Acing The Test: Ron Silk Wins Twisted Tea Dash For Cash At Thompson Speedway 

Ron Silk celebrates victory in the Thompson Outlaw Modified Twisted Tea Dash for Cash Wednesday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – Ron Silk and the Haydt-Yannone Racing team he drives for currently lead the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings after nine of 19 events this season. 

Two of the final 10 events this year for the Whelen Modified Tour will take place at Thompson Speedway, the first on Aug. 16 and the second on Oct. 8. 

Wednesday, with the Thompson Outlaw Modified division back in action at Thompson for the Twisted Tea Dash for Cash, Silk and his team showed up to get some preparation time for the two upcoming Whelen Modified Tour events at the .625-mile oval. 

The glorified test session may not have gone perfect for the team, but at the end of the night Silk was celebrating quite a passing score. 

Silk, of Norwalk, passed Ronnie Williams for the lead on lap 26 and never trailed again on the way to victory in the 50-lap feature. 

“We’ve got some [Whelen Modified] Tour races coming up here later in the year and we wanted to try some stuff,” Silk said. “And really it was kind of a struggle from the start of the day. What we wanted to try didn’t really work too well here. Changed a lot of stuff. It still wasn’t great by the end, but it was major improvement throughout the day.” 

Silk took home a $5,000 check for the win Wednesday at Thompson. Silk has a series leading three Whelen Modified Tour victories this year and has finished on the podium in seven of nine series events this year. His worst Whelen Modified Tour finish this year is a seventh place. 

“It feels good,” Silk said, the 2011 Whelen Modified Tour champion. “It’s funny, racing’s funny. When things are going right they’re going right. So we’ve got some good momentum on our side. Hopefully we can carry this over to Saturday and have a good run [with the Whelen Modified Tour at Claremont (N.H.) Motorsports Park]. 

“I love racing at Thompson. I wish we could race here more than we do. It’s just tough for us to get here on Wednesday’s. But it’s so good to get another win here.” 

Anthony Bello of Newtown was second Wednesday at Thompson and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third. 

Silk held the top spot at the start with Williams quickly moving to second past George Bessette Jr. Bello moved past Bessette on lap three for third place. 

On lap 10 Williams got under Silk for the lead into turn one but Silk fought back through turns three and four to go back to the front. On lap 13 Williams got by Silk for the lead in turn three, but Silk crossed him over off of turn four to regain the top spot. 

Williams used the turn three move once again on lap 14 to go back to the lead and stop the Silk crossover. 

Silk stayed stalking on Williams and on lap 26 Silk used a diving move into turn one to go back by Williams for the lead. After getting back to the front Silk quickly checked out from Williams, opening nearly a half second lead by lap 31. 

The first caution of the race flew on lap 33 with Silk leading Williams and Bello in third. On the lap 33 restart Silk was able to quickly get away from Williams off of turn two. The action was short-lived though. On lap 34 caution flew for the second time for the car of Paul Buzel in the turn four wall. 

On the lap 34 restart Silk was once again able to quickly gain separation from second place Williams. Caution was back out once again on lap 37 for the stopped car of Tommy Barrett Jr. The lap 37 restart again saw Silk finding clearance from Williams quickly. 

On lap 39 Bello found a lane under Williams off turn four. The pair went side-by-side to the line with Bello edging to second in turn one on lap 40. By then Silk had built a three-quarter of a second led over second place. Bello was about cut Silk’s lead down over the final 10 laps, but never was close enough to mount a challenge. 

“We were coming, we just ran out of time,” Bello said. 


  1. From Pitt Rd it was pretty good race. 50 lapps 4 Tires same purse is the way to go. Hope more Open Events do the same.

