Whelen Motorsports

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

NWMT • June 24, 2013

• First Of Two Dates On Long Island In 2013
• Preece Poised To Keep Streak Alive

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2013) - If momentum does indeed exist in auto racing, then perhaps no driver is better positioned to take advantage of it than Ryan Preece as he heads into the upcoming Hoosier Tire 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway on Saturday, June 29.

Preece rallied from the rear of the field to win at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on June 14, then pulled off a stunning upset during a green-white-checkered finish on June 22 at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl when he outdueled a dominant Doug Coby to make it two-in-a-row. Dating back to last year, Preece is on a career-best run of 10 consecutive top-10 finishes.

And if all of that wasn't enough, the Whelen Modified Tour's schedule will now take him to Riverhead, perhaps his best track on the tour calendar.

Twice Preece has drove to Victory Lane at Riverhead, first in 2009 and then again a year ago. In the other four career starts he's had there, the Berlin, Conn., driver has posted an average finish of fifth.

Added to his Whelen Modified Tour success at Riverhead are his exploits in the quarter-mile's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division, where he's driven to three victories in part-time action the last two seasons. His latest came on June 8 in the Richie Evans Hall of Fame 100, just a day after being named to the NASCAR Next roster that highlight's the sport's up-and-coming talent.

"I've been fortunate to win there this season, and I've had a couple tour wins there, so we're going to see what we can do there" Preece said this past Saturday night following his Waterford win.

Preece has excelled on bullrings throughout his career on the tour. In addition to the Riverhead success, he also won from the pole at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., in 2012 and added the victory at the .375-mile Waterford oval over the weekend.

"I love this stuff, I like tight racing, getting up on the wheel and sawing at it," Preece said following his win last year at Riverhead.

RACE: Hoosier Tire 200
PLACE: Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway
DATE: Saturday, June 29
TIME: 8:30 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .25-mile, banked asphalt oval
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 2-3:30 p.m., Qualifying 5 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 7 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Bob Finan, 631-842-7223, info@riverheadraceway.com
TRACK TWITTER: @RiverheadRacewa
EVENT HASHTAG: #HoosierTire200

The Race: The Hoosier Tire 200 will be the fifth of 14 races on the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and the first of two trips to Riverhead Raceway on New York's Long Island.

The Procedure: The starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying and the remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 200 laps (50 miles).

The Track: A quarter-mile banked asphalt oval, Riverhead Raceway opened in 1949. The track has held a total of 51 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races since the series began in 1985, and is one of only two venues to play host to the tour in each of its now 29 seasons.

Race Winners: There have been 23 different drivers to reach Victory Lane at Riverhead, led by Mike Ewanitsko's 11. Ryan Preece took the checkers last year from the pole, and among active drivers, Mike Stefanik has the most wins with six.

Pole Winners: Twenty-nine different drivers have won the pole at Riverhead, led by Ewanitsko's eight. Ed Flemke Jr. leads active drivers in the category with four. Chuck Steuer set the qualifying record at 11.546 seconds (77.949 mph) in 2000.

Riverhead, Times Two, in 2013: The 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule includes two dates at Riverhead Raceway for the first time since 2005. Although the tour has held races at the quarter-mile bullring every year of its existence, the number of races has varied from as high as three per season (1985-87) to a few as one (2003, 2006-12).

Riverhead Regulars Expected to Have a Presence Once Again: Do to the many similarities between the Whelen Modified Tour cars and those that run at Riverhead weekly in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, the tour's stops traditionally attract a number of local entries. That trend is expected to continue in 2013. Howie Brode, David Roys and Shawn Solomito have entries in already, and Shawn's brother Timmy Solomito is expected to be added to this list. Other potential entries include John Beatty Jr., Tom Rogers Jr. and Frank Vigliarolo Jr. Each will look to become the first Riverhead weekly competitor to top the tour drivers and earn a trip to Victory Lane since Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. in 1995.

Tour Drivers Get Some Early Riverhead Action: Since the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen All-American Series cars are so similar, it's fairly common to see some of the tour teams also join in on the weekly action in advance of the tour events at Riverhead. So far this season Justin Bonsignore, Eric Goodale, Richie Pallai Jr. and Ron Silk have competed at Riverhead with their tour teams. Ryan Preece also has multiple starts, but with the Long Island-based team owned by Bill Park, not his No. 16 Whelen Modified Tour team.

HOME TRACKS: Brode Leads Empire State Standings
Running out of the rough and tumble Modified division at Riverhead Raceway, Howie Brode has the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points lead in the state of New York through the last national standings update on June 19. Brode accumulated 264 points thanks to a pair of wins and top 10s in all eight starts. Second in the standings was Shawn Solomito, eight behind Brode, but Solomito did not run at Riverhead last week as he competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Waterford Speedbowl. In track points prior to last Saturday, Brode led Solomito and Tom Rogers Jr. by 18 points, but Rogers tightened up the division race when he went out and earned that night's feature victory.

LAST TIME OUT: Waterford
The fourth race of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season was contested at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on June 22. Here are some highlights of the Mr. Rooter 161:
Ryan Preece beat Doug Coby on a green-white-checkered finish for his seventh career Whelen Modified Tour victory, and second in a row. It was his first tour win at Waterford.
Coby, the 2012 Waterford victor, finished second after leading 63 laps.
Todd Szegedy earned the 10th Coors Light Pole Award of his career and led the first 101 laps of the race.

The first of two dates on the 2013 calendar for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be up next. The Town Fair Tire 100 is slated to run at the 'Magic Mile' on Saturday, July 13 in Loudon, N.H. Mike Stefanik is the defending winner of this race, and the Whelen Modified Tour's all-time wins leader at the track with eight. The Town Fair Tire 100 will air live on SPEED.