NASCAR announced today the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule that will feature traditional dates at some of the premier short tracks and speedways in the northeast.

In its 28th season of competition, the Whelen Modified Tour will see the 14-race slate spread across seven tracks in four states. New to the schedule in 2012 will be a return to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.

“Throughout the history of the Whelen Modified Tour, the schedule has featured a great mixture of short tracks, bullrings, speedways as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series companion events,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional & touring Series. “NASCAR welcomes many of those traditional venues back to the 2012 schedule as well as the addition of Waterford Speedbowl, another great northeast Modified racing facility.”

Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, which has played host to more races than any other facility in Whelen Modified Tour history, will hold the season-opening event for the 11th consecutive year on April 15. The Icebreaker will be the first of four Tour events at the .625-mile oval. The campaign will also conclude at Thompson in the World Series on Oct. 14.

Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway will have its four traditional Whelen Modified Tour dates for the 21st consecutive season, highlighted by the Spring Sizzler (April 29) and Fall Final (Sept. 30).

A third Connecticut short track will join the schedule in 2012, the .375-mile oval in Waterford on June 23. The track has held 17 races since the Whelen Modified Tour’s inception in 1985, the last in 2006.

Three national series companion events also will be included in next season’s schedule with traditional appearances on the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14 and Sept. 22 in Loudon, N.H.  The only event outside of the tour’s northeast home base will be the fourth annual Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour combination event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway as part of a doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Aug. 22.

Other 2012 highlights include:
•  The Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour special event will return to Thompson on Sept. 9 after its successful debut in 2011. In addition to the three Sunday events, Thompson will have one Thursday night race on Aug. 9.
•  In addition to its famed bookend Sunday events in April and September, Stafford will also feature the Whelen Modified Tour under the Friday night lights on May 25 and Aug. 3.
•  Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway will once again have its mid-summer date on July 28. Only Riverhead and Thompson have been on the schedule all 28 years of Whelen Modified Tour competition.
•  Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., will welcome the Whelen Modified Tour for the eighth time since 1985. The race date moves up to May 12 after a late June event in 2011.
•  The schedule features a diversity of track sizes with two quarter-mile bullrings (Monadnock, Riverhead), two half-miles (Bristol, Stafford), a pair of intermediate short tracks (.375-mile Waterford, .625-mile Thompson) and a full-mile speedway (New Hampshire).