One year ago, Timmy Solomito captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the season-opening Icebreaker at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Fast-forward a year later, the Islip, New York, driver was celebrating a victory in the season-opening race once again.
Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on Saturday at another historic venue, the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, and became the first winner on the newly formed unified Whelen Modified Tour.
Solomito’s No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford took the lead for the final time following a late-race caution that setup the final restart and held off Rob Summers on a green-white-checkered finish to take down the victory. The win was Solomito’s fifth career on the tour after his breakout 2016.
“My team did a great job,” said Solomito. “We knew we had to ride and save our stuff as much as possible for the end of the race. I knew the last five laps we had to run as hard as possible and my team gave me a car good enough to do that.”
Rob Summers, who scored his first Coors Light Pole Award since 2001 earlier in the day, led a race-high 72 laps but came up just short of the victory with a second place finish behind the wheel of his No. 64 Fastrock Electric Chevrolet.
Andy Seuss made a late charge to finish third after spinning just after the halfway point. Ryan Preece was also able to climb to the front late and finish fourth, with Max Zachem rounding out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Rowan Pennink – who led 38 laps – Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley III and Burt Myers.
The race was slowed by eight cautions, with four coming in the final 30 laps, including one on Lap 145 and a subsequent one on Lap 148 that winnowed the field and took out several contenders. The final yellow pushed the race to 155 laps.
In the offseason, NASCAR unified the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour into one tour that stretches from New Hampshire to South Carolina.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Thompson for the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 2.
Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen Results
At Myrtle Beach Speedway Myrtle Beach, SC
Lap length: 0.53 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
- (7) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 155 laps, 45.373 mph.
- (1) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 155.
- (15) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 155.
- (10) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 155.
- (4) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 155.
- (16) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 155.
- (3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 155.
- (25) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 155.
- (29) Les Hinckley, III, Windsor Locks, N.C., Chevrolet, 155.
- (18) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 155.
- (21) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Ford, 155.
- (20) Danny Bohn, Freehold, N.J., Chevrolet, 155.
- (22) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 155.
- (26) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 155.
- (13) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 151.
- (14) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 148, accident.
- (9) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA, Chevrolet, 148, accident.
- (11) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148, accident.
- (12) Kyle Bonsignore, Bay Shore, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
- (27) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Ford, 148.
- (5) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145, accident.
- (8) Jeremy Gerstner, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Chevrolet, 145, accident.
- (6) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145, accident.
- (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 137, accident.
- (17) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 128, accident.
- (28) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 117, accident.
- (23) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 103, rear end.
- (19) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Toyota, 14, rear end.
Time of Race: 1 hour 48 minutes 38 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.244 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Summers (95.267 mph, 20.028 seconds) Caution Flags: 8 for 47 laps.
Lead Changes: 9 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Summers 1-56; R. Pennink 57-84; K. Bonsignore 85-88; J. Gerstner 89-104;
- Preece 105-106; R. Pennink 107-115; A. Seuss 116-130; R. Pennink 131; R. Summers 132-147; T.
Standings: 1. T. Solomito, 47; 2. R. Summers, 44; 3. A. Seuss, 42; 4. R. Preece, 41; 5. J. Bonsignore, 38; 7. R. Pennink, 38; 8. W. Pitkat, 36; 9. L. Hinckley III, 35; 10. B. Myers, 34.
Source: Jason Christley/NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications