Late & Great: Ron Silk Wins Dunleavy Truck & Trailer 100 At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Ron Silk celebrates victory in the Dunleavy Truck & Trailer 100 Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Ron Silk celebrates victory in the Dunleavy Truck & Trailer 100 Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – There’s a few around the Northeast Modified scene that would discount the talent of Ron Silk.

But the former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion has been off the radar somewhat in 2015 after stepping away from full-time competition.

But there was nothing missing about his presence on Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Silk, of Norwalk, used a late pass of Steve Masse to score victory in the Dunleavy Truck & Trailer 100 Sunday at the Speedbowl.

It marked the perfect ending to a late deal Silk put together to run the event with Norwalk car owner Bob Horn.

“I just can’t believe it,” Silk said. “This was kind of a last minute thing to do this together and I’m really glad we did it. It feels good to be back in victory lane.”

Masse, of Bellingham, Mass., was second and Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. third.

Silk has made six starts on the Whelen Modified Tour this year driving for Rob Fuller Motorsports. He said he finalized the deal to run for Horn last week.

“About a week ago I brought a seat over and put it in [the car] and here we are. It’s pretty fun that it worked out like that.

“It feels great. … I’m speechless. I kind of didn’t think, I knew we’d have a decent car coming here but I didn’t think we’d have a shot to win really. I haven’t driven this car in six or seven years. I’m just a little bit taken aback that we won, but it feels great. I’m so happy for Bob Horn. … He said this was going to be his last race. Hopefully this will change his mind.”

Silk hung around the top-10 most of the event and moved past Norm Wrenn for third on lap 73. He got by Andy Jankowiak for second on lap 76 and then went hunting Masse out front.

Following a lap 82 restart Silk stayed outside of Masse and came off of turn four with a lead he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

“My car was great on restarts all day, top and bottom,” Silk said. “On the initial launch, I knew if I could stay even with him I could maybe try to hold him down in [turns] one and two. He gave me enough room.”

Said Masse: “We have a box to start in and once we get to the first line the car in third and the car in fourth starting hitting you and you have no choice but to go. He got a little bit of a jump on the start, but we made the wrong adjustment when we pitted. I’ll take second. I would have liked to win, but second is good too.”

Ted Christopher started on the pole and led most of the event before getting spun out of the lead on lap 72.

Hirschman was unofficially named the Tri-Track Modified Series champion.

“It’s a nice bonus,” Hirschman said. “It’s a mini-series so it’s not the season-long grind, but it’s a nice bonus. I’m fortunate to have won one of the four races. There were four different winners, they’re tough races to win. We did well.”


  1. Did TC really have “tire issues” or did he get some help with the spin? Of course, he appeared to provide his own “help” to Doug Coby and Richard Savary.

  2. Good race, 40 tour mods, 18 lites, just wondering where were all the fans? The show moved along very fast, only three divisions like it should be. Lot of cautions but the series can’t control that only the drivers. TC was using the whole track today to hold on to the lead, very surprised that know one dumped him.

  3. Andy Da Woodchuck says

    What? No Keith? I thought he was the king of waterford smh

  4. I believe Rocco won the first heat, was second fastest in practice out if 40+ cars and was running second when a rocker arm broke. You’re right, he’s terrible.

  5. Good car counts in all divisions, even the late models. Crowd was small unfortunately. Got to blame that mostly on the weather forecast I would think. Seems whenever there is a threat of rain the crowds just don’t show up. And with the dismal forecast the weather sites were putting out there most said 50-60% chance of showers, and as of yesterday one even said hail likely. Anyone that has been going to the speedbowl for some time should know by now that it doesn’t matter what the weather reports say. It could be raining across most of the sate and I think it did right to the east of Waterford, chances are pretty high that it won’t rain a drop at the bowl. And guess what, it didn’t rain a drop and the sun came out. So all the people that stayed home missed a good show. Anyways, looking forward to the big show coming up in October. Hopefully the weather will be nice and not too cold. From what I’ve been hearing and reading, it should be an epic event.

