C.J. Lehmann Gets Second Modified Win Of 2019 At Riverhead Raceway

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

If you believe in numbers then you might have wanted to take a gander at the number two at Riverhead Raceway this past Saturday night.

In the second to last NASCAR Whelen All American Series program of 2019 CJ Lehmann of Shirley drove off to his second win in the past three WAAS NASCAR Modified events scoring a victory in the non stop 50-lap race. On the strength of his third place finish Kyle Soper of Manorville sewed up the 2019 NASCAR Modified champions for car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. It’s their second consecutive track title and earlier in the week the team was officially declared New York State champions of the Whelen All American Series for the second year running. 

Eric Zeh and CJ Lehmann would make up the front row of the 50-lap contest with Zeh the scheduled pole sitter having choice as to what lane he’d start in, Eric chose the outside. When the green flag waved the two friendly rivals Zeh and Lehmann staged a drag race as to who would lead the first lap with Lehmann coming out on top by a nose. Freshman driver Michael Rutkoski raced his way to second from his fourth starting berth on the second lap of the race diving under Zeh exiting the fourth turn. At first once to second Rutkoski, the 2019 Crate Modified champion at Riverhead was able to keep pace with leader Lehmann. However as the race wore on without any interruptions CJ’s car would just get stronger and stronger which has been the case all season long. Later in the contest Rutkoski would have to concern himself with a fast closing Kyle Soper who was taking a peek for second. Soper challenged Rutkoski a few times but the rookie was equal to the task.  

As the race hit it’s final 10-lap run CJ Lehmann in the Bottle Hampton/Shore Mechanical Chevy would open up nearly a full straight away lead, a lead he’d enjoy until the checker flag waved. “This is great, after how we started the month of August to come back and win two of the past three track races is a testament to my out team” CJ boasted in the winners circle . As to why his car was getting stronger later in the race Lehmann pointed to one crew member in particular, “Chris Busick, he’s a genius when it comes to this car”. 

Michael Rutkoski of Mattiuck was runner-up in his Buzz Chew Chevrolet Camaro and afterwards noted, “just a little more drive off and we’ll be right there”. Kyle Soper was third and reflected afterwards. “I just can’t thank Wayne & Joettte, Doug & Mora Corwin of Eastport Feeds enough for all they do for me, two championships in two full years together is pretty impressive if you ask me”. Kyle added, “none of this would be possible without my Dad (Tom), he practically lives at the race shop making sure this thing is the best it can be week in and week out, it’s all him”.  

John Baker of Brookhaven and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead completed the top five.

On track it appeared Justin Brown of Manorville had sewed up his sixth Crate Modified win of 2019 in their 25-lap main event. However that victory is currently in question after post race tech, a tech session that lasted until past 2:30 am in the inspection area of the track. The top six cars, Brown, Chris Rogers Of Patchogue, Mike Albasini of Flushing, Terry Stiles of Rocky Point, Dave Brigati of Calverton and Sean Glennon of Northport were summoned to tech for a check of their cams to make sure they were in compliance with crate motor specs. The second through sixth place cars passed tech but irregularities arose with Brown’s cam. Randy Murray the chief tech inspector along with track GM John Ellwood gave Justin and his father/car owner Fred the option for the track to impound the engine for further evaluation. That evaluation will take place on Monday with those results to be announced by the track when they become available.

Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank almost made the decision Saturday to sit out the 20-lap Blunderbust main event, luckily for him he had a change of heart and headed to the track where he’d win his first career feature event in his Kait’s Angels Chevy. Alyssa Paprocky led the first lap of the race after starting on the pole. Campbell who started from the third spot quickly made his way to the race lead on lap 2 of what would turn out to be a non stop race. Once out front Campbell who races for the organization Kait’s Angels named after his late cousin would lead the remainder of the race and afterwards was quick to thank his lucky stars he didn’t stay home. Cody Triola of Bay Shore came to second and closed in on Campbell but the driver of the Cesspool Pros entry would settle for runner-up money while Alyssa Paprocky of Coram completing the podium with a solid third place finish in her Polar Bear Air Chevy.

Sean Glennon of Northport notched his second Super Pro Truck win of 2019 when he topped their 30-lap feature event. Eddie Schutze who set fast time in qualifying (13.164) showed the way over the first five laps with Glennon in tow. As the race moved along Schutze’s truck developed what he’d later term “a wicked push” and that opened the door for Sean Glennon to make his way to the race lead on lap 6. With Glennon now leading in his R&R Brothers Electric Chevy second place Schutze was able remain second wrestling his truck through the corner. However a caution flag just past the halfway mark on lap 17  would jumble things up at the front of the field. When the dust settled after some hard side by side racing Glennon remained out front with Mark Stewart coming to second after trading paint with Lou Maestri for the position. In the end there would be no catching Sean Glennon who drove off to the victory while Mark Stewart of Riverhead crossed the line second in his East End Building Chevy. Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue made some noise late in the race before coming home third in his Sea Level Construction Chevy.

