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Whelen Modified Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 at Riverhead Raceway
By Kyle Souza,
June 21, 2017 - 4:55pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to New York's Riverhead Raceway on Saturday for race six of the season, the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200. Below is a statistical look at the race, along with a closer look at some selected participants:

Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 Race Setup: 

• The 200 lap race marks the first of the two stops at Riverhead for the Whelen Modified Tour this season. The second stop is slated for September 16. 
• Timmy Solomito, who is the defending winner of the race, comes in with a two point advantage in the championship standings over Rowan Pennink.
• Ryan Preece and Timmy Solomito are the only multi-time winners thus far this season, with two wins each. Rowan Pennink also scored a win. 

At Riverhead Raceway:
• Built in 1949, the high-banked quarter-mile Riverhead Raceway bills itself as one of the oldest asphalt tracks in the United States. It opened as a dirt track in 1951 and was converted to asphalt in 1955.
• Sitting one mile east of the Long Island Expressway, Riverhead Raceway is metropolitan New York’s only NASCAR-sanctioned facility.
• One of only two tracks to host the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in every season of the tour’s existence, joining Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• Has hosted 58 Whelen Modified Tour races, including three in 1985, the first year of the tour.

• Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Jimmy Spencer won the first two Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead in 1985. 
• Justin Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito won the two races at Riverhead last season. 
• At .25 miles, Riverhead is the smallest track on the 2017 schedule. 
• In the last 24 Whelen Modified Tour events at Riverhead, the winner started inside the top 10. 

Riverhead Data:
Race: #6 of 16 overall
Race Date: Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .25-mile banked asphalt oval
Race Length: 200 laps (50 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Timmy Solomito 
2016 Pole Sitter: Doug Coby
1-lap Qualifying Record: 77.949 mph (Chuck Steuer, 11.546 seconds, June 2000)
200-lap Race Record: 57.754 mph (Richie Evans, August 1985)

Active Category Leaders at Riverhead:
1. Ryan Preece … 4
    Donny Lia … 4
3. Justin Bonsignore … 4

1. Tom Rogers Jr. … 3
2. Donny Lia … 2
    Ryan Preece … 2
    Justin Bonsignore … 2

Top Fives
1. Donny Lia … 9
2. Justin Bonsignore … 9
3. Ryan Preece… 8

Top 10s
1. Jamie Tomaino … 22

2. Ted Christopher … 16
3. Ryan Preece ... 11

Laps Led
1. Justin Bonsignore … 580
2. Ted Christopher … 460

1. Jamie Tomaino … 56

2. Donny Lia … 20
3. Ron Silk … 14

Selected Driver Highlights:

Matt Swanson (No. 89 Starrett Tools Ford)
• The Starrett Tools driver has two top fives and 10 top-10s in 27 career Whelen Modified Tour starts
• In two career starts at Riverhead, Swanson has a best finish of ninth last June. He crashed out of the August race. 
• This season, Swanson has finished a best of seventh at Thompson in the Icebreaker. 

Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet)
• Comes into Riverhead fourth in the point standings and the most recent tour winner on the quarter-mile. 
• Has 12 wins, 49 top fives and 69 top 10s in 110 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. 
• Has four wins and nine top fives in 12 career starts at Riverhead, where he is a former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion. He swept the two NWMT races at the track in 2015 and won the last race at Riverhead in August. 
• Has finished first or second in five of his last six starts on the bullring. 

Doug Coby (No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet)
• Four-time Whelen Modified Tour champion has no wins and just two top 10s in the first five races of this season.
• In 193 career series starts, Coby has 22 wins and 67 top fives to accompany his four titles. He has won the last three championships. 
• Has one career pole, three top fives and six top-10s in 13 starts at Riverhead. His best finish is second, which came in 2015. 

Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing Chevrolet)
• Comes into the Buzz Chew 200 sitting third in the Whelen Modified Tour point standings. 
• Has 2 career victories in 123 series starts, including one at Riverhead. 
• He has one win, four top fives and nine top 10s in 11 starts at the bullring. He has finished inside the top 10 in his last eight starts at Riverhead. 

Woody Pitkat (No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet)
• Has three wins in his career on the NWMT, but hasn't won since Stafford's Spring Sizzler in 2015. 
• Has two top fives and four top-10s in seven career starts at Riverhead. 
• Has never had a DNF at Riverhead and finished inside the top 10 in both races there last season. 
• Through five races this season, Pitkat has two top-10s, coming in the first two races of the season. 

Max Zachem (No. 20 Anytime Realty Chevrolet)
• Has four top-10 finishes in the first five series events this season. 
• Has two top-10s in four Riverhead starts, both of them coming last season. 
• Searching first career Whelen Modified Tour win. 

Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet)
• Has one win, two top fives and five top-10s in the five events this season and sits second in the point standings. 
• In his career at Riverhead, Pennink has one victory and four top-10s in 13 starts.
• Pennink's win came in 2010 while driving for Mark Pennink behind the wheel of No. 93. 

Ted Christopher (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet)
• Has 42 wins, 132 top fives and 201 top 10s in 365 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. 
• The 2011 series champion has not raced in a NWMT race at Riverhead since 2015. 
• In 26 career Riverhead starts, Christopher has three wins, with the most recent coming in 2006. He won from the pole at Riverhead back in 2002. 

Shawn Solomito (No. 48 Eastport Feeds Chevrolet)
• Has two top fives and three top-10s in eight career NWMT starts at Riverhead, including a third place finish last August after starting from the pole. 
• Currently sits fourth in the Riverhead weekly NWAAS Modified point standings, with two feature wins on the season. 

Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford)
• Leads the 2017 Whelen Modified Tour point standings entering Riverhead by just two points over Rowan Pennink. 
• Has two wins this season, coming at Myrtle Beach on March 18 and Langley Speedway on May 13. 
• Has one win, four top fives and five top-10s in seven career series starts at Riverhead, where he is a former regular.

CJ Lehmann (No. 74 IGA Food Markets)
• Will make his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut on Saturday night. 
• Currently sits second in the Riverhead Crate Modified point standings, trailing the leader by just one point. 

Up To Speed:

• This is the 33rd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action. The first race was in 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• The 2017 schedule includes 16 points races at nine different tracks, across seven different states. It also includes two non-points events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Ryan Preece won the most recent series event at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on June 14. 
• Following the Buzz Chew 200, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 15.