Erin Solomito hadn't won a race at Riverhead Raceway since 2012.
And she almost wrecked her truck at practice last Saturday.
Things did not look promising. But once she passed her dad, Frank Dumicich Sr., on lap 10, her thought was, "Maybe I could do this." On lap 15, "I was still holding my breath," she said. Finally, on lap 20, Solomito said, "I was like, 'Oh my God.' "
"When we won," she added, "I was like, 'Are you kidding? We really did this?' "
The victory last Saturday night was the fourth career win for the 26-year-old who lives in Hampton Bays. Solomito is tied with Lou Maestri and Roger Turbush for first place in the Super Pro Truck standings with 140 points.
"We finally got what we were looking for," Solomito said. "I finished second so many times last season. So, it was like, 'Yes, this is finally off my back.' I didn't think we were going to be that good, to be honest. We have a lot of heavy hitters behind us."
That includes her father, a Riverhead mainstay and former champion, and brother, Frank Jr., who was the class champion last year.
"I'm kind of treading water. I race week to week for myself. It's hard to follow my brother and father, I just tell myself that I'm having fun and racing Saturdays," said Solomito, who grew up competing in go-karts and as a dancer. Around the age of 16, she quit racing to pursue dancing, but then "got hooked back onto racing about six or seven years ago."
She married NASCAR Modified driver Jerry Solomito, the oldest of the three racing Solomito brothers, including Shawn and Timmy, on March 15, 2013.
"He is the best coach and supporter," she said of her husband. "He's my radio guy. He has so much knowledge about what the car is doing and it made it so much easier last week."
Erin Solomito said she has one big happy racing family . . . most days.
"It's great because we're all in the same place on a Saturday night, but sometimes around the dinner table it can get a little difficult," Solomito said with a laugh.