Whelen Motorsports

Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Loudon

NWMT • July 08, 2013

Tour Provides Magic At The "Magic Mile"

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the competitors and fans of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the two annual events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have a reverential place on the calendar. And even though the Mods have pounded the “Magic Mile” pavement nearly 60 times through two-plus decades, the excitement still remains.

As the Whelen Modified Tour returns to Loudon, N.H., for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Saturday, July 13, fans should be primed for yet another fantastic finish. Never has the competition been as close as in recent seasons.

In the summer of 2008, Chuck Hossfeld nipped Ted Christopher at the finish line by just 0.001 seconds for the closest margin of victory in Whelen Modified Tour history. Then in last year’s edition of the Town Fair Tire 100, Mike Stefanik and Ron Silk reprised the roll of Hossfeld-Christopher as Stefanik came out on top by 0.003 seconds.

Stefanik is no stranger to memorable moments at the “Magic Mile.” Last year’s victory was his eighth in a Modified at the track, which established a Whelen Tour all-time record.

Christopher has also found plenty of Loudon laud through the years as well, with a track record 10 checkered flags across all series. The owner of the third-most career wins in tour history with 42, Christopher will look to the Town Fair Tire 100 to end a 20-race winless drought, the third-longest such streak of his decorated career.

As the Whelen Modified Tour makes its first trip of the year to the 1.058-mile oval, Ryan Preece will look to make some history of his own in Loudon. The points leader and winner of the last three events, Preece will attempt to become just the third driver in tour history to win four races in a row. Only Stefanik (1997) and the late Richie Evans (1985) have previously accomplished the feat.

To add his name to the history books, Preece will have to overcome the mile that has been less than magic for him. In 13 career races there, Preece has managed an average finish of 13th, but with the momentum he brings in this time around, he could very well end his personal NHMS drought. Perhaps even in another photo finish even.

RACE: Town Fair Tire 100
PLACE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
DATE: Saturday, July 13
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.058-mile asphalt oval
2012 WINNER: Mike Stefanik
2012 POLESITTER: Ron Silk
EVENT SCHEDULE: Friday: Practice 9-10:45 a.m., Qualifying 4:45 p.m.; Saturday: Driver Autograph Session 10-10:30 a.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Kristen Costa, 603-513-5708, kcosta@nhms.com
EVENT HASHTAG: #TownFairTire100
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Cunningham, 704-201-6658, jcunningham@nascar.com, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE

The Race: The Town Fair Tire 100 will be the sixth of 14 races on the 2013 schedule and the first of two at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 38 cars, including provisionals. The first 33 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 100 laps (105.8 miles) and will have a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 50. The tire change rule is four tires, any position.

The Track: NHMS, a 1.058-mile slightly-banked asphalt oval, is the largest track the Whelen Modified Tour races at. NHMS has played host to the Whelen Modified Tour 56 times previously, the most of any facility outside of Connecticut.

Race Winners: There have been 18 different race winners at NHMS, led by Mike Stefanik with eight victories. Stefanik is also the defending winner of the Town Fair Tire 100.

Pole Winners: There have been 24 different pole winners at NHMS, led by Jan Leaty’s six. Ted Christopher is the active poles leader with five. Mike Ewanitsko holds the qualifying record at 28.693 seconds (132.743 mph), set in 2001.

Newman Resumes Modified Moonlight: For the sixth season in a row, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman will begin his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour moonlight with the Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman has nine previous tour appearances at New Hampshire, highlighted by wins in both events in 2010. As with years past, Newman plans to compete in the tour’s return trip to Loudon in September as well as the August date at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he also has a pair of Modified victories.

Double Duty for Preece at NHMS: Whelen Modified Tour points leader Ryan Preece will have double duty in Loudon this weekend as he will also attempt to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. Preece will pilot the No. 8 East West Marine Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the CNBC Prime’s “The Profit” 200. The pairing of Preece with TBR continues the Modified connection from recent seasons with Baldwin, a former Whelen Modified Tour crew chief. Current tour competitor Bobby Santos has also competed in the Nationwide Series for Baldwin, and former Modified standout Steve Park drove for TBR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at NHMS.

Preece Set for NASCAR Next Karting Event: In between his busy New Hampshire weekend and the next round of Modified action, Preece will compete in the inaugural NASCAR Next vs. Media Karting Challenge on July 17 at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C. The fun event will be the first of many outings for Preece as part of the 2013-14 NASCAR Next driver lineup. NASCAR Next is an industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars, and Preece is one of 13 members of the current group.

More on Preece, the Hottest Driver in Modified Racing: Not only is Preece the Whelen Modified Tour points leader and winner of the last three races heading into New Hampshire, but he’s also on fire in weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. Preece has won the last two features – and five of eight on the season – at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in the SK Modified division. He’s also won two of the last four Modified division features at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. Add to that another victory in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway this year and Preece has 11 wins in 26 NASCAR Modified races this year. Since he was named to the NASCAR Next roster on June 7, he’s recorded eight victories.

NASCAR Night at Lowell Spinners: The Lowell Spinners – the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox – will hold their annual “NASCAR Night” at LeLacheur Park on Wednesday, July 10 in Lowell, Mass. Bobby Santos and other fellow NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will be in attendance for the promotional night.

Southern Invaders: A trio of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour drivers are signed up to take on their northern counterparts in the Town Fair Tire 100 with Bryan Dauzat, Kyle Ebersole and Andy Seuss. Originally from Hampstead, N.H., Seuss regularly competes in the Whelen Modified Tour events in his home state in his family-owned car, but this time around he’ll have his southern tour team in tow. For Dauzat and Ebersole, the Town Fair Tire 100 will be their first “Magic Mile” experience.

HOME TRACKS: Tie Atop Granite State Standings
Just like the overall NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points standings, the state of New Hampshire has a tie atop the leaderboard through the latest points update on July 2. Tyler Jarvenpaa and Bill Kimball Jr. each recorded 213 points to lead the NWAAS in the Granite State. The pair compete at Monadnock Speedway in rural Winchester. Monadnock is one of three Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned tracks in New Hampshire along with Lee USA Speedway and Canaan Fair Speedway.

LAST TIME OUT: Riverhead
The fifth race of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season was contested at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway on June 29. Here are some highlights of the Hoosier Tire 200:
• Ryan Preece recovered from a mid-race accident and capitalized on a late spin by leader Ted Christopher for his eighth career Whelen Modified Tour victory, and third in a row. It was his third career tour win at Riverhead.
• Riverhead native Eric Goodale recorded a career-best finish of second while John Beatty Jr. – a weekly competitor at the track – crossed the line third in his Whelen Modified Tour debut.
• Ron Silk earned the eighth Coors Light Pole Award of his career and led the first 43 laps of the race before eventually being involved in an accident.
• Defending tour champion Doug Coby suffered an accident in qualifying and was not able to start the race.

NEXT TIME OUT: Monadnock
Following the Town Fair Tire 100 the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the state of New Hampshire for its next event on July 27 at Monadnock Speedway. The quarter-mile bullring in rural Winchester was supposed to hold the Town Fair Tire Whitcomb 200 on May 11, but the event was postponed due to rain. Ryan Preece is the defending race winner.