By the Grace of God and 600 horsepower, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is back, and it’s back at Martinsville Speedway too.
Six months after a pandemic shortened nine-race season, a full slate begins at one of the traditional homes of Tour Type Modified racing in southern Virginia. The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday night and will air live on TrackPass.
The oldest division in NASCAR will reunite with the oldest track in national touring to begin writing the next chapter in the most prestigious pavement short track tour in the country.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The NASCAR Modified Tour hasn’t raced at Martinsville since 2010 and only nine drivers who competed in that race are on the entry list for the return.
Two-time and defending champion Justin Bonsignore was one of them, finishing second to Bobby Santos III the last time the Tour raced at Martinsville Speedway. The champion is also in the midst of one of the most impressive seasons in NASCAR history with 15 straight top-fives and 20 straight top-10s.
He hasn’t finished outside of the top-10 in a NASCAR Tour race since August 2019.
NASCAR Cup Series stars Ryan Newman and Ryan Preece are also entered into the race, after participating in a test last month. Newman has a Cup win at the half-mile that came back in 2012, with Preece having won the Tour race at Martinsville in 2008.
Doug Coby is just a year removed from his sixth championship, while Craig Lutz, Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk were all contenders last season. Two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss is also entered in Thursday’s race. Seuss was sixth at New Hampshire in his only tour appearance in 2019.
PLACE: Martinsville Raceway in Martinsville, Virginia
DATE: Thursday, April 8, 2021
TIME: 8 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM: TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live) / NBCSN – Wednesday, April 14, 5 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: Half-mile paved oval
EVENT SCHEDULE: Friday, March 12: Garage opens: 9:45 a.m. ET; Practice: 2:30-4 p.m.; Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200: 8 p.m.
|00||Jeff Fultz||Scott Anderson||Chevrolet||TBA|
|01||Melissa Fifield||Kenneth Fifield||Chevrolet||Ken Fifield|
|1||Woody Pitkat||Eddie Harvey||Chevrolet||Cam McDermott|
|5||Kyle Ebersole||Bob Ebersole||Ford||Bob Ebersole|
|6||Ryan Preece||Ed Partridge||Chevrolet||TBA|
|06||Sam Rameau||Randy Rameau||Chevrolet||Chris Burdell|
|7||Jon McKennedy||Tommy Baldwin||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin|
|07||Patrick Emerling||Jennifer Emerling||Chevrolet||Jan Leaty|
|10||Doug Coby||Phil Moran||Chevrolet||Phil Moran|
|14||Bobby Measmer, Jr.||Kevin Hughes||Chevrolet||TBA|
|15||Kyle Soper||Wayne Anderson||Chevrolet||Tom Soper|
|18||Ken Heagy||Robert Pollifrone||Chevrolet||TBA|
|22||Kyle Bonsignore||Kyle Bonsignore||Chevrolet||Bobby Foley|
|26||Gary McDonald||Sean McDonald||Chevrolet||Chad McDonald|
|30||Gary Byington||Gary Byington||Chevrolet||Dan Reed|
|32||Tyler Rypkema||Dean Rypkema||Chevrolet||Zach Truesdall|
|34||J.B. Fortin||Nicole Fortin||Chevrolet||Jason Blatz|
|36||Dave Sapienza||David Sapienza||Chevrolet||Tommy Grasso|
|46||Craig Lutz||Russell Goodale||Chevrolet||Doug Ogiejko|
|50||Ronnie Williams||Paul Les||Ford||Adam Skowyra|
|51||Justin Bonsignore||Ken Massa||Chevrolet||Ryan Stone|
|53||Ryan Newman||Mike Curb||Chevrolet||Kevin Manion|
|54||Tommy Catalano||Zach Reissner||Chevrolet||David Catalano|
|57||Jared Fryar||Bryan Dauzat||Chevrolet||TBA|
|58||Eric Goodale||Edgar Goodale||Chevrolet||Jason Shephard|
|64||Rob Summers||Mike Murphy||Toyota||TBA|
|77||Max McLaughlin||Mike Curb||Chevrolet||Teddy Musgrave Jr.|
|78||Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.||Steven Sutcliffe||Chevrolet||Kevin Anderson|
|82||Anthony Nocella||Danny Watts Jr.||Chevrolet||Jarod Zeltmann|
|85||Ron Silk||Kevin Stuart||Chevrolet||Kenny Stuart|
|97||Bryan Dauzat||Bryan Dauzat||Chevrolet||Todd Cooper|
|99||Jamie Tomaino||Cheryl Tomaino||Chevrolet||Trey Tomaino|
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 is limited to limited to 32 starters including provisionals. The field will be set by qualifying (1-26) and provisional process per the entry blank (27-32) for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200. In the event that qualifying as stated on the entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2021 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.
QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. (EIRI) Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time.
RACE PIT STOP: Live pit stop procedure – Teams may not take tires and fuel in the same stop. Maximum five crew members over the wall.
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is twelve (12) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event.
The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.
QUALIFYING AND SPECIAL AWARDS
$400 Phil Kurze Halfway Leader Award presented by Josten’s per event award to the race leader at the halfway point of the event, regardless if the race is running under green or yellow.
$600 Hoosier Tire “Lap Leader” per event award to the eligible car owner whose driver leads the most laps in each event. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event.
$500 Hoosier Tire “Hard Charger” per event award to the highest finishing eligible driver who advances the most positions during the course of the race. In the case of a tie, the highest finishing driver will receive the award.
$500 Hoosier Tire “Most Improved” per event award to the eligible new team/organization whose driver improves the most positions during the course of the race. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event. If money is not awarded during this event, funds will rollover to the next event and will continue to rollover until an eligible new team/organization claims the money.
$1,000 Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole per event award to the driver with the fastest qualifying time eligible to participate under the Manufacturers’ Prize Money Conditions.
$550 Sunoco Spec Fuel award divided: 1st-$300 5th-$150 10th-$100.
$3,500 Whelen Engineering “Winner of the Race” award to the winning driver.
Whelen Non-Starter award will be paid to the first 15 competitors throughout the season who pass inspection, practice, attempt to qualify, but fail to make the feature event.