Ron Silk visited victory lane for the 18th time in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the season opener on Saturday at New Smyrna Speedway. Piloting the No. 16 Blue Mountain Machine and Future Homes entry, Silk held off Justin Bonsignore and Matt Hirschman to earn the trophy.
Bonsignore fought Silk hard for the win, finishing 0.542 seconds behind the winner. The driver of the No. 51 entry leaves the track with 104 top-five and 139 top-10 finishes in the series.
Silk leaves the season-opener at the half-mile Florida track with 93 career top five and 144 top 10s.
Matt Hirschman made it a three-car battle for the lead late before settling for the third-place position. The Pennsylvania driver came into the opener as the reigning winner and pole sitter in the inaugural event one year ago.
Anthony Sesely finished fourth in his series debut while pole starter Doug Coby rounded out the top five. Coby overcame adversity after being involved in a multi-car accident on lap 168 in turn two. It was the fifth time that the yellow flag slowed the field.
Jake Johnson, Dave Sapienza, Austin Beers, Anthony Nocella and Tommy Catalano rounded out the top 10.
The caution flag slowed the field five times throughout the 200-lap event.
The first was drawn on lap 18 involving Brian Robie and Ken Heagy. About five laps later after returning to green flag conditions, the No. 32 of Tyler Rypkema went around in turn three drawing the second yellow. Rypkema continued to finish 11th.
On lap 83 J.R. Bertuccio Jr. went around in turn two. The driver of the No. 2 finished 30th and 54 laps down as a result. Jake Johnson and Craig Lutz tangled to bring out the fourth yellow of the race on lap 157. Lutz went on to an 18th-place finish.
Missed the race? Or don’t have FloRacing? Catch the replay from New Smyrna Speedway on February 19th at 10:00 am ET. on CNBC
The series will return at Richmond Raceway on March 31st. The event will air live on FloRacing.