Full Throttle Weekend Gone At NHMS; Whelen Mod Tour Currently Not On 2021 Track Schedule

Bobby Santos III celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Musket 200 on Sept. 12 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

Editors Note: Update on Nov. 27, 2020 – According to NHMS management, there has been no change in the status of the Whelen Modified Tour at the track for the 2021 season. At this time the division is still not a part of the schedule for the track in 2021.

Editors Note: Update on Nov. 20, 2020 – According to NHMS management, there has been no change in the status of the Whelen Modified Tour at the track for the 2021 season. At this time the division is still not a part of the schedule for the track in 2021.

The Full Throttle Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will not take place in 2021.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager David McGrath confirmed to RaceDayCT Thursday that the event, which has taken place for the last three years, will not be part of the 2021 schedule in Loudon. 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ran the Musket 250 on the Full Throttle Weekend card in 2018 and 2019. The race was shortened to 200 laps for the 2020 event. 

“We’re not going to do the Full Throttle in [2021],” McGrath told RaceDayCT. “That weekend is not going to happen. I won’t get into anymore details than to say we made a business decision that we’re just going to forgo that.” 

McGrath also said, as of today, the Whelen Modified Tour is not currently scheduled to run as part of the track’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 NASCAR Cup Series weekend, which is scheduled for July 16-18, 2021. 

Currently the weekend’s schedule includes the Lakes Region 200 Xfinity Series event on July 17 and the Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on July 18. McGrath said the door is not closed for getting the Whelen Modified Tour on the schedule for 2021. 

“We as a company are working with NASCAR to have [the Whelen Modified Tour] as part of [our schedule],” McGrath said. “Certainly my intention would be that they are, to have the Modifieds as part of our Cup weekend in July. … My intention is that they’re part of the July weekend, as they always have been. We’re working on that. Hopefully I’ll have some news in the not too distant future on that.” 

The Whelen Modified Tour has run 72 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since 1990. Since 1991 there have been only two seasons when the series did not run more than one event at the track.

In 2001 the series ran only in July after their September event was cancelled due to the September 11 attacks. The 2020 July event for the Whelen Modified Tour was cancelled due to COVID-19 global pandemic restrictions.

Bobby Santos III won the Musket 200 at NHMS on Sept. 12. 

From 1997 to 2017 NHMS hosted two Cup Series weekends annually. The September Cup Series event was moved to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2018 season. The Full Throttle Weekend was added to the schedule for 2018.

Chase Dowling won the first Musket 250 in 2018. Santos also won the event in 2019. The K&N Pro Series East, which became the ARCA Menards East Series for 2020, ran on Full Throttle weekend in 2018 and 2019. The division was scheduled to be part of the 2020 event, but the race was ultimately moved due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A Tour Type Modified feature will be part of the inaugural ACT/PASS Northeast Classic weekend at NHMS April 16-17 2021.

Comments

  1. 2020 just keeps sucking. This is the worst news and horrible decision. Way to go NHMS!

  2. If it holds true, not having the modifieds on cup weekend, is going to be a giant mistake by the track. Not having any WMT events is a big mistake by NASCAR. On cup weekend the mod race is by far the best race if the weekend.
    BTW, JD, How are things in the granite state? I see they’ve been added to the travel ban list for both Massachusetts and Connecticut, because if a surge in Covid cases in the state.

  3. So, at this time, there are only 3 WMT races scheduled in New England. Sad but true.

  4. I was aware this was coming but it’s still a sad day. This was a great on track event. Ultimately though, the fans stayed home. I was told it was going to take a large turnout in Sept for this event to return. I warned you guys this might happen months ago. The crowd was even worse than expected.

    Short of lights going or a fall Cup date I fear NHMS will be a Home Depot in 10yrs. A day race in July is a horrible Cup date. Can’t draw a big crowd. They still have not gotten a concert off the ground even after winning the lawsuit to hold one. The future is not bright over there right now. I can tell you that. The only glimmer of hope is it sounds like the July race may still happen in the short term.

