Timmy Solomito Romps To 25th Career Riverhead Raceway Modified Victory

(Press Release from Riverhead Raceway)

Timmy Solomito (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Having missed the 2024 Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Riverhead Raceway opening Tour Type Modified event a week earlier, Timmy Solomito of Islip made up for lost time as he led wire to wire to secure his 25th career victory during a non-stop 50-lap feature event. With week two in the books, the NASCAR Tour Type Modifieds have started the season off with 100-laps of green flag racing at the demanding bullring without a single caution flag. 

After spending his first weekend of May with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in New Hampshire, Timmy Solomito returned home Saturday, and by virtue of track handicapping and qualifying race passing points found himself on the pole for the 19-car starting grid. Solomito was joined in the front row by rising talent Matt Brode and when the duo brought the field to green the veteran took command of the race as they entered the first turn. Brode and rival Jack Handley Jr. found themselves side by side in wrestling for second. The duo gave each other plenty of respect and room with Handley working by Brode on lap 3. 

As the race moved along Solomito was able to gap Handley by a quarter lap, with Handley able to do the same over Brode in third. For the second week in a row the defending track champion John Beatty Jr. was on the move, with Beatty able to gain grip on the inside of the track as fans watched his progress while the top three remained unchanged until the later stages of the race. 

In the final segment of the contest the only issue for leader Solomito was lapped cars, who were busy in position battles of their own. In the end it would turn out to be a minor challenge for Timmy Solomito who grabbed his 25th win. When quizzed about the dominant car under him, Timmy quickly pointed out “my brother Shawn put a flawless car underneath me, he makes it easy, he does the work and I get to hold the wheel”. The win almost didn’t come to be as Solomito admitted, “I am so busy at Natural Designs we almost didn’t come, but my dad jumped in and here we are. Big thank you to David Miller of USNE Power, Pat Kennedy of Kennedy L.I. Realty, Tom of TS Custom Carpentry and all our partners, we don’t get to do this without them.” 

Jack Handley Jr. after a rough opening night rebounded with authority coming home second in the Hydro-Action entry of Joe Densieski. After working under both Mark Stewart and Matt Brode over the final 10-laps, John Beatty Jr. finished third in the MSM Elite Motorsports Chevy of Mark Mina. Matt Brode of East Islip had a solid fourth place tally with Mark Stewart of Riverhead likewise with a fifth place showing. 

In the 25-lap Eagle Chevrolet main event Joey Braun of Manorville rewarded his car owner John H. Kirk with his first career victory as a full owner, it was also “Blankets” first win in the class. AJ DeSantis fired off from the pole to take the early race lead with Braun quickly filing into second from his third starting berth. After spending 10-lap chasing leader DeSantis, Braun on lap 10 exiting the second turn decided to make his move for the lead, wrestling the top spot away. Once out front the Goodfellas Auto Chevy would not be stopped giving Braun and Kirk their first win as a pairing. Kirk has been a long-time fixture through his involvement with all-time leading Super Pro Truck winner Lou Maestri who first drove the Crate Modified owned by John. AJ DeSantis of Yaphank was runner-up in the Jaggerlounge Chevy, opening night winner Chase Grennan of Glen Cove was third in the Dillner Precast entry.

Heading into the second 15-lap “TK” Tommy Kraft Figure Eight feature of 2024, Gary Fritz Jr. of Mastic Beach was minus his crew chief Terry Fallon, who also spots for the second-generation driver. Fallon was busy with the arrival of his grandson earlier in the day. Despite being shorthanded Gary was able to collect his 7th career victory. At the throw of the green Fritz wasted little time putting his Goodfellas Auto Cadillac out front where he remained for the duration. Bryan Quilliam of Shirley was runner-up in the Pop ‘N Play Day Care Chevy while opening night winner Scott Pedersen of Shirley was third in the Bobby’s One Stop Custom Exhaust & Auto Camaro.  

For the 22nd time in his illustrious career, Kevin Nowak of Medford triumphed in the 20-lap INEX Legend Race Car feature. Defending champion Richie Davidowitz led the first four laps of the tilt before a yellow waved for a skirmish involving Kevin Ohrnberger and Will Sipala. On the double file restart that followed Nowak who was running third behind Davidowitz and Riely O’Keefe dipped his Joseph Themann Electrical Contractors as low as it could legally go off turn two slipping under both leaders to start the 5th lap. Once out-front Kevin Nowak, a former two-time champion never looked back driving to victory lane. Joey Braun of Manorville made a pass for second on lap 10 and would finish there in the HighMark Building Efficiency machine, early leader Richie Davidowitz of East Moriches was third in the Hampton Fleet Service racer.

In the 30-lap Street Stock Miller Lite triple Crown Series opener, “Mad” Max Handley of Medford scored his second career win. Armed with the pole position to start the race, Handley quickly moved out front with Danny Pizzo giving chase. The race was moving right along when on lap 18 Brian Brown and Chris Lescenski got out of shape in the first turn making contact drawing a yellow flag. It was during that caution flag that Handley received his biggest scare as he was summoned by tech officials to check a smoking condition. Once deemed ok Max went right back to the lead for the restart. When the race resumed it was challenger Pizzo who went up in smoke forcing Danny to the infield and moving Dave Antos to second. Over the final 10-lap segment Max Handley was able to keep the Rosenberg & Gluck Law Firm machine out front for the win. Defending Street Stock champion Dave Antos of Lindenhurst was second in the EP Milling & Sweeping Monte Carlo, Jarrod Hayes of Calverton completed the podium in third with his North Fork Sanitation Chevy.

