Riverhead’s Brode Leads Empire State Points
Track’s 1998 NASCAR Modified Champion Flourishing Again
A veteran NASCAR Modified driver leads New York’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state point race for the first time in his career.
Howie Brode, 48, of East Islip, N.Y., leads the state and track point standings racing at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. He took the state points lead on June 2.
Brode, the track’s 1998 NASCAR Modified champion, originally planned to run selected events at Riverhead and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this year. After the great start this year, he adjusted his plans.
“We originally planned to do most of the Riverhead shows,” Brode said. “Between some new officials and some pretty good racing out there every week, we’ll probably run the whole season now.”
Riverhead, a quarter-mile paved oval, features NASCAR tour-type Modifieds as its top weekly NASCAR division. Several Whelen Modified Tour drivers are making Riverhead their Saturday night racing home when schedules don’t conflict.
“We already have strong competition and big car counts at Riverhead,” Brode said. “Any time you can race side-by-side with Ryan Preece and [tour champions] Ted Christopher and Ron Silk, it’s fun.”
Also racing regularly at Riverhead are past track champions John Fortin, Tom Rogers Jr. and Don Howe. Justin Bonsignore, the track’s defending NASCAR Modified champion, now runs the Whelen Modified Tour full-time, but is a frequent visitor.
“We started out with 30 cars and we’re averaging 26 to 28 a week,” Brode said.
“I’ve had some strong runs this year and it’s just been one of those years like 1998 when we’re having better luck. I’d like to get a couple of wins before the season is over, but it’s pretty cool to have the year we’re having.”
Brode’s father, also Howie, was a Modified car owner. Now a third generation, Brode’s son Matthew, is racing Champ Karts at Riverhead and Poughkeepsie.
Brode and his wife Lisa also have a daughter, Carlie. Brode operates Beaver’s Towing in Bayshore, N.Y.
Anthony Anders continues to lead the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings with 532 points. He won his second straight asphalt Late Model feature Saturday at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway to improve his overall record to two wins, 16 top-fives and 25 top-10s in 27 starts. Anders also competes at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway and Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
C.E. Falk III moved from third to second in the national standings this week with 486 points on the strength of wins in twin 50-lap NASCAR Late Model features at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. Falk also races at South Boston (Va.) Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Falk now has eight wins, 12 top-fives and 14 top-10s in 15 starts.
Deac McCaskill jumped from fifth to third in national standings at 464 points with a win and a second-place finish in twin 75 NASCAR Late Model features at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. Nate Monteith fell from second to fourth in national standings with 458 points. He posted a 19th place finish due to an accident in the first Late Model feature at Kingsport on Friday. He rebounded with a second-place finish in the second 30-lap feature. Matt Bowling was winless in twin 75s at South Boston and moved from fourth to fifth in the national standings with 445 points.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 are counted toward their states and national point totals, and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their total would increase incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.
Track, state and provincial champions and the top-three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet in December.