Riverhead Raceway: First career win for Brown in recovery performance

Manorville’s Justin Brown secured the first win of his NASCAR Modified career on Saturday night with a comeback performance at Riverhead Raceway.

A week after being the first car out of The Bubba 150, Brown earned a win by executing a game-winning pass on the outside in the 50-lap event to a standing crowd.

“Man, this is great,” Brown said in the winner’s circle. “We had a great and clean battle with Jack [Handley Jr.]. Thanks to him for running clean. She was testing it from below, but my car was a step away, so we switched and took her outside.”

After the halfway mark, Brown looked inside the race leader several times, but quickly realized he needed to go around the long way to try and pass. During lap 33, Brown made a good run to the outside of Handley and Brown passed as the race leader on lap 34. Handley had given him a lot of room on the high side, then dropped behind Brown for second with Timmy Solomito of Islip. in the third position.

Over the final 15 laps, Brown reached his mark for a lifelong dream when he crossed first under the checkered flags.

Medford’s Handley put in a stellar performance for second place while Solomito finished third. Merrick’s John Beatty Jr. and Manorville’s Kyle Soper rounded out the top five.

The Figure Eight division has seen its share of drama at Riverhead Raceway this season. Saturday’s 20-lap race featured a crash between Bob Dalke and Ken Hyde Jr., ending Hyde’s bid for his 12th win on a night the race was in memory of his father, Ken Hyde Sr. ., on what would have been his 59th birthday. Both drivers were fine and when racing resumed, Center Moriches’ Allan Pedersen was the new race leader. However, Mastic’s Gary Fritz Jr. took the lead soon after and secured his first win of 2022. Pedersen settled for second and Shirley’s Scott Pedersen was third.

Miller Place’s Nick Morabito won the INEX Legend Race Car event, winning a wild three-car photo finish by just .029 seconds. Christopher Coleman from East Islip was the runner-up and Ray Fitzgerald from Manorville was third.

Riverhead’s Greg Harris won his second Street Stock race of the season, coming out on top in the 20-lap race. It was the fourth victory of his career. Kyle Curtis of Hampton Bays was second and Gerald Lawrence of Miller Place was third.

Greg Harris of Riverhead, pictured with his wife, won the Street Stock race. (Credit: Richie Grodski/Riverhead Raceway)

Baldwin’s Andrew Farnham captured his first 20-lap Mini Stock feature – his fifth career win. Coram’s Chris Olivari was second and Riverhead’s CJ Zukowski was third.

Ridge’s Joe Warren Jr. took an early lead in the 50-lap 4/6-cylinder Gut & Go Enduro race and dominated the race to win by 6.774 seconds. Lindenhurst’s John Palmeri was second and Lindenhurst’s Joe Palmeri was third.

Bohemia’s Michael Rommeney made a clean sweep of both school bus demolition derby events in 2022 when he won a hotly contested conclusion over Bay Shore’s Scott Phillips. Rommeney dedicated his win to his son Chevy, who received 300 stitches in his leg Friday after an accident at a race shop.

Racing continues at Riverhead on Saturday with opening ceremonies at 6 pm and a full list of races to watch.

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