Struggle To Find Feasible Date Keeps Whelen Modified Tour Out Of Monadnock In 2021

Monadnock Speedway general manager Michelle Cloutier was happy to welcome the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to the Winchester, N.H. track unexpectedly in 2020. 

Monadnock Speedway was not on the original 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule, but ultimately ended up being one of four additional events added to the 2020 schedule after COVID-19 global pandemic restrictions came into play earlier this year.

Monadnock ended up hosting the Whelen Modified Tour for an Aug. 29 event this year, which was won by eventual series champion Justin Bonsignore.

The hope for both sides was a return visit for the series in 2021, but ultimately it won’t happen.

Monadnock Speedway announced its 2021 schedule on Thursday and – as reported by RaceDayCT Wednesday – the Whelen Modified Tour was not on that schedule. 

“We actually could not find a date that was really good for either one of us,” Cloutier told RaceDayCT. “[Whelen Modified Tour Series director Jimmy Wilson] would have had to try to shuffle around the schedule that he had already agreed upon with other tracks to get us in, and that would have put him in an awful spot. Every date that was available we just weren’t able to make it work for us.

“I know we had a great crowd for them [in 2020] and it was a great race, but it was just that detail about scheduling that really was holding us back. And on the financial side of things, who knows with COVID-19. Hopefully it’s not going to disrupt us next year, but you just don’t know.” 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has run 13 times at Monadnock Speedway since the series’ inception in 1985. The division ran one event each year from 1985 to 1990 at Monadnock. There was a 20-year layoff in between events at the facility before the division returned in 2010. The series ran one event annually at the track from 2010 to 2016.

Monadnock will open its 2021 with its Spring Dash weekend May 1-2 with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series running on May 1 and the Granite State Pro Stock Series running on May 2. The track will run weekly through Sept. 18. 

“You’ve got to look at it that COVID-19 is going to have a trickle down effect on people financially,” Cloutier said. “We might not have seen it too much this year, but next year we might. Sometimes simple is better. We like to offer a variety of things on our schedule and we have that. We’ve got ISMA, we’ve got the Granite State Pro Stocks twice, plus the Tri-Track [Open Modified Series twice] and NEMA and Pro Fours. So we have a little bit of everything. And also we want to highlight some of our own divisions.” 

Comments

  1. Interesting, we all assumed it was money but sounds like scheduling was the biggest hurdle. As someone that goes to Monadnock pretty regularly I’m pretty happy with what they put together. Sounds like PASS and ACT are leasing the track for their July 4th event and seems like they may be doing the same thing at Lee and Hudson by the sounds. Between PASS, ACT, and GSPSS there’s going to be a lot of full fendered racing in NH in 2021.

    It’s also sounding like ISMA going to be going to quite a few NH tracks as well, I expected to see them on Monadnock’s schedule since they were supposed to be there last year. The thing that has surprised me was Claremont teasing ISMA on their Facebook page last week and the owner of Hudson mentioned discussing a possible event there on a podcast recently.

    The thing about Monadnock’s schedule that surprised me was the September 4th GSPSS race on Labor Day weekend. That is the same weekend that the GSPSS has been running their 150 lap race at Claremont, this last year it was a $10k to win show. This is just a hunch but I think that race might be on Memorial Day weekend this next year because Claremont lost their Tri-Track date that they normally run that weekend, GSPSS running their 150 lap Claremont race on that day makes a ton of sense.

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