  5. Based on the wording used by David McGrath, my guess is NASCAR wanted a fee that was not cost effective for NHMS to do. Based on his comments hoping to have the WMT in July, I think the Full Throttle’s demise was essentially a NASCAR decision. I’m beginning to think NASCAR would rather hold races hundreds of miles away from the primary race team and fan base in the northeast. Good luck with that. Maybe PASS and ACT can put together a fall version of the Northeast Classic. All the new Open Modified races being scheduled in New England are looking better and better by the day!

  6. Its SAD but Not surprising about Full Throttle, i dont think NHMS got the bang they thought, 1st yr $25K TO win and $25K Lap Money, crowd wad decent but K & N series just has no draw or excitement as a series, Tried Pinty’s to draw Canadian Fans and that was not a real Big draw, LAST YR laps went down with purse i am sure and No Lap $ AFTER the 1st yr, Hard to figure how NHMS doesnt want WMT when anyone who has been to ANY CUP weekend knows the WMT is the BEST show by far of the weekend!

  7. Read what it says, business decision and to me that reads negative revenue from the weekends events after paying the bills. You can’t continue to run a business when you’re not turning a profit especially in these uncertain economic times.

    Remember what I told you before JD, money doesn’t grow on trees like you think it does and the world doesn’t revolve around your racing entertainment.

  8. What a shame??? I certainly hope the Nascar whelen mods are part of the cup weekend. Absolutely one of the best races of the year anywhere IMHO………..

  9. Cup half full is that there was one race there last year and there could be one there next year. At least they didn’t say definitely no.
    The Lancaster deal shows how important NASCAR is to modified racing and the reach it has. Say what you will they still have the juice to reel in new venue in ROC country to keep the fan base there energized and connected. Just outside a major metropolitan area.
    There’s a realignment afoot in venues that may not be bad. Less races isn’t necessarily bad if that’s the direction it’s heading. As long as rules for opens and venues support the NWMT cars like Thompson and hopefully Stafford to fill a void if one develops. The deck is getting shuffled but it just doesn’t seem like the it’s anything more then a healthy response to changing conditions.
    Not now but maybe after the dust settles it would be nice to see an opinion piece from Mr Courchesne. Something along the line of a current state of regional modified racing. Where we are now and where it could be headed.

  10. A major sucky “ouch”.
    We all rarely agree on this site, with one exception. The tour at Louden. Most all agree, top notch racing. This hurts.

  11. Jason Cunningham says

    We had a confluence of youth sports events that kept us from going this year, but we enjoyed the event tremendously the first two years. This is a big disappointment, but at least it sounds hopeful for the Tour to be back on the Saturday card in July.

  12. Writing was on the wall when they announced the cup race without the mods on the schedule. Then Whelen announced a race date on the weekend that was the Full throttle weekend. A shame the modifieds put on a show there. Not a lot of love for the Nascar Mods in the Northeast. Thankfully they held on to 3 at Stafford.

  13. I’m sure they lost a lot of revenue in 2020 by not being able to rent out the track as much. Maybe they just can’t justify spending $$ on the sanctioning fees, etc for 2021, and they’ll bring Full Throttle back for 2022…

    …but I get the feeling I’m being a little too optimistic.

  14. Everyone above has some great insights. Every race track everywhere should act as if 2020 never happened, when considering events. Allot of people stayed home on big race dates through most of the summer. Some who wanted to go, were too broke to go for various reasons. It’s a shame that the WMT won’t be racing on New England biggest stage, but they did it to themselves with the outrageous sanctioning fees and other “associated fees” plus a guaranteed purse NASCAR mandates. It’s hard to make money when the stands are only half full, with all these costs.
    So as of right now there are 3 WMT races scheduled in New England compared to 11 open shows with Tri Track and MRS yet to post. Even if WMT adds a race at monadnock, and white mountain, even throw in Claremont that’s still only 6 compared to probably 20 open shows all in a small geographic area.
    It’s all speculation right now though as Covid is ripping through the country with no sign of slowing down. 2021 will most likely look allot like 2020 making all these schedules useless. Even New Hampshire which provided the tour with 3 races in the midst of the virus this year is feeling the grip of Covid having been added to the list of states on the travel advisory for both Massachusetts and Connecticut along with New York.
    But hey, at least we’re all still here.
    Hope your all safe strong and sane. MASK UP

  15. 🌈🦄2020 says

    No reason to go to Loudon without the tour being there. But the tour not being at Thompson is still more tragic.

