July 3rd, 2017
MacDonald Scores At The ‘Magic Mile’
Matt Swanson Battles With Two Of New England’s Most Successful Late Model Drivers, Finishes 3rd In His Starrett Tools Machine
A www.gspss.net release
WALPOLE, N.H. – Heading into Saturday’s First Annual New England Short Track Showdown presented by AR Bodies at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Eddie MacDonald was listed as one of the favorites to capture the checkered flag.
Behind the wheel of his No. 17, MacDonald showed why he was one of the favorites. He scored the victory in his heat race and then went on and scored the win in the 50-lap feature event as part of the inaugural stop for the series on the 1.058-mile oval. DJ Shaw and Matt Swanson joined MacDonald as podium finishers.
Although MacDonald got out front early and seemed to be the race dominator, he faded just before the halfway point and Shaw was able to slide by and take the lead at lap 19. MacDonald mentioned post-race that he had a right-rear tire blistering and also had the deck lid of the car come off while on the track which slowed his efforts.
However, during a halfway break with 22 laps to go, MacDonald’s team went to work and fixed the body and gave him two new right side tires to attempt to work his way back to the front. On the restart, MacDonald slid to the inside of Shaw and took over the advantage, pulling away into glory and capturing another NHMS victory.
Going into Saturday’s main event, MacDonald had already won races on the ‘Magic Mile’ in multiple different touring series and he was able to use the experience to his advantage and capture the inaugural Granite State Pro Stock Series stop at NHMS.
Shaw finished second behind the wheel of his No. 90, just a little bit short of capturing the checkered flag. Shaw’s team car, driven by NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Matt Swanson, finished in third and rounded out the podium finishers.
Mike O’Sullivan finished in fourth, while brother Tommy O’Sullivan rounded out the top five at the finish. Six through 10 were Nick Lascuola, Mike Scorzelli, Barry Gray, Josh King and Wyatt Alexander.
Early cautions plagued the race, including an incident on the backstretch that took out Travis Fisher and Kevin Casper. Shortly after, a major crash in turn one started when Scott MacMichael blew a motor in front of the field. Ben Rowe, Derek Griffith and Billy Brady, along with others, were involved and the crash ended their day as well.
The series wishes to thank all of the teams, drivers, fans and supporters of the First Annual New England Short Track Showdown presented by AR Bodies.
Next up for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is the second of two stops at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, New Hampshire. The event will be held on Friday, July 7, with a post time of 7 p.m.
For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, fans are encouraged to visit www.gspss.net, or follow the series on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
1. 17ma Eddie MacDaonald
2. 90 D.J. Shaw
3. 49 Matt Swanson
4. 08 Mike O’Sullivan
5. 4 Tommy O’Syullivan
6. 39 Nick Lascuola
7. 18 Mike Scorzelli
8. 29 Barry Gray
9. 21 Josh King
10. 96 Wyatt Alexander
11. 01 Joe Decker
12. 17 Heywood Herriot
13. 28ma Greg Nanigian
14. 7 Cory Casagrande
15. 51 Eddie Fatsher
16. 57 Zig Geno
17. 72 Scott MacMichael
18. 12 Derek Griffith
19. 12j Joe Graff
20. 4r Ben Rowe
21. 05 Phil Richardson
22. 43 Devin O’Connell
23. 92 Billy Brady
24. 76 Zane Zeiner
25. 8f Travis Fisher
26. 88 Kevin Casper
May 15th, 2017
Solomito Muscles Way to Langley Victory; Matthew Swanson Moves To 6th In Points With Another Stellar Top 10 Finish
A NASCARHomeTracks.com release
HAMPTON, Va. – Timmy Solomito muscled his way past Doug Coby with seven laps to go to score the victory in Saturday night’s City of Hampton 150 at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway – his second victory of the season in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Coby had dominated much of the event, leading all but six laps, but Solomito closed in on him in the closing stages of the 150 lap race at the .396-mile oval in Hampton, Virginia. When Solomito finally got to Coby’s rear bumper, he began to press the issue, looking to the inside and the outside and repeatedly giving shots to Coby. With seven laps to go, and the third and fourth place cars of Max Zachem and Eric Goodale joining the battle for the win, Solomito executed the bump-and-run, which resulted in Coby spinning.
Solomito then survived a restart with two laps to go and survived overtime to clinch the win.
“I hate to race that way,” Solomito said. “We had a really fast car tonight. I pressed him and tried to get him to slip up. He slipped up a few times. I showed my nose a couple times. I have a lot of respect for Doug but he’s trying to win a race and I’m trying to win a race. Unfortunately, tight quarters, you’re racing on a small track, I hate to win races that way but it happens, contact happens.
“Unfortunately, it’s racing. It is a contact sport here and there and sometimes things happen. We didn’t want that to happen but it’s hard racing. Two guys going for the same piece of real estate for the win. If I could go back, would I have done anything different? Probably not. Everybody’s here to win.”
The win at Langley marks Solomito’s second of the season. Earlier this year, he won the Whelen Modified season opener at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway and backed it up with a second-place finish at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Despite an 11th place finish at Stafford, the strong start to the season has Solomito thinking big picture.
“We just have to keep it rolling and keep running strong and having good finishes,” Solomito remarked. “At the end of the day, every position counts. You have to play your cards right and be there at the end. You just have to finish every race. It’s not always about winning as many races as you can, it’s about finishing up front and running well.”
