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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen All-American Series



Richie Evans Memorial 100

New Smyrna Speedway

Polly Reid

Despite not being a major factor for a podium finish the first two nights, despite getting a penalty for pitting too soon and having to start from the rear of the field, despite Chuck Hossfeld being there for the slightest of a hiccup-the last lap coming to the checkers, Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT and Chuck Hossfeld of Lockport, NY brought the fans to their feet as they battled to the line. It was Silk narrowly edging out Hossfeld at the stripe to win the coveted Richie Evans Memorial 100 trophy at the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

I was kind of fighting loose in there and I just missed and slid up a couple of inches and all of a sudden I saw Hossfelds nose under there. But I knew if I could just not spin the tires you can beat the guy on the bottom off the top- a great, great run, said Silk about the final circuit. A great night - we struggled the first two nights we were here, the guys never gave up they kept working real hard, they gave me a real good car today,

We were a couple of feet short there, said Hossfeld. The story of my life, Im like the bridesmaid. We have a great car, great team- its a lot of fun racing here at New Smyrna. I want to thank all my guys here and thank all the fans, Im glad we could put a good show on. Im pretty excited about the race- I wish we could have had that couple of feet that we needed.

We pitted for right sides, said Woody Pitkat in third who had watched the finish unfold in front of him. We were getting free there towards the end I dont know if we went too much on the adjustments, I raced hard there at first to get the lead and I dont know if I over-abused the right front and hurt the right rear there. This is an awesome finish- were having an awesome time down here. Well just try and get them tomorrow night.

Pitkat brought the field to green for the Richie Evans Memorial 100 with Andy Seuss on the outside, Hossfeld, Silk and Eric Goodale the top five. Pitkat kept the Hill Enterprises entry out front with first Silk then Hossfeld at his bumper.

The first yellow waved on lap 27 when Danny Watts came out of turn two and hit a water barrel. Pitkat remained the leader through the next caution on lap 42 and at the half under green it was Pitkat, Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Silk and Goodale the top five.
Al Emmarino spun on lap 65. That caution brought the leaders down pit row for tires including Pitkat, Hossfeld and Silk. Silk was penalized for pitting too soon and restarted at the rear of the field.

Burt Myers stayed out during the caution inheriting the lead with Jason Myers, Goodale, Pitkat and Emerling the top five.
From the green, Myers and Pitkat broke from the pack side by side, Pikat made his bid for the lead. After a couple of attempts, the fierce battle was settled on lap 72. Silk moved into second by lap 77 with Hossfeld right behind.

It was a three car break away with Pitkat, Silk and Hossfeld setting a torrid pace with 20 to go. Four circuits later, Silk made his move- side by side with Pitkat, Silk got the advantage becoming the new leader with 15 to go. Hossfeld used turns three and four making a low pass one circuit later to take over second and from there to the end, it was Silk and Hossfeld putting on the show.
Hossfeld took a look with five to go then on the last lap, turn four; Hossfeld drove deep, side by side with Silk to the checkers. The fans on their feet, Silk brought the Ed Partridge ride to the stripe for the win edging out Hossfeld.

Pitkat crossed third, Burt Myers and Jimmy Zacharias the top five. Goodale, Seuss, Emerling, Jason Myers and Jeremy Gerstner rounded out the top ten.

We freed our car up at the pit stop which was good, that was how I got by everyone. But it was starting to give up a little bit at the end and I kind of slipped up in 3 and it kind of gave me a wiggle and Hossfeld got it in there, said Silk. Chuck is awfully good to race with- he didnt get into me or anything. We dragged raced back to the line and I thought if I could get back to the gas on the top that I could beat him and we did.

Key was Silk being able to recover from the pit row penalty. I got in a good lane on the initial restart, Chuck was stuck on the bottom, so I was able to get by him and a couple of other cars quickly, then I ran Woody down and got by him and had a little distance from Chuck. It would have been very difficult to pass Chuck so making that pass on the initial restart was important.

The last three times before this Ive probably led the most laps in those three races but always something stupid happened this is one I definitely wanted to win and now we can check it off the list. We struggled the first two days here trying some stuff- we werent running like we wanted to run- the guys, Eddie, they never gave up, they kept working on it and making it better for today. We won the pole and the race- its been a pretty good day.

This is the third Richie Evans Memorial win for car owner Ed Partridge, the first two coming in 2006 and 2007 with Jimmy Blewett. It was a nail biter, said Partridge. You know, we were a rocketship the first night (Wednesday) we blew right to the front but our setup was only good for like 35 laps. Last night we floundered around and tonight we hit it.

Partridge has been coming to New Smyrna since 2001, only missing last year. If you dont come the first night youre a little bit behind the 8 ball. It takes a little while to catch up to everybody. The officiating, I feel really comfortable about that, Im going to be back. Sporting a Richie Evans t-shirt, Partridge wore the same shirt when they won at Loudon, I guess Ill be wearing this-a lot.

The familiar voice of Ben Dodge called the modified race at New Smyrna Speedway while Joe Coss came in to report from pit side and victory lane. It felt like a Friday night at Stafford- but in February- in 80 degree weather.

Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: February 23, 2013

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