Monday, August 13 2012 09:52
Hi All, and welcome to another edition of "AT THE RACES".
In spite of cloudy, dark skies Saturday afternoon, with rain looming in the distance, it was be a great night of racing on Miller Lite Race Night at Riverhead Raceway. So motor heads, let's get to it...
First race: a 20-lap, 13-Super Pro Truck event, found newcomer Rich Campo, in the #38 truck, in just his 10th start, jump out to an early lead with Mike "King of Queens" Albisini, in the #66 truck and Frank Dumicich Sr., in the #5 truck, hot on his tail. Dumicich moved past Albisini by lap 4. On lap 10, Albisini moved back to second and set his sights on race leader Campo. It would prove not to be Campo's night, as he was 6 laps from victory when he spun out in turn 1, and on the single file restart, Albisini would take the lead, with Dumicich Sr. and Frank Dumicich Jr., in the #42 truck both battling for second. In the end, the "King of Queens" Mike Albisini, in the Gardner Specialty Auto Chevy would grab the checkers, his 8th career victory.
Second race: a 20-lap, 27-car Legends race, would be a game of skill. With the wink of the green, Jeffery Goodale, in the # 46 car vaulted out to take the lead, with teammate Brad Van Houten, in the #43 car a close second. By lap 3, Van Houten was overtaken by Kevin Nowak, in the #53 car, who had made his way from 5th to 2nd. Lap 6 brought out a yellow caution, and a double file restart, which worked in Nowak's favor, by lap 7 he grabs the lead from Goodale. Goodale found himself in a battle for second with Brandon Bock, in the #33 car, but by lap 15, after a heated battle between the two teenagers, Bock would grab 2nd place. In the end, it would be Kevin Nowak, in the Tropical Smoothies Cafe Sedan getting his first victory of 2012.
Third race: a 35-lap, 18-car NASCAR Miller Lite Night Modified Feature race. It would be a wild race with some of the top drivers finding themselves in some wild situations. With the throw of the green, Shawn Solomito, in the #66 car, took the lead, with John Fortin, in the #48 car, and Tom Rogers Jr. in the #0 car a close second. By lap 4, a double-file restart saw Solomito in 1st, with Fortin in tow at 2nd, and Ryan Preece, in the # 20 car getting by Rogers for 3rd. It would prove to be an intense battle between Fortin and Preece for second until lap 10, when Preece snuck under Fortin and grabbed 2nd. Preece set his sights on Solomito, and Fortin was now battling Ted Christopher, in the #15 car for the 3rd position. Christopher would gain 3rd as the rest of the veteran field was having problems of there own. Howie Brode, in the #96 car tangled with Timmy Solomito, in the #99 car, which forced both to the pits. Rogers would get the black flag, for a loose overflow bottle, caused by earlier contact with another car sent him to the pits for a few laps. But as the checkered square waved, it would be Shawn Solomito, who earlier survived an infield spinout on the grass, in his Acme sanitary Service Chevy taking the Miller Lite trophy for the victory.
Fourth race: a 20-lap, a 14-car Chargers event. In an emotional race, which had alot of meaning for one driver Cory Midgett, in the #14 car, it would prove to be a great race. The wink of the green found Midgett, jumping into the lead with Brian Doyle, in the #73 car a close 2nd as the rest of the field settled in. On lap 4, a nasty tangle up between just about all the cars, with the exception of a few lucky drivers, found Derek Stachecki, in the #33 car, "Radient" Ray Minieri, in the #43 car, Brian Doyle, in the 73 car, all colliding in turn 1, bringing out both the yellow caution, track services, Brigandi Brothers tow truck, and an ambulance to the scene. When the mayhem was cleared, it would be Midgett once again jumping out front, with John Baker, in the #07 car in 2nd, and championship contender Eric Zeh, in the #34 car 3rd. For the remainder of the race, Midgett would not be daunted, as he took the checkered square in his R.Bono Plumbing and Heating car, his 1st victory in just 10 starts.
On a side note, Midgett had dedicated the win to his brother Brian Midgett Jr., who weeks earlier was in a head-on collision in their hometown of East Hampton. They both cried as Brian held the Miller Lite Trophy, sitting in his wheelchair he is forced to use while his legs heal. All the best to Brian for a speedy recovery, and the best to the Midgett family.
The late model race was canceled due to rain, and will be rescheduled at a later date.
The Four Cylinder Demolition Derby was won by Andrew Fowler, in his Timmy's Towing car. He outlasted a field of 16 other cars for the victory.
The evening also provided some entertainment for the younger crowd, as Megasaurus, a silver tank, with a fire breathing dragon inside came onto the infield. The doors on top opened, and out came a huge, red-eyed, fire-breathing dragon, which coincidentally reminded me of my ex. But that aside, it made small work of a defenseless car by chewing it in half, and then dropping what ever it could not swallow, while spitting fire from its jaws. Truly a marvel of technology, the kids loved it, as the cheers rang loud, right up until the dragon's last belch. I guess he was full.
Well race fans, I hope the rain subsides, and we have a water-free Saturday next week. It was a spectacular night of racing, as always Brigandi Brothers towing, the best, track services, great bunch of hard workers keeping the raceway clean and safe for the drivers, Turn One Cowboys, HOWDY, Wendy at the VIP booth, a real sweetheart. Barbara & Jim Cromarty, great venue, great folks. Rich, a fellow photog, good job.
Well gonna dry myself off, get some grub, wish the Mrs. a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I Love You, you're the best.
See you next week... "AT THE RACES"
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RiverheadLOCAL photos by George Faella.
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