(Stafford Springs, CT)—After completing his second full season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition and his first with the #16 R.B. Enterprises/Diversified Metals team, Islip, NY native Timmy Solomito is looking forward to returning to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 45th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®. Solomito twice matched his career best finish of third at Stafford last year and as much as he is looking forward to coming back o the Connecticut half mile, he says that wasn’t always the case.
“We’re really exited to come to the Sizzler® this year,” said Solomito. “We feel like we have a really good package for Stafford and our best runs of 2015 were two third place finishes were at Stafford, which were also my best ever finishes there. It really boosted my confidence and I’m hoping that we can squeeze out a win or have a good run. If you had asked me about a win at Stafford a couple of years ago, I would have told you no way, but last season changed my whole outlook. I feel like we could snag a win at Stafford and help carry some momentum throughout the entire 2016 season. Our goal for this year is to run strong, be competitive, and put on a good show for all the race fans.”
A win for Solomito would be his first on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. As he and the #16 team prepare for the 2016 season, they have a full season’s worth of experience together to build on as well as a new chassis and fresh engine to attack the field with.
“We have a notebook to fall back on now so that should definitely help us out and hopefully allow us to put the finishing touches on what we needed from last season,” said Solomito. “I have a really great crew from Eric Sanderson the owner and Sly Saban as the crew chief, and they’re all a good bunch of guys who know what’s going on and I couldn’t do this without their help and support. We have a brand new Troyer chassis with a fresh Bob Bruneau spec engine in it that we’re bringing to the table. Everything felt pretty good when we shook the car down at the Thompson test this past weekend so I’m looking forward to getting the season started with a new piece and hopefully it can bring us some speed and some good luck.”
Whelen Modified Tour drivers will tell you that track position at Stafford comes at a premium and Solomito is no different. When plotting a race strategy for the 200-lap race, track position is always in the back of a driver’s mind and getting a good qualifying effort for the race is the first step to having good track position and putting the car in a position to win.
“The Sizzler® is all about conserving in the beginning and giving Sly and the guys some good answers as to what the car is doing so we can make the right adjustments and go for the win at the end of the race,” said Solomito. “As long as we can keep all 4 tires on the car and log laps in the beginning, if we have good track position we should be in a good spot to make the right calls during the pit stop and be there for the end of the race. Qualifying is going to be crucial to get a good top-5 or top-10 starting position and have a good start to the race. I think all the spec engine guys will have to come to pit road during an early caution for a refuel stop and then find a good position on the track to run so that when you come to pit road for tires you’re not dodging cars. Typically I like to hold off for as long as I can for new tires and try to get them as fresh as possible for the end of the race.”
Solomito will have his first opportunity to best his previous Stafford finishes at the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®. Action gets underway Friday, April 22 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions and the Mr. Rooter Trucks. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 23 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions, the U.S. Legend Cars, and the Mr. Rooter Trucks. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, Legend Cars, and Mr. Rooter Trucks. Spring Sizzler® action continues on Sunday, April 24 with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party from 11am-noon followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® in a special 45-lap feature and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
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. Discount Tickets will be available at all 57 participating NAPA Auto Parts stores beginning on Monday April 4th. For a full list of the 57 locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information on the 45th 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.