Timmy Solomito scored his second victory of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, taking the lead after late-race contact with Doug Coby as they battled for the lead at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway.
“I hate to race that way,” Solomito told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS. “We had a really fast car tonight. I pressed him and tried to get him to slip up. He slipped up a few times. I showed my nose a couple times.
"I have a lot of respect for Doug but he’s trying to win a race and I’m trying to win a race. Unfortunately, tight quarters, you’re racing on a small track, I hate to win races that way but it happens, contact happens.”
Coby led 134 of the 150 laps in the race after having the fastest car all day at the 0.396-mile Virginia oval. Coby started on the pole and led until the mandatory caution at lap 100, when several cars stayed out after pitting at lap 82. Coby quickly picked his way back to the lead.
Coby maintained that lead until a lap 121 caution set the stage for the tense decisive battle. Coby beat out Solomito on the restart, but Solomito stayed within reach of Coby, the first competitor to do so all evening.
On lap 144, Coby spun after contact with Solomito, dashing his hopes at victory. Solomito beat out Max Zachem on the ensuing restart, allowing him to pull away for the win.
Coby was largely diplomatic about the loss, disappointed with missing out on a chance at victory but acknowledging that he has sometimes benefited from rough racing.
“Timmy made his car faster, and we were just a tick tighter,” Coby said about the end of the race. “We still had a fast race car, a controllable race car. It was a good race. That’s what the fans deserve to see. They don’t want to see somebody walk away by a straightaway.
“I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. If I complain too much, people point to the times I’ve knocked somebody around and not gotten penalized. But I can make a list of the times I’ve been penalized a lot more than I haven’t. It’s one of those things where I can’t say too much. It’s the type of racing people like to see these days. When I’m on the winning end of it, I’m fine and dandy. When I’m on the losing end of it, I’m gonna cry sour grapes.”
Solomito insisted he didn’t intend to take out Coby, attributing the incident to two competitors battling for the win.
“Unfortunately, it’s racing,” Solomito said. “It is a contact sport here and there and sometimes things happen. We didn’t want that to happen but it’s hard racing. Two guys going for the same piece of real estate for the win. If I could go back, would I have done anything different, probably not. Everybody’s here to win.”
With the victory, Solomito claims the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points lead. The Islip, New York native leaves Virginia with a nine-point advantage over Icebreaker 150 winner Rowan Pennink on the strength of two wins in the southern states at Myrtle Beach Speedway (S.C.) and Langley.
“We just have to keep it rolling and keep running strong and having good finishes,” Solomito said about the points battle. “At the end of the day, every position counts. You have to play your cards right and be there at the end.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action June 14 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com