Official: Second Whelen Mod Tour Event Added For 2022 At Thompson; MRS Event Also Added To World Series

As reported Friday by RaceDayCT, NASCAR and the operators of Thompson Speedway confirmed Monday that the Whelen Modified Tour will add a second date for the 2022 season at Thompson Speedway.

The Whelen Modified Tour will be added to the 60th Sunoco World Series weekend schedule at Thompson for the 2022 season with the division running a 150-lap event on Saturday Oct. 8 at the historic .625-mile oval.

It’s a return to a long tradition for the Whelen Modified Tour. The 2021 season marked the first year in the history of the Whelen Modified Tour that the series was not part of the World Series weekend at Thompson.

It was announced last month that Thompson Speedway would return to the Whelen Modified Tour schedule for the 2022 season with an Aug. 17 event. The 2021 season was the first time since the inception of the Whelen Modified Tour in 1985 that the series did not run an event at Thompson Speedway. From 1985 to 2020 the Whelen Modified Tour had held multiple events annually at Thompson Speedway. Thompson has hosted 148 Whelen Modified Tour events since 1985, which is more than any other facility.

Thompson Speedway was operated in 2021 by Cris Michaud and Tom Mayberry. The operators also announced Monday that the Modified Racing Series will also return to the track in 2022 and will run a 75-lap feature on Friday Oct. 7 as part of the World Series weekend festivities.

The $20,000 to win Outlaw Open Modified Thompson 300 will be run on Sunday Oct. 9 at Thompson. The World Series weekend schedule will offer up 525 laps of Tour Type Modified competition with events each day of the weekend. It will mark the first visit to Thompson for the Modified Racing Series since the 2019 Sunoco World Series.

“This is going to be a great three days of racing for Modified teams and fans,” Michaud said in a release. “Tour-type Modifieds have long been the anchor of the World Series. For the 60th edition, we wanted to go all-out. Once talks opened up with NASCAR to have one Whelen Modified Tour event, it didn’t take much to make it two. Add in the return of the Thompson 300, which we thought was a great race last year, and an MRS show to beef up the Friday card, and we think the 60th World Series will be one to remember.”

The weekend’s event card will also include features from the American-Canadian Tour and the Pro All-Stars Series. The 2022 World Series will also see the return of the Sunoco Modified Triple Crown with three Sunoco Modified features held over three days.

Keith Rocco won in the return of the Thompson 300 on Oct. 10.

The full 2022 Thompson Speedway schedule is expected to be announced within two weeks.


  1. Excellent!!!!

  2. WOW !!! Nice job and thanks to ACT and PASS for making this all happen.

  3. Great to see 2 events for the WMT at Thompson in 2022.

  4. World Series – The 300, WMT, MRS, and 3 SK races!!

  5. Well that’s a fine kettle of fish.
    No worries about competing dates for Michaud & Mayberry no indeed. Just invite them all to your super big bash and they’ll be nothing left to complain about.
    Can all of them ever be too much of a good thing?
    Thought they were pushing it in 2021. In 2022 they start out hoping to get 50 plus modifieds at New Smyrna for six features in two different formats. Then end the year hoping to get 60 plus in three at the World Series.
    Crazy man crazy.

  6. Poor Tri Track it is being left out. That is going to be a lot of racing in a 3 day period. Honestly you have to really appreciate what Mayberry and Michaud are doing for us with Thompson. I would think the Supers will probably be back with that new NE Big Block Super Modified series Mayberry announced..

  7. I wasn’t kidding or being sarcastic on another thread, when I stated that this may just be, another golden era. Sound too dramatic?
    Maybe. But for the most part, all trending up for 2022. Man, look at what has happened since the pandemic.
    The tour challenged and put on the ropes as Covid wreaked havoc, and tracks could not commit to up front guaranteed costs to host a tour event, not knowing if the state they were in would even allow an open event to be held on a said date!
    The emergence of tri track as a modified white knight up here in the northeast.
    Stafford, being current, using technology because they know they have a great product, waving a finger at a big guy, and striking out to “damn the torpedoes. “ And being wildly successful. Huge gamble.
    A track on the ropes, but a team comes into save Thompson. A team in my view, that cares about all racing and takes another huge gamble. And continuing on to make it bigger and better. At their own peril.
    Yes, some will still be disgruntled and have issues with the current state of change, like, “ isn’t like it was , or not the same. “
    “Not the old days.”
    No it isn’t.
    Well, nothing stays the same, and you have to embrace change, as it’s gonna happen anyway, no matter what one thinks.
    The only thing I wish that could happen, would be for Waterford to some how come out of the issues that has plagued that place. If that could happen, all would be right with the short track world. (Up here anyway)
    But for 2022, I’m going with, this glass is way more than half full. Thank goodness.
    Because at the start of Covid boys and girls, it looked very, very bad, for all short track racing, and the tracks that hosted them up here. (And everywhere for that matter)
    While it’s not over, I am truly glad that all people associated with ownership, racing community, and all he unsung heroes that support local short tracks, hung in there, to live to race another day. I thank you all. I just wanted you all to know that.
    It appears we have dodged a huge bullet so far, and that’s to all the dedicated that made that happen.
    And oh yeah, Thompson in august for a tour race under the lights. I know where I will be. Thanks mr Mayberry. jmo.

  8. What a wonderful state of racing contribution that was and so well expressed.
    The golden era appropriately hyperbolic but not literal. Most of us spent a lot of time hunting for good seats at races in decades past and that’s not the case now at all. That had to be the true golden era I would think but renaissance is definitely in play.
    If it is a renaissance it’s a strange one. There are exceptions like the TTOMS race at Seekonk, NWMT race at Lancaster and Bowman Gray. But the rule now is spotty attendance at asphalt racing events and it’s true all over the country. So how is it possible to use terms like golden era or renaissance?
    Car counts and streaming would be my evidence. Circumstantial at best but in the corner of the racing world I inhabit it’s pretty evident. The crowds for Stafford’s regular weekly shows still anemic but the car counts get stronger. Growing numbers of people wanting to race competitively including the coveted youth vote and with the resources to do it. Tour type modifieds in total now more prolific then ever picking and choosing from numerous sanctioning groups and tracks and doing it on their own terms.
    I view Tom Mayberry and Josh Vanada as my canaries in the coal mine. Serious guys that continue to go further out on the plank promoting more local racing. Tri Track expanding their schedule at more tracks and the NWMT as well. Why would it be happening if something wasn’t going in the right direction? There can’t be that much money from the back gate.
    I know I’m a broken record on this for those that remember what records are but it’s the great unknown. That being virtual race attendance. We all can see what Stafford has done but most of Northeast asphalt racing has been included in the streaming revolution. Not the least of which is Tri Track who this year had all but one event available to view on TV. We can clearly see the poor attendance at far too many races and yet the race event schedules keep expanding.
    Maybe it is the golden era and between in person attendance and virtual the stands are full. Perhaps on rare occasions over capacity.

  9. Ditto Doug.
    The tracks must really be doing well on streaming. It’s got to be something, because you are correct about stands, as a general rule. The stream must be extremely lucrative for all of this to be, as it appears it is. I never thought a track could be “wildly profitable” without the coveted beer sales. Guess I’m wrong. Can’t argue with the evidence, that’s for sure.
    Whatever the reason, there seems to be much more interest in putting on shows this year, with most all sanctions. (not sure about mrs at this point in time though).
    So, if there is a modified racing world 40 years from now that is “a little on the ropes” as it were, race fans of that generation may indeed refer to these current times as the “golden era” or “good old days” of short track racing.
    Would be interesting to see, but alas, I know I will not be around!
    I suggest we enjoy the positivity of it, and put some doom and gloom behind us at least for the time being. Sure is refreshing in my opinion.

  10. Doug, I was at Stafford a lot this year and thought the crowds were noticeably pretty good

  11. Oh boy now we’re in the personal observation zone that tends to be about as reliable as a classic Yugo.
    I hate to do this but I must ask Mr. Courchesne to intercede.
    Simple but tough question because of how the pandemic affected 2020 but I’ll ask anyway.
    2017,2018,2019,2021. If you reflect on what you’ve been seeing over those years from the press box for regular shows at Stafford could you make any general observation regarding the trend in the amount of people attending the races? Moreover realizing it’s only a “guestimate” could you make any observation regarding percentage of capacity?

  12. Doug,

    Here’s my view. And understand, I have no actual real numbers to back this up. This is opinion based simply on glancing out to look at the crowd on Friday nights.
    From 2017 to 2019 there looked like to me a slight but noticeable enough downturn trend in attendance for regular Friday night shows. It wasn’t much, and probably could have even be termed as stagnant rather than reducing.
    But, what I saw in 2020 was interesting to me. With capacity restrictions in place, it actually looked like there were more fans on regular Friday nights in 2020. I felt like with COVID crowd restrictions in place and people buying tickets early to make sure they didn’t get shut out, it actually produced an increased demand. People who might have previously made the decision at 5:30 pm on a Friday to go to the track that night were now buying tickets on Tuesday to make sure they got in. Again, just my opinion, but I think the crowds at 25 percent capacity on regular Friday’s in 2020 looked larger than those on regular Friday nights in 2019.
    And then to 2021, the track goes back to having no restrictions. Before the 2021 season I thought I might see things going back to more like 2019, but I was actually surprised to see what I saw early in the season. Seemed like bigger crowds on regular Friday nights and also kind of an electric energy among that crowd that hadn’t been present even in 2020. In my mind I chalked that up to a fan base coming off of Fall 2020 and Winter 2020/21 COVID spikes and people just wanting to get back to some semblance of normal life. It seemed to me like those regular Friday night crowds stayed strong, maybe dipped a little later in the season. The biggest surprise for me crowd-wise in 2021 was the Saturday of Fall Final weekend. Considering everything going on – final Whelen Modified Tour race of the year and championship to be decided – I thought the crowd was smaller than I expected it to be and they just didn’t seem all that excited to be there.

  13. Doug, why do you even care about crowd size? How many can fit in your Barcalounger? You haven’t been to a track in decades, and will never go to a track again.

  14. Has Stafford and or Flo racing announced they will be back broadcasting on FLO next season? How about Thompson with Speed51? It would be a shame if those relationships didnt continue. I only went to about 6 races in person last season. I definitely watched a lot more online. Honestly I enjoy watching at home more than being there now. From cost, time and comfort, for me, it just makes more sense to watch at home. The only thing I really miss about being there in person is the friends I made at the track. I will probably continue to do mostly online with a race in person maybe once a month just to catch up with track friends. Whether you are an in person fan or an online race fan, you are still a race fan and are important to short track racings survival/success. The in person fan is definitely worth more to the track but I can honestly say having watched Stafford online I decided to go to a couple events last season. I noticed some of the reasons I stopped going weekly werent as bad as they used to be. I went and had a good time. I am not sure I would have gone to an event at Stafford if I didnt have the ability to kind of ‘preview’ their weekly show online via FLo. I think that is the way the tracks have to look at it, the online works to promote their product and make new fans that might go to an in person event.

  15. Thanks Shawn for the insights and especially the nuance and context.
    That would make modfan mostly correct. There has been a marginal increase in attendance in 2021. So if you factor in the FoRacing streaming audience the total number of eyeballs watching the racing may actually have enjoyed a rather hefty increase especially comparing it to the pre streaming days prior to 2020.
    CSG raises an interesting point as well. Streaming races not just a separate income stream but a catalyst for motivating folks to go to the races in person.
    There is news on FloRacing.

    Last paragraph. Not only will Stafford and Thunder Road continue, Oswego and the SMART tour races will be covered as well.
    Speed51 is now under the Racing America umbrella but the events are still showing up on the Speed51.TV web site so we’ll have to see how that shakes out. The NWMT is the big question. Hopefully they will see fit to continue coverage of the tour through some outlet.

  16. CSG , you nailed it …. COST … TIME……COMFORT…. the pay per view is gravy for the Tracks and helps the Drivers in Stafford’s case… they get a piece of the PPV monies…… WIN … WIN ….. You save money by watching at HOME…GAS ,,,…. FOOD…… DRINKS…. Driving Time …. etc. Comfort … Yes the Lazy Boy is much more COMFORTABLE than Hard bleachers …. I AGREE… you stay ” IN TUNE ” with what happens week to week , what the story-lines are,, Then you can Pick a GREAT RACING WEATHER Friday night to attend and buy your fried dough or Favorite food .. See your RACING friends and enjoy it in person to enjoy the SOUNDS & SMELLS you only get at the Track … It is great for those out of town to be able to watch PPV in Florida .. or on Business wherever they may be ??? Super Great for those unable to attend for whatever reason … COST…..TIME…….COMFORT……… BIG 3 …. csg nailed it !!!

  17. A regular stop for me is the Vault Productions Making Laps podcast. There are three people on the pod but I can’t say enough about Brent Gleason. A true renaissance man. Limited Sportsman owner and driver at Thompson, husband, father, craftsman, wordsmith and legitimate on air personality with things worth listening to. There isn’t enough time in the day to do it for working people and the Making Laps show is about as good as it can be which at present is crude but it could be something really special for area racing under ideal conditions. Team Brent up with a couple other equally talented folks focused primarily at Stafford and the Speedbowl and it could be must watch for all Connecticut race fans.
    On the show all the participants make it clear they have and watch FloRacing at Stafford most weeks. The two Gleason brothers primarily Thompson focused and a third in Florida all talking about local racing including Stafford.
    Cost, time and comfort for sure but it’s way more then that. Brent is working on Friday and has no time to get to Stafford he says yet he’s completely connected to what’s going on there between the racing he views via FloRacing and his personal contacts in racing. Convenience and staying connected are the key. I don’t know how many people watch the Making Laps podcast. Whatever it is they listen to a guy that is not a Stafford guy essentially promoting what goes on at Stafford and it doesn’t happen without FloRacing. Brent’s convenience, staying linked to the action at the track and spreading the word to other people with the same ability to follow the action no matter what their personal circumstance.
    Brent, Jesse and Phil from the Making Laps podcast. Keith Rocco’s parents, Matt Hirschman’s parents, all the wives and children at home of race team members not able to go to the races every week, grandmothers, grandfather, aunts and uncles, former Stafford fans all across the country not able to go to the races, friends, co workers of people that race at the track and old Doug in his Barkalounger. All connected now in an inclusive audience whereas before it was more homogeneous. All seeing the same things and all able to share what they see no matter where their location.
    Before exposure to what you loved was linier as you brought a friend or friends to the track. Now it has the potential to be exponential.

  18. Thanks Doug. Nice to see Flo back with Stafford. As far as the Whelen mods broadcasts go. I went to sign up for a yearly NBC Sports grassroots account sometime over the summer. They only gave me the option to sign up for a monthly pass. The NBC Sports network is getting shut down I believe end of the year. Assuming NBC still has broadcast rights to the tour I am guessing it will go onto NBC;s peacock platform. Hopefully something is available for live broadcast. FLO is certainly expanding their racing coverage. Nice to see them add SMART to their lineup. They went to pavement this year with circle track and even drag racing events. They are killing it. The best money I have ever spent. I get a bunch of hockey games in the winter too.

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