Dylan Slepian Holds Off Tom Rogers Jr. For Modified Win At Riverhead Raceway



It was a busy and long night Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway with 8 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series feature events on the menu and when the dust settled in the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature event Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills sat victorious in the winners circle for the second time in three weeks. Before claiming his third career win Slepian would have to fend off a hard pressing championship leader in Tom Rogers Jr. in the closing laps.

CJ Lehmann and Chris Young made up the front row for the NASCAR Modified feature and as they have so many time prior staged an early side by side duel for the race lead. The duo seem very comfortable racing alongside each other and it showed early on before Young took sole possession of the top spot. Lehmann held the second spot until lap 17 when Dylan Slepian ducked under him for the position exiting the fourth turn. Dylan would then spend the next 13 laps moving in on and challenging Chris Young for the lead making a successful bid to get to the top spot on lap 30.

Young sat second for the 31st and 32nd lap before a hard charging Tom Rogers Jr. worked his way by on lap 33 dropping Young to third and again into a fight for position with CJ Lehmann with Kyle Soper joining the party. Rogers pursuit of Slepian was aided on lap 35 when Dave Brigati spun in turn 4 drawing a yellow flag. With the event part of the second “Cone Night’ program of 2020 many wondered what lane Slepian would choose and to the surprise of some Dylan picked the outside moving 60-time career winner Rogers to his inside. The gamble would payoff for Slepian as his Eastport Feeds Chevy had great drive off the corners in the outside lane and he was able to remain the race leader.

As the laps wore down Rogers was on the attack looking high and low for a lane by Slepian so he could collect his second win in a row. However Slepian was equal to all challenges thrown his way by Rogers and when the checker flag flew earned a hard fought victory. In his post race interview Slepian revealed some of his strategy in warding off Rogers he actually learned from the challenger “I’ve watched Tommy a long time here and I used some of his tricks in trying to keep him behind me. It is always great to win but to hold a modern day legend for that win makes even more special”. In what could be some bad news for his competitors moving into October Dylan noted, Can’t thank my car owner Rob Pelis enough we are still dialing in this home built car and feel we can still get more out of it”.

Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead was second in the License To Chill Chevy while Kyle Soper of Manorville the defending NASCAR Modified champion third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. CJ Lehmann of Lake Grove was fourth for his best effort of 2020 with Chris Young of Calverton completing the top five.

Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead continues to dominate the Late Model division scoring his 4th win in 5 races contested to date in 2020 in a 25-lap affair. The only other driver to win this season aside from McDermott, Shawn Patrick bolted the the early race lead with Chris McGuire in tow. McGuire soon felt the wrath of McDermott as on lap 3 Jeremy made an inside pass in turn two to come to second. Over the next three laps McDermott would hunt down and then pressure Patrick for the lead making what would be the winning move on lap 7 darting to the inside for the race lead. With McDermott now leading and pulling away in his RP Fabrications Pontiac the race was for second with McGuire reclaiming the spot on lap 15 with an inside pass off turn four. Soon McGuire and his old Charger foe Chris Turbush of Wading River found themselves renewing acquaintances for runner-up honors with Turbush making an outside pass off turn four to claim the spot in his B&N Moving & Storage Chevy. McGuire of Selden was third in his Rock Tech Industries entry.

After Michael Berner’s Crate Modified team led by his father Mike burned the midnight oil all week long and up until 11:00 am race day to repair damage from last weeks 25-lap main event the rookie driver rewarded his team with their second win of 2020. Former Charger champion Steve Ratti broke to the race lead from the outside pole at the throw of the green with Berner in tow. The complexion of this 25-lap tilt would change on a lap 11 double file restart which saw leader Ratti choose the inside lane leaving Berner to the outside. No problem for the teenage talent Berner who got good bite in the high groove and took the race lead as the field started the 12th lap. Opening night winner AJ DeSantis made his way around Ratti for second on lap 13 and while AJ was able to stay in Berner’s tire tracks and get to his back bumper he’d not be able to make a serious run for the lead. At the checker Michael Berner with an assist from Teddy Bear Repair & Fabricating took home the well earned victory for he and his team. DeSantis of Yaphank was runner-up in the Touch Adjust Clip Chevy while steady Eric Hersey of Commack was third in the Bellport Village Bistro Deli machine. 