Doug Coby, who led 134 laps, ended up being relegated to a 15th place finish after the contact with Solomito.
“Timmy made his car faster, and we were just a tick tighter,” Coby said. “We still had a fast race car, a controllable race car. It was a good race, that’s what the fans deserve to see. They don’t want to see somebody walk away by a straightaway.”
As Solomito closed in, Coby said he expected the race to come down to paint trading.
“I was expecting the bumper shots, the crossovers and stuff,” Coby explained. “No matter what he was trying to do, if I don’t give up the bottom, he can’t get by me. That’s short track racing. You’ve got the outside to go around, you’ve got the way bottom to go around. If I’ve got a fast car and I’m on the bottom, find another way around.”
Eric Goodale finished in second, his best result of the season. Kyle Bonsignore finished third while Max Zachem and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top-five.
Rob Summers, Rowan Pennink, Danny Bohn, Kyle Ebersole and Matt Swanson completed the top 10.
Solomito took over the points lead with his victory, leading by nine points over Rowan Pennink following the race at Langley Speedway. Eric Goodale sits third in points while Justin Bonsignore and Max Zachem sit fourth and fifth.
The next race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be held at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on June 14th.
April 9, 2017
Pennink Puts Ole Blue Back Into Victory Lane; Matthew Swanson Drives His Starrett Tools Ford To 7th Place Finish
A Jason Cunningham, NASCARHomeTracks.com release w/Matt Swanson Racing headline addition
THOMPSON, Conn. - Rowan Pennink outdueled Bobby Santos on a restart with three laps to go and drove on to victory in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Sunday marked the third career victory for Pennink, and first since the 2013 season, which also came at Thompson. It was also the first points race victory for the famed "Ole Blue" No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet since 2009. The Boehler Racing team, which has six NASCAR Modified championships, is celebrating its 60th season.
Coors Light Polesitter Timmy Solomito rallied in the closing laps to finish second and Max Zachem crossed the line third. Santos, who was leading the race on the Lap 147 restart, settled for fourth with Patrick Emerling fifth.
Eric Goodale, Matt Swanson, Woody Pitkat, Justin Bonsignore and Todd Szegedy brought home the top 10.
Pennink led a race-high 109 laps. The race was slowed by caution five times for 35 laps.
Solomito leads Pennink by four points (90-80) in the championship standings after two races, and Zachem is third -- 10 points back of Solomito.
The Whelen Modified Tour will return to action April 30 at Stafford (Connecticut) Motor Speedway.
March 18, 2017
Solomito Charges Late For Myrtle Beach Win; Swanson Marches Thru The Field In First Race With Starrett Tools
A NASCARHomeTracks.com release with Matt Swanson Racing addition
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – One year ago, Timmy Solomito captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the season-opening Icebreaker at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Fast-forward a year later, the Islip, New York, driver was celebrating a victory in the season-opening race once again. This time, the win came in South Carolina.
Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on Saturday at another historic venue, the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, and became the first winner on the newly formed unified Whelen Modified Tour.
Solomito's No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford took the lead for the final time following a late-race caution that setup the final restart and held off Rob Summers on a green-white-checkered finish to take down the victory. The win was Solomito’s fifth career on the tour after his breakout 2016.
“My team did a great job,” said Solomito. “We knew we had to ride and save our stuff as much as possible for the end of the race. I knew the last five laps we had to run as hard as possible and my team gave me a car good enough to do that.”
Rob Summers, who scored his first Coors Light Pole Award since 2001 earlier in the day, led a race-high 72 laps but came up just short of the victory with a second place finish behind the wheel of his No. 64 Fastrock Electric Chevrolet.
Andy Seuss made a late charge to finish third after spinning just after the halfway point. Ryan Preece was also able to climb to the front late and finish fourth, with Max Zachem rounding out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Rowan Pennink – who led 38 laps – Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley III and Burt Myers.
The race was slowed by eight cautions, with four coming in the final 30 laps, including one on Lap 145 and a subsequent one on Lap 148 that winnowed the field and took out several contenders. The final yellow pushed the race to 155 laps.
In the offseason, NASCAR unified the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour into one tour that stretches from New Hampshire to South Carolina.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Thompson for the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 2.
Matt Swanson made a tremendous run thru an impressive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field by finishing in 11th place from his 21st starting spot in his Starrett Tools machine.
The L.S. Starrett Company, founded in 1880, manufactures more than 5,000 variations of Precision Tools, Gages, Measuring Instruments and Saw Blades for industrial, professional and consumer markets worldwide.
Starrett, a leader who has set the standard for fine precision tools in industry for over 130 years, has rightfully earned the title, "World's Greatest Toolmakers"
January 23rd, 2017
Starrett Announces 2017 Sponsorship Program
Athol, MA – The L.S. Starrett Co. announced today that it will expand its motorsports marketing program by continuing support of the newly combined NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Under the banner of Starrett Racing, the company will be the primary sponsor of the Flamingo Motorsports #16 with driver Timmy Solomito. In addition to sponsoring the 16 car, Starrett Racing will also support the future of the sport through a driver development program as the primary sponsor of the Matt Swanson Racing #89 and driver Matt Swanson. “Starrett is very pleased to expand our racing program in 2017 to include two high-quality teams. Flamingo Motorsports is a proven, championship and race winning team that fought in the 2016 points battle to the end. Matt Swanson is a really great young driver that has won championships and who is progressing quickly through the racing ranks and was the Rookie of the Year in 2016. At Starrett, we believe in striving for excellence and continuous improvement. We see these two relationships as meeting those goals and we expect to be winning races and championships now and well into the future. We are really looking forward to having Timmy, Matt and their teams represent our company,” explained Jim Taylor, Starrett’s VP of Operations.
