Track Profile: Riverhead Raceway

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The story of Modified racing in the Northeast cannot be told without a significant mention of Riverhead Raceway.

Since the 1950s, the quarter-mile bullring located in Riverhead, New York, has challenged drivers who have ventured out to it. The tight corners and fast pace of Riverhead puts a heavy emphasis on patience and respect, but many have embraced these qualities to enjoy successful careers at the complex.

One such name is three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore, who added his name to the prestigious list of drivers who won a title at Riverhead back in 2011. Despite currently sitting ninth in the Modified Tour standings after nine races, Saturday‘s race at Riverhead presents an ideal rebound opportunity for Bonsignore, who has eight victories in the series at the track.

FLORACING: Catch all the on-track action for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Bonsignore and the rest of the Modified Tour regulars in Eric Goodale, Tommy Catalano, Ron Silk and others are all set to face a strong contingent of local Riverhead heroes who are looking to add another chapter to the facility‘s storied legacy when the green flag drops this weekend.

Below is everything you need to know about Riverhead Raceway

Riverhead Raceway

Track Profile

Cars race during the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Cars race during the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Track

Riverhead Raceway

Location

Riverhead, New York

Opened

1951

Length

0.200 miles

Surface

Asphalt

The list of race winners and track champions at Riverhead serves as a glossary of all-time greats in Modified competition.

Charlie Jarzombek dominated Riverhead race weekends prior to the inception of the Modified Tour. Along with winning numerous races from the mid-1970s up until the 1980s, Jarzombek also tallied five track championships, a record he held exclusively before Don Howe, Wayne Anderson and Tom Rogers Jr. matched him.

While NASCAR Hall of Famers like Richie Evans and Mike Stefanik have visited Riverhead‘s Victory Lane while competing in the Modified Tour, the driver who has enjoyed the most success with the series at the track is Mike Ewanitsko, who tallied 11 victories inside the quarter-mile bullring from 1987-2000.

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Over the past decade, Bonsignore has gradually chipped away at Ewanitsko‘s Riverhead win record in the Modified Tour. One of the few drivers who has been able to challenge Bonsignore at Riverhead is fellow Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece, whose accomplishments at the track include four series victories and two wins in the track‘s prestigious Islip 300.

With Saturday being the first of three trips planned for the Modified Tour at Riverhead, Bonsignore will try to inch closer to Ewanitsko‘s win total, all while the track regulars search for a victory to kick off a busy season on a perfect note.

Below is the complete list of Whelen Modified Tour winners at Riverhead Raceway along with the track champions.

Cars race during the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Cars race during the Miller Lite 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on September 18, 2021 in Riverhead, New York. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead Raceway

Year-Race No.

Date

Winner

1985-09

7/10/85

Jimmy Spencer

1985-16

8/7/85

Jimmy Spencer

1985-21

8/28/85

Richie Evans

1986-12

7/9/86

Mike Stefanik

1986-15

8/6/86

Dan Jivanelli

1986-17

8/27/86

Tom Baldwin

1987-11

7/8/87

Mike Ewanitsko

1987-15

8/6/87

Mike Ewanitsko

1987-18

8/26/87

Dan Jivanelli

1988-10

7/6/88

Mike Ewanitsko

1988-14

8/3/88

Bob Park

1989-10

6/29/89

Reggie Ruggiero

1989-15

8/2/89

Mike Ewanitsko

1990-11

6/27/90

Mike Ewanitsko

1990-15

8/1/90

Reggie Ruggiero

1991-11

6/26/91

Rick Fuller

1991-15

7/31/91

Tom Baldwin

1992-11

6/24/92

Mike Stefanik

1992-15

8/22/92

Mike Ewanitsko

1993-07

6/26/93

Steve Park

1993-12

8/21/93

Wayne Anderson

1994-08

6/26/94

Don Howe

1994-14

8/13/94

Steve Park

1995-08

6/24/95

Ed Brunnhoelzl, Jr.

