NASCAR has announced the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule which features 16 races, highlighted by a new special event at a historic New England track, and the inaugural venture to Canada.
The 27th season of the Whelen Modified Tour will see NASCAR’s oldest division return to traditional venues like Connecticut’s Thompson International Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway a combined eight times in 2011. Stafford will retain the four dates it has carried in recent seasons while Thompson has moved its August race to June and added a special event for September.
On Sept. 11, Thompson will bring both the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours to its .625-mile oval for a new event that will feature an exciting format. There will be separate 125-lap, points-paying races for each Tour. The top 15 finishers of each race will then line up for a 50-lap non-points “dash for the cash” race.
The Whelen Modified Tour will also head across the border for the first time in 2011. New to the schedule will be an appearance on Sept. 4 at Delaware (Ontario) Speedway, a half-mile asphalt oval that has held NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events the two previous seasons and is a member track of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Returning to the schedule will be the traditional summer and fall events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during Sprint Cup Series weekends on July 16 and Sept. 24 in Loudon, N.H. The Whelen Modified Tour, which has a history of producing exciting finishes at the “Magic Mile,” will also have a third event in Loudon on Aug. 13 as part of the IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend.
“The 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is built on the strength of traditional venues up and down the East Coast, including some of the nation’s finest short tracks and speedways,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “This year, the Tour gets major boosts with a new mega-event at Thompson where North meets South head-on, the first international event in nearby Ontario, Canada and Saturday feature billing on the new open-wheel weekend at New Hampshire.”
The Whelen Modified Tour will follow its Aug. 13 date at New Hampshire by returning to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the third year in a row with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the annual combination race as part of a doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Aug. 24.
Returning to the Whelen Modified Tour schedule for the 27th season will be Riverhead Raceway, and after they were successful additions to the 2010 slate, Lime Rock Park and Monadnock Speedway will also remain on the docket.
Additional 2011 schedule notes:
• Thompson held three races the two previous seasons after playing host to at least four events from 2001-2008. It has held 112 races all-time, more than any other facility in Whelen Modified Tour history.
• Stafford will have the traditional Spring Sizzler (May 1) and Fall Final (Oct. 2) events, which will bookmark mid-season dates at the historic half mile on May 27 and Aug. 5. Of note, the late May event will be the 100th trip for the Whelen Modified Tour to Stafford.
• New Hampshire has held three or more Whelen Modified Tour races in a season in seven previous instances. The last time was in 1999.
• Riverhead and Thompson are the only venues to play host to the Whelen Modified Tour in each season of its existence.
• With the new date at Canada’s Delaware Speedway, the Whelen Modified Tour will become the second of NASCAR’s current touring series to compete internationally. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West has contested races in both Canada and Japan previously.
2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule
DateTrack (Length)Location Sun., April 10Thompson International Speedway (.625-Mile)Thompson, Conn. Sun., May 1Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-Mile)Stafford, Conn. Fri., May 27Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-Mile)Stafford, Conn. Sat., June 25Monadnock Speedway (.25-Mile)Winchester, N.H. Thu., June 30Thompson International Speedway (.625-Mile)Thompson, Conn. Sat., July 16New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-Mile)Loudon, N.H. Sat., July 30Riverhead Raceway (.25-Mile)Riverhead, N.Y. Fri., Aug. 5Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-Mile)Stafford, Conn. Sat., Aug. 13New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-Mile)Loudon, N.H. Wed., Aug. 24Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-Mile) *Bristol, Tenn. Sun., Sept. 4Delaware Speedway (.5-Mile)Delaware, Ont., Canada Sun., Sept. 11Thompson International Speedway (.625-Mile) +Thompson, Conn. Sat., Sept. 17Lime Rock Park (1.5-Mile Road Course)Lakeville, Conn. Sat., Sept. 24New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-Mile)Loudon, N.H. Sun., Oct. 2Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-Mile)Stafford, Conn. Sun., Oct. 16Thompson International Speedway (.625-Mile)Thompson, Conn.
* Combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
+ Special event in conjunction with NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
All dates subject to change