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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


Monadnock Speedway
by Polly Reid

Mother nature moved in and rain delayed the NWMT Dunleavy’s 200 at Monadnock Speedway from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, but nothing could put a damper on the dominating performance Timmy Solomito displayed in the Eric Sanderson owned, Diversified Metals/R. B. Enterprises sponsored Ford at Monadnock Speedway. The Islip, NY driver set fast time earlier on Saturday, earning his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, brought the twenty-three car to field to green, survived two restarts, threats from Doug Coby and then Rowan Pennink to lead every lap, a hard charging, strong performance that put Solomito in victory lane for the NWMT Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair 200 at Monadnock Speedway.

Rowan Pennink taking the green sixth became the final threat for the top spot in the final quarter of the event crossing the line second with Jimmy Blewett closing the gap to finish third, Eric Goodale fourth, Justin Bonsignore fifth and Doug Coby sixth, the last car on the lead lap.

“The guys gave me a great car right off the trailer, we had minimal adjustments all weekend, they made me look good today,” said Solomito. “I just can’t thank Eric Sanderson, Sly (Szaban) and the crew, they are just unbelievable. They’ve given me great cars all year, hopefully we’ll keep this going.”

“I was running hard pretty much the whole race,” continued Solomito. “It’s really good the car lasted, that’s what you need to win these races. It’s a testament to the crew, shows you what they can do, shows you how good this car was today- they made it last the whole 200 laps and we ran hard every lap.”

Solomito was shadowed by point leader Doug Coby in the Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Construction sponsored, Mike Smeriglio III owned Chevrolet. As the green flag laps ticked off the board, Coby kept Solomito in his sights, the duo working lap traffic as they broke from the field, setting a pace that by the half way mark, lap 100, only nine cars remained on the lead lap.

Solomito continued to put car after car down a lap- his level of maturity, patience and big picture racing showed as he methodically worked lap traffic during the long green runs.

“There was a few times there they weren’t cutting us any breaks but I really don’t blame them,” said Solomito about the lap traffic. “They are trying to stay on the lead lap- once you go a lap down here, the day gets really long here. We were basically racing them like they were traffic for the lead- that’s what happens on a tight quarter mile- it’s all part of the game. The guys gave me a good enough car to go around the lap cars- we just had to take our time and not bang the car up, that was the main thing.”

As the green flag run continued, Coby remained in striking distance at second, Pennink third, Eric Goodale fourth and Jimmy Blewett fifth when on lap 152, the first caution waved for debris in turn three. The top five, Solomito, Coby, Pennink, Goodale and Blewett, were the only cars on the lead lap. Justin Bonsignore who had just gone a lap down, was the free pass boosting the lead lap car count up to six.

“I had some good company on the restarts,” said Solomito. “Doug is always strong on starts, the 3 is always strong on the starts too- Rowan- they’ve both won a lot of races, I knew I had to be sharp on the starts. I knew if I could clear them by the start/finish line and get our entry into turn one where we needed to be, I knew we’d be alright. We just had to calm down after that, set our pace and continue that pace. We were able to do that.”

Solomito led the restart clean at the green while Pennink in third tucked tight to Solomito leaving Coby hung up on the outside. Coby fell in line for third, however, the action was closed up again for the second and final yellow flag on lap 166. Bobby Santos, off the pace, was forced to pit for a right front flat.

Solomito, Pennink, Coby, Blewett, Goodale, Bonsignore and now Max Zachem, the free pass car, led the field to green on lap 173. Solomito and Pennink, nose to tail broke from the pack while Coby slid back to sixth as Blewett took over third, Goodale and Bonsignore moving into fourth and fifth.

Blewett, gaining momentum, joined- in to make it a three way run for the top spot, but Solomito remained solid. Even the heavy lap traffic encountered with less than ten to go did not deter Solomito as he brought the Eric Sanderson owned machine safely across the line for the NWMT Dunleavy’s 200 win.

“It definitely wasn’t easy,” said Solomito. “I had the 2 car breathing down my neck in the beginning and he was pushing me to run hard. I was a little afraid there, at one point, that maybe we were running too hard, but I was able to stay out front. Track position is huge here- I knew I wanted to stay out front as much as I could, so we were happy we were able to do that and happy we could keep the car underneath me for 200 laps.”

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA in the Boehler owned, Cape Cod Copper/Canto Paving Chevrolet started sixth and became a threat for the win in the closing circuits. “I actually think we would have been a little better off without the caution,” said Pennink about the yellow towards the end of the Dunleavy’s 200. “We had a pretty good roll there going and we were reeling the leaders right in. We had just got to them when the caution came out. I have to thank everyone on this 3 team, they gave me an awesome car all weekend. I’ve got to thank my sponsors Canto Paving, Van Wyck Auto Supply, I’ve got to thank Dunleavy for doing all he does for modified racing and all the fans for coming out to Monadnock Speedway, thanks.”

Qualifying seventh, Jimmy Blewett from Howell, NJ had an impressive run, in the hunt at the end with his Bob Garbarino owned, Starrett sponsored Dodge. “I was just trying to save as much as I possibly could for the end,” said Blewett. “Hopefully we were going to get a yellow. With it being so hot out today, starting seventh, I knew the lead pack was going to take off. We saved what we could- to motor back and get a third, I’m proud of these guys. Without Chip Taylor at Starrett, this wouldn’t be possible. Bob (Garbarino), my grandfather giving me the time off from work, Mayhew coming on board the past couple of weeks as an associate sponsor for our team, we have a really good group of guys that work hard on this team, we’re not giving up.”

“I want to thank the crowd for coming out here today, I know it’s hot, it’s been a long two days for everybody, thank you for coming out,” continued Blewett. “And Doug Dunleavy for helping out with the Tour, he’s been a huge help for us these past couple of seasons. Even though I wasn’t here (last year), I heard a lot of things about him and we appreciate the support.”

“Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Justin Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, all those guys- those are the guys I looked up to growing up,” added Solomito. “I’m 24- I grew up at Riverhead watching some of these guys run every week. You always want to be that guy that wins- I said to my dad when I was younger, I asked him if I would ever have a chance in a modified at Riverhead. He said to keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll see. To be able to be on the Tour, win races, race hard and competitively with them- to say I’m doing that, it’s a pretty awesome feeling looking back at it now. Definitely not something you expect to happen, everything would have had to align just right and so far it has. I’m just so very thankful it’s worked out the way it has.”

The victory marks Solomito’s third NWMT career win, all collected in this 2016 season.

“You don’t always have days like this, obviously,” said Solomito about winning the pole then leading all 200 laps taking the Dunleavy’s 200 win. “I’ll tell you, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

“It’s incredible,” smiled Solomito talking about his season to date. “We came into the year winless. We had struggled kind of leading up to this point. We had some really good runs but no wins. We had finished second, we had finished third, we had top fives- but we didn’t have any poles or wins. To say half way through the season that we have three wins, it’s pretty incredible. I’m sure it’ll probably hit me on the ride home- I’m just really happy to be able to do it with these guys and thankful for the opportunity that Eric Sanderson has given me. The team does a great job- they’re working like a well-oiled machine – that’s what we need to keep doing this. We’re lucky enough to have such a great owner and sponsors that allow us to do every week.”

Solomito, Pennink, Blewett, Goodale and Bonsignore the top five, Coby, Max Zachem, Woody Pitkat, Rob Summers and Donny Lia completed the top ten.

Next up for the NWMT is Friday August 5th at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Thank you to everyone at Monadnock Speedway, especially Larry, Dee and Fred for a great weekend. 
Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
: July 24 2016

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