Over And Out: Fans Lose In Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout Confusion At NHMS

Whelen Modified TourLOUDON, N.H. – The love hate/relationship many Whelen Modified Tour teams and fans have with NASCAR is hardly anything new.

Many around the Whelen Modified Tour have long considered themselves the red-headed stepchild in the big business world that is NASCAR.

Some arguments that are made are valid, but all too often most of the complaints that emanate from around the series directed toward the sanctioning body can be chalked up to the fact that in racing complaining about the way things are run is just a way of life in the sport.

Though too often NASCAR makes it way too easy for fans and teams to call out the sanctioning body out for seemingly regularly giving the series the shaft.

And that was the case once again Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Friday in Loudon Ryan Newman won the inaugural Whelen Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout, and in the process the fans the helped populate the grandstands to the support the event lost.

Since NASCAR announced plans for the Whelen All-Star Shootout exhibition event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway it was made clear that the there would be a time limit for the event.

It was an understandable mandate for the series considering how packed the schedule was at the track Friday for the first full day of action for Loudon’s Camping World RV Sales 301 weekend.

Though the way NASCAR officials handled enforcing the 30-minute time limit that was set left plenty to be desired.

Yes, the event was giving Whelen Modified Tour teams the chance to run a special event, but ultimately in racing the sanctioning body has to think about the show they’re giving the fans in the grandstands. The ticket buyers are the reason why teams have the opportunity to do what they do. It’s not a show if there’s nobody watching.

Imagine going to a professional basketball game, watching a player hit a three-pointer to give his team a one-point lead with 50 seconds remaining, and then having the referees simply declare the game over with time left on the clock with no explanation.

That’s essentially what fans got from NASCAR officials Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. While Newman was taking a cool down lap as the winner Friday, a lot of folks around the track were wondering what happened to the final three laps.

The race had a scheduled distance of 40 laps, though as Newman came out of turn four on lap 37, the checkered flag was waving. There would be no battle to lap 40 between Newman and second place finisher Justin Bonsignore. There would be banzai run to the lead for third place runner Mike Stefanik. The race was over.

NASCAR had decided the 30-minute time limit had been met. And that’s fine, the time-limit was set well before the race.

The problem was, the fact that limit was met was information NASCAR shared with teams competing, but information they didn’t share with too many others at the track.

Most media at the track weren’t told the race was about to end and track announcers did not convey to fans in the grandstands that they were watching the final lap.

And that’s just not a fair way to treat those watching a sporting event. The fact is, you can’t expect fans to support the growth of a new special event if they feel got cheated by the organizers event the first time it was run.

In their haste and hurry to stay on schedule NASCAR dropped the ball in a big way and nobody can blame fans or teams for feeling once again that they’re a continued target for getting snubbed by NASCAR.

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  1. This is pretty common in NH with the Mods. Plenty of races with more laps run under yellow that green and cut short due to time requirements. Same with rain delays hurting Mods. I don’t know why they just don’t run in overtime like baseball and football.

  2. Hence another reason not to support the sanctioning body…

  3. AGAIN! Newman takes Money from the teams that run every race, every week, and he DON’t!!!! He must NEED the money real BAD!!!!

  4. Travis Barrett says

    This won’t be a popular opinion here, where it’s become easy to crack in Newman’s Modified efforts — and rightly so. But remember that his team owner is Gary Putnam, a New England guy who DOES support Modified racing week-in and week-out on the Southern tour. Gary works a day job, albeit in racing, and prepares his own car after work like so many other weekly drivers — and he does so with modest results, by his own admission. By owning the team, he’s someone who earns every cent of purse money he’s able to collect. I’m not defending a Cup driver showing up all the time, but it’s also not fair to ignore that a true Modified guy is part of the effort each and every time.

  5. Nascar sucks. The mods should go independent like the old days.

  6. Nascar don’t care about the competition how do the teams go out and get sponsors when nascar treats the teams like this and the fact they allowed Newman to take the other competitors winnings some of these local guys do this for a living. I’m losing confidence in nascar this is why the other series are forming and alliance. modified guys ever did this they would be told to stay home

  7. Mike Curtin says

    They make the Northeast Mods the Bastard child yet we are the oldest NASCAR division. They lack for a better word Officials are like Professional Wrestling Referees. When they got who should not even be in the match race leading near the end Ryan Newman. They call the race as in wrestling the fix is in as usual. If the weather was the weather was looking like rain maybe end it early. One can see why NASCAR races are loosing fans. They do not deliver. .

  8. Jeff Williams says

    I personally like the fact that Newman is in the field with, like Travis Barrett stated, a true modified owner. It makes those other teams more competitive. Been there, done that.
    I also feel that claiming he is stealing the money is a ridiculous comment. That money doesn’t go to him. It goes back in the car. He drives for the fun of wheeling a modified. Just ask him.
    I’ve been involved with modified teams at NHMS for many years and it becomes commonplace for these races to get cut short. There is nothing worse than having to tell your driver over the radio, “made the call, cutting the race 10 laps short.” So I can just imagine how PO’d fans get. JMO

  9. Wake up, no one cares about the Modified Snore.
    As for any complaining about the modified tour getting treated like second class citizens, I really don’t feel bad for them. Anyone who runs a weekly show turns into a second (or third or fourth) class citizen any time they are in town. Personally i feel much worse for a DARE stock driver who gets no heat races, a measly $25 purse, yet pays $50 to get in the back gate on mod tour night than i do for a tour mod team still taking home a decent paycheck while getting shafted by 3 laps – while putting on a better show.

