Story By: MATT KENTFIELD / PSR RACING – MIDLAND, NC – When the time came for PSR Racing team owner Phil Stefanelli to choose a driver for the 2019 North-South Shootout Modified event at Hickory Motor Speedway, the choice was a “Natural” one.
Nine-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner Timmy Solomito will drive the PSR No. 17 Modified in this weekend’s 150-lap North-South Shootout. The 27-year-old Islip, New York native, nicknamed “The Natural,” was the perfect fit as both the driver and the PSR team look to finish the 2019 season on a high note in one of Modified racing’s premiere events.
“I’m amped up,” said Solomito, who drove to four top-five and eight top-10 finishes on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2019. “Phil and I have been talking for a few years now about maybe doing something together, but we just never could put all the pieces together. When he texted me and asked if I wanted to come down for the North-South Shootout, I thought he was joking at first. But everything worked out and I’m pumped up. I know he’s got a quality piece so hopefully we can put on a good show for the fans and show everybody what we’re made of.”
Battling top names in Modified racing from both the North and the South at Hickory is not only something he’s prepared for, but it’s also something he’s proven to be pretty good at in the past.
“I’ve won Tour races on Southern tracks before like Myrtle Beach and Langley, so it’d be cool to add Hickory to the list,” said Solomito. “There’s a lot of history there, so I’m excited to get on the track. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos trying to brush up on my skills and get as much info on that place as I can before I get out there and turn some laps.”
PSR Racing, based in Midland, North Carolina, enters the North-South Shootout on the heels of a solid 2019 Modified racing campaign. Both with its No. 17 and through its affiliated PSR Products line of performance racing parts, tools, and accessories, PSR powered multiple Modified victories on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Southern Modified Racing Series, as well as in weekly series events at tracks such as Bowman Gray Stadium and Ace Speedway.
The No. 17 Modified that Solomito will pilot in the North-South Shootout is the newest-generation PSR Products chassis that has already seen on-track success and has gotten the Modified scene buzzing.
“We’re proud of the cars we put on track and the craftsmanship that we put into everything that comes out of our shop, whether it’s chassis, engines, parts, bodies, or even setup work on customers’ cars,” said Stefanelli. “We’ve fielded a lot of calls and taken a bunch of orders for PSR chassis cars for the 2020 season, but most of all I’m excited to showcase what a championship-caliber driver like Timmy can do in our house car this weekend.”
Solomito is equally motivated for success at Hickory. A five-year run behind the wheel of the Eric Sanderson-owned No. 16 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour came to an end last month as Sanderson retired from his role as car owner. Solomito now is using the North-South Shootout to further showcase his abilities for 2020.
“I’m looking for a seat for next year, so I’m excited to get into a different car and show what I can do,” added Solomito. “I’m going to drive hard and hopefully put it up front. I want to go racing and win races every week and I know Phil and his team want the same thing this weekend.”
The North-South Shootout kicks off with an open practice on Thursday, November 7. Additional practice and qualifying will take place on Friday, November 8, with the 150-lap North-South Shootout feature taking center stage on Saturday, November 9.