  2. Suitcase Jake says

    Cool Hand Silk does it again , When your on a roll like this it’s amazing how you can Win, on not your best days….Thompson is excellent for Modifieds, The High Banks just make the racing that much better…I hope everyone and their Brother comes out for the Tour Race in August, I hope we pack the stands from turn 4 all the way to the Pit Stands… This will show the Guy’s in Maine & Vermont that if you bring in the Whelen Tour in , You make Money..
    All Tour Fans Love a Thompson Race , In August … It used to be The Budweiser 125 or 150 every August that we ALL had circled on our calender and got the day off , or the following day off, so we could really enjoy the Midweek Battles…Let’s fill the place in August !!! this may be our “last Chance ” to show management it’s worth their time and money to keep Racing at the ” High Banks” into the future…. We need to step up and make a statement , or suffer the shutdown of Big T…. I don’t want to lose Thompson , even with a 6 or 7 race schedule it can survive if they make money ….Let’s give Chris & Tom a FULL HOUSE in August ….!!!

  3. Open Wheel Fan says

    I agree the fans need to come out and fill the stands to show management how much they enjoy the modifieds at Thompson. There is no other track in the North East that can compare to Thompson. We need to fill the stands on August 16th. You never leave Thompson disappointed that is for sure. We are grateful for Chris and Tom !!. Hope they renew their contract next year for the very same venue. Wednesday nights are perfect and the same amount of races !!!. Looking forward to August 16th and the October race weekend.

  4. Hillary 2024 says

    I also love Thompson and hope the tour race next month is a success. I disagree that Wednesday shows are perfect though. But I understand that is all the promoters are left with from ownership.

  5. Open mods need to apply some kind of rule to these engines. It is getting out of hand. Spoke to two engine builders and a competitive engine is over 60k these days. Who can afford that and who will show up to race against it if you don’t have it. Change is needed SOON guys. The 179 was way better but Silk spent the money on the engine. That’s not racing. The future of mods is dim enough as is. If a rule isn’t made it will just speed up the doom.

  6. SGracer,
    I understand what you’re saying about motor costs getting out of hand, but the last part of your comment doesn’t make sense. You say: “The 179 [Anthony Bello] was way better but Silk spent the money on the engine.” Silk had a motor that was legal within the rules of the event. I’m not understanding how you can say Bello was “better” than Silk? Silk’s car was legal for the event and he won the race. How was Bello “better” than Silk?

  7. I’d guess he meant Bello handled better it was just that Silk’s team had superior power based on deeper pockets. A classic complaint. The savvy racer, master of handles but with less power getting beat by the bully with the latest, best built engine by the top engine shop.
    What about the McGunegill race engine? Joey Cipriano was using one and it was competitive. 600HP, one year guarantee. Price under $30000.
    What was the price of an engine in 2017? If it was $48,000 then inflation alone would cause it to rise to around $60,000. Incomes rise as well.
    Is the RYR spec engine up to $60,000?
    Do we know it’s the high cost of racing that is affecting car counts? Seems like an awful lot of teams are coming up with cars and engines to compete in whatever open event. How about the fact the number of tour modified open events is at a self destructive level?
    If I said there are far more tour modifieds racing now then twenty years ago with you agree with that or not?
    What’s a guy like Les Hinkley do? He’s only racing in 7 events. What’s he doing rationing his engine cost over two or three seasons?
    If engine costs are more destructive now as opposed to the past how is it so many Stafford SK teams seem to find ways to field a tour modified car focused primarily on Stafford open events?

  8. Motors are a sore subject in Open Mods right now

    There is no tech at all, you can build what ever you want and call it something that is in rule book and be fine. It is out of hand currently but it would take somebody really ballzy to fix it and piss off that Million Dollar Team, Engine Builder, Chassis Builder etc.

    Too many deep connections and lack of integrity

  9. Rich,
    That’s a massively wild accusation to make about the track operators, especially when you offer absolultely zero evidence to back up what you’re accussing them of.

  10. Shawn,

    How many Open Mods have ever been DQd on Motor?. The answer is 0!!!!

    I guess you believe all of us are Boyscouts and wouldnt dare cheat the rulebook when nobody is looking?

    How about a Poll Topic, Do you feel Open Mods are honoring the Rule Books or need more Tech?

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