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2011-07-13 / Columnists

Hot Laps

By Mike Perricone

Charger Division winning car of Radiant Ray Manieri of Bay Shore sports the trophy on the roof. Charger Division winning car of Radiant Ray Manieri of Bay Shore sports the trophy on the roof. Two months into the season, as June turns to July, many local South Shore drivers are making a run for division titles during the 2011 Riverhead Raceway season.

On June 25, veteran racer Wayne Anderson of Yaphank scored a popular win in the Modified Division, but not be- fore fighting off numerous challenges from rookie Jason Agugliaro of Islip who started on the Pole, as well as Shawn, Jerry and Timmy Solomito from Islip. Their Dad, Jerry, who campaigned a Modified at the now-defunct Islip Speedway definitely passed on the racing gene to his sons. All three are extremely competitive week after week and are capable of winning with their equipment anytime on the track.

Paul McElearney also raced with much success at both Islip and Riverhead raceways. Son, Brian McElearney of North Babylon, scored his first victory in the Super Pro Truck Division on this night. Fellow competitor Lou Maestri, Jr. of Deer Park, who has enjoyed a measure of success in the division himself, finished fourth.

July 13, 2011, AMITYVILLE RECORD • 11

The Late Model Division was highlighted with time trials and a fifty-lap battle. Kevin Metzger of Massapequa did himself no harm in the point standings, finishing in the top five, nailing down a fourth-place finish.

On Independence Day Weekend, Shawn Solomito of Islip fought off the challenges of a stellar Modified Division field, including his brothers, Jerry, Jr. and Timmy, to score his first career victory. It could not have come at a better time, as this initial win was in the double-point, extra-long Cromarty Cup 50. Riverhead Raceway Promoters Barbara and Jim Cromarty will remember the triumph for another reason, as it was Jim’s birthday. TimeTrials for the 600-horsepower ground-pounders provided a foreshadowing of what was to come, as Solomito clan members placed two and three for fast time on that afternoon. Howie Brode was one of at least three drivers to complete a lap in just over 11 seconds.

Once the green flag waved for the Main Event, the #66 of Shawn Solomito was “on rails.” The Islip chauffer got around pole-sitter John Beatty, Jr. and held the lead from lap two to lap 50 with the aid of lapped traffic. ”I knew I got by him on lap two,” said the driver of the Acme Sanitary Services mount.

Equally happy with his Charger Division victory was “Radiant Ray” Minieri of Bay Shore. It was the first Riverhead Raceway victory for Minieri in ten years. (The popular driver did not live through an unfathomable slump; he just left Riverhead Raceway to compete in the Street Stock Division at Wall Stadium in New Jersey.)

This was a week for popular victories. The Blunderbust Division win was captured by Paul Parisi in a car dedicated to the favorite holiday of his late wife, Traci, who passed away suddenly in the off-season.

Also winning his second event in as many races was Figure 8 Division winner Tom Ferrara of Patchougue.

Readers can reach Mike Perricone at

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