NHMS Year in Review: 2013
The 2013 season was certainly a memorable one for New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Two new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners extended the speedway's streak of having a different winner visit victory lane to 12 straight races, and the announcement of the return of the Camping World Truck Series for 2014 are two of the most outstanding moments from this past year - but they certainly weren't the only ones.
Here's a look at the 2013 season:
* NHMS Care Center Recognized as NASCAR's Best
The new year got off to a good start with the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Infield Care Center being presented the 2012 "Above and Beyond Award," given to an individual or infield care center (IFCC) that not only performs their job very well, but often exceeds expectations. It is given in recognition for hard work, dedication and commitment.
* OSRAM SYLVANIA Inks 5-Year Extension
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced the entitlement sponsorship extension of OSRAM SYLVANIA, which keeps the SYLVANIA 300 on the Magic Mile marquee through 2017. OSRAM SYLVANIA has sponsored the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at NHMS for the last decade.
* Magic Mile Announces Wheel & Deal Pre-Race Show
During a special announcement at the Expo Center at the Radisson Hotel, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials unveiled the "Toyota Wheel and Deal Pre-Race Show," which transformed July's frontstretch and pre-race stage into the world's largest game show. Fans were given the opportunity to be one of the 43 contestants to play for a chance to win 10 new Toyota cars on July 14.
* SCC Makes Kids' Dreams Come True
Fantasy became reality at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), as young patients at the CHaD locations at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon were delivered Children's Dream Racers - miniature race car simulators made of real racing materials - the first to be installed in the Northeast. The technologically-equipped cars, valued at $10,000 each, were made possible by New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) through their annual grant process.
* Speedway Stars Align
Whitney Doucet's stunning rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" earned her the top spot in the fourth annual Speedway Start singing contest held at the Mall of New Hampshire. Doucet was one of 15 participants from across New England, ranging in age from 13 to 69. While Doucet (Fitchburg, Mass.) took home the overall title, 13-year-old Caroline Burns of Hollis, N.H., and Caroline Portu, 18, of Stratham, N.H., were also awarded opportunities to sing the national anthem this summer at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dan Nelson, director of northeast promotion for RCA Records; legendary NASCAR pit reporter Dick Berggren; and WOKQ 97.5 FM morning wake-up show host Karen Kiley served as the three judges for this year's contest. Mark Ericson, who co-hosts WOKQ's "Morning Waking Crew" show with Kiley, was the emcee.
* It's Electric! Formula Hybrids Invade Magic Mile
Featuring high-performance hybrid and electric race cars, Dartmouth College's 7th annual Formula Hybrid Competition returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Founded and run by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the competition features cars built by teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students. This year, 20 teams are registered for the nation's only Formula competition focusing on hybrid-car technology.
* Gordon, Kenseth Headline Goodyear Tire Test
Six drivers from six different teams visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a two-day tire test in preparation for July's Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Magic Mile hosted the open-to-public Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company event that included Dave Blaney; two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth; the youngest winner in Cup Series history Joey Logano; two-time NHMS winner Clint Bowyer; four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon; and four-time NHMS winner Jeff Burton.
* NH Restaurant Week Starts at NHMS
In front of New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association (NHLRA) dignitaries and Celebrity Chefs, New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens officially waved the green flag on the beginning of NH Restaurant Week. Joined by Celebrity Chefs from across the Granite State, Gappens stood on the Granite Stripe, where he gave Celebrity Chefs personalized hand-engraved knives to commemorate the occasion.
* Color Vibe Makes Magic Mile Debut
For the first time, Color Vibe invaded New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Color Blast 5K Run. More than 20,000 people (participants, spectators and volunteers) took part in this unique, fun-filled 3.1-mile course that weaved its way through the Magic Mile's camping and parking areas. A portion of the proceeds for the Color Blast 5K run went to the New Hampshire Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities.
* SCC Donates 25 Miles of Protein to NH Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank received 40,000 pounds of hot dogs on behalf of the Speedway Children's Charities New Hampshire Chapter, totaling 320,000 hot dogs. The donation was part of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes tour, the company's coast-to-coast effort to help families and individuals become more food secure. Through the program, Smithfield, along with charities like SCC, donated and delivered more than 25.4 million servings of protein to food-assistance organizations across the country.
* Speedway Officials Help Kick Off Laconia Bike Week
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials helped celebrate the opening of Laconia Motorcycle Week. While the Lakes Region hosted bikers from around the world, the Magic Mile celebrated the historic 90th annual Loudon Classic, America's longest-running motorcycle race. This year's Loudon Classic weekend was highlighted by not only the 90th running of the middleweight grand prix feature event, but the Community Appreciation Parade. NHMS teamed up with Laconia Harley-Davidson in an effort to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Hampshire. Participants had the unique opportunity to ride around the Magic Mile, and continue on a police-escorted, scenic 32-mile non-stop ride around the Lakes Region.
