Daily Poll: How Important Is The NASCAR Brand On A Short Track To You?

NASCAR sanctioned racing has been a staple of the Southern New England short track racing scene for decades. 

Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway have both long been part of racing under the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series banner. There are seemingly a lot of questions about that status remaining going forward. 

So today’s question is this: As fan, how when choosing to attend a short track facility for an event, how important is the NASCAR brand being on the track to you? 


  1. Please explain what the status going forward means? NASCAR wants to drop Stafford? Does Thompson matter anymore?

  2. Rob,
    “A lot of questions about that status remaining going forward” means exactly what it says. There are questions about the status of the NASCAR sanction at Stafford and Thompson remaining going forward. Which part of that is confusing to you?

  3. I see the way this is going to go. I like many here value NWMT races no more or less then the other modified events out there. However, NASCAR does have status. The modifieds were the first NASCAR product offered and NASCAR does get modifieds national exposure on NBC Sport Gold and cable. Most of the retired drivers we all know and remember made their reps in NASCAR sanctioned events.
    If NASCAR goes away it’s not just the logo on the score board. You can favor non NASCAR events in terms of personal enjoyment. Yet still appreciate the fact NASCAR gives the class of race cars credibility a bunch of regional wild cat sanctioning groups can’t offer.

  4. Sharpie Fan says

    Seeing as how NASCAR choose to run a good number of their New England races at a non-sanctioned track, it begs the question of how much does NASCAR sanctioning mean to NASCAR?

  5. NASCAR weekly sanction has zero impact for me now. When I was a kid still living in Maine I thought it was cool that Oxford was going start to be sanctioned by NASCAR. However, that had zero impact on the races and even as a kid I quickly figured out only drivers who lived in 2 or 3 parts of the county had a chance to win the national title. And when Oxford dropped NASCAR 6 or 7 years later that also had zero impact on the weekly races. These days during a normal summer I visit the dirt tracks in New York frequently and they are not NASCAR sanctioned except for a track that had one for a couple years..(and for that track I only went to touring series that had nothing do with NASCAR) Also, Lee USA Speedway had been sanctioned by NASAR for several decades. Over that time they had to drop and replace whatever their headline division was 4 or 5 times due to poor car counts. Never once have I thought, “Wow, I am going to head up to Lee for a weekly show on a Friday because of NASCAR.” I have been there many times, but only for regional tours\special events. The way a track is run is 100% on their ownership\management and not who is sanctioning the races. To close, I am pretty sure that IMCA on dirt actually has a hand in sanctioning more tracks either through direct sanctioning or their rules package than NASCAR currently does.

  6. Seekonk fan says

    Doug, you can watch other racing series on cable or streaming. Status ?? What status ? most removed seating out of sports venues ??

  7. I could care less about the weekly banner UNLESS it affects the WMT. Then I care a great deal. If tracks drop the banner and the tour stops going to all these places it will suck. The WMT still brings in the top talent. TT depends on those tour names far more than people seem to think. I don’t see a parking lot full of RVs and packed grandstandsfor non WMT races.

    Obviously there is a lot going on behind the scenes right now. It would be nice to know the real deal as we stand today.

  8. Well Shawn, what are these questions you talk about? As someone who doesn’t know what they are, maybe you could shed some light on them

  9. Shawn,

    Some of us don’t know about the questions at hand or the sanction. Has nascar talked about dropping Stafford of vice versa?

  10. I support the Nascar Modified Tour some of you want TT to replace it and so do 2 tracks guess I won’t be going to those tracks anymore.

  11. Ask all of the Stafford crew members a few years back who got their NASCAR license just so they could pit for their drivers in the infield during a feature, meanwhile watching those that didn’t roll their pit carts out right next to you…they were the smart ones who saved their $100. Got hosed one year and that was it for me. They checked it one time that season and that was it. Total crap to have the NASCAR name if you ask me. Somebody in Florida makes the $, no advantage seen here for fans/crew members in my opinion.


  13. That was harsh

  14. At current pace Nascar means nothing to these Tracks, they make racing more exspensive and don’t contribute anything to the pot other than Name. Stafford was as busy as any WMT show with 20 more cars and alot cheaper purse. On a weekly basis it only affects a few teams, now that Waterford is not Nascar a reduced Thompson schedule and full Stafford schedule can’t compete for the Title anyway. Now Thompson feels they can do better without Nascar and it’s hard to argue against that idea, Stafford deep down knows they can succeed on its own meritt, cant forget Nascar dropped a Loudon Race as well taking $$$ out of New England Racing community.

