Change Of Racing Plans Nets Timmy Solomito Second Riverhead Raceway Win

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

Heading into the racing weekend Timmy Solomito of Islip and his family were planning on competing in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series event in Connecticut, however circumstances beyond Timmy’s control prevented that road trip. With a car ready to race at the Solomito family shop, they instead made the short jaunt to Riverhead Raceway, a decision that paid dividends when Timmy won the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature at his home track. 

For the second straight week Michael Rutkoski broke from the pole to the early race advantage at the throw of the green. Jack Handley Jr. who started alongside Rutkoski gave chase over the first 8-laps of the tilt. Early on Timmy Solomito was clearly on the move with perhaps the best car in the field. Exiting the second corner on lap 9 Timmy showed his nose under Handley and by the time the tandem started the 10th lap Solomito was second. Once arriving in second Solomito first had to reel in race leader Rutkoski who built a small, but comfortable early race lead. Much like his pass on Handley for second, Solomito again moved under leader Rutkoski off the second corner on lap 21. By the time they exited turn four Solomito was the new race leader with Rutkoski now second.

Over the final half of the race the question would be would Timmy’s car show the pace it did over the first half? The answer was a resounding yes. Over the final segment Timmy Solomito in the Kennedy L.I. Realty of Bay Shore Chevy would lead the way to the checker flag for his 22nd career Modified win at Riverhead tying him with Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. and Joe Krukowski for 15th all time. 

Upon exiting the winning mount Solomito got emotional, “pretty neat to win here tonight, all my nieces and nephews are here, first time I won in front of all them” As he continued Timmy furthered, “we were heading to Waterford, that was the plan, but Dad was in the hospital earlier in the week with kidney stones, and my business is so busy, so we came here”. Reviewing the race Timmy reflected, “my brother Shawn threw some stuff at this car that we wanted to try, and it was good. I can never thank him for what he and his wife Kristy have done for me, not just in racing, but life”.

Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck for the second week in a row would settle for second in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac Camaro, while Jack Handley Jr. of Medford competed the podium in the Suffolk Precast Chevy. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead, who started scratch on the field was fourth with JR Bertuccio of Centereach fifth. 

The night started off with the first Two for TK Twin 9 Figure Eight features run to celebrate and memorialize the life and career of Tom Kraft. In the first event Scott Pedersen ked Ken Hyde Jr, when the race took the green and over the first six laps of the event. It would be a 6th lap caution that changed the complexion of the race as during the stoppage second place runner Hyde pitted with a right front flat. On the ensuing restart Gary Frtiz Jr. was lined up alongside leader Scott Pedersen for the resumption. After taking the green heading into the right hand third and fourth turn Fritz leaned on Pedersen and by the time the tandem started the 7th lap Fritz was the new race leader. Over the final two circuits Gary Fritz Jr, of Mastic Beach kept his Bobby’s One Stop Auto & Exhaust Cadillac out front for his first win of the year, sixth of his career. Joe Warren Jr., of Ridge was runner-up in the Island Thrift entry while Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was third in the S&H Welding Camaro.

The Two for TK nightcap would find Ken Hyde Jr. of Medford avenging his flat tire for the first race as he topped the second Twin 9 for his third win of the season, 14th of his career moving him into sole possession of 12th all time. After watching his brother-in-law Fritz win the first race, Hyde wasted no time breaking to the lead of the race at the throw of the green. Defending champion Scott Pedersen was again in the mix at the front chasing Hyde for the top spot. On lap 3 Scott was shuffled from second allowing his nephew Allan to move to second. For the remainder of the race Hyde led Allan Pedersen as their cars appeared to be equal with Ken in the Brigandi Brothers Automotive Chevy scoring his 3rd win since July 1st. Allan Pedersen of center Moriches was runner-up in the Top Notch Performance Chevy, while Scott Pedersen of Shirley was third in the Couch Racer Chevy. 

The 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modified event found Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead notching his third win of 2023. AJ DeSantis and Kyle Ellwood made up the front row for the event. When the green flag waved DeSantis tried to ward off Ellwood for the early race lead, but Kyle was able to get his Rat Pack Racing owned machine out front with DeSantis staying right in his tire tracks. Sean Glennon raced his way to third early and he hoped for a caution thinking he could throw his hat into the ring for the win. However, there would be no stopping Kyle Ellwood and his Tru-Value Hardware of Center Moriches Chevy on this night as he drove to his third win of the season, fourth of his career. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was second in the Strong Oil Chevy with Sean Glennon of Northport third in the LTE Drainage Chevy.

