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.
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
|Location||Riverhead, New York|
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.
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.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead Raceway
Riverhead Raceway track champions
|1968||George Brunnhoelzl Sr.|
|1970||Jim Malone Sr.|
|1971||Jim Malone Sr.|
|1983||George Brunnhoelzl Jr.|
|1986||John Blewett Jr.|
|1999||Frank Vigliarolo Jr.|
|2000||Frank Vigliarolo Jr.|
|2004||Tom Rogers Jr.|
|2010||Tom Rogers Jr.|
|2015||Tom Rogers Jr.|
|2017||Tom Rogers Jr.|
|2020||Tom Rogers Jr.|