LOUDON, N.H. - Warm weather has finally melted away months of snowfall, meaning New Hampshire Motor Speedway is finally ready to go green in 2014. Speedway officials will formally open the gates today, welcoming the New Hampshire Cycling Club (NHCC) to pedal its way around the 1.6-mile road course. The track weathered the winter perfectly and the speedway is in race condition for the kickoff to a new season of high-speed excitement.
The two-wheeled riders will be the first to cross the Granite Stripe this year, but they certainly won't be the last. The speedway, which is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, will be active for nearly 200 days through October.
The New Hampshire Motor Speedway maintenance, cleaning and operations teams have been hard at work prepping the track and facility for the last two weeks. On top of clearing several feet of snow from the track and infield, the operations crew has gone through the entire property with a fine-toothed comb, checking for winter damage and de-winterizing several buildings and areas throughout the near 1,200-acre campus.
"We have faced a few challenges with the deck of cards Mother Nature dealt us," said Tom Blanchette, the speedway's director of operations, "but with the best team in the business here at the Magic Mile we strive to make it happen for our guests and clients every day, so they can enjoy all of the great amenities and excitement we have to offer."
April will be a busy opening month for the Magic Mile. The NHCC, which is a central New Hampshire-based cycling club, competing in several events, including the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Thursday Night Training Series, is just the first group to use the facility. Over the weekend, the Porsche Club of America (PCA) North Country and the BMW Car Club of America White Mountain Chapter will both be on the track. PCA North Country will be on-track Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, while the BMW White Mountain will hold an a advanced driving skills school in the S3 parking lot, using plastic pylons, to provide a safe learning environment for these low to moderate speed maneuvers.
The U.S. Legend Cars Moat Mountain Road Course Series and the Sign Works Oval Series, as well as the Gifford's Ice Cream Bandolero Series will holding testing and race sessions on Saturday, April 19, while the Loudon Road Racing Series (motorcycles) will have its first event during the April 26-27 weekend.
The Formula Hybrid Competition returns from April 28-May 1. Featuring high-performance hybrid and electric race cars, Dartmouth College's 8th annual Formula Hybrid Competition features cars built by teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students, who compete in aspects of design, acceleration, handling and endurance of their vehicle, and abide by a long list of rules.
Speedway Children's Charities will once again hold its 10th annual Safe Kids 500 on April 30. The fun, free, family event hosted by Speedway Children's Charities and the Injury Prevention Center at CHaD promotes bike safety among children.
This year's racing season will once against be highlighted by two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends, including the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13 and the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 21. To purchase tickets, which now include special pricing for kids under the age of 12, call the track's ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.