NASCAR FMS: Tomaino Celebrates 25 Years in Modifieds
28 December 1998From the first time his parents brought him to the races, Mario "Jamie" Tomaino knew what his future held, he wanted to be behind the wheel of an open wheel modified race car. Nearing his 18th birthday, he almost had a car ready, thanks to the late Ed Giebel. Jamie went to his mother, without his father knowing, and borrowed the money to complete his first race car, a Tobias chassied Sportsman Modified to compete at Wall Stadium, Belmar, NJ. His first car was numbered 56, the year of his birth, but he has changed numbers and his critics opinions in his first 25 years in open wheel modifieds, and he is looking to share this celebration with modified fans everywhere in 1999!
The first time Jamie Tomaino took to the track, he felt at home. His second time in a race car, he was leading the feature race in a very competitive division, before running out of gas with a few laps to go. Since then he has won over 50 features from Florida to New Hampshire, has twice been voted the most popular Modified driver in the nation, and has been crowned a National Champion.
Looking forward to his 25th season, Jamie still remembers the people who got him here. " The first 2 1/2 years I owned my own cars, and I started off the 1977 season in my own big block modified, but thanks to Howard Harvey, I was able to graduate to better equipment, and things just took off from there!"
Over the last 25 years, Jamie has driven for some of the most renowned owners in Modified history, Howard Harvey, Billy "The Whale" Graham, "The Captain" Doug Lutz, George Ross, Bill Potts, Lenny Boehler, Danny Ust, and Bill Potts again until the current day. He has won with almost all of them, and if he didn't win, the fans knew he was there from the show he put on, but in the latter years of his career, Jamie still appreciates everything all these people did for him. "Howard Harvey gave me the first opportunity to travel outside of my home state of NJ. He let me learn at my own pace, against the best in the business, Richie Evans, Bugsy Stevens, George Kent, Jimmy Spencer, and others. I can never thank Howard enough for the sacrifices he made for me, other then to keep going out there every week and giving it all I have!"
After parting ways with Howard Harvey, Jamie worked with several local car owners, with much success, before teaming up with Bill Potts. "Bill gave me the chance to just go out there and drive, I didn't have to worry about the resources to fix the car if I crashed, I could just go for it. He is still that way to this day." " I would not be where I am today, I would not have the accomplishments I have achieved, if not for Bill and his wife Joyce, they are my biggest supporters, and two of my best friends."
Looking into the 1999 season, Jamie has much to be excited about. "Not only is this a milestone in my career, but I feel I am going into this season with one of, if not the best group of individuals I have ever been surrounded with!" "Our team has no one leaving from last year, and the two car concept we have been working on with my teammate Doug French has just made us stronger. I cannot wait to get to the first race, I am as ready now as I was in 1974 when I was a rookie!"
After 25 years in modified racing, Jamie knows that it is the people behind the scenes that help make the whole picture complete. " Without my crew, and my sponsors, I would not be here today, period! My car owners Bill and Joyce Potts, my crew, Jerry Moran, Mike Clayton, Doug Davenport, Pat Mullin, Steve Szabadics, Dale Evonsion, and my two sons Trey and Jamie Jr., plus my super sponsors, Perth Amboy Spring, Jost Garage, JAM Racing Engines, Nu Car Connection, RTE Transmissions, Troyer Race Cars, Wilwood, Moroso, Fast Times Fabrication, VP Racing Fuels, Ohlin Shocks, and many others help us to compete each and every race. Without all of this help, I don't know if I would be here today."
So, entering his silver anniversary year, Jamie has much to be proud about, and look forward too. "I would really like to do something special for the modified series, and all of the fans who have supported us through thick and thin. I think we may have a few things in the works that will not so much bring attention to my 25th year, but let everyone see how great this division is! I am so very fortunate to have been able to spend 25 years doing what I love, I can't wait for my 50th year!!"
Visit our website for more details: www.jamietomaino.com