For the second straight 15-lap Figure Eight feature event Tom Ferrara of Patchogue came home victorious. Bob Dalke moved to the race lead at the start but a turn three incident that saw Brian Hansen done for the race due to damage slowed the race quickly. When action resumed former champion Scott Pedersen was able to out gun Dalke for the race lead but a lap 3 caution for a CJ Lehmann and Bryan Quilliam tangle again slowed things. What the first lap restart gave Pedersen, the race lead the ensuing restart would take it away as Tom Ferrara was bale to get the measure of Pedersen when the race resumed. With Ferrara now out front Pedersen fell into the clutches of Tom’s teammate Joey “Bam Bam” Warren for second with Warren grabbing second. Over the final stretch run of the race Tom Ferrara in the Beach Auto Collision Cadillac scored his 16th career win with Joey Warren of Ridge second in the Sayville South Bay Auto Repair entry while Scott Pedersen of Shirley was third in the Vecchio Racing Chevy.

In the 20-lap Super Pro Truck main event Jack Handley Jr. of  Medford scored his 9th career win wheeling the East Side Building Chevy. Joe Cerabino had a solid run out front of the race taking the lead when the race started leading former champion Frank Dumicich Jr. However Frank’;s run in second came to an abrupt end when he and third place Jimmy Rennick Jr. made contact sending Dumicich into a spin in turn three. While under caution NASCAR officials felt it was Frank’s attempt to block Rennick that caused his spin Rennick was able to keep second for the restart with leader Cerabino. When the race resumed both Rennick and Jack Handley Jr were able to race by Cerabino for first and second. However another yellow waved on lap 8 and on that double file restart Handley was able to ride the outside lane around Rennick to take the race lead with Jimmy riding the new leaders tailgate. However as the race moved along rennick was soon under pressure from “Mad” Max Handley, the leaders younger brother and defending champion Mark Stewart for second. That played right into the hands of Jack Handley who was able to drive off to victory. A wild scramble in the final laps found Max Handley of Medford coming across the line second in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy with Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach settling for third in the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy.

The INEX Legend Race Cars were slated for a 30-lap event on the night but a marathon broke out instead and officials deeming the race official after a 26th lap yellow flag waved. Kevin Nowak of Medford dominated the day setting fast time of the 30 cars on hand with a lap of 13.512 as the second to last car in qualifying. When the race started Nowak who rarely sees a front row starting berth took full advantage racing his way to the lead with rookie driver Nick Morabito moving to second after being second quick in time with an impressive lap of 13.735 in qualifying. Morabito ran second until the 4th lap when he was overtaken by Joey Braun. With yellow flag fever running rampant Kevin Nowak was forced to master multiple restarts in his Allison Automotive machine but equal to the task every restart. Braun ran second until lap 8 when Mike Alcaro driving a brand new car for owner Paul Dodorico made his way by. Alcaro has won INEX Legend Race Car events up and down the east coast tried to make a run at Nowak during the numerous restarts but Nowak would hold serve to win his second race in a row and 16th of his very successful career. Alcaro of Newton, NJ was runner-up in the Dr. Martha Baker DDS machine while Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was third in The Boiler Guy coupe.

CJ Zukwoski of Riverhead notched his second straight Mini Stock win when he topped their 20-lap feature event. After James O’Connell paced the race for the first circuit former Figure Eight driver Chris Elixson moved into the race lead on lap 2 with an inside pass of O’Connell entering the third turn. Elixson at first was challenged by teammate Mike Mujsce Sr.  before Mujsce was passed by defending champion Joe Warren Jr. on lap 5. Warren chased Elixson from second until the 14th lap when he was passed by his teammate CJ Zukowski who worked his way towards the front from a 7th place starting berth. After chasing Elixson for just three lap Zukowski made his bid for the lead payoff on lap 17 moving by for the race lead, a lead he’d not surrender in the Warren Motorsports Cavalier. With Elixson fading in the final two laps Paul Wojcik of Centereach made a late race charge for second in the Energy Kinetics racer while Johnny Cricchio of Port Jefferson was third in the Division 7 Roofing Toyota. 

