Racing all in the family for Solomitos

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His younger brother may be a natural, but Shawn Solomito isn't too shabby, either.

Solomito earned his first victory at Riverhead Raceway in last week's 50-lap Cromarty Cup. Starting in the second position, he burst out to an early lead and essentially went wire to wire for the $1,500 victory in his No. 66 Chevrolet.

"It was definitely a special night," the 22-year-old from Islip said. "Everything went smooth and we got all the lucky breaks we needed."

Solomito is in his first full season of modifieds. He had finished third the previous two weeks and his first three top-fives have catapulted him into third place in the season points race, 86 points behind leader Justin Bonsignore.

Things haven't been as easy for younger brother Timmy "The Natural" Solomito lately. Thought to need a month more of recuperation time for a broken wrist, he shunned the doctor's assessment and raced the past two weeks. He finished outside the top 10 both weeks.

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Timmy and Shawn aren't the only Solomito racers. Oldest brother Jerry Jr. has three top 10s in his first modified season, and father Jerry won two modified season titles in the 1980s before quitting to help his sons' endeavors on the track.

On Thursday, the boys gathered in the family garage in Islip, as they usually do in preparation for Saturday's races. Their mother, Linda, a racing enthusiast and the sister of a former Riverhead driver, spoke about seeing her boys on the track at once.

"It's exciting, it's nervous. I'm proud of all of them," she said. "They tease each other a lot, but it's not vindictive. It's just boys being boys."

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"There's never any bitterness or grudge, because we all work so hard together to do what we do,"Shawn said. "It keeps us that much closer."

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