Less than 24 hours removed from celebrating a family members wedding Vinny Delaney of East Islip kept the party going Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway when he won a non-stop 25 lap Eagle Auto Mall Crate Modified feature event with many of those family and friends from the nuptials the night before watching on. Vinny is currently the hottest driver in the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at Riverhead winning his third race in five starts since June 20th as a near capacity crowd looked on.
Dennis Krupski and Mike Albasini brought the field down for the start with Albasini breaking out front while Delaney quickly came from third to second before the first lap was completed. There is perhaps no driver in the Crate Modified class that has suffered through now nearly two years of hard racing luck than Albasini and the Queens, NY body shop owner looked like he might be able to rid himself of some of that tough racing luck. However Vinny Delaney was riding the leaders back bumper and was evaluating how he might make an attempt at the lead, a decision he was going to have to make fast as Mark Stewart, Michael Berner and Alex Colasanto lined up behind the second place car. After taking a look inside once or twice Delaney quickly realized if he were to pass Albasini for the lead he’d have to do it the old fashioned way, to the outside. Delaney indeed ventured up to the outside and when he did Albasini gave him plenty of racing room rather than squeeze him into the fence and on lap 19 exiting the fourth turn to start the 20th circuit Delaney was the new race leader. With just six laps to go in the contest Vinny Delaney would keep his Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy at the front of the field for the victory.
“I can’t say enough about Mike Albasini” were the first words uttered by race winner Delaney in victory lane, “the man raced me clean, gave me all the room in the world outside, I thank him for that cause he really wanted and needed to win this race”. Not lost on Vinny was the fact that many of the wedding guests from the Billy Dooley/Erin Kraft gala were on hand including NASCAR Cup spotter Freddie Kraft, “yeah this win is very special for two reasons, all the family members and friends in town but also this is my third win of the year and I dedicate number 3 to Honda Rob who we tragically lost in the off season. He is sorely missed”.
When the dust settled Michael Berner of Patchogue was runner-up in his Pro Diesel Chevy while Mike Albasini of Flushing came home third in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy and afterwards reflected on what could have been, “I could have ran him all over the place but I don’t race that way. We finished and got third after some tech issues and all the wheels are on it, this year that is a win”.
The Blunderbusts ran their second race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series a 30-lap affair with “Mad” Max Handley of Medford scoring a clean sweep of the proceedings. Qualifying saw Handley, a UNOH graduate break his own track record from last October when he toured the quarter mile at 14.420 while Eddie Diaz turned some heads qualifying second at 14.518. The duo brought the field to the green with Handley gaining the edge over Diaz and edge that Max would hold the entire race. However behind Handley and Diaz was where the action was as several championship contenders had issues during the extra distance contest. Cody Triola came to the race the championship leader by 34 over Tom Pickerell but both drivers suffered misfortune finishing in the bottom half of the top ten, luckily for Triola he had that cushy 34-point lead coming to the race. When the checker flag waved Max Handley in the Hydro Action Caprice celebrated his third win of the season, fifth of his career. Eddie Diaz of Centereach was a strong runner-up in the Village Cigar Headquarters entry while Brandon Hubbard of Mastic was third in the United Exhaust Shop Chevy with that finish moving him to second in points 25 back of championship leader Triola. The final race of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series for the Blunderbusts will be run Saturday September 4th, Max Handley leads the MLTCS ranking going into the finale.
Another driver getting hot at the right time of the season is INEX Legend Race Car 20-lap feature event winner “Blankets” Joey Braun of Manorville who for the second time in the past three races took down the win. Heading into this Saturday’s (August 7th) 50-lap US Legend Cars National Qualifier Braun off his recent hot streak may be the odds on favorite to win. Third generation driver Sean McElearney broke from the pole to take the early lead chased on the first lap by Mike Van Houten Jr. before “V-Ride” was passed by Riely O’Keefe. McElearney, a third generation racer and the grandson of the late Paul McElearney showed well of himself at the front of the field leading the eight laps of the tilt. However when the yellow waved on lap 8 for championship contender Eric Hersey who spun the ensuing double file restart would be a game changer for the race lead. Joey Braun who started the race 7th made his way by O’Keefe just one lap prior to the Hersey spin would line-up alongside McElearney for the resumption of the race. When the race restarted Braun in the Miller & Caggiano Attorney At Law racer would power his way to the race lead, a lead he’d never look back from driving off to his 5th career Riverhead Raceway win. Over the second half of the race position changes were aplenty for second with O’Keefe in the O’Keefe getting by McElearney on lap 13 but just two laps later O’Keefe was passed for second by eventual runner-up Anthony Marsh of Riverhead in the Riverhead Trailer entry, Anthony started 8th on the grid. Allan Pedersen of Center Moriches was able to make a late race charge for third in the CheckerWon Manufacturing machine. O’Keefe in the Old farms Racing mount of Pat Moore faded to fourth late.
The Vintage All Stars made thier second appearance of 2021 Saturday with Don Howe of Water Mill as he did 28 times in his Wall of Fame NASCAR Modified career took down the win in the Corwith’s Auto Body Cavalier. The 15-lap race was a thriller with newcomer Jason Agugliaro of Islip now wheeling the Kevin Bacik Motorsports Tony Hischman tribute car leading until the final turn of the final lap where he was passed by Howe, a five time track champion.
