Tag Archives: NASCAR K & N East

The Little Team that Took on the NASCAR K&N Series

Charlotte NC- On December 6th the the racing world will be heading to Indianapolis Indiana for the 2018 PRI show. Buyers from 50 states and 70 countries will head to the Midwest to get ready for the 2019 racing season.  Racing organizations like NASCAR will send teams to represent those series, this year NASCAR is sending a rookie team from the K & N East series, the #74 Visconti Motorsports and driver Brandon McReynolds. It is quite an honor to be asked to represent NASCAR even more so for a first-year team.

Brandon McReynolds driver of the Visconti Motorsports #74 and team owner John Visconti

About this time last year John Visconti was confronted with a very unexpected decision, continue with his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team for the 2018 season or take a leap of faith and make the jump to the NASCAR K & N East series. An opportunity to purchase a K & N East team came about and move up the NASCAR ladder. Making that change meant starting over, new crew, new equipment, new tracks and a new driver.

Most car owners would probably stay where they were, not John.  He conferred with his wife Marie, sponsors and general manager, Bill Goffin.  John had been around racing his whole life from Freeport Speedway where his dad was a Late Model driver for many years to Riverhead Raceway and this was an opportunity he could not pass up.

The shop would no longer be a drive down the Long Island Expressway it was a flight away or the long drive south to Charlotte and the heart of NASCAR country. The new team had high hopes, but realistic expectations and it was full speed ahead.

The off season for Visconti Motorsports would be short but busy as February Speedweeks at the New Smyrna Speedway was only a few short months away. The team would more than likely not run the full season but that did not limit the amount of work a new team needs to put in to get the car and team ready.

The paint scheme they would run the 2018 NASCAR K& N East series would be the familiar red and black Visconti colors and number #74 honoring his dad Cookie. Coming south with the team would be longtime supporter Charles Reichert and the IGA Supermarket Group. Brandon McReynolds was tabbed to be the driver bringing a wealth of experience from running in the K & N, Xfinity, Camping World Truck, ARCA and Canadian Pinty series.

How did the 2018 season go? Well New Smyrna in Fla. would see a stacked field of 29 cars vying for the season opening race win.  The high hopes by the team were dampened by an early practice blown motor. Never to give up they replaced the motor and with limited practice Brandon qualified 6th and ran in the top 5 most of the race until tire issues relegated the #74 to a 10th place finish.

The Zombie Auto 150 at Bristol would see another solid day with a 6th place qualifying and 5th place finish. Next up the Who’s Your Driver Twin 100 lap feature at South Boston would give Brandon a chance to gain spots in the point standings. Unfortunately, on lap 23 of the first feature he would be caught up in a big wreck causing heavy damage to the car. With no backup car available at the time, the team watched race 2 from pit side. Visconti has said that he was more disappointed in not having a backup car than he was at wrecking the primary car. After discussing this with veteran crew chief, Bruce  Cook a backup car was secured by mid week.

With a much smaller budget than many of the full-time teams, having only 8-9 crew members vs dozens on the better funded K & N East teams plus being an independent team Visconti Motorsports had to watch their pennies when picking races. Tracks like Gateway, Memphis and Iowa were not in the cards in their inaugural season.

One track circled on the team calendar from day one would be the

The Visconti Motorsports throwback #74 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Tom Morris Photo

NASCAR King Cadillac 100 throwback night at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Ct.  The #74 paint scheme would not be a traditional throwback but a copy of one of his dad Cookie’s Late Models that he drove to many wins on Long Island.

After the tough night at South Boston just finishing would be welcome and a 7th place in the final tally would get the team back on track. Watkins Glen with Camping World Truck driver Austin Hill behind the wheel for the Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 who would bring the #74 home 12th

The next race was at New Hampshire Motorspeedway, the first of two New Hampshire races. The Visconti Motorsports team had a solid 5th place qualifying effort and finished 6th in the race.

All year long the team was in a position to win races but still the highest finish was a 5th at Bristol, not bad but not what the team wanted. The Visconti team wanted a win to prove they belonged in the tough series.

Brandon McReynolds in victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway NASCAR Home Tracks Photo

Summer would turn to Fall, the team was ready for the stretch drive which would start at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the Apple Barrel 125. The team had spent weeks preparing the car and was poised for a solid finish. Fast off the truck and 3rd in qualifying Brandon was in a virtually flawless all weekend. With NBCSN cameras rolling Brandon led much of the race for an emotional first win with his dad Larry McReynolds in the spotter’s booth. The Visconti Motorsports team had won a race in their first season and did it in a convincing manner by beating the best in the series.

Dover would be the last race of the 2018 NASCAR K&N series season. Coming off the win at New Hampshire, the team backed it up with a solid 2nd place finish in the season finale. NBCSN would have an in-car camera mounted in the 74 car to capture the exciting race at the fastest track on the schedule.

