Tag Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Whelen Modified 2016 Schedules Announced

Concord, Oswego, Seekonk Return; East Carolina A Newcomer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – What was old has become new again as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour 2016 schedules have been revealed.

Upstate New York’s Oswego Speedway and Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway have returned to the Whelen Modified Tour schedule for the coming season, reuniting the northeast-based circuit with two venues that have played an integral part of the tour’s history. Likewise, North Carolina speedplant Concord Speedway has also rejoined the Whelen Southern Modified Tour calendar for next year while East Carolina Motor Speedway is a newcomer to the southern circuit.

The 32nd season for the Whelen Modified Tour will feature nine different facilities and 17 championship races, the most for the tour since 2005. Here is a breakdown of the 2016 calendar:

• Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will once again hold the season opening and season closing events as well as two midseason races. Each of Stafford Motor Speedway’s four traditional dates also return to the famed Nutmeg State oval.
• The Whelen Modified Tour will remain a fixture on the racing card for both New Hampshire Motor Speedway NASCAR national series weekends.
• The Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours will return to Bristol Motor Speedway for the eighth edition of the annual combination event during the popular August NASCAR race week.
• Long Island New York’s Riverhead Raceway once again will return with events while Monadnock Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl will feature one race each.
• The late spring run of consecutive Connecticut events at New London-Waterford, Stafford and Thompson returns for the second year, but is spaced out over the course of a month this time around.
• Oswego, a .625-mile oval near the shore of Lake Ontario, contested four Whelen Modified Tour races in both 1988 and 1989. Seekonk, bordering Rhode Island and its capital city Providence, held its first Whelen Modified Tour race in 1987. The .333-mile oval welcomed the tour back for five races between 2000 and 2005.

The 12th season of Whelen Southern Modified Tour competition will feature 11 points races at seven different southeastern tracks. Here’s how the 2016 schedule shakes out for the southern tour:

• North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway will once again play host to the season opener. The venerable oval will have three subsequent dates, one more than a year ago.
• A champion will once again be crowned at Charlotte Motor Speedway, marking the seventh consecutive year the tour has visited the frontstretch quarter-mile at the legendary North Carolina facility.
• Virginia’s South Boston Speedway will return with two events while famed Bowman Gray Stadium has its traditional summer showcase.
• Concord, a high-speed, half-mile tri-oval located in the heart of North Carolina’s NASCAR industry, held one previous Whelen Southern Modified Tour event in 2009.
• East Carolina’s high banks are set to play host to the first Whelen Southern Modified Tour event in its history. The D-shaped, .375-mile oval is located in Robersonville, North Carolina.

The All-Star Shootout will also return for a third season as part of the July NASCAR race weekend at New Hampshire. The non-points event features champions, race winners and Sunoco Rookies of the Year from both the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours.

The 2015 Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour seasons concluded in mid-October with Doug Coby and Andy Seuss the respective titlists.

Next year’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule was released earlier this week by NASCAR while the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series calendars are nearing completion. The 2016 television broadcast schedules for each of NASCAR’s regional touring series will be announced at a later date.

2016 NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SCHEDULE

Date Track Location
4/10 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
4/24 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
5/14 New London-Waterford Speedbowl Waterford, Conn.
6/3 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
6/15 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
6/25 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway (All-Star Shootout) Loudon, N.H.
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
7/23 Monadnock Speedway Winchester, N.H.
8/5 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
8/10 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
8/17 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWSMT) Bristol, Tenn.
8/27 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
9/3 Oswego Speedway Oswego, N.Y.
9/10 Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, Mass.
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
10/2 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
10/16 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.

2016 NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR SCHEDULE

Date Track Location
3/12 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
3/19 Concord Speedway Concord, N.C.
4/9 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
4/16 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
7/1 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
8/6 Bowman Gray Stadium Winston-Salem, N.C.
8/17 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWMT) Bristol, Tenn.
9/3 East Carolina Motor Speedway Robersonville, N.C.
9/17 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
9/24 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway (.25-mile) Concord, N.C.

Statement from East Carolina Motor Speedway owner Wayne M. Perry:
“East Carolina Speedway is proud to have the opportunity to host the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the first time. We really enjoy being a part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and this will be a great opportunity to bring a popular NASCAR Touring Series to our track for the fans. It’s going to be a great show.”

Statement from Concord Speedway race promoter Darren Hackett:
“We’re very happy to help get a race at Concord Speedway back on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule. We decided to take one of our races that we would have held at Caraway Speedway and move it there, and the competitors are excited to get to go back to an ultra-fast track.”

