Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – In their last 2 starts at Stafford Speedway, Ron Silk and the #16 Future Homes / Blue Mountain Machine team have managed to find their way to NAPA Victory Lane.
Silk won the 2022 NAPA Fall Final and then won the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® with a dominating drive that saw him lead 86 of 100 laps back in April.
After scoring the biggest bag of his career with a $35,650 payday for his Sizzler® victory, Silk is eager to return to Stafford for the first time since that Sizzler® victory. Silk will chase after the $15,000 winner’s check for the Monaco Modified Series in the NAPA Fall Final on September 23rd and make it 3 wins in a row at the Connecticut half-mile facility.
“It’ll be great to go for 3 in a row,” said Silk. “I think we have as good a chance as anyone but it’s certainly not an easy race to win. The Fall Final has been a good race for me in the past and it’s always pretty cool when they pull the trophy out and you can see your name on there from seasons past. I’d certainly like to add my name to that trophy again. The last 2 times we’ve raced at Stafford we’ve been able to take away over $50,000. It’s tough to keep up those kind of performances but we’re very appreciative of Stafford and Tri-Track. The purses they’ve been putting up are fantastic and we’re looking forward to getting back there. Thanks to my car owners Joe Yannone and Tyler Haydt, Future Homes and Blue Mountain Machine. They’re the two guys who really make this possible for our entire team to do what we do and we’re fortunate to be a part of it.”
Although Silk has plenty of experience to lean on from his years of racing at Stafford, he hasn’t been on the track since the NAPA Spring Sizzler® in April while many of the other competitors who will fill the Monaco Modified field have either been racing weekly or have made starts in the track’s Open 80 events. While many could view Silk’s lack of track time in 2023 as a hindrance, Silk says that it might be a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve raced at Stafford a lot so I’m not worried about getting around the track,” said Silk. “Things change with time and the track is always a certain kind of way for Sizzler® Weekend and Fall Final Weekend if the weather cools down a little bit so maybe it will be a benefit for us to have not raced the Open 80s and adjust the car to the weather. I think we’ll be pretty close when we unload the car but that first practice is certainly important because you want to start the day on a good foot and have some speed off of the trailer to have a better outlook for the entire day. I’m confident we can show up and figure out what changes we need to make to keep up with how the track has changed and hopefully we can be in contention at the end of the race.”
Just as Silk is going for 3 wins in a row, Woody Pitkat is also looking to win his third consecutive race at Stafford. Pitkat closed out the 2022 season with 3 open modified wins in a row and he has won the last 2 open modified races at Stafford to give him 5 wins in his last 8 open modified starts. Silk knows Pitkat will be one of the pre-race favorites and one of the contenders he will have to deal with in order to take home the checkered flag.
“Woody will definitely be one of the guys we’ll have to contend with,” said Silk. “It’s going to be interesting to see if Matt Hirschman will be able to race or not. I know he was injured but it seemed like the Fall Final was maybe one of the races he was shooting for to return to. Hopefully he’s healing up and they’re two guys you always have to contend with and Ronnie Williams always runs strong at Stafford, so it’s going to be a tough field and you definitely have to be on top of your game if you want to be in the hunt.”
The NAPA Fall Final is set for Saturday, September 23rd and tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Fall Final are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for kids ages 6-14, kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license.