On Tap: High Speed Commuting

It’s that time of year, when the short tracks are in business in Southern New England and NASCAR’s big dogs take over up in north country at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Sprint Cup Series visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend means some heavy commuting for some regulars in Connecticut who will be doing some back and forth all weekend.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Ted Christopher, Doug Coby and Eric Berndt are all regulars at at least one short track in Connecticut if not more. All six compete weekly at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday nights.

The Whelen Modified Tour will qualifying Friday at 4:45 p.m. and then the race will be one to get back to Stafford.

Check out the weekend action in Connecticut and north of the border:

Where: Thompson International Speedway
What: NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event
When: Thursday
Schedule: 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified, 25-lap Late Model, 20-lap SK Light Modified, 20-lap Limited Sportsman and 15-lap Mini Stock. Grandstands open: 4 p.m.; Qualifying begins: 6 p.m.
More: The fourth week of Thursday night racing at Thompson in 2013. … Keith Rocco and Kerry Malone were winners in twin SK Modified features the last time the track saw action on June 20. Malone leads the SK Modified standings by six points over Woody Pitkat. Rocco is in third lace, eight points behind Malone and Ryan Preece is 10 points behind Malone in fourth. … Rocco has three victories in five SK Modified events this year at Thompson. Ryan Preece has the other victory this year.

Where: Stafford Motor Speedway
What: NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event
When: Friday
Schedule: 42-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified, 32-lap Late Model, 22-lap SK Light Modified, 22-lap Limited Late Model and 17-lap DARE Stock. Grandstands open: 5:15 p.m.; Qualifying begins: 6:15 p.m. Features begin: Approximately 7:15 p.m.
More: The eighth week of Friday night racing at Stafford in 2013. … Friday night is Girls Night Out at Stafford. Females can purchase general admission tickets for $10. … Ryan Preece won last Friday’s SK Modified feature, his fifth victory in eight SK Modified events this year at Stafford Speedway. … The other winners this year include Ted Christopher, Danny Cates and Rowan Pennink. … Preece leads Woody Pitkat by four points in the SK Modified division standings at Stafford. Doug Coby is third in the standings, 32 points behind Preece. … Preece, Christopher, Pitkat, Coby, Pennink and Eric Berndt will be qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 100 in Loudon. All six are expected to make it back to Stafford for Friday night’s SK Modified feature. … Cates is the only driver to win an SK Modified race this year at Stafford who is not also a regular on the Whelen Modified Tour. Preece has won the last three Whelen Modified Tour events. … Every division will go an extra two laps beyond their normal distance.

Where: Waterford Speedbowl
What: Little Guys 200 presented by Belltown Tire Service Center
When: Friday
Schedule: 50-lap Street Stock, 50-lap Mini Stock, 50-lap Legends and 50-lap X-Cars. Grandstands open: 5 p.m.; Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Features: 7 p.m.
More: Open Class events for the Street Stock and Mini Stock division, which will each run for $1,000 to win. Legends and X-Cars competing for $500 to win.

Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
What: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 100
When: Saturday
TV: Speed, 1 p.m.
Qualifying: Friday, 4:45 p.m.
More: The sixth of 14 Whelen Modified Tour events this year and first of two at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. … Ryan Preece of Berlin has won the last three Modified Tour events, at Stafford on June 14, at Waterford on June 22 and at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway on June 29. Preece is looking to join Richie Evans and Mike Stefanik as the only drivers ever to win four consecutive Whelen Modified Tour events. Preece has never won on the Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Preece’s best career finish in a Modified Tour event at New Hampshire is third, which he has accomplished three times. Preece leads second place Rowan Pennink by 32 points in the Whelen Modified Tour standings. Preece is expected to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at New Hampshire on Saturday driving a car owned by Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. … Seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik and Bobby Santos III are the other two winners this year on the Modified Tour. … Stefanik and reigning series champion Doug Coby won the Modified Tour events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last year.

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