Kyle Soper of Manorville collected his fourth NASCAR Modified championship over the past five years at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night when he won the 50-lap feature event for his 29th career win moving him to 11th on the all-time win list. Soper recently also clinched another New York State NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship on the strength of his four win season in the Wayne & Joette Anderson owned machine.
By Bob Finan
Chris Turbush led early over Chris Rogers who ran second for the first three laps of the contest. Soper, who started 7th in the 16 car field made his way by Rogers for second on lap 4 and just seconds after that pass the yellow flew slowing the race. When the field was realigned Turbush chose the outside giving Soper the bottom and when the race resumed Soper motored out to the race lead to start the fifth lap. Once out front Soper and his team had the Eastport Feeds Chevy on rails and he’d lead the remaining 45 laps unchallenged. Chris Turbush of Wading River crossed the line second in the Lolly’s Hut Chevy, with Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills third in the Eastport Feeds entry earning him runner-up in the 2022 championship chase.
“Just can’t say enough about Wayne & Joette, my Dad and this team, this things was flawless tonight” Soper boasted afterwards. The winner also disclosed his fall racing plans, “we’ll got to Thomsson in two weeks and then of course try to get another Islip 300 win here on November 12th”.
In a marathon 40-lap Late Model finale Dave Brigati of Calverton, the opening night winner closed out the campaign the same way he started it with his second win of the year. After Ed Cheslak showed the way for the first four laps of the caution plagued tilt, Dave Brigati, who started 6th ducked under Cheslak for the lead exiting turn four as the field came to start lap 6. Brigati seemed to be on cruise control until lap 22 when Mark Stewart came from 14th to pass Brigati to the outside for the lead. Stewart led until lap 27 when Brigati reclaimed the lead, a lead he’d not again surrender in route to his 8th career win in the Coors Light Chevy. Mark Stewart of Riverhead impressed with a runner-up finish in the Foos Fire entry while Shawn Patrick of Brightwaters recovered from an early race spin to rally for a third place finish in the Matlach Fabricating racer.
With his third place showing Shawn Patrick, a 30-year veteran of the racing wars clinched his first ever Late Model championship.
Owen Grennan of Glen Cove put a bow on his 2022 Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified season when he won his fourth feature event of the year sewing up his first career track championship in the process. Vinny Delaney broke to the early race advantage over Max Handley but Handley would be among three early race caution flags on lap 2 when he glanced off Delaney’s rear bumper and into the third turn wall. Once things settled down Delaney remained the lead with Owen Grennan, who started 7th in the 20-car field now second. Grennan would make the winning pass as the duo raced down the backstretch on lap 11 ducking under Delaney for the lead. A few laps later on the 15th circuit AJ DeSantis got by Delaney for second and closed on Grennan, but close would be as good as it would get. At the checker Owen Grennan and his Dillner Precast team had won another feature in 2022 and the track championship over his younger brother Chase. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was second in the Strong Oil Chevy, while Vinny Delaney of Islip Terrace finished third in the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm mount.
Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches collected his second Figure Eight victory of 2022 when he won the 20-lap main event, the third and final race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. Gary Fritz Jr. paced the race over the first five laps before Allan Pedersen came calling, taking over the lead on lap 6. Once out front in the Top Notch Performance Chevy, Pedersen never looked back in route to his third career win. Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach was runner-up in the sponsor wanted Cadillac, while Scott Pedersen of Shirley placed third in the Land, Air & Water Environmental Camaro. With the runner-up finish, Fritz sewed up the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series title. The 2022 Figure Eight title will be decided on Sunday afternoon as the class races in back to back events due to a early season wash out.
In the 20-lap Blunderbust finale the class delivered a green to checker event with Jim Laird Jr. of Riverhead notching his second win of 2022. Newcomer Joe Densieski showed the way over the first six laps with Tom Puccia and Brandon Hubbard running second early on. On lap 4 Laird, who started fourth made his way to second and just two laps later made a power move to the outside of Densieski entering the first turn taking control of the race. Once Jim Laird Jr. put the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy out front he never looked back earning his 12th career win tying him with Ed “Bubba” Zwickel for 8th on the all time win list. Cody Triola of bay Shore clinched his second straight Blunderbust championship with his runner-up finish in the Cesspool Pros entry, with Brandon Hubbard of Mastic third in the United Exhaust Shop racer.
