The SBM 125 VIII was decided in a thrilling 11-lap shootout where Ron Silk emerged victorious in a thrilling Duel of the Ronnies at Star Speedway (NH) on Saturday night. Silk fended off a hard-charging Ronnie Williams to score his first Tri-Track Open Modified Series win of the 2019 season. It is also Silk’s first-ever SBM victory.
“The state of New Hampshire’s been pretty good to me this week!” said Silk, who also won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday. “We had a great car all day but had some problems in the heat and had to run the consi. [That] kind of determined our strategy, we were going to try to pit before that caution and it worked out, everyone pitted in front of me and we inherited the lead.
“All in all a great run, happy for all the guys on my team and all the hard work they put in, especially my car owner Bob Horn, it feels good to win with him again. Hopefully we can keep it all going.”
Silk started the feature in 21st and climbed up well inside the top ten before coming to the pits for a fresh tire under yellow at Lap 47. He restarted at the back of the field but inherited the lead when the rest of the field came to the pits on Lap 71 for tires.
Silk then had to hold off Williams and Matt Hirschman, who both had fresher tires. Silk managed to defend the lead for almost 30 laps but had his work cut out for him when the caution flew with just eleven laps to go. He got the jump on Williams on the restart, but Williams stuck close.
On the final lap, Williams dove down into Turn 3 and slammed into the back of Silk, shoving Silk high and allowing Williams to cut underneath him. However, Silk was able to save the car and Williams’ own car broke loose on the bottom, allowing Silk to get the edge coming off the corner and beat Williams to the line.
“We had a strong car, and just…Ronnie got us at the end, so two Ronnies finishing 1-2,” Williams said after the race. “But it is what it is, we’ll move on to the next one. I’m happy we came home second and these guys gave me an awesome piece today. I had no intention of trying to wreck him at all, I was just trying to get the win for us. It just didn’t stick like I wanted it to, and congrats to those guys on the win.”
Matt Swanson ran inside the top ten the entire evening and was in place to capitalize on any drama between the top two, but a clean fight for the lead meant that Swanson brought Ole Blue home in third. Polesitter Matt Hirschman had a quiet day, leading the first 71 laps of the race before fading back to fourth place. Andy Jankowiak scored a solid fifth-place finish.
Richard Savary, Cam McDermott, Brad Babb, Woody Pitkat, and Brian Robie completed the top ten.
The Tri-Track Open Modified Series’ next race is Saturday, August 24th at Oxford Plains Speedway as part of the Oxford 250 weekend.
For a complete race recap and more, visit Trackside Now: https://speed51.com/trackside-now-sbm-125-at-star-speedway/.
Fans can also watch an on-demand replay of Speed51's Summer Thunder broadcast of the event by clicking here.
SBM 125 VIII Full Results (Unofficial):
1 50S Ron Silk
2 25 Ronnie Williams
3 3MA Matt Swanson
4 60 Matt Hirschman
5 573 Andy Jankowiak
6 99 Richard Savary
7 8 Cam McDermott
8 71ME Brad Babb
9 6 Woody Pitkat
10 25NH Brian Robie
11 27 Anthony Sesely
12 88NH Russ Hersey
13 25NJ Calvin Carroll
14 3 Matt Galko
15 82 Mike Holdridge
16 05 Jacob Dore
17 66 Andy Shaw
18 43 Tommy Barrett
19 21 Les Hinckley
20 176 Dana DiMatteo
21 76 Kirk Alexander
22 27PA Donny Hartzell
23 7MA Kurt Vigeant
24 92 Anthony Nocella
25 50 Carl Medeiros Jr.
26 48 Jon Keivman
27 81ME Josh Cantara
-Story by: Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ian_pettigrew
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo