The evening was a cloudy, windy, and an always possible chance of rain, with a storm making its way towards the island. There was a full card of racing, on Miller Light Night, and it began with the Legends. The race was fairly quiet, with a spinout and a pile-up in lap 7, involving cars 55, 01, 14, 39, bringing out the yellow flag. The #14 car would be done for the day. Lap 15 had cars 66 & 00 getting tangled up in turns 2&3. The race was won by car #53, driven by Kevin Nowak.
Super Pro Trucks took to the track as the race was marred by a few accidents. Truck #99 hit the wall in turns 1&2. In lap 2, truck #21 spun out bringing out the caution flag. In the end the race was won by Roger Turbush in the #88 truck.
Next up, the Late Models, was a accident filled race. There was a false start at the beginning, causing a re-start to the race. Lap 2, there was a pile-up in turn 3 involving cars 39, 1, 28, 77, 35. In lap 4 , a spinout involving car #12 brought out the yellow flag. Another pile-up in turn 3, Lap 4 had cars 7, 68, 77, 1, 12 all coming together. Lap 15, had car # 08 hitting car #88 in turn 2, causing car #08 to be done for the day. Car # 88, driven by Shawn Patrick, started in the fourth position took the checkered flag for the win, his second victory this year, and 17 years to the day he won his first Late Model Race.
The Modifieds took the track in what would be another accident filled race. In lap 4, a 4 car pile-up involving cars 59, 34, 84, 04 brought the race to a halt, with yours truly having car #04 rolling up to my ankles while I was shooting the whole scene(so you want to be a photographer??). Car #59 was done for the day. Lap 5 had cars 16 & 0 colliding, after #0 had already hit the wall seconds before. Ironically, both cars are owned by the same person, Tom Rogers Jr. In lap 10, turn 4, car #14 spins out, causing the other racers to look for ways not to collide with him. Cool heads and slick driving skills prevailed, and it was accident free. In the end, the #51 car, driven by Justin Bonsignore, was the winner. His second win in two weeks.
The highlight of the evening was Tonny Petersens Hell Drivers. After careful preparation, with the crew setting up ramps, and checking last minute items, the announcer worked the crowd into a frenzy with everyone in the stands expecting to see stunts from days gone by (remember Joie Chitwood's Hell Drivers ??), but alas, this show would be as exciting as watching butter melt. There were a few stunts, cars criss-crossing inches from each other, cars with men standing on the roof, going over small ramps, a gentleman who strapped himself to the roof of a car, and through a burning hay barrier. We also watched as Tonny Petersen drove his Dodge Ram Pick-Up around the track on two wheels, ho-hum. The crowd was not happy at this point, bringing out the Boo-Birds in the stands. If you had never seen anything like this in your life, it was interesting for the first ten minutes, but it burned out quickly, like the torch they used to light the fire. In the words of one person on the infield with me for this show," I enjoy the rollovers more, it has more excitement".
See you next week............ At The Races !!
RiverheadLOCAL photos by George Faella. To order reprints, email the photographer. Click here.