LOUDON, N.H. (WWLP) - Faster than the blink of an eye. That was Mike Stefanik's win over Ron Silk in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 100 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Saturday.
The last lap dash saw Stefanik hold on to beat the defending Whelen Tour Champion by 3 thousands of a second. Experts estimate a single eye blink takes about 3 to 4 tenths of a second. Doug Coby worked his way up to a 3rd place finish.
Silk dominated the 1st half of the race. Starting from the pole his lead was as much as 10 car lengths at times. But Silk's car wasn't as powerful after the Lap 47 mid-break time out, and Stefanik and Silk repeatedly traded the lead over the final third of the event.
The finish was so close that neither driver was sure at the checkered flag who actually had won the race. When asked after the race if this was the closest finish he had ever been involved in, Silk replied "If it was .003 I'd say it probably is. But it sucks being on the wrong end of it, I can tell you that." Stefanik savored his 8th NHMS Modified win, including 2 of the last 3 tour races there, "This feeling I have today never gets old. I'm 54 years old. I still feel like I'm 21."
NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Ryan Newman started 5th and crashed out of the competition on lap 47. Newman was credited with 30th place in a field of 34 cars. Ryan Blaney, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Dave Blaney made his 1st NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start at the Magic Mile.
From the 11th position Blaney's afternoon ended on lap 37 with a turn 2 wreck that had him finish 33rd overall. Blaney told 22News how much his father has helped him: "He tells me everything. He's been my biggest help in my career. I'm not afraid to go to him at the racetrack and he's not afraid to come tell me what he sees I could be doing better. I encourage it, I like it when he comes over and gives me some advice. And it gives me a little bit of an upper hand on the field."
NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Brad Keselowski voiced his disapproval of drivers taking vitamins and supplements, following the failed drug test and suspension of teammate A.J. Allmendinger. Keselowski made his remarks Friday in a news conference after qualifying. NASCAR National Champion and Mod Tour driver Keith Rocco agreed, "I don't see how any of that is even needed. Racing is a drug, an addiction, it's what you want to do every day of your life. My seat's my drug."
Past Mod Tour Champion Todd Szegedy shared a different opinion, "I take vitamins. I think vitamins are good for you. I don't have the time to eat right. So I take my multi-vitamins in the morning. These aren't the old days though. These are modern times. The competition is a lot tougher than it was back then. Back then guys had cars that were much more superior. So they could go out drinking all night, be hammered the next morning, and not have to worry about it. In this day and age there's a lot more equal equipment, and a lot more equal talent. So you got to do whatever you can to better yourself. You got to work out and you got to take supplements and vitamins or whatever you got to do to make yourself better. I'm all for it."
On Saturday Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200 at Loudon. Brad started from the pole and led over 65% of the laps in a dominating performance that marked his 1st Nationwide victory at the Magic Mike. Kevin Harvick was 2nd with Austin Dillon 3rd. Dillion also won the 1st of 4 $100,000 Dash4Cash bonuses.