The team finished the 7 race (Out of 14) season with an amazing 11th place in points after running only half of the races.  The team’s average finish of 6.3 was second lowest on the tour and if not for tire problems at Symrna and the crash early at South Boston the finish in the final point standings would have been much higher.

After PRI the John and the team will take the car back to North Carolina and begin preparation to again tackle the tough NASCAR K & N series once again in 2019.

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.”

Full Throttle Fall Weekend Storylines

Off-Track

Driver Autograph Session

Meet the drivers on Saturday from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. for an autograph session, along the Main Grandstand fence line, free for all ticket holders. Nearly 80 drivers who will be racing that day will be in attendance from all three series with their race cars lined up and down the front stretch for fans to get up close to and see.

Post-Race Party

When the on-track action ends, the party begins in the infield with live music from the Rory Scott Band from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Fan Zone

For the first time, all Full Throttle Fall Weekend tickets include infield access! The Fan Zone will be relocated to the infield and will feature kids activities, food trucks (chicken tenders, donuts, Thanksgiving-themed food, soup, snacks, lemonade & more), a beer garden (four different kinds of beer in addition to outside concessions), live music, carnival-style games and amusement rides. The Fan Zone will be open 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Speedway Children’s Charities

Speedway Children’s Charities New Hampshire Chapter will host several fundraising events throughout the inaugural Full Throttle Fall Weekend to help children in need across New England, starting with the Charity Clay Shoot on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 20th Skeet & Clays in Hooksett, N.H. In teams of four, participants will visit 16 different stations, each providing a new challenge at shooting flying clay targets. Swag bags, dinner and prizes will be given to all participants. Once again, the famous Red Bucket Brigade will be back on Saturday, Sept. 22 during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Musket 250 as volunteers walk through the grandstands for donations to SCCNH. Download photos and logos

The DreamShip

A new fundraising effort will take place all weekend when The DreamShip arrives on Thursday afternoon benefitting SCCNH, The Rite Aid Foundation, KidCents and Folds of Honor. For a $5 (kids) or $10 (adults) donation, fans can take a ride in The DreamShip hot air balloon that features 130 pieces of artwork from children who have received grants from Folds of Honor, an organization that offers scholarships to families of fallen or disabled military heroes. The balloon will be located outside the infield tunnel next to the Concord Ticket Booth through Saturday.

That’s the Ticket

College Student Ticket Discount

September means a lot here in New England – the air gets cooler, the leaves start changing color, school is back in session and pumpkin spice takes over, let’s face it, everything. September also means it’s time for the biggest can’t-miss party in New Hampshire this fall – the Full Throttle Fall Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and now,college students can save $10 by purchasing their Saturday tickets in advance.

Infield Access

For the first time, all Full Throttle Fall Weekend tickets include infield access – something new and different, merging fans and race teams into one space.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Upgrades

Pit Pass

Fans that are familiar with using pre-race pit passes at NHMS understand that it does not allow access to the garage area, but, what if it could? During our Full Throttle Fall Weekend, the pit pass will include unprecedented access into the garages and pits all weekend for just $40 for adults and $20 for kids (12 and under).

The Track Bar

The new and exclusive Track Bar at New Hampshire Motor Speedway offers the best, most comfortable way to view the races on Saturday, Sept. 22. The Track Bar is located in the Main Grandstand suites right above the start/finish line and provides the best sight lines at the speedway in the comfort of a climate-controlled luxury box with a full cash bar and private bathrooms. Download logo

Pre-Race/Post-Race

Custom Musket, Minuteman Trophy & Tricorn Hat

The Musket 250 will headline the inaugural Full Throttle Fall Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the longest mileage and richest purse in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history. With the prestige of a race like this comes a lot for the drivers to race for, and the stakes just got higher with a custom musket, minuteman trophy and tricorn hat waiting in victory lane for the Musket 250 winner on Sept. 22. The handmade flintlock musket was built over the course of three weeks by Edwin Parry of Black Hart Long Arms out of Eastford, Conn., which has twice been featured on the History Channel. The winner will also receive a traditional Revolutionary War-era tricorn hat and a minuteman trophy. Taking on its New England roots, the trophy is a replica of the Minuteman statue in Concord, Mass., weighing 30 pounds and measuring 32 inches tall. View a video showing how the musket was made and learn more about how Edwin Parry and Black Hart Long Arms got started: http://bit.ly/TheMakingOfTheMusket

Broadcast

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series Visit New Hampshire 100, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Apple Barrel 125 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Musket 250 will all stream live on FansChoice.TV. Both the Apple Barrel 125 and the Musket 250 will be tape delayed on NBCSN on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively. The Visit New Hampshire 100 will air on TSN2 on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 12:30 p.m. and RDS2 on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 10:30 p.m.

