Trackside Now: NASCAR Busch East Series and Whelen Modified Tour at NHIS
Todd Szegedy Is a First-Time NHIS Winner
Saturday 11:17am ET - The skies are getting lighter and the jet dryers are on the track. The rain has slowed down considerably, but not quite all gone yet. There's still one band of showers that is headed for the track, but they could break up or miss us, too.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying has been officially wiped out due to rain and the field will be set by points. Donny Lia's #36 Bill Davis Racing entry has enough owner's points to get the Whelen Mod Tour Point Leader into the show. There was only one driver who missed the Truck race, and it was yesterday's NASCAR Busch East Series race's second-place finisher Sean Caisse, whose #03 Germain Racing team did not have the points nor the entry blank filed on time to get a starting spot.
Saturday 10:30am ET - Fans who may have been hoping to pull a New England short track series doubleheader today in the Granite State now must put all their racing eggs into the Mod Tour basket. Just 45 minutes up the road the PASS North Super Late Models were to have an event at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH), but the rain and threat of rain through the day have forced that race's postponement. There's still no word on what the gameplan will be here at NHIS, however, but it is still raining at a pretty good clip.
Saturday 9:57am ET - It's raceday here at New Hampshire International Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which can only mean one thing... there's a weather issue that causes some uneasy feelings in the WMT pit area. There has been a steady rain shower all morning long here in Loudon, NH. According to track officials, there have been no changes to today's schedule, which tentatively has the WMT 100-lap feature going green at 1pm. Modified fans well know, however, that when it comes to NHIS, those plans are very subject to change.
Earlier this year, the WMT feature was shortened due to the NASCAR Busch Series race needing to start on time for television purposes. There have been several instances where weather prevented the Modified race from going off at all on its regularly scheduled day, moving the Mod race to either Sunday or Monday mornings.
Today, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series was scheduled to take to the track at approximately 9:50am, but the rain's still coming down hard. Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying is supposed to begin shortly after 10am, but that won't happen either. Today's feature events include the Mod Tour race at 1pm, followed by the Truck race and then the USAC Silver Crown 75-lap feature, but as stated earlier, there's no news as far as a schedule change just yet.
Mod fans, of course, are hoping there's no controversy or scandal this time around.
We're keeping track of the weather and have communications with track and Mod Tour officials, so we'll be here with any and all updates throughout the day.
Even in the rain, Mod Tour teams prepare their cars for battle. Here, Ryan Preece's team works on the front end of the #40 machine. (51 Photos)
Saturday 12:24pm ET - At one point this morning, the chances of seeing the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour take the green flag here at NHIS looked slim. Now, however, we're at least getting a glimmer of hope. Track and NASCAR Officials have made the call that they are still planning a 1:10pm green flag drop for the Mod Squad.
While the rain starts and stops, but never gets to more than a mist, jet dryers and track safety vehicles are on track getting the surface prepared. The USAC Silver Crown cars are scheduled to be the first racecars to hit the track today. They'll practice as soon as the track is ready and go until 1pm. Then, the Whelen Mods will take the green at 1:10pm, followed by the Trucks at 3pm and the USAC feature at approximately 5:30pm.
There's even a short track racing flavor to the USAC Silver Crown field, as well. ASA Late Model hotshoe and ARCA winner earlier this year Michael Annett is here with a TMC Transportation-backed #112 Silver Crown entry. Also, Whelen Mod Tour ace Robbie Summers is in the field as well in a Jim Paternoster-owned ride.
Fans who have seen Michael Annett run in ASALM or ARCA will recognize this TMC paint scheme.
Saturday 1:18pm ET - The misting still hasn't quit here at NHIS, delaying the start of the WMT feature. All the cars are lined up in their starting order in the infield. Officials had called drivers to their cars, but then the rain intensified for several minutes, prompting the drivers to then get out of their cars. That's where they are now, waiting for the misting to stop again and for the track to be completely dry.
Saturday 12:51pm ET - The distinctive voice of Al Robinson, long-time PA announcer here at New Hampshire and former Busch North Series PR guy, has begun the starting lineup for the New Hampshire 100 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour feature. Teams have lined up on pit road and cars are on their way to the grid.
