Roger Oxee takes 63rd Career Win on Rapid Recovery Towing Night

Most drivers don’t like racing under the glow of a full moon, but this weekend they did battle under the super moon. Crazy things typically happen at short tracks when the moon is full, but that wasn’t really the case at Riverhead Raceway on June 22nd. The large crowd was treated to 35 laps for the NASCAR Modifieds, twin-15 lap features for the Late Models, Legends, Blunderbusts, a 4/6 Cylinder Truck Enduro, as well as an exhibition for the East End Kart Racers for the Rapid Recovery Towing Night.

The night started off with the Late Models taking time-trials for their special twin-15s and it was Roger Oxee posting the fastest lap in his No. 39 machine with a time of 12.588 seconds. The field then did a redraw for the top eight starting positions and it was Oxee who lucked out and got to start from the pole position. Scott Kulesa drew second, third for Shawn Patrick, fourth for Jeremy McDermott and Chris La Spisa rounded out the top five.

Heat races for the Legends division followed the Late Models. The first race started with Mike Van Houten on the pole, but Bryan Kelly quickly jumped to the lead and led all eight laps. He held off Anthony Marsh and Artie Pedersen III.

The second heat race started with Allan Pedersen on the pole, but he quickly got shuffled to fourth before the first lap ended. Frank Scimeca Jr. jumped to the lead and held off Christian Conklin, Richie Davidowitz and Timmy Solomito for the victory.

The final heat race started with Joe Sedotto on the pole, but he also lost the lead quickly. Justin Strumpf put his No. 15 car out front and held on for the victory by beating Brendon Bock and Kyle Ellwood.

Time trials for the Modifieds followed the Legend heat races. Only nine cars took time, even though 12 cars started the feature. It was the lowest car count of the season so far for the Modifieds. Last week’s winner, Tom Rogers Jr. put up the fastest time with a lap of 11.806 seconds. The Modifieds did a redraw, as they do every week, and Dave Brigati drew the top spot. David Roys drew the outside pole position and Rogers drew third. Jason Agugliaro and Kevin Orlando completed the top five.

The features started with 20 laps for the Blunderbusts. Paul Parisi started on the pole with Justin Wahl to his outside and Parisi quickly cleared Wahl to lead the first lap of the race. The caution came out on lap five when Wahl’s left-rear tire came off of the car and caused Wahl to spin around.  Parisi’s car had a lot of smoke coming from the right rear before the caution came out, and track officials made him pit to try to fix the issue during the caution period. The race restarted with the 76 of William J. Wegmann leading Tom Puccia, Ed Mistretta, Brian Brown, and William A. Wegmann. Jack Handley Jr. was on the move over the next seven laps. He started the race in 12th, but he moved his way into second place by lap 12. The second caution of the race came out on lap 13 when William A. Wegmann spun out in the fluid that was leaking from his car in turn four. Tom Sullivan, Scott Maliszewski and Tommy Walkowiak were also involved. William J. Wegmann led the field to the green on the restart in single-file formation. Handley made quick work of Wegmann and took the lead in turn two on lap 15. Handley didn’t look back and won his first race of the season after coming close on two previous occasions.

“It feels great to finally get it off my back,” said Handley. “We have had a lot of bad luck this year, but we finally got the win.” At the conclusion of the victory lane ceremonies, Handley’s car was towed back to the pits he said after, “When I tried to put it in gear for the victory lap it just wouldn’t go, but at least we got to the finish line.”

Tom Pickerell leads Jimmy White Jr. in the Blunderbust point standings by six points. Pickerell has 212 points while White has 206. Tommy Walkowiak is eight points behind Pickerell, Scott Maliszewski is 10 points behind, and Handley trails Pickerell by 20.