  15. We’re supposed to be nearing schedule release time and we’re talking polls on how important NASCAR is to local tracks. What’s up with that?
    Or is it a Stafford power play to get more favorable terms from NASCAR. We’ve got TV now and access to the world. Show us some love or we go rogue.
    I favor surgery and not a complete amputation. The Sizzler and Fall Final without all the energy and outsiders the NASCAR brand brings in sounds like an insane gamble. After the switch to SK’s and the empty stands that followed they always do incremental changes as opposed to radical.

  16. This is a great poll…

    From a fan perspective, I think it’s pretty low. Fans just want to see a great show and the NASCAR brand has faded more than a little over the last 15 years.

    From a competitor standpoint, I’ve heard the heath insurance is quite good after a crash.

    So… it may depend on where you sit.

  17. NASCAR adds plenty to the weekly short track experience! They add a huge expense to the track so the track can have the “privilege” of calling itself a NASCAR sanctioned track. They add a huge pit licensing fee to all the drivers and crew members. In turn, for the track to cover the huge expense, it adds a few dollars to the spectators tickets. For any track promoter that is NASCAR sanctioned, I have a bridge to sell ya!!!
    NASCAR drop Stafford? Haha… never, it’s free money! Hopefully, Staffford smartens up and drops NASCAR!!

  18. Stuart Fearn says

    From your first comment, I believe it is quite the opposite. Stafford dropping NASCAR that is.
    What exactly does NASCAR do for the track(s)? You don’t know you say? Well, the track is saying the same thing! I’ve been a NASCAR member for at least 20 years I’d guess. I used to get a nice little hat pin and a NASCAR rule book. This year my son didn’t get his NASCAR license until September. The actual service has been getting worse and worse and the greed just more and more obvious.
    Take this year for instance, Stafford opens but only at 25% and they are taking it week to week walking on egg shells just trying to survive…. along comes the tour show on the schedule…. now I’m guessing what happened next. NASCAR says yes it’s still $100k for the tour to race so give us the cash, the track says hey it’s a pandemic can we compromise at like something way less since the governor might say zero fans at the last minute and we will surely lose money at 25%? NASCAR says no way and they go to a non sanctioned track in NH that has NEVER been a NASCAR track!
    What loyalty? Why partner with that organization I ask? You tell me. Again, I’m just guessing what happened but to me that makes sense as to the order of events

  19. My prediction is that Tri Track will gradually move WMT aside. I find it hard to believe that NASCAR gives a rats ass about the Tour. I never ever hear the tour mentioned on the daily Sirius NASCAR show. One would think they could promote the oldest series on a national daily radio show. What would it take to pump the tour a little bit? They just don’t care

  20. JimB in NH says

    Doesn’t having the NASCAR brand at a given track provide money for point funds and insurance for the participants?

  21. Who needs NASCAR if you do not have to be a NASCAR sanctioned track to host a WMT event? They just shake you down for money you should not have to spend. Again NASCAR claiming cost savings like the spec engine.

    The only benefits I see is the point fund and national/regional points.

    Big brother and their monopoly.

  22. Stuart Fearn says

    What is this point fund you speak of? Very little if anything at all nowadays. Seriously like zero or less than one tire cost from NASCAR

  23. Then who needs NASCAR if the point fund sucks?

  24. Is TT going to pay the almost $250,000 point fund(in a normal year) that Nascar does?? Asking for a friend.

  25. JD,
    You’re making that statement based on the assumption that a point fund like that will come back. You’re likely not going to see that again.

  26. Rich Gourley,
    Do you go to McDonald’s and try to order a Whopper? Please stop trying to post a link from another site when the story is on this site.
    ACT/PASS To Run Outlaw Open Mod Series At Thompson In 2021; Thompson 300 Returning

  27. When I was crewing you had to have your NASCAR license. I always questioned it because they allowed non NASCAR members in the pit area. You needed an armband to get in the infield, but they rarely checked. Like Stuart, I got a hat pin, and rulebook, and a window sticker so I could advertise for them. I don’t know what they even do for weekly racing. Stafford pays for advertising, and for all the employees and officials
    As far as NASCAR getting the modifieds national exposure. NBC charges for track pass, although they do broadcast the race, as long as you remember it’s 3 weeks later usually on a Tuesday at 1 AM.
    That’s not really exposure, but rather a chance for die hards to watch a much abbreviated race.