  16. And………..face it people this tour is not what it once was,the people and tracks have spoken with these open shows.Star is doing quite well with their TTOMS show and added a second for 2021.The juice just aint worth the squeeze for the Tour anymore.

  17. yea crudbus TRI TRACK has 6 races compared to the TOUR, yea no juices i guess Lancaster, Richmond, Martinsville and Stafford think Lots of juice left and NEW HAMPSHIRE willl be added along with Riverhead, Monandnock AND WMMP AND others

  18. Bill Realist says

    It is what it is. There is no way speedway motorsports made any money at all last year. They are a business and the point of a business is to make a profit. Dumping a race that made them zero $ is not surprising given the current situation. At least with the Xfinity they probably break even before the gates are open due to tv money. NASCAR is fixing the wmt just like they did the Busch north series years ago.

  19. Glad I made it to all 3 Muskets and sorely disappointed. Can’t blame attendance when you were fighting COVID in year 3

  20. Eric,
    Fighting COVID? There were no crowd restrictions in place for Full Throttle Weekend. And all I read all over most Facebook pages and fan forums is how the good majority of race fans aren’t worried about being in public places, especially if it means getting to attend races. Attendance declined each year for Full Throttle Weekend.

  21. Good bye NASCAR.Good Riddance , NASCAR is not your friend. High fees for License for owners and crew members. Let’s just go with The Northeast All Stars Series. Four open shows at Stafford . Six Races at Thompson, 2 shows at Seekonk, 2 shows at Star , 2 Shows at Monadnock , 2 shows at Waterford. Maybe a couple of shows at White Mountain 2 shows at Claremont and a few wild card tracks and you have 23 to 25 Open Tour Type Shows for all of us to enjoy….. Daytona only cares about their top Series always have always will… There are enough smart modified owners, Drivers , Promoters and Track Owners to make it work .. Just think green flag laps count yellows don’t.. Heat Races instead of boring time trials or group qualifying.. Those Heat Races at TTMS and Open Shows are just Great… !!
    NASCAR is not your friend, they want your fees and see you later. Only reason they threw races around to non NASCAR tracks was so they didn’t have to refund all the 1000 or so License holders up in the Northeast Area . The Yankee All Stars Modifieds raced 3 or 5 times a week, How great would that be with plenty of Open Shows on the schedules with plenty of buzz like the Stafford Show had this year..
    Good bye NASCAR … Hello Northeast All Stars Modifieds !!!!!

  22. It was 100% lack of attendance. Nothing more. Nobody to blame but the fans themselves on this one. We will still have the July race. Nothing to worry about there.

    No juice. LOL! 33 cars at Jennerstown, 31 at WMMP in front of a packed house on July 4th. 28 at Thompson that many called the best race in a decade. Another 30 at the Musket 200. But no juice??

    They are rolling out the red carpet in Lancaster NY already. Riverhead will be back for two races. It’s so obvious the people who knock the tour do not go to races. It gets old and tired after a while.

  23. Shawn, although there were no crowd restrictions, I do think Covid had some effect, mainly financial. The shutdown in the spring hurt allot of people financially. Some still haven’t recovered. Kind of strange considering they were getting $600 per week on top of unemployment benefits. But, there are also allot of people who are self employed and therefore were unable to collect unemployment, and in some cases even lost their business and burned through their savings furring the shutdown, and restrictions that followed. When you have to choose between paying the mortgage or going to an event, the mortgage usually wins.

  24. I really don’t think any of these schedules matter. I think 2021 is going to be even worse than 2020. I think that somewhere along the way we’re going to have another, longer, shutdown, and with the current administration, and possibly a republican controlled senate, no relief will come in the foreseeable future. Before this is over allot of people in Kentucky and South Carolina are going to regret their vote for their respective senators, who seem to not care about the American people and only about themselves .
    It’s all very sad, and extremely frustrating, the total lack of empathy being exibited by people supposedly elected to serve the American people. I’d be willing to bet that if their families started dying around them, things would change in a hurry.
    170,000+ new cases yesterday
    MASK UP

  25. The Atomic Punk says

    200 laps is to long for mods on a 1 mile track. How long will it take Nascar to realize that the tour is a North East based series/

  26. About Donald’s claims of widespread voting irregularities check out:
    CISA.Gov/ Rumor control
    Allot of information about the security of elections.
    CISA is a government agency headed by a Trump appointee.

