Start Your Engines: Drag Racing got the nod at Riverhead later this summer.

The Riverhead Town Board of Directors voted 4-0 at their regular Wednesday afternoon meeting to approve a special event request for the “Race Track Not Street at EPCAL Drag Racing Series” at Enterprise Park in Calverton during four weekends in August and September.

The Board of Directors also voted 4-0 to approve the special event request for the ‘Scrambul Runway Challenge Drag Racing Event’, a two-day competition and exhibition that will take place on EPCAL property over the week. -end of September 25 and 26.

Residents who live near the EPCAL property and civic groups opposed the two drag racing events, fearing that their permission could generate noise and cause pollution in environmentally sensitive areas of the site. EPCAL.

City Councilor Catherine Kent abstained from both votes and asked to table them. Kent said that while she was not against such events, she felt that the community had raised several issues – such as the effect of chemicals sprayed on the drag strip on groundwater – which did not had not been answered and the Board needed more time to review the requests. .

However, City Councilor Tim Hubbard said he believed the information they had on the two events answered “90%” of the questions he had, and that the board could cancel the events if new problems were occurring before their start dates.

“It will be a huge success, and it will bring tons of money to our economy for the future,” said city councilor Frank Beyrodt in his “yes” vote.

Pete Scalzo, 76, of Sarasota, Fla., Who promotes the “Racetrack Not Street at EPCAL Drag Racing Series”, told the meeting that noise would not be an issue due to the mufflers that cars from. race will have to use.

“I’m looking for the opportunity to show you what the merits of this healthy family sport are, that’s all I’m looking for,” said Scalzo.

John McAuliff, of Rolling Woods, a member of EPCAL Watch, was one of many residents at the meeting who opposed the events, asking council to table the resolution for at least two weeks to give more time for “hard data” is made available to the public on environmental impact, noise and other issues.

However, others who spoke at the meeting supported authorizing the events.

Kathleen V. Berezny, a resident of Riverhead, said drag racing was “a great American sport” that the city is expected to allow this summer.

“Make the residents of Riverhead happy. We need some fun stuff,” Berezny said.