Chris Rogers Gets First Riverhead Modified Victory; Fifth Different Winner In 2023

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

When one grows up an aspiring race car driver on Long Island the ultimate goal is to win a NASCAR Modified event at Riverhead Raceway. Saturday night Chris Rogers of Patchogue attained that goal when he won the 50-lap Advanced Auto Parts Night event becoming the fifth Modified winner in five races to date in 2023. Of the seven feature event winners on the night, five enjoyed their first ever win. 

It took two attempts to get the event underway as a John Beatty Jr. spin off the bumper of Chris Turbush slowed the race on the backstretch before the first laps was completed. Turbush was moved to the rear of the 14-car field joining Beatty. The second try at getting the race going fell short when Michael Rutkoski spun into the infield off the bumper of Matt Brode in turn three, Brode was sent to the rear with Rutkoski who had to pit after hitting a yuke tire but would return. Third time was the charm when Chris Rogers and his 62-time winning cousin Tom Rogers Jr. made up the front row. After running side by side for the first lap Chris took the advantage on lap 2 but the driver on the march using the outside lane was the previous weeks winner Chris Young. On lap three Young worked his way to second passing Tom Rogers Jr., a former five-time track champion to the outside and many sat and wondered how long before Chris would make his move for the lead on the younger cousin.

As the race moved along Chris Rogers, who was tabbed three years ago to drive the Outlaw Inc. team car to Dave Brigati found another gear in the Coors Light Chevy and was able to keep Young who was looking to become the first repeat winner on the season at bay. At the finish Chris Rogers, who worked his way through the ranks racing first in the INEX Legend Race Cars and Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modifieds at Riverhead would makes his youthful dreams become a reality with career win number one. “I can never thank Dave, Brian Schwarz and the entire Outlaw Inc. family enough for this opportunity. Thanks to Coors Light, JDL Environmental and Covino Trucking for their support”. He concluded by dedicating the win to Becky Collins, wife of longtime Outlaw Inc crew member Warren, “this one is for Becky, she is going through a tough fight with cancer, I hope we put a smile on her face tonight”. 

Chris Young of Calverton was runner-up in the CPC Racing entry while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford completed the podium in the Suffolk Precast Chevy. Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills and Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead rounded off the top five.

Ever since moving his racing efforts to the Late Model class a few years back, Chris McGuire of Selden has not had the racing luck go his way. That all changed Saturday when he recorded his first 25-lap feature event win when for once the racing Gods smiled down on the former multi-time Charger winner. McGuire broke out to the early race lead but knew at some point Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead who started deep in the field would come calling. Indeed McDermott would come calling, taking the lead from McGuire but a series of two quick cautions one lap apart on lap 19 & 20 changed the race. Shawn Patrick his the wall off the fourth turn drawing a yellow on lap 19. On the ensuing restart McDermott’s car did not fire off having some sort of issue allowing McGuire to reclaim the lead, perhaps things were starting to fall Chris’s way. Kevin Metzger lopped his car on lap 20 drawing another yellow, it was at this time McDermott ducked to the pits with a tire that was going down. With just five laps to go the final restart of the race went off without a hitch with Chris McGuire nailing it in his Rock Tech Inc. machine for the long awaited win. For the third time in as many 2023 races Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches was second, but this second place tally in the Unique Golf racer came after the crew changed a throw out bearing in the pits, Veteran Ray Minieri of Bay Shore was third in the Zaremba & Brown Construction Injury Lawyers Chevy. 

Opening night Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified winner Chase Grennan of Glen Cove joined his brother Owen as a repeat winner in the Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified ranks when he topped a non-stop 25-lap feature event. When the green flag waved Chase Grennan was able to take the early race advantage over Michael Berner who was in search of his first win of the young season. Owen Grennan marched his way to third and at the halfway point of the contest engaged Berner in a torrid battle for second as Chase started to pull away as the duo tussled for position. With no caution flags on the horizon Chase Grennan in the Black Forest Auto Chevy notched his 4th career win in a race that saw all 16 cars finish on the lead lap. Michael Berner of Patchogue was second in the Pro Diesel entry while Owen Grennan third in the Eastport Feeds machine.

The INEX Legend Race Cars had a rough go of it trying to run a 20-lap feature event, but numerous cautions slowed the race which was called official on lap 10 when a final caution flag waved. Brad Van Houten of Wading Riverhead earned his first win of the year. Van Houten broke to the race lead at the throw of the green but a multi car crash involving Ray Stulz, Eric Hersey, Riely O’Keefe and Ray Fitzgerald slowed the race on lap 2. When the race did resume it enjoyed a green flag run from lap 3 through 9 during which Van Houten and Joey Braun who came to second on lap 2 staged an exciting side by side fight for the lead. However, a series of yellow flags dragged things out on lap 9 and again on lap 10 before officials deemed the race official after the 30-minute time limit expired. Brad Van Houten in the Joe Ryan Race Cars machine, a team car to Jim Sylvester was declared the winner, his 6th career victory. Joey Braun of Manorville in the Uncle Carmine’s Hot Peppers entry and Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches in the Freddie & Megan Kraft backed racer were second and third, Davidowitz was aiming for his fifth win in a row before the time limit expired. 

