Can First Time WMT Winner Emerge From Miller Lite 200 At Riverhead Raceway May 14th

When looking ahead to the Miller Lite 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event Saturday May 14th at Riverhead Raceway it will be hard not to pick a tested tough WMT veteran for the win. However the quarter mile bullring has provided some surprise winners and results along the way in the previous 67 races and fans might even have to look past the 2022 WMT roster for a potential winner. Several local teams of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at Riverhead plan on entering the 200.

With 25% of his career 32 WMT triumphs coming at Riverhead Raceway, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville comes to the Miller Lite 200 ranked among the favorites for victory. Justin, refreshed from a Aruba vacation where he got engaged to longtime girlfriend Taylor, will be seeking his second straight WMT win of the year having won in April at Richmond Raceway.

The last driver to enjoy the thrill of a first career WMT at Riverhead will come to the Miller Lite 200 tied for the early season championship lead, Eric Goodale of Riverhead. Eric scored a popular victory on June 28th, 2014 and was swarmed by family and friends afterwards. The driver knotted with Goodale atop the early WMT rankings Tommy Catalano of Ontario, NY could very score the first WMT win of his career Saturday. The sixth year driver has run very well early on in 2022, nearly winning at Richmond.

One driver hoping familiarity and momentum will add up to victory in the Miller Lite 200 is JB Fortin of Holtsville. When race day dawns it will have been six months to the day that JB drove to an impressive Islip 300 victory. Fortin spent his nights off from the WMT racing Riverhead some in 2021 and knows the track well. Additionally last year during the three WMT races JB and team hit on a set-up that saw his car perform well in the low groove.

Two drivers ranked in the WMT top ten that also seek their first career win are Tyler Rypkema of Owego, NY and Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa. Between the duo Beers may have the upper hand starting his Modified driving career at the Mahoning Valley Speedway, a track that features very short chutes, continuous turns yielding lap times in the 10 second range.

Perhaps no local team has anticipated the Miller Lite 200 more than that of Roger Turbush of Calverton. Turbush, a former multi-time Super Pro Truck champion along with 30 wins in the class turned heads in the final WMT race on the Island last September scoring a third place tally. Turbush chased race winner Patrick Emerling of Orchard park, NY and Justin Bonsignore to the checkers.

Defending track champion Kyle Soper of Manorville is hoping to check off a WMT win off his racing bucket list when the Miller Lite 200 concludes Saturday. Kyle, a 24-time winner in Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series competition is chasing his fourth title in five years at Riverhead in ’22. Off a career best three win season in 2021, John Baker of Brookhaven hopes for WMT success in the 200. Baker and his team on the second practice day at Riverhead focused primarily on their WMT car.

Other local teams that have hinted a run in the Miller Lite 200 include former five time champion and 61-time winner Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Chris Young of Calverton and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick.

Complimenting the Miller Lite 200 program are the Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. Spectator gates will open at 3:00 pm just in time for the WMT one hour final practice session. WMT qualifying is set for 6:00 pm with the Miller Lite 200 set for green at approximately 8:00 pm. The Miller Lite 200 is available on the Flo Racing platform.

Camper are welcome at Riverhead Raceway at no charge, no hook-ups are available and all campers must set up camp behind the fenced in pit area of the back parking area.

The complete 2022 event schedule can be viewed at http://www.riverheadraceway.com. A new e-mail address has been announced, office@riverheadraceway.com, while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE.

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