Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway didn’t end the way that many in attendance would’ve liked it to. With an overtime finish looming at The Magic Mile, the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 was called official under caution and Ron Silk was named the winner.
With two laps remaining in the race, Tyler Rypkema made heavy contact with the outside wall in turn one. Normally, the race would’ve resumed with NASCAR’s overtime procedures. However, the combination of wall repairs needed in turn one and time restraints due to the scheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track forced officials to drop the checkered flag.
NASCAR issued a statement regarding the decision via the NASCAR Home Tracks Twitter account.
“Due to extensive wall repair required after an incident in turn one during the closing laps, and the requirements associated with preparing the track for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race ended under caution in NASCAR Overtime.”
Although he was happy to come out on top and score his fourth career victory at New Hampshire, Silk admitted after the race that he was disappointed to see the race end the way it did.
“I’ve finished second here years ago in a race that got shortened. Listen, I’m happy with it. I’m glad we won but I would’ve like everyone to see the way it would’ve played out,” Silk said. “We raced really hard all race, and Doug was good, Chase was good and McKennedy was good at the end. Certainly no guarantee I would’ve won, but we were leading at the right time. Just bummer circumstances that we didn’t get to finish it.”
After finishing second and not being able to show what he had up his sleeve during an overtime finish, Doug Coby was vocal about his displeasure with the decision.
“You guys are really lucky it was a long walk over here from the turn one Modified (garage) because I got to cool off a little bit in this 106-degree heat and collect my thoughts. This is just probably the biggest disappointment – I’ve wrecked here on lap one, I’ve wrecked here battling for wins and whatnot, I’ve also been the GOAT. I wrecked a guy in 2015 for a win. On a day like today, I think the Modifieds deserve the respect to finish the race. I don’t care how long it would’ve taken to fix that wall, I think the schedule should’ve been changed.”
Considered as an undercard on NASCAR Cup Series weekends, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races are often impacted due to other events on the weekend schedule. That is something that Coby would like to see changed moving forward.
“You guys know that here and Bristol we’ve always been under a time crunch, and we’re always faced with this it seems,” he stated. “I guess put us in a time slot where we have some time to do our thing and maybe give a little bit of extra time here. There was no warning as far as I’m concerned and it robbed the fans of a good finish.”
Silk put his No. 85 Kevin Stuart-owned Modified out in front for the first time following a Lap 85 restart. From there, he never surrendered the lead despite challenges from Coby, eventual third-place finisher Chase Dowling and fourth-place finisher Jon McKennedy.
“Go as fast as we could,” Silk said when asked about his strategy. We really didn’t change the car much at the stop and it really drove good after that. We were able to get from fifth to the lead on one of the restarts with about 15 to go and it just worked in our favor. Just pumped for our guys, our whole team. We’ve been having a great year so far and we’re just going to keep building on that.”
Dowling, the winner of the Musket 250 last September at New Hampshire, came on strong late to round out the podium. After winning the pole earlier in the day, McKennedy finish fourth. Matt Swanson, the driver of the Ole Blue No. 3, completed the top five.
Race fans can find updates, photos and more by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21 for the second running of the Musket 250.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Rick Ibsen
Eastern Propane & Oil 100 Unofficial Results
|24||36||Bobby Santos III|
|37||78||Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.|