DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It’s a twin bill of racing at New England’s largest speedway when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, for both the third annual Whelen All-Star Shootout on Friday and New England 100 on Saturday. Below is a look at the race itself and some of the selected participants.
New England 100 Race Setup:
This marks the Whelen Modified Tour’s first of two stops at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Former champions Todd Szegedy and Doug Coby won each of the two races at the track in 2015. The three-time champion Coby, of Milford, Connecticut, sits atop the standings after six races this season, holding a 17-point lead over Preston, Connecticut driver Max Zachem.
At New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
• The track opened in 1990 on the site of the old Briar Motorsports Park road course and immediately became New England’s largest sports facility of any kind. Measuring 1.058 miles in length, it is the largest speedway in the region, and with seating for nearly 100,00 people, it has the largest capacity of any venue.
• Tommy Ellis won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race held at New Hampshire, winning a 300-lap combination event involving both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• NHMS has hosted 63 previous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events. The track hosts to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each season.
• Mike McLaughlin won the first Whelen Modified Tour event in New Hampshire Motor Speedway history, a 125-lap event in September of 1990.
• There have been 20 different winners at NHMS, led by Mike Stefanik who has eight career Modified wins at the track.
• There have been 24 different pole winners at NHMS, led by Jan Leaty with six.
• NHMS races have been won from the pole 14 times, yet no race winner has ever led more than 55 laps in any of their victories.
• NHMS is known for producing close finishes. Todd Szegedy won by just 0.041 seconds over Donny Lia in this event last season, one of the closest margins of victory in Tour history.
Race: #7 of 17 overall
Race Date: Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 1.058-mile slightly-banked paved oval
Race Length: 100 laps (105.8 miles)
2015 Winner: Todd Szegedy
2015 Pole Sitter: Doug Coby
1-lap Qualifying Record: 132.743 mph (Tony Hirschman, July 2001)
100-lap Race Record: 112.987 mph (Todd Szegedy, July 2011)
Active Category Leaders at NHMS:
1. Ted Christopher … 5
2. Todd Szegedy … 4
3. Doug Coby … 3
1. Ted Christopher … 5
2. Ryan Newman … 5
3. Ron Silk … 3
1. Ted Christopher … 21
2. Todd Szegedy … 14
3. Ron Silk … 11
1. Ted Christopher … 29
2. Todd Szegedy … 19
3. Ron Silk … 16
1. Ted Christopher … 865
2. Ron Silk … 326
3. Todd Szegedy … 299
1. Jamie Tomaino … 63
2. Wade Cole … 56
3. Ted Christopher … 53
Selected Driver Highlights:
Jimmy Blewett (No. 4 Starrett Dodge)
• Is ranked sixth in the standings headed into this weekend with five top 10 finishes in six races.
• Has one career NHMS pole, which came in his most recent start at the track in 2013.
• Has five career Whelen Modiifed Tour wins.
• Returned to full-time competition this season with owner Bob Garbarino’s Mystic Missile team.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet)
• Sits third in the Whelen Modified Tour standings with four top fives in six starts.
• Has three top fives in 13 career starts at New Hampshire, with an average starting position of 13.4 and four career DNFs.
• Best career finish at NHMS was third in 2011.
Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)
• Three-time Whelen Modified Tour champion leads the standings this season with two wins, three top fives and five top 10s in six races this season.
• Finished 10th in the tour’s most recent race at Riverhead.
• Has two wins this season, both at Stafford, after starting from the pole in each.
• Has three career NHMS wins, including one last season that kicked off a three-race winning streak to close out the year
• Has nine top fives and 14 top 10s in 25 career starts at New Hampshire.
Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)
• Two-time Tour champion has 17 career wins, including two at New Hampshire.
• Has 13 career top 10s at NHMS in 22 career starts.
• Sits fourth in the current series standings with two top fives and four top 10s in six races.
Ryan Newman (No. 7 Menards/Wix Filters Chevrolet)
• Has two wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and two wins at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Won the inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire in 2014.
• Has five career poles at New Hampshire.
• Has seven top 10s in 14 career starts at NHMS.
Woody Pitkat (No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive Chevrolet)
• Has three career Whelen Modified Tour wins, including one at New Hampshire in 2014.
• Won the Whelen All-Star Shootout in 2015.
• Finished third in the final Tour standings last season with 11 top 10s in 14 races.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/Riverhead Raceway Chevrolet)
• The 2013 NWMT champion has 15 career wins in 127 career starts on Tour, and this week makes his fifth appearance of the season.
• Has 15 career Tour wins and 14 career poles, but he has never won at NHMS.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)
• The 2010 champion sits eighth in the current standings with one win, one top five and three top 10s in six races.
• Won at Thompson this season for his 14th career victory.
• Has one pole and one win in 19 career starts at New Hampshire.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
• Sits fifth in the current standings with two wins and three top fives in six races.
• Won the most recent event at his home track of Riverhead Raceway.
• Recorded his first career Whelen Modified Tour win in the season opener at Thompson, leading 50 of 150 laps en route to the victory.
• Has four career starts at NHMS with a best finish of 11th.
Matt Swanson (No. 89 Spafco Race Chassis Chevrolet)
• Leads the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings
• Sits seventh in the overall standings with three top 10s in six starts.
• Posted a career-best finish of third at Thompson.
• Has one career start at NHMS, finishing 14th in the September race at the track last season.
Todd Szegedy (No. 15 15-40 Construction Chevrolet)
• Is the defending winner of this event and making his second start of the season for the team owned by Rob Fuller.
• Is the 2003 Whelen Modified Tour champion with 19 career wins, including four at NHMS.
• Has won two of the last five races at New Hampshire and owns the race record of 112.987 mph, set in this race in 2011.
Max Zachem (No. 20 Lu-Mac’s Package Store Chevrolet)
• Sits second in the standings with two top fives and five top 10s in six races.
• Equaled a career-best with a second place finish at Thompson on June 15.
• Has made two career starts at NHMS with a best finish of 14th in this race last year.
Up To Speed:
• This is the 32nd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The inaugural race was contested March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• The 2015 schedule features 17 points races at nine different tracks across four states.
• The first six races of the season featured four different winners — Timmy Solomito (twice), Doug Coby (twice), Ron Silk and Bobby Santos III.