Passing Grade: Ron Silk Tops Valenti Mod Racing Series In Showdown At NHMS

Ron Silk celebrates victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature at the New England Short Track Showdown Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

LOUDON, N.H. – Modified team owner Kevin Stuart for years has yearned immensely to score a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Whelen Modified Tour returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway July 21 for the Eastern Propane & Oil 100.

Sunday Stuart took his team to Loudon for the second New England Short Track Showdown essentially to get a test in by competing in the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series.

It was a test that Stuart’s driver Ron Silk scored perfect grades on.

Silk, of Norwalk, won the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature at the New England Short Track Showdown.

“We came here to practice and see what we had and try a few things on this car,” Stuart said. “Hopefully it works when we come back. We’re good. We’ve had some bad luck. Hopefully this ends it and we’re going to get the monkey off our back.”

Richard Savary of Canton, Mass. was second and Les Hinckley III of Windsor Locks third.

It was the third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Silk, who had two Whelen Modified Tour wins driving for the Ed and Connie Partridge owned TS Haulers team.

“This is a good team,” Silk said of the Stuart owned ride. “They have good enough equipment to do this. We’ve gotten off to rough a start on the [Whelen Modified Tour], crashing and then blew a motor at Thompson [Speedway on June 14]. But the car is fast when we don’t have any issues. Hopefully we can build some momentum off of this.”

Silk spent the length of the event running at near the front, most of that time battling with Woody Pitkat and Anthony Nocella. Pitkat, the winner of the inaugural Valenti Modified Racing Series event in 2017, looked to have the car to beat of the threesome.

Pitkat went by Silk for the lead on a restart with 16 laps remaining with Nocella going to second.

On lap 46 Silk made contact with Nocella to move into second.

“It’s just hard racing at the end,” Silk said. “Me and [Nocella] got together a little bit down in [turns] three and four and we made a little bit of contact and I know it just got him out of the groove and cost him a good finish. I didn’t want to do that, but you just couldn’t do anything from third. You’ve got to be second so. I’m not saying that that makes it OK to knock someone out of the way, but it was just racing hard.”

Just after Silk moved to second, Pitkat slowed on the track with Silk moving to the lead with Savary following to second and Hinckley to third. Pitkat said his car had an issue with the kill switch that dropped them out of contention.

From there Silk was able to leave Savary and Hinckley batting for the runner-up spot.“You couldn’t tell the difference from this and a [Whelen Modified Tour race],” Silk said. “There were less cars challenging for sure, but I thought it was a pretty good race between me and [Pitkat] and [Nocella].”

Hinckley, who was making his first career start at NHMS, got by Savary for second on lap 49. But Savary rallied back to regain the spot on the final lap.

“There’s no junk out there,” Savary said. “But you saw the whole race, the guys that ran up front the whole race are the guys that run on [the Whelen Modified Tour] and have run a lot of laps. … We got there late because I qualified so bad. By the time I got through the field there was eight to go. We made the best of it and it worked out well. But the show was great. You watch those guys out front passing and you’re like ‘That’s cool.’ … I just wish more people would come out and see it.”

Said Hinckley: “We had a good race car. Ultimately when you have a good race car you make your way forward and then you can have an opportunity to learn and I think that’s what we did.”

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Comments

  1. Billy b says:

    Most under-rated driver on the tour. Congrats to Ron

  2. CT Mod Fan says:

    Congrats to Ronnie Silk. A fan favorite because he’s such a nice guy when you see and talk to him one on one. Very much a class act. Glad to hear that he won in NH. Many more to come I’m sure.

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