DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Weather may have delayed the Icebreaker a week, but it hasn’t slowed Timmy Solomito’s momentum.
Heading to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Solomito has firmly positioned himself as the driver to beat Sunday. The Islip, N.Y. driver won the season-opening race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Myrtle Beach Speedway on March 18 and is heading to Thompson as the defending Icebreaker winner.
Last year, he wheeled the No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports entry into Victory Lane and scored his first career series win. The victory began what was a breakout season for the 25-year-old driver, including four checkered flags and a career-best third-place finish in the points standings.
“Winning at the Icebreaker last season was unbelievable,” Solomito said. “If you just think back about the history of Thompson itself and the Icebreaker, it’s just an awesome feeling. It’s by far my favorite win that I’ve had so far on the tour.”
Solomito followed his Thompson win with victories on a trio of bullrings: his home track of New York’s Riverhead Raceway, Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire, and Massachusett’s Seekonk Speedway. He pointed to that first win as being the catalyst that helped him close the deal on the subsequent victories.
Inclement weather postponed the Icebreaker last weekend. Thompson’s card for the 43rd annual Icebreaker weekend will include 11 divisions of racing.
For the first time since 1988, the teams of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will hold their second race of the 2017 season on the .625-mile high-banked oval. Teams will be fighting to get a grip on the surface because they will hit Thompson three more times before the season ends, including for the finale.
As Solomito learned last year, a victory at the beginning of the season can help a team gain momentum in a hurry.
“Winning the Icebreaker really got everything off in the right direction for us last year,” said Solomito. “It’s always nice to get a win early in the season. I feel like it helped our momentum and really got us rolling.”
At Myrtle Beach, Solomito charged to the front late in the race and held off Coors Light Pole Award winner Rob Summers in the final laps to take down the victory. As the winner of the first unified Whelen Modified Tour main event on the half-mile oval in South Carolina, Solomito is confident heading back to New England behind the wheel of his No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford.
“I think we have a good shot at being in the thick of things at the end of it,” Solomito said. “As long as all the pieces come together, I know the team will give me a great car to hopefully put it where we need to be in the closing laps.”
CREDIT: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications