Silk Takes New Hampshire 100 Fourth Career Win, First at New Hampshire LOUDON, N.H. -- Ron Silk passed Reggie Ruggiero on the backstretch of the last lap and held on through Turns 3 and 4 to earn the victory in the New Hampshire 100 Saturday at...
Silk Takes New Hampshire 100
Fourth Career Win, First at New Hampshire
LOUDON, N.H. -- Ron Silk passed Reggie Ruggiero on the backstretch of the last lap and held on through Turns 3 and 4 to earn the victory in the New Hampshire 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
It was Silk's fourth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win and his first at the 'Magic Mile' -- traditionally one of the most prestigious events on the schedule.
Silk, of Norwalk, Conn., swapped the lead with Ruggiero three times and ran bumper-to-bumper in the last 10 laps, with Silk surviving the battle.
"My car sucked up in the draft really good," Silk said. "I think if I would have passed him on the frontstretch then he would have passed me back down the backstretch, so I just waited until I could make the move last.
"He [Ruggiero] moved down to protect the bottom a little bit, but I got in there and he gave me the room," Silk said. "It was good racing on the last lap."
Ruggiero settled for a fourth-place finish after getting shuffled three spots on the last lap. Donny Lia crossed the line second followed by pole winner Ryan Preece and Mike Stefanik finished fifth.
Lia entered the race third in points but his car caught fire during practice on Thursday and he was not able to qualify. After starting at the rear on Saturday with a provisional, Lia was involved in an early accident and went down three laps. He was the beneficiary during three subsequent cautions, and rocketed toward the front for a runner-up finish.
"After the first wreck, we just didn't know [if it was going to be a lost day], but we were able to continue on," Lia said. "And then we had that problem down in [Turns] 1 and 2, and we were pretty bad after that. We broke the upper control arm, bent both spindles and a couple wheels and ripped some bars off of it."
Lia's effort moved him up to second, 48 points behind Ted Christopher with three races remaining. Christopher finished seventh.
"There was a lot of luck involved, and a lot of heart from my guys," Lia said. "I've got to hand it to my guys, they never give up."
Rowan Pennink, Christopher, Ryan Newman, Erick Rudolph and Chuck Hossfeld rounded out the top 10. It was the best NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour finish for Newman, who is a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor, in his fourth start.
"I've always said that this is the best racing that's here all weekend, and I'm just honored to be a part of it," Newman said. "There are a lot of great drivers in this series and they were a lot of fun today."
Todd Szegedy was involved in an accident on Lap 84 and settled for 29th, which ended his streak of top-10 finishes at 13 and dropped him from second to fourth in the championship standings.
The race featured 17 lead changes among eight drivers, and was slowed by 11 cautions.
Ruggiero -- a part-time competitor -- was one of the eight to lead a lap, marking the first race he had run up front in two years. No driver led more than 18 laps in the race.
The 11th race of the 2009 season will take place Sunday, Sept. 27 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The Made In America Whelen 300 will be the second and final combination race of the year with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.