Category Archives: NASCAR

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour releases 2019 Schedule

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 35th season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will feature a mix of historic short tracks on the eastern seaboard as well as the second running of the 250-lap showcase event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

For the third straight season, the Whelen Modified Tour will kick off 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.

Following the southern swing, the tour will kickoff the New England racing season as the headliner for a pair of landmark Connecticut race weekends: the 46th annual Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 7, and the 48th annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on Sunday, April 28.

The 16-race tour calendar visits seven states and features the return to Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey. The tour has run three events at the high-banked third-mile oval, most recently in 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 rolled off eight wins en route to his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. He out-distanced rising young star Chase Dowling and dethroned five-time tour champion Doug Coby to claim the top spot in the premier Modified series.

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.

Other schedule highlights include:

  • Two premier northeastern tracks remain in place on the calendar: Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway will host the tour on Saturday, June 1. The tour’s trip to upstate New York and Oswego Raceway will be part of the track’s 63rd Annual Classic Week with the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s.
  • Riverhead Raceway will host a pair of races: Saturday, July 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7. Bonsignore swept the two events at his home track in 2018.
  • The championship will conclude with the traditional races at Stafford and Thompson. First will be the 47th Annual NAPA Fall Final weekend at Stafford on Sunday, Sept. 29, followed by the crowning of the 2019 champion at the 57th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, Oct. 13.

2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule

Date Track Location Laps
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

– NASCAR Hometracks Photo –

Ray Evernham aquires JRI Shocks

Mooresville, NC- Motorsports Icon and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham announced today his acquisition of JRi Shocks, effective immediately. JRi Shocks founder, Jeff Ryan, will continue to play a leading role in the organization as a Partner and Vice President of Engineering.

“Since retiring from the competition side of NASCAR, I have been itching to find an opportunity to continue using my experience in business and engineering, so when JRi was presented to me it was a natural fit,” said Evernham, CEO and President of JRi Shocks. “I have worked with Jeff Ryan for more than 30 years and have always known he was one of the most innovative shock designers in the motorsports industry, but what really drew me to JRi is the work Jeff and his team are doing outside of racing. From street performance to off-road, they are creating some of the most functional, highest quality shocks on the market. I am really looking forward to working with Jeff to take JRi to the next level.”

Evernham will be heavily involved in all areas of the business, including marketing and sales strategy, new product design and operations. Under the new ownership, JRi will focus on better serving their existing customers, expanding their product offerings in current markets and continuing to gain market share in the aftermarket shock industry.

“With Ray Evernham as the owner and with same shared disciplines, JRi will be able to focus on product innovation and achieve our ultimate goal of delivering the best products and services to our customers. I am looking forward to writing JRi’s next chapter while building on our current performance with a dedicated team in place that has been chosen to pilot the future trajectory of the company,” said Jeff Ryan, Partner and Vice President of Engineering JRi Shocks.

JRi Shocks’ new headquarters will be located at 115 Eastbend Court, Mooresville, NC 28117.

-JRi Shocks Press Release

Gragson – From Short Track roots to the Xfinity Series in 2019

JR Motorsports announced Tuesday that Camping World Truck Series driver, Noah Gragson would be joining the organization in 2019. It was no ordinary Driver Reveal or Press Release as the team went full JRM 360 in their latest Facebook video as seen below titled “Credential Required”…

 

Noah Gragson started his NASCAR journey like most other young guns did in the sport, started racing Bandoleros at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring at the age of 13, eventually moving to compete in Late Models. Gragson also competed in the INEX Legends car series, winning the 2014 Young Lion Road Course championship.

Gragson competed in both the K&N Pro Series East and the K&N Pro Series West in 2016, winning a combined four races. On October 7, he was hired by Kyle Busch Motorsports to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. In preparation, he drove the No. 18 Toyota from KBM at the Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway events in an entry fielded by Wauters Motorsports. In his debut at Phoenix, Gragson qualified 14th and finished 16th. Gragson raced at Homestead as well, qualifying 10th and finishing 15th. In 2017, he recorded his first career Truck win in the fall at Martinsville Speedway and finished tenth in points.

He returned to the No. 18 KBM truck for the 2018 season, while also making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing at Richmond Raceway as part of a three-race schedule that included further starts at Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway. His racing slate also included starts on the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and CARS Tour circuits in an effort to make himself a better driver via more seat time.

Noah currently sits 2nd in the NCWTS points (9/25/18) as he is still going for his first NASCAR Championship.

As the Video notes, Noah will be taking over the No.1 machine that has been piloted by Elliott Sadler since the 2016 Season. Current rumors are that Noah will be bringing his current sponsors, Switch and Safelite Autoglass with him as he joins JRM.

