Thompson, CT — The two week wait was worth it for Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, who earned his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at Thompson International Speedway during the running of part two of Modified Mania II. Louie Mechalides of Tynsboro, MA, turned in a dominating performance to win the 75-lapper for the True Value Modified Racing Series.
Ronnie Silk scored a popular win in the Whelen Modified Tour 150 at Thompson in front of a crowded house. In the opening stages of the event current point leader Donnie Lia and Ron Yuhas, Jr. ran at the head of the field.
After making tracks through the pack, Christopher dogged leader Lia. At lap 55, the bulk of the field came down to pit road for service. Christopher opted to stay out on the track to inherit the lead on the restart. Silk had moved into the third spot with Reggie Ruggiero taking chase.
During a long green flag run, Silk’s car continued to get better. He was able to take the top spot from Christopher one lap shy of the century mark taking Ruggiero along for the ride. Szegedy had gotten by Lia and started to make his presence known.
On a restart late in the race, Ruggiero was able to power by Silk to take command of the race. Silk, never far behind, continued to chase the new leader. On lap 137, Silk got underneath Ruggiero and with sparks flying Silk was the leader once again on lap 138.
A caution on lap 139 shook up the running order inside the top five. Contact between Christopher and Flemke ended with Flemke in the outside wall and Christopher on pit road to serve a one-lap penalty. Silk easily held off the competition on the final single file restart to score the popular win. Ruggeiro settled for second ahead of Szegedy. Bobby Santos and James Civali rounded out the top five.
The True Value Modified portion of their event resumed their portion of Sunoco Modified Mania on lap four with Andy Seuss at the helm with Chris Pasteryak and Jimmy Kuhn taking chase. Seuss held the top spot through a number of early race cautions.
An early incident directly behind the leader that started when Brian Schofield got out of shape, caused a chain reaction that collected a number of cars including championship contenders Kirk Alexander and Les Hinckley along with Rich Savary and others. Alexander was taken off the track by double hook.
The young driver held off several advances from Mechalides before relinquishing the lead on lap 15. Seuss saw his great run come to an end on lap 27 when his racer made hard contact with the outside wall.
Everything was going Mechalides way as Hinckley was making great strides heading back to the front of the pack. Thompson Speedway regular Tommy Cravenho made it interesting in the closing laps giving Mechalides all he could handle. In the end, Mechalides was up to the task taking down the victory over Cravenho. Jon McKennedy came home third ahead of Jimmy Kuhn and Hinckley.
The Thompson International Speedway will be silent until Friday, October 12 when the three-day racing extravaganza kicks off. To learn more about racing’s biggest year-end event log on to www.thompsonspeedway.com or call (860) 923-2280.
Sources: Dale Wolbrink/Thompson Int’l Speedway PR.