WATCH LIVE: SBM 125 at Star Speedway
It is the second race of 2021 at the Epping, NH quarter-mile oval, with the tenth running of the SBM 125, one of two races on the Tri-Track calendar that predates the Series’ founding in 2014.
Ron Silk was one of the drivers especially irritated with the turn of events at Seekonk, having won his heat race and drawing the fifth starting position. But the Norwalk, CT native has all the confidence they can pick up where they left off this Saturday at Star.
“That was a bummer, rainouts happen all of the time but it stinks when you’re there all day, practice, qualify, and then it rains or the power goes out in this case, right before the race. That was aggravating. We had a good car, we were fastest in practice after we made some changes. We’re looking forward to getting back at it at Star this weekend,” Silk told Speed51.
For many years, Star Speedway had been a nemesis for the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion. Then in 2019 all that changed when he won the SBM 125 in a thriller over Ronnie Williams. In that race he was driving for Bob Horn Racing, now his ride is with the No. 16 Haydt Yannone Racing team owned by Tyler Haydt and Joe Yannone.
Since that win, Matt Hirschman and Jon McKennedy have scored Tri-Track wins at Star in the two following races. Naturally, Silk feels the No. 16 HYR camp has what it takes to get back to victory lane this weekend.
I’m confident in the car, but Star is a tricky place. Over the last several years I’ve run well there, but before that I struggled, badly. Not sure why. Like always, Matt Hirschman is great at Star, Jon McKennedy grew up there, and has spent a lot of time racing there. I would say those two are certainly the favorites to win, but we can definitely give them a run for the money.
Scoring an Open Modified win on Icebreaker Weekend at Thompson Speedway (CT) in April, Silk has been among the front runners in the first two Tri-Track feature races of 2021. Being the only driver to finish Top 5 in both races, Silk heads into the SBM as the points leader. While winning his first Tri-Track season title is a goal, it still takes a backseat to locking down race wins.
“It’s good. Monadnock stunk losing right at the end there, Sam Rameau did a good job, and we came up a little short. We won the Icebreaker at Thompson with the 16 and since then we’ve been competitive everywhere. I’m always optimistic going to any of the tracks on our schedule.”
Another great motivating factor for the SBM X is the extra money at stake. In addition to the $6,000 winner’s share of the $40,000 Tri-Track purse; one of the originators of the SBM event, local journalist Kevin Rice, has spearheaded a campaign for additional separate bonus awards throughout the field, as well as plenty of lap leader bonus money.
“The money always helps. Kevin Rice is involved with that and he’s had a lot of involvement with Star over the years when this race has gone on. Between him and Bobby Webber, what they are doing is great for the Series, along with what Tri-Track does all the time. The Series has a lot of good momentum going for it and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Post time for the SBM X at Star Speedway is 3:30pm ET starting with heat race qualifying for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, 350 Supermodifieds, and more. You can see all the action live on Speed51.TV with your yearly or monthly subscription.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51