Saturday 4:18pm ET - The NASCAR Whelen Modified Teams are beginning to get ready (again) for the start of the New Hampshire 100 here at NHIS. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is just about halfway, so teams are starting the process of getting ready to go green in the 100-lap event.
Saturday 3:33pm ET - After a soggy start to the day here in Loudon, New Hampshire, the weather turned out perfect for the start to feature racing activities here at the "Magic Mile." The Craftsman Trucks have gone green for their 200-lap feature event. Several of the short trackers we've been following throughout the weekend are working their way up through the field on lap 20. Clay Rogers is 21st, Shane Seig is 22nd, Brian Scott is 28th and Donny Lia is 30th
Saturday 1:39pm ET - Just got word from NHIS officials...the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race has been postponed until after the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race this afternoon. The CTS race is scheduled for a 3pm green flag, therefore the WMT race should start roughly around 5:30pm.
We're just a few moments away from the start of the always-exciting NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at NHIS.
Saturday 5:16pm ET - The Mod Tour engines have been fired and we're going green.
Saturday 5:16pm ET - Ron Hornaday has won the Craftsman Truck Series race here at NHIS. Clay Rogers scored a 12th-place finish, Ryan Mathews was 13th, Donny Lia was 20th and Brian Scott was 21st in the first-ever CTS starts for both drivers.
The CTS crews are clearing pit road and the Mod Tour drivers are strapping in for the start of the now-75-lap feature.
Saturday 5:09pm ET - NASCAR Officials have announced that the Whelen Modified Tour race has been shortened to 75 laps instead of its regularly scheduled 100 in order to get it and the USAC Silver Crown race in before darkness setlles in here at NHIS. There are 10 laps remaining in the Craftsman Truck Series event with the Mod Tour to follow.
Saturday 4:43pm ET - There are only 50 laps remaining in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, meaning we're inching closer to the start of the WMT feature.
WMT STARTING LINEUP
1. Todd Szegedy 29.725
2. Ron Yuhas Jr 29.752
3. Donny Lia 29.836
4. Tony Hirschman 29.917
5. JJ Yeley 29.925
6. Charlie Pasteryak 30.026
7. Ronnie Silk 30.036
8. James Civali 30.124
9. Ryan Preece 30.126
10. Bobby Santos III 30.139
11. Rick Fuller 30.160
12. Danny Sammons 30.198
13. Billy Pauch Jr. 30.218
14. Dick Houlihan 30.264
15. Bobby Grigas III 30.265
16. Ted Christopher 30.266
17. Jimmy Blewett 30.278
18. Glenn Tyler 30.279
19. Woody Pitkat 30.286
20. Eric Beers 30.291
21. Andy Seuss 30.335
22. Mike Stefanik 30.344
23. Jeff Malave 30.347
24. Eddie Flemke Jr 30.364
25. Alex Hoag 30.375
26. Jerry Marquis 30.392
27. Richard Savary 30.417
28. Kevin Goodale 30.498
29. Rich Hartmann 30.748
30. Jon McKennedy 30.769
31. Jamie Tomaino 30.972
32. Rowan Pennink 31.022
33. Ken Bouchard 31.086
34. Wade Cole 31.093
35. Reggie Ruggiero 31.190
Doug Coby - no time
Gary McDonald - no time
Matt Hirschman - no time
Jake Marosz - no time
Mike Christopher - no time
Saturday 6:40pm ET - Todd Szegedy has won the New Hampshire 100 over Ronnie Silk, Donny Lia and Bobby Santos ... more to come once we catch our breath.
Saturday 6:35pm ET - Ten to go...Szegedy leads Santos, Silk and Lia. The top-four are all under a blanket with a gap back to fifth-place Jimmy Blewett and sixth-place James Civali
Saturday 6:33pm ET - Szegedy is back out in front in front of Santos and Silk. Christopher and Lia were battling hard for fourth behind them, but Christopher has fallen off the pace on lap 60 and hit pit road.