  28. Daily poll????????

    Seriously? You are going to have daily poll?????

    You have figured out how to herd cats.

  29. Aside from national points which really doesnt carry as much recognition or money as it used to the only other significant benefit I have heard involves insurance. I heard the coverage is pretty good for the drivers but I heard that years ago who knows if it is still true or ever was true. Nascar doesnt seem to have any problem running tour races at non Nascar tracks. They had 2 at White Mtn, a race scheduled at Oswego the past few years. so I would not worry about losing the Whelen tour races if Stafford wants them. The cost to be Nascar sanctioned is pretty significant from what I have heard. I doubt if Stafford drops Nascar sanctioning you see the ticket price go down. Stafford seems to be trending in the higher direction the past few years. You would save the drivers a few bucks on licensing. I doubt you would lose any drivers as there were only a couple trying to chase National points anyway. It is close to impossible to win up here with only one track running div 1 sk mods full time. It is a nice selling point when one of your drivers does win the national title but I think those days have passed.

  30. wmass01013 says

    While i AGREE THE NASCAR BRAND has faded the last 15 yrs, the HATERS will never change their tune. LOOOOOOOOK at the ads on this PAGE from RIVERHEAD AND STAFFORD and what do you seeeeeeee on them NASCAR, so it means SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!
    YEA TRI TRACK TRI TRACK TRI TRACK yes a POPULAR STAFFORD race has everyone singing TRI TRACK, but like alllll the series TRI TRACK is not perfect, why did LIMM AND Dick Williams SPLIT with Bennett and Darling??? wasnt because allll was 5 heats 2 consis and B MAIN.
    WHO knows maybe NASCAR GOES away with allll the OPEN CONCEPTS but i think NASCAR AND WHELEN have done A GREAT JOB WITH THE WMT the last 3 or 4 years BE CAREFULLL WHAT U HATERS WISH FOR!!!

  31. It’s starting to sound like a lynch mob.
    Aside from the moderator there’s only one other person in this thread with unquestioned credibility. Making it all the more disappointing that Mr. Fearn crafted a scenario that painted NASCAR exactly in the light he sees them but admittedly does not know what actually happened. You might as well be one of us.
    In the end Stafford did hold the event while the 25% limit was in effect which one could assume means there was a meeting of the minds between NASCAR and the track for the one event anyway.
    Random observations, considerations and speculative notions on why dropping the NASCAR sanction MAY amount to more then losing a hat pin..
    -the insurance program for drivers and team members with the strength of a nationwide pool. No one thinks they’ll get injured so they concentrate on the hat pin. Just ask Dave Sapienza. Did NASCAR back him when he got injured or not? He says no, they were worthless and you’re half way to the exit door. He’s says they were great and you may want to take another look at that hat pin.
    -the NASCAR association could very well be helpful in getting event liability insurance.
    -the NASCAR designation may carry weight when tracks seek financing with banks for infrastructure improvements as well as short term loans to manage seasonal cash flow.
    -NASCAR may cultivate and direct marketing partners to local tracks with their nationwide clout to focus consumer preference.
    -New Smyrna accepted the NASCAR sanction around 2013. They were very happy to get it at the time mentioning the benefits and still have it.
    -Will next years Pro Late Model open be a NASCAR points race? If it is how’s that going to effect the decision of teams to take part if Stafford cuts the chord. Do Stafford open and TTOMS drivers collect national points at Stafford events and do they care about that?
    -do SK Light teams stay loyal to Stafford as opposed to Waterford mainly because of NASCAR points?
    -the Speedbowl lost the NASCAR sanction in 2017 for reasons we all know. It was not viewed as no big deal at the time. As I recall it was viewed as kind of a big deal.
    -the premier tracks in the region including Seekonk, Riverhead, Monadnock, Beech Ridge and others carry the NASCAR sanction. Historic, well managed tracks. Why so many if the deal sucks?
    -Jennerstown Speedway general manager Bill Hribar 10/19 via RaceDayCT.
    ” We’ve been in communication with [NASCAR] for a couple years. In this sport it’s all about timing. We wanted to prove ourselves to the racing community and I think we did that last year and the timing is right and we’re glad to have NASCAR back at Jennerstown.”