Statement from Oswego Speedway co-owner John Torresse:
“Budweiser International Classic Weekend is a staple event in open-wheel pavement racing and it should be treated as such. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of this amazing racing weekend we felt the time was right to work together with NASCAR to bring back one of the traditions of this great weekend. A long distance, Saturday night special, featuring some of the best Modified drivers anywhere in the country – fighting for the distinguished right to be called a Classic champion at Oswego.”

Statement from Seekonk Speedway Director of Business Development Ed St Germain:
“Seekonk Speedway is excited to add another top flight open wheel race to its 2016 schedule. Our fans have spoken to us and we have listened. We strive to give our fans the best touring series and weekly racing that we can put on the track every Saturday night. We feel that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour embodies the best of open wheel racing that the country has to offer. We look forward to seeing the top notch drivers of the NWMT test their skills on the 1/3 mile bull ring at Seekonk.”

Thompson Mourns the Loss of a Great Competitor

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park today expressed its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of a former track Champion Ron Bouchard.  Bouchard was a regular competitor at Thompson from 1972 through 1980 and was a real fan favorite.
Donald J. Hoenig, a long-time friend of Bouchard, spoke for the track when he said that everyone at the Thompson Speedway was deeply saddened by his passing. “He was not only a wonderful personal friend, but was a marvelous driver and a great golfing companion”, said Hoenig.
Bouchard won a total of 37 races at Thompson and was the Modified track champion in 1978. He also won the prestigious Thompson 300 in 1980. Bouchard went on to compete in NASCAR’s top division The Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, Series where he also enjoyed great success.

Coby Joins Elite Company With Third Tour Title

Continues Career Resurgence With Impressive 2015 Run

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2015) – In the three-act structure of storytelling, the segments include the setup, confrontation and resolution. Doug Coby’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career fits quite well with this mold, and he’s providing plenty of resolution in his third act.

Coby’s first two acts have been well-chronicled at this point, but to briefly review:

Act 1, The Setup – The Milford, Connecticut, native debuted on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2002 and competed full-time from 2003-07. He became established as a regular in the garage.

Act 2, The Confrontation – From 2008-10 he was without a full-time car, with various opportunities here and there, but nothing stable. His future on the tour, and his place in it, was in question.

Act 3, The Resolution, is where we’ll pick up the story. This act is still very much a work-in-progress for the 36-year-old. The story is not yet complete, but lose ends are getting tied up.

Act 3 began in 2011 when he returned to full-time competition. In the five years since Coby began The Resolution, success has been abundant. One win and no championships in the 100 races that comprised Acts 1 and 2 compared with 16 wins and three championships in 72 races of the evolving Act 3.

In addition to the experience gained over time, and being associated with top-tier teams, Coby also attributes an evolving mental approach to his success of recent seasons.

“I go back to 2010 and 2011 when I really started to have fun racing,” Coby said. “At that time it wasn’t necessarily about winning races. Those years were just about getting back to what racing is about – having fun, meeting people.”

He didn’t let The Confrontation weigh him down. That was crucial to the wealth of success that has followed in The Resolution.

“It was more about the mindset, about being thankful for what I had, which was an opportunity to drive a bunch of different cars,” Coby said.

His first Whelen Modified Tour crown came in 2012 in his second full season with Darling Racing. That team left the sport following a runner-up finish in its 2013 title defense. Coby quickly latched on with Mike Smeriglio III Racing and has won the title in both of his years behind the wheel of the No. 2 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Chevrolet.

This year’s championship defense wasn’t all smooth sailing, however. An early crash at Bristol in August had them in third place, 32 points out of the lead with four races to go. They finished second the next time out at Riverhead and closed the season with three consecutive wins from the pole at New Hampshire, Stafford and Thompson.

It marked the greatest conclusion to a season by one team in Whelen Modified Tour history.

“The three-in-a-row, it’s weird because we just took them one at a time. It wasn’t like we put pressure on ourselves to win them,” Coby said. “It really started at Riverhead with the second place finish when we were a bumper away from winning that race, too.

“That’s probably not something I ever could have scripted or even thought about, but it happened so we’ll enjoy it while we can and move on to the future.”

With the elements in place for a dynastic run by Coby and the MSIII team, Coby’s not comfortable predicting a future of continued success though. He instead chooses to focus on what can sustain the team from one year to the next.

“I think a lot of that depends on sponsorship,” Coby said. “Even championship teams need more sponsors to keep moving forward. Certainly nobody is going to sit back and let us ride around and win championships, so we’ve got to keep moving forward.”