A Battle to the Finish: Musket 250 Goes to Chase Dowling After Wild Final Turn Crash

LOUDON, N.H. – After 250 hard fought laps and numerous lead changes, of course the Whelen Modified race came down to the final turn of the final lap to determine a winner in a wild finish to the Musket 250. When the dust had settled, Chase Dowling sped across the Granite Stripe to win the longest race in series history. The pole sitter Dowling takes home $25,000 plus $100 for every lap he led through the afternoon; quite a haul for the young driver who captured his first ever Modified victory. He nearly took home the checkered flag at NHMS in July, losing the summer race by .014 seconds.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Dowling. “This race is a lot different than earlier in the year. You’re leading one moment and then you pit out and you don’t know where you are when you come out; you just had to be patient.”

Patience was in short supply at the end of the race. With five laps to go, Patrick Emerling gave a huge push to Ryan Preece, launching him back into the lead spot, but that was short lived after Emerling gave another push, this time to Justin Bonsignore, putting Preece in second. In a last lap pass attempt, Preece’s front right tire tangled with Bonsignore’s left rear, causing them to wreck in turns three and four, clearing the path for Dowling to take the checkered flag.

“It’s New Hampshire, just trying to win,” said Preece, who restarted his battered race car and forced it across the finish to ensure a fifth place finish. “Ended up getting the big run, I pulled down, saw grass, checked up, saw a hole and ended up on his left rear nerf bar. I was trying to get off it, but you can’t get off. It’s not the way I wanted to end, and I’m sure it’s not the way he [Dowling] wanted to win, but at the end of the day it is what it is.”

Emerling finished second and avoided the chaos of the last turn. “We didn’t have the best car, but we had an awesome strategy, and it worked in our favor,” said Emerling. “Anything can happen in the last corner.”

The Musket 250 tested drivers to their limits. Never before has a Modified race gone 250 laps, and never before have these drivers been required to make green flag pit stops. Those who were successful clearly enjoyed the challenge.

“I could do this every weekend,” said Burt Myers, third place finisher. “I’ve heard friends tell me Modifieds are the best race of the weekend, and I believe it. It was a blast, but I could do another 250 if you wanted to.”

For ticket information for events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the upcoming Extreme Chunkin Festival, Oct. 20-21, visit the speedway website at www.NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.

Tripleheader Takes New England Back To Its Racing Roots

“Magic Mile” Puts NASCAR’s Short Track Series On Center Stage

 For NASCAR’s regional touring series, what’s old is new once again at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Saturday’s New England short track showdown will host three different divisions in a unique tripleheader aimed at highlighting three of the best short track divisions from both the United States and Canada. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Pinty’s Series join the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the event which harkens back to the days before New Hampshire Motor Speedway ever hosted its first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in the mid-1990s.

When the 1.058-mile speedway first opened in 1990 — the largest in New England, both then and now — it did so with regular doubleheaders featuring the former Busch North Series and the Whelen Modified Tour. In those days, names like Mike McLaughlin, Steve Park, Ricky Craven, Mike Stefanik and Reggie Ruggiero made trips to Victory Lane.

While the track hosted two Cup Series events annually for a 20-year span from 1997-2017, it recognized its history at the grassroots levels of the sport. With an open September weekend on its schedule this season, the time was perfect for NHMS to return to its roots.

TICKETS: Full Throttle Weekend at New Hampshire

“It certainly is in our DNA,” NHMS General Manager David McGrath said. “Always has been, always will be. We certainly see the value, and we are thrilled that fans come out for all those races.”

The weekend is more than just the racing, too. With limited garage access during tightly-managed Cup weekends, the track is promising fans much closer proximity to drivers and cars during the New England Short Track Showdown.

And while the event is not the first tripleheader in the track’s history, having held standalone NASCAR Xfinity Series races with the K&N Pro Series and Modifieds on the undercard in the past, Saturday will still mark a first.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Whelen Modified & K&N Pro Series races at New Hampshire

The Musket 250 for the Whelen Modified Tour will be the longest race in series history and the most lucrative with a purse of over $25,000.

“It’s always huge when we can be the premier division at races. Even when we’re not, we usually put on the best races,” Whelen Modified Tour point leader Justin Bonsignore said. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for our series, for K&N and for Pinty’s to be the lead divisions at an event and have the fans come in and get to know the drivers better.”

“Let’s put it clearly, the Whelen Modifieds put on one whale of a show at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and I think that the fans are absolutely ecstatic about this 250-lap (race),” McGrath said. “They’re going to put on a great show for our fans and we are so happy about it. We’re not backing off.”

ENTRY LISTS: Whelen Modified Tour | Pinty’s Series | K&N Pro Series East

On the K&N Pro Series side, the Apple Barrel 125 will be the first series race at NHMS not held on a Cup weekend in nearly two decades. The race will be the longest at the track for the series since 2011, the last year it visited Loudon twice in the same season.

“It will be a little different being there without one of the top three series, it’s a little weird,” said Tyler Ankrum, the California rookie who leads the K&N Pro Series East standings with four wins — one of them at Loudon in July. “Every NASCAR track we’ve gone to all year, the Cup Series is there with us. You need to still be on top of your game, though — you should be on top of your game no matter what. You want to feel like a Rick Hendrick or a Joe Gibbs is watching you at these types of tracks, and they should be watching us. We’re the next thing — along with the Modifieds and the Pinty’s guys.”

