A large crowd filed through the gates for the Monster Truck Night of Destruction Saturday at Riverhead Raceway with Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace scoring the victory in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified feature event, his first of 2022. Also scoring big wains Saturday were Gerard Giordano of Freeport who won his first career Late Model event in a 50-lap contest and Jason Castaldo of Shirley who prevailed in the 30-lap INEX Legend Race Car event for his third win of 2022.
By Bob Finan
Entering the 25-lap Crate Modified event Saturday Vinny Delaney who was starting from the pole had been beset by overheating issues all season but Vinny solved the issue by installing a new power plant in his machine. When the green light winked on Delaney wasted no time at all putting the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy out front with Dennis Krupski giving chase for the first lap. On lap 2 Chris Rogers who started from third made his way by Krupski and moved in on the race leader. For the remainder of the race Rogers pestered Delaney by keeping pace with the leader drawing to Vinny’s rear bumper. While Rogers was able to make a few runs at the leader in the end Vinny Delaney held on to score his fourth career win and afterwards was quick to dedicate the win to a friend, “this one is for Jeff Otto Jr. and his family, Jeff lost his Mom Lisa this week and my thoughts are with them”. Chris Rogers of Patchogue was runner-up in the MMC Construction Chevy while Dennis Krupski of Calverton posted his best run of the year with third in the KAM Materials Chevy.
The Late Models ran their second race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series and when the dust settled Gerard Lawrence was sitting victory lane in a car that last won in 2012 with Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen at the helm. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 12.707 earning the pole with Dave Brigati of Calverton second at 12.718. The duo would run at the front of the field for a majority of the race 43 laps to be exact before disaster struck while racing down the back stretch. The handle started going away on Rennick’s car and Brigati smelled blood in the water. After some paint swapping and light contact the duo got locked on each other entering the third turn with Brigati ending up in the fence. Rennick was sent to the rear of the field for his role by race control. That moved Shawn Patrick to the race lead for the restart with Gerard Giordano and Brandoin Turbush in tow. Two restarts followed the Rennick-Brigati incident and after the first Patrick was warned by the tower to remain in his lane, the inside. On the third and final restart Patrick moved up the hill again breaking Giordano’s momentum. After taking the checker flag Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters was put back one position to second for failure to keep a lane giving the win to Gerard Giordano in the K-1 Logistics Chevy. In the drive of the night Rennick rallied back to third in the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy.
In a non stop 20-lap Blunderbust event Tom Puccia of Shirley scored his first career win, a popular one among his fellow competitors as well the large turnout of fans. Puccia broke to the lead at the throw of the green, Among his challengers were AJ DeSantis, Bill Wegmann Sr. and over the final 13-laps Cody Triola. With the position changes unfolding behind him for second Puccia settled in at the front of the field in his Ferrandino & Sons Contracting entry. No stranger to victory lane over in the Mini Stocks where he’s a 6-time career winner Tom Puccia hit his marks taking home his first career win that he later dedicated to the late Sara Sylvester, one of his biggest fans. Cody Triola of Bay Shore was runner-up in the Cesspool Pros machine while Brandon Hubbard of Mastic placed third in the United Exhaust Shops racer.
It was race two of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for the INEX Legend Race Cars and it turned out to be clean sweep for Jason Castaldo. Qualifying saw Cataldo set fast time as the last car out with a lap 13.479, Jim Sylvester of Massapequa was second quick with a 13.566. When the 30-lap contest got underway Castaldo raced right out to the lead in his M3 Technology coupe while “Blankets” Joey Braun bolted from third to second under Sylvetser on the start. Both Castaldo and Braun two young, take no prisoners type drivers quickly distanced themselves from the pack. Over time as the laps wore down it was Castaldo then putting some distance between he and challenger Braun and by the time the race ended Jason won by 1.635. Braun of Manorville was second in his Uncle Carmine’s Hot Peppers entry with Jim Sylvester third in the Gershow recycling machine.
Chris Lescenski of Riverhead won the 20-lap Street Stock feature event for his first win of the year, third of his career. The race was a very entertaining one with Jarrod Hayes showing the way for the first laps over Jamie Curtis as the duo ran side by side. On lap 5 Jamie flexed her muscles taking the lead from Hayes. On lap 7 during a restart Greg Harris made his way to second but his stay there was short as Jay Henschel raced to second on lap 8. Try as she might to ward off Henschel, Curtis surrendered the lead on lap 11. Henschel looked as though he’d be in victory lane but fate stepped in with just two laps left of the form of a right front flat, Jay took his car to the infield like a true pro. That turn of events moved Chris Lescenski, who started deep in the field in 13th to the race lead with a tough Gerard Lawrence now second. With just a half mile left in the race Lawrence was going to have to make a quick and bold move but in the end the TB Motorsports Chevy of Chris Lescenski would prevail for the win. Lawrence of Miller Place was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Chevy while Greg Harris of Riverhead came home third in the SGS Stone Works entry.
