In addition to unveiling the exciting event format, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced today that Whelen Engineering has signed on as the race entitlement sponsor for the invitation-only special event. Featuring current and past champions from NASCAR's modified tours, the non-stop, 40-lap shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 11.
A beacon in emergency safety warning equipment and long-time supporter of NASCAR modified racing, Whelen will once again be shining brightly when NASCAR racing returns to the "Magic Mile" in July, serving as the official entitlement sponsor for the inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout. The event will pit national and southern modified tour stars against one another with $28,000 on the line.
A privately-owned company that began in 1952, Whelen is in its 10th year as the title sponsor of the Whelen Modified Tour, the longest-running series in NASCAR. In addition to the Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout, the Whelen Modified Tour will also run its traditional 100-lap event, the New Hampshire 100, at NHMS on Saturday, July 12.
"We take a lot of pride in New Hampshire Motor Speedway being known as the 'Super Bowl' venue of modified racing," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "With the addition of the Whelen Modified Shootout, a 100-mile NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying format, I truly believe we have the most exciting "pole day" on the circuit!"
A quick look at The Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout:
Participants eligible for entry into this Special Event include any NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and/or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour current/past champions; race winners from prior NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and/or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Championship Events; and the 2013 Rookie of the Year winners from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Any remaining positions will be filled by drivers with the most race wins in NASCAR's modified tours from the start of the 2005 seasons through the race entry deadline of June 20.
The first driver to enter the Whelen All-Star Shootout is defending Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece. The 23-year-old veteran of Kensington, Conn.
"It's cool because we only get to race the Southern Modified Tour drivers if we travel down to their series, and only once a year when we go to Bristol - so it's cool to have them come up and especially here in New Hampshire, it's basically our Daytona 500," said Preece. "It's a great event and coming here it's one of our biggest crowds and there's a lot of energy going throughout the track, so it's definitely exciting. I think having the Southern Tour champs and obviously the northern Modified Tour champs is going to make it interesting.
Additionally, NASCAR announced that the Whelen All-Star Shootout will be televised by FOX Sports, with details for the telecast to be provided at a later date.
If positions still remain available, the next positions until the field is filled will be available to the drivers who have the most wins, ranking from most to least, from the 2005 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and/or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season through the June 20.
"Whelen is the proud sponsor of NASCAR modified racing and this All Star Shootout promises to be a spectacular event," said Phil Kurze, Whelen Vice President of Motorsports. "It is non-stop excitement, from green to checker, when the mods hit the pavement at NHMS and the opportunity for fans to see them twice this July was an opportunity we could not pass up. I hope the fans show their support for this special format and that this event becomes an annual tradition."
Whelen, which has factories in Charlestown, N.H. and Chester, Conn., is the only United States manufacturer of emergency warning equipment to still manufacture its products entirely in the U.S. Nearly all safety vehicles on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway property are equipped with Whelen Engineering products.
The Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout will drop the green flag at 2:10 p.m. on Friday, July 11. It will be followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for the Camping World RV Sales 301 at 4:40 p.m. and the Granite State 100 K&N Pro Series East race at 6:00 p.m.