Results From Riverhead Raceway, Saturday May 15th, 2021

With summer like conditions greeting the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams Saturday evening at Riverhead Raceway there was plenty of hot action on track too prior to the Miller Lite 200 WMT event. A total of 90 cars spread across four divisions joined the 26 WMT entrants pit side. Second generation driver Matt Brode scored his first win of 2021 when he won the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified feature event.

Charles Macwhinnie and Terry Stiles brought the 23 car Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified field to green with pole sitter Macwhinnie having a slight lead on lap 1. However just moments later the race was slowed by caution as the field ran lap 2 when Mark Wolf got into the front stretch wall. When the race resumed this time it would be Terry Stiles gaining the early race advantage with Matt Brode who started the race 4th quickly making his way to second behind Stiles. For a dozen laps Brode sized up Stiles for a pass and on lap 14 exiting the fourth turn to start the 15th lap Matt was able to sneak under Stiles for the race lead. Just one lap later with the inside lane already opened up under him Stiles would yield second to Sean Glennon who also made a pass to the inside exiting turn four. Glennon who started the race from 6th was able to stay in the tire tracks of the race leader but in the end Matt Brode, son of three time NASCAR Modified champion Howie Brode drove his Freightliner of Long Island Chevy to the winners circle. For Matt who is also an accomplished ice hockey player it was his 4th career win. Sean Glennon of Northport was runner-up in the R&R Brothers Electric Chevy while Terry Stiles of Rocky Point rounded out the podium in third with his O’Brien & O’Brien Law Firm entry.

It didn’t take defending INEX Legend Race Car champion Kevin Nowak of Medford long to find his way to victory lane when he topped the 26-car feature event field. The win moved Nowak into a three way tie for second on the all-time win list with Danny McNamara of Water Mill and Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead with all three earning 19 victories.When the green light winked on Ed Cheslak raced from the pole to the race lead but his stay at the front would be short lived as former champion Jim Sylvester quickly raced his way out front on lap 2 after starting 3rd. As the field was contesting the third lap Sean McElearney spun in turn two drawing a caution before the lap was completed. On the ensuing restart Sylvester stayed out front but Kevin Nowak was on the move making his way to second after starting 7th on the grid. Sylvester & Nowak two grizzled veterans and champions battled hard for the lead with Nowak ducking under Sylvester of the fourth turn to take over the lead as they started the 6th lap. Once out front there would be not stopping the JTEC Electric entry of Kevin Nowak as he posted his first win of 2021 and now sets his sights on Richie Davidowitz (25) for the top spot on the win list. Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was runner-up in the Benimax Trucking machine while “Blankets” Joey Braun of Manorville brought the Miller & Caggiano Attorneys at Law mount home third after starting 12th.

The Street Stocks ran their first leg of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series Saturday with a 30-lap feature event won by defending champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst. Chris Lescenski of Riverhead topped qualifying with a lap of 14.283 earning the pole for for the feature. When the race started Lescenski who finished second in the season opening May Meltdown two weeks ago broke to the early race lead with Antos who was second quick in qualifying (14.311) right behind him. With the event going green to checker drivers were not able to pick up positions on double file restarts but that didn’t stop Antos for making a bid for the lead a few laps before halfway. On lap 12 Antos in his EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo saw an opening under Lescenski and seized the moment taking over the race lead off the fourth turn to start the 13th lap. Once in the lead Dave Antos never looked back and scored his first win of the year and 8th of his career moving him just one behind Eric Zeh of Selden on the all-time SS win list. Chris Lescenski for the second race in two weeks was runner-up in his TB Motorsports Chevy with Brian McCormack of Holbrook third in the Robo Car Wash Chevy.

Defending Mini Stock champion CJ Zukowski of Riverhead rebounded from a tough opening day at the May Meltdown by winning a non-stop 20-lap feature event. Armed with the pole after a heat race win Zukowski wasted no time in putting the Joe Warren Motorsports Cavalier out front at the throw of the green. Tom Puccia tucked into second behind Zukowski but with not a caution to be found and Zukowski motivated by his opening day misfortune there would be no stopping the driver who grew up less than a mile from Riverhead Raceway as he scored his third career win. Tom Puccia of Shirley was runner-up in the Ferrandino & Son Contracting racer while former Figure Eight racer Chris Elixson of Riverhead was third in the Mike’s Auto repair of Quogue entry.

Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds: 1. Matt Brode 2. Sean Glennon 3. Terry Stiles 4. Charlie Macwhinnie 5. AJ DeSantis 6. Eric Hersey 7. Owen Grennan 8. Richie Davidowitz 9. Steve Ratti 10. Michael Berner 11. Chris Rogers 12. Alex Colasanto 13. Eddie Schutze 14. Mike Albasini 15. Mark Stewart 16. Lou Maestri 17. Stephen Coleman 18. Peter Bertuccio 19. Chase Grennan 20. Rich Gerbe 21. Dennis Krupski 22. Vinny Delaney 23. Mark Wolf

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Jim Sylvester 3. Joey Braun 4. Brad Van Houten 5. Jason Castaldo 6. Eric Hersey 7. Anthony Marsh 8. George Tomko Jr. 9. Riely O’Keefe 10. Jeff Otto Jr. 11. Allan Pedersen 12. Artie Pedersen III 13. Scott Cheslak 14. Pat Moore 15. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 16. Ray Fitzgerald 17. Mike Van Houten Jr. 18. Steve Woytsiak 19. Ron Henninger III 20. Frank Hodge 21. Dave Strohmeyer 22. Ed Cheslak 23. Chris Sinatro 24. Shawn Wanat 25. Sean McElearney 26. Mike Benton

Street Stocks: 1. Dave Antos 2. Chris Lescenski 3. Brian McCormack 4. Rhett Fogg 5. Brian Brown 6. Jay Henschel 7. Gerard Lawrence 8. Jimmy White Jr. 9. Danny Pizzo 10. James Pape Jr. 11. Alyssa Paprocky 12. Justin Ferreri 13. James Dipietro 14. Bill Brown 15. Robbie Blackmore 16. Roger Oxee

Mini Stocks: 1. CJ Zukowski 2. Tom Puccia 3. Chris Elixson 4. Mike Mujsce Jr. 5. Justin Squires 6. Andrew Farnham 7. Tony Collinsworth 8. Paul Wojcik 9. Jesse St. Clair 10. Scott Phillips 11. James O’Connell 12. Martin O’Connell 13. Nick Kocis DNS- Joe Cooke Jr. DQ-Ryan Warren


Hard to imagine a driver who has earned six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships and is a 29-time WMT winner having items to still check off his racing bucket list but coming into the Miller Lite 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. had one in particular, a win at the Long Island track where he’d come close before. By the time the Miller Lite 200 concluded not only was Coby able to check off the win at Riverhead Raceway box on the list he also in the process earned a milestone 30th career WMT victory.

In Mayhew Tools pole qualifying defending NASCAR WMT champion Justin Bonsignore won the pole award with a speed of 78.733 and his quest to win his fifth straight WMT at his home track was off on the right note. Bonsignore brought the 26 car field to green and raced his Ken Massa Motorsports entry to the race lead with Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct who was second quick in qualifying in tow. The first of five cautions that would slow the race was displayed for a three car incident in turn four involving Walter Sutcliffe Jr, Kyle Ellwood and Dylan Slepian. When the race resumed Bonsignore and Silk assumed their positions at the front of the field with the race seeing a 58-lap green flag run until the second caution waved on lap 71 for a single car incident involving Gary McDonald whose car came to rest in turn three.

As the race moved along Bonsignore and Silk soon were joined by Doug Coby who started from third and was starting to make some noise of his own. A series of three caution flag periods on laps 115, 125 and again on lap 135 the final caution of the race would find plenty of dicing for position during the double file restarts. Bonsignore was holding his lead but Coby was able to make his way around Silk for the challengers role and quickly set sail for his friendly rival Bonsignore.

