Solomito went on to score three more victories during a breakout 2016 season.
So it was hardly surprising Saturday when the Islip, N.Y. driver scored another season opening Whelen Modified Tour victory.
Solomito held off pole-sitter Rob Summers on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Whelen Modified Tour Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
“I’ve got to hand to it to my crew, they had a great strategy,” Solomito said. “We kind of just rode in the back and saved as much tire as we could. When we came here I said: ‘This isn’t my track. I’m not really a tire saver.’ But the guys kept me calm all night and I saved it to the end when we needed it.
“We were in the right place at the right time. A couple big wrecks. Luck was definitely on our side. Sometimes it’s better to be to lucky than good, but the car was damn good and these guys did a damn good job.
“I’ve always been a driver that you put somebody in front of me, I’ll run as hard as I can to stay with them. So it was tough to tell myself to let those guys go. It was just a lot of discipline.”
Summers, of Manchester, was second and Andy Seuss of North Hampstead, N.H. third.
Summers made the move to second behind Solomito on the final restart and looked like he had a run to the inside, but Solomito was able to pull away over the final lap.
“The crew gave me such a great car right off the trailer,” said Summers, who scored his first series pole since 2001 in qualifying. “It was awesome all day. That one restart I buzzed the tires and missed a shift and got shuffled to fourth. It’s bittersweet.”
It marked the first event for the series since the former Whelen Modified Tour was merged into the Whelen Modified Tour.
“We’re real happy with this,” said Seuss, a two-time Southern Whelen Modified Tour champion who was making his 38th career Whelen Modified Tour start. “It’s a stout field. When NASCAR merged the tours, we’ve got the best in the country here. To come away with a podium is really good.”