The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will compete at Riverhead Raceway three times in 2022. (Dick Ayers Photo)
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will compete at Riverhead Raceway three times in 2022. (Dick Ayers Photo)

NASCAR Mods & Wall Of Champions Induction Set For Riverhead Raceway

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — After a two week, mid-season vacation, the NASCAR Modifieds of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series will return to Riverhead Raceway in a big way for the annual Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 on Saturday, July 30.

The race will serve as the second leg of the Crown Jewel Series for the Ted Christopher Cup.

The Class of ’22 will also be inducted onto the Cromarty Wall of Champions following the night’s opening ceremonies, honoring inductees Rusty Turbush of Manorville and John Cozza of Medford.

Turbush is part of the famed racing family from Riverhead and will become the third member of his family to go up on the wall. Previous family inductees include his father Charles and older brother “Dynamite” Dan.

From his very first win in the novice/charger division in July of 1982, Turbush was a force to be reckoned with. He won 25 times during his career, ranking him fourth on the all-time win list behind Dan (52), nephew Chris Turbush (42) and Robin Vollmoeller (30).

Meanwhile, Cozza enjoyed success on two fronts during his driving days at Riverhead Raceway.

In three short seasons with the Blunderbusts, Cozza won nine times. His first victory came in June of 1987 and two years later, he won the Blunderbust track title. He took a break from racing and returned to the track later in life to continue to build and win races across three other divisions.

Cozza posted two super pro truck wins in 2000 and 2001, but his most notable success came in the truck enduro ranks where he was a 22-time winner and the 2009 track champion.

As for the current drivers, heading into the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77, defending race winner and track champion Kyle Soper hopes to repeat his performance last year.

However, he’ll have to contend with the driver who won the first round of this season’s Crown Jewel Series — John Beatty Jr. of Merrick. Other championship contenders hoping for victory in Saturday’s event include Dave Brigati, Chris Young, Dylan Slepian, Eddie Brunnhoelzl III, JR Bertuccio, Justin Brown, Chris Rogers and Michael Rutkoski.

Tommy Baldwin Racing owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. has also confirmed that he will be bringing “Showtime” Jimmy Blewett to steer his 7NY machine. TBR Racing has enjoyed much success on the NASCAR WMT so far and in February, they teamed up with Blewett to win the World Series of Asphalt Racing title at New Smyrna Speedway.

Baldwin has entered the 77 run in memory of his father “Tiger” Tom often, but has never won the event. With many racing bucket list items checked off to date, Baldwin is hopeful this box will be checked off, too.

The Blunderbusts will run their second Miller Lite Triple Crown Series and be joined by the Crate Modifieds, INEX Legend Race Cars, Eddie Partridge Vintage All Stars, Truck Enduro and a 8-Cylinder Enduro.

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