Will First-Time Winner Emerge From Whelen Mod Tour Miller Lite 200 At Riverhead On May 14

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

When looking ahead to the Miller Lite 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event Saturday May 14th at Riverhead Raceway it will be hard not to pick a tested tough WMT veteran for the win. However the quarter mile bullring has provided some surprise winners and results along the way in the previous 67 races and fans might even have to look past the 2022 WMT roster for a potential winner. Several local teams of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at Riverhead plan on entering the 200.

With 25% of his career 32 WMT triumphs coming at Riverhead Raceway, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville comes to the Miller Lite 200 ranked among the favorites for victory. Justin, refreshed from a Aruba vacation where he got engaged to longtime girlfriend Taylor, will be seeking his second straight WMT win of the year having won in April at Richmond Raceway.

The last driver to enjoy the thrill of a first career WMT at Riverhead will come to the Miller Lite 200 tied for the early season championship lead, Eric Goodale of Riverhead. Eric scored a popular victory on June 28th, 2014 and was swarmed by family and friends afterwards. The driver knotted with Goodale atop the early WMT rankings Tommy Catalano of Ontario, NY could very score the first WMT win of his career Saturday. The sixth year driver has run very well early on in 2022, nearly winning at Richmond.

One driver hoping familiarity and momentum will add up to victory in the Miller Lite 200 is JB Fortin of Holtsville. When race day dawns it will have been six months to the day that JB drove to an impressive Islip 300 victory. Fortin spent his nights off from the WMT racing Riverhead some in 2021 and knows the track well. Additionally last year during the three WMT races JB and team hit on a set-up that saw his car perform well in the low groove.   

Two drivers ranked in the WMT top ten that also seek their first career win are Tyler Rypkema of Owego, NY and Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa. Between the duo Beers may have the upper hand starting his Modified driving career at the Mahoning Valley Speedway, a track that features very short chutes, continuous turns yielding lap times in the 10 second range. 

Perhaps no local team has anticipated the Miller Lite 200 more than that of Roger Turbush of Calverton. Turbush, a former multi-time Super Pro Truck champion along with 30 wins in the class turned heads in the final WMT race on the Island last September scoring a third place tally. Turbush chased race winner Patrick Emerling of Orchard park, NY and Justin Bonsignore to the checkers. 

Defending track champion Kyle Soper of Manorville is hoping to check off a WMT win off his racing bucket list when the Miller Lite 200 concludes Saturday. Kyle, a 24-time winner in Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series competition is chasing his fourth title in five years at Riverhead in ’22. Off a career best three win season in 2021, John Baker of Brookhaven hopes for WMT success in the 200. Baker and his team on the second practice day at Riverhead focused primarily on their WMT car. 

Other local teams that have hinted a run in the Miller Lite 200 include former five time champion and 61-time winner Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, Dave Brigati of Calverton, Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills, Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, Chris Young of Calverton and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick. 

Complimenting the Miller Lite 200 program are the Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. Spectator gates will open at 3:00 pm just in time for the WMT one hour final practice session. WMT qualifying is set for 6:00 pm with the Miller Lite 200 set for green at approximately 8:00 pm. The Miller Lite 200 is available on the Flo Racing platform.
Camper are welcome at Riverhead Raceway at no charge, no hook-ups are available and all campers must set up camp behind the fenced in pit area of the back parking area. 
The complete 2022 event schedule can be viewed at www.riverheadraceway.com. A new e-mail address has been announced, [email protected], while the phone number remains 631-842-RACE. 


  1. Suitcase Jake says

    This will be TOUGH PICK 6 with all the LOCAL TALENT taking on the TOUR regulars ..Study wisely ….. Should be very challenging ….. HAVE FUN = BE HAPPY …..

  2. With the bowl opening this weekend two great venues and awesome racing then the following weekend at the bowl 350 supers will be awesome happy birthday to riverhead

  3. Viva race fan says

    Can’t wait for the Bowl to open .
    See some old friends in turn 1 and the great smell of racing and Hot Dogs. Good to be at races again .
    Good luck Riverhead went 1 time another great bull ring.

  4. Probable rain out for the Bowl.

  5. To the car count counters this event should be another good one for the NWMT. Car counts are important to a lot of folks traveling these pages. Never occurred to me the car count for the MMTTS opener was low and certainly not a surprise they tell you who is signed up on their site. Yet the first thing you read in the comments is not about the racing but the car count, complete with disappointments on the lack of big names followed by what it all means. You know what? Based on the yearly comments made about the NWMT failing you can bet that if the same predictions are made about Tri Tracks popularity waning the opposite will likely be true.

    Exposure is the name of the game these days for tracks. Who has it and who doesn’t. It’s a new era in local racing with sponsors getting increased exposure via streaming. It’s not just a business supporting a friend or looking for excitement although there is that.
    Having your company name on a car and the announcer saying it on the streamcast is a viable marketing option that can pay dividends beyond whomever is at the track.

    Discounting the weather that may not cooperate this weekend, this year most weekends modified fans get the option of seeing racing at Stafford on Friday and Riverhead on Saturday via FloRacing. It’s the kind of exposure we couldn’t have dreamed about a few short years ago that offers all kinds of opportunities for tracks to get new fans if they can just get fans to make the track that isn’t local a routine. Like for Stafford fans making Riverhead an automatic for Saturday night. Getting to know the Riverhead teams better then seeing them in the NWMT race it’s all linked and builds on itself………hopefully.

    The odd track out in this scenario is creepy Bruce’s Speedbowl. it’s a shame really because it’s the best viewer experience of any track in Connecticut but it is what it is. You marvelous Speedbowl fans will do what you have done for decades. Support the racing that is offered, asking for little and not giving the missed marketing opportunity costs a second thought. It’s just you, the Speedbowl, Saturday night and racing by gum same as it was in 1965 in many respects.

    I don’t know all those billboards at Stafford are linked to FloRacing and streaming. I don’t know if all the new sponsors at the events at Stafford that have billboards at the track are linked to FloRacing and streaming. I don’t know for a fact if the big new screen at Stafford was made possible in part by the involvement of FloRacing and streaming. Maybe it is all the one shot national exposure on CBS for the SRX race but even if it is it’s moving forward.

    So what awaits you this year Speedbowl fans? Will there be a new announcers tower? Will the liquor permit get approved and beer offered. Will all those empty or covered billboards be replaced with new track sponsors and new exciting vibe? Or will the biggest sign continue to be BEMER’s and few others, the bus still a parked front and center, a flask in your pocket and the track back to what it was before the renovation. Doing the minimum to hold races, counting on the great fans and competitors to keep the lights on and continuing to fall behind the marketing curve mainly because the owner doesn’t give a flying fig about the future having little of it to look forward to.
    Whatever happens you can count on one thing not changing……Buckler. Woo woo!!!

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