The snow is gone, the track is dry and that means it’s time to heat up the Magic Mile for another season of motorcycles, legends and bandoleros. Oh, my!
The three motorsports will combine to race around New Hampshire Motor Speedway on more than 55 separate occasions this year, including major event weekends like the 90th annual Loudon Classic and NASCAR weekends in September.
The Loudon Road Race Series will begin its season on April 27-28 with the first of seven weekends dedicated to the Championship Cup Series motorcycle racing. All events will be run on the Magic Mile’s 1.6-mile road course.
Over the years, LRRS has developed a reputation for having some of the closest and most intense racing on two wheels. A strong commitment to rider training and development has contributed to the quality of the LRRS programs.
Led by defending overall champion Rick Doucette, who won seven class championships in 2012, LRRS features some of the top riders in the region, including Scott Greenwood, Jason Carter, Shane Narbonne, Cory Hildebrand and Eric Wood, who won last year’s Dash for the Cash/Middleweight Grand Prix championship for the second straight season.
The New England-based Granite State Legends Car Series will begin prepping for its season opener on April 27 with a test session at NHMS on April 23. With feature events on the Moat Mountain Road Course and the quarter-mile Granite State Legends Cars oval, fans will certainly be treated to some terrific racing by the area’s top drivers.
Legends car racing is one of the fastest growing and most affordable types of American motorsports. Powered by a motorcycle engine, a legends car is a purpose-built race car designed to resemble the legendary American automobiles of the 1930s and '40s. Drivers start as young as 12 years old.
Last year, Shaun Buffington won the NELCAR track championship at NHMS for the second consecutive season. In 12 starts, Buffington picked up seven wins, three runners-up and two third-place finishes. It was an impressive season for Buffington, who now has 15 race wins in 23 career starts at the Magic Mile and has missed the podium just twice.
Other podium regulars include Thomas Gray, Evan Beaulieu, Mathew Bourgoine (the 2012 series champion) and 15-year-old Taylor Martin, the first female to record a podium finish in legends at NHMS.
The Granite State Legends Cars series emphasizes the growth of developmental racing at NHMS. The on-property dealership opened in September 2012 and is located in the S1 parking lot. It sells everything needed to begin a racing career in either legends or bandoleros.
The Gifford's Famous Ice Cream Bandolero Series, which features cars that are smaller and simpler to drive than legends cars, will make its NHMS debut on May 18.
Bandoleros often serve as a stepping stone in racing for the more powerful legend car. Drivers in this series can be as young as eight years old and have often moved up from go-kart racing.
All races will be run on the 0.25-mile mini oval located in turns one and two of the Magic Mile's oval. They will run in tandem with the Granite State Legends Cars Series on the same oval layout. The creation of the series emphasizes the growth of developmental racing at NHMS.