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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Lost and Found

Denise DuPont

Ron Silk was honored at the Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala in Charlotte, NC as the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion.

Ron Silk flashed a big smile as the reality of his first modified championship sunk in.

“It was a great year,” said Silk reflecting on 2011. “I am very proud of what we all accomplished this year. I have a great team behind me and that is what has made it possible for us to win.”

There are many talented drivers that compete in the NWMT along with some of the very best equipment. Silk expressed his thoughts on the competition when he looked back on the seasons last race at Thompson International Speedway.

“The competition is our series is really tough and in any week there are almost ten cars that can win the race. After all year what it came down to was Thompson. It was really amazing we were pretty close after all those races. We had some bad luck and so did Todd (Szegedy) in that race. Luckily for us we were able to have a little less bad luck than Todd.”

Just when the #6 team thought that there was no way they could overcome their bad luck, they did, returning to challenge for the championship. “It was exactly like a caption I read “Lost and Found”. It was very nerve racking. We ran long and cautious going around trying to find a safe place to let the race unfold. Then to see if we could go forward to win it. Then we got caught up in someone’s blown motor and the car got wrecked pretty bad. My guys did a terrific job getting us back on the track. We were a lot of laps down but we made a lot of laps up. And it all worked out. Todd Szegedy had trouble in the end and then Lady Luck was with us.”

“It was an amazing season,” said NWMT Champion car owner Eddie Partridge. “I thought that we were going to struggle because we had a new body and we tried new traction in the back of the car. But it all came together. We ran really good and we had a lot of luck. Ronnie (Silk) is a great driver. I am so happy the way that it turned out.”

NWMT championship runner up Todd Szegedy was also dealt his share of bad luck at Thompson. “I think that it just came down to what it was meant to be. Silk had all the bad luck and wrecked and all I had to do was finish and then I got wrecked. So we did everything right. There was nothing more that I could have done. We definitely had the better team especially the last half of the race. We had such a big deficit that we had to overcome. We ran them down, we did everything we could. We won races and we won some poles everywhere we went. It just did not work out.”

Now that the 2011 season has ended race teams will head back to the garage and prepare for a new year and all the new challenges that they will be dealt.

Notes From Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala in Charlotte, NC.

What are you plans for 2012?

Ron Silk

“We are going to go back and try to win again. They have already built a new car since Thompson. We are getting all our stuff redone for next year so I think we should be as good and maybe better next year. We are just going to show up at the Ice Breaker and go from there. We already made the decision not to waste out resources doing other races so we are just going to hunker down and we will see what we can do on the tour next year.”

Eddie Partridge
“We are just going to run the tour (NWMT) full time and a lot of “Riverhead Raceway.”

Todd Szegedy
“All the same, except we will finish one position higher. All the same stuff. My busiest season is the winter so I do not get to the shop as much. So the crew chief and crew are going to rebuild the car and we will see if we can make it better for next year.”

Rowan Pennink
“We had a great start to the season and hopefully we can come back and have a good start again next year but continue to keep it going that way for the season.”

Justin Bonsignore
“I am really looking forward to 2012. I think that we have a real good chance to compete with guys like Ronnie, Todd and guys that are at the top of the chart and field. I am ready for the off season to be over already but there is a lot of work ahead and I just cannot wait.”

“Next year we are going to concentrate full time on the tour (NWMT) rather than running SK mods and stuff like that. That is our plan and hopefully we can be a stronger team by that.”

Along with the crowning of the champion several other awards were given.

Len Boehler Award
Eddie Partridge

“Receiving the award really surprised me. I do not know who selects the recipient, but I am very happy to get it.”

Ron Silk
They are definitely very deserving and it is an honor for them to get an award like the Len Boehler Award.”

What was your most memorable moment in 2011?

Todd Szegedy

“My most memorable 2011 moment is winning the race at Lime Rock (Park). Road courses are my favorite I wish we could have five tracks but then there are other guys that wish that we never go to one again. I grew up road racing and I have always had a heart for it. Driving a road course and doing well shows that you are well rounded in your skills. A road course is very difficult, you have to hit your marks and be very consistent.”

Rowan Pennink

“Finishing races second three times in a row.”

Justin Bonsignore
“It was a great year. It started out a little slow and was not what we would hope. But that is what keeps strong teams together and prevail through it. We were able to turn our season around. We got our first win in the second half of the season and we contended almost every week. We had three top fives and we could have finished off real strong at the end.”

“I would have to say my first win, but then running second to Newman (Ryan Newman) at Bristol (Motor Speedway) and competing for wins at New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) this year was just as big.”

“It was a great year. I was able to win the track championship at Riverhead (Speedway) on top of making the full time tour schedule. It was a lot of fun, busy but fun.”

  Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 13, 2011

©2011 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.