On-Track

NASCAR Pinty’s Series Visit New Hampshire 100

It’s only appropriate that Canadian-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series’ very first visit to the United States will be sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development. The Sept. 22 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be named the Visit New Hampshire 100Download logo

If L.P. Dumoulin wants to seal his second career NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship over the final two races, he will need to navigate the series’ first trip to the U.S. with a strong finish in the Visit New Hampshire 100. Fresh-off a 10th place finish last time out, Dumoulin enters NHMS just five points up in the championship standings over Quebec rival Alex Tagliani.

Alex Tagliani, who is chasing Dumoulin into the Visit New Hampshire 100, does have some experience at the 1.058-mile oval on his resume – although it’s not likely to be applicable to his Saturday setup. Tagliani competed at New Hampshire in 2011 as part of the Verizon Indycar Series, where he started 16th and finished 19th. Much like the guy he’s chasing, if Tagliani wants to enter the finale in prime position to win the title, he’s going to have to figure it out quickly as well.

Similarly, former Sunoco Rookie of the Year Cole Powell has four starts at New Hampshire on the Whelen Modified Tour. Powell, who is tied with DJ Kennington at 30 points behind Dumoulin, has a best finish of 11th in 2013.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series Apple Barrel 125

The K&N Pro Series has been a fixture at NHMS since its days as the Busch North. Brad Leighton has a record eight wins, while the late Ted Christopher has five K&N Pro Series wins to go with his five Whelen Modified Tour wins. Past NHMS winners in the K&N Pro Series include 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano and 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion William Byron. The Apple Barrel 125 is on Saturday at approximately 1:45 p.m. Download logo

Tyler Ankrum, who could mathematically seal his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship on Saturday at New Hampshire, enters the Apple Barrel 125 with a 51-point advantage in the championship standings. He is heading back to the ‘Magic Mile’ looking to complete the season sweep after leading all 70 laps from the pole in July.

His teammate, Tyler Dippel, is not going to go away quietly. Dippel finished fourth in the caution-free affair at NHMS in July, but has yet to visit Victory Lane this season. He will need Ankrum to stumble — but even if he can’t win the title — look for Dippel to be a contender in the Apple Barrel 125 as he looks to score his third career win.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West regular and current NASCAR Next member Derek Kraus is also making the trip to New Hampshire with the DGR-Crosley stable. Kraus will drive the No. 1, while Riley Herbst, another NASCAR Next member, will drive the No. 98.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Musket 250

If you’ve ever seen the bumping and drafting of the Mods, you already know that the Full Throttle Fall Weekend will feature some of the tightest and most competitive racing in the region. The Musket 250 will take center stage on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The stakes are high as the winner of the Musket 250 will claim a share of the $186,000 purse to go along with a custom Revolutionary War-era musket, minuteman trophy and tricorn hat. Download logo

It doesn’t get much bigger than this for the Whelen Modified Tour. Considered one of the biggest stages they race on since the inaugural event in 1990, New Hampshire upped the ante this year. Not only is it the longest distance in the history of the tour at 264.5, there’s more than a $25,000 prize at stake. Throw in live pit stops and the constant shuffling and reshuffling of the running order in the draft, and the Musket 250 is shaping up as a can’t miss event.The 250-lap distance will also bring pit crews and crew chiefs to the forefront with strategy set to play a major role in who captures the checkered flag.

Justin Bonsignore looks to continue on his championship path by putting himself in position to clinch his first title before the finale even takes the green. If Bonsignore has another strong day, and Chase Dowling stumbles, there is one scenario that could see Bonsignore clinch the title at the checkered flag of the Musket 250. With seven wins in 13 races, Bonsignore would love to add the longest race in Whelen Modified Tour history to his winning resume. He completed the season sweep of Riverhead Raceway in New York last time the series was on the track.

Ryan Preece will sit behind the wheel of the No. 77 for Gary Putnam, a ride that Monster Energy Cup Series star Ryan Newman piloted to a third-place finish in July after leading 16 laps from the pole. Preece, who has never been to Victory Lane in a points race at NHMS, does have one victory in the Whelen All-Star Shootout in 2017.

Bobby Santos III, who will return to competition driving for Tinio Racing, looks to complete the season sweep for the second straight year. Santos has won the last three Whelen Modified Tour events at New Hampshire, and has done it by leading a total of just 15 laps.

Burt Myers comes from a long list of racing family members including grandfather Billy Myers and uncle Bobby Myers, known from the Myers Brothers Award. Burt in a two-time NWSMT champion (2010-2016) and an eight-time champion at Bowman Gray Stadium including this season.

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.