Michael Asdahl of East Meadow won a very competitive 50-lap 8-Cylinder Enduro in a race that feature numerous changes for the lead. With starting line-ups for this class determined by luck of the draw two tie winner Sean Fitzpatrick started from the pole and promptly lead the first 15-laps of the contest. Lap 16 saw Michael Asdahl who started the race third take the lead from Fitzpatrick who later dropped from the race with mechanical woes. Asdahl would lead until lap 17 when he was passed by Joe Boccia but Joe’s stay out front only lasted 8 laps as Asdahl in his Monte Carlo reclaimed the lead and drove to the eventual win on lap 35. Brian Halsey of Southampton made a late race charge to second where he’d finish in the PC Truck Repair Chevy while Joe Boccia of Northport was third. 

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Dylan Slepian 2. Tom Rogers Jr. 3. Kyle Soper 4. CJ Lehmann 5. Chris Young 6. Jack Handley Jr. 7. Roger Turbush 8. Vinny Delaney 9. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 10. Artie Pedersen III 11. Dave Brigati 12. Michael Rutkoski 13. Howie Brode

Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Chris Turbush 3. Chris McGuire 4. Jarrod Hayes 5. Shawn Patrick 6. Dylan Slepian 7. Kevin Metzger 8. Ray Minieri 9. Chris Lescenski 10. Brandon Turbush

Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Berner 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Eric Hersey 4. Steve Ratti 5. Sean Glennon 6. Terry Stiles 7. Richie Davidowitz 8. Chris Rogers 9. Alex Colasanto 10. Gerard Lawrence 11. Stephen Coleman 12. Matthew Brode 13. Lou Maestri 14. Charlie Macwhinnie 15. Owen Grennan 16. Kenny Southard

Figure Eights: 1. Tom Ferrara 2. Joe Warren Jr. 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Bryan Quilliam 5. Ryan Zukowski 6. Allan Pedersen 7. CJ Lehmann 8. Bob Dalke 9. Chris Elliott 10. Brian Hansen DNS- Paul Cummings

Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Max Handley 3. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 4. Mark Stewart 5. Sean Glennon 6. Frank Dumicich Sr. 7. Frank Dumicich Jr. 8. Ethan Brown 9. Joe Cerabino 10. Chad McDonald 11. Daniel Creegan 12. Lou Maestri

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Mike Alcaro 3. Allan Pedersen 4. George Tomko Jr. 5. Jason Castaldo 6. Eric Hersey 7. Ed Cheslak 8. Scott Cheslak 9. Shawn Wanat 10. Joey Braun 11. Ray Fitzgerald 12. Patrick Moore 13. Anthony Colandro Jr. 14. Mike Benton 15. Mike Van Houten Jr. 16. Nick Morabito 17. Chris Sinatro 18. Jake Curran 19. Robert Henninger III 20. Anthony Marsh 21. Charlie Hodge 22. Brad Van Houten 23. Jonathan Parsons 24. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 25. Jerry Curran 26. Jim Sylvester

Mini Stocks: 1. CJ Zukowski 2. Paul Wojcik 3. Johnny Cricchio 4. Mike Mujsce Sr. 5. James O’Connell 6. Chris Elixson 7. Tony Collingsworth 8. Justin Squires 9. Joe Cooke Jr. 10. Jesse St. Clair 11. Scott Phillips 12. Ryan Zukowski 13. John Messing 14. Joe Warren Jr. 15. Martin O’Connell 16. Andrew Farnham 17. Kenny King

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Michael Asdahl 2. Brian Halsey 3. Joe Boccia 4. David Verbeeck 5. Jared Halsey 6. Eric Germuth 7. Roger Tramm 8. Carmine Ragusa 9. Ricky Carman 10. Steve Jones 11. Preston Prydatko 12. Pat Collins 13. Christian Kalbfleish 14. Blake Drinkwater 15. Vinny Poharski 16. Jodi Fickiessen 17. James Heym 18. Will Ebert 19. Andy Denninger 20. Kal; Buckley 21. Ken Hyde Jr. 22. Jennifer Hohwiesner 23. Sean Fitzpatrick 24. James Muench 25. Nick Montanino 26. Dennis Jones 27. Michael Biancos 28. Kevin Coyle

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