Whelen Mod Tour Notebook: Pennink, Solomito Roll Away From Starrett 150 With Top-Five’s At Stafford

Rowan Pennink (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

By Polly Reid & Shawn Courchesne

STAFFORD – Rowan Pennink drives a Modified, but Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Starrett 150 the Huntingdon Valley, Pa. driver was playing rally car driver.

Pennink knew he had a good car for the NWMT Starrett 150, but on lap two he ended up with right front flat that left him a lap down and making multiple trips to pit road.

Pennink actually got back to the front to lead the race before giving up the top spot to pit with just over 30 laps remaining. Pennink rallied back to finish fourth.

“The guys gave me an awesome car, … it was really a winning car, it just didn’t quite go our way,” Pennink said. “We had to start in the back after qualifying. We got a right front flat and knocked the toe out, the guys were able to get that fixed up after a number of times down pit road.

“We charged through the field, led a bunch of laps, but we needed more laps after we got our tires. And I knocked the toe in again making some crazy moves trying to get up there fast.”

Solomito Rolls To Fifth Place

Taking the green flag seventh for the Starrett 150, Timmy Solomito was in the hunt running as high as second by the half way mark but at the checkers he he was fifth in his Eric Sanderson owned ride.

“We came in for tires a little earlier than those guys, got bounced around at the end, we were kind of wrestling it,” Solomito said. “We were running good, strong up front, a top five is good, we would’ve liked a podium finish, sometimes, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

Pitting on lap 85, Solomito restarted deep in the pack at nineteenth and went to the task of going forward.

“I picked them off one at a time,” Solimito said. “We knew we had a good car, we knew we had to be steady and keep the front end clean on it. You have to be there at the end of the race to finish well.”

The tire rule for the Starrett 150 allowed for only one tire changed per pit stop.

“These races, there is like no plan, you come in and go for it,” Solomito said. “I leave that up to my crew chief Sly [Szaban]. We came in a little bit earlier and got all three tires on.”

To preserve the balance of the car, the call was to come down pit road three times in one yellow.

“It seemed to work out but we came up a few laps short,” Solomito said. “If that last caution had not come out, who knows, maybe we could have been second or third. It’s good to get a good run to start the second half of the season.”


  1. I love the 3 team. They do not have a chassis factory they can call for setup directions. They do it themselves, like real grown up racers do it. They know what they are doing and they are great at it. The 3 was very impressive at Stafford, I hope that leads into an even better Thompson performance. Pennink and ol’ Blue are perfect together.

    There isn’t another team on the Tour that can do what the 3 team does. These guys are real racers.

  2. I agree
    Thats allen iversons team too
    He is racing at riverside next week

  3. What the 3 team does at each race is incredible. They race with a homebuilt one- off chassis, against teams with support from chassis builders, with multiple cars in the field. Sure the 3 car probly consists of the best parts money can buy, but to use a one off chassis is quite an accomplishment. Add Rowan to the mix and you have a championship caliber team. As for the 16, that car is the best money can buy, and after some struggling to start the season, it seems like they’re starting to figure it out. Timmy winning at Riverhead may be the boost this team needs. All said barring some bad luck I think it’s safe to say that Justin Bonsignore and the 51 team have the 2018 championship well in hand. Timmy may be able to surpass Dowling to claim 2nd in points though

  4. The championship is looking like it is the 51s to lose. They can’t make a mistake or cars will be knocking on the door. JBon is driving better and better. They need to be careful from here on out. Stay away from the 2.

    The 16 is doing well, just no wins. It’s there in points, the cars up ahead better not stumble.

  5. Actually, with 6 races remaining the top 5 are still mathmatically in it, maybe a few more. I just don’t see Bonsignore getting beat for the championship, although spots 2-5 could change

  6. Rob, I think there are 7 races left. And I agree, only JBon can beat himself at this point. He can not afford a DNF, but has to hold off the others that will be coming hard. He’s good, no doubt about it… NO MISTAKES!! The others have to hope the 51 has trouble in order to catch him.

  7. Rob p ,Timmy didn’t win with the 16 team it was # 66 so not sure if that’s going to help the 16 team much

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