Riverhead Raceway Sets Packed Schedule
Story By: Bob Finan/Riverhead Raceway
Photos By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie and Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz have released the schedule of events for the track.
The season will get underway with the Cinco De Mayo opening night card for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series stock cars on May 5. The following day Riverhead will play host to the enduro racers, who will compete in their May Meltdown opening day program.
Traditionally the NASCAR Modifieds have been the premier division of the Whelen All American Series at Riverhead Raceway, which is a tradition that will remain intact in 2018. The weekly feature event distance for the NASCAR Modifieds is set at 40 laps, but the 2018 slate of events features numerous extra distance and special events.
First up on the menu will be the second annual Islip 300, set for May 26, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Dillon Steuer, at just 15 years old, triumphed in the Islip 300 last spring, scoring an extremely popular victory. In June the NASCAR Modifieds will run the Mullet Madness 50 on June 16 and just two weeks later they’ll go to post in the 68th Year Celebration race, part of the annual Fireworks program celebrating the 4th of July.
In July the open-wheel racers will compete in the popular Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial honoring three legends of the NASCAR Modified world. In conjunction with the 77, the annual Cromarty Wall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will be presented.
August finds a 50-lap NASCAR Night event set for Aug. 4 while the month will conclude on Aug. 25 with Twin 50’s slated for the NASCAR Modifieds, who join the School Bus Demolition Derby that night. On Sept. 15 the Whelen Engineering Night 100 will unfold, featuring a Twin 50 format.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will again visit Riverhead Raceway twice in 2018, with the first 200-lap event set for July 7, while the second race will unfold on Sept. 8.
The six support divisions of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will also see schedule increases at Riverhead. The late model class will battle in 25-lap main events weekly and three 50-lap events on June 23, July 21 and Aug. 18.
The Eagle Auto Modified Crate class has grown in both numbers and popularity and again will be a weekly fixture, competing in 25-lap feature events. Three extra distance 30-lap races are planned for June 2, July 14 and Sept. 8. The Figure Eight troops will be back for another campaign of racing and are booked for 14 events.
The Blunderbusts return for 20-lap main events weekly, with three extra distance 30-lap races set for May 19, June 23 and July 7. Super Pro Trucks, like the Blunderbusts, will compete in 20-lap feature events weekly and will also run three extra distance 30-lap contests on June 16, Aug. 8 and Sept. 15. The INEX Legend Race Cars will be a weekly fixture at Riverhead this season as well, racing in 20-lap feature events weekly. Four extra distance races have been scheduled for the Legend racers, three 30-lappers on May 12, June 30 and Aug. 25. Those events will be joined by the annual INEX National Qualifier, a 50-lap affair on Sept. 22.
A popular addition to the pit area at Riverhead Raceway in 2017 were the Long Island Vintage Auto Racing Series racers and their vintage race cars. Starting with the Cinco De Mayo opening night show May 5, the LIVARS machines will go to post six time with shows on May 19, June 9, July 28, Aug. 4 and Sept. 22 in addition to the May 5 opener.
Open cockpit fans can again look forward to the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites making their annual visit to Riverhead on June 2.
Since 1986 the Enduro drivers have thrilled the Riverhead Raceway faithful with their brand of competition and will again be a vital part of the race season. After the May 6 May Meltdown opener, the Enduro race teams will be right back in action May 27 for the Spring Smack Down. The next standalone Sunday show will be presented with the Summer Shootout on Aug. 12. The Sunday series will conclude with the annual Sunday Labor Day weekend event. On Sept. 30 the Enduro Extravaganza will conclude the season.
School Buses will be getting a workout at Riverhead this coming season as School Bus Figure 8 races planned for May 12 and June 2. Later in the season the 13-ton machines will be destroyed in two hard hitting School Bus Demolition Derby events July 21 and Aug. 25.
On July 14 Monster Trucks will again converge on Riverhead Raceway for another wild free-style event featuring the diesel burning and churning XDP Diesel Monster Truck along with several other top name trucks.
Four bone jarring, car destroying Demolition Derby contests are set for 2018, with two 4-Cylinder Demolition Derbies on June 16 and again June 30. The first 8-Cylinder Demo will unfold Aug. 11 and then the big one, the National Demolition Derby championship, on Sept. 22.