“We are thrilled to have Starrett on board as our primary sponsor, “said Eric Sanderson of Flamingo Motorsports. “ We have the right cars, the right driver, the right crew chief, and now we have the right sponsor. This is going to be a great year of racing and we are going to do everything necessary to win the championship.” Flamingo last won the NWMT championship in 2013 with driver Ryan Preece and also won with Mike Stefanik in 2006. It’s a bit of a stretch, but Stefanik also plays into the history of the 89 team, having won championships in 2001 and 2002 driving for Art Barry. Ken Barry is the crew chief on the 89 and has been a big part of bringing Swanson along in his development. “By the end of the season we were consistently running in the top ten and pushing the top five. Finishing 4th at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September was a big achievement for such a young driver. Winning Rookie of the Year and finishing 9th in the points were really feathers in Matt’s cap,” Ken said.
It may be the “off-season”, but preparations are well underway for 2017. Timmy Solomito is looking forward to racing speedweeks at New Smyrna and having his first indoor TQ experience at Atlantic City later this month. “It’s been great to spend more time with family, but we have been really busy getting the cars ready for the season. I’m ready to strap in and excited to get to racing for this championship. We have the full package and showed that we can win races last year. With Starrett on board we are looking forward to taking it to the next level this season.”
Matt Swanson is looking forward to the season for a lot of reasons. “We made a lot of progress last year and it really helped getting to go to the tracks for the second time. Most of the tracks we ran I had never turned a lap on. By the end of the season I was feeling comfortable and was able to give Ken better feedback on the cars. We should be able to consistently run well this year. I’m really grateful for Starrett’s support and look forward to representing them. Starrett tools are the best measuring tools on the market and we use them to build our cars. They are made in America, right here in Massachusetts, and I’m proud to have them on our race car.”
Starrett sponsored the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile and driver Jimmy Blewett throughout the 2016 campaign. The #V4 finished 4th in the owners championship and won the Stafford 150 in August. “We really appreciated getting introduced to this series by Bob and his team. We were thrilled to win a race and to have our company represented by such professional and experienced people as the Mystic Missile team. We loved working with Jimmy and living the excitement that ‘Showtime’ brings to every race. Jimmy is going to be devoting more time to his family this season and to getting his nephew, John Blewett, started in his modified career. He plans to run select Tour races and we hope to help him in that endeavor. We admire and support his decision to focus on his family,” said BJ Guerin, Motorsports and Education Specialist at Starrett.
You can find more information at www.starrett.com, www.flamingomotorsports.com, www.mattswansonracing.com, or follow on Facebook or Twitter @starretttools, @TheNatural99, and @MSwanson40
January 11th, 2017
Matthew Swanson Will Be Very Busy This Season
Driver Will Run On The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour & Run Super LM's For Dale Shaw Racing
A MATTHEW WIERNASZ / Raceproweekly.com article
ACTON, MA - Matthew Swanson will have a busy 2017 season. Swanson will return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Swanson will also run Super Late Models this season for DJ Shaw. He made his debut with the Super Late Models at the D.A.V. at Seekonk Speedway last October. Swanson was going to see how he liked the car with the way it handled.
When Swanson went to Seekonk, he felt he didn't have the greatest car. He was able to get to finish in the top 10 with a sixth place finish. The idea came about the deal with Swanson talked to Shaw about putting together for the Super Late Model. Swanson and Shaw had been talking about it for a long time.
“We really never made anything happen until we decided to run the D.A.V. race." Swanson Said
Swanson's father John and Dale Shaw raced against each other in the NASCAR Busch North Series which is now the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Swanson has raced go-karts for DJ up in Maine where it was about 5-6 years ago and won a championship. The deal sparked up at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl where Craig Weinstein could not make the race at Seekonk. D.J. Shaw had asked Swanson if he wanted to drive it. Swanson and his father sat down and talked about it and felt it would be a good idea.
Swanson thinks overall that they have top notch equipment. Swanson was up get there a few weeks ago getting fitted in one of the cars. When Swanson went to the shop in New Hampshire, they were working on the car that Swanson will run this season. They were putting in the interior in the car.
When Swanson went to Seekonk with the team and Swanson used a set of shocks he raced on the car. They changed shocks and put on new front shocks that the team wanted to try. Swanson believes its different with the way the Super Late Models work.
“You don't like the handling of the car. You can change a set of shocks where you're running a modified. It’s more of you have to work with what you have when you show up to the race track
Swanson looks at the stacked field in the Modifieds and Super Late Models. His family has been around the PASS Series for along as he can remember when his father John Swanson owned a pro stock and GeGe Gravel drove it.
Swanson wants to be competitive even if it’s a in a Modified or a Super Late Model, or NEMA and he believes he is getting the modified program up there where he is a top 5 and top 10 car. He hopes to do the same when running the Super Late Model and contend for wins.
Swanson won the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year. Swanson is only 16 years old.
“That was definitely our goal. We wanted to turn some heads and get rookie of the year award. We definitely show we can run up front this year. Now we want to try to get some wins. That’s definitely our goal this year." Swanson Said
Swanson knows he and his modified team will have to step up their game for the 2017 season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. They are trying to get another spec motor for the program. He wants to have good race cars when he needs them.
