Ron Silk officially ended his seven-year winless drought at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Silk scored his first win on the Magic Mile since 2011, outlasting stiff competition from the likes of Woody Pitkat and Anthony Nocella to win the $5,000-to-win Valenti Modified Racing Series 50 during the New England Short Track Showdown.
The former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion battled hard for the lead with Pitkat and Nocella for the majority of the race. However, a late-race caution bunched everyone back together and created some very tight racing.
Silk bumped Nocella high with six laps to go, allowing Silk to move into second. Shortly after, Pitkat slowed dramatically on the track with suspected ignition problems, giving Silk control of the lead for the remainder of the race.
“That last restart really tightened it up,” Silk explained in victory lane. “I think we were driving away at that point. Me and Anthony were racing hard and we got together a little bit in three and four, and I’m sure it just knocked him up out of the groove a little bit. It’s not what I wanted to see, but it’s just hard racing and it was a lot of fun.
“This is my favorite track; I love coming here. When I saw it on the schedule, I was excited that we were going to come, and it feels great [to win].”
Richard Savary spent his race working his way through the field, charging to a strong second-place finish behind Silk.
“Starting as far back as I did, I used up the car a lot, but it was great,” Savary said after the race. “I don’t know if I had anything, Ronnie’s car was fast and he runs here a lot. It had to be fun to see the passing out front. I got to watch it a lot until I got there, which was fun.”
Third-place finisher Les Hinckley, who was surprisingly making his debut at the Loudon, NH oval, also capitalized on the drama, taking over third when Pitkat suffered his misfortune.
“We had a good handle on the race car,” Hinckley said. “We had to log some laps in the beginning. The car showed up halfway through the race when guys started to fall off and we didn’t. I do think we had something for Silk, but I just ran out of time.”
David Schneider rebounded from a Saturday practice crash to finish fourth and Nocella recovered to finish fifth.
Race fans can find on-demand updates and photos from Sunday’s event by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage. Full video highlights of the race will also be available soon on the Speed51 Network.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series is back in action at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire on July 7.
-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos
Valenti Modified Racing Series Unofficial Results
New Hampshire Motor Speedway – June 24, 2018
|7||83||Mike Willis, Jr.|