Newman beaten for pole
Silk takes top spot for New Hampshire 100
LOUDON, N.H. - In a shocking turn of events, Ryan Newman did not win the pole position for today’s New Hampshire 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
That honor went to Ron Silk, of Norwalk, Conn., who turned a fast lap of 127.967 miles per hour at the 1.058-mile oval. Silk narrowly bested Eric Beers, who was second in 127.842.
Justin Bonsignore was third (127.816), while Newman was fourth (127.419).
Newman, who swept last year’s Modified Tour events at NHMS, had his pole victory and race win in July’s event here nullified when his car, owned and prepared by NASCAR crew chief Kevin “Bono’’ Mannion, failed the postrace inspection.
Todd Szegedy, who vaulted to the Modified Tour points lead after his victory last week at Lime Rock, Conn., was installed as the winner of that race.
“Everybody in the field wants to beat him,’’ Silk said of Newman. “It was nice to beat him in qualifying this time. It was like a small victory.
“I was around him in practice a little bit and he’s got a really good car,’’ added Silk, who trails Szegedy by 12 points in the Modified Tour standings. “But I thought my car was just as good, maybe a little bit better than his.
“Obviously, you want to beat him, but you can’t focus on one guy or else you’ll drive yourself crazy. So we’ll go out and try to beat everybody, not just him.’’
Bobby Santos, of Franklin, Mass., was unable to qualify his No. 4 Mystic Missile Dodge (which will feature a special paint scheme in tribute to late Modified legend Richie Evans) because of flight problems from Chicago. He will start at the rear of the field.
Bold McDonald Eddie McDonald, of Rowley, Mass., qualified second-fastest in 127.363 m.p.h. to earn a starting spot on the front row alongside pole sitter Darrell Wallace Jr. in today’s 125-lap NASCAR K&P Pro Series East event.
“Starting up front is going to be a nice change,’’ said McDonald, who was forced to start 33d in July’s K&P Pro Series East race at NHMS because of a blown engine during practice. “But I really would’ve liked to have gotten that pole.’’
Wallace, who ranks third in the series standings, 105 points behind Max Gresham, earned that right with his fast lap of 127.602 m.p.h.
McDonald, who was unable to make a qualifying attempt in July because of his engine swap, went to the rear of the field and worked his way to the front. But he wound up getting hit with a pass-through penalty for a pit-road violation with about 50 laps to go, forcing him to the rear of the field for the second time in the race. He wound up finishing ninth.
“That weekend,’’ McDonald joked, “it seemed like we passed so many cars and didn’t end up anywhere.’’
Getting his kicks Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20
Michael Whitmer of the Globe staff contributed to this report from Foxborough, Mass.; Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.