Category Archives: NASCAR

October Brings More Exciting On-Track Action to New Hampshire Motor Speedway

LOUDON, N.H. – The green landscape of New Hampshire Motor Speedway is transforming to rich hues of red, orange and gold, creating a beautiful New England fall background for the exciting events lined up for October at “The Magic Mile.”

“We love summer for obvious reasons, but fall in New England is just spectacular,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “As the 2019 racing season quickly wraps up, October is still full of fun events with exciting action for our fans to enjoy – all while experiencing the beautiful New England foliage.”

The fan-favorite 24 Hours of Lemons Halloween Hooptiefest, the world’s first endurance race series for cars that cost $500 or less, returns to Loudon to take on the 1.6-mile road course Oct. 19-20. With 10,000 participants spread across dozens of races at tracks coast-to-coast, no other event creates bigger, weirder, more hilariously-irrational challenges than this weekend-long blowout of bumper-to-bumper competition between cars that are due for the scrapheap. Tickets, which include infield access, are $30 for the weekend and a portion of the proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities New Hampshire Chapter. Overnight camping is available for purchase at the front gate on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Thursday, Oct. 17.

Two wheels take to the track when motorcycles come to town. Penguin Roadracing School will hit the track Oct. 4 prior to the Loudon Road Race Series taking on the road course for round seven, the final round of the 2019 season, Oct. 5-6. The following day, riders of any skill level who want to learn the physics of how a motorcycle works and how to make it do what you want can join Fishtail Riding School on Oct. 7. Legend cars will accompany the LRRS weekend with MOAT Mountain Road Course Series, Oct. 5-6.

Car clubs will invade the speedway when the White Mountain Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America (Oct. 5), COM Sports Car Club (Oct. 12-13), Sports Car Club of New Hampshire (Oct. 13) and the Boston Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America (Oct. 26) come to town.

Looking to get involved with drifting? The Team O’Neil Rally School will be at NHMS on Oct. 12-13 with their Drift Driving Course. This course helps drivers progress their skills with different levels of instruction that cater to everyone from beginners to intermediate drivers. North East Drift Co. will keep grassroots drifting fun and alive with their Fall Brawl on Oct. 5-6, and GIG Motorsports brings their Halloween Drift-tacular to the speedway on Oct. 20. Spectator wristbands are available for purchase for both events at the Operations window at the Main Entrance at NHMS on the day of the events. NEDCo will also be at the speedway Oct. 26-27 and offers free ride-alongs to those who purchase a spectator wristband.

The New England Half Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 13 will take runners on a scenic journey from the start line at the entrance of New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, along country roads to the finish line at the New Hampshire State House in Concord. Registration is open now through the morning of the half marathon, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities New Hampshire Chapter.

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 13-21, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.

Ryan Preece Posts $500 SK Modified® Bonus for NAPA Fall Final

Tom Morris/Myracenews photo

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Ryan Preece Racing has announced a $500 bonus for Sunday’s SK Modified® feature at the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final. The bonus will be split with $250 going to the winner and $250 to the hard charger of the race, the driver advancing the most positions over the course of the feature.  With the bonus, Sunday’s 40-lap SK Modified® feature will pay $2,075 to win, with a total posted purse of $10,060.

“I’m excited to have the ability to post this bonus for Stafford’s SK Modified® teams,” explained Preece.  “I attribute much of the opportunities I have today to my time spent on the Stafford half-mile running against guys like Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and Woody Pitkat.  The SK Modified® division is one of the toughest weekly divisions in the country and is home to some of the best short track talent around.”

Preece is no stranger to Stafford Victory Lane, notching 35 career victories including back to back Spring Sizzler® wins and a $12,000 pay day in the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K, the richest SK Modified race of the season.  Most recently Preece grabbed the win in the June 2019 Stafford Open Modified 80 in Ryan Preece fashion, pitting late and blasting through the field with just 25 laps to go.

“I wanted to post a hard charger award because the challenge at Stafford is starting deep in the field,” continued Preece, driver of the #47 JTG Racing Cup Car.  “With Stafford’s handicapping system and big car counts the top drivers always end up starting outside the top-10.”

Preece is currently in his rookie season in the Monster Energy Cup Series driving the #47 car for JTG Daugherty racing. Ryan has scored 3 top 10’s in his rookie campaign including a career best 3rd place run at Talladega in April.

“We want to thank Ryan for posting this bonus,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “Ryan’s passion for short track racing is unrivaled and he is a great representative of modified racing at the cup level.  All of us at Stafford are proud to have a past SK Modified® champion competing at the highest level of our sport and we look forward to whenever he gets a chance to come back to half-mile to compete.”