“We had that all last year. We unfortunately wrecked one at Riverhead. Caused enough to have park it for the rest of the year. We still had a good car sitting in the garage waiting for us if we needed it." Swanson Said
Unfortunately for Swanson, he can't have a spec engine program where if one goes. He can have another one ready. He has only has what we can race with. They try to get a good rotation where after 5-6 races where they can send it out and get it refreshend and they have the other one sitting and ready to go. Last year they did the open motor program until they wrecked the car at Riverhead. They never realized how big of a deal at a lot of the tracks besides Stafford. Stafford they kind of understood it the whole time.
He knew from the beginning in how he would need to have a good handling race car at Stafford in what crew chief Ken Barry gives him every time they go to contend for a top 10. The spec motor helps out a lot in motors. With Swanson being a small team without sponsorship. They can't be like the big teams on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour having spec motors sitting on the sidelines ready to go.
Swanson just wants to run races. His schedule is looking anywhere from 30-50 races. He is planning to run in NEMA for Kevin Iannarelli and Iannarelli Motorsports. Swanson believes this is one of the best off seasons he has had.
His goals for 2017 are to race as many races he can win as many races as he can. Swanson believes he has been given some great opportunities. Swanson knows he will need seat time in where he can improve.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will kick off their 2017 season on Saturday March 18th at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
December 27th, 2016
Top 10: Pavement Short Track Drivers to Watch in 2017; Matt Swanson Makes The Exclusive List
A www.speed51.com article
Each year, short track racers throughout North America grab the attention of fans, media and those watching from the higher levels of motorsports. Before we turn the calendar to 2017, we give you a list of drivers to keep an eye on next season.
Carson Hocevar – We will finally be able to get a good clean look at this kid in 2017. After the age issue at Berlin last season, Hocevar got national attention from all types of media. It’s in the past and now it’s his time to shine. On the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour he had three top-five finishes in four starts. Now he’ll be a full time JEGS Tour driver and it will start in January at SpeedFest for this upstart.
Cole Anderson – The Minnesota driver announced his prescreens with authority in 2016 by starting the year off with a win in the Red-Eye 100. He backed that up with victories at the Orange Blossom 100 and a Pro Late Model victory at Speedweeks. Is that enough? He kept going with wins at South Alabama and Montgomery with the Southern Super Series. He ended the year with a top 10 run in the Snowflake 100.
Cole Butcher – The one thing we like about Cole Butcher is that he’s not afraid to come to the states and run. The 2016 Atlantic Cat 250 winner rode the coat tails of a fine season to win the PARTS for Trucks Pro Stock Tour title. The 20-year-old Nova Scotia driver then when to Pensacola for the Snowflake 100 where he logged a top 10. Hopefully we will see him more in 2017 and he can mix it up with the PASS guys to create that border war rivalry like we saw in New England in the 90’s.
Christian Eckes – 2016 could not have ended any better for Christian Eckes. Wins at Myrtle Beach Speedway in the Myrtle Beach 400 and then Southern National at the Thanksgiving Classic paved the way for his 2016 Snowball Derby upset win. Eckes will now continue his career and see what more he can do after winning the biggest pavement short track race of the year.
Connor Okrzesik – We see good things on the horizon for Connor Okrzesik. After finishing 13th in his first Snowball Derby and Florida Governor’s Cup we expect growth in the off season. You have to make laps before you can start winning races and Okrzesik stayed in the game all season logging laps. He still may be another year away, but we expect the name to be around in 2017.
Garrett Evans – Ageless Garrett Evans just keeps on trucking in the Northwest. After pocketing his third straight title in the Northwest Super Late Model Series it bring his touring series championship total to eight and it may be more. The 60-year-old driver just stays after it and we will see what 2017 will bring him.
Matt Swanson – The changing of the guard in the Modified ranks is well underway with older drivers stepping down and new ones popping up. Just five years ago Doug Coby had only two wins; now he’s a four-time champion. Matt Swanson could be one of those up and coming drivers after taking the Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He racked up seven top 10’s and posted a ninth-place finish in the final standings. He kept his nose clear and finished 15 of the 17 races. Look for more good things next year.
Scott Payea – After a year of shaking off the rust we are ready to see if Scott Payea can be an ACT champion in 2017. He completed all but two laps this past season and had three wins. After sitting out several season he showed he belongs behind the wheel and now we could see him at his peak beginning next season.
Ty Majeski – Another ARCA Midwest Tour title, another Florida Governor’s Cup 200 win, a Speedweeks title, a Rattler 250 win, 27 total wins and all we can ask is what’s next? Majeski is a modern day Dick Trickle type driver who races every week and wants to get better. He can pretty much almost win every week, too. Had it been on their radar they might have taken the NASCAR Whelen All American Series title as well after coming up third with 14 wins in 25 starts.
Raphael Lessard – Let’s keep in mind that Lessard was a still a rookie at the begin of 2016. That was hard to tell as he won the CARS Tour Super Late Model title with four wins. He first put his name on the map when he scored a win at Smyrna Speedweeks in February in a Pro Late Model, and from there he switched to the big power. After his title he finished on the podium at the All American 400, crashed out while leading at the Winchester 400 and came from the back for a 10th-place run at the Snowball Derby. We look forward to his transition into 2017.