  6. Very very good day at the track. Racing was excellent and unpredictable from the heats to the features in all divisions. I guess the track divisions that ran treated this as a showcase event- 18 SK Lites and 17 Late Models. The Modified race was entertaining. Never knew who was going to win. TC was being a real d**** on the track. Blocking, brake checking, and chopping Rocco when he tried to pass on the inside. When Coby tried to pass him on the outside TC took him all the way to the safety strip above the white line. I try to be pretty unbiased to Ted but he got what he deserved today. No one else in the field was driving like that. Another thing… VERY unfortunate for the track… no way they made any money today. They had extra staff roaming around for when things got busy but they never did. They needed the SK’s to race today. That would’ve brought the locals in. Speaking of locals… very strange atmosphere at the track. Everyone that was there were diehards sitting in the top 15 rows with radios and tri track shirts. No kids. No families. Not even any couples or casual race fans. Not saying that’s bad but it was certainly different. The Speedbowl put on an excellent show and I will be back for 2 epic days in October.

  7. I bet a lot of people were home watching the opening NFL weekend. The kids have family activities now that school is back in session. Also, its a lot to ask people to pay for a Saturday ticket and then turn right around and buy another for Sunday. Especially at the end of the season when budgets are dried up. Open comps after Labor Day not always a winning combination.

  8. Management ! says

    I’m a lil disappointed with race director . The 2 guys in pace car jumping out in front of field almost cutting them off several time . I’m not sure why they didn’t let the field settle down and pick them up . The racing was awesome and you even thought you knew who was going to win and then botta bing botta boom . New leader on a restart . Love the 13 giving it back to TC and even better he spun himself over driving . Silk was as his name Silky smooth to a great win . Thanks Mr. Bremer for saving our track .

  9. I said last week that it was poorly scheduled up against the NFL opening weekend and called crazy on this site by some and that it would hurt the crowd. If I was stafford and Thompson I would take notice and run the fall final and World Series on Friday and Saturday. The NFL has become a power house with all of the fantasy action. Weather had nothing to do with it.

  10. I think the weather and three straight days of racing and the ticket prices had an impact on the attendance. they should have charged $25 if you had a tix from Friday nite or Saturday nite and kids should have been $5 for the first one $3 for extra kids. I know when I was a kid I loved to go see drivers from other tracks that I used to read about in the speedway scene. Cant wait for the Oct show.

  11. What a bummer! Me and all my friends went to the Bowl to see Tommy Barrett run and he was a no show. What’s up with that?

  12. Nice job Les Hinkley 06. Two great saves, tire change with 30 to go and if it were not for Jankowiak blocking the crap out of you for as long as he did I really think you had a shot at a top 3 and maybe with a caution you could have contended for the win. I really hope there is an owner out there in the Whelen tour that will put you in their car. You deserve the shot.

  13. Chris D.,
    My understanding was that it had to do with an issue involving a state drivers license suspension and the granting of a work permit license. I made attempts to reach out to the parties involved on Friday without success. My understanding is that while the promoters of the event knew as early as Friday that he was not competing, they didn’t want any information publicized that he would not be there after including his name on distributed probably entry lists. I was told by track management that they did not know he was backing out until very late Saturday evening.

  14. Well, I didn’t go because of the weather. Too far, to risky for me.

    And there is too much competition for entertainment nowadays, especially for an off-off-broadway series. The TTOMS did a pretty good job this year, grew into the Quad-Track Open Modified Series. It just goes to show that the purse is crucial to bring out the cars. And in order to get the cars out to the tracks, the sanctioning bodies need to promote the product that they represent. Right now, NASCAR is a parasite. Get sponsors, that will result in worthy purses, and that will bring out the cars and put people in the stands. But how can sponsors be convinced to join when there are so few people in the stands?

  15. Shawn, it was nice to see you in the press box. Are you there every week.

  16. Not a Fanboy says

    This was one of the most exciting races that I have witnessed in recent memory. The flag pointing from the stand was questionable. Coby got screwed plain and simple. TC ran him way high in turn 2 and he impacted the wall slightly and stopped. They penalize Coby 1 lap and say he is inelligible for the lucky dog period.Then later on TC dumps Savory on the backstretch and no call. Loved the racing the officiating sucked.

  17. I have to agree on the officiating, Colby gets pushed up into the marbles by TC on the start – there is no way the officials did not see that – Colby locks the brakes to avoid hitting the wall, the track throws the yellow due to him sitting against the wall in turn two??

  18. Fanboy, not only did TC run Coby up, dump Savary in the back chute but he also ran Savary up out of 2 on a restart and about had him in the wall. Same ole TC so why do you think no call on TC? He puts people in the stands, has won 7 features and the fans love to see he & Rocco go at it. Who was running second in the feature when he dropped out with engine issues setting up for a battle, Rocco. So I ask, has the bowl really changed or is TC their guy this year. They are trying to change however the selective officiating both on the track and in tech need to be examined. Only my opinion.

  19. Go up against the NFL and you LOSE.

  20. You know what they say what goes around comes around .

  21. Not a Fanboy says

    Yeah Hump, I saw all the crap the 00 did to try to keep the lead. I’:m not here to bash. I would have been dissapointed if TC just let the faster cars pass him. For me it will be a sad day when he hangs his helmet up for the last time, every story needs an antagonist.

  22. Real good stuff yesterday….t c learned all that driving from Jimmie spencer…loved it……

  23. Shawn,

    Do you have any common sense? I saw some of your tweets bashing the people in the press box with you and I was one of them.

    You’re the most unprofessional of any of us for bitching.

  24. old observer says

    Real good racing yesterday, both at the front & in the pack, a very enjoyable day at the races!
    TC was a little rough on anyone tried to pass him but his RR was gone by the time he spun.
    Coby could have kept going & lost a few spots after he was run high in 1&2 but he chose to stop & draw the caution. His car was so hooked up he could have kept going & still gone back to the front. Others that suffered the same fate kept racing.
    Wish the crowd was bigger, but better track communication may have helped.

  25. Shawn do you think the tri track tour will be around next year

  26. You reap what you sow. Coby used TC as a backstop at Thompson a few weeks back. Same for TC this week. One of the best races this season. Been to many races at Thompson, Stafford, Seekonk, Monadnock, Waterford,and other tracks this season, and Waterford has had the best action of them all. Lot of great races within the race, in this one

  27. Wish i was there says

    Football???? NO!! It was ticket prices that kept me home. I wanted to be there, but just can’t afford what it costs to get in. You almost need to mortgage your house to obtain a pit pass these days….

  28. Bobby,
    Sounds as if they’re planning on being back.

  29. I would have gone, but I had no idea it was happening until Sunday AM… I “like” the series and the track on Facebook, and don’t remember anything about it showing up until I had other commitments.

    FWIW, other than the NFL season opener, there were quite a few fairs and festivals this weekend.

  30. Not a Fanboy says

    It was well worth the ticket price,30$. I thought it would be closer to 40. I’ll be day dreaming about the October open show, I hope the entry list and the pay out are close to the same. Open comp mods rule!!

  31. The way Dick Williams and Doug Dunleavy were talking at the drivers meeting, they’ll be back bigger and better.

  32. Interesting to see the full field payout for this race on the Tri Track Modified Series website… especially since you can never see the payout for the Whelen Modified Tour.

  33. Not a Fanboy says

    One last comment, thank you Shawn on behalf of the fans of real modified racing for jumping on board. I’m glad I didn’t comment early in the season. It’s like Matt Hirshman said on Sunday, this is the best thing going for Modified racing. The drivers and teams have an opportunity to come out ahead for the day financially. Okay, I’m done. The Pabst Blue Ribbon is starting to kick in.

  34. Can somebody explain why NASCAR can not do similar “fund raising”, aka: promoting and getting sponsors, so the NWMT has worthy purses that bring out the cars?

    For shame NASCAR.

    Thanks and congrats TTOMS!!!!!!

  35. Dareal….kind of ironic that the Manic got his start trying to boost the pay for the WMT guys at
    Riverhead after the NASCAR invention (flash race) and it’s taken a long time for the tour guys
    to come out and support him now. Of course NASCAR should actually promote their Mods.
    A 44 count was fantastic given the iffy weather situation for the weekend but I’m sorry I don’t buy
    the NFL thing. The Deflatriots got their game out of the way before the weekend and how many
    Giant fans are there in lower NE? If you weren’t at the race YOU LOST. Yup Teddy was Teddy
    and it was great watching Masse not give him on inch. Ted over drove and lost it plain and simple.
    Woody still pedals too hard early in these races and uses his stuff up. Figure it out Woody , gotta be
    smarter . Best part was the smile on Bob Horns face after the race. Love it when the little guys slay the WMT monsters. Did anybody wave goodbye to the 2 crew when they left early in a fit?
    Great job by the TRi-track gang, Waterford staff and Doug Dunleavy for all he’s done. DON’T miss the October show.

