PHOTO: The American-Canadian Tour may race twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next year. (Eric LaFleche/ photo)

LOUDON, N.H. — Just as the American-Canadian Tour drivers are getting used to the idea of racing on the “Magic Mile” at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, they may get the chance to do it twice next year.

NHMS vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens said on Wednesday that the possibility of the Waterbury, Vt.-based Late Model series visiting the 1.058-mile superspeedway twice in 2011 is a very real one.

While in negotiations with the Indy Racing League to land a date on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule for next year, Gappens began formulating a back-up plan in case the Indy date didn’t come together.

“I had some discussions that if we didn’t get the Indy cars we’d create a ‘super short track’ weekend, sort of like the old Copper World Classic out in Phoenix, and having that in mid-August,” said Gappens.

Since an IndyCar date is now officially set for August 14, a stand-alone short track weekend likely won’t happen soon. But the idea of hosting several short track touring series is one that Gappens is still toying with. That would include events for, in Gappens’ mind, appearances by the United States Auto Club or International Super Modified Association, a third annual date for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, a second annual date for the ACT Late Model Tour, or a combination of all three — or more — as companions with the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights Series.

“Now what I’m looking at is, can we condense that down into a one-day show, or have qualifying on Friday but have all the features on one day with Modifieds, Super Modifieds, maybe Formula Atlantic or another open-wheel series, or the ACT Late Models,” said Gappens. “I think we’ve got some options, but I have to look at what’s available. I don’t want to step on the short tracks around the area, either. If we got people in here on a Saturday [but] they can’t go support their local short track from a car-count standpoint, that wouldn’t be good.”

Gappens pointed directly to ACT as a series he’d like to see on the card, and says talks have already begun with ACT president Tom Curley. However, instead of running an invitation-only event like ACT did in 2009 and will again next month, the event would award points and be part of the ACT Late Model Tour championship schedule.

“Obviously, Tom Curley and ACT are interested in [a second race], and they would maybe look more at it being a points race instead of just the Invitational,” Gappens said. “I’d give them a chance to maybe do a points thing with qualifying on a Friday and not have the time constraints they do currently with the Invitational and have to work around NASCAR’s schedule.”

Gappens said the ACT Invitational ‘all-star’ type event would likely remain as-is during the NASCAR Sylvania 300 weekend in September, but a points race — open to any and all ACT-legal Late Model teams — is also something of interest to both New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the American-Canadian Tour.

“I think they would keep it as an invitational for the Cup weekend, but they would look at trying to do a points thing if we do something off a Cup weekend, whether it’s an IndyCar weekend or if we did a stand-alone thing. There is interest in it,” Gappens said.

So, just two years after its first race on the “Magic Mile,” there is a chance for two ACT events in 2011.

“Yes there is. Oh yeah,” says Gappens. “We’ve been working on that as a contingency, especially if we hadn’t gotten an IndyCar race. Now I want to go back and see if Tom can do it on a Saturday during the IndyCar weekend.”