CJ Zukowski of Riverehad topped the 20-lap Mini Stock feature taking the lead four laps before the conclusion of the race. After a false start for a loose bumper cover, once the race started all 20-laps ran uninterrupted. Joe Cooke Jr. showed the way for the first three circuits before he was passed by James O’Connell for the lead on lap 4, bringing Zukowski to second in the process. Over the following 11 circuits O’Connell and Zukowski who share a sponsor played a high speed game of chess. Aiming for his first career victory O’Connell tried as hard as he could to keep Zukowski at bay but in the end CJ, wheeling the Walls Of Fame Cavalier prevailed for his first win of ’22, sixth of his career. O’Connell of Middle Island was runner-up in his Walls of Fame Cobalt while Tony Collinsworth of Calverton crossed the line third in the Suffolk Tree Works Cobalt.
It was “girls night out” in the 40-lap Truck Enduro as Mariah Lawrence, the defending champion of the series scored a extremely popular win. Early on Dusty Cole showed the way and for a spell looked like he might grab a career first win. However as the race moved along Mariah Lawrence who started 11th on the grid slowly made her way through the field and to second. After a few laps of reeling in Cole the driver of the Unique Golf racer took the lead just prior to halfway. Once out front it was no walk in the park as the always fast Phil LaManna moved to second with older brother Woot Lawrence third. The trio danced through thick lapped traffic with LaManna looking to use that congestion to his advantage. However in the end with the crowd roaring in approval Mariah Lawrence held of for the win, perhaps the hardest of her career. LaManna of Smithtown was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping S10, Woot Lawrence of Southampton third in the Gregor Well Drilling Chevy.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Vinny Delaney 2. Chris Rogers 3. Dennis Krupski 4. Sean Glennon 5. AJ DeSantis 6. Terry Stiles 7. Alex Colasanto 8. Eric Hersey 9. Mike Albasini 10. Max Handley 11. Owen Grennan 12. Kyle Elwood 13. Chase Grennan 14. Stephen Coleman 15. Ken Massa 16. Jason Agugliaro 17. Michael Berner 18. Eddie Schutze 19. Mark Wolf 20. Patrick Glennon 21. DJ Doyle
Late Models: 1. Gerard Giordano 2. Shawn Patrick 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Brandon Turbush 5. Russ Jansen 6. Kevin Metzger 7. Brain Doyle 8. Brian Brown 9. Ethan Brown 10. Chris McGuire 11. Ray Minieri 12. Alyssa Paprocky 13. Ed Cheslak 14. Dave Brigati 15. Rusty Turbush 16. Scott Cheslak 17. Paul Cummings
Blunderbusts: 1. Tom Puccia 2. Cody Triola 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Eddie Diaz 5. Bill Wegmann Sr. 6. Jim Laird Jr. 7. AJ DeSantis 8. Jack Handley Jr. 9. Gary Caldwell DNS- Bill Wegmann Jr.
Legend Race Cars: 1. Jason Castaldo 2. Joey Braun 3. Jim Sylvester 4. Allan Pedersen 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. Mike Benton 7. Anthony Marsh 8. Nick Morabito 9. Eric Hersey 10. Riely O’Keffe 11. Collin Hoeffner 12. Christopher Coleman 13. Joe Costello 14. Chris Sinatro 15. Charlie Hodge 16. Ryan Lutz 17. Chase Van Houten 18. Mike Van Houten Jr. 19. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 20. Anthony Colandro 21. Peter Fallon 22. Ray Stulz 23. Jayden Glennerster 24. Richie Davidowitz 25. Michael Metcalf 26. Jake Curran
Street Stocks: 1. Chris Lescenski 2. Gerard Lawrence 3. Greg Harris 4. Kyle Curtis 5. Jarrod Hayes 6. Alyssa Paprocky 7. Dave Antos 8. Kyle Halpin 9. Jay Henschel 10. Jamie Curtis 11. Dennis Kurras 12. Henry Cuesta 13. Rhett Fogg 14. Brian McCormack
Mini Stocks: 1. CJ Zukowski 2. James O’Connell 3. Tony Collinsworth 4. Andrew Farnham 5. Joe Cooke Jr. 6. Chris Elixson 7. Chris Olivari 8. Jesse St. Clair 9. Mike Mujsce Jr. 10. Paul Wojcik 11. Charles Astacio DNS- Justin Squires, Ryan Warren, Joe Warren Jr., Scott Phillips, Nick Squires, Scott Tufarella
Truck Enduro: 1. Mariah Lawrence 2. Phil LaManna 3. Woot Lawrence 4. Gary Voight 5. Dusty Cole 6. Emily Hubbard 7. Chris Grover 8. Steve Reisert 9. Kevin Feeney 10. Amanda Brown 11. Jackie Germuth 12. Danielle Cohen 13. James Kelly 14. Jennifer Hohwiesner 15. Chole Phillips 16. Kayla Kelly 17. Nikki Giordano 18. Kerry Botts