As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour headed to their biggest stage, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it appeared that Ronnie Silk was on the outside looking in. The Connecticut driver had parted ways with the #79 Hillbilly Racing Modified team recently and did not even have a ride for the NHMS race until Eddie Partidge's TS Haulers team decided to put Silk in their second car.
And that second car wasn't merely a back-up car or start and park ride. The team let Silk race the machine. Shockingly, he raced it right into victory lane to score his first NHMS victory.
Silk passed Modified legend Reggie Ruggiero on the final lap to take down the victory. That performance earned Ronnie Silk this week's Speed51.com Pro Shocks Shock of the Week award.
Here are a few of our voter comments on Silk's performance:
"Ronnie Silk winning the NHMS race gets my vote," wrote one of one panelists. "The dude was without a ride. He's quiet like Yankee great Roger Maris and when some questioned his abilities, he stepped up to the plate in a big way... Shocking many with a career win.
"Silk gets my vote,. He stepped out of the Hillbilly Racing ride. He Did not have a ride for NHMS until Partridge put him in a second car and he made the most of that.
Also receiving votes this week were:
J.P. Morgan (Pro Cup) - It took J.P. Morgan 45 starts, but he has finally earned his first career USARacing Pro Cup victory. The shocking part is that the victory came on one of the tour's biggest tracks - Iowa Speedway - and in the middle of the pressure-packed Championship portion of the season. That is when we expect to see veterans like Bobby Gill and Clay Rodgers rise to the top, but this time it was a shocking victory by Morgan that was the story of the day.
Morgan finished just one vote shy of topping Silk in this week's competition.
Richie Dearborn (PASS North) - We're not the least bit surprised that Richie Dearborn won the PASS North race at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) on Friday night. While it is true that he has had bad luck and struggled at times in 2009, Dearborn is one of the quiet forces in PASS North and he has won at White Mountain before.
We are however shocked at just how Dearborn pulled off the victory. He led every single lap and enjoyed a lead of a half track at two different points in the race. Ben Rowe, Johnny Clark, Kelly Moore and others just didn't have anything for Dearborn. In PASS North, that type of dominance is rare and our voters found it to be shocking.
Nick Sweet (ACT) - The big guns were all loaded for the first-ever ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. While it turned out that everyone was racing for second-place behind NHMS master Eddie MacDonald, there was plenty of competition for second place. Brad Leighton is a legend at New Hampshire, Patrick Laperle brought a new car just for this event, Brian Hoar is leading the ACT point standings and has plenty of NHMS experience, the list went on.
But the guy who finished second was Thunder Road regular Nick Sweet. We're not really that surprised in one way because Sweet has been dropping the hammer in some big races this season as he ventures away from his home track on occasion. But we are sufficiently "shocked" that he pulled off such a fine run in such a big race against some tough competition. That earned him a vote this time around.
For his “Shock” of a performance, Silk will receive a product gift certificate from Pro Shocks, the short-track leader in racing shock technology and performance. Based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Pro Shocks has helped drivers on both dirt and asphalt perform better for more than 25 years.
Pro Shocks is proud to have the largest and most knowledgeable technical staff in the racing shock industry. For more information about Pro Shocks, log onto www.proshocks.com or call 770-995-6300.