OTHERS LOOK TO CONQUER THE THOMPSON 125
Solomito will look to regain momentum heading into
the fifth race of the Whelen Modified Tour schedule
after winning the season opener at the 5/8 mile
oval. Solomito led 43 laps en route to his first
career victory, snapping a 4-race win streak at the
track held by Doug Coby.
After his victory, Solomito finished 4th at the
Spring Sizzler. He had arguably the fastest car on
track at Waterford when he crashed out late in the
race after showing great strength in fighting back
from adversity multiple times. Last Friday at
Stafford, he met a similar fate while advancing
positions in the late stages to record a second DNF.
Now sitting 7th in series standings, Solomito
intends to turn his fortune around with a trip back
to the site of his lone career win.
“There are three things I like about Thompson,” said
Solomito. “I can drive the car hard, be aggressive,
and run in the outside lane. Each of those suits my
driving style. I’ve always had good runs at
Thompson; from my first start there to running two
Sunoco Modified races at the World Series, that
racetrack is really good to us. I’m confident my
team is going to give me a car I can win with.”
Justin Bonsignore’s team has had some bad luck as
well, but they have been able to recover most of the
time. The biggest thing hurting their team is poor
qualifying efforts. Last time out they their showed
resilience after losing a lap on pit road when,
during a routine pit stop, his jackman was knocked
off balance, throwing the entire stop out of sync.
He rallied back to finish 5th heading into a track
where he has won three times.
“It’s just a matter of not giving up,” said
Bonsignore. “I was pretty frustrated on the radio
(at Stafford), but Crew Chief Billy (Michaels) did a
good job a keeping everyone calm and focused. It
helps coming off a good finish with a little
momentum and going to a track I like. We race well
there and are usually in the Top-5 battling for a
win in the late stages. This race is shorter with
125 laps so more strategy comes into play.”
Jimmy Blewett is coming off two consecutive podium
finishes including a runner-up at the last event.
Now with four races into his stint driving Bob
Garbarino’s Starrett backed Mystic Missile, Blewett
is in position to finally conquer Thompson. He has
finished 2nd at the track on two occasions, but
still lacks a trophy at the track that has eluded
him throughout his career.
Coming off a win during the last event at Stafford,
Doug Coby is once again riding momentum coming into
one of his best tracks on the circuit. The speed he
had during 2015 wasn’t there during the Icebreaker,
but you can still expect the 5-time Thompson and
defending race winner to be strong Wednesday night.
Crew Chief, Phil Moran, said after the event that he
knew exactly what the issue was and plans to have it
rectified before Wednesday night.
Returning to the competition is Ryan Preece. Preece
was second in the season opener after leading a
race-high 91 laps.
A quick look at the point standings and you’ll find
Donny Lia in the 3rd position. Lia has 3 Thompson
wins in 40 starts and until the last event where he
finished 3rd, the team has struggled to find speed
this season. The last time Lia went to victory lane
was in 2013, so the two-time series champion is
hungry to get back into the winner’s circle.
The Thompson 125 is scheduled for Wednesday, June
15. Qualifying heats for the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series weekly divisions begins at 5pm,
with pre-race ceremonies to follow at 6pm. Joining
the racing card will be the NEMA Lite division. For
more information or to purchase tickets visit
Theresa Condict / Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
June 10, 2016