Thompson Speedway Promoters Not Looking To Add Whelen Modified Tour Events For 2021

The rumor mill has sparked wildly for most of the fall as it pertains to the 2021 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

The hot rumor of late has been that the partnership that will operate the oval track for events at Thompson Speedway in 2021 would be adding two Whelen Modified Tour events for next season. 

American-Canadian Tour owner Cris Michaud, who represents half of that partnership that will run Thompson Speedway in 2021, told RaceDayCT Friday that the rumors swirling are false. 

Michaud, and Pro All-Stars Series owner Tom Mayberry, partnered to run oval track events at Thompson in 2020. Michaud and Mayberry partnered in 2020 to promote the Sept. 3 Whelen Modified Tour event at Thompson and the Oct. 9-11 Sunoco World Series at the track, which included the season ending event for the Whelen Modified Tour.

In late October Michaud and Mayberry announced they would partner to promote six events at Thompson in 2021. The schedule for 2021 at Thompson includes the traditional Icebreaker weekend (April 10-11) and Sunoco World Series weekend (Oct. 8-10) in addition to four Wednesday night events (June 16, July 7, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8). 

Michaud said he and Mayberry had been in talks with NASCAR about putting on a Whelen Modified Tour event for one of the four Wednesday events, but those talks fell apart. 

“I haven’t talked to [Whelen Modified Tour series director Jimmy Wilson] for at least a couple weeks,” Michaud said. “It’s fair to say that the last time we talked and the last thing we were going to do didn’t work for us. I’ll never say never – if he calls again and comes up with something that we can work with – but as of right now there’s no current talks and the last thing we talked about doing didn’t work for us. … We were going to do one Wednesday in the summer and it just didn’t make sense for us.” 

Michaud and Mayberry have announced an aggressive focus on Tour Type Open Modified events at Thompson in 2021. They will run a $10,000 to win 150-lap Tour Type Open Modified event as part of the Icebreaker weekend. They also announced the return of the Thompson 300 as a Tour Type Open Modified event for the Sunoco World Series weekend. The Thompson 300 will be a $20,000 to win event and will also feature $15,000 in lap prizes creating a possibility for a team to win as much $35,000 for the event. 

Their four Wednesday night events will each feature a $5,000 to win Tour Type Open Modified feature. 

The 2021 season will mark the first time since the inception of the Whelen Modified Tour that the division will not be part of Icebreaker weekend at Thompson. The Whelen Modified Tour has been the showcase event for Icebreaker weekend every year the event has been run since 1985 (the Icebreaker was not held in 2000).

Thompson is one of a handful of tracks that were on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2020 that are not currently on the 2021 schedule or not expected to be on the division’s schedule in 2021. 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway management announced last week that their September Full Throttle Weekend, which featured the Whelen Modified Tour Musket 250 in 2018 and 2019 and the Musket 200 in 2020, will not return in 2021. The Whelen Modified Tour is also not currently scheduled as part of the track’s NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 weekend in July 2021. 

“My intention is that they’re part of the July weekend, as they always have been,” NHMS executive vice president and general manager David McGrath told RaceDayCT last week. “We’re working on that.” 

No Whelen Modified Tour scheduled date has been finalized for 2021 at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. The future of racing at Wall (N.J.) Stadium for the 2021 season is unclear at this point. 

South Boston (Va.) Speedway and Iowa Speedway – both part of the 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2020 – will not be on the 2021 schedule. 

NASCAR announced has Whelen Modified Tour events at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (April 8), Lancaster (N.Y) Speedway on July 31 and Richmond Raceway (Sept. 10). Stafford Speedway has announced three Whelen Modified Tour events for 2021 on Wednesday on April 25, Aug. 6 and Sept. 25. Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway management has confirmed that they will have two events on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway is expected to host one series event next year.

Because of COVID-19 global pandemic restrictions only five of the originally scheduled 17 events on the 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule were run in 2020. 

Events were cancelled at South Boston Speedway (March 21), Thompson (April 5), Stafford (April 26 and Aug. 7), Martinsville (May 8), Seekonk (June 6), Riverhead (June 20, Sept. 19), Wall (July 11), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18), Iowa Speedway (July 31) and Oswego (N.Y) Speedway (Sept. 5). Of the nine events that were run four were added to the schedule after restrictions were put in place. A second race was added at Jennerstown Speedway, two events were added at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H. and one event was added at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. 