“Blankets” Joey Braun of Manorville won the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature, his 3rd of 2023 and the 13th of his career moving him to 5th all time. The race was marred by one of the worst crashes the class has ever seen on the 15th lap, Running at the front of the field Richie Davidowitz’s car suddenly, without contact got loose off the fourth corner sending him towards the infield. However, Richie’s car then bounced off the car of Jeff Farruggia to the inside sending Richie, driver’s side first into the wall just before the starters stand. After some anxious moments Richie exited his car to be further evaluated. Also caught up in the grinding crash and done for the race were, Ray Fitzgerald, Ryan Lutz, Charles Hodge and Alex Halinar, all were okay. Prior to the crash Joey Braun took the race lead from Riely O’Keefe with a pass on lap 9. It would be after the race resumed on lap 15 after the big crash that the intensity ratcheted up as over the final five laps Braun and O’Keefe raced side by side in close quarters for the win. In the end Joey Braun in the Uncle Carmine’s Hot Peppers racer prevailed over his Manorville neighbor Riely O’Keefe in his Get Clear, Crystal Clear Window Cleaning machine. Waiting in the wings for something to happen among the top two was eventual third place finisher Jim Sylvester of Massapequa in the Joe Ryan Race Cars entry. 

Defending Street Stock champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst nabbed his second win of the season winning their 20-lap feature event. Brian McCormack took command of the race early leading a fast Dennis Kurras over the first two cycles. On the third lap Antos was able to get by Kurras and set his sights on leader McCormack. It took some doing, first chasing and then sizing McCormack up for a pass but Dave Antos in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo got the job done taking the lead for good on lap 18. Brian Brown of Calverton followed Antos by for second in the Eastport Feeds Chevy, with Jarrod Hayes of Calverton too getting by McCormack late for third in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy. McCormack faded to fourth at the finish.

The outcome of the 20-lap Mini Stock race was not decided on the track, but rather in post-race inspection. On track, Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge took the lead from defending champion Andrew Farnham of Baldwin for an apparent victory. However, four of the top five cars over the line were found with unapproved exhaust modifications including Warren. Also disqualified from their finishes were Farnham, Paul Wojcik and Chris Olivari. That moved former 4/6-Cylinder track champion Shawn Wanat of Riverhead into the winner’s circle in his Spit’s Speed Shop entry. Wanat was making just his second start of 2023. Joe Cooke Jr. of Shirley was moved up to second in the Island Technology Honda while Jake Innes of Farmingdale a career best third in the Sayville Ford Probe. 

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Michael Rutkoski 3. Jack Handley Jr. 4. Tom Rogers Jr. 5. JR Bertuccio 6. Dave Brigati 7. John Beatty Jr. 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Dylan Slepian 10. Mark Stewart 11. Chris Young 12. Owen Grennan 13. Chris Rogers 14. Allan Pedersen 15. Roger Turbush 16. Matt Brode

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

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

Crate Modifieds: 1. Kyle Ellwood 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Sean Glennon 4. Alex Colasanto 5. Mike Albasini 6. Terry Stiles 7. Max Handley 8. Owen Grennan 9. Eric Hersey 10. Charles Macwhinnie 11. MIchael Berner 12. Chase Grennan 13. Rich Gerbe 14. Vinny Delaney 15. Ken Massa 16. Eddie Schutze 17. Tom Sekulski

Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Riely O’Keefe 3. Jim Sylvester 4. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 5. Jason Castaldo 6. Chris Sinatro 7. Joe Warren Jr. 8. Eric Hersey 9. Colin Volpe 10. Mike Van Houten Jr. 11. Pat Moore 12. Jayden Glennerster 13. Ray Stulz 14. Kendall Van Houten 15. Marc Godnick 16. Nick Kocis 17. Steven Harding 18. Billy King Jr. 19. Kim Daniel 20. Richie Davidowitz 21. Ryan Lutz 22. Ray Fitzgerald 23. Charles Hodge 24. Alex Halinar 25. Ed Stadtlander 26. Rich Braun

Street Stocks: 1. Dave Antos 2. Brian Brown 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Brian McCormack 5. Dennis Kurras 6. Danny Pizzo 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Alyssa Paprocky 9. Ricky Carman 10. Kyle Halpin 11. Jake Curran 12. James DiPietro DNS-Gerard Lawrence

Mini Stocks: 1. Shawn Wanat 2. Joe Cooke Jr. 3. Jake Innes 4. John Harley 5. Dillon Reid 6. Charles Astacio 7. Eoughan Heyward DQ- Joe Warren Jr., Andrew Farnham, Paul Wojcik & Chris Olivari 

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