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LATE RACE PASS NETS TIMMY SOLOMITO MILLER LITE 200 RIVERHEAD RACEWAY WMT VICTORY
by Bob Finan
After losing the lead to defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby of Milford, Ct. with 45 laps to go, Timmy Solomito of Islip used that very same lapped traffic to take the lead back from Coby with four laps to go in the race to win the Miller Lite 200 Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. The win was Solomito's fourth of the 2017 WMT campaign. During opening ceremonies for the 200 the somber news of the passing of Ted Christopher in a plane crash in route to the Long island oval was made official casting a somber mood on an otherwise very exciting race.
Timmy Solomito wheeling the Starrett Tools Ford won the Coors Light Pole Award with a lap of 12.107 besting two Riverhead Raceway regulars Kyle Soper 12.154 and 15-year old Dillon Steuer 12.172. After Tom Rogers Jr. took three laps in the Danny Watts owned machine that Ted Christopher was to drive in the race taking a ceremonious final checker flag for TC the start of the Miller Lite 200 found Timmy Solomito seeking his first win since the June 24th race at Riverhead breaking out front. Kyle Soper, who earlier in the program won his 6th Late Model race of the year gave chase to Solomito. Dicing for the lead early on it would primarily be Solomito showing Soper the way around the tricky quarter mile facility.
During the 138th lap Doug Coby flexed his muscles as he ducked under Soper for second entering the third turn for second. Once in the challengers position Coby quickly reeled in Solomito at the front of the field. Entering the first turn to start the 155th lap Coby powered his way under Solomito in lapped traffic to take over the race lead. For awhile it appeared as though Coby would be on his way to his first career Riverhead Raceway triumph. However Solomito, the author of 18 career Riverhead wins in both the NASCAR Whelen All American Series as well the WMT never gave up and on lap 196 he slid underneath Coby entering the third turn in lapped traffic to reclaim the race lead.
Over the final mile of the race Timmy Solomito stayed out front to earn his 19th career victory at the track where he started his successful NASCAR Modified career. "While it is a great win for myself and our Starrett Tools team our thoughts are with Ted Christopher's family on this very sad day" Timmy noted after being interviewed by NBCSN. As for the race itself Solomito reflected, "Doug is a great racer and he got by us in lapped traffic but I never quit, I knew if I played my hand right that lapped traffic might be to my advantage later on and it was"
Doug Coby after the checker flag waved sat dejected and collecting his thoughts before exiting his Mayhew Tools machine, "given the circumstances of today it would have been nice to have a Connecticut based team win but alas it was not to be, again" Coby stated.
Kyle Soper of Manorville rounded out the podium in the Wayne & Joette Anderson owned Eastport Feeds Chevy, "we were in the mix for most the race and to finish behind these two great drivers is like a win for us" Soper admitted after the race.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct in the TS Haulers Chevy and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville in the Phoenix Communications Chevy completed the top five.
Aside from Soper's third place tally Riverhead Raceway regulars had a strong night headed up by the upstart 6th place finish for CJ Lehmann of Shirley and his IGA Food Markets team. Right behind Lehmann in 7th was Dillon Steuer of Bohemia while Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead turned heads all race long running inside or just outside the top five before settling for 8th in Wade Cole's back-up car.
Miller Lite 200:
1. Timmy Solomito 2. Doug Coby 3. Kyle Soper 4. Ryan Preece 5. Justin Bonsignore 6. CJ Lehmann 7. Dillon Steuer 8. Kyle Ellwood 9. Eric Goodale 10.Rob Summers 11. Ronnie Williams 12. Walter Sutcliffe Jr. 13. Wade Cole 14. Dave Sapienza 15. Shawn Solomito 16. Cory Midgett 17. Calvin Carroll 18. Craig Lutz 19. Matt Swanson 20. Gary McDonald 21. Rowan Pennink 22. Roger Turbush 23. Melissa Fifield Withdrew- Ted Christopher
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