Tour-type Modified racing will begin in the Northeast region Saturday night with the John “Peepers” Yerger Tribute race at Mahoning Valley Speedway (PA). Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk will be among the Modified stars joining the party for the 77-lap event, in what will be his first start at the Pennsylvania track.
Silk returned to full-time Whelen Modified Tour racing in 2019 after competing on a part-time basis the previous two years, winning three races and finishing third in points. His last start came in the Turkey Derby at the end of November, nearly seven months ago.
He recently tested at Mahoning Valley to prepare for Saturday’s race, looking forward to returning behind the wheel at a new facility.
“Oh yeah, I’m excited. It feels like it’s been years since I raced last,” Silk told Speed51. “I’m certainly looking forward to getting back going.”
It will be Silk’s first time competing in the state of Pennsylvania, doing so at one of the most unique tracks in the region. Not only is Mahoning Valley one of the smallest tracks in all of Tour-Type Modified racing at just 1/5th of a mile, the track is also as close to a perfect circle as you will see anywhere in the country.
Confident off his recent test at the facility, Silk sees himself being competitive right out of the box.
“I’ve been doing it for a long time, it’s kind of like riding a bike. The track’s a little bit different than everywhere else I’ve ever raced,” he stated. “We’ll be racing against a bunch of guys that have a lot of experience there. I feel like I picked it up pretty quick this past weekend and I think we’ll be competitive this coming weekend.”
While he normally competes in the Kenny Stuart-owned No. 85 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and in other races across the Northeast, fans will see Silk in a new ride for Saturday. He joins forces with Mahoning Valley regular and former track champion Tyler Haydt, which was spawned during the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway back in February.
“We hung out a little bit at Speedweeks and a good friend of mine works on his car,” he said. “That’s how I got the opportunity.”
A 13-time winner on the Whelen Modified Tour trail, Silk is no stranger to victory lane across the region. He has the chance to score another marquee Tour-Type Modified win Saturday against a stout field of the top racers the discipline has to offer.
With the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opener scheduled for next Sunday, June 21 at Jennerstown Speedway, he looks to go into that race with a victory already under his belt.
“It’s nice to win any race, really. They’re not easy to win so it would be a great way to start the year,” he stated. “It certainly won’t be easy, it’s a small, little track. I don’t think it’s going to be super easy to pass at, so I think starting position will be pretty important. Like any race, it would be great to win for sure.”
Fans who can’t make it to Mahoning Valley Speedway can see Silk compete in the John “Peepers” Yerger tribute Saturday night via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51. Click here to order your live video ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo