Modifieds to headline new September weekend with 250-lap event
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
LOUDON, N.H. — New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced on Friday a tripleheader NASCAR short track weekend that will replace the departing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend in September.
The event will be headlined by a 250-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will also compete in a 125-lap event while the NASCAR Pitny Series will make their first-ever trip to the United States for a 100-lap event.
The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22 next year.
“We are creating a short track weekend that I think fans from across the northeast are going to be excited about,” New Hampshire Motor Speedway General Manager David McGrath said during a press conference on Friday. “We feel like fans from all over the region are going to be excited.”
“It’s no secret there is a strong passion, a strong level of support for short track racing,” NASCAR Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy said. “The weekend we will have next September is going to be one not to miss.”
The 250-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event will be the longest event in series history.
“All of us what to win at Loudon,” four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby said. “You put us out there for 250 laps and it makes you want to win ten times more.
“It’s great to showcase us in front of fans.”
“It puts a great spotlight on our series,” Whelen Modified Tour driver Timmy Solomito said. “It lets us be able to show what we’re made of and what we can do.
“I think it’s going to be huge.”
For New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it continues the tradition of a marquee event at the one-mile oval since the NASCAR Cup Series first visited the speedway in September in 1997.
“I think it clearly puts the stamp that we’re going to remain a viable place to come in September and see great racing, some of the best racing that NASCAR has to offer,” McGrath said. “I’m excited that it is headlined by this huge Whelen Modified race. It’s going to become the new not-miss fan event of the fall.”
“It was a big part of (Speedway Motorsports, Inc.’s) mission when there were schedule changes that this be accomplished. I applaud (SMI Chairman) Bruton (Smith) and (SMI CEO) Marcus Smith and making sure this got across the goal line.”
While the American-Canadian Tour ACT Invitational has been a staple of the September weekend for the past nine years, McGrath stated that no decision has been made on the series’ potential involvement for next year.
“We’re still working through that now,” McGrath said. “I don’t have a definitive yes or no, but that is something we’re considering and looking at.”
VtMotorMag.com will have more from New Hampshire Motor Speedway later.
PHOTO: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline a newly created September Short Track Tripleheader weekend next year. (Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)