  10. Jerry Venne says

    I think for the gaszillinth time, ” Brian France NASCAR sucks and you are the reason why. Give it up Brian. You don’t know a freakin thing about leading a race series and you also treat your 1st born as the bastard child of racing. God help the Mods, as Nascar certainly cannot.

  11. There were a lot of things wrong with todays race. First the time limit killed the finish. Second it seemed like a bad idea to have two races same weekend. Most of the teams only have a single car. Guys couldn’t afford to leave it all out like you would expect in an AllStar race. Teams needed to save the cars for tomorrows points race.

  12. darealgoodfella says

    Three more green laps would have taken one more minute… one more minute. Unbelievable. They could invoke the checker if a yellow flag condition happened, like racing before the rain comes.

    Any word on Lia’s condition?

  13. Darealgoodfella,
    Lia is fine according to team owner Bob Garbarino

  14. darealgoodfella says

    I am so glad I didn’t go to this event.

  15. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ Please wake me up when a REAL WMT driver wins.

  16. Soon enough NASCAR will be gone by the way side. Now with some owners forming an alliance which worked out really good for Indy car. These mod teams should formulate there own division, get some people in that really can promote it like it should be and get rid of a sanctioning body that could care less. I’m sorry but three laps is not a lot of time to have to cut it short. If it was still 10 to go I can see it . But really 3 Freakin laps so the fans can see what might have been an incredible finish and possibly a different winner. Eliminate the green while checker if you had to. worst of all, it was for nationwide practice. Like 5 minutes would have been the difference to those teams, Or there love child the k&n series. I say call up Lucas oil and get them to run a series like they do in the Midwest.

    The only people in the seats today came to see the mods. Maybe they hung around to watch the Kyle Busch show but they were there to see the Modifieds. NASCAR don’t care about them, even putting this event on seemed like they were trying to make it look like they cared and in the end, showed who they really are. It’s like giving a kid a lollipop and just before he gets to the gum in the center ya take it away. Yall can call this the modified snore all you want but the Sprint cup is worse. Jmo opinion. Good read Shawn

  17. I don’t have a problem with a time limit. But have a reasonable time limit. I would have taken 1 minute 30 seconds to complete that race with no more cautions. Did anyone notice that after Ryan Newman completed victory lane cerimonirs there was no activity on the track for 18 minutes.

    Hurry up and wait.

  18. I traveled from Agawam,ma to Bristol Mod Race last year and NASCAR shafted the fans in the same manner. No respect for the oldest division in NASCAR. What a shame

  19. I don’t why everybody is surprised at the way NASCAR ended the race.They don’t give a crap about modifieds.And if anybody believes Putnam owns Newmans car and not Bono,I have a bridge for sale.

  20. I agree with what Travis said. Also, there is zero wiggle room on the schedule on cup weekend. Cup qualifying was being broadcast on live TV. There really isn’t’one more minute.

  21. Frank Carpenter says

    Well I guess NASCAR saw that the world soccer league made 2 billion dollars in brazil for the world cup with one person keeping time and no one knew when it was going to end. How exciting was the world cup? NOT. Modified series wake up. there is a great series called the MRS. I am sure you will say but we can’t race at Loudon or Bristol. Big Deal. Well just wait the same thing was said about Stafford & Thompson. Those tracks saw the light.

  22. Michael Buksa says

    NASCAR obviously has not paid attention to the mods. A few suggestions;.1) Tape delay the race. 1 hour is not unreasonable. (Duh), 2)Me personally, refuse to pay for and watch race cars go an average speed SLOWER than traffic leaving Pocono.(If you have been there, you know what I mean) On tracks shorter than a 1/2 mile, DON”T count caution laps. Fans paid to see a race, not a parade. 3) Cup drivers are not the issue. Actually brings in more fans. But, how about making them available in the autograph sessions? Brian France needs to talk to the fans. Not Hendrick motorsports about what the fans want in a race. Oh, just heard that Home Depot is leaving NASCAR. Think it’s because their major competitor is SPLASHED all over magazines and media? If I was them, I’d be leaving too. I know that thee 48 train has long left the station.

  23. Was Newans engine inspected post race? Seems to me Newman used to compete in these races and won several. Then his car was protested and a post race inspected revealed the engine was not legal. After that he continued to compete but always got beat by the regulars. Now he’s suddenly wins again. I’m not saying he was legal or not, but I hope nascars tech department had the good sense to perform a post race inspection on the 7ny car.

  24. Then NASCAR wonders why attendance is down…..

  25. Of course not. Don’t you now that Newman made them burn the old records!!!!!

  26. SO lets promote stand alone MODIFIED events such as the NORTHSOUTH SHOOTOUT at Caraway Speedway Asheboro, NC. in November. No NASCAR junk to deal with. All green flag laps of racing!!! Just real race cars, real drivers!!

  27. There was an open race in New England not too long ago and no one NA$CAR modified, North or South, showed up…

  28. They should have had a 15 minute time limit on that crap nationwide race.that was horrible.people where leaving, sleeping complaining how bad it was.but NASCAR gives them all the $ and support.screw the mods.same story.NASCAR can say and do what they want.ask anybody who was there.what was the best race of the weekend.send those taxi cabs away and bring out the mods

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