The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to get even more familiar with Riverhead Raceway in Saturday night’s Miller Lite 200.
The 200-lap race will be the first of three visits the Modified Tour will make to Riverhead during the 2022 season, a tradition that was restarted last year after the series regularly made three trips up to Riverhead, New York, during its first three seasons in the mid-1980s.
Riverhead has always been a staple of the Modified Tour. Mike Ewanitsko holds the all-time series record for victories at the track with 11, while other notable names that have visited Victory Lane at Riverhead include Jimmy Spencer, Steve Park, Ryan Preece and NASCAR Hall-of-Famers in Mike Stefanik and Richie Evans.
A stacked entry list featuring an even mix of Modified Tour regulars and local Riverhead heroes are set to descend onto the historic quarter-mile bullring on Saturday evening with the goal of building momentum heading into the summer.
Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway
What to watch for:
Defending Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore, who leads all active drivers with eight wins at Riverhead, enters Saturday evening determined to build upon his victory in the series’ most recent outing at Richmond Raceway.
Bonsignore currently sits ninth in the Modified Tour standings after overheating issues relegated him to a 31st place finish in the season-opening race at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway in February. Despite this, Bonsginore was not phased by the disappointing outing and quickly reminded the rest of his fellow competitors at Richmond that he would once again be a favorite for the championship.
Doug Coby, who won two of the three Riverhead Modified Tour events last year, is expected to return to the series on Saturday night, but he will not be the only tough competition standing in the way of Bonsignore’s quest for a ninth victory at the track.
Leading the Riverhead representation for the race is Tom Rogers Jr., who started on pole in the most recent Modified Tour race at the facility and led 59 laps before settling for an eighth-place finish. The most recent Riverhead track champion in Kyle Soper is also on the entry list and scored both of his top-10 finishes in the series at the track last year; the latter of which was a season-best fourth for Soper.
For the series regulars, Tommy Catalano is riding a wave of momentum after leading a race-high 69 laps at Richmond before finishing second to Bonsignore. Catalano is currently tied with Eric Goodale for the series points lead, but the two of them will have to survive the tight corners of Riverhead to keep distance between Bonsignore and the rest of the Modified Tour competitors.
The complete entry list for the Miller Lite 200 can be found here.
Miller Lite 200
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Quarter-mile paved oval
Riverhead, New York
6 p.m. ET
USA (Delayed: Friday, May 20, 1 p.m. ET)
Schedule: Garage opens at 12:45 p.m. ET … Final practice from 3-4 p.m. ET … Single-car qualifying (two laps) at 6 p.m. ET … Race at 8 p.m. ET
Qualifying: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Starting field for the Miller Lite 200 is limited to 28 starters including Provisional Positions. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race setup.
Tire allotment: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eight (8) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is zero (0) tires, any position.