For the third time this year Brian Brown of Riverhead scored the Street Stock victory as he won the final 30-lap installment of the Miller Lite Triple Crown Series. However Brian would have to share the spotlight with defending track champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst who set a new track qualifying record (14.135) and would come away as the 2021 Miller Lite Triple Crown Series champion finishing second to Brown in the feature. Starting from the pole Dave Antos broke to the early race lead over Brian Brown who qualified second with a time of 14.163. A early caution flag waved for Luke Foerster who spun his machine and when the race resumed it would be Brown taking the race lead while Antos filed into second. Brown steering the Robert’s Express Oil Chevy came to the race as the overall track championship leader by 5 over Brian McCormack never looked back again and drove to his 7th career Street Stock victory increasing his championship lead in the process. Dave Antos, who earlier in the season skipped a race for his daughter’s 21st Birthday was runner-up and crowned Miller Lite Triple Crown Series champion in his EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo. Gerard Lawrence of Miller Place was third in his Arthur Edwards Pools & Spas Chevy.
Tony Collinsworth of Calverton scored a popular first career Mini Stock win as he won their 20-lap main event. Early on Joe Cooke Jr. had one of his best showings as he led the first 12 laps of the main event with Tony Collinsworth in tow since the throw of the green. On lap 12 entering the third turn the driver dubbed “Tree Trunk” Tony due to the fact he owns Suffolk Tree Works made a bid for the lead entering the third turn ducking under leader Cooke. By the time the tandem started the 14th lap Collinsworth was the new race leader with Cooke now giving chase. Most recent winner Ryan Warren moved by Cooke with just five laps remaining in the race and that would prove to be too little, too late as Tony Collinsworth took the checker flag first for his first ever visit to the winners circle. Ryan Warren of Ridge was a closing runner-up in the Schhmidt’s Produce Market Cavalier while Paul Wojcik of Patchogue crossed the line third in the Moe’s Southwest grill Restaurants of Long Island entry.
Armed with a fourth place starting berth for the 40-lap Truck Enduro was enough to propel veteran driver Woot Lawrence of Southampton to his first win of the season. Second generation talent Bobby Pease Jr. led the first two laps from the pole before he was overhauled by Woot Lawrecne to the inside off turn two for the lead on the third lap. Pease showed well of himself early on running second to leader Lawrence until the 15th lap when he was passed by former champion Phil LaManna who executed an inside pass of Pease racing down the homestretch. As the race moved along Woot Lawrence in the Gregor Well Drilling Chevy drove off to victory while Phil LaManna of Smithtown was runner up in the EP Milling & Sweeping S-10. Championship leader Mariah Lawrence of Southampton, younger sister to Woot was third across the line in her sponsor wanted machine.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Vinny Delaney 2. Michael Berner 3. Mike Albasini 4. Alex Colasanto 5. Matt Brode 6. Eric Hersey 7. AJ DeSantis 8. Sean Glennon 9. Owen Grennan 10. Richie Davidowitz 11. Stephen Coleman 12. Artie Pedersen III 13. Dennis Krupski 14. Mark Wolf 15. Chase Grennan 16. Ken Southard 17. Terry Stiles DQ- Mark Stewart, Steve Ratti DNS- Rich Gerbe
Blunderbusts: 1. Max Handley 2. Eddie Diaz 3. Brandon Hubbard 4. Tom Sullivan 5. Bill Wegmann Jr. 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Gary Caldwell 8. Jim laird Jr. 9. Cody Triola 10. Tom Pickerell 11. Alyssa Paprocky 12. Kyle Halpin 13. Bill Wegmann Sr. DNS- Joshua Creel
Legend Race Cars: 1. Joey Braun 2. Anthony Marsh 3. Allan Pedersen 4. Riely O’Keefe 5. Kevin Nowak 6. George Tomko Jr. 7. Brad Van Houten 8. Sean McElearney 9. Jeff Otto Jr. 10. Scott Cheslak 11. Jason Castaldo 12. Nick Morabito 13. Jason Agugliaro 14. Eric Hersey 15. Mike Benton 16. Ray Fitzgerald 17. Charlie Hodge 18. Jake Curran 19. Jim Sylvester 20. Mike Van Houten Jr. 21. Chris Sinatro 22. Shawn Wanat 23. Alex Halinar 24. Jerry Curran 25. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 26. Christopher Coleman 27. Christian Conklin
Street Stocks: 1. Brian Brown 2. Dave Antos 3. Gerard Lawrence 4. Chris Lescenski 5. Jay Henschel 6. Rhett Fogg 7. Brian McCormack 8. Roger Oxee 9. Alyssa Paprocky 10. Danny Pizzo 11. Robbie Blackmore 12. James DiPietro 13. Carmine Ragusa 14. Luke Foerster
Mini Stocks: 1. Tony Collinsworth 2. Ryan Warren 3. Paul Wojcik 4. CJ Zukowski 5. Tom Puccia 6. Christian Conklin 7. James O’Connell 8. Scott Phillips 9. Bob Dalke 10. Jesse St. Clair 11. Andrew Farnham 12. Martin O’Connell 13. Nick Kocis 14. Joe Cooke Jr.
Truck Enduro: 1. Woot Lawrence 2. Phil LaManna 3. Mariah Lawrence 4. Jarrett Campbell 5. Gary Voight 6. Amber Weiss 7. Don Nelson 8. Kerry Botts 9. Dusty Cole 10. Brian Dean 11. Mark Russo 12. Kevin McCarthy 13. Emily Hubbard 14. Danielle Cohen 15. John Schultz 16. Jackie Germuth 17. Whitney Williams 18. Justin McGrady 19. Doug Tittle 20. Kayla Kelly 21. Bobby Pease Jr. 22. Brandon LaManna 23. Daniel Creegan