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Holtsville's Justin Bonsignore, the 2011 Modified Division track (Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Holtsville's Justin Bonsignore, the 2011 Modified Division track champ, says Riverhead racing is "the ultimate family sport." (July 30, 2011)

A day at the races in Riverhead

The RiverheadRaceway on Route 58 is a unique Long Island landmark. The oval-shaped, quarter-mile of asphalt is the only official NASCAR track in the New York City metropolitan area. Unlike more glamorous tracks, its gritty atmosphere is just the way the mostly do-it-yourself, blue-collar crowd wants to keep it.

An American Indian statue, which was shown on
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

An American Indian statue, which was shown on an episode of “The Sopranos,” has greeted visitors to Riverhead Raceway on Route 58 since 1949.

A popular spot for fans is near the
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A popular spot for fans is near the start-finish line. (July 30, 2011)

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville edges Howie Brode of
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville edges Howie Brode of East Islip (No. 96) in warm-up laps before a Whelen Modified division race at Riverhead Raceway. Races are held on weekends from May through September. (July 30, 2011)

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After the drivers take a few warm-up “hot
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

After the drivers take a few warm-up “hot laps,” the green flag signals the start of a race. (July 16, 2011)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified event is one of
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified event is one of the fastest at Riverhead Raceway and always offers plenty of action. (Aug. 20, 2011)

Tom Sullivan of North Massapequa (No. 71) and
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tom Sullivan of North Massapequa (No. 71) and Thomas Puccia of Mastic (No. 51) race for the finish line in the Blunderbust division. (Sept. 10, 2011)

Holtsville's Justin Bonsignore, the 2011 Modified Division track
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Holtsville's Justin Bonsignore, the 2011 Modified Division track champ, says Riverhead racing is "the ultimate family sport." (July 30, 2011)

Race crew, family members and friends watch the
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Race crew, family members and friends watch the action from a fenced-off area near the pits. From this vantage point, a spotter can communicate his or her driver during the race via radio. (July 30, 2011)

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Tires take a beating. This one’s on Holtsville
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tires take a beating. This one’s on Holtsville driver John Fortin’s car in the winner’s circle in the Whelen Modified division. (Aug. 20, 2011)

“Sonny” Densieski of Iron Man Welding, a raceway
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

“Sonny” Densieski of Iron Man Welding, a raceway staple, oversees assistant Joe Riso grinding a pipe for a car. Fixes are made before, during and after races. (Aug. 13, 2011)

It’s all about teamwork as the pit crew
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

It’s all about teamwork as the pit crew of Ron Yuhas Jr. of Groton, Conn., changes tires during a Whelen Modified race. (July 30, 2011)

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, spectators pause for a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance before a race. (Sept. 10, 2011)

Lines are short at the concession stands during
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Lines are short at the concession stands during a demolition derby, when fans pack the bleachers and track turns. (Aug. 13, 2011)

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George Astacio awaits the start of a demolition
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

George Astacio awaits the start of a demolition derby. (Aug. 20, 2011)

The demolition derby is a crowd favorite for
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The demolition derby is a crowd favorite for daredevil moves -- and wrecks. (Aug. 20, 2011)

George Astacio stands proudly next to his four-cylinder
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

George Astacio stands proudly next to his four-cylinder car, which was totaled in a demolition derby. (Aug. 20, 2011)

A fireworks display lights up the sky on
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A fireworks display lights up the sky on “I Love America” night at Riverhead Raceway. (Aug. 20, 2011)

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