PIT BOX: Tyler Ankrum Leads K&N Pro Series East Field To Magic Mile

Ankrum, though just 17 years old, is keenly aware of the series’ history at NHMS.

“The call it the Magic Mile, because it’s magical,” Ankrum said with a laugh. “As awkward and childish as it sounds, it’s true. I think it’s really cool that it was a road course before (Briar Motorsports Park). When we won there at the beginning of the year, my grandfather who’s 70-something, even he didn’t know that. I think that’s a really cool thing about the place.”

While Saturday’s race marks the 69th in series history for the Modifieds, and the 73rd overall for the K&N Pro Series East, it’s a first for the Pinty’s Series. The Canadian series has never raced at New Hampshire.

In fact, the Visit New Hampshire 100 will mark the first series race in the United States.

PIT BOX: Dumoulin & Tagliani Lead Pinty’s Series to New Hampshire

“I’m very proud of our Canadian national series and the fans are going to be treated to … side-by-side battles and action all over the track,” said Pinty’s Series point leader L.P. Dumoulin. “There are at least 10 or more drivers with the equipment and talent to win, and the race is going to be awesome.”

With late-season point battles, extra distances and plenty of purse money on the line on a big standalone stage, all three races which are part of the inaugural New England Short Track Showdown promise to deliver.

Five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby is a firm believer that you don’t need Cup cars at New Hampshire to have a first-rate race weekend for fans in the northeast and Canada.

RELATED: Custom Musket & Trophy Revealed For Inaugural Musket 250 Winner

“We’ve always been the main event in our world,” said Coby, a four-time winner at NHMS. “This is just a beast that we’ve never tried to tame before. The race can go in a lot of different directions — and whatever direction it goes in, the cool thing is that if we keep doing this every year, it will be something different for the fans every year.”

COLTON RV RETURNS TO THE PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS & CASINO RACE OF CHAMPIONS WEEKEND

-Colton RV Renews Naming Rights to Camping Areas for the 68th Annual Race of Champions-

North East, Pa. – (September 19, 2018) – The management team of the Race of Champions and Colton RV are proud to announce a partnership in regard to once again hold the naming rights of the campgrounds for the Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania, Thursday, September 28 through Saturday, September 30. Campers will have the ability to camp in the “Colton RV Campgrounds at Lake Erie” – outside the turn four VIP Building.  Campers may camp in the secured “Colton RV Campgrounds at Lake Erie” throughout the event, beginning Wednesday, September 27 for just $50.

For more than 50 years the Colton family has been a recognized family name in the automotive industry including motorsports. The family patriarch, Bill Colton, carried a passion for people and motorsports that was passed down to his sons, who carry on his legacy throughout their businesses. Jim and Chris Colton carry on their father’s passion every day at Colton RV offering their customers unprecedented service once they walk through their doors.

“We are proud to partner with this great event,” stated Jim Colton of Colton RV. “My Dad loved Modified Racing and looked forward to this event each and every year for as long as I can remember.  It was a big part of our family, just as our business is. Colton RV has grown over time to become one of the most recognized names in the industry and we are proud to carry on the legacy that our father built surrounding our family name. Partnering with this event brings together two great names and two of the most recognized names in their respective industries.”

Whether you are planning to drive it or pull it, Colton RV is your RV dealer in New York State, serving the Northeast with the best selection of RV’s, including Class A, Class B, Class C, Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers.

 For more than 50 years, the Colton family has been in the automotive business and has been specializing in motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, camper vans and tent campers. Colton RV is proud to carry brand names such as Airstream, Coachmen, Dynamax, Forest River, Grand Design, Keystone RV, KZ RV, Prime Time, Thor Motorcoach and Tiffin Motorhomes.

 There is no New York RV dealer that can match the selection at Colton RV or the Colton RV Customer and Service commitment. If you are looking for a great deal on RV sales in New York, Colton RV is here for you. Colton RV is also a proud member of the Priority RV Network. Colton RV currently has two stores located in Western New York in North Tonawanda and in Orchard Park.  For more information in regard to Colton RV, visit www.coltonrv.com or call 877-846-1151.

                 Where: Lake Erie Speedway, North East, Pa.

When: Thursday, September 27; Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29.

Directions: The track is located just twenty minutes of East Erie, Pa., minutes from Interstate 90 and directly of Interstate 86 at 10700 Delmas Drive, North East, Pa., 16428

What: Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend; the 68th Annual Race of Champions 250

More Information: www.lakeeriespeedway.com (Track Phone: 814.725.3303) / www.rocmodifiedseries.com

The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, US Army, Upstate Automotive Group, Waddell Communications, Pilat Graphic Design, Jerico Performance, TDH Refrigeration, Sherwood Racing Wheels, PavedTrackDigest.com and Speed51.com. The 68th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2018 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.

For more information, contact;

Race of Champions Media at media@rocmodifiedseries.com

Follow us on Twitter; Instagram and Facebook; @RoCModSeries or visit our website: www.rocmodifiedseries.com

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