A little morning rain and intermittent sprinkles weren’t enough to keep the Vintage Racing Celebration off the New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s oval on Thursday. After all, some of the drivers at the first of two Oval Days have spent the better part of the last half-century driving a race car. They’d seen every type of condition and a little moisture isn’t enough to keep these diehards from going racing!
The 22nd Vintage Racing Celebration has become one of the most prestigious events in the country for car enthusiasts, and participants travel from across the country to be a part of the event.
Last year, Larry Pfitzenmaier won the Oval Days’ Bahre Cup, which was voted on by his peers. He’s attended the event every year it’s existed, and even when he moved from Maryland to outside of Tuscon, Ariz., over a year ago, his attendance remained perfect.
This year, Pfitzenmaier again linked the hauler to his truck and drove clear across the country to drive his Watson Roadster aronnd “The Magic Mile.” “It’s obviously a pretty good tow,” he reflected of the drive. “But, we have some really great friends, and it’s the neatest one-mile track in the country. I really, really don’t like to miss it.”
Pfitzenmaier isn’t alone in his quest for a chance to drive his vintage car, Paul Mondo has made the trip from Florida for the last five years. The owner of four vintage cars, he explained, “it’s a thrill to drive these cars and see these pieces of machinery go around the track.”
Late afternoon rain ultimately forced even the most committed drivers into the paddock, but it wasn’t before each got to turn in some quality track time. The drivers hope that Mother Nature will cooperate fully on Friday for the second and final Oval Day.
This weekend, the track will be reconfigured into the road course with Vintage Racing Group and U.S. Classic Racing Association invading the property. The four-day celebration will conclude with an Amsoil NELCAR Legends Tour race at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The infield is open, so the public has the chance to get up close to some of the cars of yesteryear and ask drivers about their story. Admission is just $10/day for adults, $5 for youth ages 12-16 and free for those age 11 and under.