Seekonk, MA: (June 27, 2018): The traditional Open Wheel Wednesday, unofficially turned Tri-Track Tuesday, saw Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, claim the victory in Tri-Track Open Modified (TTOMS) Series competition and a cool $10,000 on the eve of Independence Day. The event, which began on Wednesday June 27, was halted after only 22 laps due to rain. Less than a week later, Silk was the class of the field scoring a popular victory aboard the Bob Horn owned #50. Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, came home second. Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, in relief of Rowan Pennink, who could not return for the conclusion of the race, finished third.
Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, recovered from a three-lap deficit to finish fourth. Home track favorite, Todd Annarummo, from Swansea, MA, completed the top five.
After two races of the four-race Tri-Track Series schedule, defending Series champion Matt Hirschman leads the point standings by a mere two points over Silk. The next race for the TTOMS is Saturday, July 28 at Star Speedway in Epping, NH.
Richard Savary led every lap of a caution-filled start to Open Wheel Wednesday before a persistent rain claimed the race at 9:25pm. With a dismal weather forecast for the original rain date of Thursday, track officials set July 3 for the resumption of the race. While nearly a week later when racing resumed, it was much of the same in the early going for Savary.
With the rain delay and the event tire rule, teams could pit during pace laps before the race officially went green. Hirschman, who would have lined up second for the restart, was among those to head pitside.
When the event officially went green again, Savary took the point with Rocco and Silk duking it out for second. Silk was able to take the spot away on lap 23. He immediately went to work on Savary for the lead. Dowling was making moves early; coming from scratch in the field.
The first caution of the night flew on lap 31 for a stalled Ricky Collins. Hersey received the free pass. Hirschman, who was making little progress from deep in the field, pitted once again under the caution. Dowling also headed to the pits.
Silk got alongside Savary on the outside groove on the ensuing restart. The two went wheel-to-wheel for several laps before Silk settled back in line in second. After a single lap, he dove low behind Savary and was able to steal the lead way on lap 35. Silk was the new leader over Savary, Rocco, Woody Pitkat and Tommy Barrett in the top five.
During the green flag run, Silk was able to get a bit of breathing room over Savary. Annarummo and Sammy Rameau were making headway taking positions away from Barrett.
Silk had nearly a straightaway advantage over Savary as the halfway point of the event approached. Rocco ran in third followed by Pitkat, Annarummo, Rameau, Jon McKennedy, Barrett, Matt Galko and Dan Meservey, Jr. inside the top ten at crossed flags.
The event’s ninth (second of the night) caution flew on lap 57 for a single-car spin by Dana DiMatteo. A number of contenders pitted during the caution period including Silk and Savary. Hersey once again received the free pass to join the remainder of the lead laps car for the ensuing restart.
Pitkat, who had earlier taken a position from Rocco, inherited the lead for the restart. Rocco had his hands full with Annarummo and McKennedy. Annarummo took advantage of the bottom groove to battle his way into second. He immediately put pressure on Pitkat for the lead and was able to take over the top spot on lap 63.
Rocco ran a few cars-lengths back as McKennedy struggled in the outside grove. After quick pit work and a fast race car, Silk was already back in the top-five by lap 65.
Dowling continued his march to the front; taking second from Pitkat, who continued to backslide falling to fourth. Rocco faded to seventh. Early leader Savary would spend much of the second half of the race in an out of the pits.
The third caution of the night came out for a spin by Meservey. For the lap 70 restart, Annarummo was lined up against Dowling. Silk was third beside McKennedy. Derek Ramstrom, Barrett, Hirschman, Colbey Fournier, Rameau and DiMatteo made up the remainder of the top -ten running order when the race went back to green.
Annarummo was able to retain his lead with Silk taking second from Dowling on lap 71. By lap 72, Silk once again was the leader; relegating Annarummo back to second. With Silk at the point, Dowling and Annarummo ran nose to tail. A torrid battle for fourth position involved Ramstrom, McKennedy and Hirschman.
On lap 78, Hirschman got the better of the battle to move into fourth. His charge forward was stalled for a spin by Galko. Fournier was also involved. Silk got a strong restart at lap 79, handily taking back the lead. Hirschman got underneath Annarummo and into third on lap 80.
Silk could not shake Dowling. Hersey, with a strong recovery, was on the outside grove chipping away at the top ten. McKennedy got underneath Ramstrom; taking Hershey along for the ride. Hersey quickly got by McKennedy to join the top-five.
With 10 to go, Silk had a several car-lengths lead over Dowling, who held a similar lead over Hirschman. A distance back was Annarummo. Hersey was able to take fourth from Annarummo on lap 94.
Hirschman was getting racy with Dowling with five laps to go. He tried the low groove to no avail, then the high-side in his effort to get by Dowling for second. This enabled Silk to stretch his advantage. Hersey was also running down the battle for second. Hirschman able to get by Dowling in the closing laps.
Out front it was all Silk who cruised under the checkered flag for the win; becoming the tenth different driver to win the 10K payday of Open Wheel Wednesday. Hirschman settled for second over Dowling, Hersey, and Annarummo inside the top five. Rameau, McKennedy, Pitkat, Savary and DiMatteo made up the top ten.
Several cars withdrew from the event and did not return for the resumption of the race including Jon Kievman, Steve Masse, Anthony Nocella, Les Hinckley and Mike Holdridge, several of which had misfortune on the original night of racing action. Ryan Preece, who had a previous commitment with Joe Gibbs Racing to run the Nationwide Series event in Daytona, was unable to return.
During qualifying on Wednesday, heat race victories went to Rocco, Mike Willis, Jr., Hirschman and Pennink. Preece and Carl Medeiros took down consolation event wins. A total of 39 cars attempted to qualify.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series, Seekonk Speedway, Open Wheel Wednesday, June 27/July 3 Official Finishing Order: 1. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 3. Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT; 4. Russ Hersey, N Swanzey, NH; 5.Todd Annarummo, Swansea, MA; 6. Sammy Rameau, Westminster, MA; 7. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, MA; 8. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 9. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 10. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT; 11. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 12. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 13. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 14. Ron Frees, Brick Township, NJ; 15. Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH; 16. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; 17. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 18. Dan Meservey, Jr., West Chatham, MA; 19. Rob Murphy, Rochester, MA; 20. Carl Medeiros, Westport, MA; 21. Ricky Collins, Williams Grove, PA; 22. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 23. Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL; 24. Steve Masse Bellingham, MA;25. Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA; 26. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 27. Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT.