Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

NASCAR Short Track Racing A BIG PART OF the 2020 Loudon Lineup

LOUDON, N.H. – New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host three short track races in 2020 when NASCAR’s regional series visit the 1.058-mile oval. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make two stops – July 18 and September 12, 2020 – while the ARCA Menards Series East (formerly the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) will join the Modifieds on September 12, 2020.

“Short track racing is in our DNA at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as we’ve hosted annual events since our inception in 1990,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “These regional series have proven to be fan-favorites with must-see moments on ‘The Magic Mile,’ and we’re excited to add them to our race weekend lineups in 2020.”

The summer NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 100-lap race on July 18 will be part of a doubleheader Saturday with the NASCAR Xfinity Series prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.

The September 12 races will be part of the speedway’s third annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend, moving up one week to a new date. This will be the only New England visit and will mark the final race of the ARCA Menards Series East schedule where they will crown both a race winner and a 2020 series champion. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Musket 200 presented by Whelen will headline the day with the longest mileage race on the Tour’s schedule.

Both series have been racing annually at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since 1990 marking the 78th and 79th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visit and the 67th ARCA Menards Series East visit to the track.

For ticket information for all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the November 28, 2019-January 5, 2020 Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil, the June 13-20, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS, the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend and the September 11-12, 2020 Full Throttle Fall Weekend visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2020 Schedule Announced

NASCAR PRESS RELEASE  NOVEMBER 5, 2019

Photo Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

New Venues, Traditional Dates For 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The debut of a new showcase track, the highly-anticipated return to an Virginia venue, and a strong slate of premier northeast short tracks make the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule one of the most anticipated in recent years. 

Three new tracks will be on the schedule: 

The tour will make its furthest trip west with the debut of Iowa Speedway. The “Fastest Short Track on the Planet” will host NASCAR’s only open-wheel division on Friday, July 31. The Whelen Modified Tour slate will also add returns to Martinsville Speedway and Jennerstown Speedway. 

“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is coming off an exciting year in which we saw Doug Coby continue his historic championship run and we saw the level of competition and number of competitors increase,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR managing director, touring series. “We are excited about the mix of high-profile national series tracks that will showcase the great racing on the Modified tour, and the strong short tracks that have been the backbone of Modified racing.” 

Martinsville, Virginia’s famous half-mile, is steeped in NASCAR Modified history. The modified division first raced at Martinsville in 1960 and was part of the original tour schedule in 1985. The Maxpro Window Films 200 will run on Friday, May 8 as part of the spring Cup Series weekend. 

Jennerstown, a .522-mile oval in western Pennsylvania, will feature the tour on Saturday May 23. The track has held 14 tour races over the years, with the late Ted Christopher being the last to visit Victory Lane in 2006.  

The Whelen Modified Tour will open the season with a return trip to Virginia’s South Boston Speedway on Saturday, March 21. Connecticut will serve as the traditional opening of racing in New England with the 46th Annual Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 5, followed by the NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 26. 

The season will conclude with the 48th annual NAPA Fall Final weekend at Stafford on Sunday, Sept. 27, and the 58th annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson on Sunday, Oct. 11. 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will again feature a 100-lap showcase on Saturday, July 18. The Whelen Modified Tour will also return with the 200-lap main event for the track’s Full Throttle Fall Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 12. 

Other schedule highlights include:  

  • In addition to Jennerstown, the tour will make the trip to western New York to be part of Oswego Speedway’s 64th Annual Budweiser International Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5. 
  • Riverhead Raceway, a staple of the Whelen Modified Tour, will host two events. The first will be on Saturday, June 20, with a return trip to Long Island on Saturday, Sept. 19. 
  • A pair of bullrings will factor into the championship picture: Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway will bring the tour to town on Saturday, June 6, while New Jersey’s Wall Stadium Speedway will run on Saturday, July 11. 

The complete NBCSN schedule, including broadcast times, will be released at a later date. 

2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule  

DATE TRACK CITY 
Saturday, March 21 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va. 
Sunday, April 5 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn. 
Sunday, April 26 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Friday, May 8 Martinsville Speedway Martinsville, Va. 
Saturday, May 23 Jennerstown Speedway Jennerstown, Pa. 
Saturday, June 6 Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, Mass. 
Saturday, June 20 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y. 
Saturday, July 11 Wall Stadium Speedway Wall, N.J. 
Saturday, July 18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. 
Friday, July 31 Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa 
Friday, Aug. 7 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Wednesday, Aug. 19 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson. Conn. 
Saturday, Sept. 5 Oswego Speedway Oswego, N.Y. 
Saturday, Sept. 12 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. 
Saturday, Sept. 19 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y. 
Sunday, Sept. 27 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Sunday, Oct. 11 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson. Conn. 