  27. Charlie Brown says

    The Tour is going to be a thing if the past, NASCAR just keeps screwing things up, if it’s not broke don’t fix it you idiots in the Ivory tower with your suit an ties, look what they did to the Cup Series, they ruined it big time🙄

  28. The Atomic Punk says

    Yes Rob P. Thats what presidents do. They appoint people to run the departments of the Government….Thank god according to the Trump haters with him gone there will be no more: Racism, Hunger. Homelessnes, Global warming, Liter, Nobody Black will ever be shot be the police again….Thank you Rob P. folks like you make me look Real,Real Real Smart.

  29. Hey RobP take your agenda someplace else. This is a racing website so let’s keep it that way Debbie Downer.

  30. A thing of the past? Come on, it has been around since 1985 as a touring series. Some of you would like it to leave town, but it’s not going anywhere. I won’t walk around the corner for any of the “so-called” asphalt modified series. The reason is the others are just too inconsistent and unorganized. NASCAR has got it right for over three decades. I can tell you naysayers, the others won’t be around that long. The imitators drag the shows out too long with time trials, then heat races, and consolation races. They just are not tailored to race tracks with their own divisions to run. Heck, I heard the series up in New York is going to add a driver/crew chief two-legged potato sack race to its’ already time consuming qualifying platform.
    My prediction is 13 to 15 NASCAR tour races next year. Nobody has mentioned my state of Pennsylvania yet. In an interview last week , the General Manager of Jennerstown said the tour will be back there in 2021. Oswego has a skeleton schedule out for next year already. Including announcing a second Classic weekend at the beginning of the season to make up for this year. I don’t think the track owners can ignore the size of the crowd they got for the NASCAR mod shows. There has been some rumblings of another New York track looking for a tour show. We will see, but I think the final NASCAR mod tour schedule will be 13 to 15 races.

  31. Pete C.,
    It’s been mentioned here in multiple stories that Jennerstown is expected to be back on the schedule in 2021.

  32. JimB, the way things are going, we are very lucky we did what racing we did, and with the #TrumpPandemic getting incredibly worse and worse by the day, and that the racing season is over, there ain’t racing to talk about. Schools, businesses, etc. are changing ways to accommodate life with the pandemic. 😷

    You can yap it up about potential schedules all you want, and make like it is real, but this pandemic is showing no signs of abating and it will not be safe to go out as if the pandemic is gone in a few months. We’ve been dealing with for 10 months already and there is no reason at all to believe it will be gone ANY time in the near future, and that means the start of the ’21 racing season. The 🦠 is in control.

    So given that the #TrumpPandemic COVID-19 coronavirus 🦠 is the reason for all this disruption, it is definitely fair game for discussion. You might not like the truth and facts, but to each their own.

  33. This totally sucks, if they’re not going to have a mod race there they might as well dig it up and destroy it by adding more banking like everyone outside of New England wants. In my mind the only reason to keep it like it is are the modifieds.

  34. The Atomic Punk says

    Thank You JimB. I agree 100%. Hopefully the editor of the site can guide this guy to focusing on the sites main subject.

  35. Sharpie Fan says

    wtf this sucks (and I don’t often use that word). Modifieds own this track! Just check out how many people are on top of their trailers during a Tour race when any other series is there. Maybe we should have a Tour/Open series at Loudon to show what racing COULD be? Sorry to hear this because it is almost ALWAYS the best race of any weekend at NHMS .
    Agree with “NASCAR is not your friend”
    Thanks to all of the race teams throughout the North East who helped to make this year as “normal” as we could!

  36. I’m with Jim B too. Someone needs the penalty box.

  37. Well, Rob p. happens to be correct.

    This election season has been under massive scrutiny 🧐 because of the proven, factual and irrefutable interference in the 2016 elections. There was indeed interference and tampering with the election to favor Trump. Federal investigations established that as fact.

    Individual state officials, even GOP officials, are saying Biden won, Trump lost. Get over it, snowflakes ❄️.

