Over the course of seven years of racing on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Timmy Solomito has been inching closer to holding the championship trophy.
In 2017, Solomito drove the No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford to Victory Lane in five events — including two at his home track, Riverhead Raceway in New York.
At the start of last season, Solomito and his Flamingo Motorsports team welcomed a new sponsor to their modified operation. The Athol, Massachusetts, company named Starrett Tools joined forces looking to have winning success.
“It’s always great to be able to promote a sponsor, and carry their logo on your car, especially with Starrett Tools,” Solomito said of the partnership. “They have been by our side from day one, this is their second year, and we hope it continues for years to come.”
For Starrett, their experience on the Whelen Modified Tour dates back before Solomito joined forces with them. In 2016, the company sponsored Jimmy Blewett while he drove the No. 4 Bob Garbarino “Mystic Missile” modified, and they visited Victory Lane at Stafford Motor Speedway together that season.
Their 2018 partnerships on the Whelen Modified Tour include both Solomito and upcoming star Matt Swanson, along with Blewett. Timmy runs a full-time 16-race points schedule, while Swanson runs select events driving the No. 89 Starrett Racing Chevrolet and Blewett also partakes in a partial schedule.
“We wanted to be associated with NASCAR, but at an entry-level division of the sport,” BJ Guerin, the Director of Motorsports for Starrett Tools, said. “Most of the races are held within two hours of the factory. Everyone has taken a liking to Starrett. It’s really good for us.”
RACING-REFERENCE: Timmy Solomito
Last year, in their first season together, Solomito’s five checkered flags on the Whelen Modified Tour, and his second-place finish in the championship standings, gave the Athol, Massachusetts, company plenty to smile about.
“Winning five races with Timmy was phenomenal,” Guerin said. “The 600-plus employees that we have in Athol, we really couldn’t have done it without them. Their morale was up because they knew they were a big part of the race cars having success on the track.”
Not only will they partner to sponsor multiple different modifieds on the track this season, but the company will also sponsor the Starrett Tools 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on August 3.
“We support every race, when James Taylor first started getting Starrett Tools into motorsports, he made it known that we were going to be at all of the races. We did a hospitality at New Hampshire last year where some of our vendors came, and this year we are going to sponsor the Stafford race,” Guerin said. “We have the whole track for the entire day. We will be able to show people what we have to offer.”
Swanson has been impressed by the partnership with Starrett, and he feels like he has become part of their family, not just someone who drives a race car with their name on the side of it.
“They are awesome guys to hangout with, they are true racers and they know what this is all about,” Swanson said. “They understand what we have to do to get these cars to the race track, and they have made it fun to represent a company like them.”
For Solomito, the support from the entire Starrett staff is important to him, both on, and off the track.
“I get a lot of their employees that follow us along on Facebook, and they are always supporting us. Our partnership has been great,” Solomito said. “They’ve been able to help us out with not only some tools, but they are behind us 110 percent, no matter if it is a good day, or a bad day. It’s always nice to have that support.”
Starrett Tools specializes in “precision, quality and innovation,” dating all the way back to 1880. Since the inception, they have been designing precision tools, and they have over 5,000 catalog items to offer. Their main plant is located in Massachusetts, but they have six total, worldwide.
RELATED: Starrett Tools Website
Looking forward, much like Solomito, Guerin and the entire staff at Starrett Tools are hoping that they can seal the 2018 season by hoisting the Whelen Modified Tour championship trophy.
“Winning a championship, it would be big for all of the employees at Starrett,” Guerin said. “For us, it’s rewarding for to see the cars go by on the track, and Starrett Tools be on the side of them.”
Solomito and the rest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will head to New York’s Riverhead Raceway for the next event on Saturday, July 7. Solomito drove the Starrett Tools Ford to Victory Lane in both Riverhead events last year.