Riverhead Raceway
(Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Track Profile: Riverhead Raceway

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

Drivers get doubled up for the start of the 2021 Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway (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.

Riverhead Raceway (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead Raceway

Year-Race No.  Date Winner
7/10/85
8/7/85
8/28/85
7/9/86
8/6/86
8/27/86
7/8/87
8/6/87
8/26/87
7/6/88
8/3/88
6/29/89
8/2/89
6/27/90
8/1/90
6/26/91
7/31/91
6/24/92
8/22/92
6/26/93
8/21/93
6/26/94
8/13/94
6/24/95
8/12/95
6/22/96
8/10/96
6/21/97
8/9/97
6/20/98
8/8/98
6/12/99
8/7/99
6/10/00
8/5/00
6/9/01
8/4/01
6/8/02
8/3/02
8/2/03
6/5/04
8/7/04
6/4/05
8/6/05
8/5/06
8/4/07
8/2/08
8/1/09
7/31/10
7/30/11
9/15/12
6/29/13
9/14/13
6/28/14
6/28/15
8/29/15
6/25/16
8/27/16
6/24/17
9/16/17
7/7/18
9/8/18
7/6/19
9/7/19
5/15/21
6/20/21
9/18/21

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