Article Photo by: Jason Wedehase

Parsons to make CWTS Debut at Bristol

Mooresville, NC (August 7, 2018) – Premium Motorsports is proud to welcome Stefan Parsons, NASCAR Whelen All American Series and CARS Tour Series driver, to the team as he makes his NASCAR Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway. Parsons will pilot the #15 Chevy Silverado in his first ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Phoenix Construction Services, Inc. will serve as Parsons’ primary sponsor in Thursday night’s ‘UNOH 200’.

Stefan Parsons has racing in his blood. He has been around the sport his entire life as the son of former NASCAR driver/Cup Series team owner, now Fox Sports 1 race commentator, Phil Parsons and nephew to NASCAR Hall of Famer, Benny Parsons. He now looks to make a name for himself in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“I’m super excited to make my truck debut at Bristol. I can’t thank Jay Robinson and everyone at Premium Motorsports enough as well as James Finch & Phoenix Construction for giving me this opportunity. I’m excited to work with Mike Hillman Sr & Peter Sospenzo as I make my NASCAR debut in the #15 Phoenix Construction, Chevy Silverado. This is something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life and I can’t put into words what this means to me. My family has a history of winning at Bristol and I hope to continue the tradition.” – Stefan Parsons

Parsons.png

Caraway to go up for sale, cutting back remaining schedule

One of the most historic weekly racing facilities in North Carolina is shuttering its weekly racing program effective immediately. Caraway Speedway owners, Darren and Renee Hackett, said on Monday afternoon that Caraway Speedway is scaling back the remainder of its 2018 racing schedule to six events.

 Darren Hackett said a large part of why this is happening is because of the passing of his father and longtime Caraway Speedway owner/promoter, Russell Hackett.

“I think it’s time to hit the reset button and shutter weekly racing at the track,” said Hackett.  “(As far as the sale) The estate has to be settled and the other members are wanting to sell the facility.  At this time, I can’t make the obligation to purchase it, so I’m searching for the right buyer.

“I’m taking this from Dad’s playbook; it’s 1981 all over again. It was really bad back then and by the third week of May car counts had really declined to the point that he shuttered weekly racing.  He took some weeks off and finished the year with special events only. By the end of the season, the crowds and car count was really strong. I’m hoping the same will happen this time around.”

Caraway Speedway opened in 1966 as a dirt track and was paved in 1972. Darren’s father, Russell, purchased the track in 1977 and promoted the facility until 2011 when he turned it over to Darren. Bobby Labonte and Dennis Setzer are two notable NASCAR drivers that have won track championships at Caraway Speedway.

Recently, Caraway Speedway has become a haven for open-wheel Tour-type Modified racing in the Carolinas, along with Bowman Gray Stadium. The Hackett’s, who also own the Southern Modified Racing Series and promote the North-South Shootout, said they are hoping to find a buyer for Caraway that will keep the Modifieds as a priority.

“I have a couple candidates, but I’m really looking for the right one,” explained Darren. “I’m looking for someone that can help it survive. I want someone that has a desire for Modified racing, because without Caraway, Modifieds will fall by the wayside.

“We started down that road (with a prospective buyer) last August. We got about time to sign the paperwork and our buyer backed out.”

“I don’t want it to be a North Wilkesboro or a Rockingham,” added Renee.

“I’m hoping that I can find the right fit to ensure that racing can continue for a very long time in the future,” continued Darren.

The Hackett’s, who also own and promote the 602 Super Limited and Modified Tours in addition to Caraway and the Southern Modified Racing Series, said they will fulfill their obligations to every tour and the North-South Shootout through the rest of this year.

“It is my plan to continue doing it (SMRS) because it is my baby,” explained Renee. “Darren and I have to talk about the financials of doing it; My hope is for it to continue on. I certainly don’t have any plans of not doing it.”

Caraway Speedway’s next event will be on July 7thwhen the Southern Modified Racing Series, will race at the track along with Late Model Stock Cars, and the 602 Super Limited and Modified Tours, which are also owned by the Hackett’s. The Allison Legacy Series will also be on the card that evening.

The Hacketts are passionate about racing and their hearts have poured into the speedway for years.  Now the reset button has been hit and it’s time to figure out the best path for the future of Caraway Speedway.

Caraway Speedway Remaining 2018 Schedule

July 7             SMRS, LMSC, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Allison Legacy

July 28           Southeast Super Trucks

Aug. 25          SMRS, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Limited Late Models, U-Cars, Mini Stocks

Sept. 3           Labor Day Classic – Limited Late Models, Chargers, Mini Stocks, U-Cars, 602 Modifieds

Sept. 8           SMRS, 602 Super Limited and Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Mini Stocks, U-Cars

Alfredo ready for South Boston return

MDM Motorsports and driver Anthony Alfredo are ready to get their first victory of the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season this Saturday, May 12 at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia.

