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- WHELEN MODIFIED
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RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - Timmy Solomito needed a win to keep pace in the frantic NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race. He got it at his home track.
The 25-year-old from Islip, New York, powered by Doug Coby with four laps left to take the Miller Lite 200 checkered flag Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.
Solomito, dominant for the first two-thirds of the event in the No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford, was outmaneuvered by Coby in lap traffic for the lead on Lap 155. The four-time tour titlists Coby was poised for his first career win at Riverhead, but Solomito recaptured the lead on the fronstretch on Lap 196 and drove to the checkers.
It marked Solomito's fourth win of the season and eighth of his career. Earlier in the day he captured the Coors Light Pole Award.
Coby held on for second with rookie Kyle Soper third, Ryan Preece fourth and Justin Bonsignore fifth. CJ Lehmann, Dillon Steuer, Kyle Ellwood, Eric Goodale and Rob Summer brought home the top 10.
Solomito had finished 15th or worse in two of his last three starts, and hadn't been to Victory Lane since the last time the tour was at Riverhead in June. After leading the points after the first 10 races, he had slipped back to fourth.
The win brought Solomito to within nine points of the championship lead, still maintained by Preece with 500. Coby is second at 494 with Solomito at 491.
Prior to green flag, news broke that 2008 Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ted Christopher passed away in a plane crash en route to Riverhead, and his impact on the sport was recognized in an impromptu pre-race ceremony. Christopher had been scheduled to compete in the event in the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet.
The Whelen Modified Tour will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 23 with the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 14th of 16 races on the 2017 calendar.
The Miller Lite 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.
Timmy Solomito drove to a sweep of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead Raceway with his win Saturday. Adam Glanzman/NASCAR