Solomito Charges Late For Myrtle Beach Modified Win

Timmy Solomito opened the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season with a win in Saturday’s Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Photo by Adam Glanzman/NASCAR

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

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
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

 

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