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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Ever since the first visit of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back in 1985 at Barbara & Jim Cromarty's Riverhead Raceway, Long Island race fans have looked forward to when the cars and stars of the traveling circuit visit the historic quarter mile oval. The excitement is again building towards this Saturday evening when the Riverhead 200 will be contested with $5,000 awaiting the winner. Jimmy Spencer of Berwick, Pa won the very first NASCAR WMT event at Riverhead some 26-years ago, and everyone wonders who will be the latest driver to write their name into the record books?

Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct is the defending race winner of the Riverhead 200 and is part of a youth movement of sorts on the 2010 version of the NASCAR WMT. Aside from Preece another of the young talents to watch will be current WMT points leader Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Ma. as well the leading Rookie driver on the tour, Long Island's own Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, who comes to the Riverhead 200 seventh in the series point rankings. Richie Pallai Jr. of Yorktown Heights, NY is another young lion on the WMT and made two visits to Riverhead in May to get aquatinted with the tricky quarter mile. Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, Pa. and Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, who won the NASCAR Hall of Fame 100 in May, also have logged laps at Riverhead in 2010 and may have a leg up for the 200. Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY will drive a car owned in part by Tommy Baldwin Jr. for the 200 and recently had a runner-up finish at the Monadnock, NH quarter mile.

The trusty core of WMT veterans await the youngsters to do battle in the Riverhead 200 Saturday as Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct looks to grab another Riverhead 200 trophy for his Long Island based car owner Ed Whalen. Joining Ted are Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Ct., Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ, Ed Flemke Jr. of Southington, Ct., Jamie Tomaino of Howell, NJ., Eric Beers of Northampton, Pa., Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct and Wade Cole of Riverton, Ct.

Aside from impressive freshman driver Justin Bonsignore the roster of drivers who call the WMT home during the race season always look forward to this exciting event coming to Riverhead Raceway. Glenn Tyler of Hampton Bays, Johnny Bush of Huntington, Kevin & Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Ken Heagy of Calverton, Gary McDonald of Ronkonkoma and Joe Hartmann of Riverhead all ran Riverhead on a weekly basis at one time or another.

The regulars of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series that compete weekly at the Route 58 oval are gearing-up for the Riverhead 200 as well as Chuck Steuer of Bohemia, Howie Brode of East Islip, John Fortin of Holtsville, Tom Rogers Jr. of Patchogue and Bill Park of Manorville all hope to make a splash Saturday evening.

Time trial qualifying to determine the first 16 starters for the 200 will take place at 4:30 pm, while a 25-lap qualifying race, if needed, will be contested at 6:00 pm. The Riverhead 200 is scheduled to go green at 8:30 pm.

Time trials for the Blunderbust and Charger divisions of Riverhead Raceway will follow the WMT time trials while their 30-lap feature events will be run after the 25-lap WMT qualifying race.

For additional information call 631-842-RACE or visit www.riverheadraceway.com.

  Source: Bob Finan / Riverhead Raceway
Posted: July 26, 2010

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