Pit Box: Whelen Modified Tour Returns To Beech Ridge After More Than A Decade Away

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

What’s old is new again this week on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will play host to the 10th race of the 14 in the championship points battle, marking the first time in over 15 years the tour has visited the third-mile Maine oval.

While the track hasn’t hosted a modified race since 2005 or ARCA Menards Series East race since 2003, the facility operates weekly under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series sanction, with local divisions on both Thursday and Saturday nights.

But, dating back to 1995, the year the track became officially NASCAR sanctioned, tour standouts such as Steve Park, Todd Szegedy, the late Ted Christopher and Jerry Marquis, winner of the last event at Beech Ridge, have turned laps at the Scarborough track.

RACE INFO: Race Center: Beech Ridge

With only five races remaining before a champion is crowned, the new generation is primed to make their mark on Beech Ridge, hoping to reign in the Modified Tour’s return with a trip to Victory Lane. With a 12-point advantage over Patrick Emerling, Justin Bonsignore is looking to add to his cushion in search of his second consecutive championship, and third overall.

Fans can watch the Rumble at The Ridge 200 live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and see a tape-delayed version on Sunday, August 29 at 4:30 pm ET on NBCSN.

Rumble at the Ridge 200


Only two drivers have prior experience with the Whelen Modified Tour at Beech Ridge. Seven-time champion Doug Coby has raced three times at the Maine oval, with his best finish coming all the way back in 2003 (12th), while Ransomville, New York’s Chuck Hossfeld has four career starts, finishing third the same year. Hossfeld is entered to return to tour competition on Saturday driving for Gershow Motorsports, while Coby continues his quest to climb back to the front of the championship battle in the No. 10 Mayhew Tools machine.

As with most everybody else, they’ll be learning from square one. But that may be a blessing in disguise for Bonsignore — who seems to thrive on the Whelen Modified Tour’s inaugural trips to venues. Dating back to last season, he finished first or second in his first career starts at new tracks. At Jennerstown last season, he won in his first trip to the track (and backed it up with a win this season), did the same at White Mountain Motorsports Park in 2020, and finished second at Lancaster in his debut there just two races ago.

The trend says the No. 51 will be, at a minimum, running up front towards the end of the 200-lap, 66.6-mile feature event. That would make things tough for Emerling, who is now playing catch up to Bonsignore in the standings. Emerling has only finished outside the top 10 once this season (13th at Loudon), but knows he needs to start racking up more victories if he wants to realistically catch Bonsignore for the big prize.

Although it’s all but a two-horse race for the title, the race behind them is heating up. Jon McKennedy holds the third spot by 17 markers over Ron Silk and 18 over Eric Goodale. Thanks to some mechanical gremlins in recent weeks and missing the race at Oswego, Coby sits a distant sixth in the standings despite his two victories thus far.

Also in the Beech Ridge field are some part-timers, who are sure to be competitive. After his win at Stafford, Ryan Preece returns for his sixth race of the season, but is going for his third straight tour win dating back to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, before he heads to Michigan International Speedway on Sunday to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Matt Hirschman is gunning for much of the same, entering only his second event of the season. But, having won the first one at Oswego in June leading 70 of the 150 laps, the No. 60 is sure to be up front alongside Preece’s No. 6.

Still searching for his first win on the tour is Matt Swanson. While he’s yet to finish inside the top 10 this season, his outings at Stafford and Loudon were marred by crashes. The speed is there for the Acton, Massachusetts native, as he led 84 laps in the first Stafford event before the aforementioned wreck took him and his No. 3 team out of contention early. He does have experience this season at Beech Ridge in a Tour-Type Modified, competing with the Modified Racing Series.

On top of the Whelen Modified Tour Rumble at the Ridge 200, the Beech Ridge local Beetle Bugs, Mad Bombers, Sport Series, Pro Series and Wildcat divisions are also scheduled to race Saturday. The Whelen Modified Tour drivers will be showcased to the fans in a driver autograph session behind the grandstands at 5:30 p.m.


  1. It’s been a decade already????? Jeepers, whenever I drive through the area it feels like I was at a race just last week.

    Must be because it’s a nice area to visit, which I do often.

    So Doug, where are you sitting?

  2. WeldingWonders says

    “Hey Doug, aka: WeldingWonders, thanks for the free rent.”


    darealgoodfella says
    August 4, 2021 at 4:36 pm
    Looks like it will be an excellent New England weather night.
    Doug, what time are you getting there?

    darealgoodfella says
    August 8, 2021 at 6:33 pm
    No rain so far for Wednesday night.
    Insipid Cybil,(Doug) where you sitting?

    darealgoodfella says
    August 10, 2021 at 10:14 am
    Hey Doug, c’mon out to Thompson. I’ll show you a SPEC engine and a built engine, so you’ll then know the differences.

    NUMBER 4
    darealgoodfella says
    August 10, 2021 at 10:30 am
    Doug, where you sitting?

    NUMBER 5
    darealgoodfella says
    August 18, 2021 at 9:53 am
    It’s been a decade already????? Jeepers, whenever I drive through the area it feels like I was at a race just last week.
    Must be because it’s a nice area to visit, which I do often.
    So Doug, where are you sitting?

  3. david w sprague says

    is there an official entry list anywhere? i don’t see that Preece is planning on running BRMS according to his weekend schedule on twitter ? but several articles make it out that he is coming

  4. David,
    NASCAR has not posted an official entry list publically as of yet. My understanding is that Preece will not be at Beech Ridge.

  5. So Doug, where you sitting?

  6. Hey Shawn, what’s up with the late posting of the entry list lately by NASCAR?

    Usually, it was out a week before, now maybe 3 days.

  7. Darealgoodfella,
    I don’t think it’s coincidence that since former NASCAR PR person Jason Christley left the company in early June the sanctioning body has struggled with their online efforts in regards to the Whelen Modified Tour. I know there were a lot of people within the series that may not have been the biggest fans of Jason, but he had true passion for the Whelen Modified Tour and promoting it right and professionally, especially through electronic means. Jason had basically been the point person for Whelen Modified Tour PR responsibilities since the internet/social media really exploded. Since June NASCAR’s efforts have fallen short in many ways online with the series. Points are often not updated in a timely fashion. Entry lists – which in recent years have been posted at minimum within six days of an event – are typically posted more like 2-4 days before. Starting lineups sometimes aren’t even posted online until after events start. The live timing and scoring offered on the NASCAR page has been down for numerous events this year. For the last event at Stafford it didn’t work until about two thirds of the way into the event. These were things that typically Jason didn’t let happen on his watch. I can’t say how it all relates to the global health of the series, but it’s not a good sign that the sanctioning body just doesn’t seem to care to do so many things they did very well for a long time.

  8. Yeah, I liked that results, complete results, used to be posted by the time I got home after a race. Now, that doesn’t happen.

  9. According to Preece’s FB page he has an autograph session from noon til 1 in Michigan Saturday so not sure he will be at the WMT race.

  10. Saw the list, 23 cars including Preece

  11. Preece is calling this weekend a doubleheader… Stafford and MI.

    There is an airport just 20 miles or so from Beech Ridge, maybe a surprise?

  12. When ever I attended a race I usually new the results before I left to go home

  13. The Atomic Punk says

    Really Elect? So you know how may were on lead lap. # of cautions, # of caution laps, lap #s of each caution, # of laps led by each driver, # of pts earned by each driver,reason of DNFs by drivers, race time, payout, etc,etc… You know all that when you head back to your car??…. You good.

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