Not only did Silk move into sole possession of 10th on the all-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins list with his 21st career victory, but he also increased his advantage in the series points standings after Justin Bonsignore was collected in a late-race accident.
Silk entered the Toyota Mod Classic 150 with just a one-point lead on Bonsignore in the battle for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. While he was relieved to build some breathing room between himself and Bonsignore, Silk understands that his fortunes can easily change during the five races of the year.
“It was nice to capitalize with a win, but there’s still quite a bit to go and anything can happen,” Silk said. “We hadn’t had a bad race yet. Hopefully we don’t, but there’s always that chance, so we’ll try to keep [the momentum] going.”
Silk’s points lead was in jeopardy during the opening stages of the Toyota Mod Classic 150, as Bonsignore controlled the field from the pole.
The path to the front from his eighth-place starting position was a grind for Silk. He had to patiently time his moves around Oswego’s unique five-eighths-mile layout to gain crucial track position, but he made gradual progress on Bonsignore as the laps clicked off.
A restart shortly after the halfway point was the opportunity Silk needed to take advantage of Bonsignore’s ill-handling car to take the race lead.
“I really slipped up in qualifying, which got us back to eighth,” Silk said. “I was able to drive to third on that first run. The guys had a great pit stop and we came out second. I was better than [Bonsignore] was at the beginning. He looked tight in the middle and I could cross him over and get the lead.
“My car was phenomenal during the second half of the race.”
Bonsignore was attempting to chase down Silk when disaster struck for the three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.
While trying to pass Tommy Catalano for second, Bonsignore collided with the slower car of Gary McDonald on the low side of the track entering Turn 1. All three cars crashed, with Bonsignore and Catalano taking heavy hits into Oswego’s foam barriers.
The damage to Bonsginore’s Modified was significant enough to keep him on the sidelines for the final 20 laps, all while Silk fended off an aggressive charge from Austin Beers to pick up his second career Oswego victory.
Silk knows Bonsignore is going to make a push for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the final five races of the year, especially with two of Bonsignore’s best tracks, Riverhead Raceway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, still on the schedule.
“It’s always good to win,” Silk said. “We’ve had quite a battle so far and it’s not over yet. You don’t want to see someone have something like that happen to them, but there’s quite a few races to go.”
Following Silk and Beers in third at Oswego was Bobby Santos III, with Anthony Sesely and Kyle Bonsignore completing the top-five. The rest of the top-10 finishers were Jimmy Zacharias, Jon McKennedy, Tyler Rypkema, Tommy Catalano and Tyler Catalano.
A replay of the Toyota Mod Classic 150 at Oswego Speedway will air on CNBC at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 17.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday night for the Winchester Fair at Monadnock Speedway, which serves as the third and final leg of the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup. FloRacing has the coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
7th Annual Bod Mod Classic (150-laps): 1. 16 RON SILK, 2. 64 Austin Beers, 3. 14 Bobby Santos III, 4. 19 Anthony Sesely, 5. 22 Kyle Bonsignore, 6. 71 Jimmy Zacharias, 7. 77 Jon McKennedy, 8. 32 Tyler Rypkema, 9. 54 Tommy Catalano, 10. 84 Tyler Catalano, 11. 18 Ken Heagy, 12. 26 Gary McDonald, 13. 59 Andy Jankowiak, 14. 4 Tim Connolly, 15. 51 Justin Bonsignore, 16. 82 Craig Lutz, 17. 3 Bryan Narducci, 18. 01 Melissa Fifield