After a late-race rally, a long and overdue victory was celebrated by Ron Silk and his team at South Boston Speedway (VA) Saturday following the second race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
Silk, the 2011 NWMT champion, drove through the field late in the 150-lap feature and made a late pass of Burt Myers to secure his first tour victory since May 14, 2016.
“Burt and I were both running the top, so I figured that he was going to take the top on the restart,” Silk said. “I got a pretty good launch and tried to hook the bottom through turns one and two to try and carry some speed. We got together a little bit coming off two and I don’t know how bad that messed him up.
“I was way too loose the first run and started to fade back a little bit,” Silk continued. “I kind of knew once we pitted and changed tires that we would be in pretty good shape, so we didn’t change much. We got it stickered up and the thing was really good.”
Tommy Catalano claimed the first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour pole of his career in qualifying. Catalano showed the way early before the first round of pits stops. Burt Myers then inherited the lead and took the risk of making it to the end with no pit stops.
Myers’ risky strategy did not pay off as Silk began to make ground on Myers and challenge for the lead with less than 20 laps to go. Silk completed the pass in the closing laps and went on to capture the checkered flag.
“I loved racing here,” Silk said. “This is a first-class facility and you can tell the amount of work and effort that goes into this place. I can’t thank South Boston Speedway for having us and I hope this can turn into an annual deal.”
In addition to being his first victory in nearly three years, it was also the first win for the Kevin Stuart Motorsports team since they transitioned over to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
“Winning is always good, it builds our confidence,” Silk said. “We have some work to do for next week at Thompson and we will try again then.”
A hard-charging Chase Dowling, who was piloting the Jamie Tomaino No. 99 Modified, finished second in his first start of the season. Jimmy Blewett followed up his third-place finisher at Myrtle Beach Speedway by once again rounding out the podium.
Kyle Bonsignore finished fourth and Myers fell to fifth at the checkered flag.
Next up for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be the traditional Icebreaker event at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) next Sunday, April 7.
Race fans can find on-demand updates and photos from Saturday’s race at South Boston Speedway now by visiting Speed51’s Race Day Now.
-Story by: Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Rick Ibsen