Doug Coby Secures Sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Title at Thompson; Rocco, Gero & Curry Become NASCAR Champions For 2019

THOMPSON, Conn. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park capped off its 2019 season with the third and final day of the 57th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Several champions were crowned, including in three Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, but the main event brought the drivers of the Whelen Modified Tour front and center for one final time in 2019 for their season-ending Sunoco World Series 150.

Two champions sought to claim the title in the main feature at a track where both had seen great success in the past. Five-time champion Doug Coby carried a 19-point lead over defending champion Justin Bonsignore and needed a fourteenth-place finish to guarantee himself another title regardless of what Bonsignore did. Bonsignore, on the other hand, knew that the only way he could control his own destiny was to win and hope that something went wrong for Coby.

Bonsignore almost got his wish, as Coby suffered tire issues in the opening laps causing him to pit and be mired back in traffic. Coby worked his way methodically through the field, eventually entering the top ten by lap 115, while Bonsignore led most of the race and survived a late-race challenge from Ron Silk to claim is seventh Thompson win in the last eight races. With his top-ten finish, Coby wrapped up his sixth title, putting him second all-time behind the late Mike Stefanik.

“This is really tough to do. It’s hard to win one championship and then it’s hard to win two and then to keep doing what these guys do with preparation, the shop and the dedication, the days away from the family, the work days to fly to places and drive to places. This isn’t easy to do. It’s a special feeling to win a race on this tour and to win a championship, let alone six,” Coby said. He later said he cherishes each win and each title as if it were his last victory. 

“Nothing is given in this sport. (This title) is well earned by my team, I’ll tell you that much.”

Justin Bonsignore celebrated a victory, his series leading sixth of the season, but lamented on what could have been had they started the season with a better result right out of the gate. “We spotted them way too many points in the beginning of the year and they’re way to good of a team to give that big of a lead. I’m really proud of our effort,” Bonsignore said. “We didn’t get the championship, but we backed up eight wins last year with six wins this year, so I’m really proud of my whole team.” 

Ron Silk, Matt Swanson, Bobby Santos, III, and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five. Coby finished seventh.

A few more champions were crowned over the course of the day — the first of which was Keith Rocco, who had the Sunoco Modified title virtually wrapped up coming into the weekend carrying a 40-point lead over Woody Pitkat. Rocco earned four victories in search of his eighth Thompson track title, his fourth consecutive Sunoco Modified title and his seventeenth NASCAR Division I track championship all of which he wrapped up with a top ten finish in the season finale.

“Four straight championships is just really awesome,” Rocco said after the race. “To win eight overall from 2007 to now is awesome. We’ve always been dominant here – every year we’re winning a championship whether it’s here or Stafford or Waterford, so to just be in championship contention every year at a different track says a lot for our team and the people that support me and let me drive their equipment.”

Meanwhile, the battle for the win came down to Todd Owen and Mike Christopher after Ronnie Williams, who challenged for the lead early, found himself out of contention after a penalty sidelined him. Christopher nearly stole the victory with a bold move in the closing laps, but Owen would not be denied, capturing his elusive first win of the season in the Sunoco Modifieds.

“It was a fun race,” Owen said. “(Mike Christopher) came from nowhere. I wasn’t expecting that. To come out of here with the win, I thank all my guys. It’s an awesome team with awesome people.”

The Limited Sportsman division title came down to two-time defending champion Shawn Monahan and second-year competitor Kyle Gero. Despite amassing four wins in nine races Monahan found himself behind by 10 points due to Gero’s consistent season of top fives. Monahan did what he needed to do, making the race winning move with four laps to go to secure his fifth victory of the year. However, Gero continued his momentum, earning a fourth-place finish and his first Thompson Limited Sportsman title despite having a winless 2019.

“We made some adjustments to the car today and it was junk to start with. It was a little tough the whole time. I knew I had to finish within four spots of Shawn and I’m seeing him picking off three and I’m only picking off one. It was a good battle,” Gero said. “I was counting positions the whole time and wishing the car was better – I’m glad it’s over.”

Monahan took defeat in stride, congratulating Gero while expressing no regrets in his final run of the season. “I came out today and knew we had two jobs, to win the race and put on a good show. That’s what I did today. I congratulate Kyle Gero. As much as I would like to be a champion three times in a row some things just didn’t go our way,” Monahan said.

