Whelen Modified Tour Schedule Blends
Tradition With Innovation In 2007
* New Tracks: Twin State, Wall Township and
Mansfield Speedways Added to 2007 Slate
* New Format: Qualifying Races Scheduled at Wall Township, Twin State and
* Saturdays at NHIS: Open Wheel Excitement on Two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Long-time racing traditions share space on the calendar with
new events, as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set for a strong 2007
The schedule begins with Thompson (Conn.) International
Speedway’s annual “Icebreaker” event on Sun., April 15. The Icebreaker is
the first of 16 championship points races planned in 2007. Another New
England racing custom, the “Spring Sizzler” at Stafford Motor Speedway, in
Stafford Springs, Conn., is set for Sun., April 29.
Following the Spring Sizzler at Stafford, three of the next
six events will feature a new three-part “Flash” format. Those events
include a trip to Wall Township (N.J.) Speedway on Sun., May 6, for what is
being touted as “Thunder at the Shore,” and a mid-summer Sunday afternoon
event at Twin State Speedway, in Claremont, N.H., on July 8. With this
event, Twin State returns to the schedule for the first time since 1985. The
third of these three special events will be held at Riverhead (N.Y.)
Raceway, on Sat., Aug. 4.
The “Flash” events will include twin qualifying races – one
for the even-numbered drivers in the point standings and one for
odd-numbered drivers in the standings – in place of traditional time trials.
The top finishers from each qualifying race will transfer into a feature
event, in which the main prize money and championship points will be
awarded. Starting positions for the feature events will be based on
finishing positions of the qualifying races, with the drivers from the
faster of the two races lined up on the inside row.
The qualifying races and feature events at Wall and Twin
State will be 50 laps each, while the “Flash” event at Riverhead is
scheduled to include twin 60-lap qualifying races and a 70-lap feature
“The 2007 Whelen Modified Tour schedule will bring new
excitement and generate new interest in what is already one of NASCAR’s most
popular and historic touring series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s
managing director of racing operations. “The teams and drivers on the Whelen
Modified Tour produce some of the best racing in our entire sport and this
schedule is designed to showcase what NASCAR Modified racing is all about –
incredible racing with incredible machines.
“Long-time fans and new fans alike will find plenty of
opportunities to see the Whelen Modified Tour at its very best.”
A top executive from Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering,
title sponsor of the Tour since 2005, echoed Silbermann’s sentiments.
“I can’t tell you how pleased we are to be part of the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour during this exciting time,” said Phil Kurze, vice
president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering. “The 2007 schedule presents
the Whelen Modified Tour to fans in new and exciting ways, while also
respecting and continuing many of the longstanding traditions that make
Modified racing unique.”
Other 2007 schedule highlights include:
* In between these innovative “Flash” events, the Whelen Modified Tour makes
return visits to Stafford on Fri., May 25, and Thompson on Thurs., June 21,
along with the first of two stops at the
1.058-mile New Hampshire
International Speedway (NHIS), in Loudon, N.H., on Sat., June 30.
* Both events at NHIS will be held in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
Series, offering up-and-coming Modified drivers the opportunity to showcase
their skills before NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams and sponsors – and providing an
exciting open-wheel racing experience for NHIS fans on Saturday afternoons.
* After the final “Flash” event at Riverhead, the schedule continues Fri.,
Aug. 10, at Stafford, and Thurs., Aug. 16, at Thompson, before heading to
another new venue: Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway on Sat., Aug. 25.
* The Mansfield event will be held in conjunction with the NASCAR Grand
National Division, Busch East Series in an exciting Saturday afternoon
NASCAR doubleheader at one of the nation’s premier state-of-the-art short
* The Whelen Modified Tour travels to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Labor
Day weekend, for a combination event that includes the NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified Tour for a third consecutive year.
* The schedule concludes with return visits to Thompson on Sun., Sept. 9;
NHIS on Sat., Sept. 15; Stafford on Sun., Sept. 30; and the traditional
season finale at Thompson, on Sun., Oct. 14.
The Whelen Modified Tour features lightweight, open-wheeled
racing machines that have been part of NASCAR since its first season in
1948. Throughout its storied history, the NASCAR Modified division has
proven to be a tremendous training and developmental program for future
stars. Todd Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, began
his career in the Modified division along with his racing brothers, Geoff
and Brett Bodine. Drivers Jimmy Spencer, Mike McLaughlin and Steve Park also
began their careers in the Modifieds, along with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
crew chiefs Greg Zipadelli and Tommy Baldwin Jr.
In 2006, Mike Stefanik made history by winning his seventh
Whelen Modified Tour championship. Combined with his two previous NASCAR
Grand National Division, Busch East Series titles, Stefanik’s accomplishment
tied him with another Modified legend and nine-time NASCAR champion, Richie
Evans, as NASCAR’s all-time championship leader.
2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 'Tentative' Schedule
Sunday, April 15 – Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
Sunday, April 29 – Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Sunday, May 6 – Wall Township (N.J.) Speedway*
Friday, May 25 – Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Thursday, June 21 – Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
Saturday, June 30 – New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Sunday, July 8 – Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H.*
Saturday, Aug. 4 – Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway**
Friday, Aug. 10 – Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Thursday, Aug. 16 – Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 25 – Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 1 – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway ***
Sunday, Sept. 9 – Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
Saturday, Sept. 15 – New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Sunday, Sept. 30 – Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Sunday, Oct. 14 – Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 19-20 – “Save the date”
* = “Flash” event featuring twin 50s qualifying format and 50-lap feature
** = “Flash” event featuring twin 60s qualifying format and 70-lap feature
*** = Combination event with NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE – SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Davidson/NASCAR WMT PR Posted:
December 15, 2006