    So far in this forum we’ve heard all the reasons why NASCAR is simply an albatross sucking the life out of Stafford Motor Speedway. Inflating ticket prices and abusing competitors there with no meaningful benefits whatsoever. Off with their heads the crowd shouts. Take a breath. There’s just a chance that hat pin may carry more weight then may first appear.
    Think back over the last five years. At what events did the stands contain the most fans and the parking lot filled with the most campers and fan energy? Now you say your goal is to be the New London Waterford Speedbowl?
    I still think these rumblings are more about a negotiation afoot then an amputation.

  32. And that would be whom, Doug? Like myself, I’m thinking many of the comments are from people who have driven or are crew members over the years. The people who have been there, done that. Get off the pedestal already.

  33. Dareal, only the crazy cat lady on the corner can herd cats, and it’s not so much herding as holding hostage

  34. The brand is not as nearly as important as this:


    The virus 🦠 is in complete control. Please, do not ignore it.

  35. Today might just be a good day for the WMT.

    Stay tuned…

  36. ” I’m thinking many of the comments are from people who have driven or are crew members over the years.”

    Who aside from Mr. Fearn who already mentioned he was speculating. Could someone tell the secretary to get Sap on the line for some actual information. The back injury in a race. What role did the NASCAR insurance play in what had to be huge medical bills. Or was it minimal? Waste of time.
    Bringing up possible considerations is not lecturing in any sense. . I’m not even saying I’m right or vaguely suggesting I know what I’m talking about. I’m simply pondering things the track may be considering that fans and even competitors can’t possibly know. Trolling for some entries that have actual knowledge why any track even bothers to get a NASCAR sanction.
    If it’s not worth it fine. I’ll be buying their new hybrid StaffordSpeedway.TV/in person season ticket NASCAR sanction or not. I made up the hybrid ticket but it’s coming I’ll bet. A 6 or 8 race option for attended races and the rest on the tube. Maybe even multiple levels of attended vs viewed options.
    As for the case for ditching the sanction so far all I’m reading are superficial gripes.
    Where’s the beef????

  37. 🌈JD🌈, is there a legitimate vaccine announcement?


    Several previously announced vaccine dates have come and gone. 😞

  38. When I was a child growing up we went to ‘”The Park” on every Saturday and some Tuesday. It was UNITED. We saw some great racing and some great drivers. Danbury had SNYRA. They had some great racing. Plainville Stadium (Not sure who sanctioned them]. They had great racing. Waterford Speedbowl was UNITED. Great racing also. If NASCAR is getting greedy and trying to rule with an “Iron Fist”, then turn them loose. I totally get where Stu is coming from. Maybe next year we won’t have any racing at all! These track owners own a business and we enjoy having them open, but if they’re not making any money (and possible losing money} they have to seek other opportunities . If it means losing the NASCAR sanction, (After all these years} so be it. I personally just want to go to the track and watch drivers try to out drive each other. I don’t really care who they are sanctioned by. We go there go because we love it and would very sad if tracks start closing

  39. Dareal, I’ve been paying attention too. All of these race dates being announced may be moot. Trump has proven he’s given up on the virus, so things are going to get allot worse over the coming months. Even if Biden wins this week he won’t take charge till January. I see 2021 being worse than 2020 right now. Hope I’m wrong.

  40. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Good point about Waterford, Doug. According to some, when they lost the sanction, it was a death blow, final nail in the coffin, the track was toast. And yet, here we are. Discussing the possibility of Stafford going NASCAR less.

  41. Bemer and his Speedbowl have an enormous advantage. He’s shown he can pull a season out of his ass with only a few weeks lead time and given his circumstances making money is not the first priority.
    Stafford doesn’t have that luxury.
    So far the fan base has chased the TTOMS story of replacing the NWMT at Stafford and has the epicenter of the tour moving south simply because a couple races were scheduled down there.
    Unlike Bemer Stafford needs to plan far in advance and needs to have whatever they schedule make money.. They need to make their best deals assuming that the virus will impact the first races of 2021 then become less of a factor later on.
    I’m betting on the NWMT appearing on the Stafford schedule when the dust settles for at least one race in 2021. I’m betting NASCAR may be petulant and stubborn but not suicidal.

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