It could very well be that Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. and his TS Haulers team are hitting their stride at the right time of the busy race summer when they roared to victory in the inaugural Exit Realty Modified Touring Series 125 Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. The win came on the heels of Preece’s Wednesday night triumph on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 125 at the Thompson Motorsports Park and has the team riding a wave of momentum heading into next Saturday night’s Riverhead 200 WMT event at Riverhead Raceway. The MTS race was completed despite dismal weather conditions as the Riverhead & MTS staffs hustled the show along before the rains arrived which they did right after the final checker of the night waved.
At the drop of the green flag Woody Pitkat edged his way to lead the first lap before upstart talent Dillon Steuer moved past on lap 2. Pitkat gave chase to the race leader until the 8th lap when David Schneider whose team had to swap motors to run the 125 made his way by for position. Schneider stayed second behind Steuer until the 23rd lap as Eric Goodale made an inside pass entering the first turn for position. Once to second Goodale, a past WMT winner at Riverhead reeled in the race leader Steuer with Eric’s efforts aided by a 56th lap caution flag that would bunch up the field. It was during that yellow flag period that the likes of Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat, Jon McKennedy and Donny Lia all ducking to the pits for a change tire along with other adjustments. Steuer and Goodale elected to stay out and not sacrifice track position.
On the ensuing double file restart Goodale would actually lead lap 57 to the outside of Steuer with Dillon rallying back to take the lead back on lap 58. Meanwhile armed with a new tire and adjustments Ryan Preece was on the march towards the front as he caught Eric Goodale and passed him to the inside exiting the fourth turn for second on lap 75. Over the following eight lap Preece fist caught and then went to work on Islip 300 winner Steuer for the lead as the 15-year old was hoping for another big race win. Entering the third turn on lap 83 Preece was able to find a lane under Steuer to take over the race lead and once out front Preece would pull away over the final 41 circuits.
As the double checker flags waved Ryan Preece would cross the line earning his 15th career Riverhead Raceway win list moving him into sole possession of 27th on the all time win list at the historic quarter mile. Dillon Steuer of Bohemia was runner-up in the Northeastern Office Equipment Chevy while Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Ma raced his way back to a podium third place finish in the Exit Realty entry. Eric Goodale of Riverhead and Woody Pitkat of Stafford Springs, Ct completed the top five. David Schneider, Rowan Pennink, John Fortin Sr., Donny Lia and Chris Pasteryak filled out the top ten.
Kyle Soper of Manorville earned his second Late Model victory of 2017 by being in the right place at the right time early in the 25-lap race. When the race got underway Steve Mastro Jr. and Kevin Metzger tussled for the top spot over the first two laps before they made contact on that second circuit drawing a yellow flag. That turn of events moved Kyle Soper from third to the race lead in his RP landscaping Pontiac. After some jockeying for position Eric Zeh made his way to second behind Soper and while he was able to keep the race leader in his sights Zeh would never be able to muster enough to challenge for the lead. At the conclusion of the race Kyle Soper not only took the race win but also padded his championship lead to 10 points over race runner-up Eric Zeh of Selden in his Angela’s House Chevy. Defending LM champion Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead rebounded from a heat race crash to rally back to a third place finish in his JDP Mechanical Chevy.
Four races into the 2017 Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate season and defending champion Dave Brigati of Calverton has already equaled his 2016 win total as he scored his third win in four races with a 25-lap victory Saturday. Peter Bertuccio moved out front at the drop of the green with Brigati, who was slated to start 6th but was moved up to fourth when the scheduled outside pole car failed to fire quickly made his was to second. Working the outside line down the back stretch on lap 2 Brigati raced his way by Bertuccio for the race lead. Dylan Slepian, the only other driver to win besides Brigati in 2917 made his way to second on lap three but that would be as good as it got for the challenger. When the race concluded Dave Brigati steering the Quest Machining & Fabricating machine pocketed his 6th career win while Dylan Slepian of Dix Hills was runner-up in the Eastport Feeds racer. CJ Lehmann of Center Moriches was third in his IGA Food Markets Chevy.