With an extended 57-lap green flag run closing out the Miller Lite 200 if Coby was to pass Bonsignore he’d do it without the benefit of a restart. However a long green flag can present another opportunity for a pass for the lead that being lapped traffic and the final stages of the race provided plenty of lapped cars as only seven of the twenty six starters were on the lead lap at the end of the race.

During the final 50-laps of the event those looking on took the opinion it wasn’t a matter of if Coby was going to pass Bonsignore for the race lead but when while then tandem worked through traffic. That when came with just 25-laps remaining in the contest as Doug was able to sneak under Justin for the race lead on lap 175 in the third and fourth turn. Bonsignore would soon fell into the clutches of Patrick Emerling in a late race battle for second as the handle on the defending champions car seemed to be fading at the worst possible time all of which was just fine with race leader Coby.

When all was said and done Doug Coby and his self owned Phil Moran led Mayhew Tools team had the trophy they long sought after at Riverhead Raceway. “My Dad told me the other day go get that Riverhead win” Coby reflected afterwards while sipping a Miller Lite in victory lane, “well not only did we get it but Dad is here tonight making it all the more special”. As to his long standing friendly rivalry with Bonsignore the race winner noted with a smile, “he is so good here but I can’t lie if feels really satisfying to win at his home track before he could win at mine Stafford Motor Speedway”. When quizzed as to why his car seemed to work the bottom better than others Coby looked up with a quick response, “you know I can’t tell you that”. Doug Coby’s first Riverhead Raceway win came in his 20th start at the bullring.

Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY would grab runner-up honors and the driver of the Captain Pip Marina & Hideaway Chevy reflected afterwards, “we run pretty well here and are getting better and better at it”. Asked if he thought a late race caution would give him a shot a Coby for the lead, “Nah I don’t think so, Doug was rolling pretty good”.

After climbing out of his third place finishing Phoenix Communications Chevy Justin Bonsignore was left wondering about the way the race played out, “I don’t know, maybe we used her up a bit too much early on” the 29-time WMT winner shared but also quickly added, “hey if I couldn’t win it really is nice to see Doug and his bunch get it, they been waiting a long time here” However Justin also realizes his rival is not going to let him forget, “I guess I’m going hear it until I win one at Stafford Motor Speedway”.

Kyle Bonsignore a Bay Shore native who now calls North Carolina home and is Justin’s cousin was 4th in his Chateau Performance Chevy while Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct put on the drive of the night finishing fifth after starting twentieth in the Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Chevy.

2020 Riverhead Raceway Buzz Chew Chevrolet NASCAR Modified championship runner-up Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills had the best showing among the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series regulars with a 9th place effort. “After we got caught up in that early race jingle things went well” Dylan reviewed post race while enjoying an ice cream cone. “These tires are nothing and I mean nothing compared to what we run here weekly” he added.

For other weekly drivers the Miller Lite 200 was not so kind as John Baker of Brookhaven (17th), Kyle Ellwood (18th), Roger Turbush (21st), Kyle Soper (22nd) and Tom Rogers Jr. (24th) all had issues of one sort or another during the 200.

Patrick Emerling’s runner-up coupled with Eric Goodale’s 8th place finish find the duo tied for the 2021 NASCAR WMT championship lead at 125 after three races. The next event is Saturday May 29th when the Jennerstown Salute 150 is presented at 7:30 pm at the Jennerstown, Pa. Speedway.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Riverhead Raceway for the second of three races in 2021 on Saturday June 19th with another 200-lap event.

Miller Lite 200: 1. Doug Coby 2. Patrick Emerling 3. Justin Bonsignore 4. Kyle Bonsignore 5. Woody Pitkat 6. Chuck Hossfeld 7. Ron Silk 8. Eric Goodale 9. Dylan Slepian 10. Dave Sapienza 11. Tommy Catalano 12. Timmy Solomito 13. Craig Lutz 14. Anthony Nocella 15. Tyler Rypkema 16. Jon McKennedy 17. John Baker 18. Kyle Ellwood 19. Walter Sutcliffe 20. JB Fortin 21. Roger Turbush 22. Kyle Soper 23. Ryan Preece.

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