It’s the road race within the race weekend for some NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers competing in July events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Whelen Modified Tour qualifying on Friday afternoons typically means an extra challenge for the division’s drivers who also compete regularly in the Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway, which run its weekly shows on Friday nights.
Last year six Whelen Modified Tour drivers were also regulars at Stafford Speedway, meaning after late afternoon Modified Tour qualifying, they had to race back to Stafford to make the show at the half-mile oval a little more than a two-hour drive from Loudon, N.H.
When NASCAR announced Saturday that they were adding a special 25-lap Whelen Modified Tour shootout to the schedule on Friday July 11 at NHMS it added another wrinkle for those looking to get back to Stafford.
Most of the drivers who are regulars at both Stafford and on the Modified Tour are expected to also be qualifiers for the shootout event. NASCAR announced that the shootout will offer invitations to former race winners, former series champions and reigning Rookie of the Year award winners from the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
That group would likely include Stafford Speedway regulars Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Ted Christopher and Rowan Pennink.
NASCAR spokesman Jason Christley said the sanctioning body hopes to create a schedule for the event that takes into account that numerous drivers run regularly in the weekly division at Stafford.
“There’s no schedule at this point,” Christley said. “The desire is to work on a schedule that makes it possible for drivers to be at Stafford for racing on Friday night. I know that we’re going to work with the track to make sure it’s the best schedule for everybody involved.”