* NASCAR Drivers Make Pit Stops In Portland, Maine
Two NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers made the trek to the Northeast, as Connecticut native Parker Kligerman and Alex Bowman made three pit stops at schools across the city of Portland, Maine, talking to students, faculty and staff. Kligerman and Bowman visited Glickman Academy-Spurwink, Reiche Community School and the Portland Arts and Technical High School.
* Narbonne Captures Third Loudon Classic Title
Shane Narbonne (Tyngsboro, Mass.) picked up his third-career Middleweight Grand Prix championship, winning the 90th annual Loudon Classic. A pair of Granite Staters also finished on the podium, as Scott Greenwood (Dunbarton) placed second and Christian Cronin (Loudon) finished third.
* Strafford County Wins Race to Benefit Children
With a sterling time of 44.334 seconds, Strafford County Deputy Mike Raiche burned through a tricky road course and beat out nine other Sherriffs and Deputys to capture the top spot of the 2013 Race to Benefit Children "Sheriffs Showdown." Deputy Raiche narrowly held off Carroll County Sheriff Domenic Richardi to win the event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Thanks to his speedy driving, Deputy Raiche received a $10,000 check to help fund the Strafford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), which assists children who are victims of crime and abuse.
* NHMS Recognizes First Responders, Marathon Victims
New Hampshire Motor Speedway held a Champions Lunch in Boston, hosted by five-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, which honored the survivors of the Boston Marathon and the many first responders who risk their lives each and every day in their own communities. On hand was MBTA officer Richard Donohue, as well as former Boston professional champions Joe Andruzzi (Patriots), JoJo White (Celtics), Tim Wakefield (Red Sox) and Johnny Bucyk (Bruins).
* Largest RV Dealer Camping World Sponsors July Cup Race
Partnering with the nation's largest retailer of recreational vehicles, New Hampshire Motor Speedway announced that Camping World would be the title sponsor of the track's July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race - the Camping World RV Sales 301 - for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
* New Series 'The Profit' Backs Nationwide Race
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced that "The Profit," a groundbreaking new television reality series that debuted on July 30 on CNBC, would be the title sponsor of the CNBC Prime's "The Profit" 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The unique race sponsorship was unveiled by Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World, who stars in the series.
* First Responder Tickets Donated by Hendrick
Hendrick Motorsports has made a $5,000 donation to assist New Hampshire Motor Speedway in hosting first responders and their families during the track's NASCAR weekend. The donation was made in memory of Sean Collier, the MIT police officer who was killed April 18 during the Boston Marathon bombing. Collier's brother, Andrew, is a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department.
* Heikkinen Wins GRC Event
Tanner Foust looked invincible. For nine laps Finnish teammates Toomas Heikkinen and Patrik Sandell tried to chase down Foust as he seamlessly navigated the dirt, jumps and chicanes. Then, out of nowhere, Foust showed he was human after all. Catching his right tire in the gravel as he entered the final elevated hairpin turn, Foust slid hard into the barrier, and Heikkinen shot past to win the second annual SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
* Record-Breaking Afternoon
It was a record-breaking afternoon at the Magic Mile. Brad Keselowski zipped around the 1.058-mile oval at 135.922 miles per hour (28.022 seconds), setting a new track qualifying record in the process. He was one of 10 drivers to break the old record. It was the second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the first of the season for the defending Sprint Cup Series champion.
* Coby Gets the Last Laugh
To say that the Town Fair Tire 100 was a back-and-forth affair is a severe understatement. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway featured 27 lead changes, the last coming on the penultimate lap by Doug Coby, who held on to win for the second straight time at the 1.058-mile oval.
* Busch Smokes the Field
Kyle Busch picked up his fourth win in his last five Nationwide starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was the 58th victory in 258 NASCAR Nationwide Series races for the native of Las Vegas, Nev.
* Long Walk To Victory Lane
Nothing was going to stop Tony Stewart from pulling away from the field on restarts. Nothing, except a dry gas tank. And it was Brian Vickers who took advantage of Stewart's bad luck, zipping by him on the Magic Mile backstretch with one lap to go and holding on to win the Camping World RV Sales 301 - Vickers's third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in 271 career starts and his first win since being diagnosed with blood clots in his legs and lungs.
* Non-profits share July victory
New Hampshire Motor Speedway's first big racing weekend of 2013 provided a huge win for local non-profit organizations. Between the help of volunteer organizations and the events put on by the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a total of $289,507 was generated over the four-day race weekend.
* Hendrick Motorsports Holds Test Session
Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of a Hendrick Motorsports test session. The two-day test session was in preparation for the return of NASCAR's playoffs to the Magic Mile for the SYLVANIA 300.
* O.A.R. to Headline SYLVANIA 300 Pre-Race Show
Mixing classic favorites and new hits, alternative rock band Of A Revolution (O.A.R.) NHMS officials announced that it would headline the pre-race concert for the SYLVANIA 300. O.A.R. would perform for free on the frontstretch stage as part of the pre-race festivities prior to the start of the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
* Perfect Weather Yields Strong Test Session for ACT
A warm, but blissfully comfortable day allowed for nearly flawless conditions for the American-Canadian Tour test session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. More than 30 teams from across New England, New York and southeast Canada showed up for the practice session, which came in preparation for the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational.
* 'Rockin' With Clint Day' in N.H.
With two career wins, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer has been rock solid at the Magic Mile. During a visit to Concord, N.H., Bowyer etched his name, and car, into another piece of New Hampshire history, scaling a rock wall with fans, pulling a 7,500-pound engraved granite block out of a quarry and taking Governor Maggie Hassan for a burnout as they celebrated what Hassan officially proclaimed as "Rockin' with Clint Day" across the Granite State.
* Logano Visits Pease Air National Guard Base
Joey Logano, the No. 6 seed in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, spent time on Sept. 11 with men and women that not only protect this country, but make their pit stops at 20,000 feet. Logano's visit to Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, N.H., was part of NASCAR's "Chase Across America," which puts all 12 playoff drivers at each hosting Chase track. New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosted the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in the Chase, on Sept. 22.
* Speedway Officials Unveil Ultimate Tailgate Experience
In the constant search for ways to inject more fun into the fan experience, New Hampshire Motor Speedway created an all-in-one trackside experience like never before: introducing the NHMS Pit Box Hospitality mobile suites. These fully-stocked party trailers can be delivered wherever you are on race weekend. The mobile suites, which hold 10-25 people, will be adorned with a checkered flag awning that sits above a customized 12-foot garage door. The trailer is stocked with grills, three table-toppers, a bar, fire pit, four chairs, a 46-inch flat-screen television with a fully-operational satellite system and dish, track lighting, and other amenities. The purchase of the mobile suite includes grandstand tickets to all weekend races, as well as meals and beverages.
* Newman Sets New Magic Mile Qualifying Record
Starting on point is nothing new for Ryan Newman, who drove into New Hampshire Motor Speedway with 50 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles. He drove out with 51, setting a new Magic Mile qualifying record in the process. Newman rocketed around the 1.058-mile oval at a speed of 136.497 mph (27.904 seconds), breaking Brad Keselowski's record of 135.922 mph (28.022 seconds), putting him at the front of the starting grid for the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
* Pushing Ahead: Szegedy Captures F.W. Webb 100
Tight racing was nothing new when it came to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. And September's F.W. Webb 100 certainly fit the bill, as Todd Szegedy used a pass in Turn 3 on the final lap to steal the win from Donny Lia and take the checkered flag for his first win of the season. Szegedy used an aggressive dive to the inside to move past Lia, a two-time NHMS winner, who had led the race over the final eight laps before Szegedy's gamble.
* Youth Movement: Custer Wins North American Power 100
Cole Custer figured the best way to avoid trouble at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was to drive away from it. The pole-sitter for the K&N Pro Series East race survived an accident-filled affair to become the youngest driver at the age of 15 to win a NASCAR sanctioned race in Magic Mile history, taking the checkered flag in the North American Power 100.
* Make It Three: MacDonald Wins Third ACT Invitational
Eddie MacDonald made history when he won the inaugural ACT Invitational back in 2009. He became the first driver to win two ACT Invitationals when he took the checkers in 2011. In September, he became the first to win it a third time, crossing the Granite Stripe to win the American-Canadian Tour Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. MacDonald (Rowley, Mass.) drove away from the field over the final 10 laps of the 50-lap feature, capping off a great day at the 1.058-mile speedway.
* Kenseth Becomes 12th Straight Different NHMS Winner
Start No. 500 was a good one for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader. Matt Kenseth cruised into the history books in the SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, joining Richard Petty as the only driver to ever win his 500th-career start. It was also the second straight victory in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for Kenseth, who now leads the 10-race playoff by 14 points over teammate Kyle Busch.
* SCC Donates 20,000 pounds of Commodities
September was Hunger Action Month. New Hampshire Motor Speedway did its part, helping to ensure those in need got the food they needed. Speedway officials donated time at the Parish of Transfiguration, where over 20,000 pounds of commodities were unloaded for 400 local recipient families in the Manchester, N.H. area.
