Riverhead Raceway (NY) has earned a reputation for being one of the most daunting tracks on the NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour due to its tight quarters and hard competition. Over the years drivers of the “Long Island Brigade” that competed at Riverhead one time or another have been favorites to win.
Saturday night, Timmy Solomito became the latest Long Island son to add his name to the list of winners in Whelen Modified Tour competition at Riverhead. Solomito led early but then fell back a few positions, eventually retaking second and setting out in pursuit of three-time and defending champion Doug Coby.
After 30 laps of pressure, Solomito got the inside line from Coby and after three laps door to door, took the lead for good on Lap 160 of the Riverhead 200. In the end it was the combination of a good car and the home track advantage that got Solomito the win.
“This being my home track, I knew a couple of different lines that I can get a little bit better grip where we were a little bit loose,” Solomito told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I was able to move myself around the racetrack and just pressure his back bumper and I knew if I pressured him long enough, hopefully he would burn his car off a little bit trying to stay out front there. I was able to slip underneath him and take the lead. I knew I had to keep pressure on him, if I kept pressure on him I knew I would be able to go by him. I didn’t want to let him get out there too far, I know he usually gets comfortable and the race is over. Guys gave me a great car, I can’t say enough about them.”
When Coby spun while battling for second with Justin Bonsignore in the closing laps, Bonsignore had a shot at scoring his third straight win at Riverhead, but Solomito was just too much.
“I had a good start but I knew the 16 (Solomito) was going to make it wide, it’s just how Riverhead is. I would’ve done the same thing if the roles were reversed,” said Bonsignore after the race. “Overall a good night, I wanted to win and get three in a row here but at the same time, it’s a little disappointing, we’ll go on to Loudon and move on from there.”
For Solomito, it was an extra treat going up against a fellow Long Islander for the win.
“We ran go-karts through the years. Him and my brother are pretty much best friends. We have a ton of respect for each other, we run each other hard, but we try and run each other as clean as we can. Can’t thank him enough for giving me a clean race, same thing with Coby, everybody ran with respect.”
The win for Solomito is one that he has been after for the last few years.
“Since I set out on the Tour this is something that I’ve always wanted to do, win in front of my hometown crowd. Tonight I’m going to sleep a little bit better. I’ve been really close to doing it. We came 25 laps short when Ryan Preece beat us here a couple of years back with Wayne Anderson. To finally get a win here means a lot in a Tour race it finally caps it off. I’ve won big races here locally, the 77 lap for Baldwin and them, the Hall of Fame 100. This puts the icing on the cake for me.”
For results and an on-demand recap, visit NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com.
NWMT Riverhead 200 Unofficial Results
|25||5||Frank Vigliarolo Jr.||95|
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen