Shawn Solomito of Islip received a standing ovation and was officially crowned Riverhead Raceway’s 2012 NASCAR Modified champion on Sunday afternoon during the raceway’s annual champions’ luncheon in Center Moriches. After being presented with the championship hardware from Riverhead Raceway, Solomito was then awarded the perpetual Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Long Island Driver’s Cup, becoming the 12th driver to be given the cup.
Going into the season, Solomito and his SS Motorsports team dedicated their season to two fallen friends, Keri and Jason Trinca, who died in October of 2011. Solomito’s racecar carried a tribute collage to the Trinca family all season long. “I know I had two angels riding with me all season long en route to this championship,” Solomito said, “and I know somewhere in heaven Keri and little Jay are smiling down on us.”
It is the first NASCAR Modified championship of Solomito’s career.
Race teams and fans turned out to salute all eight track champions. Joining Solomito in the 2012 “parade of champions” were: Mike Bologna of Melville (Late Model), Mike Mujsce of Westhampton Beach (Figure Eight), Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead (Charger), Tom Pickerell of Huntington (Blunderbust), Roger Turbush of Riverhead (Super Pro Truck), Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead (Legend Race Car) and Andrew Fowler of Wantagh (Demolition Derby).
Rookie of the Year awards were handed out to Chris McGuire of Shirley (NASCAR Modified), Jeremy McDermott (Late Model), George Seus of Ronkonkoma (Figure Eight) and Cory Midgett (Charger).