John Beatty Jr. Scores Victory In Modified Feature At Riverhead Raceway

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

Before John Beatty Jr. of Merrick could lay claim to Saturday night’s 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature at Riverhead Raceway he had work to do early in the race if he were to post his 8th career victory. Even after the race that Beatty indeed won he still had work to do, load up the winning TigerLyfe Energy Chevy into it’s hauler and race home so he could go to work his regular job in Rockville Center.

CJ Lehmann and Chris Young made up the front row for the NASCAR Modified main event with Young quickly bolting to the early race lead with John Beatty who started 4th following in Young’s tire tracks to come to second. It wouldn’t take long before Young and Beatty would test each other for the race win going nose to tail and side by side at times during the first 11-laps of the race. A double file restart was needed after a spin by Lehmann in turn 4 with Young choosing the outside lane moving Beatty to the inside, a move Beatty tried last June in a WMT event that arguably cost him to win to Justin Bonsignore. When the green waved Young and Beatty were side by side rocketing around the Riverhead quarter mile turning laps in the mid 11’s. While the racing was in tight quarters between the two lead combatants little to no contact took place with Beatty taking the lead over Young. Meanwhile behind the leaders some intense action was developing between defending champion Kyle Soper and Tom Rogers Jr. who began to tussle for third. Soper had actually been in close quarters with the lead tandem but once Rogers got to him to battle for third the leaders slipped away. The Soper vs, Rogers duel began to get physical and the two started to lose positions on the track.

Young ran second to Beatty until the 31st lap when the high flying John Baker made an inside move to come to second on lap 32 but by the time John arrived in the challengers role Beatty had built a comfortable enough lead. Despite the fact they were no longer racing for third attention quickly turned to the Soper/Rogers battle that was about to boil over. Both drivers had moved each other at least once during the race costing them positions with Rogers firing the final shot getting into Soper and sending him into a spin. NASCAR officials placed Rogers one spot behind Soper in the running order with Soper 12th and Rogers 13th.

When the dust settled it was a relieved John Beatty Jr. sitting in the winner circle, “we made some changes at the MSM Elite Motorsports shop this week spring and shock wise and the car is close to being back to what I like” John was also happy to bring victory to a new team sponsor signed just hours before opening night, “it’s nice to get TigerLyfe Energy into victory lane in just their third race with us, I can’t thank them, team owner Mark S. Mina and all my hard working guys enough for making all this possible” Beatty concluded.

John Baker of Brookhaven had two new sponsors of his own Sue Hazen & Pete Castagna on hand and he impressed them with his drive to a runner-up finish while Howie Brode of East Islip did what former three time champions typically do in these races, just drive his race which put him on the podium with his Milro Environmental Chevy. Roger Turbush of Riverhead and his father-in-law Dave Brigati of Calverton completed the top five. 

After sitting out a year Owen Grennan of Glen Cove returned to the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified class for 2020 and when the checker flag waved on their 25-lap feature Owen had earned his 4th career victory. Dennis Krupski paced the first lap of the race that was rapidly halted by a caution flag for a multi car tangle. On the ensuing restart Krupski had Grennan lined up to his right and when the green waved Owen quickly put his Dillner Precast Chevy into the race lead. Steve Ratti one lap after the restart came to second on lap 3 passing Krupski. With the race settling in Grennan was able stretch out his advantage over Ratti but there was one driver on the march rookie Richie Davidowitz who was riding the outside lane into the top three. On lap 14 Davidowitz caught and passed Ratti to the outside and over the final 10-laps of the tilt erased Grennan’s lead and the race for the win was on. As Grennan and Davidowitz raced for the lead Sean Glennon closed in from third and the three young talents ran in close quarters. In the end though it would be Owen Grennan making a triumphant return to victory lane with Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches runner-up in the Benimax Trucking Chevy and Sean Glennon of Northport third in the Rittenhouse Properties machine.

With the track repairs and resurfacing to the first and second turns made last fall many felt track records in qualifying would fall and indeed a 14-year record for the Super Pro Trucks would be the first to fall prior to their 30-lap contest. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach toured the track at 13.041 eclipsing the 2004 standard set by Bryan Sescila, 13.162 and the best was still yet to come. Rennick and Sean Glennon who turned in the second quick time 13.246 brought the field to green with Rennick taking the lead over Glennon, On lap 6 Jack Handley Jr. made his way under Glennon for second and quickly set his sights on leader Rennick. What ensued once Handley got to Rennick was a short track duel that featured paint swapping, blocking and all that goes with it. At one point Handley got a run on Rennick but Jimmy was able to throw the block forcing Jack onto the flat entering the third turn. Eventually they duo settled down and as the race moved along Rennick was able to get away with Handley and Glennon running in close quarters for second. At the finish it was an emotional Jimmy Rennick Jr. sitting in the winners circle with his Metropolitan Recycling Chevy, “this win is for my brother Anthony who we lost during the winter” the winner noted chocking back tears. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was runner-up in the East End Building Chevy while Sean Glennon scored his second third place finish of the night in his R&R Brothers Electric Chevy.

