Tag Archives: Timmy Solomito

The NASCAR WMT Heads to Riverhead Raceway for the Miller Lite 200

By Michael Jaworecki

After two races in the south the NASCAR WMT season heads to Long Island for its first northern race of the season at Riverhead Raceway. Thirty-three teams have entered the Miller Lite 200 at the 1/4-mile Riverhead Raceway.

The year started at the New Smyrna Speedway in February with Thirty-one teams towing over 1,200 miles south of their normal New England season opener. A successful weekend resulted in a sellout crowd and great racing. One unhappy driver that night was multi time champion Justin Bonsignore. Justin, looking to a for a strong start to the season ended up being the first car out of the race digging an early hole in the 2022 points battle.

Justin would redeem himself with a win at Richmond Raceway in April taking the Richmond is for Racing Lovers 100 over Tommy Catalano. After the disaster in Florida, his win vaulted him all the way to ninth place in the standings only twenty points back of the points lead.

Coming into the Miller Lite 200, two New Yorkers from opposite ends of the state are tied for the points lead. Eric Goodale, who will be racing in his hometown of Riverhead, and Tommy Catalano will be making the seven-hour ride from Ontario, New York. Third in the point standings is Tyler Rypkema only one point back. Unfortunately, Tyler will drop in the standings as he is not entered in the Miller Lite 200.

Long Island based teams have always been strong at Riverhead. Long Islanders have won eleven of the last fourteen Whelen Tour races. Eric Goodale, Timmy Solomito, and Justin Bonsignore have been dominant during that stretch of races. Only Doug Coby who will return for the Miller Lite 200 and last September’s Miller Lite 200 winner Patrick Emerling have broken up the hometown party.

Local Riverhead Modified regulars with be tough this Saturday. Tom Rogers Jr., Dave Brigati, Roger Turbush who finished third last September John Beatty Jr. and others should be strong runners at their home track.

Entry List for the May 14 Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway: https://www.nascar.com/news-media/2022/05/10/entry-list-miller-lite-200-at-riverhead-raceway/

We reached out to several Long Island based drivers about the upcoming race.

Timmy Solomito Natual Designs #66

How does it feel to be back in a race car?

“It feels great to be back on a more regular basis this year. After running the Islip 300 last year and the Turkey Derby at Wall I am pretty excited to get back at it. “

2. Do you believe you have a home field advantage at Riverhead?

“I don’t really feel that way any longer, the tour regulars are so good, and the local drivers are extremely competitive. The playing field has become very level, and everyone is fast these days.”

3. Will you be running more tour races this season?

“We really don’t have a schedule set in stone. We are just picking races we want to go to. With the rising gas prices, we’ll see how things go. “

4. You are in the family car for Riverhead, does that make you more comfortable?

“I never really worry about which car I’m driving; I always give it 150%. It didn’t matter if it was Eric Sanderson, Tommy Baldwin or my family car, we were there to give it all we got.”

“I would like to thank my sponsors that make all this possible Highmark Building Efficiency, Meadowbrook Collision, American Tent, Couch Racer, Natural Design and of course the support of my family.”

Eric Goodale GAF #58

  1. The early races have been so spread out is that tough?

“It’s easier for me, you have time to work on the car and focus on other things until it’s time to go back racing like family and work.”

2. You come into Riverhead the track you started your career tied for the points lead, what is that like?

“It’s good to come to Riverhead, it gives us an advantage. I started racing there with a Charger many years ago and this will be on my 12th or 13th year on the tour. We only have about a 10-minute trip to get to the track. It’s a different feeling with more family and friends coming to see us in person. Most of the races we have we have a longer commute than the other teams. Three races at Riverhead are great for the team. I love that all the races are on FloRacing. My kids can watch Dad at every race, and I can watch the replays when I get home.”

3. How does it feel to have run two races in 2022 with two top ten two top ten finishes with no damage to repair?

“It’s great, only a few hours work getting ready for the next race, and we are set. This week leading up to the race we are busy with other things, like kids’ Baseball games and Lacrosse games. On Friday we are taking the car to my kid’s school, after that we will load up and be ready to race in the Miller Lite 200.”

Justin Bonsignore Pheonix Communications #51

  1. The year started rough at New Smyrna Speedway. How much weight did the win at Richmond take off your shoulders? Does another Championship feel more in reach?

