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2011-07-20 / Columnists


Hot Laps
by Mike Perricone

After two events at Riverhead Raceway on July 9, 2011, it seemed like the theme for the action was going to be “Night of the Second Generation Driver.” Chris Young, Jr. of Calverton, whose dad, Chris Young, Sr. would pilot a NASCAR Modified later in the evening, started seventh in the Legend Division field.

The Young One

ran away from the field to capture his third win of the season and further his division lead. “We made our way methodically through traffic,” said Young Jr. in explaining the victory. “I love getting these things,” he said as he accepted his trophy from Unique Golf of Babylon Village and thanked his parents and sponsors including Ray The Plumber, Bridgehampton National Bank and Ace’s Landscaping in Victory Lane.

Brian McElearney, whose dad, Paul, was a Racing Legend at Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway, appeared to capture his second win in as many races in the Super Pro Truck Division. However, the

NASCAR Tech Officials deemed his truck 15 pounds too light and stripped the North Babylon driver of his trophy and win.

Veterans also enjoyed success on this night. Roger Oxee of Peconic scored his 60th career win in his IGA Supermarketssponsored #39 Late Model. Oxee, who I first saw campaign a Late Model at Islip Speedway, has been competitive in any car he drove, as this milestone indicates.

In the early stages of the NASCAR Modified Main Event, a Young Family Sweep appeared possible.

Chris Young, Sr. was battling near the front of the pack until he and Tom Rogers, Jr. of Patchogue decided to play “tire tag.” Young appeared to win the battle, but lost the war. Rogers, the defending track Modified Champion, appeared to suffer the most damage to his #0 Tanger Outlets sponsored mount. Yet, amazingly, he kept the car straight and in front until the checkered flag waved. In victory lane, it was revealed that the left front tire was partially separated from the rim. Later in the pits, I shared with the victor that he should make and Instructional Video entitled, “How to Drive on Three Wheels and Win.”

Veteran Roger Oxee scored his 60th career win. Veteran Roger Oxee scored his 60th career win.

Of local interest was the third-place finish of Jerry Solomito, Jr. of Islip. Observers feel that the driver of the #59 car will soon follow brothers Timmy and Shawn to Victory Lane.

From the Pits: Some weeks ago, Mod. driver Tim Solomito broke his wrist in a racing accident. He recently tried to drive one-handed in a soft cast. Even though some felt that he did better with one hand than some others with two, “The

Natural” shared with me that the experiment is over until the injury fully heals. Solomito shared with me that he felt like “a marked man” and did not want his #99 mount wrecked beyond repair.

Readers can reach Mike Perricone at


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