LOUDON, N.H. – Don't count Ron Silk out of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship picture just yet.
Silk capped off a strong, if weather-abbreviated afternoon, by winning the pole for Saturday's New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday. Silk, whose lead atop the series standings was surrendered to Todd Szegedy last week at Lime Rock Park, won this race in 2009.
"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing," Silk said.
Szegedy qualified eighth. He leads Silk by 12 points with three races remaining.
Eric Beers qualified second, with Justin Bonsignore qualifying third. Ryan Newman – who was stripped of his victory here in July after an apparent third straight Modified win at the track – qualified fourth.
Silk posted a fast lap of 29.764 seconds (127.967 mph) for his fifth career Whelen Modified Tour pole. He beat Beers by less than three one-hundredths of a second for the nod.
Silk won from the pole earlier this season at Stafford Motor Speedway.
"I think things are looking pretty good," Silk said. "I was pretty confident in the car to go out in qualifying and drive it hard... It was pretty close, but it was a good start to the weekend."
Neither Bobby Santos III nor Ted Christopher – the all-time winningest driver at NHMS – took qualifying attempts. Santos had travel issues that prevented him from making it to the track, while Christopher was dealing with a personal issue at home.
Szegedy practiced briefly in Santos' ride, while Mike Stefanik, who won here in August, took a few laps for Christopher.