The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will have a new look in 2018.
The sanctioning body revealed the mix of historic short tracks that will comprise the 35th season and third overall since the north and south divisions were unified before 2016. It will also include the return of the Musket 250 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway following a widely successful debut this fall.
For the third straight season, the NWMT will begin on the Grand Strand at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway. The race on Saturday, March 16, will precede the return of the tour to Virginia’s South Boston Speedway on March 30. That race essentially replaces Langley Speedway which spent the past two seasons on the schedule.
Following the southern swing, the tour will kick-start the New England racing season with a pair of marquee Connecticut race weekends: the 46th annual Icebreaker 150 weekend at Thompson Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 7, and the 48th annual Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 28.
The 16-race campaign will visit seven states and will also feature a new-returning event at Wall Stadium in New Jersey. The tour has contested three events at the home of the Turkey Derby but none since 2007.
“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule celebrates some of most iconic eastern short tracks,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR managing director for regional racing. “It’s a nod to the old school NASCAR Modified division racing from Connecticut to Virginia competing for championship points and bragging rights. After a tremendous 2018 season, we are even more excited about what 2019 will bring.”
This past year, Long Island’s Justin Bonsignore won half the races en route to his first championship. He gapped rising young star Chase Dowling and dethroned five-time tour champion Doug Coby to claim the top spot.
One of the highlights of 2018 was the inaugural Musket 250, a $25,000-to-win extra-distance championship event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dowling took advantage of a clash between Bonsignore and former tour champion – and 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver – Ryan Preece in the final turns of the final lap to score his first win and claim the biggest winner’s purse in tour history.
The 2019 race at New Hampshire will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The Whelen Modified Tour will also be part of the Monster Energy Series weekend at the “Magic Mile” with its championship points event on Saturday, July 21. The annual all-star race for the tour will be held on the 1.058-mile speedway on Friday, July 20. After a nine-year run, the Tour will not visit Bristol Motor Speedway in 2019.
The complete schedule can be found below.
2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule
|Sat, March 16||Myrtle Beach Speedway||Myrtle Beach, S.C.||150|
|Sat., March 30||South Boston Speedway||South Boston, Va.||150|
|Sun, April 7||Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, Conn.||150|
|Sun, April 28||Stafford Motor Speedway||Stafford, Conn.||200|
|Sat, May 18||Wall Stadium Speedway||Wall Township, N.J.||150|
|Sat, June 1||Seekonk Speedway||Seekonk, Mass.||150|
|Wed, June 5||Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, Conn.||125|
|Sat. July 6||Riverhead Raceway||Riverhead, N.Y.||200|
|Fri, July 19 **||New Hampshire Motor Speedway *||Loudon, N.H.||All Star|
|Sat, July 20||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Loudon, N.H.||100|
|Fri, Aug 2||Stafford Motor Speedway||Stafford, Conn.||150|
|Wed, Aug 14||Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, Conn.||150|
|Sat, Aug 31||Oswego Speedway||Oswego, N.Y.||150|
|Sat, Sept 7||Riverhead Raceway||Riverhead, N.Y.||200|
|Sat, Sept 21||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Loudon, N.H.||250|
|Sun, Sept 29||Stafford Motor Speedway||Stafford, Conn.||150|
|Sun, Oct 13||Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, Conn.||150|