    Now as far as 🦠 goes, that is why the racing season was disrupted. We can’t discuss racing without discussing the role and impact the 🦠 will have on the possibility of staging events.

    CISA.gov has stated that these elections have been the most secure and scrutinized ever, and that there was no systemic deviations as being alleged by Trump.

    Trump is flailing, and he’s furious.

    The next exciting event will be is how long will it take to indict Trump after Biden is sworn in? It will be a long list of indictments, and the list of court cases that were already pending. He’s in bigly trouble. I believe he ran for President for the protections it afforded.

  38. WHAT A BUNCH OF STUPID MOTHER’S

  39. They should put dirt it!

  40. Sharpie Fan, There already IS an open Mod race scheduled at NHMS in April ,it is being promoted by Cris Michaud & Tom Mayberry, the same duo that are doing Thompson

  41. Preece, Rocco, Galko, Sapienza, Bosnignor, Williams, the old Riverhead regulars and the current Riverhead regulars racing today. How is that not intriguing?
    All racing is local. The whole NHMS dust up is a big deal to some of the travelers but really not that important in the bigger picture. The proof, ignoring the Islip 300 while combat rages in politics, Covid19 and plowing the NHMS under or spreading dirt on it.
    But they care about the Islip 300 on Long Island. The Musket, not so much.
    Stafford won. They took on NASCAR, got the deal they needed and the series lives to thrive at the track. No not for one or even two but the full three. We can’t know for a fact but they got the deal that worked. Might be based on capacity restrictions, the fragility of the NWMT as it exists in the current environment but oh ya. Stafford got the deal that worked..
    The future of modifieds is about Stafford, Riverhead, Monadnock, Seekonk, a bunch of other tracks and their fan bases. Including the black sheep Waterford Speedbowl. That may very well be the best positioned for success in the long run with their fan base not caring a flying fig about NHMS whatever.
    If racing were a region wide phenomenon the chatter would be about the Islip 300 and not about every other topic under the sun except the Islip 300.

  42. Yes, Doug, I agree with you. Against all odds, the Islip 300 will run today. Modified racing is alive and well.
    NHMS may have dropped the WMT, but there’s another modified event on their schedule, and it’s quite possible some tour teams may attend.
    Modified racing is getting bigger by the year, and will continue to survive despite what may or may not happen at NHMS.
    Wonder if Wall will run the Turkey Derby.

  43. Anybody remember when Stafford began the SK division, and Thompson followed soon after? That was it, the modifieds were done. Even though they had a Touring series, without the weekly tracks they were so done. For a while the car numbers did indeed start to fall off, then different series started showing up. Some made it, some didn’t, but modified racing with the WMT as it’s cornerstone plugged on. Through the years different tracks have hosted tour races, along with other series, and they plugged on. Today, I think it’s safe to say there are far more modifieds than back then. The face of the sport has changed. The WMT struggles for full fields, as do other series, but all in all, I’d say modified racing is alive and well, and going to be around for allot more years.

  44. I don’t think a majority of the people get the seriousness of the situation. Covid is bad for racing. When the Covid numbers go up, and reach a preset threshold, racetracks are one of the first things shutdown, and one of the last allowed to reopen. When they are allowed to reopen they have restrictions placed upon them. Some tracks did manage to hold events, even abbreviated seasons with these restrictions in place, which is good. But, I don’t think there is any track that would be able to survive long term at reduced capacity. As racers and race fans, there isn’t allot we can do for these tracks. But, there are steps we can take to slow the spread of Covid, and possibly keep the virus at a level where racetracks are able to operate, and maybe see the restrictions adjusted, so more fans can enjoy racing. Racing is still 5 months or so away here in New England, but allot can change in 5 months. One thing that won’t change is Covid, so we need to change how we approach it. Wearing masks, social distancing, washing up, are all things hopefully everyone is doing. Not gathering in groups, with the holidays approaching is a tough one. Stay home whenever possible, another tough one, but it is doable. The way the numbers keep rising we may not even have that choice.
    It’s been a long long year. Everyone is tired of hearing about Covid. Some of you may be saying, well I’m doing all those things and the numbers keep going up, so why bother. Don’t give in, keep on fighting, the 2021 racing season depends on it.
    MASK UP

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