Comments

  1. Cmon Jimmy Wilson?? Don’t let us diehard whelen modified tour fans down……….

  2. Jon Blanchette says

    The WMT races are great. But these open tour type events are very good and draw a nice field of cars. Heat races beat time trials every time. 80 laps means 80 GREEN FLAG laps. You get more officials and inspectors at a WMT race but that’s about it. The WMT puts on their best shows at Thompson and NHMS so it’s nuts if they don’t race at either track in 2021.

  3. Does anyone know if Thompson will host any WMT races in 2021? LOL! I figured we would get that question out of the way after yesterday.

    Thompson is dead to me. Stafford is my lady now. I hope the Wednesday shows fail so order can be restored in 2022. I also hope the WMT boys follow suit in finding other things to do on Wednesdays. Too many open races for all of them to be successful.

  4. JD, do you stay in your car while the support divisions run too? 🙂 It’s nice to root for your favorite version of Modified racing, but why wish ill will on the Open events that many other people enjoy? If Thompson does not have a successful 2021, you probably won’t see a WMT event there in the future. If they have a successful 2021, you may have a chance at WMT racing at Thompson in 2022. Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying many of those great non-WMT events you’re missing out on!

  5. JD , You love Modifieds as much as I do, Enjoy the Thompson Modified Races along with Your Lady on Friday nights. You have 23 dates with your LADY, The six Dates at Thompson will be a Fantastic Diversion away with your, Mistress High Banks, of Thompson. You know as well as I do the High Banks produce some of the BEST Racing for Modifieds . That September Race was Fantastic that me and my BRIDE attended this year. The Thompson 300 is an Absolute Classic that you just can’t miss. Earlier this year I posted the List of Winners, Almost every Winner was a Top Dog and Who’s who of Modified History.. There was really no upset Winners. Ted Christopher was the last Winner of the 300. There are plenty of Modified Races to enjoy, Don’t even think about the labels or sanctions or draw a hard line in the sand , There’s been too much of that this year. I believe it will all shake out in the next few years , each track will figure out what pulls the most fans into the seats , Some will be very successful , some not so much, some will fail…. But in the end there will be plenty of Modified Races for US ALL TO ENJOY !!!

  6. I knew that would get the boys worked up. Yes, I actually do hang out in the parking lot until I feel the earth begin to rumble. I’m not alone there either. I do watch most of the show at Stafford.

    Say what you want, I don’t know too many fans who can do WMT, TT, Stafford, Thompson and whatever else. Never mind cost, it’s not practical from a schedule standpoint for most people. It’s a given one of these will fail(see MRS). My money is on Thompson. That’s all. The Icebreaker and World Series will do fine. The Wednesday shows are in question. Yes, more money but that’s it. I’m sure Seekonk is not thrilled there is another Wednesday Open Race the week after their Wed show.

    There is a thing as too much. I think we are there.

  7. JD, you call yourself a race fan, as long as the race is WMT. Open mods produce great racing, and with heat races, consi’s, and only counting green laps, offer more bang for the buck. As long as there aren’t any conflicting dates, they should have great car counts. That’s one thing about racers, they love to race, and would do it 7 days a week if they could. Not embracing the open mods hurts nobody but yourself, as truthfully, we won’t miss you.

  8. The Atomic Punk says

    Thompson is better than Stafford….So there,

  9. Rob p., JD is not so much of a race fan; sounds like he’s a WMT fan, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If my math is right, this year I was at 6 out of 9 WMT, 3 out of 4 TriTrack, 5 out of 5 Open, and 2 out of 3 MRS events, all in New England. I saw a lot of great Modified racing along with a bunch of different weekly divisions. Not bragging, but IMHO, there is definitely more to racing than the WMT!

  10. JD the comedian. You don’t get it do you. Restore order for 2022? Do you really think the Thompson owners will open the oval track in 2022 on their own?

    If it was not for Michaud and Mayberry promoting Thompson in 2021 there would be no oval racing at Thompson in 2021. I am happy they stood up to NASCAR and told them to go pound sand for one measly tour race. My guess, not a good business decision and I respect that.

