Ron Silk, Kevin Stuart Motorsports Skipping Whelen Modified Tour Myrtle Beach Race

Ron Silk (center) celebrates with his crew chief Kenny Stuart (left) and team owner Kevin Stuart (right) after winning the Whelen Modified Tour Stafford 150 last year at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

After finishing third in the standings with three victories in 2019, Ron Silk and his Kevin Stuart Motorsports team were heading into the 2020 Whelen Modified Tour season confident their organization had blossomed into an outfit prepared to contend for a series title. 

But before a tire hits the track for the Whelen Modified Tour this year, Silk and team owner Kevin Stuart have decided to basically walk away from chasing a series title in 2020. 

Silk and Stuart confirmed to RaceDayCT Saturday morning that they have decided not to run the May 30 Whelen Modified Tour Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair. The event was announced by NASCAR on Friday as an addition to the 2020 schedule

The Myrtle Beach event – which will be a points-earning race for the series – will take place with a purse greatly reduced from what the series typically runs for. The event will pay $4,000 to win. Every finisher from 10th place back through the final running order will earn $500 per position. 

After NASCAR announced the Myrtle Beach event officially Friday Stuart told RaceDayCT that his team would likely skip the event, but that they hadn’t made a final decision. Overnight they made that decision. 

“We’re not going to go,” Silk told RaceDayCT . “We’re definitely bummed out about it. I think last year we showed that we can contend and run well and had hopes of at least competing for the championship. Obviously that’s not going to happen at this point. I know everyone wants to go racing, we want to go racing too, but at some point you need to make a decision for yourself whether it’s financially viable to go. It just doesn’t seem like it is.” 

The Myrtle Beach event was not part of the original 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Due to restrictions in various areas due to the COVID-19 global pandemic the Whelen Modified Tour has been out of action. Of the first seven events on the 17-race original schedule, six have been postponed indefinitely and one – at Martinsville Speedway – has been cancelled. NASCAR has also already announced the cancellation of the Whelen Modified Tour event that was scheduled for July at Iowa Speedway. 

“Everyone has the ability to make their own decisions,” said Silk, a 16-year veteran of the division and the 2011 series champion. “I don’t think they’re forcing anyone do to anything. We’re in the same boat as other guys, we want to race and we want to compete for the championship, but everyone has to make their own decision of what’s acceptable for them. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this doesn’t make sense. Racing is not a money making scheme for any of us but there is a limit to what everyone is willing to accept.

“I’m sure we won’t be the only one that doesn’t go, I’m sure we’ll be one of the few that doesn’t go. Everyone races because they love to do it and part of it is almost like an addiction and you’ll do it all costs. From what’s happened in the past, with like Flash Races [reduced purse events], we still went and raced. I think the majority of teams just want to go race. I don’t think it’s in the best interest to do that, but everyone needs to make up their own minds.”

Stuart said Saturday that the precedent being set by the reduced purse for the event doesn’t bode well for team owners financially going forward. 

“Then what’s going to happen when they come back up here to race? Stuart said. “Let’s just say everything gets cleared at some point and we can come back up here and race. [The tracks] up here are going to say ‘Well you drove all the way to Myrtle Beach to race for $4,000 to win, so why can’t you race here for $4,000 to win?’

And where is our schedule? Where are we going next? How much is the point fund going to be at the end? How many races are we really going to do? Are we going to do 10 races and eight of them are going to be down south that weren’t on the schedule you gave us? They can’t tell us anything, but they want us all to do this?” 

Comments

  1. I’M SHOCKED!!!!!!

    Actual, no, I’m not.

  2. Geez, reading this made feel like I was talking to myself.

    🍿

  3. Makes no sense, why rush? Shame

  4. It’s ironic that this is a Wade Cole Tribute race that Wade would have hauled his race car down south because that is what he liked to do and he knew he was racing for peanuts. NASCAR should step up and pay the regulars too show up.

  5. wmass01013 says

    I APPLAUD Any and all teams that SKIP this race, its a very low class move by NASCAR to react to ROB FULLER’S Plan, While I UNDERSTAND that with the pandemic, NASCAR WMT is not in good shape in 2020 but making this move is LAUGHABLE, 4 K to win and 500 for most of the field for a race IN SOUTH CAROLINA and adding WADE COLE’s name as tribute to in my thoughts is a move to get more teams to show up just adds to the LOW CLASS

  6. They have to do what makes sense for their team financially. The purse given the travel involved really makes no sense. Nascar is really banking on race starved teams to just blindly support this race with little chance of breaking even. They also make a good point if that Nascar may use the competitors support of this event to reduce purses up north when and if things open back up. Lets hope the weather is good.

  7. Questions.
    Ace Speedway has fans why not Myrtle Beach?
    Hickory has fans why not Myrtle Beach?
    No one at either place is wearing masks why Myrtle Beach?
    Why can’t Nascar race the first race at Hickory and have fans? Seems like a win win. More fans should mean more purse.
    Common answer? Because Nascar is involved.

  8. It’s amazing how the tour can race below NC in SC and above in VA but not in NC. All tracks in SC NC and VA need to drop NASCAR sanctions until they drop Bowman Gray Stadium. Hell would freeze over first. Live in NC love modified racing that is the best there is. DONT GO TO Myrtle Beach.

  9. Looks like NASCAR is taking a page from the Thompson playbook.

  10. It’s seems to be a smattering. Here and on social media. Those criticizing the event, where it is, when it is, the purse, Cole’s tribute. Not a groundswell but a smattering. As for the people that count that will go or lean go they aren’t saying much publicly.
    What I don’t get is why $4000 to win is such a big deal. It’s weak, so what? Most teams don’t win. How does the payoff down the line compare? Teams lose money no matter what. They won’t be losing money going to Iowa. They won’t be going to a lot of places. If losing money is the criteria this year should be a banner one for teams not losing money.
    It’s about the event, recognition, fan interest, risk and limited opportunities this year. This isn’t 1840, NASCAR is not the evil overseer and no one is a slave to points. What points? Like there is actually going to be enough races to fund a meaningful points fund?
    The bigger question is who is going. If a whole bunch don’t go then the event will be canceled. If there’s a race I’m loving it and watching it if I can and if it’s canceled that’s the consensus so that’s fine as well.
    Generally speaking I think fans would love to see the race happen, would love to see it streamed but don’t want to appear putting pressure on anyone to do what may put them at risk.
    I’ll say it. I’d love to see them race and can’t wait to see who is going and who isn’t. It could end up with an eclectic bunch of teams that may be a one time deal with a result that is completely unpredictable.
    I’d like to see the fan base be less judgmental of what decision is made and more supportive of the teams no matter what decision they make. They’re grown ass men and women that can make their own decisions and they’ll do what’s best for them and we should support it either way.

  11. Brendan Spatafora says

    I am so tired of Nascar taking a dump on this series. Better drivers, people and racing than we will ever see in cup again.

    4k to win and 500 to the others? It doesnt cover the expense to travel. You need to at least pay the amount that would cover fuel and tires.

    Nascar has become the biggest joke in motorsports.

    Our modifieds deserve better.

  12. They should do some fanless races in New Hampshire. Claremont announced they are doing a fanless ppv event for the granite state pro stocks series. I’m sure Nascar could figure out something a little closer to where a lot of teams are.

