From Danica Mania to an IndyCar zooming around the “Magic Mile” to the exciting finish of Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, New Hampshire Motor Speedway maintained its presence as the largest sports and entertainment facility in New England and hosting the largest sporting events here in the northeast.
With more than 91,000 people attending, Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 was larger than the Super Bowl, Final Four, and any World Cup, World Series, Stanley Cup or NBA Finals games. In addition, Friday’s crowd was up 22-perecent from a year-ago and Saturday’s New England 200 NASCAR Nationwide race—featuring Danica Patrick’s first appearance here—was up 33-percent from last year’s event.
“We had a great weekend with several storylines—including announcing the return of IndyCar racing, exciting finishes, and the opportunity to host the greatest fans in all of NASCAR,“ said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. “It is very gratifying, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary season, to be part of the excitement that makes this “The Magic Mile!”
An excited Adrian Pappas of Newton, N.H. left Loudon $20,000 wealthier as the winner of the 20th Anniversary Contest.
On track, fans got to see great racing and maybe a preview of what’s to come in the future.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Truex dominated the K&N Pro Series East New England 125 on Friday, capturing his first win of 2010. The younger brother of Martin Truex, Jr. announced last week he will be running a limited number of races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series throughout the remainder of the 2010 season. Ryan joined his father and older brother Martin, Jr. with K&N Pro Series East wins at NHMS.
The Whelen Modified Tour is a northeast favorite and Saturday’s race proved exactly why this is Modified country. From bump-drafting, to a margin of victory at .125 seconds, and 15 lead changes, fans could not ask for a more exciting ending. Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman took the checkered flag from the pole position in just his 5th Whelen Modified Tour start.
Kyle “Rowdy” Busch returned to the Nationwide Series in record-breaking form after a scheduling conflict between NASCAR’s two elite series caused him to miss three weeks of Nationwide Series racing. Busch not only surpassed Mark Martin for the most laps led in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but he became the first ever two-time winner at “The Magic Mile,” in 24 races.
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson proved there is nothing wrong with him or his team. He went wheel-to-wheel with Kurt Busch during the last laps in another exciting “Magic Mile” finish. Johnson pulled into victory lane for the second time in two weeks, capturing his third NHMS checkered flag.
On top of all the stock car action, race fans were treated to a glimpse of IndyCar racing at the speedway. Dario Franchitti zipped around the 1.058-mile oval following the formal announcement that IZOD IndyCar racing will return to New Hampshire on July 30-31, 2011.
Advanced tickets are on sale now for the SYLVANIA 300 weekend beginning September 16-19, as well as IZOD IndyCar Series racing on July 30-31 2011. Purchase them now by calling our ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting us online at www.nhms.com.