Discover NASCAR’s Best: The Whelen Modified Tour

May 17, 2009

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Are you searching for something different to do summer? Are you tired of paying too much for tickets to the ballgame? Would you rather tailgate than spend a bunch of money on food at the stadium? If you answered yes to any of these questions, pack up your grilling tools and check out the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

When most people think of NASCAR, they think of the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series or the Camping World Truck Series. There is another NASCAR series out there where the racing is more exciting than any of these. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour started 1985 and races at some of theĀ  best known short tracks in the northeast. This year, the Whelen Modified Tour will race 14 times at tracks as obscure as the Riverhead Raceway in Long Island and as famous as the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. This year, the Whelen Tour will also be heading to the high banked Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for the first time ever.

The cars, themselves, bear little resemblance to the cars you’re used to seeing on tv. They’re open-wheeled (meaning they have no fenders), lightweight cars that weigh less than 2,600 pounds and ride on 15 inch wide slick tires. The NASCAR Whelen Modified cars are much lower to the ground and slicker than the the race cars you’re used to. While they carry names like Corvette, the only part that is required to be stock is the roof. They have a 107 inch wheelbase and get their power from small block V-8 motors that are capable of creating up to 600 horsepower.

Several of the biggest names in NASCAR over the past 20 years, including Geoff Bodine, Brett Bodine, Jimmy Spencer and Steve Park started their racing careers in the modifieds. In addition, many of today’s NASCAR stars including Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman have driven NASCAR modifieds either on Sprint Cup off days or when the Sprint Cup and Whelen Modified Tour come together for race weekends in New Hampshire.

Most of the Whelen Modified Tour races are staged in one day. However, there are a few opportunities to spend a weekend watching the mighty modifieds. The season starts each April with the Icebreaker at Thompson, CT and culminates with the World Series of Short Track Racing also at Thompson. Free camping is available at both of these events so pack your picnic cooler and barbecue tools and have a great weekend with the NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour!


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