Riverhead Raceway Crown Jewel Series To Conclude At Islip 300; Ted Christopher Cup Awaits Champ

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

The 2023 Crown Jewel Series at Riverhead Raceway will culminate Saturday at the 7th annual Islip 300 for Tour Type Modifieds and heading into the $7,000 to win event Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead leads the race for the Ted Christopher Cup. The 2023 Crown Jewel Series consisted of six Tour Type Modified extra distance or signature events over the course of the summer carrying separate championship points from the Advance Auto Parts Weekly NASCAR rankings. 

Conceived during the winter of 2019 Race Director Scott Tapley with Riverhead GM John Ellwood, the Crown Jewel Series was to debut as a four-race slate in 2020, however a worldwide pandemic put those plans on the shelf. Undaunted the Crown Jewel Series debuted one year later for the 2021 signature extra distance events, the series champion earning the Ted Christopher Cup named after the late, iconic open wheel racer out of Plainville, Ct.  By scoring victory in the 2021 Islip 300, JB Fortin of Holtville clinched the Ted Christopher Cup in addition to a $7.000 payday as winner of the 300. Last year, on the strength of a runner-up showing at the Islip 300, John Beatty Jr. of Merrick earned the 2022 Crown Jewel Series Ted Christopher Cup winner. 

Heading into Saturday and the 2023 edition of the 300 honoring of the former Islip Speedway, Kyle Ellwood enjoys a hefty 36-point margin over defending TC Cup winner Beatty. For Beatty to catapult Ellwood to claim his second consecutive Crown Jewel Series title he’ll have to be 19 positions better in the final rundown. Ellwood holds the first tiebreaker having scored three Crown Jewel Series victories. Chris Young of Calverton ranks third in the standings 52-ponts back of Ellwood, 16 back of Beatty for second. 

Ellwood took home the win in the first series event, the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 on Saturday June 17th driving the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac entry owned by the noted Southampton car dealer. Kyle’s second and third Crown Jewel Series wins came on the same night sweeping the Celebrating Chris Young Twin 49’s September 9th at the wheel of the Ken Matlach Motorsports owned Modified. When not winning series races, Ellwood would never finish off the podium scoring two runner-up finishes and a third-place tally. 

Timmy Solomito of Islip was a tw0-time winner of Crown Jewel Series races in 2023 winning The Bubba 150 in August and the season concluding Cecil Palm Tree 66 October 15th. Former five-time NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead scored his 63rd career win during the July 1st., 73rd Year Celebration Flying Dutchman Tribute event. The victory tied Tom with the late Charlie Jarzombek for most Modified wins at Riverhead.

Joining the Islip 300 Tour Type Modifieds Saturday are the General Welding Supply 50 for the Eagle Chevrolet Crate Modifieds worth $2.500 to the winner, while $2,000 will be up for grabs for winning the HIGHMARK Building Efficiency 40 INEX Legend Race Car feature. The Eddie Partridge Vintage All-Stars will go to post in a 15-lap race. 

Spectator gates open at 10:00 am, qualifying begins at 12 noon with Tour Type Modified time trials. Adults $40, kids 6-12 $15, 5 & under free. Pits open at 7:30 am, pit admission is $55, no licenses required. In the event inclement weather, the Islip 300 program in it’s entirety moves to November 18th. 

To view the race day itinerary please visit http://www.riverheadraceway.com, emails reach the track at [email protected], the phone number is 631-842-RACE. 


  1. Looks like a decent event. Hope the Riverhead boys don’t rough up Matty too badly.

    Where’s Dug Colby? I don’t see him on the entry list. Haven’t seen him much during the late season.

    I’m sure the 01 will show up.

  2. Just Saying says

    I can’t believe that the 51 team is actually going to run something other than the modified tour

  3. Just Saying says

    Anybody know if Riverhead is a one day event?

