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Ron Silk in victory lane at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (Dick Ayers photo)

Silk Takes Control With Thompson Score

THOMPSON, Conn. — Ron Silk needed a big day on Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park if he wanted to keep pace with Justin Bonsignore in the battle for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Silk powered to his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the season during the World Series 150 to regain the points lead and put himself in prime position to claim his second series championship with one race left in the season.

Like he has for most of the season, Silk found himself dueling with Bonsignore during the second half of the World Series 150 at the five-eighths-mile asphalt oval.

The two traded the lead multiple times in the final 50 laps, with Silk emerging as the race leader following a back-and-forth battle shortly after a lap-101 restart.

Multiple caution flags would follow, but Silk held the lead ahead of Bonsignore during each restart. The final restart with 12 laps left would prove vital to Silk not only winning the race, but potentially winning the championship.

When the green flag waved with 12 laps left, Silk launched successfully from the outside to retain the lead, but Bonsignore’s No. 51 didn’t get going on the bottom and stacked up the entire inside line.

Bonsignore quickly fell off the pace and dropped to the tail of the field before he eventually got his car back up to speed.

Silk took full advantage of Bonsignore’s misfortune and held off Jake Johnson to claim his 22nd career victory. It was also his sixth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Thompson.

“We struggled the first half of the race, really loose. We made some good adjustments at the (pit) stop,” said Silk. “I thought we turned a little bit better then everyone around us at the end there. They all looked to be a little bit tight. Just an awesome day. A lot of effort goes into all this. Just can’t thank everyone involved enough. Just really feels good to get back to victory lane.”

Bonsignore was able to gain a few positions after his late-race mishap to finish 13th. He explained after the race an error on his part during the final restart cost him a potential win and, perhaps more importantly, crucial points in the battle for the title.

“I just went to pull it into high (gear) and I don’t know if I was just nervous or choked, but I pulled it into reverse just about,” Bonsignore said. “I thought it was in and just broke and then finally through (turns) one and two I smacked it back down and got it into high again. Just gave that away. It happens.

“We’ll just have to go win (Martinsville) and hope he (Silk) does something as dumb as I just did.”

The victory by Silk unofficially gives him a 13-point lead on Bonsignore heading into the season finale at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26.

Defending race winner Eric Goodale finished third Sunday afternoon, followed by Kyle Bonsignore and Bobby Santos III.

Anthony Nocella, Andrew Krause, Craig Lutz, Woody Pitkat and Austin Beers completed the top 10.