crossed the finish line third.

09/17/12 2:00pm
09/17/2012 2:00 PM


The old saying that good things come to those who wait rang true on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to Long Island to run the Riverhead 200, a race that was rained out on July 28. It was the 51st WMT race in Riverhead, and arguably the most competitive of them all. Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., survived a green, white checker to collect his second WMT victory of the season. Jimmy Blewett Jr. of Howell, N.J., actually took the checker flag first, getting the jump on Preece on the final restart, but NASCAR officials ruled that Blewett got to the line first and dropped him to last of the lead-lap cars, 12th.

Preece, a two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winner at Riverhead in 2012, won the pole position for the 200-lap race.

A late-race caution for a minor spin set up the green, white and checker finish. When the green light came on, Blewett got the better of Preece as the crowd went wild for the former Riverhead Raceway regular.

After being declared the winner, Preece said he knew that when Blewett beat him to the line on the restart, NASCAR would address the issue. “They preach to us at every meeting, the leader has to be the first to the line, so I knew NASCAR would handle it,” he said.

Preece also took a moment to dedicate the race to his grandfather, famed former car owner Bob Judkins. “My grandfather had a heart attack yesterday, he’s going to be fine but this win is for him,” said Preece.

Justin Bonsignore of West Islip was second and Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., was third. Howie Brode of East Islip led the Riverhead Raceway regulars with a fourth-place finish.

Brode was in the mix all race long. He placed second in the final Riverhead Raceway standings and did a good job managing his tires to post the finish. Many teams were thrown by the minimal cautions flags and caution-flag laps during the race that had two extended green-flag runs.

Ted Christopher of Plainville, Conn., fought back from a two-lap deficit to come home fifth.

Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue, a six-time feature event winner, was sixth. Former two-time Riverhead Raceway champion Frank Vigliarolo Jr. of Mount Sinai was 13th. Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of Levittown was 16th.

The Mike Ewanitsko Hard Charger of the Race Award went to Blewett. Ewanitsko, an 11-time NASCAR WMT winner at Riverhead, was impressed with the youth on the current tour. “Man, I’m feeling really old watching guys like Ryan Preece … and Justin Bonsignore go at it the way they do,” he said. “The WMT is in good hands with all these young guys running today.”

In other races:

Jimmy White Jr. set the fastest qualifying time, drew the pole and then led all 30 laps of Saturday night’s Blunderbust feature at Riverhead Raceway to score his second win of the year. Paul Dodorico of Miller Place waited until the final Legend Race Car event of the year to post his first win of the year in a 30-lap INEX Legend National Qualifier. The two races were a prelude to the Riverhead 200.

Following White to the finish line were second-place Scott Maliszewski of Deer Park and division champion Tom Pickerell of Huntington, who placed third.

For the second year in a row, Dodorico won the class’s final race of the year, wheeling to his second career victory. Brendon Bock of Franklin Square was second, and Vinny Delaney of Holtsville was third.