It’s not very often when Roger Turbush defending Super Pro Truck champion has the lead with less than five laps left in a race where he does not come home with the win but that was the case as teenage talent Owen Grennan of Glen Cove made a pass with four laps left in their 20-lap main event to deny Roger of his 29th career win. With rain on the horizon the Super Pro Trucks turned in a much needed non stop race as the final race of the night with Mike Albasini showing the way over Sean Glennon early on. Turbush got by Glennon with an inside pass in turn 1 on lap 4. Roger then turned his attention to tracking down and making a bid for the race lead on Albasini which he did on lap 11 executing an inside pass of Mike off the second corner. Owen Grennan quickly made his way to second upon which he then caught Turbush for the race lead. As Turbush and Grennan raced off the fourth turn at the start the 17th lap to wrestle the race lead and eventual win away in his All Island Concrete Pumping Chevy. Turbush would have his night get worse with a front flat tire in the closing laps that dropped him down in the final rundown. Jack Handley Jr. of Medford was runner-up in the Hollis Court Collision entry while Dave Brigati of Calverton was third in the JDL Environmental truck.
Former INEX Legend Race Car champion Brendon Bock of Franklin Square made a triumphant return to victory lane taking home the 20-lap main event win. Ageless Silas Hiscock Sr. raced to the early race lead at the throw of the green with Jerry Curran and then Ray Fitzgerald giving chase. Lap 4 found Fitzgerald racing his way to the lead with Richie Davidowitz coming to second as well. The top two remained that way until the 12th lap where on a double file restart Bock was able to slip by Davidowitz for second. Just one lap later Bock wheeling the Jim Sylvester owned Oval Speed Unlimited machine made an inside pass of Fitzgerlad for the race lead off the second corner. Once out front Bock never looked back despite a late race surge from eventual runner-up Kevin Nowak of Medford in his sponsor wanted mount. The win was the 5th of Bock’s career at Riverhead. Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third in his Blue Point Auto Body entry.
The 15-lap School Bus Figure Eight race run in a light drizzle saw popular “Cheesebox” Michael Rommeney of Bohemia dominating the race. Rommeney bested the likes of Kyle Soper, Dylan Slepian, Kris Dane, Wayne Okula and John Denniston for the win.
Exit Realty Modified Touring Series: 1. Ryan Preece 2. Dillon Steuer 3. Jon McKennedy 4. Eric Goodale 5. Woody Pitkat 6. David Schneider 7. Rowan Pennink 8. John Fortin Sr. 9. Donny Lia 10. Chris Pasteryak 11. TJ Bleau 12. Andrew Molleur 13. Carl Mederios Jr. 14. CJ Lehmann
Late Models: 1. Kyle Soper 2. Eric Zeh 3. Jeremy McDermott 4. Chris Turbush 5. Shawn Patrick 6. Ray Minieri 7. Scott Kulesa 8. Steve Mastro Jr. 9. Ken Matlach 10. Brandon Turbush 11. Kevin Metzger
Modified Crates: 1. Dave Brigati 2. Dylan Slepian 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Michael Rutkoski 5. Dennis Krupski 6. Justin Brown 7. Tony Vecchio 8. Peter Bertuccio 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Jay Hansen 11. Michael Rommeney 12. Kurt Kreiger
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Owen Grennan 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. Dave Brigati 4. Mike Albasini 5. Lou Maestri 6. Frank Dumicich Jr. 7. Frank Dumicich Sr. 8 Roger Turbush 9. Sean Glennon
Legend Race Cars: 1. Brendon Bock 2. Kevin Nowak 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. John Beatty Jr. 5. Ray Fitzgerald 6. George Tomko Jr. 7. Chris Rogers 8. Jerry Curran 9. Vinny Delaney 10. Bryan Kelly 11. Brad van Houten 12. Jim Sylvester 13. Jeff Otto Jr. 14. Mike Van Houten Jr. 15. Dennis Kurras 16. Mike Benson 17. Mike Mortimer 18. Paul Dodorico 19. Silas Hiscock Sr. 20. Ed Cheslak 21. Jonathon Parsons 22. Eric Hersey
School Bus Figure Eight winner- Michael Rommeney