2014-06-11 / Columnists

Hot Laps

by Michael Perricone

Historically, there are two ways to win races at Riverhead Raceway. One is sideby side action, the other where a leader gets out in front while the field spins, wrecks or otherwise takes themselves out of contention trying to catch up. Both modes were in evidence on May 31, 2014.

In Modified action, Howie Brode of East Islip swept both of the Twin 30s after he got out front with about 10 laps to go in the first event. Until then, Brode bided his time while the front of the field eliminated each other and engendered bad feelings, most notably among the Timmy Solomito and the Tom Rogers, Jr. camps. Once Brode found his way to the front, he was able to stay there for the remaining 40 laps and capture two wins.

In the Super Pro Truck event, young phenom Mark Stewart lurked near the front while Lou Maestri, Dave Koenig and Mike Albasini staged an epic battle for the lead. Finally, when Roger Turbush sustained a flat tire, Stewart charged past his family member and everyone else to capture the win.


Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen, #68, won the Late Model feature on May 31, 2014. Photo by Maria Gerdik Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen, #68, won the Late Model feature on May 31, 2014. Photo by Maria Gerdik In Blunderbust action, Jimmy White, Jr. captured his second win of the season in the Busy Bee Pest Control #32. White had to contend with teammate Bryan Sescilia and the star of the division so far, Jack Handley, Jr., who finished second.

For the second week in a row, mechanical woes robbed some Late Model drivers of their chance to be competitive. Kevin Metzger of Massapequa was running up front until a drive shaft broke. Another example was Roger Oxee, who had the right front quarter panel hanging from his car to end his night.

In the end, Peter “Buzzy” Eriksen crossed the line first to take the checkered flag.

Finally, Brad Van Houten scored his first Legend Division win of 2014 in the #09.

FROM THE PITS: Frank Dumacich, Jr. returned from a two-race suspension in the #42 truck...Joe Ambrose, owner of the #0 and the #3 Modified, confirmed that Jason Agugliaro will pilot the #3 while the Islip resident has his motor repaired. Agugliaro again wished to thank Ambrose, Tom Rogers, Jr. and the team for the ride...Jimmy White, Jr. left a family wedding to get his first Blunderbust win of 2014. After the second win this week, I asked team owner James White if any family gatherings were planned: “Maybe a funeral,” he quipped.

Maria Gerdik contributed to the reporting of this column.

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