Souza Files Blog: Northeast Silly Season – Who’s Going Where In NASCAR Whelen Mod Tour?

Kyle Souza Asphalt Modifieds, Featured, Kyle Souza Blog, Northeast, Southeast 0 Comments

SEEKONK, MASS. – Blog by RaceChaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza – Photo Credit Howie Hodge/The Chrome Horn   –

The Northeast “silly season” is in full swing even before the Thanksgiving Turkey is cooked.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour seems to be a particular hotbed for revolving driver’s seats right now.  Let’s take a look at a few of the changes that have already been made in anticipation of the 2015 season.

Driver: Ryan Preece

When the 2014 season closed a few weeks ago at Thompson, Ryan Preece and Doug Coby were the two men holding the trophies. Preece, found himself dominating the main event and grabbing the win, while Coby clinched his second career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Ever since the conclusion of the Thompson race the rumor mill has been swirling with excitement about who would be driving what car for the 2015 modified tour season. The first to announce a change, was Thompson winner Ryan Preece.

Since Ron Silk had parted ways with the #6, Preece took advantage and jumped to Ed Partidge and that team in preparation for 2015. When he visited our Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show a few weeks ago, Preece mentioned that he felt like it was the right time.

He said, “An opportunity was presented to race more. I’ve always said I wanted to race as much as I can and that opportunity is there. We’re gonna race as much as we can and win as much as we can.”

Preece planned to be in competition with his new ride for the upcoming North-South Shootout, to get his feet wet in the ride.  He went, he saw and he conquered.  The combination is a winning one right out of the box.

Driver: Donny Lia

After multiple season’s behind the wheel of the “Mystic Missle” #4, Donny Lia has announced he will not return to the famed tour ride for 2015. Over the course of 6 years together, Lia and car owner Bob Garbarino picked up 12 victories. They won famed races such as Bristol and New Hampshire, but also grabbed the checkers at Thompson and Stafford. Lia also collected two championships with the team in 2007 and 2009 and picked up various wins.

During a recent conversation with Lia he told me, “A decision like that you think about for a while, which I did.” Lia and Garbarino have discussed it in the past, but this time it actually happened.

Lia also mentioned that his 2015 racing plans are up in the air at this point. “As of right now, I have no plans or deals in the works,” he said. It seems as if the long-time modified driver could be sitting back and not forcing any hands.

We shall see if anything comes up for his 2015 campaign. I’d expect that if another ride on the tour opens up, he will be the prime candidate.

Driver: Timmy Solomito

Since Ryan Preece vacated the Flamingo Motorsports #16 following Thompson, it wasn’t long before Islip, NY’s driver Timmy Solomito’s name was thrown into the hat as a possible name of replacement. After a few days of discussion, the announcement became official on Monday afternoon. Solomito would vacate the Anderson Motorsports #75 for 2015 and head to the #16 for a full-time ride. His talent was clearly shown with Anderson, as he collected Rookie of the Year honors on the NWMT in 2014.

“This is a great opportunity to work with a championship caliber team. I’m really excited to see how we run together,” Solomito mentioned to me. “I really appreciate the opportunity Eric Sanderson and Sly have given me for 2015. I’m hoping to have some really strong runs and work toward winning with the team.”

On his expectations for the year, he said “I would love to finish in the top five in points and come away with some strong runs and wins.” It seems like Timmy is committed to running inside the top five and fighting for the title next season.

“I’m extremely grateful for everything Wayne and Joette Anderson as well as Eastport Feeds did for me. We had a great season together and ran strong together.”

So what else will come with the off-season in the Northeast? Stay tuned race fans, more news is on the horizon.

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