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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Reen Earns First Career Win In Finale At Thompson

Ron Silk survived an eventful season finale to take home the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson International Speedway.

Glen Reen took home the checkered flag in a wild event that saw a season-high 16 cautions and the maximum three green-white-checker events attempts for his first career victory, but it was Silk that left with the biggest hardware of the weekend.

A six-year veteran of the Whelen Modified Tour, Silk survived an early-race accident to finish 16th and clinch the first championship of his career.

Silk, a 28-year-old from Norwalk, Conn., brought a 54-point lead on Todd Szegedy into Thompson. Szegedy ran ahead of Silk for most of the event, but the points lead went back and forth as Szegedy looked to work his way into the top 10. He pitted late after avoiding one wreck and then had his chances ended when he was involved in the 14th caution on Lap 149. Szegedy finished 25th.

“It was pretty much the worst day of my life, with a really good ending,” Silk said of the rollercoaster day. “We went around in someone’s oil when they blew up, the guys got it fixed as fast as they could and we only lost a few laps. We were able to go out there and fight for everything we had.”

Silk actually rejoined the field nine laps down in 29th place, but was the recipient of the free pass five-consecutive times and advanced in the running order as other cars fell out of the race.

Silk finished with 2,443 points -- 76 ahead 2003 champion Szegedy. Eric Beers finished a career-best third while Rowan Pennink and Doug Coby rounded out the top five.

Sunday marked the first victory in 43 career starts for Reen, the 2008 Sunoco Rookie of the Year and a part-time competitor from Wilbraham, Mass. Bobby Santos finished second and Matt Hirschman third.

It was an action-packed conclusion to the race for Reen, who led the final 29 laps. He had to hold off the field through the last four restarts to earn his first trip to Victory lane, where the No. 17 Silberman Heating & Cooling/Alloy Wheel Repair Chevrolet had to be pushed because he couldn’t drive it in.

“If you told me this morning that I was going to start 24th and win this race, I’d tell you [that] you were out of your mind,” Reen said. “The clutch actually just broke, it was breaking the last six restarts so I couldn’t get a good restart at all, and I didn’t even know how much fuel was left. I was freaking out and my spotter was the only one calming me down.”

Chuck Hossfeld, Tom Rogers Jr., Keith Rocco, Eric Beers, 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Patrick Emerling, Mike Stefanik and Eric Goodale brought home the top 10 in the 16th and final race of the Whelen Modified Tour season.

Sunday was the best season finish for Hossfeld and Rogers, and the first Whelen Modified Tour races for Rocco and Stefanik with their respective teams.

Pole-sitter Ryan Preece led the first 36 laps, but was caught up in the Lap 145 accident and finished 26th in his first race with Flamingo Motorsports. Three-time defending Sunoco World Series winner Ted Christopher was caught up in an accident 10 laps later and was relegated to 22nd.

The Sunoco World Series tied the Whelen Modified Tour season high for different race leaders with six, also recorded in the season opener at Thompson. It was also the longest race in terms of laps (168) and time (1:46.30) at the track since the 2005 Thompson 300.

Silk and the No. 6 T.S. Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet team will be honored as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Dec. 10 in Charlotte, N.C.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Sunoco World Series Unofficial Results
Sunday At Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length:
0.625 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1. (24) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 168 laps, 59.155 mph.
  2.   (5) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Dodge, 168.
  3. (22) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 168.
  4. (14) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 168.
  5. (11) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 168.
  6. (34) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 168.
  7. (10) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 168.
  8. (19) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Ford, 168.
  9. (17) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 168.
10.   (9) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 168.
11. (30) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 168.
12. (33) Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y., Chevrolet, 168.
13. (31) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 168.
14.   (7) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 167.
15.   (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 167.
16.   (8) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 164.
17. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 163.
18. (28) Daniel Hemric, Kannapolis, N.C., Pontiac, 161, accident.
19. (21) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 158.
20. (32) Rob Fuller, Boylston, Mass., Ford, 158.
21. (12) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 155, accident.
22.   (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 155, accident.
23. (29) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 152.
24. (27) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148, accident.
25.   (4) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 148, accident.
26.   (1) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 145, accident.
27. (20) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 135, accident.
28. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 135, accident.
29. (16) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135, accident.
30. (26) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126, accident.
31. (23) Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, R.I., Chevrolet, 69, accident.
32. (15) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 60, broken axle.
33.   (6) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 53, engine.
34. (18) Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 52, accident.

Race Statistics
Time of Race:
1 hour 46 minutes 30 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.133 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R. Preece (120.747 mph, 18.634 seconds)
Caution Flags: 16 for 84 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-36; T. Szegedy 37-66; D. Coby 67-106; G. Reen 107-116; E. Berndt 117-135; J. Bonsignore 136-143; G. Reen 144-168.

Standings: 1. R. Silk, 2443; 2. T. Szegedy, 2367; 3. E. Beers, 2309; 4. R. Pennink, 2219; 5. D. Coby, 2214; 6. M. Hirschman, 2163; 7. J. Bonsignore, 2141; 8. B. Santos, 2133; 9. T. Christopher, 2053; 10. E. Rudolph, 2051


  Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR
Posted: October 16, 2011

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