2014-05-21 / Columnists

Hot Laps

by Michael Perricone

While it first appeared that rain would cancel the action at Riverhead Raceway on Sat., May 10, 2014, Mother Nature was just teasing and the majority of the card was completed.

In modified action, there were unpredictable situations from the very beginning. In time trials, Howie Brode set fast time but when he redrew out of a hat he started in the eighth position. Conversely, John Fortin Sr. timed in the eighth position but drew the pole. Fortin then went on to win both of the twin 30s.

In Super Pro Trucks action, Lou Maestri of Deer Park followed his secondplace finish on opening night with a win. However, he had to do so while making sure to stay out of the action behind him. On what turned out to be the last lap of the contest, three trucks got involved in an altercation. Frank Dumicich Jr. took exception to close racing by Roger Turbush and Mike Albasini. At the conclusion of the event, Dumicich doubled back and purposely rammed Dave Koenig. The three drivers lost it, most notably Koenig, who got out of his truck to confront Dumicich. At press time, the final decision on fines and suspensions had not been reached.


Lou Maestri of Deer Park, #1, won the Super Pro Truck race on Week Two. Photo by Maria Gerdik Lou Maestri of Deer Park, #1, won the Super Pro Truck race on Week Two. Photo by Maria Gerdik In the Blunderbust Division, Jack Handley Jr. is perfect for 2014. He got his second victory in as many weeks in his #49.

In Legend action, the closest race of the night was contested. Timmy Solomito beat Brendan Bock to the line after spending almost the whole race side by side. Solomito captured the win by less than one car length. The last thing the track needed to see on this night was more water. However, Justin Strumpf blew a motor on lap 17 further watering the surface.

In charger action, Christopher Turbush and C.J. Lehmann staged there own sideby side battle with each driver spinning out and opening the door for eventual winner Eric Zeh.

Finally, in the Late Model division, Peter ”Buzzy” Eriksen, who couldn’t keep the 68 going in a straight line on opening weekend, obviously made the correct adjustments. The former late model champion led from pole to checkered flag. He had his hands full, however, as among the first four starters on the grid were Roger Oxee, Mike Bologna and Kenny Alfano.

At the beginning of the night, John Vullo was looking to go two for two in figure 8 action. However, Mother Nature had other ideas and the figure 8 feature was cancelled due to a wet course.

FROM THE PITS: Vullo basked in his opening night figure 8 win. He credited his new McBetts motor for the win. He also said, “That’s a hell of a good looking car, too bad the driver stinks.”.. Efforts to reach officials Mike Cappiello or Steve Tooker regarding the Truck race altercation were unsuccessful. When the final ruling on fines and/or suspensions are handed down it will appear in this space.

Special reporting was done for this column by Maria Gerdik.

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