A few seasons back, Danny Pizzo of Holbrook decided to give racing another chance, so he went out and bought himself a Street Stock. After many trials and tribulations, crashes and breakdowns, most of which none of his doing, Danny finally broke through for his first career win Saturday in a 20-lap Street Stock event. Pizzo, who is funding his own racing effort in 2023 with no sponsorship displayed on his car broke to the early race lead and never looked back. While Danny had a fast car right off the truck in practice and qualifying, even he himself wondered what might creep up to prevent him from winning. Alas, nothing got in his way and Danny drove off to victory lane for the very first time. Rhett Fogg of Westhampton was runner-up in the McBetts Racing Engines Chevy, Dennis Kurras of Selden was an impressive third in the MKG Kitchen Design entry. 

A few weeks back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Eric Goodale announced he was dropping off the WMT as a full time driver to focus in part on his son Mason’s Bock Auto INEX Bandolero Bandit racing effort. Saturday night the old “apple falling not too far from the tree” adage proved out when Mason, in just his third ever start won the 15-lap Bandits feature with proud Papa Eric looking on. Emmett Grattan broke to the early advantage leading the first four laps of the race. On lap 5 Mason Goodale came calling taking the lead from Grattan and never looking back to score a very popular win in the Riverhead Building Supply racer. Emmett Grattan of Southold was second in the IGA Market machine while last race winner Reid Halpin of Wading River was third in the Huntington Honda mount.

Revenge can be a great motivator, just ask Will Sipala of Manorville who drove the JD Posillico Materials to the win in the 15-lap Bock Auto INEX Bandolero event. Last race out Sipala seemingly won the affair but had an unapproved restrictor plate placement on his car snatch his first career triumph away from him in post-race tech. The race got off to a shaky start with a first lap yellow slowing the contest. When the second attempt at starting the race was successful Will Sipala ducked to the inside of turn one to take the lead, a lead he’d not surrender earning him a long awaited first career win. 2022 Bandit champion Ben Morabito of Miller Place was runner-up in the 860 Motorsports Northeast racer while Cillian Tennant of Riverhead was third in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law machine.

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Chris Rogers 2. Chris Young 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Dylan Sklepian 5. Tom Rogers Jr. 6. JR Bertuccio 7. Allan Pedersen 8. Owen Grennan 9. Matt Brode 10. Michael Rutkoski 11. John Beatty Jr. 12. Dave Brigati 13. Chris Turbush 14. Howie Brode. 

Late Models: 1. Chris McGuire 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Ray Minieri 4. Pat Brown 5. Brian Doyle 6. Ed Cheslak 7. Jesse St. Clair 8. Gerard Giordano 9. Jeremy McDermott 10. Keith Rotzi 11. Kevin Metzger 12. Alyssa Paprocky 13. Jenn Krpata 14. Shawn Patrick 

Crate Modifieds: 1. Chase Grennan 2. Michael Berner 3. Owen Grennan 4. Sean Glennon 5. AJ DeSantis 6. Kyle Ellwood 7. Eric Hersey 8. Max Handley 9. Alex Colasanto 10. Dennis Krupski 11. Terry Stiles 12. Vinny Delaney 13. Eddie Schutze 14. Mike Albasini 15. Rich Gerbe 16. Chevy Rommeney

Legend Race Cars: 1. Brad Van Houten 2. Joey Braun 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Jeff Farruggia 5. Jim Sylvester 6. Jason Castaldo 7. Chris Sinatro 8. Kevin Nowak 9. Chase Van Houten 10. Ryan Lutz 11. Nick Morabito 12. Riely O’Keefe 13. Pat Moore 14. Rodney Dowless Jr. 15. Mike Van Houten Jr. 16. Donald Doran 17. Rodney Dowless Sr. 18. Kevin Ohrnberger 19. Mike Benton 20. Kendall Van Houten 21. Michael Metcalf 22. Ray Fitzgerald 23. Ray Stulz 24. Eric Hersey

Street Stocks: 1. Danny Pizzo 2. Rhett Fogg 3. Denis Kurras 4. Brian McCormack 5. Tom Sullivan 6. Brian Brown 7. Dave Antos 8. Kyle Halpin 9. Justin Ferreri 10. Ricky Carman 11. James DiPietro 12. Kim Hyde 13. Luke Foerster 14. Henry Cuesta DQ- Alyssa Paprocky

Bandolero Bandits: 1. Mason Goodale 2. Emmett Grattan 3. Reid Halpin 4. Kix Bock 5. Antonio D’Alonzo 6. Layla Quilliam 7. Aria Ligon 8. Brook Meyer 9. Aiden Pelis 10. Blake Grattan 11. Jordan Ryan

Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Will Sipala 2. Ben Morabito 3. Cillian Tennant 4. Phillip Alaimo 5. Tucker Bock 6. Jayden Owens-Bader 7. Madison Tomaszewski 8. Giavanna Agugliaro 9. Gavin Romano DNS-Nick Hodge


  1. Bill Sweet Jr, says

    Way to go Chris…You showed ’em that the Poughkeepsie “graduate” belongs on the Riverhead Mod list..Here’s to more checkers on the horizon!!

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