    The six event schedule will work out just fine with open tour type modified races and the car counts should be strong. JD, why don’t you just say thank you for keeping Thompson going for another season.

  11. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Thompson now has an official craft brewery. I can hardly contain my excitement.

  12. Viva race fan says

    Tri track …

    Dick Williams is up to something I’ll bet .

  13. Viva,
    Dick Williams has nothing to do with Tri-Track.

  14. some years back, thompson dropped the modifieds (all of them, if memory serves) in favor of several busch north shows and pro stocks, late models, and street stocks. the following year, they reverted to mods and full fenders. kinda seems like old times…… hope not.

  15. Chuck,
    The Whelen Modified Tour started in 1985 and the series has run events every year since it was created at Thompson. So I’m not sure what you’re talking about here.

  16. Where do some of you get your info, just like STAFFORD everyone had tri track running 18 races at STAFFORD, BETWEEN the Virus and ALL OPTIONS, tracks are exploring,MY Guess is still the WMT will be at Thompson for 1 event in 2021 but who knows, the OPENS, TRI TRACK, MRS, RACING GUYS are alll options for all tracks, i will again say I THINK RUNNING THE THOMPSON 300 DURING WORLD SERIES WEEKEND IS A HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE MISTAKE but i am NOT MICHAUD/MAYBERRY, maybe the 4 midweek shows will be a success, MAYBE NOT, the WMT HAS BEEN AT STAFFORD AND THOMPSON SINCE 1985, with opens the ENTRY List is always a crapshoot, with the WMT u knda know what yur getting, YEAH I KNOW WHAT THE HATERS THINK RIGHT CRUDBUS CHARLIE BROWN, RICH O ROB P

  17. If you think back before the WMT was started in 1985 the race of champions 250 at the 3/4 mile track at Pocono raceway would easily draw up to 150 modifieds 6 heat races 25 cars each 2 consolation races and there was also a non qualifiers race that I believe advanced cars to the feature they started the WMT and car counts dropped big time.

  18. Chuck/Shawn; Thompson dropped the SK mods in 1995. They continued to host the Modified Tour. The pro stocks became the premier division that season.

  19. Joe, good recall. I went to those Race of Champions Mod races at Pocono. Cars all over the place. The sound was incredible.

  20. 1983 Street Stock Race of Champions at Pocono Raceway. Stafford’s Jim Ward finishes 2nd, Paul Suprenant 20th and Larry Vasser 43. 51 cars started. A different time indeed.
    Epic field of cars, crappy view on a crappy bastardized short track. In my view.
    It was the year of Suprenant but Jim Ward did Stafford proud.
    So who remembers that? Didn’t think so………..

  21. Did we touch a nerve wmass? Like I’ve said the WMT is not once what it was.Pretty bad not having a race at NHMS and Thompson,been a bad week huh wmass.Now I see why they are going to Lancaster,they need every track they can get.Have a nice ride to Lancaster wmass.Maybe you can hitch a ride with the 01.

  22. Believe ME NOTHING you say touches any nerve with me, WHY A BAD WEEK no WMT Schedule out yet and just because THOMPSON AND NHMS have no races Now doesn’t mean they won’t but i guess yur limited mind capacity cant think that, Nothing wrong with LANCASTER or JENNERSTOWN, STAFFORD, RICHMOND, RIVERHEAD, MARTINSVILLE, U SEE you wanna play it as I JUST LOVE NASCAR, i watched the SMART, do you need a slow explanation of what that means????????????? race from Florence Speedway last Night, Bobby Labonte yes the Brother of TERRY and cup champion was driving the 25 Mod usually driven by John Smith, Max McLaughlin WRECKED with 5 others on lap 2 but stilll was a decent race u see i LOVE ALLL MODIFIED races and i do not need to cut down 1 series to make a point like you. Why do you keep mentioning the O1 in every post you write, are u obsessed with her?

  23. Crudbus, can you show me the press release that says the WMT won’t be racing at NHMS?? What date was it released?? The piece SC did quoted NHMS as saying they anticipated the WMT to be part of the July weekend as usual. You must be another one of those guys who doesn’t read the words. Is that official, no but because the schedule isn’t out doesn’t mean a track is not on the schedule. Nascar and the tracks are keeping an extremely tight lid on the schedule. Not much is leaking out besides what has been announced and a few anticipated dates in NY.

