MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - 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. This time, the win came in South Carolina.
Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 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.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Myrtle Beach Speedway – Myrtle Beach, SC
Performance Plus 150 – March 18, 2017
|1||7||16||Timmy Solomito||Starrett Tools Ford||155||47||4||Running|
|2||1||64||Rob Summers||Fastrock Electric Chevrolet||155||44||2||Running|
|3||15||11||Andy Seuss||LFR Chassis Chevrolet||155||42||1||Running|
|4||10||6||Ryan Preece||TS Hauler Chevrolet||155||41||1||Running|
|5||4||20||Max Zachem||MPZ Motorsports/Lu-Macs Chevrolet||155||39||Running|
|6||16||51||Justin Bonsignore||Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet||155||38||Running|
|7||3||3||Rowan Pennink||Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet||155||38||1||Running|
|8||25||46||Woody Pitkat||Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet||155||36||Running|
|9||29||00||Les Hinckley, III *||Chad Freeman Attorney at Law Chevrolet||155||35||Running|
|10||18||1||Burt Myers||Citrusafe Cleaners Ford||155||34||Running|
|11||21||89||Matt Swanson||Starrett Tools Ford||155||33||Running|
|12||20||40||Danny Bohn||Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Repair/Will I Am South||155||32||Running|
|13||22||2||Doug Coby||Mayhew Tools Chevrolet||155||31||Running|
|14||26||77||Gary Putnam||Curb Records Chevrolet||155||30||Running|
|15||13||17||Kyle Ellwood||TBD Chevrolet||151||29||Running|
|16||14||82||Ron Silk||Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet||148||28||Accident|
|17||9||60||Matt Hirschman||Pee Dee Motorsports Chevrolet||148||27||Accident|
|18||11||58||Eric Goodale||GAF/Heritage Millworth Chevrolet||148||26||Accident|
|19||12||22||Kyle Bonsignore||Snap-On Tools Chevrolet||148||26||1||Running|
|20||27||33||Wade Cole||Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil Ford||148||24||Running|
|21||5||75||Shawn Solomito||Eastport Feeds Chevrolet||145||23||Accident|
|22||8||15||Jeremy Gerstner||The Carriage House Restaurant/GMR Chevrolet||145||23||1||Accident|
|23||6||36||Dave Sapienza||Sapienza Enterprise Chevrolet||145||21||Accident|
|24||24||99||Jamie Tomaino||Dunleavys Repair Chevrolet||137||20||Accident|
|25||17||85||Todd Szegedy||Montanari Fuel/Stuarts Automotive Chevrolet||128||19||Accident|
|26||28||01||Melissa Fifield||Eastern Propane & Oil Chevrolet||117||18||Accident|
|27||23||39||Calvin Carroll *||Power with Prestige Chevrolet||103||17||Rear End|
|29||19||56||Craig Lutz||TBD Toyota||14||15||Rear End|
Fastest Qualifier: Rob Summers, Time: 20.028 Seconds, Speed: 95.267 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 48 mins, 38 secs Average Speed: 45.373 mph Margin of Victory: 0.244 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 55-61 (Car #77 turn 1 contact, FP #40); 81-86 (Car #85 spun front stretch, FP #00); 90-95 (Car #39 turn 1 & 2, FP #75); 101-107 (Debris front stretch, FP #85); 129-136 (Multiple car turn 3 & 4, FP #2); 138-144 (Multiple car back stretch, FP #77); 146-147 (Multiple car turn 1 & 2, FP #40); 149-152 (Multiple car front to turn 1, FP #40). 8 for 47 laps.
Lap Leaders: Rob Summers 1-56, Rowan Pennink 57-84, Kyle Bonsignore 85-88, Jeremy Gerstner 89-104, Ryan Preece 105-106, Rowan Pennink 107-115, Andy Seuss 116-130, Rowan Pennink 131, Rob Summers 132-147, Timmy Solomito 148-155.
Total Laps Led: Rob Summers 72, Rowan Pennink 38, Jeremy Gerstner 16, Andy Seuss 15, Timmy Solomito 8, Kyle Bonsignore 4, Ryan Preece 2. 9 changes involving 7 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Timmy Solomito 47, Rob Summers 44, Andy Seuss 42, Ryan Preece 41, Max Zachem 39, Justin Bonsignore 38, Rowan Pennink 38, Woody Pitkat 36, Les Hinckley, III * 35, Burt Myers 34
Next Race: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender