Page 19 - 2020_NHMS_Souvenir_program
P. 19

Irvan, for his part, still turns emotional when reflecting   Of course, Cup drivers aren’t the only ones to enjoy
            back on his triumph in the Granite State almost a    victory lane over 30 years of racing in New Hampshire.
            quarter century ago.                                 Along with hosting NASCAR’s premier division, NHMS
                                                                 has held events for somewhere in the neighborhood of
            “It was unbelievable. I get tears in my eyes just talking   25 other racing series. Among them are the NASCAR
            about it just because of how rewarding it felt,” said    Xfinity Series, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors
            Irvan, who retired from NASCAR in 1999. “The thing is   Truck Series and several regional professional racing
            it seems like you never appreciate things as much at   series, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,
            the time as you do later. I’m never going to have    the ARCA Menards Series East and the American-
            another Cup victory, so now it’s like, ‘Oh, OK, this is   Canadian Tour. In the process of doing all of this, NHMS
            history.’ So these are the things I always think about.”  – which founders Bob and Gary Bahre sold to legendary
                                                                 Speedway Motorsports founder Bruton Smith in January
            Kenseth, who has since notched two more victories at   2008 – has solidified its place as the largest sports and
            NHMS and will be going for a fourth this weekend, was   entertainment facility in all of New England.
            nothing less than floored to finally break through here
            in his 28th try.                                     What once seemed like a gutsy move to build a
                                                                 racetrack of this magnitude in the Northeast has
            “For me to win at New Hampshire is more than a       proven to be quite the wise and foresightful decision.
            stretch and more than a dream,” the 2003 series
            champion said after taking the checkered flag ahead    “Mile-and-a-half tracks are prevalent in NASCAR, and this
            of Kyle Busch. “This is probably one of my worst places.   is a unique track,” McGrath said. “I think it’s endearing for
            I didn’t even know there was a victory lane here.”   the race fans. I think they love the fact that it’s their home
                                                                 track and it produces some pretty cool racing.”

   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24