Artie Pederson III And Jarrod Hayes Score Riverhead Miller Lite Triple Crown Wins

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

The weather was perfect, the grandstands full for a night of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Racing at Riverhead Raceway and the drivers delivered. Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches scored his second straight Late Model victory of the season in a 40-lap affair. Jarrod Hayes of Calverton also made it two in a row when he topped a non-stop 30-lap Street Stock feature. Both divisions contested their second race of the 2023 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. 

Brandon Turbush and Artie Pedersen III by virtue of heat race passing points made up the Late Model front row and like he did couple weeks back Artie Pedersen III got a great launch at the throw of the green. Turbush filed in behind leader Pedersen, but Brandon’s race took a turn for the worse when he spun in turn four on lap 4 after Jeremy McDermott made contact. McDermott was sent to the rear for his role in the incident. When the green waved after the caution flag period Pedersen remained the leader with former two-time champion Kevin Metzger in tow. Metzger chased Pedersen until lap 26 when McDermott slipped by to the outside up the backstretch after picking his way back through traffic. By the time Jeremy raced his way to second, Pedersen had built himself a comfortable lead in the Unique Golf machine and as much as McDermott chipped away at the advantage Artie Pedersen III would again prevail. McDermott of Riverhead was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while Kevin Metzger of Massapequa finished on the podium in third with his Complete Well & Pump Toyota.

Clearly, Jarrod Hayes and his North Fork Sanitation Street Stock team did not have the start to their 2023 campaign they would have liked. But Hayes is making up for lost time and Saturday won a non-stop 30-lap main event for his second win in a row. When the race got underway Hayes motored out front, showing for the second race in a row the local speed merchant had the car to beat. McCormack ran second early on but at the halfway mark had to contend with defending champion Dave Antos who came calling. Antos made his bid for second payoff on lap 19 passing McCormack. However, without the aid of a caution and ensuing double file restart Antos would not be able to reel in the race leader. At the finish Jarrod Hayes again made his way to the winner’s circle while Antos of Lindenhurst settled for runner-up money in the JTEC Electric Chevy. McCormack of Holbrook was third at the conclusion in his Robo Car Wash entry.

In 2022 Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford lost a Figure Eight win just feet from the start/finish line after a hard his at the crossover. Fast forward to 2023 and Hyde running and ready to settle for 5th Saturday suddenly saw the seas part in the final turn of the race handing him his second consecutive win. After Joe Warren Jr. led lap 1, Artie Pedersen III, mere minutes after his Late Model win took the lead on lap 2. Pedersen as he did in the LM race built up a fairly comfortable lead, well so he thought. The chaotic last lap saw AP3 trying to lap a slower car. After taking the white Artie closed too fast on that lapped car heading into the third turn. Ryan Warren, brother Allan Pedersen and Uncle Scott Pedersen were all caught up in the momentary chaos. That allowed Ken Hyde Jr. in his Brigandi Brothers Automotive Chevy to part the seas and drive from fifth to victory lane. The unlikely win is the 13th of Hyde’s career tying him for 12th all-time with “The Dean” Bill Steen. Somehow, someway Ryan Warren of Ridge made it through the last lap excitement for second in the Craftsman Fence Chevy, while defending champion Scott Pedersen of Shirley did likewise for third in the Northeastern Office Equipment Cadillac. 

There are times in racing where the sport challenges a race team. Such has been the case for “Hubcap” Brandon Hubbard of Mastic but Saturday the second-generation talent rose above to win a non-stop 20-lap Blunderbust feature. Prior to the win, Brandon and team have fought mechanical issues during the first four races of the season. Armed with a front row start for the race, Hubbard took advantage breaking out front at the drop of the green. Jarrett Campbell chased Hubbard over the first half of the race before he was overtaken by defending champion Cody Triola at the halfway mark. Getting to second was the first challenge Triola faced in the fast-paced race, getting to leader Hubbard would be another. Wanting to reward his hard-working family for their efforts, there would be no catching Brandon Hubbard in his United Exhaust Shop machine as he earned his third career win. Cody Triola of Bay Shore was making progress but had to be content with second in the Cesspool Pros entry, Eddie Diaz of Centereach was third in the Gramercy Group machine.

Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge reached a milestone Saturday when he won a non-stop 20-lap Mini Stock feature, the 10th of his career, second of the year. Joe Cooke Jr. paced the race early on with former champion Paul Wojcik applying the pressure. Wojcik offered up numerous challenges to Cooke for the lead but each time the leader was able to thwart those efforts. As the laps clicked off Wojcik grew frustrated with how Cooke was holding him off and on lap 14 contact was made. While neither car spun, momentum was broken and Joe Warren Jr. in his Schmidt’s Market Cavalier got a two for one, driving from third to victory lane. Andrew Farnham of Baldwin was runner-up in the Matlach Motorsports Honda, while James O’Connell of Middle Island was third in the Walls of Fame racer. It was O’Connell’s first start of the season. 

Doing double duty on the night paid off for Jarrett Campbell of Yaphank when he won an exciting 43-lap Truck Enduro. Wanting to remember and celebrate the life of Kimberly Putzu-Midgett, longtime companion of former champion Don Nelson who sadly passed away suddenly earlier in the month, the 43-lap distance was run in her honor. The race boiled down to a trio of veteran drivers vying for the win, Jarrett Campbell, Bobby Pease Sr. and Don Nelson. Pease showed the way for the first nine circuits before Campbell got by. Ironically enough Pease on the 40th lap, normally the final lap took the lead back from Campbell, while Nelson watched it all from a close third. Pease led the 41st lap before Campbell came roaring back to take the lead for good on lap 42 in his Rock Financial Chevy S-10. Bobby Pease of Medford was third in the Fit Spot Gym truck while Don Nelson of Ricky Point was third in the Jefferson Animal Hospital Chevy.

