Time to hit the big stage.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams are headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway with just three races left in the season, but this race isn’t just any other race.
It’s the second annual Musket 250 presented by Whelen, which will tie last year’s inaugural event for the longest race in the history of the series. Drivers are chasing a $25,000 first-place prize around the ‘Magic Mile’ on Saturday in a true test of driver and equipment.
A championship battle that has just 19 points separating the top two is heating up entering the Musket 250 presented by Whelen.
In the final lap of the inaugural event, contact between Ryan Preece and Justin Bonsignore sent both of them into the wall, and allowed Chase Dowling to earn the first-ever Musket prize. Dowling is heading back looking to make it a clean sweep, but this time with a different race team.
His Sunoco Rookie of the Year season in 2018 came driving for Rob Fuller and LFR Chassis, but this year he’s teaming with veteran car owner Jamie Tomaino, who he’s already run five races for this season — including at NHMS in July. Dowling qualified eighth and finished third in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100, proving he’s nearly mastered the drafting techniques New Hampshire takes.
On the championship front, Doug Coby is coming off a night at Riverhead Raceway he’d like to quickly forget, and there would be no better way to do that than win one of the biggest prizes in the series. Coby has five championships to his credit and is no stranger to Victory Lane — but adding another checkered flag at New Hampshire, in this race, would add to his already stout career stats.
Bonsignore, who led 77 laps last before the final turn incident last year, earned his first New Hampshire win in 2016, and has finished inside the top 10 in seven of his last starts at the 1.058-mile track. Bonsignore is only 19 back of Coby, but with three races left, he still needs to find a way to slice into the gap quickly.
On the entry list front, a few names stick out that fans might want to watch. Former New Hampshire winner Woody Pitkat begins his tenure with Eddie Harvey Racing, a combination that is preparing for battle for the remainder of this season, and hoping to chase the championship crown next season.
Former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Burt Myers, who has driven for Harvey already this season, is bringing his own car up to New England looking to earn the prize in just his second New Hampshire start. Myers finished third in the inaugural race, driving for Harvey.
Ron Silk, who earned the victory in the July Whelen Modified Tour race, returns looking to sweep the season, while Bobby Santos III looks to turn on the heat and start another NHMS streak. Santos finished 24th after crashing in July, and crashed in the Musket 250 last year, but prior to that, he earned three New Hampshire wins in a row.
RACE: MUSKET 250
PLACE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
DATE: Saturday, September 21
TIME: 3:05 p.m. ET (approx.)
STREAMING: FansChoice.TV 3:05 p.m. et
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.058-mile paved oval
2018 WINNER: Chase Dowling
2018 POLE: Chase Dowling
SCHEDULE: Friday Garage Opens: 7:45 a.m., Practice: 12-1:25 p.m., Qualifying: 4:15 p.m.; Saturday: Driver Autographs: 10:30-11:30 a.m., Musket 250 presented by Whelen: 3:05 p.m. (approx.)
1. Doug Coby -19
2. Justin Bonsignore -45
3. Ron Silk -45
4. Craig Lutz -70
5. Eric Goodale -106
Number. Name. Owner.
- 01 Melissa Fifield Kenneth Fifield
- 1 Woody Pitkat Eddie Harvey
- 2 Doug Coby Mike Smeriglio III
- 3 Matt Swanson Jan Boehler
- 04 Burt Myers Marty Edwards
- 06 Sam Rameau Randy Rameau
- 07 Patrick Emerling Jennifer Emerling
- 7 Jon McKennedy Tommy Baldwin
- 12 J.R. Bertuccio Stoch Botoua
- 14 Blake Barney Richard Barney
- 16 Timmy Solomito Eric Sanderson
- 18 Ken Heagy Robert Pollifrone
- 21 TBA Joseph Bertuccio
- 25 Calvin Carroll Joe Carroll
- 33 Wade Cole Wade Cole
- 34 J.B. Fortin Nicole Fortin
- 36 Bobby Santos III Judy Thilberg
- 38 Kyle Ellwood Linda Rodenbaugh
- 45 Timmy Catalano Dave Catalano
- 46 Craig Lutz Russell Goodale
- 47 Joey Mucciacciaro Frank Mucciacciaro
- 51 Justin Bonsignore Kenneth Massa
- 54 Tommy Catalano Amy Catalano
- 58 Eric Goodale Edgar Goodale
- 64 Rob Summers Mike Murphy
- 75 Chris Pasteryak Charles Pasteryak
- 77 Gary Putnam Mike Curb
- 78 Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Steven Sutcliffe
- 82 Andy Seuss Danny Watts Jr.
- 83 TBA Richard Rodenbaugh
- 84 Amy Catalano Allie Brainard
- 85 Ron Silk Kevin Stuart
- 92 Anthony Nocella Anthony Nocella
- 99 Chase Dowling Cheryl Tomaino