Riverhead Raceway is a notoriously difficult place for outsiders to come in and beat the regulars. The weekly runners were out in force Saturday for the sixth annual running of the Islip 300, three-hundred wheel to wheel laps around a quarter mile track with no room to spare.
The odds favored the locals but somebody forgot to tell Woburn, Mass. driver Anthony Nocella. Nocella held back, then pitted for fresh tires after most everyone else, benefitted from countless caution flags in his run to the front, then had to pass leader Matt Hirschman not once but twice when his first pass was negated by officials for driving too low on the track. After 293 laps, Nocella took over first place and held it, scoring a dramatic win on a track he had raced on only one other time in his career.
For beating the regulars, and doing it with a combination of heady driving and well-considered strategy, Anthony Nocella is this week’s AARN Newsmaker!