Whelen Mod Tour New Smyrna Notebook: Ben Kennedy Presents First 1948 Cup To Ron Silk

Ron Silk raises the 1948 Cup in victory lane Saturday at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

NASCAR senior vice president Ben Kennedy presented Ron Silk with the 1948 Cup following Silk’s victory in the Whelen Modified Tour New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 Saturday at New Smyrna Speedway. 

The 1948 Cup was inspired by the trophy Red Byron received when he won NASCAR’s first points event, a Modified race on the beach course in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Feb. 15, 1948. The trophy Byron received was known as “Bundles for Britain.” The 1948 Cup resembles “Bundles for Britain” in many ways, including the general shape, the trim design, the base and the text inscribed on the hardware. The 1948 Cup was introduced as part of NASCAR’s 75th year celebration for the 2023 season.

Of Note:

Six-time series champion Doug Coby led a race high 106 laps in the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 before settling for a fifth place finish.

“I would have loved to have won the race but we had a fantastic car out there,” Coby said. “We were just a tiny bit short on stagger on the last run. We are experienced together already as a group and I know the team knows I can manage the race, and I love that they can trust me to do what I need to do.”

Austin Beers led the second most laps at 51. Silk (33 laps), Eric Goodale (four laps), Tommy Catalano (three laps), Justin Bonsignore (two laps) and Matt Hirschman (one lap) made up the total of seven drivers that led laps. The race saw 11 lead changes.

Bonsignore had a 30-position swing from last year’s first ever Whelen Modified Tour event at New Smyrna. The three-time series champion finished 31st in last year’s season opening event at New Smyrna, completing just 32 laps before retiring with mechanical issues. He fought Silk for the win over the final 10 laps Saturday before settling for a second place finish.

“Overall, it was a good start to the year – we weren’t great all night, but the guys made some good calls on the final pit stop, and we were able to drive to the front,” Bonsignore said. “Hopefully we hit on something here with the new tires for this year and we can build off it going forward.”

Hirschman’s third place finish was his 10th podium run in his last 13 series starts dating back to the 2020 season. It was his 11th consecutive top-five series finish and 14th in his last 15 series starts.

Anthony Sesely’s fourth place finish was his first top-five finish in 44 career series starts dating back to 2005. Sesely’s best finish before Saturday was 8th place, which he had done twice at Stafford (2006 & 2008).

Dave Sapienza’s seventh place finish was his first top-10 run since a seventh place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2021, a span of 18 events. Stewart-Haas Racing Cup Series driver Ryan Preece prepared Sapienza’s car for Saturday’s event.

Jake Johnson’s sixth place run was his fifth top-10 finish in seven career Whelen Modified Tour starts. Johnson made six starts last year for Boehler Racing Enterprises with two top-five’s and six top-10’s.

Kevin Shea withdrew from the event. All 35 cars left on the entry list started the event. Twelve cars finished on the lead lap.

RaceDayCT Poll: Who Had The Most Impressive Unexpected Performance At New Smyrna? Click to cast your vote

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing