Zachem Has His Tour Best 2nd Place Run
The New London- Waterford Speedbowl is the third stop for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The tour has raced at this track for 5 consecutive seasons. The New England Cycle Center 161 is a tribute to the “Rapid Roman” Richie Evans. The grandstands were packed with cheering fans who were ready to see the premier drivers in the Northeast take the track.
After being the fastest competitor during the practice sessions, Eric Goodale won the pole during the time trials. This was the second career pole for Goodale, his first came at Monadnock Speedway in 2013. Starting on the outside pole by his side was Chase Dowling who is in his second season on the tour.
During the start of the race Nick Salva got loose and went high into turn 1 and rolling through the turn and down the track Melissa Fifield hit Salva. Andrew Krause, Wade Cole, and Walter Sutcliffe Jr. were also involved in the wreck in turn two. The wreck caused a red flag to come out and stopped the race for 12 minutes. The next caution came only 4 laps after the restart when Bobby Santos and Tom Abele Jr., went into the wall between turns one and two.
The third caution of the event came out when Ted Christopher spun into the infield on lap 19. At the same time Christopher was spinning Rowan Pennink hit the wall between turns one and two, he was able to return to the race many laps down. On lap 39 Timmy Solomito spun 360 degrees exiting turn 4 after contact with Doug Coby and was able to keep the car moving, however the caution flag flew for the fourth time in the race.
Eric Goodale looked strong through the opening laps of the race jumping out front on the restarts, but Ron Silk was soon on his bumper pressuring him for the lead.
Ron Silk was able to take the lead away from Eric Goodale on lap 50 of the race. The 5th caution of the race came out on lap 73 when the Dowling machine had a right front tire go down and he hit the wall on the front straight away. The 6th caution came out only 13 laps later when Craig Lutz had a right front tire go down.
The 7th caution came out when Dave Sapienza got into the wall in turn 3 after getting hit by Solomito. On the restart the 8th caution comes out for Doug Coby who spins into the turn 2 wall. Goodale also left the race after not having a good restart, Goodale will not return to the race.
The 9th caution flew when Solomito lost a tire and pushed Pitkat up and Pitkat hit the wall in turn 2, Pitkat wouldn’t be able to return to the race. The 10th caution came out on lap 150 when Solomito got spun and hit the wall in turn 4.
After taking the lead back on lap 50, Ron Silk was able to hold off Max Zachem and Jimmy Blewett through many restarts and never gave up the lead to win the New England Cycle Center 161.
Max Zachem also had his strongest performance since joining the Whelen Modified Tour full time in 2015, bringing home a second place finish at his home track. Max was able to hold off strong pressure from tour veterans such as Ted Christopher and Jimmy Blewett much of the night.