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RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- Six races into the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, and Timmy Solomito is looking every bit the driver to beat for the championship.
After his breakout four-win campaign in 2016, Solomito has had an even better encore.
Saturday, the Islip, New York, driver returned to his home track of Riverhead Raceway and picked up his third win of the season. He held off David Sapienza on an overtime finish to take the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200.
The Coors Light Pole Award winner, Solomito held serve for his seventh career victory. He also won this event last year. His No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford led three times for a race-high 151 laps, including the final 102 as a caution on Lap 196 pushed the race to 208 laps.
The runner-up was a career-best for Sapienza, a Riverhead native.
Doug Coby finished third while four-time Riverhead winners Ryan Preece and Justin Bonsignore crossed the line fourth and fifth, respectively.
Eric Goodale finished sixth with Rowan Pennink the last car on the lead lap in seventh. Tom Rogers Jr., Dillon Steuer and Max Zachem completed the top 10.
The win also allowed Solomito to extend his championship points lead to 13 over Pennink and 29 over Goodale. Bonsignore is fourth and Zachem is fifth, while defending tour champion Coby moved up to sixth.
Next up on the schedule is the Whelen Modified Tour All-Star Shootout on July 14 followed by the Nor’easter 100 the next day, both at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Timmy Solomito (16) leads Ryan Preece at Riverhead Raceway in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race Saturday night. Adam Glanzman/NASCAR