” Richmond was a great way to bounce back after such a tough start at New Smyrna. We still have a big hole to climb out of, but we are confident we can and will contend for our fourth championship.”

2. Is the spread-out earlier season schedule easy or tough, especially when you had that rough first race?

” The spread out start to the season has been a bit of both purely based on confidence and momentum. The time between New Smyrna and Richmond was a long period of time to have to think of the rough start. On the other hand, the Time since Richmond we have been able to ride the momentum of the win. During this downtime Stone and the team have been able to prep for the next stretch of races and make sure we are fully prepared.

3. Do you look forward to coming to Riverhead 3 times a year? Do you think you have any advantage?

“I always look forward to coming to Riverhead and racing in front of friends and family. We are very appreciative of Riverhead for hosting three races.”

“I feel before the re-pave I had a home track advantage, however since that we have lost that edge and we have been working hard to get back to victory lane”

4. Your fiancée Taylor, being a former Miss Motorsports, she must be a big supporter of your racing. Does that help in a long season?

” Taylor and I met through racing and she is a huge supporter of mine and the team. She comes from a racing family and is very understanding of the time and effort it takes for us to be successful, she loves being there at each race. She may be a bigger race fan than I am honestly.”

Jimmy Wilson Director of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

  1. NASCAR just published all the purse, contingency, and bonus money for the Riverhead Miller Beer 200 and its substantial.

“We wanted to highlight more of that and what we do behind the scenes. People say NASCAR doesn’t do anything for the team well that’s not that case. The winner of the race can earn over $13,000.00 if they hit all the bonus and contingency money. ” The winner bonus plan was revamped this year where $11,000.00 per race is now handed out to the top fifteen teams.”

2. This is a different year so far with new tracks and a different schedule. The season even started deep south during Speed Weeks at New Smyrna Speedway. I know it’s early but how do you see the season so far?

“It’s been a very good year so far with a lot of eyeballs on the series. To open in front of a sellout crowd was tremendous. My mouth hit the ground when I heard them announce they were done selling tickets. I grew up down here and can’t ever remember New Smyrna turning people away. It was a tremendous show, the electricity was in the air that night amongst everyone. It was a very special night to start off the season”

3. How do you like your new partnership with Floracing?

That is doing well and has been received well. It’s great to have a partner that gets it from top to bottom and is reinvesting in the sport as they have done. They put $10,000 per race to the highest twenty in addition to the purse and $25,000 to the teams that attempt to qualify for all the races. The money will be divided evenly between those teams so it definitely there is a lot of money coming back to the Modified tour.

Notes: This will be the 68th NASCAR WMT race at the historic oval. A solid field of teams will head to Long Island including several drivers making their first start in a NASCAR WMT Tour event or their first trip to Riverhead Raceway. Joey Coulter, former Camping World Truck driver will make his first appearance in a Modified at Riverhead Raceway.

Both Turbush brothers, Chris in the #81 and Roger in the #88 will attempt to make the field. Jake Johnson, normally a PASS and Open Modified competitor will be in the Boehler #3. Doug Coby, who won two WMT races at Riverhead last year will be a substitute driver in the Tommy Baldwin #7. Jimmy Blewett has withdrawn as his daughter Layla has been ill. 10 Riverhead based Modified teams are on the entry list. Total posted awards are $83,240.00

Schedule: Garage opens at 12:45 p.m. ET … Final practice from 3-4 p.m. ET … Single-car qualifying (two laps) at 6 p.m. ET … Race at 8 p.m. ET

SOLOMITO RETURNS TO TQ MIDGET ACTION AT SYRACUSE, NY MARCH 11-12

SYRACUSE, NY MARCH 2, 2022 . . . The Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled by VP presented by BELFOR Property Restoration 2022 season finale at the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center March 11-12 has been spiced by a late pair of driver changes in two of the most highly touted TQ Midgets.

Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY has picked up the seat in the FX Caprara Cars No. FX1 that had been driven by Max McLaughlin in the prior Allentown and Atlantic City races.

Indoor TQ rookie McLaughlin successfully qualified for both races but he’s not available for the event. Solomito, a NASCAR Modified star brings prior TQ Indoor experience to the Caprara car and is expected to be a threat.

