Ron Silk, driver of the No. 6 TS Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet, made three times a charm with a win in the New Hampshire 100 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Silk, from Norwalk, Connecticut, started the race from the pole.
“The car was really great right from the beginning,” Silk said. “After we didn’t make any adjustments at the pit stop, I was happy with the car. It got a little bit better throughout the race and I was able to get up there to the lead.”
Silk said that pit strategy was important throughout the race, especially with the green flag runs, as well as the red flag rain delay.
“It was definitely the right time to pit,” Silk said. “It went green for awhile. It would have been pretty tough to wait longer to take tires and get back through the field.”
“I was confident,” Silk continued. “We’ve had a good car here all year.”
Todd Szegedy, behind the wheel of the No. 2 Wisk Detergent/A&J Romano Construction Ford, finished second. This was Szegedy’s second win at New Hampshire and his 14th top-10 in 19 starts at New Hampshire.
“Second is a phenomenal finish for us,” Szegedy said. “But we certainly didn’t have a second place car.”
“We’ve got our homework to do,” Szegedy continued. “It’s fortunate we got second place but why were we so far off and basically struggled. It was a struggle for me to stay in the top five.”
“That green-white-checkered, we started fourth,” Szegedy continued. “I had momentum and I knew I could push Ronnie. But I had absolutely zero for him.”
The third place finisher was Justin Bonsignore, from Holtsville, New York. The driver of the No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet scored his best finish ever at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bonsignore was the 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year on the Whelen Modified Tour. He finished fourth in August, so this third place finish was also his career best.
“It was pretty eventful,” Bonsignore said. “The air cleaner came off about 20 laps in and we rode around until the yellow came out for the rain.”
“We replace that and took tires then and that put us a little bit behind,” Bonsignore continued. “We stayed out and the car was good.”
“Luckily that last restart, we mixed it up on that last lap and came home third.”
“We’re only a second year team,” Bonsignore said. “I’m really proud of what we’ve built.”
“To be contending for wins is really cool to do.”
As is tradition at New Hampshire, the race had its share of drama. One source of drama was the weather, with sprinkles breaking out on the track, delaying the race.
The other source of drama was for the only Cup driver in the competition. After his win disqualification at the last Modified race, Ryan Newman, who qualified fourth, blew the engine of his No. 77 Aggressive Hydraulics/Menards Chevrolet.
Newman finished a disappointing 28th out of 29 spots, after the tell-tale smoke flowed from his race car on lap 60 of the race.
The final drama of the race had to do with the points battle for the Whelen Modified Series championship. Szegedy came into the race leading the points by 12 points over Silk.
“It’s a lot of fun, especially battling with a guy like Todd Szegedy,” Silk said. “He’s a good friend of mine.”
“I kind of kept tabs on him throughout the race today and when I saw he was second, I said ‘Damn, I’m not going to gain too many points today.’
“It’s going to go right down to the wire it looks like,” Silk continued. “It will go right down to the world series there at Thompson (International Speedway).”
“This is how you win a championship,” Szegedy, the other points challenger, said. “You’ve got to use your head, stay out of trouble, and I’m being a nice guy because I want to win that championship.”
After Silk, Szegedy and Bonsignore, rounding out the top five were Ted Christopher, driver of the No. 36 Al-Lee Installations, and Eric Beers, behind the wheel of the No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett, Inc.
Erick Rudolph, Zane Zeiner, Mike Stefanik, Matt Hirschman and Eric Goodale rounded out the top ten. Stefanik, who finished eighth, was the ‘comeback kid’ after spinning and going a lap down early in the race.