LOUDON, N.H. — Eight years later, not much has changed for Ron Silk.
The Norwalk, Connecticut, driver picked up his third career victory at the ‘Magic Mile’ in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 on Saturday, outlasting a field of 38 drivers on the biggest stage of modified racing. It was the third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Silk, and his first at the 1.058-mile since 2011.
He beat Doug Coby on what turned out to be the final restart, when contact from a crash shortened the race due to damage to the outside wall in turn one. It was the second win of the season for the former series champion and his 12th career.
“Kenny and Kevin Stuart (car owners) have really done a great job getting me everything that I have asked for,” Silk said. “It’s nice to see the effort pay off. The guys are really working hard.”
Silk didn’t lead a lap until the final stages. Following a caution with just 20 laps remaining, Silk chased the back bumper of Eric Goodale, before taking the lead from him on lap 85. From there, he never relinquished the top spot, while drivers jostled for position in the draft behind him.
The field lined up for a green-white-checkered finish on lap 101, but a quick crash in turn one slowed the field again. While safety crews went to work on the wall, the race was deemed complete in overtime. Silk took the checkered flag until caution, seven laps after the scheduled distance.
“We raced really hard the whole day,” Silk said. “There was certainly no guarantee that I would have won. But we were leading at the right time today. Bummer circumstances that we didn’t get to finish (under green).”
Coby crossed the line second, while Chase Dowling finished third. Jon McKennedy, who earned his first Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying, led 19 laps and finished fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth. Eric Goodale was sixth, followed by Justin Bonsignore, Rob Summers, Tommy Catalano and Craig Lutz.
Coby leads Silk by 28 in the championship point standings with seven races remaining, while Bonsignore is third, 38 out.
The Eastern Propane & Oil 100 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, July 31, at 6 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on Friday, August 2 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut.