Heading South: Whelen Modified Tour To Open 2022 Season At New Smyrna Speedway

New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Fla. has long been a centerpiece of the Tour Type Modified racing scene.

The Tour Type Modified division has long been a huge part of the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

Next year the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will finally hit the pavement at the historic half-mile venue for February Speedweeks.

NASCAR announced Friday that the 2022 Whelen Modified Tour season will open at New Smryna Speedway on Feb. 12.

“This is something that’s been in the works for a very long time now,” NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series director Jimmy Wilson said in a live announcement on Facebook. “Very happy and pleased to announce that NASCAR and the Hart family and New Smyrna Speedway have reached an agreement to open up the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season – full points race, the whole nine yards for the Modified Tour – on Saturday night, February 12, 2022. We will open it up with a 200 lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on the high banks of New Smyrna Speedway.”

Wilson got his start in racing working at New Smyrna.

“To be the series director, it’s a huge honor to be in this position and to be able to bring it for the first time ever, a points race to open the season to my home track, New Smyrna Speedway, is a huge deal,” Wilson said. “I’m very excited to get this done and look forward to kicking off 2022 down there.”

The ARCA Menards East Series East has opened its season at New Smyrna since 2014.


  1. Thank you Jimmy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. That’s a tough haul and a rough way to start the season, especially if you find the wall there at such racey speeds.. Jimmy may be happy about this and perhaps a few teams that typically make this journey south, but it’s way south for many a tour team and aside from Jimmy and a small handful of owners, I’d like to know how many owners, drivers and crew members are excited about this decision? Start saving your money now and hope FLA cleans up their act.

    This should be an optional race in a system that allows for teams to miss a race in a (I’m making this up, a 16 race season where you only need to compete in 15 for the series championship.)

    Ok, throw your darts at me… just a bad call IMO…

  3. Following the wmt just got a lot more expensive for a number of teams that don’t normally go to new Smyrna. Hope it works out for all parties.

  4. Nice to see NASCAR acknowledge tracks that support the modifies,, Goldy has a point,, would also like to see the drivers have the ability to throw away two races per season..

  5. NO GIMMICKS please, the schedule will be the schedule, if you want to run for points SHOW UP if not stay home, SIMPLE, lets not start 1 minus 2 = 3 plus 4 =9

  6. Drivers that race in most NWMT events that were at New Smyrna in 2021
    Coby, McKennedy, Silk (Not in tour car), Emerling, Williams, Lutz, Goodale, Nocella (Not in tour car), Rypkema, Hossfeld, Sapienza, Tommy Calalano.

    Drivers that race in most NWMT events that were not at New Smyrna in 2021.
    Justin Bonsignor, Kyle Bosnignor, Pitkat, Fortin, Sutcliffe, Fifield.

    A lot of onion to peel because they may or may not have brought their NWMT engine package to New Smyrna but they could. For Silk with the 16 team with interest in racing in NWMT events this may be great news for them.
    The 51 would have no problem going and Pitkat’s owner is down south anyway. Nocella could work something out to get the 82 in the hunt.

    There will be plenty of cars competing the following Monday that may come early to be in the NWMT opener.
    I don’t think it’s a problem and may have the makings of a blockbuster opener in warm weather in front of really good crowd.
    Bet anything that they talked to most of the teams and they green lit this deal enthusiastically.

  7. It all sounds so easy this racing game. Load the equipment and crew drive 20-24 hours, race, then drive 20-24 hours home. This little jaunt down to Florida cost the teams how much? I am willing to bet a hell of a lot more than they get paid for the race. Seems NASCAR and Jimmy Wilson have no regard for the competitors. All they worry about is their show regardless the location of the venue. What’s next, a western expansion? Phoenix? Don’t laugh!

  8. WELL SAID DOUG!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  9. The last time the tour had a race in FL it was at Daytona’s makeshift oval located on the backstretch. I believe it was an optional non points event but was highly supported by the tour drivers. Hopefully this goes well, being the first race of the season I think they will do well. The car counts have been down right impressive at New Smyrna the last few years. I hope the purse is reflective of the costs the teams will incur supporting this event. The Nascar Whelen Tour is certainly not a Northeast centric anymore. I have some concerns seeing what happened to the former Busch North series with their geographic expansion. However, those concerns are somewhat lessened given there are several good alternatives for tour type modified racing in the Northeast these days. I do think the more travel the less teams will follow the tour in its entirety. I have also heard that Nascar licensing is prohibitive to teams running just a handful of shows. So if you arent going to run the entire schedule it doesnt make sense to run more than a 2 or 3 shows. Its great to have races but Nascar has to keep in mind most of these teams are weekend warriors and dont have the time and budgets the big 3 Nascar national teams have.

  10. After I saw almost 50 cars show up for the non point Daytona races I don’t think the distance argument will carry water.

    ACT has done this. K&N has done this. It seems to have a lot of support on Facebook.

    Who’s running Thompson next year? I start getting suspicious when nobody wants to talk about it.

  11. I don’t think we will hear much about Thompson for 2022 until after the World Series. Since the owners have no interest in circle track racing I don’t believe there will be any circle track racing unless the facility is leased.

    CSG makes valid points about the teams being weekend warriors. How many teams have a dedicated full time employee? Even if they do the rest of the team is comprised of volunteers that have full time jobs elsewhere and they have to take days off from their jobs to travel. If they don’t have a full time employee then it’s all volunteer employees. Either way an expensive proposition especially when the venue gets further away from home base.

    Many teams walked away from the WMT this season because of extensive travel. It’s all about the budget and what the budget will bear. We will see what the rest of the schedule looks like and who’s left standing.

  12. “I have also heard that Nascar licensing is prohibitive to teams running just a handful of shows. So if you arent going to run the entire schedule it doesnt make sense to run more than a 2 or 3 shows”

    That’s the common perception but the numbers don’t support it. After 12 events in 2021 over 55 teams have participated in 1 or more NWMT events in 2021 with over 35 of them participating in 6 or less events. Over 25 participated in just one or two events.


  13. WMT license; owner or driver is $390 each and an additional $320 per crew member. You are looking at a $2,700 investment for owner, driver and 6 crew members for the year. If you have more crew members then the $$$$$ increase.

  14. https://www.nascarmembers.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2021/05/MembershipForm-RIL1.2.MPEL_.pdf

    I don’t know what the costs are but I found the above with a couple clicks. It seems that for those teams that are only doing one or two events there is a cheaper alternative.
    Aside from the reduced entry fee to be fair shouldn’t it be mentioned what the purse comparison is? You’re pretty well guaranteed to start the race and they pay darned good do they not?

  15. Shawn, I just read a post on Facebook that Beach Ridge has been sold and will no longer be a race track. Have you heard anything about this rumor? I hope that’s all it is.

  16. Earl,
    I just posted a story on Beech Ridge likely closing.

  17. New Smyrna in my opinion is a great track, however a very dangerous one. The grass on the inner perimeter accelerates impacts to the interior wall. They have plenty of room to put a safer barrier. I wrecked testing there in the off season in early 2003. Un knowingly fractured a vertebra. Then by bad luck got hooked into the wall at Orlando a couple days later from a driver mad at my car owner over a deal where he sold a chassis that was bent.. my favorite chassis cause it was bent the right way. But the Impact cause the car to clip the pit entrance divider, completeing the fracture and ending my racing career. New Smyrna is a fast high banked track. 145mph before you get on the brakes on the back stretch. If you wreck there you need a new clip or a new car. It is a true half mile in the racing groove. All the website say .48 mile track. That is measured around the inside of the surface… ANY TRACK THIS SIZE NEEDS SAFER BARRIER ON THE INSIDE AND IN THE TURNS ALSO GET RID OF THE GRASS. in that 6 feet cars accelerate as much as 10mph. Its been a crowned jewel for MODIFIED racers for 58 years now. My dad best friend CLYDE HART built it. My dad had a BOUNTY on him in Late MODELS for 5 years there. It’s funny how all these guy running Bbss are over a second slower than we ran running conventional setups in 2000 with way less hp. New SMYRNA isn’t an aero track. I’d kill for a chance to take a piece of crap chassis and decent engine that those million dollars folks laugh at and place top 3 at MINIMUM. But NASCAR came and made racing the new golf. With the CRATE rules a simple man can’t even race anymore.

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