December 3rd, 2016
Matt Swanson To Join Dale Shaw Racing For Part Time Super Late Model Schedule In 2017
2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Matt Swanson of Acton, Massachusetts announced via his social media that he will be joining the two-time and defending PASS Super Late Model championship team, Dale Shaw Racing, for multiple events in 2017.
The 16 year old modified champion competed for Dale Shaw Racing in the 2016 DAV Classic at Seekonk Speedway and found Super Late Model success right away by winning his very first competitive event in a star studded qualifying race. Matt would continue to impress even further by finishing a strong 6th place in the 150 lap main event.
Swanson went on social media to make the announcement, “I’m proud to announce I will be joining DJ Shaw as part of his DSRC Development program. After a good run at Seekonk Speedway last year we look forward to putting a schedule together around my NASCAR Whelen Modified tour car. DJ is in the processes of build a new super late model at Dale Shaw racecars in their shop in New Hampshire and our goal is to test first of the year. We will wait to see all the schedules and announce ours once they all come out and hopefully compete at some of the larger shows. It’s a blessing to be surround by some great teams and can’t wait for 2017. Next week we are heading out to PRI with the Spafco Chassis guys then off to North Carolina for the NASCAR banquet.”
Stay tuned to www.mattswansonracing.com for further information when it becomes available.
October 15th, 2016
Matt Swanson Collects 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Title
A hometracks.nascar.com release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Matt Swanson is unique among his high school peers.
While the other student-athletes at his school participate in a multitude of sports, Swanson is the only one who is a full-time race car driver. And Swanson has excelled in his first season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. So much so that he's clinched the tour's Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors with a race remaining.
The Acton, Massachusetts, teenager finished fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September and eighth at the NAPA Fall Final at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway to pull away from Craig Lutz and secure the honor for first-year competitors.
Heading in to the season final this Sunday at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Swanson has won 12 Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors in the first 16 events.
“We set goals for this season and one of them was to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,” Swanson said. “We started the season just wanting to run well and things fell into place where we now can celebrate this honor.”
Swanson added that his team was also looking to use this year as a learning one to build on for the future.
“The guys on the team worked hard all year and we began the season building our notebook of notes for each track we race at on the schedule,” Swanson said. “We were concerned more with that to start the season and didn’t really worry about finishes until later in the season when we realized we could lock up the ROY award.”
Swanson’s best finish this season so far is a third-place at Thompson in June, but it was his most recent finishes that made the difference for the teenager.
“The third-place finish we had a Thompson was great and that one along with coming from 20th to fourth at New Hampshire and coming home strong at Stafford last weekend helped us a lot.
“I just want to thank Sunoco for this honor and award each week and at the end of the season because it gives new drivers coming in to the series something to race for and as hard as it is to get sponsors in racing these days, every bit of help we get is appreciated,” Swanson said. “This is something I’ll always remember and hope we can build off of this honor like many others have done on the tour and went on to win races and contend for championships.”
Heading into the final race, Swanson leads Lutz 154-134. Andrew Krause, Nick Salva and Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. rounding out the top five.
Rookie points are earned on a 10-to-1 system with the highest-finishing first-year driver in a race scoring 10, the second nine, and so on down to one point for the lowest finishers.
Swanson will receive the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award on Dec. 10 as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
October 10, 2016
Coby Continues Stafford Roll; Matt Swanson Charges To An 8th Place Finish
A www.hometracks.nascar.com release
STAFFORD, Conn. (Oct. 9, 2016) – Doug Coby is the modern day dominator of Stafford Motor Speedway. Nothing that happened Sunday changed that fact.
Despite a delay of a week, and nearly seven more hours during a rain-drenched Sunday, Coby still reigns supreme with a victory in the NAPA Fall Final 150.
Coby rolled to his 10th career victory at the historic half-mile – now trailing only Ted Christopher’s 12 – and extended his lead in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings to 20 points with one race to go.
It was Coby’s fourth win in the last five tour races at Stafford behind the wheel of the No. 2 Dunleavy's Repair/A&J Romano Construction Chevrolet. It also marked his fifth overall in 2016, and 22nd of his career.
Justin Bonsignore entered the race trailing Coby by 13 tallies. The pair started the rain-delayed race 1-2 and traded the lead early, but Bonsignore experienced a mechanical issue and lost a lap on pit road. He was able to earn the subsequent free pass, and made it back to fourth to salvage a good finish considering the circumstances, but lost seven points on Coby in the process.
Following Coby across the finish line was Timmy Solomito and Jimmy Blewett. Bonsingore, Chase Dowling, Roan Pennink, Max Zachem, Matt Swanson, Woody Pitkat and Shawn Solomito brought home the top 10.
The NAPA Fall Final 150 will be telecast on NBCSN on Oct. 16 at 9:30 p.m.
The Whelen Modified Tour will conclude its season and crown a champion in the Sunoco World Series 150 on Oct. 16 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
September 24th, 2016
Bonsignore Finds Success At Magic Mile; Rookie Matt Swanson Turns Heads With 4th Place Finish
A www.hometracks.nascar.com article, NASCAR.com photo
LOUDON, N.H. -- Justin Bonsignore knows if he's going to catch Doug Coby in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race, he's going to need to all the points he can get in the final three races.
And that means finding success at a place that's long plagued him: New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Mission accomplished for the Holtsville, New York, driver Saturday afternoon. Bonsignore dominated the FW Webb 100, lead 77 laps and holding off the field in a green-white-checkered finish to score his first win at the "Magic Mile."
