NASCAR and Thunderhill Raceway announced today that the Kyle, Texas, track will join the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series beginning in 2011.
The .375-mile D-shaped paved oval is located south of Austin and will be part of a unique partnership with Houston Motorsports Park designed to provide more championship racing opportunities for their fans and competitors.
Thunderhill and Houston, which joined the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2009, will operate on alternate Saturday nights and will share the Modifieds as their NASCAR Division I. In addition to the crowning of respective track titles, the format will also decide the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Texas championship. The facilities are currently the only two NASCAR-sanctioned tracks in the Lone Star State.
NASCAR U.S. state and Canadian provincial titles are determined by a driver’s best 18 finishes at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks within a state or province.
“The cooperative efforts between these two tracks will benefit their racing communities,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “It’s a great combination that will bring an even higher profile to everyone involved with both tracks.”
Thunderhill opened in 1998, and is owned and promoted by Mary Ann Naumann. The track previously hosted several NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events. Houston is operated by John Mandabach
“With this big NASCAR announcement and our partnership with Houston Motorsports Park, I know we’ll have some incredible opportunities for our drivers and teams,” Naumann said.
“All of us at Houston Motorsports Park are very excited about the new opportunities NASCAR will bring for our tracks, racers and fans,” said Mandabach, Houston’s vice president and general manager. “It will certainly become more enticing for the drivers and fans.”
Thunderhill’s support divisions that will be part of NASCAR Finalist Division program will be the TSRS Late Models, Trucks and Super Stocks.
In addition to the Modifieds, the Late Models and 360 Trucks are Houston’s NASCAR-sanctioned divisions
NASCAR-licensed drivers in the track-designated Division I compete for track, U.S. state and Canadian provincial championships and point fund awards, as well as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship. Series sponsor Whelen Engineering provides customized championship driver helmets for track champions and a championship racing uniform for state champions. In addition, NASCAR introduced the “Finalist Program” in 2010 to honor the track’s Division II-V competitors.
All NASCAR-licensed drivers competing in NASCAR-sanctioned divisions at sanctioned tracks are also eligible for NASCAR Participant Accident Insurance Coverage.
Beginning in 2010, NASCAR introduced the Learner’s Permit for its NASCAR license. This allows drivers and crew members that are 14- and 15-years-old the opportunity to compete in entry-level divisions as designated by the track.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is the grassroots, foundation of NASCAR and consists of more than 50 short tracks across North America. Since its inception, NASCAR Home Tracks have served as a springboard in the careers of many NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray are among the drivers who began their careers racing in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
More information on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is available at www.NASCARHomeTracks.com.