“Feels great to be back, I’ve had the itch to go indoor racing ever since Atlantic City in 2020. So, when the call came after being recommended by Jimmy Blewett to Frank Caprara it was an easy answer,” said Solomito.

Car owner Jason Simmons, of Fulton, NY will have a two-car assault with Tyler Thompson racing one entry, joined by veteran Bobby Holmes driving a second car. 

Holmes, a popular New York State racing figure for years, won the 360 Supermodified portion of the Oswego Classic last year. Thompson won the Supermodified Classic 200 in 2019.

Solomito, Holmes and Thompson are just three of an entry roster of over 50 who will contend for victory in the first Indoor Auto Racing Series event in Syracuse since the 2019 inaugural race.

The race weekend is sponsored by IndyKart Raceway. Scott Kreutter, who finished fifth in the most recent series event inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, is the owner of IndyKart Raceway located at 17 Miracle Mile Drive in Rochester, N.Y.

Kreutter will be competing in the event in the Trey Hoddick No. 49, looking to lock into Saturday’s event with a victory in one of three Triple 20s on Friday night.

Oswego Speedway and Circle T Enterprises Ready Mix Division have signed on to sponsors those exciting Friday night Triple 20s which allows every TQ Midget competitor a chance to run in a feature event.

Thanks to sponsorship from Oswego and Circle T Enterprises, each of those 20 lap features will now pay the winner $1,000, double the $500 standard purse.

PA drivers Tim Buckwalter, Briggs Danner and Matt Janisch will be traveling north to Syracuse after podium finishes in the most recent series race held inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

Buckwalter, a 2021 Dirt Modified track champion, won the Atlantic City Gambler’s Classic. Danner, a big winner last season in USAC dirt wingless Sprint Car competition, finished second and Janisch, a TQ expert, was third.

Buckwalter’s second career Indoor TQ Midget victory along with a fourth at the opener in Allentown, PA brings him to Syracuse with momentum and a slim 15-point lead over Janisch.

A New Yorker, however, has won the Indoor Series fueled by VP championship the last three years and won both TQ Midget features held back in 2019 when the series made its debut at the Fairgrounds Expo Center prior to 2020 and 2021 Covid cancellations.

Defending series champion Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY with drive east to Syracuse fourth in the points after a disappointing AC finish, yet still very much in the title hunt.

Jankowiak led both the series opener in Allentown, PA and the AC event but failed to win either. He rallied back from the rear to finish 12th. But thanks to a strong qualifying effort that included a Friday Night Triple 20 win, he heads to Syracuse fourth in the standings 30 points behind Buckwalter.

Jankowiak’s most recent race was in the Menards ARCA Series race at Daytona International Speedway where he qualified 12th, and finished sixth, surviving a late race spin by mounting a late race charge.

Kreutter comes to Syracuse third in the series, 26 points out of first, seeking his second career Indoor Series win in front of his hometown fans. Kreutter’s first Indoor TQ win came in Allentown, PA where he finished fifth this year.

Another pre-race favorite to win is New York North Country dirt Modified driver Ryan Bartlett of Watertown. Bartlett, a longtime supporter of the Indoor Series, enjoyed back-to-back top 10 finishes this season including a 7th in AC to enter his home-state event ninth in the standings in a TQ owned by his brother Tyler, the promoter of the Can-Am Speedway.

The Hoosier Tire Champ Karts and Action Track Slingshots will make up the three-division program with over 100 entries expected to compete.

A large contingent of Champ Karts will be residents of New York including AC winner Dan Marsden of Mexico. Two PA drivers, however, are currently one-two in points led by Allentown winner Jonathan Keister and JSR driver Tyler Brown.

The always exciting Slingshots have also been dominated by PA drivers Brett Bieber, Jared Silfee and Scott Neary, who have finished in the same order in both 2022 series races.

Qualifying events will also be held for the TQ Midgets, Slingshots and Champ Karts. On Saturday, qualifying races will again be held for the three divisions followed by their feature events.

Tickets are available in a range of different prices through links on www.indoorautoracing.com or by calling the Area Auto Racing News office on weekdays from 10 am to 4 PM at 609-888-3618.

Remaining tickets will also be available for each race night starting at 3 PM at the Exposition Center Box office the day of the events. Wearing masks and proof of vaccination is not required.

