Whelen Modified Tour Remains In July Plans At New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The Whelen Modified tour in action at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

The direction the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will go following Saturday’s Wade Cole Memorial 133 presented by Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair at Myrtle Beach Speedway remains a mystery. 

Because of continued government restrictions in place in Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to the COVID-19 global pandemic it’s unclear where or when the series will be able to return to tracks that were on the original 2020 schedule. 

The Whelen Modified Tour is currently scheduled to run the Nor’Easter 100 on July 18 as part of the annual Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 NASCAR Cup Series weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

NHMS executive vice president and general manager David McGrath said Wednesday he is confident that the Whelen Modified Tour event will remain part of the weekend schedule in July in Loudon. 

“Everything is so fluid, there’s a lot of moving parts,” McGrath told RaceDayCT Wednesday. “Right now my goal is that everything is the way it’s supposed to be, nothing is changed. But I also understand that our business has to react. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle where we kind of have to fit pieces in where we can. And I think at the end of the day, 2020 for a lot of reasons is going to be an asterisk year where it’s just going to be what it is.” 

McGrath said he’s had a positive line of communication with New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu and Sununu has mentioned publicly multiple times in recent weeks that government officials are looking at plans for the July Cup Series weekend in Loudon. 

NASCAR restarted schedules for its three national touring divisions on May 17 with the Cup Series kicking off that restart at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. The Cup Series has run two events at Darlington and one event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, all without fans in attendance. The Cup Series will be back in action tonight at Charlotte, again without fans. NASCAR has announced a reformatted schedule of Cup Series events through June 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsille, Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. All events run through June 21 will do so without fans in attendance. 

The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 weekend is scheduled to have the Whelen Modified Tour running on July 18 along with NASCAR’s second tier Xfinity Series. The Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 is scheduled for July 19. 

“We’ve been working with the governor on plans for our races and it’s moving in the right direction,” McGrath said. “Unfortunately I don’t have much better to say than that, which is a good sign. I think they stand receptive to whether the plan is fans, no fans, limited fans. That’s still to be determined. But I think the general direction is that they’re listening and that’s a good sign for any business. It’s just uncertain. It’s just one of those things. I don’t know how else to define it. It’s unprecedented.” 

Asked directly if the Whelen Modified Tour remains in the plans for the July Cup Series weekend in Loudon McGrath said: “Right now my plan, my goal, my want is to leave it just the way it is. And there’s been no formal decisions about what that’s going to look like. But that changes by the day. Call me tomorrow and I might have something different to say.” 

The COVID-19 outbreak shutdowns have wreaked havoc on the original 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Of the first seven scheduled events, six have been postponed indefinitely and one – at Martsinville Speedway – has been cancelled. NASCAR also was already forced to cancel a July event for the series at Iowa Speedway. The reduced purse event at Myrtle Beach Speedway was added to schedule and officially announced by NASCAR last Friday.  

The Whelen Modified Tour is also scheduled to run the Musket 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 12. 

“Modified racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a staple,” McGrath said. “There’s something about the bump drafting that they do here and the restrictor plates they run on those cars and how close they race together. It’s just a great race. I know our fans have come to love that and it’s one of the highlights of the weekend.” 


  1. Still hope for July!

    Riverside is running again this Saturday Night. Just saying…

  2. If there is ever a time and place for the Mods to get a BIG TV exposure, it’s at Loudon in July.

    I am assuming this will be a “No Fans” event.

    NASCAR should make sure the Mods get major television coverage at this event.

    Fans are starved for racing, the Mods are the absolute best race at Loudon. A great opportunity to get Mods some well deserved attention.

  3. wmass01013 says

    The BIG 3 are running NOW with NO fans BECAUSE OF TV MONEY WHICH IS 65% TRACK 25% TEAMS and 10% NASCAR
    THE WMT DOES NOT have a major TV contract so I don’t care how STARVED fans are for RACING or which is the BEST race of the weekend, MONEY talks and as smart as you are should know that NO MAJOR TV coverage will be given.

  4. I thought NBC sports has broadcast rights to the Whelen tour. They went to the tape delayed coverage model a few years ago. I doubt you will see live coverage on anything but the online track pass. Good to hear the Mods are still in the plans for NHMS.

  5. If it’s going to rain tomorrow night and Stafford would bet rained out anyway did the plague really cost us anything for at least one event?

  6. Riverside got shutdown today. No Saturday racing. Sorry guys.

  7. JD wailed, “Riverside got shutdown today. No Saturday racing. Sorry guys.”

    I’M SHOCKED!!!!!

    Actually, I’m not.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴 🏴

    🤣 🤣 🤣 🤪 🤣 🤪 🤪 🤣 🤪

  8. https://www.unionleader.com/news/health/coronavirus/groveton-racetrack-owners-cancel-saturday-race-after-warning-from-ag/article_d213b63b-d3bf-56ae-9430-939cb3eefd5a.html

    The system worked. The owner said he had to open to be viable. Shouldn’t have done it but it was no Ace Speedway as people spread out as best they could. The State threatened the track with an injunction and they canceled Saturday. No confrontations, no threats, no police barricades. Very civilized in tough times so good for NH.
    Can you feel it? Definitely some sort of energy emanating from New Hampshire or in a northern direction. Kind of like the next NWMT race is going to happening up there in the not too distant future. Even Mass and we in Ct are not as diseased as we used to be. Just doesn’t feel like the momentum for something will wait until July.

  9. If you haven’t lost a family member or close friends people have a different view point of this virus but CT has over 3k deaths no one wants anyone to die but 50 percent of the total were in nursing homes so says Lamont so CT lost about 1800 people out of nursing homes TOTAL catastrophe ruined business won’t recover for who knows when hopefully things can get back to the new normal.

  10. wmass01013 says

    Well this week has opened eyez to what 2020 holds for the WMT
    I DONT see any Races with no fans paying ANYMORE than what Myrtle Beach was offering, now will teams be more willing to race at NHMS for 4k to win, if CT lets races happen will they have 30 pus car fields for 4 k, will Riverhead race weekly at all?? Oswego? South Boston reschedule? will be nteresting for sure!

  11. I really hope this event happens. Furthermore I hope maybe it’s live broadcast. The modified are by far the best race at New Hampshire.

  12. NHMS has a large enough seating capacity that they could allow spectators and be able to enforce social distancing rather easily.

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