In winning the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday at Thompson Speedway, Timmy Solomito is having a “dream come true” start to his third full-time season in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
The victory was his first in NASCAR and now that he has a full year with Flamingo Motorsports under his belt, the 24-year-old is starting to entertain an even greater idea — winning the Tour championship.
This is the opportunity Solomito says he’s spent an entire life at tracks across the Northeast daydreaming about. He says he wants to spend the rest of the 2016 season feeling the same way he did upon crossing the finish line on Sunday at Thompson.
“Time stopped for a bit,” Solomito told Short Track Scene after the race on Sunday. “It was amazing to get out of the car in front of the fans and pump your fist. It was a long time coming and I just hope that it’s the first of many.“
Expectations were high even before the start of the weekend. After winning Rookie of the Year honors with Wayne Anderson Racing in 2014, Solomito replaced Ryan Preece in the Flamingo No. 16. Even though they were not able to win in their first season together, they kept improving and were regular contenders by the end of the season.
“Hopefully those experience pay off,” Solomito said of 2015. “We were hitting on all cylinders last year. We have all the pieces of the puzzle here and now we have to put them together. This is a great start.“
Even with the win, Solomito isn’t getting ahead of himself. Oswego Speedway and Seekonk Speedway have returned to the schedule and the second-generation driver believes the roster is one of the toughest in recent memory. He knows winning the Icebreaker will allow him to control the pace early on but nothing is guaranteed.
“This is what I dreamed of when I was I younger and running karts,” Solomito said. “I remember going to the track and watching the Modified Tour and watching drivers win and celebrate. I wanted to be out there. I want to be a champion. It’s a dream come true to win at Thompson and it’s a dream to compete for a championship.
“I hope we can carry this momentum through the rest of the season.“