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2011-09-07 / Columnists

Hot Laps

By Mike Perricone

On I LOVE AMERICA NIGHT at Riverhead Raceway on August 20, 2011, it was time to count victories and look towards division championships with a little more than a month to go in the season.

In Super Pro Truck action, past champion Lou Maestri, Jr. of Deer Park notched his first win of the season. In so doing, he shook off some bad luck of his own (two flat tires in one night) and catapulted himself into title contention due to the misfortunes of other drivers in the division.

After his Charger Division win on this night, Chris Turbush now has eight wins in 2011, four in Chargers and a like number in trucks. In Victory Lane, Turbush thanked everyone on his crew for their hard work all season long. “ This one’s for you guys,” he said.

In Legends Division action, Chris Young, Jr. notched victory number five of the season after staging a fierce battle with Kevin Nowak, Timmy Solomito and Justin Strumpf, among others. Young has an apparent firm grip on the title at this point. Super Pro truck vet Lou Maestri Jr. of Deer Park won his first race on Aug. 11, 2011. He and Strumpf have been one and two all year, and that was the finishing order yet again.

While anything can happen in racing, it is extremely unlikely that Young’s mount will not perform, even though Strumpf is talented and capable of getting a win. Young thanked everyone, including God, his parents, and sponsors in Victory Lane. Dad, Chris Young, Sr., finished fifth in his Modified.

In Figure 8 action, Roger Maynor had to wait two years to notch win 102 last week. However, victory 103 came one week later. An emotional Maynor dedicated the win to his father, the late Etnie Maynor, who competed in the Figure 8 Division at Islip Speedway. “ This one’s for dad,” said Roger.

In Modified Division action, John Fortin, Sr. has waged a season-long battle with fellow Holtsville resident Justin Bonsignore for the points lead and the title. Fortin finally found a way to finish ahead of Bonsignore: win the event. Fortin took the lead early in the event (after daughter, Amber started on the Pole) and held on for the victory. Fortin thanked his crew (who preps three cars weekly for him, Amber, and John, Jr.) and the fans for their support of Riverhead Raceway.

From The Pits: Fireworks and a Demo Derby completed the program…..Timmy Solomito strapped into a borrowed Legend car, but couldn’t bring his Modified due to a wreck Thursday night at Thompson….. Thank you to the family of Legend driver George Baker and Chris Young for their hospitality.

Readers can reach Mike Perricone at

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