NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk earned won at New Smyrna Speedway for the second consecutive year.
Silk won Saturday’s season-opening New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 at the half-mile asphalt oval.
The triumph was fitting for a driver who loves to race at this particular half-mile oval.
“I love this place. It’s my favorite race track, so it feels good to back up the win last year,” said Silk, the 39-year-old from Norwalk, Connecticut. “Hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
Silk noted his win was a team effort, and strategy played a massive role in the result. When the field took the green for the final restart of the race with 10 laps to go, Silk lined up third behind Beers and fellow Modified Tour veteran Doug Coby.
Contact between Austin Beers and Coby entering turn one on the restart allowed Silk to slide into second. A couple laps later, Silk found himself diving under Beers and taking the lead. He was able to do so forcefully thanks in part to tires that were about 20 laps fresher than those of Beers.
Bonsignore mounted a charge at Silk over the final couple laps but couldn’t catch the No. 16, settling for second.
“He got through traffic and had an eight car-length gap on us,” Bonsignore said of Silk. “I was giving it everything I had, but I was still too tight on that set of tires. Coming to the white flag, I found something in turns three and four. I wrapped the yellow line, and it hooked really good. It was just too little, too late at that point.”
Coby ended up third despite his slide with 10 laps to go. Patrick Emerling salvaged a fourth-place finish after an incident on lap 127, and Trevor Catalano landed fifth in his Whelen Modified Tour debut.
Beers, Tyler Rypkema, Andrew Krause, Jake Johnson and Matt Hirschman rounded out the top 10.
Dawson Sutton won the pro late model feature.