  36. Lou,
    No, you actually weren’t in the press box, but that’s a good one. So “Lou”, why is it that earlier this year you left comments on this very same website with a unique IP address clarifying information about rules at Seekonk Speedway using the name “KevinB” as someone from Seekonk Speedway and now you’re on here regularly over the past couple months trying to portray yourself as a local reporter named Lou Modestino? Kind of odd I’d say. Well, have a good day “Kevin B from Seekonk” or fake “Lou” or whoever else you want to be.

  37. It was great racing. I think having two events on the same weekend could of kept the crowds down. Going both days is a bit much for most people.

  38. Crazy in NY, I was wondering the same thing. All these cars from PA, and NY state and not one single car from across the sound (I don’t think anyways). Makes no sense to me, plus only one from NJ. Aren’t there plenty of tour mods in those areas?

  39. Give Dunleavy’s relationship with Stafford, might we see a “Tri-Track” event there next year? Also, it was interesting than a car sponsored by Dunleavy’s (Coby) had such a tough day.

  40. Chris D, here is the payout from the Waterford race, as well as the payoff for the Top 20 in TTMOS Point Standings. Taken from the Press Release.

    FEATURE/QUALIFYING WINNINGS; Sunday September 13; New London-Waterford Speedbowl:
    Ron Silk — $5580 including lap money, Seals-It gift certificate and leading “Riverhead Guy” from Brian Sparky Denton
    Steve Masse — $3900 including lap money, car sponsorship from Brian Sparky Denton
    Matt Hirschman — $3250 including Red Roof Inn bonus,, Seals-It gift certificate, and car sponsorship from Brian Sparky Denton
    Ryan Preece — $2600 including car sponsorships from Thomas Lepore and Jennifer Masem
    Les Hinckley — $1500
    Andy Jancowiak — $1900 including B feature lap money
    Norman Wrenn — $1550 including bonus from Valenti Auto Mall
    Ted Christopher — $2550 including lap money
    Chris Pastreyak — $1250 including bonus from Valenti Auto Mall
    Woody Pitkat — $1100 including bonus from Valenti Auto Mall
    Mike Holdridge — $1175 including Tri Track incentive bonus
    Richard Savary — $950
    Eric Berndt — $1125 including Tri track incentive bonus
    Carl Mederios Jr. — $1100 including Tri Track incentive bonus
    Andy Suess — $1475 including bonus from Brian Sparky Denton
    Johnny Kay — $850
    Jeff Gallup — $1025 including Tri Track incentive bonus
    Zane Zeiner — $900 including Red Roof Inn bonus
    Rich Parker — $800
    Kurk Vigeant — $800
    Anthony Nocella — $800
    Todd Annarummo — $800
    Doug Coby — $800
    Todd Patnode — $800
    Rob Summers — $800
    Dennis Perry — $1000 including Tri Track incentive bonus
    Keith Rocco — $800
    Tony Hanbury — $800
    B Main Feature Winnings:
    Joe Doucette — $800
    Rob Richardi — $750
    Mike Douglas Jr. — $1,300
    Mike Benevides — $650
    Dan Meservey Jr. — $600
    Jimmy Dolan — $750
    George Sherman — 500
    Karl Fredrickson — $700
    Brian Chapin — $700
    Brian McCarthy — $500
    Dick Houlihan — $500
    Eddie LeClerc — $500
    Not only did drivers receive winnings on behalf of the series, Doug Dunleavy, the primary sponsor of the event with Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repairs, provided his “Pick out of the hat” winnings as well.
    Dunleavy’s Pick of the Hat Winners:
    Ron Silk — $100 Shop Rite Gift Card
    Steve Masse — $100 Yates Racing Engines
    Matt Hircshman — $1,000 Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair
    Ryan Preece — $100 from No. 43 Seekonk Street Stock
    Les Hinckley — $150 Dandy Foods Gift Card
    Andy Jankowiak — $25 Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair
    Norm Wrenn — $150 Coastline Fire Protection
    Ted Christopher — $50 Thomas Lepore
    Chris Pasteryak — $140 MPZ Motorsports & NAPA Auto Parts
    Woody Pitkat — $50 Bud’s Mobil
    Mike Holdridge — $200 Brunnhoelzl Racing Products
    Richard Savary — $140 MPZ Motorsports & NAPA
    Eric Berndt — $100 Tymon’s Bricks and Stones
    Carl Medeiros Jr. — $35 Caddick Motorsports
    Andy Seuss — $40 Scott Emslie
    Johnny Kay — $50 Bubby Lee & Stephen Lee
    Jeff Gallup — $50 Newtown Sunoco
    Zane Zeiner — $50 Rockingham Boat
    Rich Parker — $48 H3 Motorsports
    Kurt Vigeant — $30 Mod Squad Radio Show
    Anthony Nocella — $100 Ashley Lee
    Todd Annarummo — $25 The Racing Times
    Doug Coby — $25 The Racing Times
    Todd Patenode — $60 Rockingham Boat
    Rob Summers — $200 Best Round Golf Carts
    Dennis Perry — $50 Bagelman
    Keith Rocco — Colonial Auto (James Dolan)
    Tony Hanbury — $48 H3 Motorsports
    The series would also like to officially announce Matt Hirschman as the 2015 Northeast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series champion. Matt collected a total of $1500 for the championship crown. Below, the final point standings and money won in the point fund for the top twenty drivers is listed.
    Final Point Standings and Money Won; 2015 Point Fund:
    1. Matt Hirschman – $1500 ( 142)
    2. Todd Annarummo – $1000 (137)
    3. Woody Pitkat – $800 (137)
    4. Richard Savary – $700 (135)
    5. Chris Pasteryak – $600 (135)
    6. Steve Masse – $500 (135)
    7. Ryan Preece – $475 (131)
    8. Anthony Nocella – $450 (127)
    9. Andy Jankowiak – $425 (126)
    10 Norman Wrenn – $400 (120)
    11 Andy Seuss – $375 (117)
    12 Todd Patnode – $350 (115 )
    13 Zane Zeiner – $325 ( 114 )
    14 Mike Holdridge – $300 ( 113)
    15 Dwight Jarvis – $300 (1110)
    16 Doug Coby – $300 (98)
    17 Todd Cerevolo – $300 (97)
    18 Dennis Perry – $300 ( 89)
    19 Joe Doucette – $300 (86)
    20 Mike Douglas Jr. – $300 (83)

  41. I think the race teams and drivers should be promoting themselves for this series. I have not yet seen or heard a shout out to the fans to come out to this great series and watch us do battle from any driver or team. I remember when Geoff Bodine used to post an ad in the New England speedway scene every week – what tracks they would be racing at that week.

  42. Modfan, thank you but I saw all the payouts for th TT SERIES. My point is, how come we can’t see it for the NWMT?

  43. I love the idea of the series. and I hoped maybe the LI Mod Maniac could have worked at some point with OTB at Thompson and revive the 300 as an open race.

  44. Chris D., because the NWMT purse payout is embarrassing and revealing. The payouts used to be posted with the standings. The total winnings (race purse) for the first place car could not come close to covering the costs to run a car, therefore the purse payout information was dropped from the standings page.

  45. knuckles mahoney says

    Humphry said it all. Les was the fastest in practice. Gets into second in his heat and jack off Pitkat trying to race him likes its the feature event while Les is just pacing and saving the car and tires for the main. Then Pitkat cuts down on him in the main when Les is going for a pass into 3rd place and does the drift around 3 and 4. An amazing save. Pitkat should just face it, he ain’t no Les Hinckley. Then goes in for a tire on lap 69. Clearly has the fastest car and another knucklehead makes him do another miracle save. Then Jankowiak blocking him for 15 laps as the flagger warned him twice about blocking. What an idiot. Les clearly had the fastest car after taking a tire and adjustments, but the race just didn’t work out for him. How Les doesn’t have a big time ride when compared to some of these other drivers, even some who are considered premier drivers is just plain crazy. The most consistant, one of the best drivers and set up man out there and he keeps getting over looked for some of these other also rans is amazingly dumb. Oh and he got his revenge on Pitkat in the main as he passed him like Woody was pulling 2 fridges behind him, uhhh as usual.