"It doesn't get any bigger than this," said Bonsignore. "To do it here at New Hampshire, on the big stage, hasn't sunk in yet. I don't know if it ever will. It's a huge honor to be here at honor and to be called a winner now it unbelievable."
Ron Silk finished second, followed by Coby, Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Swanson and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman.
Rowan Pennink led five laps and was in contention for the win when engine issues on Lap 98 ended his day. It also brought out the race's final caution and pushed the event to 106 laps. On the final restart, Bonsignore was able to get a push from Silk to pull away from him and Coby en route to the checkered flag.
Bonsignore entered the event with an average finish of 17.4 in 14 previous starts at New Hampshire. He had only led two laps on the 1.058-mile oval.
It was Bonsignore's 11th career win. His previous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories came at his home track, Long Island's Riverhead Raceway (four wins), Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (four wins) and New Hampshire's Monadnock Speedway (two wins).
It was also Bonsignore's third win of the season. More importantly, it allowed him to slice seven more points off Coby's lead. Coby, the three-time tour champion, holds a 13-point advantage on Bonsignore with two races remaining.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 2, before concluding the season in Thompson's Sunoco World Series 150 on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Patrick Emerling finished sixth at New Hampshire, while Jimmy Blewett, Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito and Donny Lia rounded out the top 10.
The FW Webb 100 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.
September 10, 2016
Solomito Wins At Seekonk; Matt Swanson Has Solid Top 15 Finish
A www.hometracks.nascar.com release, with a Matt Swanson Racing addition
SEEKONK, Massachusetts -- When it was go-time, Timmy Solomito didn't hesitate.
The Islip, New York, driver muscled his way past Doug Coby on Lap 114 and then held off the three-time champion as well as championship contender Justin Bonsignore to win Saturday night's AnytimeRealty.com 150 at Seekonk Speedway.
It was Solomito's fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season.
Solomito started alongside Coby on the Lap 112 restart. After failing to get by on the outside on the first lap, Solomito fell into line behind Coby coming off Turn 4 and then drove low into Turn 1. Solomito's left side tires kicked up dirt and grass and the two banged side nerf bars as Solomito emerged from Turn 2 with the lead.
"It was time to go," said Solomito. "There was 30-something laps to go and you're racing on a tight track. Yea, I got down on the grass there, got a little sideways. But we were able to sneak by him. That's all that mattered. At the end of the day, we were able to do it."
A late caution set up a green-white-checkered finish that pushed the race to 151 laps. Solomito was able to get away on the final restart as Bonsignore edged Coby for second.
Coby won his eighth Coors Light Pole Award of the season earlier in the day and led a race-high 108 laps. The finish allowed Coby to maintain his 20-point lead over Bonsignore, while Solomito moved four points closer and sits 36 points out with three races remaining.
Matt Hirschman finished fourth at Seekonk, followed by Bobby Santos.
Eric Goodale, Jimmy Blewett, Rowan Pennink, Chase Dowling and Jeff Goodale completed the top 10.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will run in the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Matt Swanson brought his Spafco Race Chassis #89 team to the “Cement Palace” for their first and only visit of 2016 and earned a strong 12th place finish.
After qualifying 11th, Matt battled all night long in his Central Mass Tree Chevrolet and strengthened his grip on the quest for the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year title.
August 21st, 2016
Goodale Scores Biggest Win of Career; Swanson is 10th Highest Finishing North Driver
A www.hometracks.nascar.com release w/ Matt Swanson Racing addition
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Eric Goodale entered the Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway looking to continue his recent run of solid finishes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
After his performance in the eighth annual combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Goodale took the lead over Todd Szegedy midway just after the restart after a rain delay and held on during a late restart with two laps to go to collect his second career win.
Szegedy, who gave a valiant effort on the final restart and almost lost control of his car on the backstretch, finished second for the third time in the event.
Donny Lia, who won the inaugural combination race at Bristol in 2009, overcame an illness to finish third. Patrick Emerling followed in fourth with northern tour points leader Doug Coby fifth.
Ryan Preece was sixth while Bobby Santos, Ron Silk, Kyle Ebersole, and Jeff Goodale rounded out the top 10.
Ebersole used his ninth-place finish to lead the southern tour and get credit for his third career win.
The Bush’s Beans 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, Aug. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action on Saturday, September 3 in the Visit Martin County 150 while the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Riverhead Raceway for the Riverhead 200 on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Matt Swanson drove his SPAFCO Racing/FMR Racing machine to a 12th place finish in his debut at the historic Bristol Motor Speedway. With the modified event at Bristol being a combination event between the North and South Whelen Modified divisions, Matt’s finish at the Last Great Colosseum was another Top 10 finish for the team in 2016 in NWMT competition.
August 11, 2016
Bonsignore Tackles Thompson Again; Matt Swanson Extends ROTY Points Lead
A www.hometracks.nascar.com release w/ Matt Swanson Racing addition
THOMPSON, Conn. – After saying he ‘gave’ away about thirty points this season with two DNF’s, Justin Bonsignore was finally able to celebrate after a race Wednesday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Bonsignore passed points leader Doug Coby on Lap 74 and withheld a strong challenge for the lead on a restart with fours lap remaining to win the Budweiser King of Beers 150 for his first win of the season.
Bonsignore qualified third and was able to muscle by Coby for the lead and hold off the two-time defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion for his ninth career win and fourth overall at Thompson.
