July 15, 1990. In front of a crowd of tens of thousands of race fans, Loudon hosted its first major NASCAR race: the Budweiser 300. The race was competitive, exciting, gritty, loud … everything we could have hoped it would be.

Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, and Ken Schrader were some of the drivers in the field, but it was Tommy Ellis that took the checkered flag. While that race may have ended there, a New England tradition was born that day at the region's largest sports and entertainment facility.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway celebrates 25 years of NASCAR racing this coming summer. To mark our silver anniversary, we have many special events planned for some of the most faithful and knowledgeable race fans in the business.

I find myself looking at the calendar a lot lately. I’m counting the weeks and days until the speedway opens up for business again. I’m counting down to the first of two Sprint Cup races in Loudon (July 19 and Sept. 27). I’m celebrating what will be my eighth season as general manager of a facility I love.

It is nostalgia mixed with a heavy dose of horsepower and we cannot wait to share it all with you. In the coming weeks, we will reflect on memorable moments and exciting finishes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We will talk about future plans and what comes next for fans when they visit Loudon.

Through the end of January, we’re offering any fan a complimentary 25th anniversary poster for every Sunday race ticket purchased. The poster features more than 100 photos from our rich history, and is one of just many promotions that we’ll have leading up to the twin pinnacles of our season when NASCAR visits.

In some ways, 1990 may feel like forever ago. In other ways, it only feels like we’ve turned a few laps since then. Either way, our silver anniversary is cause for celebration, and most of all, we want to celebrate you! If not for your passion, your love of racing and the men and women who participate in this sport, we wouldn’t be around to celebrate a quarter century of racing in New Hampshire.

I’m an Indiana native, who grew up in the shadow of the Indy 500. I was "raised" on racing in Charlotte, where I had the good grace to live, work and play at the hub of NASCAR. But my life is centered in what I believe is the true hot bed of race fans. NASCAR may be a southern-born sport, but there is nothing to compare with the energy of race day in Loudon. Our fans come from every New England and northeastern state, and even make the trek down from Canada to attend our events.

You are the lifeblood of this sport, and you are why the drivers and crews make two return trips to this region every summer.

So thank you for your support, and tighten your seatbelt, because the 25th anniversary celebration will be fast and exciting.

Yours in racing,

Jerry