1995-14

8/12/95

Mike Ewanitsko

1996-07

6/22/96

Rick Fuller

1996-12

8/10/96

Mike Stefanik

1997-09

6/21/97

Mike Stefanik

1997-15

8/9/97

Mike Ewanitsko

1998-09

6/20/98

Mike Ewanitsko

1998-16

8/8/98

Mike Ewanitsko

1999-06

6/12/99

John Blewett III

1999-13

8/7/99

Tommy Cravenho, Jr.

2000-04

6/10/00

Jerry Marquis

2000-09

8/5/00

Mike Ewanitsko

2001-07

6/9/01

Mike Stefanik

2001-12

8/4/01

Mike Stefanik

2002-05

6/8/02

Ted Christopher

2002-11

8/3/02

Ed Flemke, Jr.

2003-11

8/2/03

Donny Lia

2004-06

6/5/04

Jerry Marquis

2004-12

8/7/04

Donny Lia

2005-03

6/4/05

Ted Christopher

2005-10

8/6/05

Donny Lia

2006-08

8/5/06

Ted Christopher

2007-08

8/4/07

Donny Lia

2008-07

8/2/08

Jimmy Blewett

2009-06

8/1/09

Ryan Preece

2010-08

7/31/10

Rowan Pennink

2011-07

7/30/11

Justin Bonsignore

2012-11

9/15/12

Ryan Preece

2013-05

6/29/13

Ryan Preece

2013-11

9/14/13

Ryan Preece

2014-05

6/28/14

Eric Goodale

2015-06

6/28/15

Justin Bonsignore

2015-12

8/29/15

Justin Bonsignore

2016-06

6/25/16

Timmy Solomito

2016-12

8/27/16

Justin Bonsignore

2017-06

6/24/17

Timmy Solomito

2017-13

9/16/17

Timmy Solomito

2018-07

7/7/18

Justin Bonsignore

2018-13

9/8/18

Justin Bonsignore

2019-08

7/6/19

Justin Bonsignore

2019-13

9/7/19

Justin Bonsignore

2021-03

5/15/21

Doug Coby

2021-06

6/20/21

Doug Coby

2021-13

9/18/21

Patrick Emerling

Riverhead Raceway track champions

Year

Track Champion

1952

Bud Anderson

1953

Ronnie Matson

1954

Tommy Washburn

1955

Tommy Washburn

1956

Axel Anderson

1957

Ronnie Hara

1958

Johnny Rocco

1959

Buzzy Hedges

1960

Norm Gimmler

1961

Joe Collins

1962

Gary Winters

1963

Gary Winters

1964

John Berkoski

1965

Tommy Washburn

1966

John Berkoski

1967

Charlie Jarzombek

1968

George Brunnhoelzl Sr.

1969

Joe Krukowski

1970

Jim Malone Sr.

1971

Jim Malone Sr.

1972

Joe Krukowski

1973

Don Howe

1974

Charlie Jarzombek

1975

Joe Krukowski

1976

Charlie Jarzombek

1977

Charlie Jarzombek

1978

Charlie Jarzombek

1979

No Modifieds

1980

No Modifieds

1981

No Modifieds

1982

Wayne Anderson

1983

George Brunnhoelzl Jr.

1984

Don Howe

1985

Fred Harbach

1986

John Blewett Jr.

1987

Wayne Anderson

1988

Wayne Anderson

1989

Dan Jivanelli

1990

Wayne Anderson

1991

Wayne Anderson

1992

Fred Harbach

1993

Don Howe

1994

Don Howe

1995

Don Howe

1996

Chuck Steuer

1997

Bill Park

1998

Howie Brode

1999

Frank Vigliarolo Jr.

2000

Frank Vigliarolo Jr.

2001

John Fortin

2002

J.R. Bertuccio

2003

John Fortin

2004

Tom Rogers Jr.

2005

Bill Park

2006

Chuck Steuer

2007

Bill Park

2008

Bill Park

2009

John Fortin

2010

Tom Rogers Jr.

2011

Justin Bonsignore

2012

Shawn Solomito

2013

Howie Brode

2014

Howie Brode

2015

Tom Rogers Jr.

2016

Shawn Solomito

2017

Tom Rogers Jr.

2018

Kyle Soper

2019

Kyle Soper

2020

Tom Rogers Jr.

2021

Kyle Soper