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Short Track Extravaganza Set for Sept. 2018
History will be made next September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 1.058-mile speedway is set to host a three-race weekend that will feature the longest NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race in history, a global cast of drivers from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, PEAK Mexico and Whelen Euro series, and for the first time ever, the NASCAR Pinty's Series, which has never previously held a race outside of Canada. The weekend is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 21-22 of 2018.
"This is going to be the ultimate short track showdown with regional and global stars from NASCAR's touring series," said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "We could not be more thrilled to once again host a major September NASCAR weekend, while making a little history at the same time. This is going to be an absolutely awesome world-class event for our fans."
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East have long been an integral part of New Hampshire Motor Speedway lore, combining for more than 135 races since the track's inaugural year in 1990.
"All of us want to win when we come to (NHMS), so for it to be 250 laps you're going to want to win 10 times more," said Doug Coby, a four-time NHMS winner and four-time Whelen Modified Tour champion. "This is a chance to showcase us in front of the fans. It's a huge step for the NASCAR Touring Series as a whole. I've always said that 100 laps here is a big chess match; I don't know if I can handle chess for 250 laps.
"It's all about position with the last five laps to go. We usually spend 95 laps fine-tuning the car just to be in the right spot. Now to have to figure that out over a long course, I can guarantee it will not be a boring 245 laps. It's going to be a battle."
The Whelen Modified Tour has traditionally run 100-mile races at the speedway since its first race on Sept. 2, 1990. The series that typically steals the show on NASCAR race weekends at NHMS, the Whelen Modified Tour will run a 264.5-mile feature (250 laps) next September, making it not only the longest mod race in the history of NHMS, but the longest race in the history of the tour, which dates back to 1984.
The K&N Pro Series East has seen a who's who of racing pilot their cars around New Hampshire Motor Speedway through the years. Stars of today like Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, as well as up-and-coming stars like Cole Custer and William Byron have used K&N Pro Series East wins at NHMS as career stepping stones, while Todd Gilliland - who won the United Site Services 70 at NHMS in July - could become the first driver in history to win the East and West titles in the same season. PEAK Mexico's points leader and the Whelen Euro points leader will also take part in the global race that will pit drivers from all three series against one another.
The NASCAR Pinty's Series, Canada's premier stock car division, features young gun champions like Cayden Lapcevich (2016) and Alex Labbe (2017). Next September's featured event at NHMS will be the first time in the 12-year history of the Pinty's Series that it will race outside of Canada. The series already has a large geographic footprint, stretching from Nova Scotia to Alberta, but will make the trek out of the Great White North and into the Granite State for its United States debut.
"NASCAR is very excited to partner with New Hampshire Motor Speedway on this tremendous event," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. "This unique tripleheader will bring the best of NASCAR's touring series to the New England fans in an unprecedented fashion.
"The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has been a proving ground for our sport's top young stars, and a win on the big stage at New Hampshire has signaled the arrival of several of today's national series stars. Bringing the NASCAR Pinty's Series to the U.S. is a natural extension of the action-packed, hard-nosed racing that entertains fans across Canada. And the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is always a must-see event at New Hampshire; the extra distance provides even more opportunity for greater thrills."