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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Weather may have delayed the Icebreaker a week, but it hasn't slowed Timmy Solomito's momentum.
Heading to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, he has firmly positioned himself as the driver to beat Sunday. The Islip, N.Y. driver captured the victory in the season-opening race at Myrtle Beach Speedway on March 18 and is heading to Thompson as the defending Icebreaker winner.
Last year, he wheeled the No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports entry into Victory Lane for his first career series win. The victory began what was a breakout season for the 25-year-old driver, including four checkered flags.
“Winning at the Icebreaker last season was unbelievable,” Solomito said. “If you just think back about the history of Thompson itself and the Icebreaker, it’s just an awesome feeling. It’s by far my favorite win that I’ve had so far on the tour.”
Solomito followed his Thompson win with victories on a trio of bullrings: his home track of New York's Riverhead Raceway, Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire, and Massachusett's Seekonk Speedway. He pointed to that first win as the catalyst that helped him close the deal on the subsequent victories.
Inclement weather postponed the Icebreaker last weekend. Thompson's card for the 43rd annual Icebreaker weekend will include 11 divisions of racing. For the first time since 1988, the teams of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will hold their second race of the 2017 season on the .625-mile high-banked oval.
Teams will be fighting to get a grip on the surface because they will hit Thompson three more times before the season ends, including for the finale. As Solomito mentions, a victory at the beginning of the season can help gain momentum.
"Winning the Icebreaker really got everything off in the right direction for us last year,” said Solomito, who finished a career-best third in the final 2016 championship standings. “It’s always nice to get a win early in the season. I feel like it helped our momentum and really got us rolling.”
At Myrtle Beach, Solomito charged to the front late in the race and held off Coors Light Pole Award winner Rob Summers in the final laps to take down the checkered flag. As the winner of the first unified Whelen Modified Tour main event on the half-mile oval in South Carolina, Solomito is confident heading back to New England behind the wheel of his No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford.
“I think we have a good shot at being in the thick of things at the end of it,” Solomito said. “As long as all the pieces come together, I know the team will give me a great car to hopefully put it where we need to be in the closing laps.”
Solomito and the rest of his top challengers will hit the high-banks for the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, just after 3:30 p.m. Fans can watch live on FansChoice.tv or catch live updates on NASCARHomeTracks.com Race Central Live.
|PLACE:||Thompson (Conn.) Speedway|
|DATE:||Sunday, April 9|
|TIME:||3:45 p.m. (approx.)|
|TRACK:||.625-mile banked asphalt oval|
|2016 POLESITTER:||Doug Coby|
|2016 RACE WINNER:||Timmy Solomito|
|EVENT SCHEDULE:||Saturday April 1: Garage Opens 12:30 p.m., Practice 3-3:45 p.m. & 4:10-4:55 p.m., Sunday April 2: Qualifying 2:45 p.m. (appox.), Icebreaker 150 3:45 p.m. (approx.)|
|TRACK CONTACT:||Taylor Therrien, (860) 923-2280, Theresa@thompsonspeedway.com|
|NASCAR IMC CONTACT:||Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469, firstname.lastname@example.org|