It was “I Love America” night at the raceway this evening, and the races got off to a good start with the Super Pro Trucks. It was a 20 lap race, with the lead changing hands a few times. The #95 truck driven by Erin Dumicich started at second position but took the lead going into the 7th lap. She was neck and neck with truck #3, driven by Peter Rotzi, but she overtook him for the lead. Truck #3 spun out in lap 10,. Truck #1 driven by Lou Maestri was trying to pass truck #95, causing #95 to lose control and hit the wall in the backstretch. Truck #95 was done for the evening. Truck #42 driven by Frank Dumicich also spun out after a close call with truck #88, driven by Roger Turbush. In the end, truck #1, driven by Lou Maestri took the checkered flag for his first victory of 2011.
Next up were the Legends, another 20 lap race filled with accidents. At the start there was a 5 car pile up in turn 2 involving cars 33, 39, 66, 71, 19. Cars 33, 19, 71 did not return. In lap 2, there was a major pile-up in turn 4, involving multiple cars. Car #’s 01, 11, 17, 94 with car #11, driven by Tom Marsh going airborne. Remarkably all cars returned and were able to race. In turn 2 of lap 3, car #66 driven by Vincent Biondolillo hit the wall, without incident. Lap 12, there was a spin out on the front stretch involving cars #53 driven by Kevin Nowak and car #99 driven by Tim Solomito opening the door for car #49, driven by Chris Young to take the lead, and the checkered flag. His fifth win of the year, putting him 14 points ahead in the Legends division.
In the Charger division, a 20 lap race also provided the crowd with excitement in lap 12, when car #17, driven by Eric Zeh and car #5 driven by Jeremy McDermott collided coming out of turn 4 sending both cars into the wall at full speed with an resounding thud. A red flag was brought out as both drivers were okay, and the track crew cleaned up the mess. Another rare sight had cars 42, 81, and 89 riding three abreast in the turn, with car 81, driven by Chris Turbush pulling ahead for the victory, a daring move that paid off. It was Chris Turbush’s 29th career victory.
In a 15 lap Figure-eight race, the cars were full speed ahead. In lap 4, turn 1 car #15 driven by Mike Mujsce was the top car in another daring three abreast move with cars #6, and #16. Car #15 hit the wall, causing him to send a shower of sparks through the middle of the track, finally stopping at turn #3. Lap 7 a caution was raised as car #2 spun out in center track, and stalled. The car was started up and was back in the race. In lap 15 cars 77 and 16 tangle up battling for the finish, but crash. Car #28, driven by Roger Maynor took the checkered flag for his second victory in two weeks.
In the Modified’s, a 35 lap race had some thrills. In lap 5, turn 1 car #8 driven by Ed Brunnhoelzl hit the wall, causing him to be done for the night. In lap 8, turn 3, car #66 driven by Shawn Solomito spun out, causing a 3 car pile up involving #16, 84, 09. Cars 09 and 16 needed to be separated by the tow drivers and track officials to untangle metal. The incident was red flagged. Lap 12, turn 2, the #74 spun out, bringing out a yellow flag for some clean up. In lap 23 there was an accident between #04 driven by Amber Fortin and #25 driven by Frank Saladino after car #04 spun out and ca #25 couldn’t avoid hitting her. Both cars were done for the night. Lap 29, car #69 spins out in turn 3&4, once again bringing out the yellow flag. In lap 33, car 74 spun out again, bringing out the yellow flag. In the end, the victory went to car #84, driven by John Fortin. It was his 25th career win.
The raceway provided a fireworks display in honor of “I Love America” night. it was quite a show, patriotic music and great fireworks had the crowd yelling for more. Let’s also not forget those men and women who serve in our armed forces, say a prayer, and keep them in your thoughts, as well as all those who have fought in the past wars for this great country. And say a little prayer for all the great americans who lost their lives on 9-11, with the ten year anniversary just around the corner.
I’ll see you next week motor heads……………at the RACES !!
RiverheadLOCAL photos by George Faella. To order reprints please contact the photographer. Click here to send him an email.