Days off are somewhat of a foreign concept to Dave Brigati, one of Riverhead Raceway’s most versatile drivers.
The 46-year-old from Baiting Hollow has raced at Riverhead since 1989 and has worked his way up to the NASCAR Modified division, a class in which he currently ranks fifth, after starting off in the Charger division.
He also ranks third in the Super Pro Trucks class thanks to two wins in the division this season. But he’s saved his best racing for the Modified Crates, winning five of eight races this year and ranking first in points.
Naturally, racing — and succeeding — in all three divisions means Brigati and his crew put in significant time during the week.
“We have a full crew during the week in the shop,” he said. “We put in about 40-50 hours a week in the shop. Our only day off is Saturday, when we’re racing.”
Which, of course, is hardly a day off.
Because Brigati races in three divisions, he’s at the track for most of the day. He said he usually arrives around 1 p.m. and doesn’t finish until 10 p.m. He spends much of that time in a car because he must practice, qualify and race the cars for each of the three classes.
Although racing three different cars in a day could prove difficult, Brigati has the experience to do it with success.
“With each class, it’s definitely different driving each one,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for so long now that it just comes naturally.”
Brigati said he’s used to the physical demands of racing three times in a day. He doesn’t get fatigued and said he takes good care of his body in the days leading up to his races.
As last year’s inaugural Crates champion, Brigati is certainly poised to repeat if he continues this hot streak of checkered finishes. He could also win in the Truck class, something he said he “wants more than anything this year” because “it’s a very competitive class.”
This year could prove historic for Brigati. At the very least, he’s in line for top-five finishes in each of the three classes he races in. With a few more high finishes in the NASCAR Modifieds series, he could crack the top three.
Right now, Brigati is the hottest racer at Riverhead Raceway — regardless of division.
“Right now,” Brigati said, “it’s just working.”