Whelen Modified Tour Returning To Martinsville Speedway Next Season

It’s been a regular cry from series competitors and fans alike for years.

When will the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour return to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Tuesday the world got an answer.

Officials from Martinsville Speedway announced Tuesday morning that the Whelen Modified Tour return to the historic half-mile venue for the MaxPro Window Films 200 on Friday May 8, 2020.

The event will be a Friday evening race as part of the track’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series weekend.

“We get asked a lot about the modifieds a lot – from fans, from drivers, from media,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said in a release. “Now, we can say, ‘Yes, we will have them back next year.’ These cars are such an important part of Martinsville Speedway history and the time is right to bring them back.”

It will mark the first Whelen Modified Tour event at Martinsville Speedway since 2010.

Bobby Santos III won in the division’s last event at the track on June 6, 2010. NASCAR Modifieds first raced at Martinsville in 1960. The Whelen Modified Tour had run at the track annually from its 1985 inception through 1992. The division returned to the track from 1997-2002 and then again from 2005 to 2010.

“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Martinsville Speedway are a perfect match,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR Managing Director, Touring Series. “When you talk history and legacy – names like Evans, Cook and Bodine are synonymous with Martinsville. The Modified division and Martinsville Speedway are the cornerstones on which the sport was built. We’re excited about adding names like Coby, Bonsignore, and maybe even Preece – a new generation of Modified racing stars to the half-mile and look forward to being part of an incredible race weekend.”

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  1. Sweet baby Jesus, a return to Martinsville on Cup weekend!! Already told the wife I’m gonna miss Mother’s Day next year. Thank you Martinsville.

  2. i think that it’s good that they scheduled it on the same weekend as a Cup race. i was there in the past (back in the 80’s at an Azalea 150 and again this century on a Sunday afternoon) and the place was empty. especially the most recent time i was there.
    oh well, this is a definite positive for the Tour. the friday night race should bring some of the saturday Bowman Gray fans and cars.

  3. Great news for sure but I’m skeptical. History shows that the mods get dragged through the mud during cup weekends. My only hopes are that NASCAR plans for alternative schedules if rain occurs and plenty of time is given between races so the mods don’t get cut short.

  4. Sounds like the track has had an overwhelming positive response already. There is going to be a huge crowd just for the simple fact it’s the first Cup night race there. Friday night belongs to the mods though. Should be real fun.

    It would help if Bowman Gray closed that weekend. A regular practice among Virginia tracks when Cup is running close by. Maybe that is already the plan. I don’t know.

  5. I’ve been to numerous Bristol NWMT races, and there were hardly any people there. A few hundred or couple thousand, the place was EMPTY, and they showed up for the truck race. The mods at Bristol were thrilling. If that didn’t get people to a mod race down south, Martinsville isn’t going to do any better. Martinsville is only 170 miles east. I’d rather see the mods at Bristol than Martinsville.

  6. Great news for the tour and mod fans

  7. Bill Realist says

    Good sign. Let’s hope the tide is finally turning and nascar may be going back to it’s roots. A long time ago in the cup series heyday a guy like preece working his way up through the ranks was the norm. Not like now when rich kids nobody from their hometowns ever heard about fight their way to the top playing video games and with cubic dollars.

  8. Ken Latham says

    I went to a few mod races there back before there was a tour. Plenty of cars, where some were sent home. Thrilling racing. I was also there when Tony Siscone had the terrible accident where he got burned. And all the time they had a VERY good crowd. Front stretch grandstand full. I get it that they also had the Late Models also, but the Mods put on the better show, by far.

  9. Rich Gourley says

    I used to go to Martinsville every spring for the modified shows. I was also at the first (and only) night race for the modifies with the temporary MUSCO lighting. Really good crowd and a stellar field of cars. Was a wreckfest but a good event. Here’s hoping this leads to a long term annual event just like back in the day.

  10. If they are going to travel, they should run at Bristol, an incredible track for the mods. Martinsville is another typical ½-⅝ mile track. Why travel like that for a typical track?

  11. darealgoodfella,

    The Mods had decades of history at Martinsville and seem to be legitimately wanted there. They are going to be the “Number 2” series for the weekend there behind Cup. At Bristol they were the “Number 4” series of the weekend on a Wednesday 3 days before the Cup race. And to make matters worse, I am pretty sure Bristol later year in the advertisements for the Modified race used the picture of an IMCA\UMP style dirt modified rather than a pavement Tour Type Modified.

  12. At Bristol, the Mods ran the same day as the trucks, maybe xfinity cars one or twice. Even with the #3 (or #2) series on the same day, still no love. Place was EMPTY. But then, not many people go to Bristol for the Cup races anymore.

    If it is going to be a weekend of only the Mods and Cup cars, that could be excellent promotion for the mods. The concrete corners are just begging for mod tires.

  13. Ken Latham says

    Martinsville is “Perfect” for Mods. I do not particularly care for “Mash the Pedal” all race long. Martinsville, Stafford, you have to know how to setup and handle turns. Everyone knows that deep banking makes for easier set up

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