The third and final caution of the race was given to the field on Lap 143 for a single car spin setting up the final restart. Bonsignore was able to drive away with Coby in tow to get his first win since the Holtsville, N.Y. native won at Riverhead Raceway last season.
Bobby Santos finished third as Woody Pitkat and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five. Max Zachem was sixth with Ron Silk, Donny Lia, Shawn Solomito and Jeff Goodale coming home seventh through 10th, respectively.
Chase Dowling took advantage of a quick pit stop by his crew during the first caution of the race on Lap 58 to take the lead where he stayed until Coby got by on Lap 62 on the restart.
Bonsignore was able to pull to within 15 points of the lead and now trails Coby 397-382 in the standings with seven races remaining. Timmy Solomito is third with Donny Lia and Jimmy Blewett rounding out the top five in the standings.
The Budweiser King of Beers 150 will be televised on NBCSN on Friday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action along with its NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour counterparts for their annual combination race on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Bush’s Beans 150 will be held at 6 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Matt Swanson strengthened his hold on the 2015 NWMT Rookie of the Year championship with a solid top 20 finish in the 27th annual Bud 150 at Thompson Speedway. Matt leads the ROTY title chase while continuing to stay entrenched in the Top 10 of the series championship standings, as he heads into the big Bristol Motor Speedway event.
June 28th, 2016
Solomito Scores Home Track Win; Swanson Battles To Top 10 Finish
A NASCAR Home Tracks release, with Matt Swanson Racing addition
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- While Timmy Solomito's first career win earlier this year was a 'dream come true,' Saturday night's victory at his home track was twice as sweet.
The 24-year-old Islip, New York driver, piloted the No. 16 Diversified Metals /R.B. Enterprises Ford to the win in the Riverhead 200 at Long Island's Riverhead Speedway. To get to Victory Lane for a second time, Solomito had to hold off Justin Bonsignore in a green-white-checkered finish that capped a wild night on the historic quarter-mile.
"Since I set out on the tour, this is something I always wanted to do, win in front of my hometown crowd," Solomito said. "To finally get a win here means a lot."
It was a Riverhead sweep of the podium, as Bonsignore settled for second and Donny Lia came home third.
Jimmy Blewett, who had to drop to the rear on the start for making changes after qualifying, charged his way up to fourth. And Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five.
Solomito has won a number of the extra-distance NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified events at Riverhead, but was 0-for-5 in tour starts. He did nearly come away with a win in 2013, only to finish third after losing the lead to eventual winner Ryan Preece with 24 laps to go.
Bonsignore is a former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion at Riverside and was looking to win his third straight tour race there. But Solomito got a strong jump on the race's final restart as the late caution pushed the race to 212 laps.
Earlier in the day, Doug Coby won his fifth Coors Light Pole Award in six races this season. Coby led a race-high 81 laps but spun after contact with Bonsignore as the two battled along with Solomito for the lead on Lap 196. Coby salvaged a 10th-place finish and maintained a 17-point lead over Max Zachem.
Zachem finished sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Chase Dowling, rookie Matt Swanson and Coby.
Bonsignore is third in points, one ahead of Lia and two ahead of Solomito.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads north next month for the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16. It's part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at the "Magic Mile," which includes the non-points All-Star Shootout for the Whelen Modifieds on Friday, July 15.
Matt Swanson continued his hot June streak with a tremendous battle back from a late race spin to score another top 10 finish in 2016.
While running mid pack late in the 200 lap event, Matt was spun out of turn 4 on the tight 1/4 bullring in Riverhead, NY,. Swanson quickly fired his car up and rejoined the field just in front of leaders when the caution flag did not fly.
Not to be denied, Matt began to drive away from race leader Doug Coby and methodically marched back thru traffic to earn his 3rd top 10 finish of 2016 and strengthen his grip on the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year title chase.
June 16th, 2016
Santos Returns To Victory Lane; Rookie Matt Swanson Earns First Career NWMT Podium With 3rd Place Run
A NASCAR Home Tracks Release
THOMPSON, Conn. -- It had been long enough since Bobby Santos had been to Victory Lane that he was wondering whether he would ever get back.
It only took one lap Wednesday night at Thompson Speedway Motorsport Park to erase all that.
Santos drove the No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet by Max Zachem on the white-flag lap to win the Thompson 125. It was the only lap Santos led on a night where he pitted multiple times early in the event due to a tire issue.
"There was a lot of doubting ourselves," Santos said. "We all know we can win. We won as this team before. We just need a little momentum and we can start winning races again."
Santos hadn't been to Victory Lane since July 12, 2014, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was a 25-race slump for the 2010 tour champion.
Zachem settled for second after coming within one lap of his first career tour win. The 23-year-old from Preston, Connecticut, was making his 23rd career start and led a race-high 43 laps.
Rookie Matt Swanson finished third, followed by Patrick Emerling and Jeff Goodale.
Zachem and Swanson were among a group of drivers who pitted early in the race. Leaders Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Justin Bonsignore stayed out until a Lap 77 caution. Santos came down with those four, but because he didn't take tires, he was first off pit road and restarted 12th.
From there, Santos was the first one to make it to the front of the field.
Preece, who is running NASCAR XFINITY Series full-time this season, came back to finish sixth. Rowan Pennink, Brendon Bock, Jimmy Blewett and Ken Heagy rounded out the top 10. Coby, who earlier in the day won his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, wound up 11th.
