Father-son racers at Riverhead are cool

Oceanside's Andy Owen, left, and his son, Dale

Oceanside's Andy Owen, left, and his son, Dale Owen, both race trucks at Riverhead Raceway.

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"Daddy Cool" and "Kid Cool" aren't jazz musicians. They're race truck drivers with a little swagger.

Andy "Daddy Cool" Owen and Dale "Kid Cool" Owen are a father-son Truck Enduro combo from Oceanside. Dale, just 16, had his first race last weekend, and wouldn't you know, Dad wrecked him.

Dale, who was riding third at the time after starting on the pole, finished 15th, while Andy came in 18th.

"I was a little over-concerned about where he was," Andy said. "Being a father, I couldn't focus where I was at. The wreck threw a wrench into [his first race]. You got to get the wreck out of the way."

For Andy and Dale, racing together was a dream "since Dale was in a baby carriage," according to Andy, 45, who has won four career races at Riverhead. Added the father: "It's always been in the back of my mind how cool it would be to race him."

Rescheduling has pushed the Owens' encore to next weekend, rather than a Father's Day weekend showdown. Still, Andy and Dale (named after Dale Earnhardt) have had plenty of time to bond during the trip from Oceanside to Riverhead -- and while fixing their cars from the wreck with the aid of Pitbull Motors.

Said Andy: "There's some good father-son time together."

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Riverhead to honor Evans. To celebrate the enshrinement of Richie Evans into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next year, Riverhead announced it will host a 61-lap NASCAR Modified race on Aug. 27.

Evans, who won 17 feature events at Islip Speedway, two at Freeport Stadium and another at Riverhead in 1985 before passing away later that year, drove the No. 61 car, hence the length. He was a nine-time national Modified champion, including eight in a row (1978-85).

Barbara and Jim Cromarty, owners of Riverhead Raceway, are on the nominating committee of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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