Jack Handley Jr. of Medford scored his third win of 2022 when he topped the 20-lap Super Pro Truck finale. Mark Stewart seeking his first win of the season led early on but on lap two Handley, driving Stewart’s former ride made an outside pass to take the race lead on lap 3. Stewart would chase Handley until the 15th lap when his truck began to go away allowing both Sean Glennon and Lou Maestri to get by. With just five laps left in the race it would be a tall order for Glennon to first reel Handley in and then pass him. In the end Jack Handley Jr. pocketed career win 16 in the River Walk Bar & Grill Chevy, his next win will tie him with Frank Dumicich Sr. for fifth all time. Sean Glennon of Northport clinched the 2022 Super Pro Truck championship on the strength of his runner-up tally in the LTE Drainage entry, while Lou Maestri of Deer Park was third in the Hunter Business School Chevy. Lou & his wife Tracy presented Handley’s team with the Joe DiGangi Crew Chief of the Race award, $150 and a handsome trophy.
“Blankets” Joey Braun of Manorville scored a milestone 10th career win when he bested the 20-lap INEX legend Race Car feature event. Chris Sinatro showed the way early on leading the first three circuits of the race over first Mike Van Houten Jr. and then Jim Sylvester. However Joey Braun was on the move from his 6th starting slot and by lap 3 made his way to second. Braun wasted no time in making his bid for the race lead payoff as he ducked under Sinatro entering the third turn to take the race lead as the 26-car field started the 4th lap. Once in front Braun wheeling the Papa Carmine’s Hot Peppers machine led the rest of the way for his third win of the year, a win that tis him with Chris Young for sixth on the all time win list. Riely O’Keefe of Manorville turned a long week of work at the shop into a runner-up finish in the Get Clear, Crystal Clear Window Cleaning racer with Ray Fitzgerald also of Manorville third in the EP Milling & Sweeping machine.
NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Kyle Soper 2. Chris Turbush 3. Dylan Slepian 4. Jack Hanldey Jr. 5. Justin Brown 6. Dave Brigati 7. Chris Rogers 8. Owen Grennan 9. Chris Young 10. Eric Zeh 11. Howie Brode 12. Matt Brode 13. John Beatty Jr. 14. Brian Brown 15. Artie Pedersen III 16. Jason Agugliaro
Late Models: 1. Dave Brigati 2. Mark Stewart 3. Shawn Patrick 4. Brian Doyle 5. Ed Cheslak 6. Jeremy McDermott 7. Gerard Lawrence 8. Scott Cheslak 9. Ray Minieri 10. Frank Dumicich Jr. 11. Paul Cummings 12. Brandon Turbush 13. Brian Brown 14. Rusty Turbush 15. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 16. Kevin Metzger 17. Chris McGuire 18. Alyssa Paprocky DQ- Russ Jansen
Crate Modifieds: 1. Owen Grennan 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Vinny Delaney 4. Terry Stiles 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Jason Agugliaro 7. Alex Colasanto 8. DJ Doyle 9. Chase Grennan 10. Kenneth Massa 11, Eric Hersey 12. Dennis Krupski 13. Michael Berner 14. Mike Albasini 15. Mark Wolf 16. Charles Macwhinnie 17. Matt Brode 18. Scott Denis 19. Max Handley 20. Nick Morabito
Figure Eights: 1. Allan Pedersen 2. Gary Fritz Jr. 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Ken Hyde Jr. 5. Cody Triola 6. Joe Warren Jr. 7. Bryan Quilliam 8. Ryan Warren 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Kim Hyde 11. Paulo Miguel
Blunderbusts: 1. Jim Laird Jr. 2. Cody Triola 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Tom Sullivan 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. Bill Wegmann Sr. 7. Cassandra McCormick 8. Brad Bess 9. Tom Puccia 10. Joe Densieski 11. Eddie Diaz 12. Steve Neenan DNS- AJ DeSantis
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Sean Glennon 3. Lou Maestri 4. Mark Stewart 5. Joe Cerabino 6. Frank Dumicich Sr. 7. Rob Corwin 8. Ethan Brown
Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Riely O’Keefe 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. Jason Castaldo 5. Nick Morabito 6. Richie Davidowitz 7. Kyle Ellwood 8. Jim Sylvester 9. Eric Hersey 10. Chase Van Houten 11. Chris Sinatro 12. Anthony Marsh 13. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 14. Mike Van Houten Jr. 15. Pat Moore 16. Ray Stulz 17. Jayden Glennerster 18. Donald Doran 19. Peter Fallon 20. Kevin Ohrnberger 21. Robert Henninger III 22. Michael Collier 23. Mike Benton 24. Ed Stadtlander 25. Jake Curran 26. Charlie Hodge