It was a big night over at the raceway as last week was a washout, with Tropical storm Irene hitting us with the big blow. So the racing faithful were ready for some end of season action. It would be a full card of racing from Super Pro trucks to Monster Trucks.
First up were the Super Pro Trucks, a 20 lap race that was a quiet but surprising race. The # 95 truck driven by Erin Dumichich started in second but took over first place in lap 3. In lap 18 there was a tangle up between truck # 81 & truck # 5, with truck # 97 running over some debris causing a flat tire. In the end, Erin Dumichich, in truck # 95 took the checkered flag, her first ever victory, and the first female driver to take the checkered flag since 1998.
Next were the Blunderbust cars, in a 20 lap race. The first few laps had there share of accidents, in lap 1 car # 78 hits the wall, in lap 4, car # 32 spins out in turn 2 as cars 84 & 58 just missed causing a pile up. In lap 6, car # 77 spins out with a little help from car # 49 in turn 2. Car # 8, driven by Jessica Cohan got into a scrum with car # 77 Tim MulQueen over a flat tire issue. She exited her car and nearly chased him down the track. In the end the victory would go to car # 49, Jack Handley Jr. 15 years of age , his first victory ever. Maybe a learners permit is in his future?
Chargers division gave us a 20 lap race. A few mishaps in the early stages, with a tight race going into turn 1, the # 1, # 7, # 6 car were positioning into the turn as #1 moved up the turn causing # 7 to hit #6 pushing him into the wall in a shower of sparks. The side of # 6 car was not the only thing that was hot as driver Wes Zaleski got his car going after the caution, and took liberties with the side of the # 7 car, driven by Darryl Baker. When that was said and done car # 43 driven by Ray Minieri was the winner. This was his second win of the year.
In the 35 lap Nascar Modified race, an accident filled race, with tempers flaring. In lap 5, turn 3 & 4, a 5 car pile-up involving cars 53, 20, 51, 69, with car # 49 getting the most damage, losing a tire after crashing into the wall.
The start of lap 5 was once again stopped as car # 14 suffered a broken axle and came to a halt in a wake of sparks by turn 3 & 4. In a tight race between car # 03, driven by Kenny Darch and car # 84 driven by John Fortin, with car # 20 driven by Bill Park taking up the rear, it was a see-saw battle for position. But a mishap in lap 26 causing Kenny Darch, in the # 03 car to hit the wall, forcing him out of the race, giving car # 84 the lead for good. In the end, John Fortin would take the checkered flag for his second victory in a row, and 26th career win.
In the evenings much anticipated event, the monster trucks rolled out onto the infield to the delight of the kids and adults in the stands, their first appearance this year at Riverhead Raceway. The line up consisted of the MegaMerc monster truck, driven by "Super" Steve (no last name required) from Islip, NY, the Viper truck, driven by Rich Blackman, out of New Jersey, and the world famous Bigfoot, driven by Rick Long, from St. Louis, MO. The show was an "open freestyle " competition between the three to see who could pulverize the cars lined up on the track. In a battle of the baddest, high flying, HUGE (you cannot fathom the true size of these beasts) trucks, there was nothing left to the cars but memories of what they once looked like. The crowd totally enjoyed this show, with its dust, dirt and glass shards flying everywhere. I would have to say the kids n the audience were thrilled with the show. There were more smiles in the stands than at a dentists convention.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the photos, and the commentary. This is probably going to be my last post, as other assignments take me elsewhere. I hope you enjoyed everything I have offered, my thanks to Riverheadlocal.com for providing me with the space to do this, great website, keep up your support, Denise & Peter are great people, the heart and soul of Riverhead, My wife JoAnn for keeping great notes at the track while I shot the photos, Riverhead Raceway, good, friendly people, a down home venue. To all the motor heads, and race fans - Keep the engines revving, and hope to see you again soon !!
Thanks to all who always gave me a Facebook "LIKE" thumbs up!
RiverheadLOCAL photos by George Faella. To order prints, please contact the photographer directly. Click here to send him an email