Flamingo Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour Team Shutting Down; Timmy Solomito Looking For Ride

Timmy Solomito (left) and crew chief Sly Szaban (right) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month in preparation for the Whelen Modified Tour Musket 250 (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – Flamingo Motorsports, a longtime cornerstone organization of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, is shutting down after tomorrow’s Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway.

The team’s driver, Timmy Solomito, publicly revealed the news about the team shutting down late Saturday night.

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity [team owner] Eric Sanderson and [crew chief] Sly Szaban gave me over the past five years,” Solimito told RaceDayCT. “I was able to go out and win nine races and five poles with them and battle for championships for a few seasons. There’s a lot to be said for that. I’m extremely grateful and hope to land on my feet in another ride for 2020.” 

Solomito replaced Ryan Preece with the team prior to the 2015 season. 

Solomito, of Islip, N.Y. had four victories for the team in 2016 and finished third in the standings.

He had five victories in 2017 and ended up second in points. He was fourth in the standings in 2018.

Solomito sits seventh in the standings going into the season finale Sunday, in a group of four drivers separated by five points in the battle for fifth place. 

Overall Solomito has made 99 career Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2011. All nine of his career wins with the series came with Flamingo Motorsports.

Solomito stars 10th Sunday at Thompson. 

The late Mike Stefanik won his seventh and final Whelen Modified Tour championship driving for Sanderson’s Flamingo Racing in 2006.

Preece won a championship for the team in 2013.

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  1. Sad news indeed. Until recently the #16 car was almost always a contender for the championship. Eric & Paul can both hold their heads high, having won 2 championships, and being close on a few others. Had it not been for Eric, Ryan Preece probly wouldn’t be where he is today. Hope the best for Timmy going forward. Will miss seeing the 16 on track.

  2. wmass01013 says

    Sad indeed to see another Longtime Team not returning, Sly is a very good crew chief and Ty Eric for all you have done, I still miss not seeing the 4 Mystic Missle out there, Good Luck Timmy in 2020

  3. This shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Well, the great Mike Stefanik said that the big concern the NWMT has is that all the owners are getting old and there are no new, young owners replacing them.

    It hasn’t been the same without the v4.

    Sincere thanks and gratitude to the Boehlers for keeping the famous 3 competing.

  4. wonder if its because the Troyer is not competitive, and would need to buy a LFR/Fury to compete. Reason why there is no young owners is because you have to be wealthy, most people dont achieve wealth untill middle aged after years of buisness success.

  5. Solomito to the 21, or the 82?

  6. Timmy just ordered an LFR Gen II car. Limited schedule unless he finds a full time ride

  7. Yah,yah,yah. It’s a shame but it’s the natural order of things. Some 70 year old fan on October 25th, 1985 bemoaned the death of modified racing the day after Evans died and yet here we are. That Thompson crowd and field of cars was the opposite of racing is dying.
    Teams die off. It’s a problem if new ones aren’t coming into take their places. They are and very much so. A lot of well funded, well sponsored teams are racing the entire schedule with a very strong list of part timers. The 2 and 51 dominate now…..so what. Bonsignor was 10th in 2015 with Massa. Now they are elite. Who down the list of teams we’re dismissing now as just OK will be elite in the future? Great teams aren’t born elite.
    78 cars took the green at least once.
    What I’d like to know is what happens to Sanderson’s cars? They’re still formidable. You telling me LFR/Troyer has obsoleted them and now they’re off to the SK or Light divisions or the bone yard? Solomito races all those years for Sanderson, could be buying one of the cars and he’s buying an LFR?
    Say it ain’t so.

  8. Crazy in NY says

    Eric Sanderson is turning 70. Still runs 2 businesses. At some point enough is enough. It takes an
    ENORMOUS amount of time, money and sacrifice by crew to field a WMT car these days and his time has come. What do I know but what was printed in the article about same. Maybe just maybe not
    all his reasons he verbalized . Like how much fun the Tour isn’t anymore. Provocative…maybe but
    just ask around the Tour garage and the hoard of worker bee’s that labor there. I know personally of one crewman that was not returning and it has nothing to with Eric, Timmy or any persons on that team.

  9. My guess he will land on his feet replacing Coby or Bonsignore now that he is available.

  10. Is it fun, isn’t it fun. Are teams having problems getting and keeping help or is enthusiasm building or staying level. I sure don’t know. But I know what the numbers say.
    Five years 2015 through 2019 inclusive total cars running all the races/total cars running at least one race.
    2015 12/55, 2106 15/55, 2017 11/64, 2018 11/60, 2019 16/79.
    Is it fun, who knows. One thing is clear. Last year we saw more teams race the entire schedule and a whole lot more teams field a car for at least one race.
    NASCAR has the attendance figures, we don’t so that’s a huge unknown. However in terms of the car counts, new teams coming into the series, additional part timers that are as important as full timers , Stuart joining the 2 and 51 in the top tier and two popular first time winners it was a banner year.
    Oh yah and there was the FanschoiceTV coverage as well introducing a great product to more people so we’ll see what affect that will have in the long run.

  11. Crazy in NY wrote, “Like how much fun the Tour isn’t anymore. ”

    This is true. Eric Sanderson was around when the Tour was lots of fun.

    Many years ago, things were very different. It was fun to be in the pits. People would hang out after a race and socialize. Now, haulers are loaded and people clear out immediately, the traffic jam to get out is kinda sad. The teams barely intermingle and socialize nowadays. The competition has left the track surface and pervades everywhere.

    About 15 years ago, Tony Hirschman was qualifying at Waterford, he exited T4 and scrubbed the wall. Lots of damage on the the car. When the car got into the pits, it was surrounded by people from many teams, people were bringing parts, they put the car back together and Tony ran the race. That’s unthinkable today.

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