    Also, no WMT, and there would be no Hall of Fame for Jerry, Richie and Mikey. Think about that before you send the WMT to the grave. I’m not too worried myself. I heard all this same stuff when MRS was the next best thing since sliced bread.

  24. The Atomic Punk says

    A WMT Mod is the baddest Mod on planet.

  25. JD, Richie Evans died in 1985 and Jerry Cook retired in 1982. Whelen became the sponsor of the modified tour in 2005. Please explain what the hall of fame has to do with these two individuals when neither competed on the WMT? I assume Mikey is Mike Stefanik and he did compete on the WMT.

    I could be wrong but Richie, Jerry and Mikey (Stefanik) are in the NASCAR hall of fame. So again I ask what does this have to do with the WMT?

  26. JD, did you ever see Richie or Jerry race, in person? If you had, then you’d know they were destined for the hall of fame long before the tour even existed.

  27. “My intention is that they’re part of the July weekend, as they always have been,”

    ” The piece SC did quoted NHMS as saying they anticipated the WMT to be part of the July weekend as usual.”

    Intention is a significantly lower probability word the anticipate.

    The way I’m processing it is things are still in flux and anything is possible. Frameworks and intentions cast to the winds of modified nation but schedules set in stone yet to be published excepting Stafford.. Sure as of the last time they talked a NWMT event did not work for the Michaud / Mayberry group. It didn’t work for Stafford either on a couple occasions until it did. There’s got to be a ton of pressure on Wilson to get at least one date at Thompson. Could still happen. McGrath under pressure as well from all sides including the modified community. It’s a coin toss on that one.
    It’s got to be frustrating trying to summarize all these kernels of information with scheduling in turmoil. Unlike in the past you can state the greatest likelihood at any point in time and it can change the next day. Changed in part by feedback provided from fans here and on social media reacting to various snippets of information as it come out. Like that 300 lapper at Thompson. Strong support but not as part of the World Series marathon of racing. Odds very high on that one getting changed.
    My question is about an over supply of tour type opens and the comment made about that. Is it true? I get the Wednesday events at Thompson create congestion at points during the season but are we really at self destructive over supply. Especially when we don’t know if the NWMT is cutting back a bit.
    What is the population of modified tour type teams. Tri Track stated that 75 different cars participated in their races in 2020. Add in all those that didn’t compete most notably the NWMT teams and that’s a pretty impressive base for open races promoters to tap.

  28. We probably won’t know if the mods will race in July until February or March.

  29. Doug, I remember back in the 90’s when they ran the late model ROC at Flemington. The Friday night of, Zentarski, Sylvester, Mauvliganes and a few others showed up at Stafford during practice they ran their Flemington setups, or cars to shake them down. They ran 8″ slicks, different exhaust and a few other things, and we’re about a second faster than Stafford cars at the time. Richie Gautreau got seriously hurt, when he wrecked at Flemington one year, ended his racing days.

  30. It’s comical how some people view the WMT and it’s drivers. It’s almost as though they think these operations are akin to cup, where the driver does sponsor obligations, and team meetings all week, and drive the car at the races, all while making a fortune doing it.
    NEWS FLASH. Although there may be a few drivers who, indeed, are paid to race for a living, they are very few. Most of these guys, as well as their crew work full time jobs all week. For them, racing is a hobby. They are no different than the countless drivers, and crew, who show up every week at your local short track.
    There are some who think other types of modified just can’t compare to the WMT.
    NEWS FLASH. Allot of WMT drivers drive other cars in other series. Mostly known as “open” tour type modifieds, these cars are the same cars. A TROYER TA3 is a TROYER TA3 regardless of which touring or open series it competes in. They run the same equipment except for the motor. A built motor by a reputable builder can cost as much, even more than the WMT spec motors. Some of the crew guys work with multiple teams a cross the different series.
    In short, modified racing is modified racing, and the open cars and drivers are the same type of people as those in WMT, for the most part, to all of them racing is an enjoyable hobby.

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