The Legends followed the Blunderbusts with a 20-lap feature of their own. Bryan Kelly started on the pole position with Frank Scimeca Jr. to his outside. Scimeca got the jump on Kelly right off the bat, but had to do it all over again when the caution flew before the first lap was completed for a spin in turn two. That wasn’t a problem for Scimeca though as he did the same thing again. Scimeca took off and went right to the lead. The second caution came out on lap four when Anthony Marsh spun in turn four. Chris Rogers and Alex Urbina were also involved. Urbina spun and Rogers drove right over the top of Urbina’s hood causing a lot of damage to Urbina’s No. 19 ride. Scimeca led Kelly, Strumpf, Christian Conklin and Brendon Bock on the next restart and once again Scimeca took off. Strumpf got by Kelly on the restart to take second. The yellow flag flew for third time on the sixth lap when Artie Pedersen III spun out in turn four. Scimeca led Strumpf, Kelly, Conklin, and Bock on the next restart and as usual Scimeca drove away. On the next lap Conklin was able to get by Kelly for third position. The race’s final caution came out on lap 18 for a hard crash involving Bock and Johnnie Gloor in turn four. Gloor and Bock made contact exiting turn two causing Bock to get a piece of the wall and going into the next corner Bock hit Gloor in the rear. They got locked together and Gloor ended up hitting the wall head-on. Both drivers took heavy damage. Bock said after the race that the contact with the wall exiting turn two caused his throttle to stick which caused him to hit Gloor in turn four. Scimeca restarted with Strumpf, Conklin, Timmy Solomito and Kyle Ellwood behind him. Scimeca was able to hold off Strumpf for the win, which was the first of his career.

Last year’s champion, Kyle Ellwood, leads the points standings for the Legends with 232 points. Brad Van Houten is second in points with 174. He trails Ellwood by 58. Gloor and Bock are both 62 points behind Ellwood, and Conklin trails by 72.

The Late Models followed the Legends with two 15-lap features. Roger Oxee started on the pole with Scott Kulesa to his outside. Oxee jumped out in front of Kulesa immediately and started to pull away. On lap 11, his lead was erased due to a caution when Scott Pedersen spun in turn one. Oxee restarted with Kulesa right behind who was followed by Jeremy McDermott, Shawn Patrick and Buzzy Eriksen. Oxee drove away from the field, and Shawn Patrick made a daring move to the inside of both McDermott and Kulesa to take second place. Oxee had it easy to the finish as they battled behind him and he led at the lap-15 mark.

The second race started in the order that race one ended. Kulesa took second place back from Patrick on lap 17 in turn two by moving Patrick out of the way. McDermott lost his fourth place position when he spun out exiting turn four, but he was able to get the car moving quickly to keep the caution from coming out. However, the yellow flag was displayed five laps later when Pedersen spun again in turn two. Oxee led Kulesa, Eriksen, Mike Bologna and Chris La Spisa in a single-file restart and that was exactly how the race ended seven laps later. The win was the second of the season for Oxee and the 63rd of his career.

Oxee leads Kulesa by seven points. McDermott trails Oxee by 11 points, and Patrick and Bologna are tied, 17 points behind Oxee.

East End Kart Racing (EEKR) followed the Late Models with an expo for their Champ Kart drivers. Many drivers of many different ages strapped in to show what their Champ Karts could do in front of the Saturday Night crowd.

The NASCAR Modifieds followed the EEKR expo for their 35-lap feature. Dave Brigati started on the pole with David Roys to his outside. Tom Rogers Jr. battled hard with Roys for a few laps before finally clearing Roys coming out of turn two on lap four, and then Rogers set his sights on Brigati for the lead. On lap 11 Rogers and Brigati got together exiting turn four while battling for the lead. “When Brigati and I got together I had too much rear brakes in the car,” said Rogers. “I jumped on the brakes too hard and I slapped him.” Brigati and Rogers both started to spin towards the infield but saved their cars. The caution came out less than a lap later when Kevin Orlando spun out in turn three, which put Brigati and Rogers back to the front of the field. Brigati led Rogers, Roys, Agugliaro, and Sapienza on the next restart. Rogers took the lead on the restart from Brigati on the outside and didn’t look back. Rogers scored his second win in a row, beating Brigati, Roys, Sapienza and Timmy Solomito.