Tested tough Enduro veteran Donald “Woot” Lawrence of Southampton scored the victory in the 8-Cylinder Enduro. Lawrence, the 2022 Truck Enduro champion has focused his driving effort in the class that started the Enduro craze at Riverhead in May of 1986, the 8-Cylinders. The race itself was old school with cars spinning, fluid being laid down on the racing surface making just getting around the track a chore. Greg Harris of Riverhead had the lead of the race and seemed like he was the man to beat until a car spun in front of him. The contact that ensued flattened the right front of Harris ending his race. That moved the Camaro of Woot Lawrence out front late in the race, Lawrence started the tilt from 18th and scored the popular win. Kevin Feeney of East Quogue was second in his sponsor wanted racer while Carmine Ragusa of East Meadow was third in the Chevy. 

Late Models: 1. Artie Pedersen III 2. Jeremy McDermott 3. Kevin Metzger 4. Gerard Giordano 5. Ed Cheslak 6. Chris McGuire 7. Jesse St. Clair 8. Keith Rotzi 9. Alyssa Paprocky 10. Frank Dumicich Jr. 11. Brandon Turbush 12. Jenn Krpata 13. Paul Cummings DNS- Shawn Patrick, Jimmy Rennick Jr.

Figure Eights: 1. Ken Hyde Jr. 2. Ryan Warren 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Gary Fritz Jr. 5. Joe Warren Jr. 6. Cody Triola 7. Artie Pedersen III 8. Allan Pedersen 9. Bryan Quilliam 10. Bob Dalke 11. Paulo Miquel 12. Kim Hyde 13. Bryan Ayala 

Blunderbusts: 1. Brandon Hubbard 2. Cody Triola 3. Eddie Diaz 4. Jarrett Campbell 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. Bill Wegmann Sr. 7. Jim Laird Jr. 8. Tom Puccia 9. Brad Bess 10. Joe Densieski 11. Michael Accordino 12. Steve Fried DNS- Tom Sullivan

Street Stocks: 1. Jarrod Hayes 2. Dave Antos 3. Brian McCormack 4. Kyle Curtis 5. Greg Harris 6. Danny Pizzo 7. Brian Brown 8. Gerard Lawrence 9. Max Handley 10. James DiPietro 11. Ricky Carman 12. Justin Ferreri 13. Kyle Halpin 14. PJ McGay 15. Jake Curran 16. Alyssa Paprocky DNS- Rhett Fogg

Mini Stocks: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Andrew Farnham 3. James O’Connell 4. Paul Wojcik 5. Chris Olivari 6. Jake Inness 7. Joe Cooke Jr. 8. John Harley 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Charles Astacio 11. Tony Collinsworth 12 Nick Johnson

Truck Enduro 1. Jarrett Campbell 2. Bobby Pease Sr. 3. Don Nelson Jr. 4. Mariah Lawrence 5. Phil LaManna 6. Gary Voight 7. Bobby Pease Jr. 8. Justin McGrady 9. William Kennedy 10. Emily Hubbard 11. Brandon LaManna 12. Kerry Botts 13. Steve Reisert 14. Danielle Creegan 15. Jackie Germuth 16. Whitney Williams 17. Chloe Phillips 18. Michael Bianco 19. John Schultz 20. Kayla Kelly 21. Nayshia Polite 22. Halllie Campo 23. James Kelly 24. Ryan Warren 25. Eoughan Heyward 26. Rich Giordano

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Kevin Feeney 3. Carmine Ragusa 4. Kevin Coyle 5. Richie Carman 6. Jack McCarthy Jr. 7. Moody Enaya 8. Eric Germuth 9. James Heym 10. Justin Squires 11. Pat Collins Jr. 12. Christian Kalbfleisch 13. Tim Healey 14. Dwayne Sipila 15. Anthony Capobianco 16. Cutter Gera 17. Chris Smith 18. Will Ebert

19. David Verbeeck 20. Greg Harris 21. Pat Collins 22. Kale Buckley 23. Jimmy Muench 24. Franky Abbatiello 25. Steve Neenan 26. Andy Denninger 27. Dennis Jones 28. Joe Boccia 29. Jeremy Rand 30. Roger Tramm 31. Ricky Carman 32. Robert Eggers 


  1. Who needs the NWMT or tour modifieds for that matter? I wouldn’t say the stands were full strictly speaking but a great turn out in any event the last two weeks without tour modifieds.
    The most knowledgeable fans following the regular divisions know the drivers and cars and know what to look for in every event. Shows like Saturday night at Riverhead are just good old fashioned, grass roots entertainment you could bring the family to with no idea who any of the cars were and enjoy an incredibly diverse program. What a contrast from Stafford’s typical regimented, sterile Friday night. $30 to get in which puts it in the class of a Stafford Open event but the absence of modifieds didn’t seem to deter the crowd enthusiasm one bit.
    Perhaps tracks that are hell bent on being so professional with their race events, demanding the cars be neatly detailed, all custom built racing machines and the endless, mind numbing recitation of anyone remotely helping with the car every time a microphone is put in front of them is losing sight of what a weekend at the local track should be. Forgetting that local short track racing is entertainment above all else and shouldn’t require attendees to be professional fans to enjoy the action. Specials with figure eights, enduro’s, demo’s, fireworks, Blunderbusts, monster trucks as well as more traditional divisions bring fans out. No knowledge of racing required just a healthy dose of thrills and chills but unpredictable and diverse in any event.

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