Categories
Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: King of Beers 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

No matter where they go, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series puts on a show. They once again displayed that with their Wednesday night special at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

With the top being the preferred groove around the speedway for the most part, it brings forth the question of who can make their car turn through the center to roll by someone on the bottom. Some drivers were able to be smooth, while others weren’t as much.

From the drop of the green flag to the checkered, there was action all the way around the track with drivers making their way forward, as others slipped back through the field. The high horsepower using up the 15-inch tires, and only one pit stop allowed during the event to change them, had drivers fighting for grip in hopes of being at the front.

The competition also proved to be close, as you did not know who was going to win throughout the event with different stars emerging. Bobby Santos III ultimately became the unsung hero in finding his way to the front late, but transmission issues on a late race restart burst those hopes. Craig Lutz also had a shot at his first career series victory, but he came up short after fading late. 

In a time when young faces are emerging as the ones to watch, the veterans are still proving they are the ones to beat in the modifieds with the final showdown being between Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore. Bonsignore tried all he could, challenging Coby right down to the line, but ultimately came up short on hitting another win out of the park at Thompson.

The veterans have proved to be the ones to watch all season, and no doubt will be in the final five races of the season. Though you cannot count out possibly seeing Ron Silk join them in victory lane, as he was coming late until issues.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

Ron Silk Survives Chaotic Overtime Restart For Second Straight Win

STAFFORD, Conn. — Perfect timing for one, worst timing for another.

Doug Coby dominated the Stafford 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway, leading the first 147 laps before a caution flew for the first time. After a chaotic overtime restart, Ron Silk was the beneficiary of some fresh tires and a daring three-wide move to the take the lead and the win.

The former series champion earned his second consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour checkered flag — which was also his 13th career and second at the Connecticut half-mile.

“We are just continuously putting ourselves up towards the front, in position to have things happen like what happened tonight,” Silk said. “A lot of times, you make your own luck. My team has improved dramatically and the guys are doing a great job.”

It was Doug Coby’s night before a crash in turn three suddenly changed the complexion of the race. Coby was fastest in practice, earned his sixth Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying, and drove away with the race early. It was looking like Coby was going to celebrate a complete sweep of the night and his 13th career Stafford win.

But the caution changed everything.

With only six cars on the lead lap, pit strategy was key in the finishing order. Teams are only allowed to take one tire per pit stop under caution, but most of them made their way down pit road more times than one during the yellow. Coby’s Mayhew Tools team elected to take three tires, but he was also down pit road another time for fuel only. After four stops, he restarted sixth for the final dash.

Matt Swanson and Justin Bonsignore took the green flag on the front row, but it wasn’t long before Silk took the top spot with a daring three-wide move off turn two. From there, it wasn’t quite clear sailing, as Jon McKennedy was on the back bumper looking to pounce. But Silk was able to hang on for his third Whelen Modified Tour win of the season.

“I knew there were only six of us on the lead lap at that point and I thought you had to take the tires,” Silk said of the mindset during the yellow. “There were 146 green flag laps, our tires were shot.”

After restarting sixth, Coby managed to charge back to a third-place finish, while Swanson was fourth, and Craig Lutz fifth.

Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Jimmy Blewett, Bobby Santos III, Sam Rameau and Patrick Emerling.

Coby leads by 24 over Silk in the championship point standings, while defending series title holder Bonsignore is third, 42 back.

The Stafford 150 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, August 7, at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on Wednesday, August 14, at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150.

Categories
News

Ron Silk Earns New Hampshire Win in Overtime

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.

Categories
News

Late Restart Gets Ron Silk Back To Victory Lane at South Boston

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — One last restart was all Ron Silk needed.

The Norwalk, Connecticut, driver lined up to the inside of Burt Myers with 18 laps to go in the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway, and the veteran took advantage of his opportunity to get back to the top.

Silk captured his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win since May of 2016 by taking down the checkered flag in the second race of the season. It was the 11th career win for the 2011 series champion, and his first in his first start at the Virginia oval.

Silk started third, and although he ran at the front of the pack for much of the early stint, pitting for tires put him back in traffic, forcing him to slice his way back to the front.

He passed Kyle Bonsignore for second, and was starting to run down Myers for the lead, but a caution with 24 laps to go set him up in perfect position to make a move on Myers, who hadn’t pitted for tires. He drove the No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive Chevrolet to the point and never looked back.

Chase Dowling, who made his first start of the season driving for veteran Jamie Tomaino, moved around Myers on the late restart, but couldn’t chase down Silk. The second place effort for the Roxbury, Connecticut, driver was his fifth career runner up finish.

Jimmy Blewett finished third, scoring his second podium in two races, and positioning himself second, just one point off Doug Coby in the series points standings. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth and Myers finished fifth.

Chris Pasteryak was sixth, followed by Patrick Emerling, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Craig Lutz.

The South Boston 150 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, April 3, at 4 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on April 7 as part of the 45th annual Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.