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Solomitos will have a family affair Saturday at Riverhead Raceway

A flagman waves the green flag at Riverhead

A flagman waves the green flag at Riverhead Raceway. (July 16, 2011) Credit: Daniel Brennan

When Timmy Solomito peers through the dashboard of his Troyer race car and prepares himself for another adrenaline-filled venture in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday, his family will be right by his side.

But unlike most of his competitors, Solomito could literally have family revving at the side of his vehicle.

Because, for Solomito, this truly is family business. In what has become characteristic throughout his career, Solomito, a 25-year-old Islip native, will have his two older brothers, Shawn, 28, and Jerry, 29, racing against him in the Buzz Chew Chevy Night 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

“It’s tough, you want to see them do well, and they want the same thing for me,” Timmy said. “We’re very competitive. We’ve always been a very competitive family. No matter if it’s racing or playing any types of sports.

“As far as I can remember, it’s always been about the person who won.”

Up to this point in 2017, Timmy has not only been the biggest winner in his family, but throughout the entire Modified Tour landscape. He currently maintains a slim advantage over Rowan Pennink for first place in the standings. Timmy leads the field with 206 points; Pennink comes in right behind at 204.

Timmy earned victories on May 13 at the City of Hampton 150 at Langley Speedway in Virginia and the Performance Plus 150 at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway on March 18.

In addition to his pair of wins earlier in the year, Timmy also placed second in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut on April 9.

“It’s a long year,” Timmy said. “We’ve started out strong and we have to continue on that note.”

So what does he attribute his early success to?

“It’s really been about having a great team behind me,” Timmy said.

This marks Timmy’s third year as a member of the Flamingo Motorsports team, as he pursues his first career NASCAR Modified Tour championship. He finished third overall in 2016.

“My brothers have been very supportive,” Timmy said of his first-place start. “They’re always encouraging me and pushing me to be better.”

“To see Timmy winning races and be up front week in and week out contending for wins is what we all want to see him doing,” Shawn said.

The trio’s affinity for the racetrack began at a young age after watching their father, Jerry Solomito Sr., also race in the NASCAR Modified and Mini Modified series from 1979-1994.

Throughout his career at Riverhead, Timmy has snagged 17 NASCAR Modified victories. The total ties him for 21st on the all-time Riverhead Raceway wins list with a number of other drivers, including his brother Shawn.

While Timmy noted that future bragging rights could be on the line, it’s a subject that he and Shawn don’t reference all that often.

“We don’t really talk about [being tied] too much,” Timmy said. “Any time any of us wins, it’s a great night.”

The opportunity to return to his Long Island roots at Riverhead Raceway is a thrilling one for Timmy. “It’s always great to come home and feel that vibe, that energy from everyone,” Timmy said.

Even if that energy comes from his brothers racing beside him, simultaneously pushing toward the finish line.

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