Breaking News: Whelen Modified Tour To Test On Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Road Course

Todd Szegedy celebrates victory at Lime Rock Park in 2011, in the last event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on a road course (Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Todd Szegedy celebrates victory at Lime Rock Park in 2011, in the last event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on a road course (Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for NASCAR)

RaceDayCT has learned that Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will host a test for NASAR Whelen Modified Tour teams on the road course at the facility on June 12.

A high ranking source within NASCAR confirmed to RaceDayCT that the event will take place to determine the feasibility of the series competing on the road course at Thompson.

“It’s an opportunity for them to determine whether or not the road course is appropriate for those cars,” said the source. “It’s an opportunity to gather facts and see if perhaps it is feasible and something we can look at beyond this season. There is not a preexisting race date. We are really in the fact finding mode. We’re obviously talking to [Thompson Speedway general manager Josh Vanada] and we’re paying attention to it, but it is a track organized test. There’s a great interest amongst the teams in racing there on the road course.”

The road course at Thompson opened in 2014. The facility offers a 1.7 mile circuit that also can be optionally converted to a 1.5-mile configuration.

The Whelen Modified Tour has some history competing on road courses.

The division ran at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International six times from 1996 to 2000. Current Whelen Modified Tour competitor Ted Christopher won the last two events at Watkins Glen in 1999 and 2000. Mike Stefanik and Tim Connolly each also had two wins in Modified Tour events at Watkins Glen.

The Whelen Modified Tour ran at Lime Rock Park in Salisbury in 2010 and 2011. Current Whelen Modified Tour competitor Todd Szegedy won the 2011 event at Lime Rock Park. Dale Quarterly won the first event at the track.

The June 12 test at Thompson will be by invitation only. NASCAR was expected to extend invitations to the test to teams competing regularly with the division this afternoon.

Thompson Speedway officials announced Thursday that spectators are welcome for the test: Admission for adults is $10.00 and children age 14 & under are free.


  1. Scott Collier says

    Have no use for northeastern modifieds performing on a road coarse. Attended a race at Watkins Glen one year, setting in the shicane (sp?), and that was all we saw.

  2. Tell me what road course other than maybe Daytona, that you can see the entire course, from one viewpoint, Scott… There aren’t many…

  3. As I am reading this I am saying to myself who is going to be able to go to this as I think the tour regs are all very busy during that time . Do these so called high ranking officials have any clue as to what it takes to prepare a WMT car to compete on a road course ??? Let me answer that for you . No they have no clue ! What a bunch of imbeciles.

  4. Fast Eddie says

    Will spectators be allowed to view the test?

  5. Fast Eddie,
    I don’t know if they will be allowing spectators that day.

  6. I think it’s a great idea to add a road course to the Whelen tour. I went to the Lime Rock events and thought the racing was good. Thompsons new road course is fantastic and the mods would just scream down the main straight there. Making one of the 4 Whelen events next year a road event would add some variety and possibly generate more interest in other road racing events there.

  7. Larry Barnett says

    4 events in a 2 week period does seem a bit much for most of the teams to deal with. It will be a blast for anyone that can manage it. Guessing it will only be a few of them.

  8. IMO I do not think adding a road course race makes sense for the WMT teams. Each team will have to spend a lot of money (my guess would be $3k+/-) just to prepare for the race. Its not as simple as most would think considering all the parts you need to change and the have spares for. I guess if the purse was at least $3k to start the race and $20+k to win maybe it would make sense but I doubt that will happen. Who knows maybe the Mohegan Sun is on-board?

  9. Just say ‘NO” to Modifieds on a road course.

  10. Chris D. says

    Last time I was there at the Icebreaker, there weren’t any stands or even spectator areas to view the track that I could see. Could it be a desperate attempt to salvage something out of what appears to be a bad idea in the first place (building a road course)? Mods are the only real draw in Ct.

  11. No…just no.

  12. Chris D- they had roughly a 150 events on the road course last year, I don’t think it was a bad idea.

  13. old observer says

    Last I knew, the road course was very busy. I think most RC events survive without spectators.
    A lot of work & $$$ to set up a mod for the RC. The RC runs by the current stands & there are other places to watch the race. There are pluses & minuses to Mod race there. I think it is at least a good idea to look at the option of a race there. More experience for the drivers & teams & exposure to different fans if other series are there. As long as it is not this year to give teams time to prepare.
    I’ll be there.

  14. I am all for the road course . As a former crew member I had the best time when we went racing at the glen . It also broke up the monotony of the same ole Stafford Thompson oval racing . That being said wouldn’t it make sense to go test the new road course at the end of the season when the teams could do it easier? If all goes well then put it on the schedule for 2016 . JMO

  15. Well I won’t be spending a dime to watch a race on the road course. I have a hard time believing that the track would make any money from spectators if they do end up having a race. I’ll be disappointed if they do have this race and replace one of the oval track events. They have had a stock car race on the road course already haven’t they? Anyone go to watch?