  46. Not a Fanboy says

    I take back my first comment about Coby getting screwed. Just watched the race on sidsview and He received the appropriate penalty. He definitely stopped intentionally to bring out the yellow. Sorry Tri Tack officials.

  47. It’s down right amazing when you think about it. This series (as it’s become) was put together by
    motivated and committed race fans who like anybody reading this LOVE MODIFIED RACING.
    Wish some professional ( I should underline that) tour promoters/ owners would get a clue .
    ROC, VMRS and whom ever in Fla runs the Tour could learn a bunch from these guys. Realistically
    they need a break too. Sure we all ( I think) hope it continues but they’ve done more than their share
    along with all the individuals that have supported the effort. He’s toasting the Tri-Track.

  48. Andy Boright says

    Honestly, the people who put together this series seemed to love patting each other on the back as much as they love modified racing. They certainly didn’t miss many opportunities to promote themselves, that’s for sure.

    While this group seems to be able to get the cars, getting fans has been another story. To say the least Sunday’s crowd was disappointing – with a lack of promotion & planning being the biggest culprits.

  49. Doesn’t the tri track series have a pr person to promote their races? I think it’s the guy from race The guy can’t spell correctly and seems to be a bit unprofessional. Maybe they should hire someone who knows what they’re doing. If Barry is a race fan and had no idea this past race was being held, something is wrong.

  50. Mod Tour Fan says

    Of all the posts on this article I only saw one that actually referred to Silk winning the race, lets get real here, Silk won the race in a car that was probably inferior to 99% of the cars that got into the main event, yet he still managed to win, quite an accomplishment as far as I am concerned. I see some questioning the small fan turn out, well you have weather people in CT telling everyone that Sunday was going to be washout probably had a big impact on fan turnout. I had seen the race advertised for weeks, therefore do not think that was the problem. TC is what he is, but lets not have a pity party for Savary, what TC did to Savary was nothing Savary has not done to others, what goes around comes around. Pay back is a bitch, but you have to be able to take what you give. I feel these guys do a great job with the Tri Track Series, you certainly do not see the payouts they give in any other series in the Northeast. Again, Congrats to Silk and Co. on their win.

  51. Andy Boright says

    The Tri Track series consistently has the smallest crowds of the 3 modified series in New England. Sorry Facebook posts don’t qualify as “advertising”.

  52. For those who say it wasn’t advertised well…there had been a tri-track poster on the track’s ticket booth all summer…impossible to miss it if you were buying a ticket.

  53. Facebook, Twitter, etc… are free, easy to make multiple announcements, and usually directly target interested people. If an organizer creates an “event” on Facebook, interested people can click on it and receive multiple reminders ahead of time. Social media is free… Daily countdown to the event tweets or FB posts, FB events that users can “join”, etc… are all great ways to get the word out with not a lot of effort or cost.

    A poster next to a ticket booth is great, except for those who have never been to that particular track. I’m a Stafford season ticket holder, and this would have been a great reason for me to finally get to the ‘Bowl… Like lots of folks, if I want to attend other races during the same weekend as an SMS program, I need to grease the skids at home. ;^)

    Maybe there were earlier announcements, but the only things I remember on social media, from either organizers or participants, came out when it was too late to plan on attending. Maybe I did see things, but the announcements made me think it was the Speedbowl’s regular program or something farther away, and not a special Sunday Waterford event? The key takeaway is that someone very interested doesn’t remember seeing anything.

    I’m offering this up as constructive criticism to potentially help anyone responsible for promoting local racing to reach more people, not as a complaint. Flood us! We want to come by, support local racing, and spend money.

  54. For several days before the event, the weather forecast was for a washout on Sunday. I’m sure people made other plans early in the week and going to the track was no longer an option, and they made other plans.

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