Tommy Catalano wins 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the year


Tommy Catalano took down the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rookie of the year.

Catalano missed one race which was the season opener at Myrtle Beach Speedway back in March. 

The race team is a family team out of New York. They do not have a paid crew member on the team. The people that do come and work on the race car are all volunteer. For the most part, it his parents along with his brothers that help him out on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Catalano told 22News that they all work in the garage together and go to the track together, 

“That’s what makes it a little more rewarding at the end,” said Catalano.

Catalano’s mother Amy races.  She puts in a lot of time and effort into the race team. 

“She’s a lot of behind the scenes. Everything we want has to go through her. We call her the boss. around here. If we want something you gotta go see the boss. It’s a little bit funny but in the long run, I think it’s definitely nice having your family that does it all with you,” said Catalano.

Catalano did have a few people come on board for the last couple races to help with the pit stops that would volunteer their time with the team. 

“They went to the ROC (Race Of Champions) up here. They kind of approached us at the last ROC race we went to and told us if we ever needed a hand or anything to let them know. They came and volunteered their time the last couple races,” said Catalano.

The plan was to race three to four races on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. They would get to the third race and say ok were gonna do the fourth race and then it would be the fifth and sixth race. When the team was getting to go to the eighth race, they sat down and talked and said if they went to this one and wanted to win Rookie of the year or have a shot at it from then on out. They would have to go to all the races or else they would not be eligible for the 2019 season to race for Rookie of the year.  

The team sat down and talked it out and said they would go for the Rookie of the year and give it they’re all. 

Catalano’s mother Amy has always had a dream to race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.  Next year his brother Timmy is planning to race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The plan would also be for Amy to dabble in a few races and then hopefully in the 2020 season come and race full time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

“She ran the MRS race at Thompson at the end of this year for the World Series and got her name out there a little bit. That’ll help and hopefully, we will get some funding. Hopefully, eventually, we will be able to run on the tour,” said Catalano.

Catalano would tell you it’s pretty cool to see a family team come to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races. 

“When we got there, there was only a couple family oriented teams. For us everyone said you’re not going to be competitive because you gotta have the high dollar and the big sponsors. You can’t do it with just your family. It was really cool to go and start to prove them wrong and hopefully over the next couple years we can kind of grow and grow and get better and better. and eventually fully prove them wrong and show other family teams that it is doable if you set out to do it. You can do it and I think that’s the main goal to show other teams and get other people interested. All it takes is one person and the rest will follow,” said Catalano. 

Catalano will be honored as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the year in Charlotte, NC on Friday, December 7.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will kick off their 2019 season at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday, March 16. 

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