RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Tom Rogers Jr. emerged victorious from the 50-lap modified feature as Riverhead Raceway opened its season on Saturday night.
By virtue of their heat race victories Howie Brode and Rogers made up the front row for the feature, with Brode executing a picture perfect start to take the early race lead over Rogers.
The two multi-time track champions diced for the lead as they have so many times before, with Rogers right on the rear bumper of Brode. As the field raced down the backstretch on lap three Rogers was able to slip under Brode as they hit the third turn. By the time the tandem was exiting the fourth turn to start the fourth lap Rogers had edged out to the race lead with Brode now tucking into second.
Meanwhile, behind Rogers and Brode, a heated battle started to brew for third as the race ran without a caution nearly the entire distance. Roger Turbush sat third but was feeling the heat from both two time and defending modified track champion Kyle Soper and John Beatty Jr. as the became the best battle on track. With the extended green flag run Rogers pulled away from the field while Brode trailed by a few car lengths. On lap 46 the only caution flag of the race waved for a Glen Steger spin off the fourth turn.
That turn of events gave Brode one more shot at reclaiming the race lead from Rogers but when the green flag waved Rogers was on the button and would keep the Denise & Ken Darch-owned Chevy out front for the remainder of the race.
“This is a totally new set-up we threw at the car this off season, new to me for sure but it is not quite where we want it to be,” Rogers said after the race. “Can’t thank Denis and Ken for giving us everything we need, Gino at Evolution Race Engines and our sponsors Licensed To Chill, Precision Water Works, Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm, Peter Clark Motorsports, Tuscany Gourmet Market and new to our team Dean’s Auto Repair in Deer Park.”
Brode settled for second, followed Soper, Turbush and Dylan Slepian.
A.J. DeDantis was the winner of the crate modified main event. Scott Pedersen claimed the Figure-8 feature, Cody Triola topped the blunderbust main event and Jack Handley Jr. claimed the super pro truck feature. Lastly, Jim Sylvester claim a victory in the Legends car main event.