Riverhead Raceway Cancels September Modified Tour Show; Optimism Remains For October Event

Officials from Riverhead Raceway announced Sunday that because of continued restriction due to the COVID-19 global pandemic the Sept. 19 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event that has been scheduled at the track has been cancelled. 

Riverhead will host a 150-lap Modified race on Sept. 19 to replace the Whelen Modified Tour event. Riverhead is still unable to allow fans in for events. 

Riverhead was originally scheduled to host two Whelen Modified Tour events in 2020, with the first scheduled for June 20. The June 20 event was postponed earlier this season to Oct. 17. Track operator Tom Gatz said Riverhead management is still optimistic they’ll be able to host the Oct. 17 Whelen Modified Tour event. 

“That is still on,” Gatz told RaceDayCT. “We’re hoping that the governor comes to his senses and allows us to open up. This week they just announced that they’re going to let casinos open in New York. We’re kind of thinking we’re left behind. We’re hanging on to that one hoping we’ll get it in.”

COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns have decimated the original 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule. 

The series has run six events thus far this year, with four of those six events being added to the schedule after pandemic shutdowns began in March. 

Thus far, 11 of the 17 events on the original NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event have been cancelled. 

In addition to the Sept. 19 event at Riverhead, events have been cancelled at South Boston (Va.) Speedway (March 21), Thompson Speedway (April 5), Stafford Speedway (April 26 and Aug. 7), Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (May 8), Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway (June 6), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18), Iowa Speedway (July 31) and Oswego (N.Y) Speedway. 

The Aug. 22 event at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway and Sept. 3 event at Thompson Speedway are the only Whelen Modified Tour events that have been run this season that were part of the originally announced 2020 schedule. The series has run added events at Jennerstown (June 21), White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H. (July 4, Aug. 1) and Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. (Aug. 30).

Including the possible Oct. 17 event at Riverhead, currently four events remain scheduled for the remainder of the Whelen Modified Tour season. The division returns to action with the running of the Musket 200 on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The division is also scheduled to run at Stafford Speedway on Sept. 26 and Thompson Speedway on Oct. 11.


  1. Unfortunate but completely expected… doesn’t seem likely that it will be any different in October either…
    I’m still hopefully they may add another race somewhere… NH or PA would be nice…
    ARCA keeps adding Events very last minute. Last nights ARCA race in Missouri was only announced a few weeks ago. Next Saturday’s Toledo race was just announced a couple of weeks ago and sept 19s race in Indiana was announced just yesterday…

  2. I’M SHOCKED!!!!!

    😳 😯 😮 😲 🤯

  3. Bill Realist says

    Grease the same palms the casinos likely did and they will be back in business in no time

  4. Who wants to tell 🌈JD🌈?

  5. No surprise here with our Idiot Dictator running our state

  6. Can only get worse with attempting to get schools open for in-person operations. That will make a lovely Petri dish for incubating and spreading the #TrumpPandemic 🦠. Colleges are proving that to be true.

  7. “Can only get worse with attempting to get schools open for in-person operations. That will make a lovely Petri dish for incubating and spreading the #TrumpPandemic”

    Being married to a teacher of 6-7 year olds, this is on my mind more than most know.

    No real PPE, kids who don’t understand because they’re 6, and schools who are doing mostly theater in regards to safety and cleaning…

  8. Barry, no way kids that age, and even through high school, and even in college, are going to do what is needed to be safe and keep everyone else safe, especially with 20-25 kids per class. There was a parent in the news talking about how she sent her kid to school with a Spiderman mask and the kid came home with a SpongeBob mask, said he traded. Yikes!!!! 😬

    Long Island is wicked dense, an outbreak happens and it’s March-Apr-May all over again. As it is, this fall is predicted to be pretty bad compounded with the normal flu season. Made even worse with the election cycle.

  9. It’s just all so embarrassing. A quarter of the population of India and we beat their infection total by nearly 50% and a death rate way over twice as bad. 6th worst infection rate in the world per capita and 8th highest death rate. It is what it is……utter failure.
    Still even though we show the unity of a herd of cats the manner in which we’ve navigated the pandemic and have made adjustments to allow work, recreational activities and daily chores with public interactions pretty safe if not fail proof is amazing.
    I think of people like Barry’s wife every day. Also all the moms and dads navigating the pandemic that have had their lives turned upside down glad my school age children are in the distant past. I see little dookers out with their moms shopping with masks on and mist up in a classic Pavlov’s dog reaction. It’s just not fair at all.
    I trusted the data in April and May that predicted the downturn and it was right. Currently no major forecasting service is predicting a widespread return to those levels mainly because of the acceptance of safety protocols. Which is not to say the infection rates in various locals will not rise which they will. They will tend to be manageable as the tool boxes to combat outbreaks become larger. Perhaps not as controlled as more aggressive and competent countries but controlled effectively nonetheless.
    I know that all schools are not equal. The Capital Region Educational Council of Greater Hartford is allowing teachers to opt out and they will teach via computer from home with in class moderators. Students can opt out as well. Many schools are going to staggered class days as classes are cut in half. Students, teachers as well as businesses world wide conditioned to the linking and safety of on line platforms.
    Here’s what I know. At one point many of us were predicting doom in 2020. No racing, no NFL or any sport for that matter and complete misery until a vaccine was developed. Surprisingly and in spite of all the grousing, uncooperative trouble makers like Ken L in this thread and our now well documented incompetence we do adapt and move forward in spite of ourselves. Working, recreating, going about our daily chores a testament to the human condition balancing safety with the urge for normality.
    Predicting doom with regard to the return to school of our younglings may also prove to be unnecessarily defeatist as well.

  10. Just looked at Whelen tour schedule posted on Nascar. I wanted to see if the Wall race was listed as postponed or cancelled. I had held out a little optimism that one might get rescheduled after seeing a SuperDirt modified show from Bridgeport NJ with a very healthy crowd in attendance via PPV. Perhaps too many people to tell you the truth. Anyway it is gone so that pipe dream is done. I did notice that the second Riverhead race in October is no long listed on the schedule posted on Nascars website. So while Riverhead holds out some optimism for the October tour race apparently Nascar does not share that same optimism. Assuming they get in the remaining races and dont add any additional they will have 9 races total. Honestly I think that is a pretty good effort by Nascar given the situation we find ourselves in this year. I hope 2021 is a better year.

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