LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Heading into to a new season, one local team is ready to take their talent to the next level in New York.
Visconti Motorsports — a team that ran the Riverhead Raceway Modified Crate division to a fourth place championship finish with CJ Lehmann behind the wheel in 2016 — has purchased some new modified equipment.
Team owner John Visconti III snatched some of Mark Sypher’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour equipment when he decided he was going to scale back from running the tour in 2017. With Lehmann behind the wheel, the team is planning to compete full-time at Riverhead in the Crate Modified class, but also take their talents elsewhere along the way.
“We are absolutely not ready as far as experiences goes to run the full Whelen Modified Tour. We’re definitely going to run the Crate Modifieds full-time at Riverhead, but we also have two tour cars here we want to be able to use,” Visconti told Race Chaser Online. “We will run one of them as a Tour-Type Modified car and get our feet wet in that class.”
With one other car sitting in their stable, Visconti is planning to use it to take on some of the best in modified competition on June 24 and Sept. 16 as part of the Whelen Modified Tour schedule at Riverhead — a track that they more than familiar with.
Other than that, the plan is to fill-in some of those empty weekends with other tracks around the area.
“We will also run all of the Evergreen Tour-Type races as part of their six race championship,” Visconti said. “Obviously this is giving us a pretty full schedule with the Riverhead weekly racing. But — if time and experience permits — we want to run some of the other tracks around to gain experience.”
Lehmann, who is 25-years-old, has been driving since he was young. He competed in the Street Stock class at Evergreen Speedway, but then moved back to the Island to compete at Riverhead in the Charger class.
Does a fourth place championship finish in the Crate Modifieds in 2016 give him the confidence that they can capture the title in the class this year?
“It’s racing — any driver that says anything is a lock is lying to you — anything can happen on the race track,” Lehmann said. “But I think we have a great shot — John is a great car owner and gives us what we need. In some ways we have a little bit of an advantage over people coming in for this year. We had a really good year last year if you take away all the bad luck we had.”
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