Tommy Catalano Riding Strong 2021 Season Into Whelen Modified Tour Event At Lancaster


(Press Release from New York International Raceway Park)

Tommy Catalano (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Now in his fourth full-season of competition on the NASCAR Whelen Tour, Tommy Catalano of Ontario, NY, is a bona fide contender.  Highlighted by a third-place finish in Stafford Motor Speedway’s prestigious Spring Sizzler and a front row qualifying effort at Riverhead Raceway, Catalano believes the next stop on the Tour is his best shot at winning.  Should he win the Nu-Way Auto Parts 150, scheduled for Saturday, July 31, at his home track at New York International Raceway Park’s (NYIRP) Lancaster Speedway, it would be his first career Modified Tour win.

In seven starts this season, Catalano has scored four top-ten finishes. Despite an early end to his day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past Saturday, Catalano is not discouraged. The FX Caprara entry was solidly inside the top five before retiring from the event with mechanical woes.  In a hotly contested points chase, Catalano sits sixth in points; only seven points out of third position in the standings.  

And, the 23-year-old driver is taking it all in stride. 

“Things are going really smoothly so far,” said Catalano.  “Hopefully the bad luck at New Hampshire was a one and done! But, really this is the best we’ve run since joining the tour.” 

There’s no better place to ‘rebound’ than at your home track, where you’ve experienced triumph in the past. Catalano, while still searching for his first tour-type Modified win, has three Sportsman victories at the Speedway and some memorable battles with Chuck Hossfeld. 

“Some of my fondest memories at Lancaster were US Open Sportsman races,” said Catalano. “Three years in a row we battled Chuck for the win; going three wide to split lapped cars and just duking it out for the win.” 

Catalano hopes to do battle with Hossfeld again -this time in the ‘big mod’ on a bigger stage. And, this time to come away with the trophy. 

“We’ve finished second in the big mod before but have never been able to take down a win,” added Catalano. “I hope this time is different.” 

In addition to Catalano and Hossfeld, the local contingent will also include Patrick Emerling, Tyler Rypkema, Mike Leaty, Scott Wylie and others. Catalano could possibly be joined in competition by his younger brother and Rookie-of-the-Year contender Timmy and his mother Amy.  

“We’ll know the week of the race how many of the family cars we will be bringing and for what division,” said Catalano. 

Andy Jankowiak is also expected to enter to take on the likes of point leader and defending and perennial champions Justin Bonsignore and Doug Coby. A stout field will also include Series veterans like Ron Silk, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale and standouts like Kyle Bonsignore, Jon McKennedy and more. 

“The Tour is the best-of-the-best,” said Catalano. “It’s where the elite in Modified racing come to compete,” said Catalano.  “I’m really excited that our friends and fans will be able to watch me race at this level and cheer me on.” 

During the Nu-Way Auto Parts 150, fans will not only experience some great side-by-side racing by a full-field of Modifieds, they also will be treated to the Tour’s first autograph session of 2021 as well as Fireworks by Skylighters of Western New York. 

General admission tickets are on sale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New York International Raceway Park (NYIRP) in Lancaster, NY. Grandstand tickets for the Nu-Way Auto Parts 150, scheduled for Saturday, July 31, are available at SeetheEvents.com for $35 for adults and $15 for children ages 12 and under. 

Grandstands will open at 1pm with practice beginning at 2pm. Racing begins at 5pm. In addition to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the race card also includes Sportsman, 4-Cylinders and Street Stocks.  

T-shirts for the inaugural Nu-Way Auto Parts 150, designed by driver of the WMT #64, Timmy Solomito, are on sale by visiting SeetheEvents.com.  The event website is hosted by event promoter and Lancaster Speedway/NYIRP partner, Speed Enterprises Entertainment.

Located just 30 miles from Niagara Falls in Lancaster, New York International Raceway Park is home to the half-mile Lancaster Speedway asphalt oval as well as a 1/8-mile drag strip featuring IHRA sanctioned drag racing. 

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