RIVERHEAD, N.Y. —
While Timmy Solomito’s first career win earlier this year was a ‘dream come true,’ Saturday night’s victory at his home track was twice as sweet.
The 24-year-old Islip, New York driver, piloted the No. 16 Diversified Metals /R.B. Enterprises Ford to the win in the Riverhead 200 at Long Island’s Riverhead Speedway. To get to Victory Lane for a second time, Solomito had to hold off Justin Bonsignore in a green-white-checkered finish that capped a wild night on the historic quarter-mile.
“Since I set out on the tour, this is something I always wanted to do, win in front of my hometown crowd,” Solomito said. “To finally get a win here means a lot.”
It was a Riverhead sweep of the podium, as Bonsignore settled for second and Donny Lia came home third.
Jimmy Blewett, who had to drop to the rear on the start for making changes after qualifying, charged his way up to fourth. And Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five.
Solomito has won a number of the extra-distance NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified events at Riverhead, but was 0-for-5 in tour starts. He did nearly come away with a win in 2013, only to finish third after losing the lead to eventual winner Ryan Preece with 24 laps to go.
Bonsignore is a former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion at Riverside and was looking to win his third straight tour race there. But Solomito got a strong jump on the race’s final restart as the late caution pushed the race to 212 laps.
Earlier in the day, Doug Coby won his fifth Coors Light Pole Award in six races this season. Coby led a race-high 81 laps but spun after contact with Bonsignore as the two battled along with Solomito for the lead on Lap 196. Coby salvaged a 10th-place finish and maintained a 17-point lead over Max Zachem.
Zachem finished sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Chase Dowling, rookie Matt Swanson and Coby.
Bonsignore is third in points, one ahead of Lia and two ahead of Solomito.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads north next month for the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16. It’s part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at the “Magic Mile,” which includes the non-points All-Star Shootout for the Whelen Modifieds on Friday, July 15.