  13. wmass01013 says

    OKKKKKKKKKKKKKK DOUG
    I don’t know if you make these comments because you actually think them or just want to be different?
    AS was stated in other articles ITS NOT JUST THE 4K, its the 1 week notice, its what happens next, a plan, do we have 1 race, 5 races 10 races???????? ANY PLAN?
    You are taking teams MOSTLY based in CT, NY, NJ, PA and having them travel hundreds of miles to race a track Not on the original schedule for 29K TOTAL which I am guessing was put UP BY WHELEN AND DOUG DUNLEAVY BOTH godsends to the WMT, not NASCAR AND NOT MYRTLE BEACH SPEEDWAY, THE normal WMT PURSE is 70k to 90k.
    YEAH everything in gumdrops and lollipops from yur basement in ENFIELD, just like when THOMPSON decided to cut the purses, why alllll the fuss??? why not just enjoy things and support the racers? THEY DONT NEED $$$$$ TO RACE
    YEAH so what if this race is a Stafford open like field, who needs COBY, SILK, BONSIGNIOR, SAPIENZA, LETS have 12 cars show up and say hell yeah boys lets race for DOUGS ENJOYMENT

  14. The most any track will pay the tour now is
    4K to win I bet Thompson will pay less

  15. Rain predicted all next weekend at Myrtle Beach with no rain date on the entry form.

  16. wmass, how dare you go against the word of Dougie. He’s so smart he has to post under 3 different screen names just to make sure we all understand. LOL
    Actually I agree with you, this insult of a race should have never happened.

  17. Thompson speedway , Here’s your opportunity to hold a big open modified show in the fall . Jump on it ! Screw the nascar sanction .They could care less about our local speedways and drivers . Of course Hoening would have to take that rubber band off his wallet .

  18. NASCAR is making those longtime owners that got out at the end of last season look like geniuses. No respect for the actual owners and drivers. Remember, this is simply a reactionary move to retain control after news of Fuller running an independent race with a much bigger purse nearby. Remember that first, this is simply a move by NASCAR to keep a thumb on “their” drivers, owners, fans, series, etc. Do not forget that. If you think that is inaccurate then explain any other logical explanation. There is none.

  19. I think everyone on the tour should stick together and boycott Myrtle beach grow some nuts stick up for yourselves

  20. A tour race to honor a long time New England driver should be held at a New England track in front of fans, whenever that can be. Not at Myrtle Beach in front of no one. That’s pathetic and quite honestly a dishonor. Wade deserves better than that.

  21. What about Stefanik? Nine time champ and nothing for him yet? That should be either a Thompson or Stafford race of course, maybe in 2021 when we can have fans to witness it.

  22. I’m just trying to get the lay of the land with such fast moving events.
    • Ace Speedway did open, was packed and the majority did not use face masks nor was social distancing observed. The track had made gestures to limit attendance and enforce social distancing and even had registration for contact tracing. Most of which was ignored as were the State and CDC guidelines as the Governor said he could not enforce a violation of peoples Constitutional rights.
    • Myrtle Beach Speedway opened as well for a regular division program with fans as did Hickory.
    • The NWMT race is a no fan race based on NASCAR rules and not State, CDC or local health guidelines.
    • Riverside Speedway in New Hampshire opened as promised in defiance of the State’s ban.. Signs were placed by the State leading to the track warning of the dangers. Attendance was low and spread out. State says there will be consequences.
    • Granite State Pro Stocks have scheduled a race for June 5th. No fans and streamed via Speed51.

    In this thread and the Facebook RaceDayCt post of this article the comments are overwhelmingly negative about NASCAR and supportive of teams that pass on this race. On the NWMT fan page the comments are mostly supportive of the race with thanks going to Doug Dunleavy and people curious about streaming coverage. It’s clear that there are plenty of folks that think the NWMT opener is foolish for a host of reasons and there are plenty of folks supportive of it.
    GSPSS is a regional tour but the cars have inter regional appeal so that may account for the coverage by Speed51. Nonetheless I’m hoping that a TTOMS race may be in the offering at some point as well either fanless or limited fans and streaming.
    That Ace Speedway event was a real eye opener. Burt Meyers and some local Late Model guy did videos trying to rally support for the race with multiple references to their rights and the Constitution and apparently it resonated. The incubation period is in play now. If they get infections originating at that race their attitudes down South for ignoring safe health guidelines may change pretty quick. Conversely if nothing happens it will encourage the scheduling of more races with lax health rules.
    These are historic times with events happening at light speed that can turn on a dime at any moment. The NWMT race is scheduled and will stay scheduled until it is run or canceled. I hope it’s run. Right now entries are coming in or not coming in so we’ll see what happens. Just me says rain is in the forecast so if registrations are anemic and the backlash continues it may provide a convenient out for Nascar.