  4. Islip 300 2023 schedule

    Is it possible to have a home track that you’ve never been to and view only on FloRacing? Can that be a thing now? Accepted in just about all major sports but for the local race fan not something that’s held in high regard at least at this point.
    Oh well Riverhead is my new home track. Goodbye Stafford we had some good times over the decades. You’re the darling of most everyone and the region’s number one. But for this old timer too slick by half. No real production based division, same divisions, same thing most weeks with minor wrinkles, super slick driver presentations as if they’re professionals. The track division purification process continuing with no Super Late Model touring division this year and one less open. It’s just all too slick and perfect.
    Riverhead very much old school. Blunderbusts, Figure 8’s, demo’s and enduro’s join the full blown modifieds, Crate Modifieds, Streets and Late Models and it changes most weeks. There’s nothing perfect or slick about it, it’s pure racing on a bull ring ala Riverside Park in days long past.
    If Stafford’s the dog, a complete professional operation the car I think the dog caught the car. It’s the goal I get that. More power to those hanging out in the beer garden and viewing the slick presentations on the megatron. But I’m a rat rod guy, Stafford now a pristine 1957 Chevy two door hardtop convertible Belair all polished and shiny.
    The good news is it’s just words it’s not like I’m making either any money.

  5. Fast Eddie says

    Doug, I’d say your reasoning qualifies on the subject of home tracks. If Riverhead is the one you watch the most then technically I think that’s your home track. For years I always considered whichever track in I went to the most as the “home track” for that year, and it’s not always the same every year. Case in point: Geographically it would be Seekonk for me. However, due to going primarily to Modified races this year was a tie between Thompson and Stafford with 5 events over 6 days each.

  6. What is a “Home Track” and why have one?

    Can someone that does not go to a track even have a “Home Track”?

  7. In today’s steaming world if you’re watching many of the same track’s coverage I would say that counts as supporting your “home track”, regardless of location. I’d also guess track streaming revenue is based on viewership to an extent; the more viewers a track has the bigger piece of the $$ pie that track recieves.

  8. Tell you what race fans of all the people that travel these pages, that make claims of being racing patriots setting standards for others it’s so refreshing to see an exception. That would be The Fast One. Arguably the best fan in this forum that does travel far and wide supporting local racing. The one person that is most qualified to bust the chops of the Barcalounger keyboard cowboy instead offering a view that is actually diametrically opposed to his own choices when it comes to being a fan.
    Aside from all that I’d just like folks that read these pages to keep and open mind on Riverhead. Judging from the comments the track is still not on the front burner for most of the RaceDayCt fan base. Today FloRacing shows a full card to kick off with qualifying starting at 12 noon under brilliant fall skies. Tour mods will qualify based on time but in such an open field with track position critical watching the two laps they click off rapid fire can be more interesting the some heat races.
    Hopefully they get a good crowd. Otherwise tuning in via Flo should be some level of support since near as I can reckon viewership numbers do count in keeping the service alive that is a viable revenue stream for tracks and promoters.

  9. Had the idea of making another trip out there from NJ. So happy I made that last NWMT race there. What a slugfest without crashing one another. I’m too a bigger fan of some production car divisions. Waiting patiently for the day the racing Crown Vics and their Grand Marques cousins make their way to the northeast! Another reason you subscribe to Floracing and Racing America. RA has those Ford stock cars on pretty much everyweek.

  10. Weather looks great, for November 11. Sunny is important, temperatures not too cool. Hope they get done before sundown.

    Good luck to all !!!!!

  11. Hillary 2024 says

    Only 24 tour type mods. But don’t worry. I’m not going to compare anything to the 41 at Waterford.

  12. Crazy in NY says

    “Looks like a decent event. Hope the Riverhead boys don’t rough up Matty too badly.”

    No worries Dawrong (again). They need to catch him first to “rough” him up.
    Put the > he’s too afraid < to race Riverhead to bed now where? I know I know. If he can only muster up the courage to run NH he'll finally be a complete driver. Oh wait…I must be Crazy. No NASCASH titles so…never going to be one of the greats. RIGHT?!!…

    (meanwhile 34 and 51 will attend the B/G opener in 24' to continue their discussion).. On to the Derby. Gobble gobble.

  13. Hmm, only 24 cars compared to the Speedbowl. That sounds a lot like a homeowner. Side and back yards all over grown, weeds or all sorts. A couple trees dying with dead branches strewn all over. Small front yard pristine. Perfectly mowed and trimmed, weed free and flower gardens lining the walkway to the mailbox. Folks say sheesh your yard’s a mess but you point to the front yard and say what are you talking about just look at that it’s beautiful.
    For a fact the front yard looks terrific but it’s not the whole property and you didn’t even do the work yourself you hired a guy to make it look that way.

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