“Tires are a big key right now,” said Rogers. “If you get in the bin early you get good tires, and tonight there weren’t too many cars so everybody was on a pretty level playing field. The car is coming around though. We will get it better in order to be in victory lane more.”

Howie Brode leads the Modifieds points standings by four points over Tom Rogers Jr. Shawn Solomito, who raced in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at the Waterford Speedbowl (Conn.) instead of at Riverhead, is third in points. Solomito is 28 points behind Brode. Ryan Preece, who won the NWMT race at Waterford, is fourth in points and he trails Brode by 34 points. Ed Brunnhoelzl III is fifth in points and he trails Brode by 48.

The final feature of the night was 15 laps for the “World Famous” Figure Eight stock cars. John Vullo started from the pole with Scott Pedersen along side. The caution came out on the second lap when Gary Fritz Jr. spun his No. 9 machine in the intersection and had trouble getting it re-fired. Vullo restarted the race with Kenny Hyde Jr. along side. Roger Maynor made his way past Hyde to take second immediately. The caution came out once again on lap five when Arne Pedersen was spun out entering turn one by Mike Mujsce. The race’s final caution came out when Brian Hansen spun out in the intersection on lap seven. John Vullo was able to hold off Hyde to score the victory and he led all 15 laps in the process.

Greg Harris took the victory in the 40 lap 4/6 Cylinder Truck Enduro.

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1. (12) Jack Handley Jr.

2. (4) William J. Wegmann

3. (14) Tom Pickerell

4. (10) Jimmy White Jr.

5. (13) Tommy Walkowiak

6. (11) Scott Maliszewski

7. (3) Tom Puccia

8. (9) Tim Mulqueen

9. (7) Tom Sullivan

10. (15) Ron Langdon

11. (5) Ed Mistretta

12. (8) Brian Brown

13. (6) William A. Wegmann

14. (1) Paul Parisi

15. (2) Justin Wahl

Figure Eights:

1. (1) John Vullo

2. (8) Ken Hyde Jr.

3. (7) Roger Maynor

4. (3) Scott Pedersen

5. (10) Arne Pedersen

6. (6) Mike Mujsce

7. (4) Gary Fritz Jr.

8. (5) George Seus

9. (2) Brian Hansen

10. (11) Ed Cheslak

11. (9) Tom Ferrara


1. (2) Frank Scimeca Jr.

2. (3) Justin Strumpf

3. (11) Timmy Solomito

4. (5) Christian Conklin

5. (9) Kyle Ellwood

6. (14) Kyle Soper

7. (17) Gregory Harris

8. (18) Brad Van Houten

9. (25) Vinny Delaney

10. (21) Dylan Slepian

11. (24) Eric Hersey

12. (16) Vincent Colletti

13. (10) Artie Pedersen III

14. (4) Anthony Marsh

15. (12) Joe Sedotto

16. (1) Bryan Kelly

17. (23) George Tomko Jr.

18. (26) Allan Pedersen

19. (22) Mike Van Houten

20. (20) George Baker Jr.

21. (15) Chris Rogers

22. (7) Johnnie Gloor

23. (6) Brendon Bock

24. (19) Shawn Wanat

25. (8) Richie Davidowitz

26. (13) Alex Urbina

Late Models:

1. (1) Roger Oxee

2. (2) Scott Kulesa

3. (7) Buzzy Eriksen

4. (8)Mike Bologna

5. (5) Chris La Spisa

6. (11) Kevin Metzger

7. (3) Shawn Patrick

8. (6) Ken Alfano

9. (4) Jeremy McDermott

10. (9) Chris McGuire

11. (10) Arne Pedersen

12. (12) Scott Pedersen


1. (3) Tom Rogers Jr.

2. (1) Dave Brigati

3. (2) David Roys

4. (6) Dave Sapienza

5. (8) Timmy Solomito

6. (5) Kevin Orlando

7. (4) Jason Agugliaro

8. (7) Howie Brode

9. (10) Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr.

10. (9) Mike Odwazny

11. (11) Kyle Ellwood

12. (12) Chad Churilla


Source: Rob Blount/LongIslandJam