(Stafford Springs, CT)—After qualifying 15th and finishing 8th in his very first NAPA Spring Sizzler start last season, Islip, NY native Timmy Solomito is looking forward to returning to Stafford with a new team. Solomito takes over the driving duties of the #16 Diversified Metals / R.B. Enterprises car that Ryan Preece drove to two wins as well as the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour Championship.
“This is huge for me,” said Solomito, “The guys working on the car are great and everything else is the same with the exception of me as the driver. So far the team has been great, the guys are helping me through things that are new to me and we’re taking things one step at a time. I come from the quarter mile at Riverhead so I’m still new to the bigger tracks. That makes things a little tougher for us with my learning curve, but they have great setups for the car and great advice for me, that’s all helping to speed up the learning curve. We had a strong finish at the Icebreaker and hopefully we can carry that over to the Sizzler.”
Last year was Solomito’s first NAPA Spring Sizzler start, driving the #75 car owned by Wayne Anderson. Solomito qualified mid-pack with a 15th place effort, but he drove his way up to 8th at the checkered flag. Timmy is hoping to build on that experience and continue to develop behind the wheel of the #16 car in this year’s Sizzler.
“Finishing in the top-10 always gives you a little extra boost, especially with all the talent is out there,” said Solomito. “We’re hoping to repeat on last year’s run and hopefully gain a few more spots. We were as high as 6th last year and we got bounced back a couple spots towards the end and finished 8th. It would be nice to crack the top-5 and get a little extra confidence when we come back to Stafford later in the year. Stafford is a drivers track and for us to qualify 15th and pick up 7 spots and finish 8th was a pretty big accomplishment for me.”
In the last three Sizzlers with Preece at the wheel, the #16 car has qualified on pole and recorded 2 top-5 finishes. With such a good track record behind them Solomito is confident that he can put in a qualifying lap, run among the leaders throughout the race, and be in position to race for the win at the conclusion of 200-laps.
“The experience of Sly as the crew chief and the whole team behind me gives me a lot of confidence. I think we can qualify around top-5 or top-10 and maintain that position throughout the race,” said Solomito. “We just have to take things lap by lap and stay out of trouble. You have to take it easy at the beginning of the race to be there at the end as well as give the guys good feedback on what the car is doing so we can adjust on the pit stop for the last half of the race. A big part of our strategy will be to finish races and usually when you’re running in the top-5 or top-10 you have a good finish. We’re hoping to run up front, learn a lot, have a solid day and bring home a solid finish.”
Solomito and the #16 team will kick off their NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend with practice and Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday, April 25th as part of the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. The 200-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler will run on Sunday, April 26 at approximately 3:15pm following the NAPA Pit Party from 11am-12noon and the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events beginning at 1pm. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
For more information on the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.