Prior to the Islip 300 Tour Type Modified event (last) Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, the nine champions of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series will be honored. During those ceremonies a new Eddie Partridge NASCAR Modified Championship Drivers Cup will be unveiled and presented to 2021 Buzz Chew Chevrolet NASCAR Modified champion Kyle Soper of Manorville.
The Eddie Partridge NASCAR Modified Championship Drivers Cup will serve as a lasting legacy to Eddie when the NASCAR Modified champion receives the perpetual award at future championship ceremonies in his name. In the weeks that followed Eddie’s sudden passing in September, the idea of naming the existing championship cup after Partridge was presented to Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz who both agreed to the lasting tribute. It was also agreed a new cup would be designed. “There are very few who loved the Modifieds the way Eddie did” track spokesman Bob Finan reflected, “he didn’t hunt, fish, golf or bowl, his sporting life revolved around racing, especially Modifieds, Tour Type or Crates he loved the open wheel machines”.
Since 2001 the Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion had been presented with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Long Island trophy with John Fortin the first to enjoy the award. “The perpetual cup concept came from and was sponsored by John Wellman of Big Brothers/Big Sisters” Finan explained, “after Mr. Wellman left racing shorty after Riverhead Raceway continued the tradition of the cup presentation to the champion”.
On Saturday a newly designed Eddie Partridge NASCAR Modified Championship Drivers Cup, an everlasting tribute to Eddie will be unveiled. It was also announced drivers on the previous cup would be incorporated onto the newly designed award. In 2002 JR Bertuccio became the second driver to earn the cup. John Fortin would have his name etched on the championship cup twice more in 2003 and 2009. Tom Rogers Jr. has had his name engraved on the cup an amazing five times (2004,2010,’15,’17 & ’20). Bill Park held the cup three times since it’s inception, 2005, ’07 & ’08 while Justin Bonsignore won it in 2011. Shawn Solomito earned the cup twice in 2012 and 2016, while Howie Brode swept the cup in 2014 and 2015. On Saturday Kyle Soper will be presented with the Eddie Partridge NASCAR Modified Championship Drivers Cup, the third cup for the 25-year-old who won in back-to-back years, 2018 & 2019.
Jeremy McDermott (Late Models), Richie Davidowitz (Crate Modifieds), Scott Pedersen (Figure Eights), Cody Triola (Blunderbusts), Jack Handley Jr. (Super Pro Trucks), George Tomko Jr. (INEX Legends Race Cars), Brian Brown (Street Stocks) and Paul Wojcik (Mini Stocks) will all also receive their 2021 championship award and championship rings from Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz. The second through fifth place drivers will also be feted during the on track ceremonies.
Joining the Islip 300 on Saturday are the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds and INEX Legend Race Cars. Pits will open at 8:00 am, INEX Legend practice for a continuous half an hour, 10:00-10:30 am, Crates from 10:30-11:00 am. Spectator gates open at 11:00 with a one hour Tour Type Modifieds practice starting at the same time. Qualifying is set for 1:00 pm. The 2021 championship presentations will follow the opening ceremony after qualifying.
In the event of inclement weather Saturday, the Islip 300 would be run Sunday September 14th. If weather is bad Sunday too, the Islip 300 program then shifts to Saturday November 20th. Further details can be found at http://www.riverheadraceway.com.