The Mini Stocks featured the closest points battle of the weekend at Thompson with Scott Michalski leading Doug Curry by only a single point while third-place Steve Michalski sat three points out for the championship. The title was Scott Michalski’s to lose and unfortunately his championship hopes ended when he was involved in an incident six laps in leaving Steve Michalski and Doug Curry to decide to title. Curry, who experienced his own issues early in the race with a flat tire, worked his way to the front and finished second, completing a Cinderella story comeback after overcoming a 30-point deficit in the last four races of the season.

“That’s the story of my racing career right there. We never give up. We always dig and we never stop digging. We always fight no matter what the circumstances,” Curry said. “This is awesome. This is the best time of my life.” Tommy Silva went on to win the race while Curry’s closest competitor, Steve Michalski, finished in fourth. 

The International Supermodified Association capped off its 2019 season with a fifty-lap feature race where Mike Lichty locked up his second ISMA title and Jon McKennedy claimed his first career win at Thompson in any division. Ryan Locke was officially crowned the champion in the NEMA Lites while Randy Cabral took the feature win in the annual Shane Hammond Memorial Race. 

Ryan Bell won in the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association Late Model Sportsman, while Alby Ovitt secured the win and title in the Street Stock Showdown Series. Those two events were run in unison with Bell and Ovitt crossing the line in a dead heat. The Exit Realty Truck Challenge crowned a winner in Gerard Giordano, Jr. and the North East Mini Stock Tour saw Matthew Kimball earn the final win of the 2019 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SUNOCO WORLD SERIES 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Justin Bonsignore; 2. Ron Silk; 3. Matt Swanson; 4. Bobby Santos, III; 5. Woody Pitkat; 6. Eric Goodale; 7. Doug Coby; 8. Chase Dowling; 9. Rob Summers; 10. Timmy Solomito

SUNOCO MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 3. Mike Christopher, Jr. (Wolcott, CT); 4. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 5. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 6. Steven Masse (Bellingham, MA); 7. Glen Reen (Belchertown, MA); 8. Nick Ladyga (Voluntown, CT); 9. Joey Gada (Salem, CT); 10. John Studley (Framingham, MA)

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 2. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 3. Cory Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 4. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 5. Jesse Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 6. Jordan Hadley (Oakdale, CT); 7. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 8. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 9. Bo Norman (Clinton, CT); 10. Steve Kenneway (Lowell, MA)

MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Tommy Silva (Gales Ferry, CT); 2. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 3. Charles Canfield (East Haven, CT); 4. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 5. Mark Panaronio (Ivoryton, CT); 6. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 7. Joe Bavolacco (Stratford, CT); 8. Andrew Krzeminski; 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 10. Jared Roy (Gales Ferry, CT)

ISMA FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Jon McKennedy (Chelmsford, MA); 2. Mike Ordway, Jr. (Windham, ME); 3. Ben Seitz (Bourne, MA); 4. Timmy Jedrzejek (Independence, OH); 5. Kyle Edwards (Bartlett, TN); 6. Mike Lichty  (Innerkip, ON); 7. Michael Barnes (Mexico, NY); 8. Dave Schulick (N. Ridgeville, OH) 9. Dan Bowes (Epping, NH); 10. Mark Sammut (London, ON)

NEMA LITES SHANE HAMMOND MEMORIAL RACE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Randy Cabral; 2. Anthony Marvuglio; 3. PJ Stergios; 4. Jake Trainer; 5. Kyle Valeri; 6. Ryan Locke; 7. Richie Coy; 8. Chris Vosey; 9. Jeff Champagne; 10. Danny Gamache, Jr 

STREET STOCK SHODOWN FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Ryan Bell; 2. Alby Ovitt; 3. Duane Provost; 4. Wayne Courcy; 5. Andrew Durand; 6. #8; 7. Chad Baxter; 8. Steve Landry; 9. Corey Fanning; 10. Jim Boyle

EXIT REALTY PRO TRUCK SERIES FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Gerard Giordano, Jr.; 2. Andy Lindemin; 3. Jacob Perry; 4. Mark Stewart; 5. Josh Stringer; 6. Lucas Leone; 7. Duane Noll; 8. Zack Robinson; 9. Dave Koenig; 10. Jason Ferreira

NORTHEAST MINI STOCK TOUR FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Matthew Kimball; 2. Devin Guy; 3. Mike Viens; 4. Nicholas Anderson; 5. Joe Katula; 6. Desmond Skillings; 7. Nate Taylor; 8. Matt Boucher; 9. Roger Ducharme; 10. Charles Canfield