* SYLVANIA 300 Provides Big Boost To Non-Profits
Matt Kenseth left New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the win in the SYLVANIA 300, but he wasn't the only one celebrating another win at the Magic Mile. A total of $305,620 was generated over the three-day race weekend for local non-profit organizations and the New Hampshire Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities. That brought the grand total to over $595,000 between the July Camping World RV Sales 301 and September SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends.
* Truck Series Returns to the Magic Mile in 2014
Anchored by its two traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced the return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014, the 24th consecutive year of NASCAR racing at the 1.058-mile oval. The Truck Series will join NASCAR's top-tier national touring series, the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series as featured events next July and September. Absent from the Magic Mile since 2011, the 175-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event will run on Saturday, Sept. 20, the day before the SYLVANIA 300 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship event.
* LRRS, Legends and Bandolero Champions Crowned
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials crowned champions at the 2013 season-ending Loudon Road Race Series, U.S. Legend Cars International and Bandoleros Awards Banquet held at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua, N.H. Prizes included 117 trophies and $16,880 in payouts awarded to overall series and class champions. The names on the trophies look familiar as Rick Doucette and Shawn Buffington each retained their titles in the LRRS and Granite State Legends Car Series, respectively. In the inaugural Gifford's Famous Ice Cream Bandolero Series season, 10-year old Casey Call took home a championship.
* 3rd Annual Gift of Lights Underway at NHMS
With the Magic Mile racing season in the rearview mirror, the attention turned to the holiday season. New Hampshire Motor Speedway started the ignition on the holidays, turning over two miles of the speedway grounds into the biggest holiday-themed light park in the Granite State. With the help of 40 children from the Concord Boys & Girls Club, speedway officials flipped the switch on more than 2.5 million LED lights, which make up more than 60 displays (50 percent more than last year) and 400 scenes around New England's largest sports and entertainment facility. The speedway's portion of the proceeds will be given to the New Hampshire Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities, an organization that cares for children in education, financial, social and medical need. In the first two years of the Gift of Lights, the SCC has donated more than $56,000 to children's charities throughout New England.
* Tagliaferro Named 2013 Salesperson of the Year
Senior Account Executive Jeff Tagliaferro was named New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 2013 Salesperson of the Year. Tagliaferro, who started at the speedway in June of 2012, has made an immediate impact in the corporate sales department. The Bedford, N.H., native handles over 50 accounts on a daily basis and has landed 15 new clients over the last year, including Chip Ganassi Racing, Homans Associates, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and Central Paper. He was also influential in landing the New Hampshire Travel and Tourism speedway showcar, which was a major showpiece at several NHMS community-related events throughout New England.
* SCC Delivers 20,000 Pounds of Food in Portsmouth
Speedway Children's Charities delivered a tractor-trailer packed with approximately 20,000 pounds of food to the Connect Community Church in Portsmouth, N.H., which would be distributed to local families in need. SCC partnered with Operation Blessing and Seacoast Adopt-A-Block to help ensure that every family has a joyous Thanksgiving holiday this year. The food and personal care products supplied 400 families of four people for one week.
* NHMS, SCC Delivers Record $243,838 to 56 Non-Profits
With Governor Maggie Hassan and Mayor Ted Gatsas serving as holiday helpers, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities distributed nearly a quarter million dollars to 56 non-profit organizations throughout New England during the fourth annual grant distribution presentation at the Palace Theatre. The grand total of $243,838, which benefits over 103,000 children in the Northeast, is the largest one-year total since the SCC N.H. Chapter began this holiday tradition back in 2010. In four years, NHMS and the SCC have donated nearly $700,000, supporting nearly 190,000 children in the region.
* Bond Named 'Official Auto Parts Retailer' of NHMS
New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Bond Auto Parts officials announced a contract renewal, ensuring the New England-based company will serve as the "Official Auto Parts Retailer" of the speedway through 2016. The agreement also extends the entitlement sponsorship of the American-Canadian Tour Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational - something it's done for the last two years.
2014: SNEAK PEEK
* July 11 - NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
* July 11 - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour All-Star Shootout
* July 12 - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
* July 12 - NASCAR Nationwide Series
* July 13 - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -
Camping World RV Sales 301*
* Sept. 20 - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour -
F.W. Webb 100
* Sept. 20 - NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
* Sept. 20 - American-Canadian Tour -
Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational
* Sept. 21 - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - SYLVANIA 300*
*New for 2014 will be children's prices for Sunday NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Regularly priced tickets will be discounted at 50 percent of the cost for kids 12 and under (for example: a $110 grandstand ticket will cost $55 for a 12-year-old child).