The Indoor Auto Racing Series made its debut in the new Exposition building in Syracuse in March of 2019 with exciting racing on both days attended by huge crowds. The Saturday night event in 2020 was projected as a sell-out, before Covid-19 developed days before the event and it was canceled after the track was set up on Thursday afternoon.

The 2021 event also bowed to Covid restrictions, but they have all recently been lifted by the State of New York and this year’s event will return to normal without the need to wear masks or be vaccinated.

For race fans who cannot make the trip to Syracuse to see the races in person, DirtTrackDigest.TV will be sending high-quality video coverage to subscribers from multiple cameras. The action will be called by the Indoor Auto Racing series veteran announcer Shane Andrews accompanied by Steve Ovens.

DTD-TV is well respected and experienced in the live broadcast of racing events. They received high marks for their production of the Indoor Auto Racing Series 2022 events at Allentown, PA and Atlantic City, NJ in January.

For up-to-date information, visit indoorautoracing.com.

Timmy Solomito Looks Forward, Not Backwards

Story & Photo By: Michael Jaworecki/My Race News

Just over one year ago, Timmy Solomito was filled with optimism for the Modified racing season. A new family-owned, LFR Modified was being prepared for the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season plus a TQ ride at the Allentown indoor races would be some offseason fun.

Auto racing can be a blast, but in a blink of an eye, it can be cruel. Timmy had a fast TQ ride at Allentown, but just like, that disaster struck. The car got up over the right-rear of a competitor and careened into the outside wall, ending upside down. Timmy ended up with a heavily damaged race car and concussion that took about eight weeks to clear up.

With COVID-19 canceling the rest of the indoor season and the start of the outdoor racing season, Timmy would to wait to get back behind the wheel and unveil the family owned Modified.

Fast-forward to the second race of the NWMT season at White Mountain Motorsports Park in New Hampshire — Timmy rolled out the new car, sponsored by Flamingo Motorsports — with his father as crew chief. Against a solid field of 31 NASCAR WMT Modifieds, Solomito qualified eighth. Unfortunately for Timmy, he was caught up in an early lap 32 crash that ended his day.

Timmy Solomito #66 races with Jon McKennedy #7 at White Mountain Motorsports Park Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

The rest of the part-time season didn’t go much better. A 17th, 22nd 11th and 26th were his finishes in his four other races. He crashed two more times — including the season-finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park — where the car was a total write off and led to his second concussion in 10 months.

Timmy comes from a racing family — his dad and uncle drove cars, he and his two brothers — Shawn and Jerry — all raced. Timmy has raced since he was a kid, now at the young age of 29, and this season will be his 20th year in in the sport. From Go Karts, Pro Trucks, Chargers, INEX Legends, TQ’s and his current Tour Modifieds, Timmy has always raced something.

At some point in every racers short track career, the reality might be it’s time to retire and take care on other things in life. With a destroyed five-race old Modified, and his business Natural Designs continuing to grow, was it time to move on?

We asked Timmy about last season and his future.

Timmy first off how are you feeling these days?

“I’m feeling good, no issues at all.”

With the rough season you had last year and a growing business did you ever consider retiring?

“Not at all, we were already talking about ordering a new chassis before we left the track at Thompson, we would never go down without a fight, I have family and a crew that never quits.”

“Not retired yet”

Timmy has bought a brand new LFR chassis which is in the garage next to his brother Shawn’s Troyer chassis Modified. According to Timmy, it gives his dad something to tinker with, as he always loves working on a Modified. Timmy does not have a big full-time crew but he has his family and friends that help him at the shop and on the track.

The Billy the Kid Spec motor that was still new when he ended up in the wall at Thompson in October has been freshened up.

What are your plans for 2021?

“Right now we have no idea what races we will be at, it won’t be a full schedule. A lot depends on how busy I am at work. If business is strong this year wrapping race cars, businesses trucks and more we won’t have a lot of time. But if business is slow, we will have more time to race, I hope we are somewhere in the middle.”

The wreck at Thompson destroyed an almost brand new car. For 2021 he is starting from scratch — so far he has no primary sponsor, so he would welcome any sponsorship help to get to more races.

As he told My Race News, there was no thought about giving up, racers race and with the support of family and crew he can’t wait to get back on the track.