DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The winters in Connecticut can be long, and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour offseason even longer, which is why Ron Silk and TS Haulers Racing eagerly anticipate the opportunity to hit the race track in Florida during 2013 Speedweeks.
The 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champions, Silk and the No. 6 crew will participate in the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track Daytona Int’l Speedway, Feb. 18-19. They’ll follow that up with by participating three nights at the World Series of Stock Car Racing at recently-NASCAR-sanctioned New Smyrna Speedway.
“We’re racers,” Silk said of the team’s motivation to head to Florida. “It’s been a long time since the [2012 season finale] World Series and we just want to get back on the race track. It’s nice to get away from the weather up here for a few days and get some racing in.”
Silk, from Norwalk, Conn., is locked into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour feature at Daytona by virtue of his race wins during the 2012 season. Drivers that won touring series races and championships in 2012 are locked into their respective features in Daytona. All others must qualify through heat races.
Following their 2011 championship campaign, Silk and the TS Haulers team won the 2012 opener at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway and the NASCAR Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tours combination race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but were not able to repeat as champions. The No. 6 team turned in a very solid attempted title defense, however, with nine top-five finishes and six races led during the 14-race schedule to finish third in the standings.
Turning the page to 2013 with championship aspirations once again, the No. 6 team will utilize the UNOH Battle At The Beach as a jumpstart to the season. They aren’t going to limit themselves to just the events at the .4-mile course at Daytona, however.
Team owner Ed Partridge has taken his TS Haulers Racing program to New Smyrna many times through the years, and they’ll return to the banked half-mile once again to compete in the Tour-Type Modified division after the UNOH Battle At The Beach.
“Ed likes to go racing – everyone on the team likes to go racing,” Silk said. “Pretty much anytime there is a race, Eddie wants to go racing in it, so that’s a lot fun.
“We’re going to go to Daytona on Monday and Tuesday, and then run Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at New Smyrna.”
Partridge’s No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet, with Tom Grasso returning as crew chief, is one of 22 combined entries received so far between the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours for the UNOH Battle At The Beach. Including Silk, six of those are also registered to participate in the New Smyrna World Series.