They’ll have two chances to achieve that goal as twin 100-lap features are on the card. Last year, Harrison Burton grabbed a popular win in one of the races in front of family and friends for MDM, and Alfredo is ready to do the same.

The popular racer will be behind the wheel of the Ceco Building Systems, Oxford Energy, JDRF No. 40 Toyota for his fourth start in the series. He currently sits sixth in the championship standings.

“Going back to South Boston is good,” Alfredo said. “It’s a benefit whenever you can go back to a track you’ve had experience at before. That showed in our last race at Langley, and we’re looking for one spot better at South Boston. I know the car will be fast, and Robert Huffman and the team do an outstanding job, so we should be in great shape on Saturday.”

Huffman was equally optimistic about his team’s chances. “For Anthony, it’s a big boost to go to track where he has high confidence and I think that really showed up at the last race. I wouldn’t expect anything less for this race either. Our team works really hard and we’re after nothing less than a win this weekend.”

-MDM PR-

-Adam Mattox Photo-

PASS Series to invade Richmond in 2018

Officials from the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and Richmond Raceway announced today a major addition to the 2018 motorsports calendar. The PASS Super Late Models will headline the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night, October 20. The PASS Super Late Models will compete in a 100-lap event on the famed three-quarter mile oval, along with a 75 lapper for the Late Model Stock cars, as well as feature events for Limited Late Models and Street Stocks. A practice day for all divisions is scheduled for Friday, October 19 that will see all cars attending go through a mandatory safety inspection. Additional practice, qualifying, and all features will take place on Saturday night, October 20, all ending under the lights of Richmond Raceway.

“Many have said that Richmond Raceway is the perfect short track for fans and racers…we agree and believe the Commonwealth Classic will be a bucket list event for short trackers for years to come,” said PASS President Tom Mayberry. “We’ve been working with Dennis [Bickmeier] and his staff at Richmond for the better part of the year to give short track racers and fans this new event and are glad that Super Late Model racers, along with Limiteds and Street Stocks, will have the chance to race at Richmond for the first time ever. We’re also glad that Late Model Stocks will be returning to Richmond and one of the first tracks that ever ran that division back in the early 1980s.”

“We look forward to bringing another weekend of racing to fans in Racing Virginia with the Pro All Stars Series,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “The inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic will feature some of North America’s best Super Late Model drivers, and we are honored PASS selected Richmond Raceway as the site for its championship race weekend. It is going to be another great weekend of racing as the Action Track gets hot in October.”

The Commonwealth Classic at Richmond will be the penultimate race of the PASS National Championship Series. Now entering its 11th season, Super Late Model racing’s only true national championship will bring drivers together from all over North America to compete this Fall at Richmond Raceway.

“When you look at the great drivers that race in PASS North from New England and Canada like Ben Rowe, DJ Shaw, Travis Benjamin and others and the great PASS South drivers like Matt Craig, Tate Fogleman, Kodie Conner and those guys, this is the type of event that they will want to win and be a part of,” said Mayberry. “You take those competitors, along with all the other great Super Late Model drivers from the Midwest, West Coast and the Canadian Maritimes that we expect to compete…that’s gonna be one heck of a show come October.”

The Commonwealth Classic will consist of a 100 lap event for the PASS Super Late Models, paying $10,000 to win and $700 to start. Additionally, Late Model Stocks will return to Richmond Raceway for the first time in a number of years, competing in a 75 lap race, paying $7,000 to win and $700 to start. Both the Limited Late Models and Street Stocks will make their first ever starts at Richmond Raceway with the Limiteds racing for 50 laps and $4000 to win and the Street Stocks racing for 25 laps and $2000 to win.

The Commonwealth Classic weekend will begin on Friday, October 19 with rotating practice for all divisions from 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM. On Saturday, October 20, pit gates will open at 8 AM, with rotating practice from 10 AM – 12:30 PM, followed by qualifying at 3 PM, last chance races, and features for the PASS Super Late Models, Late Model Stocks, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks set to begin at 4 PM.

To purchase tickets, entry forms, and for additional information on the Commonwealth Classic at Richmond, please go to ProAllStarsSeries.com orRichmondRaceway.com.

The 2018 PASS National Championship Super Late Model season will kick off the short track racing season on Saturday, February 24 with the 13th Annual South Carolina Clash 200 at Dillon Motor Speedway.

 

-PASS Press Release-