 Daniel Carter made the 291 mile tow from Cortland, NY to capture the 50-lap INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier Saturday.. Another track record would fall in qualifying prior to the 50-lap INEX Legend Race Car National Qualifier as George Tomko Jr. of Aquebogue turned in a 13.490 besting the 2014 mark of Brendon Bock, 13.576. Tomko earned the $100 fast time award with his new track record. At the throw of the green Tomko edged out to the early race lead over Mike Alcaro. On lap 4 entering the first turn Alcaro slipped under Tomko to take the race lead. Ray Fitzgerald got by Tomko for second on lap 7 but he’d quickly lose the spot to Daniel Carter who made his way by Fitzgerald on lap 9. It was at this juncture of the race Carter was the quickest car on track and after spending time reeling in Alcaro he made his way by Mike on lap 17 to take the lead. Once Carter made his way out front nothing was going to stop Daniel Carter on this night, not lapped cars or late race restarts. Even late race challenges from Kevin Nowak the leading Legend Race Car winner in 2019 at Riverhead could rattle the cage of Daniel Carter who took home his first career Riverhead Raceway win in the Carter Racing entry. Nowak of Medford was runner-up in the Allison Auto machine while Ray Fitzgerald of Manorville was third in the Benimax Trucking racer.

Brian McCormack of Holbrook topped the 20-lap Street Stock event to post his second career victory. Rhett Fogg moved to the race lead at the drop of the green with McCormack in tow. After chasing Fogg for five circuits McCormack made his move ducking under the race leader exiting the fourth turn to start the 6th lap. Once Brian McCormack had the Robo Car Wash Chevy out front he was able to stay there although certainly got nervous when he saw opening day winner Dave Antos come to second late in the event. Antos of Lindenhurst would have to settle for second in his EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo while Jay Henschel of Levittown claimed third in his self funded entry.

The Vintage All Stars made their 2020 debut and when their  event was complete Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park scored the win. Mark Miller raced out front early and stretched out an early advantage over Frank Saladino. On lap 7 Tony Ferrante Jr. raced under Saladino for second and quickly set his sights on leader Miller, Tony was erasing the lead of Miller when he got an unexpected gift as Mark got caught up with the lapped car of Joe Larsen allowing Ferrante to swoop in and pass Miller for the race lead. Miller soon was under attack from Don Howe who came to second with a late race pass. At the finish it was the Bill Murray owned X-3 of Tony Ferrante the winner over Don Howe of Water Mill and Mark Miller of Hauppauge.

The long evening concluded with a 50-lap Truck Enduro which was won by Gary Voight of Medford on his daughter Autum’s 5th birthday no less. Defending champion Phil LaManna broke out to the early race lead and a comfortable one at that. Lapped traffic would play a role in this race too as LaManna while lapping Steven Catalini was contacted by the lap truck sending Phil into a half spin. That turn of events allowed Gary Voight to assume the lead but LaManna wasn’t done yet. On lap Phil raced back out front but only for two laps as Voight reclaimed the top spot on lap 29. LaManna soon thereafter dropped to the infield. As the race wore on Voight remained out front but there would be a new challenge ahead when Mariah Lawrence made her way to second. As the contest closed in in the final 10-laps Mariah reeled in Voight applying the pressure lap after lap. In the end Gary Voight took the win in his A. Voight Towing Chevy while Mariah Lawrence of Southampton was runner-up in her sponsor wanted machine while brother Woot Lawrence of Southampton was third in the Feola Racing machine.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. John Beatty Jr. 2. John Baker 3. Howie Brode 4. Roger Turbush 5. Dave Brigati 6. Justin Brown 7. Jeremy McDermott 8. Cory Midgett 9. Michael Rutkoski 10. CJ Lehmann 11. Dylan Slepian 12. Kyle Soper 13. Tom Rogers Jr. 14. Vinny Delaney 15. Chris Young

Crate Modifieds: 1. Owen Grennan 2. Richie Davidowitz 3. Sean Glennon 4. Chris Rogers 5. AJ DeSantis 6. Charles Macwhinnie 7. Steve Ratti 8. Lou Maestri 9. Stephen Coleman 10. Terry Stiles 11. Michael Berner 12. Gerard Lawrence 13. Peter Bertuccio 14. Mike Albasini 15. Eddie Schutze 16. Eric Hersey 17. Dennis Krupski 18. Matt Brode

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Sean Glennon 4. Max Handley 5. Mark Stewart 6. Lou Maestri 7. Frank Dumicich Jr, 8. Ethan Brown 9. Joe Cerabino 10. Daniel Creegan 11. Frank Dumicich Sr. 

Legend Race Cars: 1. Daniel Carter 2. Kevin Nowak 3. Ray Fitzgerald 4. George Tomko Jr. 5. Jim Sylvetser 6. Allan Pedersen 7. Riely O’Keefe 8. Colin Hoeffner 9. Nick Morabito 10. Shawn Wanat 11. Eugene Drew 12. Ed Cheslak 13. Jeff Otto Jr. 14. Patrick Moore 15. Mike Van Houten Jr. 16. Stephen Coleman 17. Jake Curran 18. Jason Castaldo 19. Mike Benton 20. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 21. Anthony Colandro 22. Mike Alcaro 23. Jonathan Parsons 24. Joseph Braun 25. Scott Cheslak 26. Eric hersey

Street Stocks: 1. Brian McCormack 2. Dave Antos 3. Jay Henschel 4. Rhett Fogg 5. Roger Oxee 6. David White 7. Greg Harris 8. Gerard Lawrence 9. Chris Lescenski 10. James Pape 11. Sal Sinatro 12. James Diepietro 13. Danny Pizzo

Truck Enduro: 1. Gary Voight 2. Mariah Lawrence 3. Woot Lawrence 4. Doug Tittle 5. Justin McGrady 6. Dusty Cole 7. Kerry Botts 8. Joey Villatoro 9. Joe Brodman 10. Amber Weiss 11. Brian Dean 12. John Schultze 13. Danielle Cohen 14. Phil LaManna 15. Bryan Moore 16. Steve Catalini

Vintage All-Stars: 1. Tony Ferrante Jr. 2. Don Howe 3. Mark Miller 4. Frank Saladino 5. JD Distefano 6. Joe Larsen 7. Steve Bullock

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