When the 27-car 8-Cylinder Enduro field took the track one thing was evident, nearly every car on the grid has a small cone on the roof to honor the late Ronnie Albano. When the 50-lap race took the green it was down to business with Roger Tramm taking the early race lead. Greg Harris moved to second on the lap 2 and after chasing Tramm for a spell found his way to the lead in lapped traffic. Defending champion Woot Lawrence made his way to second and was staying right with Harris while the tandem worked lapped traffic. However, lap 31 saw Woot’s run come a to grinding halt when he hit the first turn wall after cutting a right front tire.  From that point forward Harris in the Trainsmoke Motorsports Monte Carlo would drive off to victory. Anthony Pizzo of Ronkonkoma was runner-up in the United Exhaust Shop Caprice, Roger Tramm of Yaphank, also backed by United Exhaust was third. 

Enjoying a busman’s holiday in the 12-lap School Bus Figure Eight race, NASCAR Modified standout Chris Young of Calverton scored the popular win. Driving a bus dubbed Mr. Beast, Young and Frank Dumicich Jr. of East Quogue raced side by side for the win, leaving third place runner Ryan Zukowski with nowhere to pass them. Young, whose father was a two-time Islip Speedway and Riverhead Raceway Figure Eight champion broke away over the final two laps for the win. Dumicich was second, Zukowski of Riverhead third. 

Second generation racer Silas Hayes of Riverhead worked the inside groove to take down the win for the JuiceBox Racers. Silas is the son of Jarrod Hayes, versatile driver and race car set-up man, stayed disciplined on the white line for the entire distance.  

NASCAR Modifieds: 1. Timmy Solomito 2. Jack Handley Jr. 3. John Beatty Jr. 4. Matt Brode 5. Mark Stewart 6. Justin Brown 7. Owen Grennan 8. Chris Young 9. John Fortin 10. Chris Rogers 11. Dave Brigati 12. JB Fortin 13. Michael Rutkoski 14. Allan Pedersen 15. Dylan Slepian 16. JR Bertuccio 17. Roger Turbush 18. CJ Lehmann 19. Eddie Schutze

Crate Modifieds: 1. Joey Braun 2. AJ DeSantis 3. Chase Grennan 4. Terry Stiles 5. Vinny Delaney 6. Michael Berner 7. Kyle Ellwood 8. Max Handley 9. Eric Hersey 10. Chevy Rommeney 11. Charles Macwhinnie 12. Stephen Coleman 13. Mike Albasini 14. Andrew Farnham 15. Tom Sekulski 

Figure Eights (unofficial): 1. Gary Fritz Jr. 2. Bryan Quilliam 3. Scott Pedersen 4. Ryan Warren 5. Allan Pedersen 6. Kim Hyde 7. Paulo Miquel 8. Bob Dalke 9. Johnny Vullo 

Legend Race Cars: 1. Kevin Nowak 2. Joey Braun 3. Richie Davidowitz 4. Riely O’Keefe 5. Kyle Ellwood 6. Rodney Dowless Jr. 7. Ray Fitzgerald 8. Jason Castaldo 9. Anthony Marsh 10. Jeff Farruggia Jr. 11. Jim Sylvester 12. Charkes Hodge III 13. Chris Sinatro 14. Ryan Barbieri 15. Kevin Ohrnberger 16. Chevy Rommeney 17. Ed Stadtlander 18. Nick Kocis 19. Mike Van Houten Jr. 20. Billy King Jr, 21. Ray Stulz 22. Marc Godnick 23. Christopher Coleman 24. Alex Halinar 25. Will Sipala 26. Steve Harding

Street Stocks: 1. Max Handley 2. Dave Antos 3. Jarrod Hayes 4. Gerard Lawrence 5. John Harley 6. Tom Sullivan 7. Alyssa Paprocky 8. Brian Brown 9. Ricky Carman 10. Chris Lescenski 11. Anthony Cacioppo 12. James DiPietro 13. Greg Zaleski 14. PJ McGay 15. Kyle Halpin 16. Bob Dalke 17. Henrry Cuesta 18. Danny Pizzo 19. Jake Curran 20. Charles Sudano DNS-Luke Foerster 

8-Cylinder Enduro: 1. Greg Harris 2. Anthony Pizzo 3. Riger Tramm 4. Kevin Feeney 5. Jack McCarthy Jr. 6. Pat Collins Jr. 7. Pat Collins 8. Carmine Ragusa 9. Don Carasiti 10. Richie Carman   11. Eric Germuth 12. Joe Boccia 13. Justin Squires 14. Ricky Carman 15. Anthony Copobianco 16. Moody Enaya 17. Dustin Cole 18. Dave Sandel 19. Jimmy Muench 20. David Cohen 21. Jody Fickeissen 22. Steve Jones 23. Will Ebert 24. Jeremy Rand 25. Woot Lawrence 26. James Heym 27. David Verbeeck

School Bus Figure Eight: 1. Chris Young 2. Frank Dumicich Jr. 3. Ryan Zukowski 4. Mike Van Houten Jr. 5. John Calfa

JuiceBox Racers: Winner- Silas Hayes 

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