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Fortin Conquers Riverhead’s Islip 300

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – J.B. Fortin held off a stacked field to earn the biggest victory of his career during Sunday’s Islip 300 for tour-type modifieds at Riverhead Raceway.

Fortin was able to take the lead away from NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece during a late-race restart, going from the top to the bottom to slice under Preece and steal the race lead away.

Another caution waved with 16 laps left, forcing Fortin to survive a restart with Preece alongside him. Preece got a good restart alongside Fortin, but coming out of turn two third-place Ron Silk made contact with Preece, sending Preece into a spin.

The caution would wave again moments later for the stopped car of J.R. Bertuccio. This time Fortin had to survive a restart with Jimmy Blewett alongside him, but much like Preece contact from behind sent Blewett spinning in turn four to bring the caution right back out.

Fortin nearly gave the race lead away during the restart as he got loose coming out of turn four as the green flag waved, but he somehow held on to his race car and pulled ahead of second-place runner Kyle Bonsignore through turns one and two.

The native of Holtsville, N.Y., would go on to lead the remainder of the distance to pick up the victory. He would dedicate the victory to late Riverhead Raceway owner Ed Partridge, who passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 10. 

“This is the biggest win of my career,” Fortin said in victory lane after his $7,000 victory. “I don’t even care about any other race. This is for Eddie (Partridge). I had the car to beat tonight. I can’t believe it.”

Bonsignore finished second, followed by Patrick Emerling, a hard-charging Preece and Ed Brunnhoelzl III.

In addition to winning the Islip 300, Fortin also claimed the Riverhead Raceway Crown Jewel Series championship that awards the Ted Christopher Cup. 

Of the 29 starters, only nine finished on the lead lap. 

The finish:

J.B. Fortin, Kyle Bonsignore, Patrick Emerling, Ryan Preece, Ed Brunnhoelzl III, Jimmy Blewett, Anthony Nocella, Dave Sapienza, Justin Brown, Kyle Soper, J.R. Bertuccio, Craig Lutz, Dylan Slepian, Timmy Solomito, Ron Silk, John Fortin Sr., Noah Korner, Eric Goodale, Chris Young, John Beatty, Michael Christopher Jr., Jon McKennedy, Michael Rutkoski, Gary McDonald, Justin Bonsignore, John Baker, Jack Handley, Chris Turbush.

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