McDermott, Wegmann, Handley And Howe Score Wins At Riverhead Raceway

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

Saturday evening the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made their third and final stop of the season at Riverhead Raceway but before the rock ’em, sock ’em WMT affair unfolded, four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series events were presented. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead topped the 25-lap Late Model event earning his 30th career feature event victory at the quarter mile bullring.

Early on in the Late Model feature event Brandon Turbush jumped out to the early race advantage, quickly opening up a comfortable lead over Ray Minieri who was bust racing for second with Shawn Patrick. Unfortunately for Brandon as the race neared the 10-lap mark his car started dropping fluid and race control began to display the black flag. Things got worse for Turbush on lap 11 as he spun in his own fluid in turn two erasing his chances at victory. When the field was reset Patrick, who a lap earlier just passed Minieri for second found himself the new race leader with Minier second and McDermott third for the restart. When the race resumed Patrick took the lead with McDermott sneaking under Minieri for second. After spending five laps sizing Patrick up for a pass, McDermott was babe to race underneath to take the lead on lap 19. Over the final half dozen circuits McDermott kept the Eastport Feeds Chevy out front scoring his 5th win of 2023. The win had further significance for Jeremy with it being a milestone 30th career Late Model win, moving him into a tie with Steve Tooker for 5th on the all-time win list. After having to start scratch on the field, Artie Pedersen III of Center Moriches drove his way to a runner up finish in the CheckerWon Manufacturing Chevy while Ray Minieri of Bay Shore placed third in the Zaremba & Brown Construction Injury Law Firm.

Bill Wegmann Jr. of Patchogue notched his first win of the season when he triumphed in the 20-lap Blunderbust feature event. Things got off to a rocky start as a multi car tangle ensured before a lap could be completed. Joe Densieski, championship contender Brandon Hubbard and Cody Triola were caught up in the third turn. When the grid was reset Bill Wegmann Jr, found himself on the pole and the elevator mechanical instructor would take that opportunity to the top floor. Wegmann led Tom Puccia for the first four laps before “Pooch” was overtaken by championship leader Jim Laird Jr. exiting the fourth turn to start the fifth lap. Laird rolled up to the rear bumper of Wegmann to apply the pressure but never really made a big challenge for the lead. When the checker flag flew Bill Wegmann Jr. in the Cracker Jack Auto Store Chevy had earned his 4th career win. Jim Laird Jr. of Rocky Point was runner-up in the Hampton Car Storage Caprice. The drive of the race belonged to third place finisher Brandon Hubbard of Mastic Beach who rallied from the early range incident to finish third in the United Exhaust Shop entry. With one race left on the season, Laird leads Hubbard by 8-points for the title.  

Max Handley of Medford, steering the same Street Stock his brother Jack drove to victory a few weeks back would do likewise in the 20-lap main event Saturday. Hard luck driver Gerard Lawrence looking to turn his fortunes around broke to the race lead at the throw of the green. Lawrence and Brian Brown went side-by-side over the first five laps of the tilt before Handley snuck under Brown for second on lap 6. Just moments later things got tight at the front of the field between the lead trio with leader Lawrence going around at the start/finish line. It was deemed all three drivers went for the same piece of real estate in a racing incident. When the race resumed Handley was the new race leader, soon Max would feel the wrath of the defending champion of the class, Dave Antos who also happens to lead in all-time wins. On lap 13 Antos got to second and set sights for leader Handley, however the driver of the Platinum Electric Chevy was equal to the task. When the race concluded Max Handley, a UNOH graduate had pocketed his first career Street Stock victory. Dave Antos further padded his championship lead with runner-up honors in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo while Brian Brown of Calverton in the Eastport Feeds racer was third. 

Five-time Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Don Howe of Water Mill took home victory in the 15-lap Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars feature. Ageless Jimmy Reed Sr. led the first lap of the race before Mike Siraco, nephew to Sr. Tappen Sr. moved by for the top spot. Siraco led the first four laps of the race before Don Howe, who started further back in the 10-car grid moved by for the lead to start the fifth circuit. Once out front the Corwith’s Auto Body Cavalier and Howe were not going to be denied another win. After repairing the right front of his car after a practice incident, Tony Ferrante Jr. of New Hyde Park was second in the Anthony Ferrante & Co Cavalier, while former INEX Legend Race Car driver Don Conradis of Patchogue had his best outing with a third in the Bob Polverari 711 tribute car.   

Late Models: 1. Jeremy McDermott 2. Artie Pedersen III 3. Ray Minieri 4. Gerard Giordano 5. Brian Doyle 6. Jimmy Rennick Jr. 7. Kevin Metzger 8. Chris McGuire 9. Ed Cheslak 10. Keith Rotzi 11. Jesse St. Clair 12. Ryan Warren 13. Shawn Patrick 14. Paul Cummings 15. Brandon Turbush 16. Alyssa Paprocky

Blunderbusts: 1. Bill Wegmann Sr. 2. Jim Laird Jr. 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Tom Puccia 5. Gary Caldwell 6. Rob Bader 7. Bill Wegmann Sr. 8. Eddie Diaz 9. Emily Hubbard 10. Michael Accordino 11. Steve Fried 12. Joe Densieski 13. Cody Triola

Street Stocks: 1. Max Handley 2. Dave Antos 3. Brian Brown 4. Jarrod Hayes 5. Greg Harris 6. Tom Sullivan 7. Rhett Fogg 8. Brian McCormack 9. Danny Pizzo 10. Alyssa Paprocky 11. Dennis Kurras 12. Ricky Carman 13. Gerard Lawrence 14. James DiPietro 15. PJ McGay 16. Luke Foerster 17. Jerry Curran 18. Kyle Halpin

Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars: 1. Don Howe 2. Tony Ferrante Jr. 3. Don Conradis 4. Frank Saladino 5. Mike Siraco 6. Billy Auer 7. John Jasinsky 8. Mark Miller 9. Pat Hughes 10. Jimmy Reed Sr. 

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