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The 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at the Riverhead Raceway this Saturday night will bring with it a different bonus payoff format. The more than $16,000 in combined added bonus money, paid and raised by avid Riverhead Modified fan Jim Schaefer, is expected to be a bit of a "Gamble" for some drivers.

An amount of $300 in cash will be made available to each driver entering the 175-lap race, as it was in 2011, but this time drivers will be asked if they would like to give it back. Each driver who elects to do so will become a "Gambler". For example, if six drivers do so, then the highest finisher among those six drivers will earn an extra $1,800.

"I think the $300 gamblers idea is pretty cool," stated Ryan Preece, who will wheel the Flamingo Motorsports 16 for the first time at Riverhead. "Jim Schaefer has taken this race and really turned it into something special, and if you walk through the pit area on Saturday you will find many more drivers and car owners who feel the same way."

Thousands in additional bonus money will be paid out as well. Every lap run will be worth at least an extra $20, with half going to the race leader, and half being paid to the highest running Riverhead regular driver. This lap money program supported by race fans will add more than $4,400 in cash to the overall purse.

Also, there is something called the "Modified Maniac Triple Crown Bonus" to be decided on Saturday night as well. It's a $1,500 winner-take-all bonus paid to the driver with the best average finish at the Monadnock WMT race on May 12, the Star (N.H.) Speedway Modified Open on June 16, and this Riverhead 175.

Currently Ryan Preece leads the standings, and he can win the $1,500 bonus over Doug Coby, Todd Szegedy and Mike Stefanik by finishing seventh or better no matter where the other contenders finish.

Additional bonuses include an extra $1,000 to the race winner, $500 for the "Mike Ewanitsko Hard Charger of the Race", as voted on by contributors, $1,000 to the winner of the qualifying race.

"The Riverhead Tour race is now not only my race of champions, but for all of Long Island and beyond," Schaefer noted. "It has extra sentimental value, and this is our way of showing appreciation for the tour coming to Riverhead.

"This is the first year where donations from other race fans have exceeded what I myself have put into the event. People like A.J. Hackert have really gone above and beyond what I ever expected to make this a true community supported special event."

Practice for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event begins Saturday at 2:00 PM, with the 175-lap event set to begin around 8:30 PM. For more information check out the Riverhead Raceway facebook page or log onto the track web site at www.riverheadraceway.com.

Source: Kevin Rice
Posted: July 23, 2012

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