Coming into the 2019 INEX Legend Race Car season at Riverhead Raceway Kevin Nowak of Medford had won 9 times at the demanding quarter mile oval, Saturday night Nowak scored his 6th win of 2019 moving his career total to 15 wins. Unfortunately the 20-lap Legend Race Car feature would be a marathon event taking over 45 minutes to complete but while under green flag conditions the race was very competitive up front. Hard luck Jeff Otto Jr. led the early going chased by Ray Fiitzgerald who was seeking his third win of the year. The move of the race early on would belong to Allan Pedersen who raced by both Otto and Fitzgerald to come to the race lead on lap 3. Pedersen would enjoy his stay out front until Kevin Nowak came calling and try as he might Pedersen would surrender the lead to the driver of the JTEC Electric machine on lap 14. Over the final half dozen laps Kevin Nowak who came into the weekend leading the Master Division INEX National point standings would drive to yet another victory lane interview. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was third in The Boiler Guy entry while defending track champion Jim Sylvester of Massapequa came back from early race misfortune to finish third in his Oval Speed Unlimited mount. 

Reining 8-Cylinder Enduro champion Jared Halsey of Southampton won his third race of 2019 in a 40-lap event. Halsey who started his Sabrosa Mexican Grill Chevy 22nd in the 33-car field took command of the race right around the halfway mark and never looked back as he hopes to repeat as champion. Veteran Mark Wolf of Shirley in the Shirley Feed Chevy was runner-up while Ken Hyde Jr. of Yaphank was third in the EZ Motorsports racer.

The 2019 National Stock Demolition Derby boiled down to a battle of brotherly love as John Palmeri of Lindenhurst outlasted his brother Joey Palmeri Jr. in their J&J Towing machines. Sixteen 8-Cylinder cars went toe to toe during the event with the Palmeri boys the last two standing with John coming out on top. Joey was voted Judge’s Choice while “Big Red” Danny Zasowski of Holbrook voted the Fan’s Choice.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. CJ Lehmann 2. Michael Rutkoski 3. Kyle Soper 4. John Baker 5. Tom Rogers Jr. 6. Dave Brigati 7. Eric Zeh 8. Chris Young 9. Dylan Slepian 10. Andrew Krause 11. Jack Handley Jr. 12. Vinny Delaney

Crate Modifieds (Unofficial) 1. Justin Brown 2. Chris Rogers 3. Mike Albasini 4. Terry Stiles 5. Dave Brigati 6. Sean Glennon 7. Jason Agugliaro 8. Peter Bertuccio 9. AJ Desantis 10. Alex Colasanto 11. Dennis Krupski 12. Carey Rogers 13. Kim Hyde 14. Matthew Brode 15. Glenn Simonin 16. Gerard Lawrence

Blunderbusts: 1. Jarrett Campbell 2. Cody Triola 3. Alyssa Paprocky 4. Tom Pickerell 5. Max Handley 6. Russ Jansen 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Bill Wegmann Jr. 9. Gary Caldwell 10. Kyle Halpin

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Allan Pedersen 3. Jim Sylvester 4. Eric Hersey 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. Scott Cheslak 7. Stephen Coleman 8. Jeff Otto Jr. 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Richie Davidowitz 11. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 12. Riely O’Keefe 13. Joseph Costello 14. David Strohmeyer 15. Frank Hodge 16. Patrick Moore 17. Joseph Braun 18. Jonathan parsons 19. Jerry Curran 20. George Tomko Jr. 21. Nick Morabito 22. Jake Curran 23. Artie Pedersen III 24. Mike Van Houten Jr. 25. Jeff Castaldo 26. Rich Braun 

8-Cylinder Enduro (top ten): 1. Jared Halsey 2. Mark Wolf 3. Ken Hyde Jr. 4. Kris Dane 5. Dennis Jones 6. Brandon Hubbard 7. Sean Fitzpatrick 8. Eric Germuth 9. Dale Doherty 10. Justin McGrady

National Stock Demolition Derby: Winner- John Palmeri Judge’s Choice- Joey Palmeri Fan’s Choice- Danny Zasowski

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