PASS TAKES RYAN PREECE TO RIVERHEAD RACEWAY
GREEN EARTH TECHNOLOGIES 200 VICTORY LANE
Preece of Berlin, Ct. scored his fourth NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour victory of 2013 Saturday night
at Riverhead Raceway when he executed an inside pass
of Timmy Solomito with just 23 laps remaining in the
Green Earth Technologies 200. The win was Ryan's
third straight WMT triumph at the demanding quarter
mile oval which ties his with Mike Ewanitsko as the
only two drivers to score the Riverhead hat trick
winning three WMT races in a row. Preece took home
an estimated $6,000 in purse and bonus money for the
Rising talent Timmy Solomito won the Coors Light
Pole Award when he set the standard in pre-race
qualifying with a lap of 11.849 and "The Natural"
would be joined in the front row by Howie Brode, the
2013 NASCAR Modified champion for the Whelen
All-American Series at Riverhead Raceway. When the
green flag dropped over the 28 car field it was
Solomito bolting out front with Brode tucking into
second. However the first of what would be 13
caution flags during the race waved on lap 2 when Ed
Flemke Jr. came to a stop in turn two with a left
front flat. It would be a lap 12 restart that found
Ryan Preece able to slide under Brode for second
setting the stage for what would the fight for the
lead between Solomito and Preece that would last
some 165 laps.
Over that time Solomito, 21 and Preece 22 both
youthful and talented wheelmen showed great poise
and patience as they had to endure nearly a dozen or
so double file restarts side by side with the likes
of Brode, Justin Bonsignore and others all within
striking distance. Some restarts saw Solomito with
an edge off the fourth corner, while others finding
Preece seeming to have a run on the outside only to
be denied by the race leader. One restart after the
halfway point of the race saw both drivers spin
their tires just for a second before they could
quickly gather their cars up and go back to the
business of racing for the lead and win. In the
process both drivers were racking up bonus money in
the form of lap money as Timmy was earning Riverhead
Raceway regular bonus money, while Preece was
pocketing the leading WMT lap money raised by Jim
Schaefer, aka "the LI Mod Maniac".
Preece wasn't trying to take the lead on the outside
of Solomito on restarts he spent many a lap tucked
onto the rear spoiler of Solomito trying to slip
under the leader off the corners. Persistence
finally paid off on lap 177 for Ryan Preece as he
saw an opening going into the third turn and
squeezed his East-West Marine Ford under Solomito
for the lead. Once out front Ryan was able to edge
away from Solomito who suddenly found himself in a
fight for runner-up honors with Justin Bonsignore
who drove a smooth and steady race. Lap 194 saw
Justin able to get around Timmy going into the first
turn for the position while Solomito settled into
As the race came to an end Ryan Preece crossed under
the checker flag not only as the race winner but as
well increased his WMT championship lead over
defending champion Doug Coby to 46 points with three
races remaining. "I just love Riverhead" Preece
boasted in victory lane, "I knew around lap 100 if I
just stayed on Timmy I would find an opening sooner
or later". Ryan furthered, "I can't thank Sophie's
Restaurant enough for coming on board along with
East-West Marine, I mean three in a row and to have
my name mentioned with the great Mike Ewanitsko is
just awesome. When pressed by Riverhead announcer
Bob Finan as to what the future holds for him
starting with next season Ryan said "right now I
have no plans to be anywhere else next year and have
had no talks with anyone, I'd like to be right back
here though if nothing comes along".
Justin Bonsignore was runner up in his M3 Technology
Chevy and was very upbeat about his race afterwards,
"if you told me on Wednesday that we'd run up front
all night long and finish second I would have told
you I'll take it". However when he looked at what
could have been Justin admitted, "we set our car up
tight hoping for a long green flag run but that run
never came and kind of sunk our game plan". Owner
Ken Massa changed the engine program recently to
which Bonsignore added, "we just had to many
failures with our former engine builder but now we
are using Keith Elssaser and so far so good".
"The Natural" Timmy Solomito of Islip was third in
his Eastport Feeds entry and looked back on his day.
"Just a great day for us, won the pole and then led
177 laps, I just didn't have enough to hold off Ryan
but third is fine with me". Timmy added, "I can't
thank Wayne & Joette Anderson enough for this
opportunity and my Dad Jerry, he gave me a great
set-up to put us in a position for the win".
Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Ct. was fourth in the Mr.
Rooter Pontiac with Howie Brode of East Islip
steering his Peter Clark Motorsports Chevy to a
solid fifth place finish.
Eric Goodale of Riverhead, Rowan Pennink of
Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Ted Christopher of
Plainville, Ct., Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Ct. and
Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY completed the
Green Earth Technologies
200: 1. Ryan Preece 2. Justin Bonsignore
3. Timmy Solomito 4. Woody Pitkat 5. Howie Brode 6.
Eric Goodale 7. Rowan Pennink 8. Ted Christopher 9.
Todd Szegedy 10. Patrick Emerling 11. Donny Lia 12.
Shawn Solomito 13. Jamie Tomaino 14. Doug Coby 15.
Wade Cole 16. Ron Yuhas Jr. 17. Ed Flemke Jr. 18.
Glenn Reen 19. Gary McDonald 20. Ken Heagy 21. Bryon
Chew 22. Ron Silk 23. Frank Vigliarolo Jr. 24. John
Beatty Jr. 25. Bobby Santos 26. Mike Stefanik 27.
Eric Berndt 28. Cole Powell
Source: Bob Finan / Riverhead Raceway