Things have not gone according to plan for Timmy Solomito in the NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour since winning at Riverhead Speedway on June 24.
While he’s finished fourth on two different occasions, the Islip, New York native has been involved in wrecks at New Hampshire and Bristol. As a result, Solomito has seen his championship lead cut from 13 to three in four races.
“Unfortunately, that’s racing,” the 25-year-old said. “Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield-type deal. Racing’s a very humbling sport, just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you always get bit by something.”
But Solomito now comes to Seekonk, a place where he is the only active Tour driver to have won at.
Seekonk Speedway is a track that, for Solomito, is not suited to his normal driving style.
“I like to drive it in as hard as I can and pick up the throttle as early as I can,” he said. “I always thought, ‘Oh, that’s going to be the fastest way around.'”
Last year, Solomito blew out two right rear tires in only eight laps of practice. It was a tip from his car owner that turned things in the right direction.
“I didn’t really have much track time,” Solomito said. “Eric Sanderson, the car owner, says before the feature, he goes: ‘This track’s all about finesse.’ He goes, ‘finesse’ to me. ‘Finesse, finesse.'”
“We started sixth and coming to the lead and ended up winning the race. After things had settled and we’d all went home for the night, Eric texts me and goes ‘That was finesse.'”
Of course, as a driver becomes successful at a track, that driver eventually enjoys racing there.
The same can be said for Solomito.
“Seekonk’s a tough track, but it’s definitely a cool track,” Solomito said. “There’s an outside groove you can run pretty hard, and I feel it produces pretty good racing.”
“You have to be able to drive the car with the throttle.”
A win at Seekonk would mean a whole lot to Solomito, especially as the season winds to a close and the championship battle grows ever tighter. A single point could be the difference in winning or losing the title. And victories net drivers and teams maximum points.
“There’s so many good guys out there, so many good cars, a lot of good combinations,” he said. “A win any time is huge. They don’t come easy, and they don’t come often.”
It’s going to take Timmy Solomito the same versatility he showed in this race last season to win his first Tour championship.
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