That’s going to be a tough act to follow. The Whelen Modified Series put on a show at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today, as Mike Stefanik beat Ronnie Silk to the Granite Stripe by three one-thousandths of a second to win the Town Fair Tire 100.
The first race of three at NHMS on Saturday, Silk passed Stefanik going into the final turn, but a small bump exiting Turn 4 by Stefanik allowed the 22-year Modified veteran to pass the current points leader to win the second-closest finish in speedway history. Chuck Hossfeld held off by Ted Christopher by one one-thousandth of a second back in June of 2008.
“I’m 54, but I still feel like I’m 21,” said Stefanik. “I actually physically sat up in my seat and rolled my eyes to the right to see who won. It’s very exciting boy, very exciting – this is my closest victory ever.”
Doug Coby, Eric Beers and Todd Szegedy round out the top five behind Stefanik and Silk.
Silk was running a spec motor this weekend and was clearly the best car for much of the race, especially in the straightaways. Silk and Stefanik changed spots for the lead on nine occasions over the final 48 laps, and Stefanik believes had Silk’s car been adjusted correctly he wouldn’t have been able to run him down.
Silk, who was going for his second straight win at New Hampshire, wasn’t sure who crossed the Granite Stripe first, but knew the bump in Turn 4 was crucial to the finish.
“Mike did a fantastic job on that last lap,” said Silk. “I got a run on him into the final turn and he got up into the marbles, but he held it and got by me at the line. That bump was worth three one-thousandths.”
Rounding out the top 10 were Rowan Pennink, Andy Seuss, Donny Lia, Zane Zeiner and Woody Pitkat.
Next on the track will be the NASCAR Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200 at 3:30 p.m.
For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or to purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.