The second-half of the Thompson 150 seemed like it was going to be a duel to the end between two of the top drivers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour: Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore. But, NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece appeared to have other plans, when he muscled to the lead late in the race. However, the bad luck that has plagued his season in the NASCAR Cup Series, was still stuck to his shoe Thursday night at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
When the yellow flag flew for Kyle Bonsignore’s crash in turn four, it appeared that Preece would need to survive a tense overtime restart, but it never got to that point. During the cleanup, Preece’s No. 6 slowed on track and coasted on to pit road after running out of fuel.
After the race, Preece’s comments were short, but spoke volumes.
“We packed it full (of fuel)," he told Speed51. "That’s uh, I’m a grown-ass man, but I f------- wanted to cry right there. What are you going to do?”
Preece’s early exit handed the lead back to Ron Silk, who had initially led after a fierce battle with mid-race dominator Justin Bonsignore. While there was an element of surprise for Silk when Preece slowed, it is not the first time he has seen this phenomena.
“It’s close with these spec motors, they burn a lot of fuel, and if you don’t get them totally full, but I’m sure he had his car full of fuel and he still ran out. It’s surprising, but I’ve seen it happen before,” Silk said.
As for the winning result, the always humble former Whelen Modified Tour champion was proud of the effort on the night by the Stuart’s Automotive No. 85 team. Perhaps even more exciting for him was the great racing against Bonsignore and Craig Lutz, which included the overtime restart.
“It feels good, it always feels good to be in victory lane. It was intense for sure, we had a great car. A little free the first run, made some adjustments on it, and got it really good the second run. It was a lot of fun racing with Justin and Craig, then Preece there at the end.”
Silk and Bonsignore took the two top spots, while Jon McKennedy, Chris Pasteryak, and polesitter Doug Coby completed the top five.
Dave Sapienza, Ronnie Williams, Anthony Nocellas, Matt Swanson, and Tyler Rypkema rounded out the Top 10. Craig Lutz who restarted fourth in overtime, fell back to finish 12th when his No. 46 was forced up high in turn one.
Next up for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is the season’s longest race, the Musket 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 12.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Rick Ibsen