With his finish outside the top 10, Coby saw his points lead cut to 19 over Zachem after five races. Pennink is third, 10 behind Coby but three ahead of Donny Lia and four in front of Justin Bonsignore. Santos moved up to sixth in points, just four behind Bonsignore.
The Thompson 125 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, June 22 at 5 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action on Saturday, June 25 at Riverhead (New York) Raceway.
May 15th, 2016
Silk Scores Waterford Win; Matt Swanson
Finishes A Strong 7th Place
A NASCAR Home Tracks article
WATERFORD, Conn. – Ron Silk powered past polesitter Eric Goodale one-third of the way through the New England Cycle Center 161 Saturday at New London-Waterford Speedbowl and never looked back.
Silk, of Norwalk, Connecticut, held off the field down the stretch to record his 10th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. It was his first at the Speedbowl, and it came in just his third race with new car owner Danny Watts Jr. and the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet team.
Max Zachem, of nearby Preston, Connecticut, crossed the stripe second for his best career finish. Jimmy Blewett joined him on the podium in third.
Jeff Goodale and Rob Summers rounded out the top five while Brendon Bock, Matt Swanson, Doug Coby, Donny Lia and Jamie Tomaino completed the top 10.
Saturday also marked career-best finishes for Jeff Goodale and Bock.
Tomaino extended his Whelen Modified Tour record for career starts to 600 in the event.
Silk, the 2011 Whelen Modified Tour titlist, ended a 42-race winless drought with his first victory since August 2012 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
After three events the two-time defending champion Coby leads Timmy Solomito by eight points and Zachem by 15 in the season standings.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action on June 3 at Stafford Motor Speedway for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.
February 25, 2016
Matt Swanson & Craig Lutz to Step Up on Whelen Modified Tour
Will Take on Full Schedule, Run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year
By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After testing the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour waters as part-time participants year ago, drivers Craig Lutz and Matt Swanson are ready to step up to full-time competition and contend for the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
Lutz, of Miller Place, New York, made his first Whelen Modified Tour appearance in 2014 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl where he has competed in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division in recent seasons. Last year the 21-year-old, who works as a carpenter on Long Island, made four Whelen Modified Tour starts.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Lutz said. “I’m excited for the experience of going to tracks I haven’t been to and getting some seat time there. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a competitive run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year.”
Swanson hails from Acton, Massachusetts. The 16-year-old student debuted on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015 with five appearances, highlighted by a seventh-place finish in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. His debut at Stafford in August made him the youngest race starter in Whelen Modified Tour history at 15 years, five months and 22 days old. Swanson earned the modified division track championship at Star Speedway in 2014 at age 14 before moving to touring competition last year.
“This year we’re coming into it really prepared,” Swanson said. “We only had one car last year and we used last year as a learning experience. This year we know what to expect and we’re coming back with two open motors from Billy the Kid and two Spafco chassis to see what we can do.”
Swanson, like Lutz, is looking forward to an opportunity to vie for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
“The driver that earns that award gets some pretty good publicity,” Swanson said. “To earn something like that on the Whelen Modified Tour would really be something to look back on years later. It’s really cool to be able to contend for that.”
The 17-race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will commence with the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
October 4th, 2015
Coby Keeps Title Repeat Hopes Alive, Wins Stafford Fall Final
Rookie Matt Swanson Dazzles With 7th Place Finish
A NASCAR Home Tracks release w/ Matt Swanson Racing addition
STAFFORD, Conn. -- Three races after it appeared Doug Coby's efforts to repeat as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion were in jeopardy, he's back in the driver's seat.
The Milford, Connecticut, driver rolled to his second straight win Sunday in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway and will head into the season finale as the championship points leader.
Ryan Preece, the 2013 champion who was the runner-up to Coby in 2012 and 2014, rebounded from an accident and pit road penalty to finish second at Stafford. Woody Pitkat, who entered the penultimate race weekend with the points lead, finished 12th after being involved in a late-race wreck.
The result is Coby will head to the season finale even in points with Preece. They are both four points (565) ahead of Pitkat (561) going into the Sunoco World Series 150 at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Coby has six wins to Preece's four and Pitkat's one.
It's a dramatic turn of events for Coby, who wrecked on Lap 2 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 19 and left the World's Fastest Half-Mile 33 points out of the lead. He finished second at New York's Riverhead Raceway before winning last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Sunday's race at Stafford.
Coby also earned the Coors Light Pole Award for the NAPA Fall Final 150 in qualifying on Saturday. With Sunday’s win he became the first Whelen Modified Tour driver since Donny Lia in 2007 to win six events in a season.
Timmy Solomito was third on Sunday, followed by Lia and Shawn Solomito.
Rookies Chase Dowling and Matt Swanson were sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Jamie Tomaino, Ken Heagy and Todd Szegedy.
The NAPA Fall Final 150 will premiere on NBCSN on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.
Matt Swanson continues to impress the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing world at Stafford in it's historic Fall Final event. The 15-year old rising star once again wheeled his #89 SPAFCO Race Cars/FMR Chevrolet from its 19th place starting spot in the 27-car field with the patience and precision of a veteran racer for all 150 laps. When the checkered flag fell, Swanson was able to earn his first-career NWMT Top 10 finish with a hard fought 7th place finish.
Matt Swanson and his #89 SPAFCO Race Cars/FMR team will be back in action this weekend, October 10th-11th 2015, at the popular Oktoberfest 2015 at Lee USA Speedway.