A tightly contested race Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway featured nine lead changes among four drivers all in contention for victory.
In the end, Timmy Solomito of Islip emerged victorious in the 200-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event in front of a large crowd in Riverhead. Solomito won his second modified event of the 2016 season, bringing him to 100 points for the season.
Solomito entered the race as the fifth car out of 27. Defending champion Doug Coby of Milfrod, Conn. won the pole with a time off 11.964 seconds and he held the lead for the first 13 circuits. Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn. took the lead on lap 14 by ducking inside of Coby as they entered the first turn with a lapped car to the inside. Preece would hold the lead until Coby returned the favor on lap 75.
Solomito got into the action on lap 77, taking the lead through lap 92. Solomito and Coby would find themselves racing next to each other for much of the remaining race. Coby regained the lead on lap 93 and held it until lap 157 when Solomito maneuvered back in front. After briefly taking the lead on lap 194, Coby fell back into second again behind Solomito on lap 195. He wouldn’t relinquish the lead again.
Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville remained in the hunt for the lead over the final 50 laps and in the end, Bonsignore and Coby ended up in a battle for second. The two were in a tight race down the stretch when Coby spun out after contact from Bonsignore. The spin started a chain reaction crash and Kyle Soper of Manorville hit the wall hard off turn four while in eighth place at the time. Soper was not injured.
The race was extended to 212 laps because of three late cautions.
Bonsignore held on to take second place while Donny Lia of Jericho placed third. Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ was fourth after charging up from 27th. Dave Saplenza of Riverhead was fifth.