With New England’s only NASCAR weekend less than a month away, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) hosted media on Friday for a little taste of what’s to come. Media members from across New England took part in the fifth annual Media Racing Challenge, and it was Kyle Belcher of The Circle Jerks Podcast out of Providence, R.I. who took home the win.

“This experience is something I’ll never forget,” said Belcher. “Twenty-four years ago, my father took me to my first-ever NASCAR race at NHMS, and ever since, I’ve been in love with the sport. Being invited to drive stock cars on that very same track was a dream come true. The entire NHMS staff and Rusty Wallace Racing Experience crew were welcoming, informative and overall fantastic. Being able to hoist the lobster in victory lane like my favorite driver Kevin Harvick did in 2018 and 2019 was the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to defend my trophy next year!”

The Media Racing Challenge winner was determined by the fastest lap time on the 1.058-mile track. Belcher was the fastest media member around the track at 39.241 seconds, while Timmy G (The Wicked Fast Podcast, 105.7 WROR-FM), Bob Bartis (WSMN 95.3 FM/1590 AM), Kevin Wiles Jr. (WHDH 7News) and Dan Walker (The Circle Jerks Podcast) rounded out the top five.

Belcher was honored with a traditional NHMS victory lane celebration, complete with a trophy, $100 gift card to Makris Lobster and Steak House and, of course, a live lobster, also provided by Makris Lobster and Steak House. Though a bit smaller than 20-pound Loudon the Lobster, who will be presented to the winner of the Ambetter 301 on July 17, the six-pound crustacean was hoisted high up into the air by Belcher.

NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) driver and Hudson, N.H. native Derek Griffith joined in the fun, providing tips to the media members from a driver’s perspective. Griffith will make his third NXS start on July 16 at the Crayon 200, marking his NASCAR debut at his hometrack of NHMS.

Not only did the participants get a taste of what it’s like being a race car driver, but they also got to sample some of the uniquely New England food items that will be available at NHMS concession stands July 15-17. They enjoyed lobster poutine, cheeseburger poutine, a frozen hot chocolate shake topped with fluff and even a whoopie pie cheeseburger, all crafted by the chefs of NHMS’s catering partner Levy.

Lap Times:

  • Kyle Belcher (The Circle Jerks Podcast | Providence, R.I.) – 39.241 seconds = 97.245 mph
  • Timmy G (The Wicked Fast Podcast on 105.7 WROR-FM | Boston, Mass.) – 40.583 seconds = 94.030 mph
  • Bob Bartis (WSMN 95.3 FM/1590 AM | Nashua, N.H.) – 40.633 seconds = 93.914 mph
  • Kevin Wiles Jr. (WHDH 7News | Boston, Mass.) – 41.230 seconds = 92.554 mph
  • Dan Walker (The Circle Jerks Podcast | Providence, R.I.) – 43.614 seconds = 87.495 mph
  • Justin McIsaac (WGIR-AM | Manchester, N.H.) – 44.613 seconds = 85.536 mph
  • Steve Longchamp (WFFF-TV 44/WVNY-TV 22 | Colchester, Vt.) – 44.752 seconds = 85.270 mph
  • Juliana Mazza (WHDH 7News | Boston, Mass.) – 46.159 seconds = 82.671 mph
  • Taylor Viles (WFFF-TV 44/WVNY-TV 22 | Colchester, Vt.) – 46.632 seconds = 81.832 mph
  • Rylie Johnson (104.9 The Hawk | Concord/Lakes Region, N.H.) – 49.644 seconds = 76.867 mph
  • R. (96.5 The Mill | Manchester, N.H.) – 51.638 seconds = 73.899 mph
  • Bob Stegmaier (Silver Fox Studios | Boston, Mass.) – 52.642 seconds = 72.490 mph
  • Kevin Bazan (Bear Country 95.3 | Greenfield, Mass.) – 53.021 seconds = 71.971 mph
  • Ginny Rogers (97.5 WOKQ-FM | Dover, N.H.) – 53.419 seconds = 71.435 mph
  • Jon Decker (Laconia Daily Sun | Laconia, N.H.) – 54.515 seconds = 69.999 mph
  • Haze (99.1 The Bone | Concord, N.H.) – 56.664 seconds = 67.344 mph
  • DJ Pup Dawg (94.5 WJMN-FM | Boston, Mass.) – 57.141 seconds = 66.782 mph
  • Josh Spaulding (Salmon Press Newspapers | Lakes Region and North, N.H.) – 57.671 seconds = 66.168 mph
  • Heather Bishop (Lakes 101.5 FM | Concord/Lakes Region, N.H.) – 57.863 seconds = 65.949 mph
  • Tom Neubelt (Journal Opinion | Bradford, Vt.) – 58.753 seconds = 64.950 mph
  • Amanda Jo (101.7 The Bull | Medford, Mass.) – 61.763 seconds = 61.785 mph

Race weekend action gets underway on Friday, July 15 with practice and qualifying sessions for the NXS and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) plus Friday Night Dirt Duels Presented by New England Racing Fuel at The Flat Track. The action continues on Doubleheader Saturday, July 16 with practice and qualifying sessions for the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), the Crayon 200 NXS race (2:30 p.m.) and the Whelen Manufactured in America 100 NWMT race (6 p.m.). The Ambetter 301 NCS race will run at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 17.

For a NASCAR weekend schedule, visit NHMS.com/Events/NASCAR-Cup-Series/Schedule/.

Log on to NHMS.com for tickets and more information on the weekend’s lineup of action-packed racing. Tickets for Friday Night Dirt Duels Presented by New England Racing Fuel are just $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Doubleheader Saturday tickets start at just $45 for adults while kids 12 and under are free. Sunday’s Ambetter 301 tickets start at just $59 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.

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