  16. I can’t see it really being a good show, nor worth the cost to the team owners. What makes TMP and WMT officials think they can do a better job at drawing a crowd for a WMT RC event than Lime Rock?!

    I get it could break up the monotony of ovals, but man, either take it back to LRP or back to the Glen. At least those tracks could draw as part of a weekend festival event if scheduled right.

    Hook the WMT up with the TUDOR series at the Glen or LRP in the future or heck, even the Trans Am series (yes it still exists, no it is nothing like it was in through the mid 90s even)

  17. Its interesting that alot of the comments are “you wont see anything…” you can actually see most of the course from the top of “spectator hill” and from the top of the golf course

  18. I’d much rather see a Thompson 300 (on the oval) instead of an RC event.

  19. Jeff Williams says

    Another event added to a minuscule schedule. Sounds good. Exposing others to what modifiers can do. Check. Complaining fans bringing down the series and not getting what they want. Check.

    Are road courses for everyone? Is Riverhead, NHMS, or Monadnock for everyone. No. If you don’t want to support the series you gripe about constantly about how they need change. Don’t go. I have been involved with teams at both Watkins Glen and Lime Rock and team members are more concerned about the car coming around again. As a fan, go to different viewing areas, experience the surroundings, but don’t say it is going to suck. New race. New road course. You don’t like it….don’t go, but quit being a lame keyboard jockey and bringing down a new option for a track that highly supports this series. ‘Nuff said.


  20. justafan says

    $10 to go see maybe a 5 car count poke around for a test session??? just another reason I have boycotted TIS. Not been to the since 2011 and have no plans on goin anytime soon. You want good local racing, and a good time go to Stafford or the bowl. Thompson can go fly a kite

  21. Like most road course races they should run a few different classes at the same time. Tour, MRS, SK. That sould get 60 cars on the track and make it exciting

  22. anonymous says

    Modifieds at Walkins Glen used to be televised and would put on an awesome show. The tour races at Lime Rock were a neat experience walking around the track catching different views. I also remember a lot of the teams enjoying the road course races… I was under the impression that the costs to go RC racing wasnt terrible. I love the idea especially because it shows some diversity with these racers and their skills. Now, I realize modifieds are different from the cup series but out of Sprint Cup’s entire crappy schedule… what 2 races usually put on the most exciting show? Embrace it and accept it you bunch of close minded hillbillys.

  23. “Hook the WMT up with the TUDOR series at the Glen or LRP in the future or heck, even the Trans Am series (yes it still exists, no it is nothing like it was in through the mid 90s even)”

    TransAm is back in a big way! There were almost 70 cars in three classes last weekend at Lime Rock. They ran the TA, TA3A, and TA3I in one race, and almost 30 TA2’s in another. It really sucked only two years ago, but they’re made some tremendous strides in a short time.

    I camped last weekend at LRP, and would have loved to see mods with TA over the SCCA Vintage or Spec Miata. Since IMSA/Tudor is a NASCAR property since the GrandAm merger, you’d think pairing the WMT with them would be even easier than doing the same with TA.

  24. Folks should consider that watching road course racing is better with a different plan than an oval…

    Ovals are great sitting in a grandstand.

    Road courses are lots of fun with a folding chair and wheeled cooler, even a small grill, and moving from corner to corner as the race progresses. More and more series are adopting online timing and scoring, so if you, or someone near you, has a smartphone or tablet, you can easily check the running order and race updates. Some series also employ colored position lights or electronic number boards to help fans know who is racing who.

    A scanner tuned to race control is fun in either place, but on road courses all the flag stands are 2-way on a common frequency, which can be a very interesting listen.

  25. Chris D. says

    How about a high dollar purse street stock race?

  26. Doesn’t do anything for me but I guess there is no harm in at least getting some test info.

  27. I doubt there is going to be much participation by the teams to test unless NASCAR confirms that there is definitely going to be a race on the 2016 WMT schedule. Just to prepare for a test a team is going to have to buy 6-8 wheels, make changes to the carb and fuel cell, move about 150 lbs. +/- of weight to neutralize the car. Also I think all four a-frames will need to be changed, nerf bars will need to be modified on the drivers side to cover the different offset of the wheels and maybe more. It just seems a bit much to me to just to “test” in there is no guarantee of a race in 2016.

  28. Andy Boright says

    Running cars offset to the left on road courses is dumb.

  29. Barry –

    Yes, I have not seen TA in the last 3 years or so, good to hear that they are on the comeback, and in a big way it appears!

  30. Jeff Williams you got it right ! Good for you …..

  31. It will be interesting to see if this test happens, or how many cars participate. Having the test day immediately after a three race stint is not a good move. Teams with two cars have to keep backup cars ready for the three race stretch coming up, and single car teams can’t afford to put the car at risk, or turn the car around in a day.

    The lack of participation won’t necessarily be an accurate representation of interest, but logistics.

  32. Obviously someone setting the test date is not the brightest bulb in the shop

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