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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour





The Dreams of Boys Become the Life’s of Men

Denise DuPont

As the 2011 race season comes to an end we take the time to reflect on the year and give thanks for another year of racing. Sponsors are an important part of racing and Whelen Engineering has played a key role as the Official Series Sponsor for the Whelen Modified Tour, Whelen Southern Modified Tour and Whelen All-American Series. Phil Kurze, Whelen Engineering Vice President of Motorsports has worked closely with NASCAR to grow the sports fan base at both Home Tracks and Touring levels.

At the NASCAR banquet in Charlotte, NC, I had an opportunity to speak to Kurze to get his feedback, now the 2011 racing season is in the books. “It was a great season. The Modified Tour event came down to the very end. I was trying to keep track whether it was going to be Ron Silk or Todd Szegedy with the crashes and trying to figure out what was going on. And that is really what it really should be – that exciting. That is what makes it exciting. That is what puts people in the grandstands.”

Driver autograph sessions have become an integral part of every race bringing fans and drivers face to face while they share a signature and a special moment. “Our autograph sessions I am really happy with because all of our drivers participate in them and the drivers are connecting with the fans,” said Kurze. “They are meeting them eye to eye.”

Most of us in racing in the racing community have at least one autograph, picture or special moment in our lifetime. Kurze as part of the racing family has his own special memory: “As a young boy in 1954 when I was five years old I went to the Waterford Speedbowl and I met my favorite driver of the time, Wild Bill Slater. And I have never been the same since. I think that if we make that kind of connection with the fans we are going to run into the same situation and that is what makes your promoters want the series because the fans are demanding it. So as race promoters we have to make that connection with the fans.”

This year the NWMT crossed over the borders into Canada for the first time. It was a new experience for races teams as the Tour fulfilled one of the wishes of Kurze to have the NWMT share the magic. “I enjoyed going to Canada for the first time. I was one of the motivators behind that because Canada is our number two marketplace after the Unites States. I wanted to show our Tour to the Canadian audience.”

Kurze summarized the 2011 year and what the Modified Tour is made up of:
“Overall I thought that it was a great season. We have a great mixture of young and old people. And you never know. When you go to a Modified Tour race and a Southern Modified Tour race there are over a half dozen drivers that can really be the winner. So you really do not know what is going to happen until the last lap of the race as far as what is going to happen.“

  Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 13, 2011

©2011 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.