Tickets for this weekends NAPA Fall Final Weekend, September 28 & 29, are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $45.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles. Discount tickets are available through participating NAPA stores.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Keith Rocco Looks To Seal Eighth Thompson Sunoco Modified Title at Sunoco World Series

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

Tom Morris/Myracewnews photo

THOMPSON, Conn. — Twelve years ago, Keith Rocco hoisted his first championship trophy in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

At the time, it’s hard to think the Berlin, Connecticut, driver knew the title run would begin a stretch of dominance at TSMP. Over the last 12 years, Rocco has seven championships in the division, including the last three – and he is in position to clinch another as the 57th annual Sunoco World Series — October 11-13 – draws closer. 

He leads Woody Pitkat by 40 points heading into the finale, which is a lead he should be more than comfortable with. Thompson competitors earn 50 points for winning a feature race, while each position down through the field earns two less, meaning second earns 48, third receives 46, etc. In heat races, the winner earns five points, with a one-point drop throughout the top five, with fifth earning just one. Pitkat would need Rocco to have a major stumble to have a shot. 

How is Rocco able to have this success every single year? 

“It’s just a passion for racing. If anything, things seem to get easier with the amount of years that we have run. It isn’t as stressful as it was in the beginning, when I was trying to get those first championships,” Rocco said. “But the competition is definitely the fiercest it has been in the last couple of years.” 

With 48 different drivers taking a green flag in Sunoco Modified racing so far this season, the competition level has spiked, and Rocco has some stiff contenders to pick up feature wins. But that hasn’t slowed him down. Rocco has four wins in the races to date, which puts him tied with Ronnie Williams for the most in the division. Pitkat has two wins, and the three of them have combined to score 10. 

“From the first day I went to race Thompson, Woody has been there. We’ve raced a long time and we race really well together,” Rocco said. “Woody is in pristine equipment this year and it’s definitely stepped up his program.” 

In the familiar black and orange No. 57, Rocco competes for the Pane family. The success they are having together shows how strong the chemistry is. 

“The thing about racing with the Pane family that separates them from the average team, we ended up getting together, I got a call with an offer for a car and he knew I had a shot at a NASCAR national title,” Rocco said. “We started working together and we had a few different crew chiefs, and when we really started having a lot of success, he encouraged me and told me I knew these cars better than anyone else. They really backed me to do things how I want to do it and I think that’s what separates us from everyone else. They put all of their trust in me.” 

On the stats front, his eighth track title would be his 17th overall NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I track championship. Rocco also has six championships to his credit under the NASCAR sanction at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, and three at Stafford Motor Speedway. Before the World Series ever takes the green flag, Rocco could increase his number by one.  

He trails Ronnie Williams and Todd Owen in the Stafford championship battle, and he’s just 16 points from the top. If he can win at least one between the two tracks, he will tie Joe Kosiski for the most Division I track titles in NASCAR history. If he can win both, he will make the record his own. 

On the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship front, Rocco finished fifth this season, just 18 points from the top. He did win the national title back in 2010, but his competition for the crown includes drivers who compete at three tracks down south. Rocco only competes at two in New England. 

“I haven’t looked as those standings all year, we just go out and do our thing,” Rocco said. “It’s not something I can change because we are limited to two tracks, and it’s tough racing against guys down south. I’m happy to be up there again. I’m also extremely happy to be able to get a National Title back in 2010– that was a perfect season for us – and I’m not sure if anyone in New England will ever have the chance do that again. There are so many different drivers that win up here, and it’s hard to dominate like that.” 

For now, Rocco will shift his focus on capturing the title at Stafford Motor Speedway at their Fall Final on Sunday, September 29. After that, all eyes will turn towards the 57th annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson, October 11-13, where the division will open Sunday festivities with a 30-lap feature. 

“We’ll go out there and try to win the race like we always do,” Rocco said. “To me, it’s just another number (the eighth title). I’ve always gone to Thompson to win races and it’s always been my type of racetrack. It’s fast, and the way you drive it down in the corner, the adrenaline is a real rush because of the high speeds.” 

The 57th annual Sunoco World Series will take the green flag on Friday, October 11, and roll through Sunday, October 13. The event begins on Friday, with practice sessions running throughout the afternoon, and qualifying heat racing set to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feature racing on Friday includes the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds and Senior Tour Auto Racers. 

Saturday, action begins early with practice at 9 a.m., while qualifying racing begins at 2:30 p.m. There are 10 different feature races planned for Saturday night. Sunday, action begins at 1 p.m., with the season-finale for Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division. The NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and TSMP Limited Sportsman will also join the headliner of Sunday — the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Admission to the paddock area for the entire three days is $75, with grandstand general admission set at $55. Any seniors (65+), veterans and active military will have general admission tickets priced at $50, while kids 12 and under are free in general admission.  

Thompson’s annual breakfast and dinner buffets will also take place during Sunoco World Series weekend. The breakfast buffet runs from 7-11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and is $14 per person. The dinner buffet runs from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday night only and is $24 per person. For any children 12 and under, the dinner buffet is $14.  

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans should visit the track on the web, www.thompsonspeedway.com and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.