  23. knuckles Mahoney says

    Fuller should play the big screw you to NASCAR. Make his event 15k to 20k to win. Send each team owner a personal invitation. For teams finishing outside the top 10, pay their hauler fuel bill to get there. I would never cower, and would make jam it up their…..

  24. Plugs 2020 says

    Well just like Thompson, if the cars show up for such low purses then, success. Although 13 sk’s on Thompson’s roster may be a bad indication. It’ll be interesting to see how many show up.

  25. knuckles posted, “Fuller should play the big screw you to NASCAR. Make his event 15k to 20k to win. Send each team owner a personal invitation. For teams finishing outside the top 10, pay their hauler fuel bill to get there. I would never cower, and would make jam it up their…..”

    It’s so cute when little children like to spend other people’s money.

    Send the invitations on fine cotton bond stationery, with raised letter gold leaf embossing.

    😷🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤪🤪🤪😝🦠🦠🦠🦠😝😝

  26. How many other owners see this as increasing their chances of winning?

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  27. Thirteen? Are you superstitious? Not a good sign.

  28. It is a sad situation when teams would head down south to run a race that NASCAR really doesn’t care about. It is peanuts to NASCAR and peanuts to the teams. It is in the name of Wade Cole who supported the series no matter what. I am growing fatigued with the people that believe racing revolves around Charlotte North Carolina. Honestly, last year, the best races were the open shows at Stafford. It is concerning that the N.C. people are making the Modified Tour teams travel when those same people are not willing to do it. Makes me sad and feel a little dirty for supporting the local short tracks that help bring people and future drivers to what “NASCAR” really cares about.

  29. It is a sad day when Modified tour teams travel further than Cup teams. People want racing at short tracks. But, not like this. And as far as Burt Myers or anyone else regarding the Constitution, I hope everyone realizes that there have been 27 amendments to the Constitution. If this didn’t happen, your rights or my rights may not be the same. And if you think this is the end of the amending, you are mistaken. Hopefully…

  30. We haven’t heard the last of Fuller holding a event. Trust me. Stay by the computer to see what the next date will be. Or dates plural. At this point if he announces 3 races for 10k to win and 1000 just to show, would Nascar compete with that? He backed off on his event to avoid conflict with NASCAR. Not sure if that will happen again knowing now what Nascar will offer for purse.

  31. I have had one email exchange with Rob Fuller two years ago that focused on spec engines. At the time he made observations about NASCAR’s motivation for promoting the spec that were not favorable that he did not want repeated.
    NASCAR like or hate them have resources. Rob Fuller is a local entrepreneur that has challenges simply keeping people employed over the coming months with limited racing activity.
    If you’re saying he would challenge NASCAR I’d say I’d love it but don’t see any way it could happen.
    Furthermore as far as the NWMT goes my read is they want to move it north as soon as conditions warrant. It may be sooner then we think. For now the south is the place to race and it’s there or nowhere.

  32. David Fisher says

    My opinion, this one gets cancelled before the teams load up.

  33. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Fuller is trying to project that he is bigger than NASCAR. 🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

    Fuller did not prompt NASCAR to do anything. Fuller needs NASCAR, NASCAR does not need Fuller.

    🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑

    Fuller needs cars to be running and wrecking so he can sell stuff.

    NASCAR needs to show they are responsible. And NASCAR does not want to get their fan base sick or killed.

    But yeah, I’d love to see Fuller blow a few $50k purses and expenses to put on these wildcat events. See how long that lasts. Can he make a series out of this??? 🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🦠🦠🦠🦠🤪🦠🦠🦠

    If NASCAR can’t afford it, Fuller can’t afford it.

    🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤣🤣😝🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

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