Saturday 6:32pm ET -Silk re-took the lead on lap 56. Yes folks, they are swapping the lead that much. The top seven are all within one second of each other.
Saturday 6:31pm ET -Todd Szegedy took the lead back on lap 51 from Silk. The top two are breaking away from Donny Lia, Bobby Santos and Jimmy Blewett a bit.
Saturday 6:30pm ET - Lap 50, 25 to go and it's Silk, Szegedy and Blewett under a blanket up front, with Lia, Santos and Ted Christopher right behind.
Saturday 6:26pm ET - Ronnie Silk had re-claimed the lead on lap 41 as the top-10 are all bumper-to-bumper, bump drafting down the straightaways, showing off the good, clean racing that was missing from the early laps, but Szegedy got the lead back on lap 43, then Silk re-trook it on lap 45. It's getting wild up front.
Saturday 6:15pm ET - On the lap 37 restart, Szegedy held the lead over Santos and Blewett.
Saturday 6:15pm ET - On the first lap back to green, Ryan Preece spun down the backstretch for another caution flag. We're working lap 35, two laps short of halway, and we've yet to run more than three laps at a time under green. Todd Szegedy took the lead from Ronnie Silk on the previous restart and continues to lead Silk, Lia, Santos and a hard-charging Jimmy Blewett.
Saturday 6:01pm ET - Only one lap of green flag racing got in before the yellow has flown once again. This time it was a giant wreck off the fourth turn that included Jeff Malave, Reggie Ruggiero, Alex Hoag, Ron Yuhas, Richard Savary, Ken Bouchard and Mike Christopher.
Ronnie Silk took the lead on the restart from the previous caution on lap 22. Silk leads Szegedy, Lia, Tony Hirschman, Santos and Yeley.
Saturday 6:01pm ET - The yellow flag has come out on lap 18 when Ron Yuhas has spun out of second-place after he and third-place runner James Civali battled hard for the spot. Szegedy still shows the way over Civali, Silk, Santos, JJ Yeley and and Lia.
Civali has been brought to pit road to assess the damage on his #28 from the contact with Yuhas. Woody Pitkat hit pit road also, but his problem seems to be terminal.
Saturday 5:36pm ET - An extensive cleanup is over and the green flag is back out on lap 17. There's a bunch of oil-dry in turns one and two from where the big wreck occurred. Race leader Todd Szegedy told his #2 Wisk/Snuggle crew on the radio hat he's ready to go dirt trackin'.It's Szegedy, Yuhas, Lia, Civali, Tony Hirschman and Bobby Santos III..
Saturday 5:36pm ET - Caution flag is out on lap three for a big crash involving Rowan Pennink, Danny Sammons and Dick Houlihan. All drivers are out of their cars and seemingly okay, but all cars have extensive damage.
Saturday 5:30pm ET - The green is out and Todd Szegedy shows the way early over Ron Yuhas, Donny Lia and James Civali.
Sunday 9:26am ET - A Sunday morning update from NHIS. There may may be an issue with the engine of the #2 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour entry driven by Todd Szegedy that won Saturday's WMT event. Speed51.com has confirmed with a NASCAR spokesman that Szegedy's winning engine is on its way to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC for further evaluation on its specifications. We have also learned that the issue in question may have to do with the intake manifold.
NASCAR has stated that the results from Saturday's race will remain unofficial until Tuesday. Speed51.com is staying on top of the situation and will have further updates as they become available.
Saturday 7:35pm ET - One last note before we head out of the infield at NHIS, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver and former USAC Triple Crown winner J.J. Yeley, fresh off his debut in a Whelen Modified, won the darkness-shortened USAC Silver Crown feature at NHIS.
Saturday 7:30pm ET - For as crash-filled as the beginning of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New Hampshire 100 (shortened to 75), the final 40 laps or so were perhaps some of the best Modified action a person will ever see. Stay tuned for more next week from NHIS in a race report and Leftovers from a wild race held under a New England twilight.
Todd Szegedy and the #2 crew celebrate their first WMT victory.