Schedule For 2020 Brings Changes For Whelen Modified Tour At NHMS And Thompson Speedway

The four-wide pace laps in honor of Mike Stefanik prior to the start of the 2019 Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

The 2020 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour brought some big changes with the addition of new races at Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Jennerstown Speedway. 

But with addition also came some subtractions for 2020 on the Whelen Modified Tour. 

Thompson Speedway will go from hosting four Whelen Modified Tour events in 2019 to three in 2020. The track dropped its traditional June event.

The 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule was officially released by NASCAR on Tuesday.  

In 2020, Thompson will host the Whelen Modified Tour for the Icebreaker 150 in April, the Budweiser 150 in August and the Sunoco World Series 150 in October. 

“We’re being careful to take a look at all of our events and be judicious about whether or not they still make sense in today’s market,” Thompson Speedway general manager Terry Eames said. “We’re very happy with the success of the [Icebreaker 150, the Budweiser 150 and the Sunoco World Series 150], but the June event was a little less rewarding. We just felt that it was time for a change.”

At New Hampshire Motor Speedway the Musket 250 will lose 50 laps for its third running, getting cut to the Musket 200 for the 2020 Full Throttle Weekend in Loudon. 

“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is known for some of the best racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway which will continue in 2020 with the Musket 200 presented by Whelen,” New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager David McGrath said. “By dropping the lap count to 200, teams will be able to cut back on some of their expenses. Fans can expect great Modified racing at Full Throttle Fall Weekend.” 


  1. Maybe as the general manager he could have done a better job and made this event “more rewarding”. It’s to bad Thompson Speedway doesn’t feel it’s “time for a change” with Terry Eames.

  2. Frank Carpenter says

    So quick to blame it on Terry Eames, I am sure you no what the expenses are to run a race. The track crew, the lights, your staff, your safety crew, tow truck crew, ambulance, police, insurance etc. Oh did I forget the $90,000 purse. This is all factored in when deciding to run a race.I am sure Mr Eames sat down and discussed this with the owners before the decision was made. Simple answer to the question is take a ride to Martinsville to see the modifieds I am sure you will add up expenses before you go. Gas,hotel,admission fee, food and of course wear and tear on your vehicle.

  3. As far as Thompson goes, cutting back to 3 races seems to be a mutual agreement between the track and NASCAR. Don’t forget this has happened before, and may go back to 4 races in 2021. At New Hampshire, cutting back to 200 laps is a good idea, saves the teams some money.

  4. You sound like you know a thing or two about putting on a NWMT race Mr. Carpenter. Do you have any idea what the nut is for a track. Not track overhead so much but the purse for the NWMT cars, the purse for track divisions and NASCAR’s cut. Seems like like the costs are staggering and margins really tight. The difference maker being TV perhaps?

  5. Four races may have been too much for this market to support. They are going to other tracks, it makes sense to spread the sport to different markets instead of becoming a biweekly division.
    As for Terry, dude could have sold the bowl to developers a million times in the real estate runups of 01 and 08. He didn’t. You may not like his decisions or style, but his hearts in the right place. If Thompson couldn’t support four, then that’s the truth, he’s not going to leave profits on the table.
    And just a random thought, but he’s probably one of the few people who could take the bowl over and bring it back…

  6. I love when people come on here and comment about cost to run a race, Thompson Speedway has been owned by the Hoenig famiy for decades, the golf course and Speedway and they charge THE BIGGEST prices oF any WMT track and have for decades, sure the choice to run any event is up to them. not blaming EAMES for anything but the changes the track has made the last few years seem to less fan friendly in my opinion!

  7. If the revenue does not exceed the expenditure then why make the investment. Pretty simple business practice. We all know who holds the purse string and it is not Eames it is Hoenig, he is the real decision maker.

  8. Frank must be the only person whose ever seen an income statement. Everyone who watches racing knows what it takes the run a race, you don’t need to be a general manager to figure that out. The bottom line is that Terry Eames took away a race from one of the best tracks in the northeast for modified’s because he couldn’t do his job a little better and make it “more rewarding”. Seems lazy to me and no where in the article does it say they were losing money on the race.

    “If Thompson couldn’t support four, then that’s the truth, he’s not going to leave profits on the table.” – That’s exactly what they did Bob G

  9. Crazy Larry says

    GA to high for a one day show at $55 . Look around no fans! That’s what NASCAR did look out empty seats now PLUS no one gets in free not even the FIREMEN i was told. So lets not talk about $$$$$$$ BS. Somewhere.

  10. i had not noticed that they got rid of the Whelen Modified Tour All Star Shootout from the Friday of the July weekend. Not a huge loss there, though they also got rid of the East series race from that weekend.
    Went from 5 races: All Star Shootout, Eastern Propane & Oil 100, Xfinity Series, East Series and Cup series
    to just 3 races: Eastern Propane & Oil 100, Xfinity and Cup

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