Three races into the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship chase four drivers are separated by just five points heading into the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. By the time the 50-mile event is in the books, the early season WMT title hunt could look quite a bit different.
Ron Silk of Norwalk, Ct. won the season opening event at the New Smyrna Speedway in February, his 18th career win, comes to a track in Riverhead where he has yet to win in 22 WMT starts. A triumph in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 would be very timely for the 40-year old former champion. Trailing Silk by a mere point is a driver half Silk’s age in Austin Beers, 20, of Northampton, Pa., won on the big stage at Richmond Raceway in March is still riding the high of that first career WMT win.
While winless in three 2023 WMT races Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville will be in a comfort zone Saturday at Riverhead, a track where he has won 9 of his 35 career WMT races. Justin, 35 is second on the track’s all-time WMT win list just two back of Mike Ewanitsko who won eleven times. Bonsignore sits third in the early rankings two points back of leader Silk heading into the 200. It was this race a year ago that Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. was called in to sub for Jimmy Blewett in the Tommy Baldwin Racing entry with Coby promptly winning the race for his third WMT win at Riverhead. Coby, 43 heads to Riverhead Raceway Saturday with TBR five points behind Ron Silk after having won the most recent WMT event at Monadnock, NH.
While the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 entry list is not yet official it’s expected Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa, currently fifth in the WMT standings will drive for local Elite Towing/Baker Racing for whom he drove for at the Islip 300 last November and the WMT Richmond event in March. Matt is twenty-three points back of Silk after three races.
JB Fortin of Holtsville, defending WMT champion Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma., Kyle Bonsignore of Hebron, Il., Tyler Rypkema of Owego, NY and Eric Goodale of Riverhead sit sixth through tenth in the WMT early season standings
Joining the Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway are the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars.
Spectator gates open at 3:00 pm, NASCAR WMT final practice runs from 3:15-4:15 pm with qualifying at 6:00 pm. The Buzz Chew Chevrolet 200 is scheduled for 8:00 pm and will be live on Flo Racing. The itinerary for local divisions can be found at www,.riverheadraceway.com.
Adult admission is $40, kids 6-12 $20 with 5 & under free. Camping is available at no charge, no hook-ups. Camping is confined to the rear parking lot behind the pit area.
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