The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was supposed to run the Riverhead 200 back in July, but a flooded infield and pit area kept that from happening. After a massive storm rolled through eastern Long Island in the morning flooding the race track, NASCAR was forced to postpone the race to September 15th.
Today the weather was perfect on Long Island. It was warm throughout the day, but cooled down quite a bit when the sun went down. There was no rain anywhere near Riverhead Raceway this time.
Qualifying took place at 5 p.m. and it was Ryan Preece who won the pole. Preece is familiar with victory lane at Riverhead. He won two features in the weekly modified division this season, and he won the Riverhead 200 tour event in 2009.
The race went green shortly after 8 p.m. and Preece jumped out to the lead over Eric Goodale. Preece led the first 77 laps until Goodale was able to get by on lap 78. Goodale drove into turn one high, cut the car to the bottom in the center of one and two and drove right under Preece off of turn two. He was able to clear Preece exiting turn four that same lap.
Ted Christopher started in 12th, but was caught up in an accident on lap 11 when the right-front tire came off the wheel in turn four. "TC" had to pit and lost two laps in the process.
Goodale held the lead for 35 laps while battling lapped traffic before Preece got back by him on lap 113. Preece pulled the same move on Goodale that got Goodale the lead, but pushed Goodale up the track in turn three and the two made contact. Goodale got sideways but was able to save it. However, he dropped from the lead to sixth within one lap. He dropped back to as far as 10th, but made his way back up to 7th where he finished.
Preece led the remaining 91 laps, but his road to the win wasn't as easy as it sounds. Preece was under fire from Todd Szegedy, Justin Bonsignore, and Jimmy Blewett before the checkered flag fell on lap 203 after a green-white-checkered finish.
Szegedy put up a fight for a few laps before he was passed by Bonsignore for second around lap 165.
Bonsignore chased down Preece a few laps after a restart on lap 174. He gave Preece a few shots in the rear and looked like he had that faster car, but another caution came out. Bonsignore had to restart on the outside, and spun the tires which allowed Preece to get away. Bonsignore dropped from second to fourth. Szegedy and Blewett both got by Bonsignore.
Blewett was able to get to second before the final caution came out on lap 196. The caution set up a green-white-checkered restart on lap 201 with Preece on the inside and Blewett on the outside. Blewett got a great restart and was able to get by Preece and take the checkered flag in first. However, Blewett actually got too good of a restart. He beat Preece to the start/finish line by the length of a bumper. Blewett was penalized and was dropped from the win to last car on the lead lap with a 12th place finish.
Bonsignore finished second, Szegedy finished third, Howie Brode finished fourth, and Christopher who got the free pass twice made his way to fifth.
Preece led a total of 168 laps out of the 201 laps run.
There were two leaders (Preece, Goodale) and three lead changes.
Seven cautions for 45 laps.
Race was supposed to be 175 laps with a 25-lap qualifying race, but the qualifying race was cancelled for those laps were added to the feature.
Tom Rogers Jr.
Ed Brunnhoelzl, III
Ed Flemke Jr.
Ron Yuhas Jr.