Pit Box: Whelen Modified Tour Season Opens With Annual Trip To New Smyrna Speedway

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

The stars and cars of NASCAR’s oldest division are bound for the Sunshine State this weekend. The Whelen Modified Tour begins the 2024 season Saturday with the running of the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 (7:15 p.m. ET on FloRacing).

Saturday’s race marks the third consecutive year the Modified Tour season starts at New Smyrna Speedway as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, a nine-day racing extravaganza that features more than 10 divisions.

Ron Silk, the defending Modified Tour champion, is also the defending winner of the event at New Smyrna. The victory kicked off a five-win campaign for Silk, who claimed his second championship and first for Haydt Yannone Racing.

More than 30 drivers are entered in Saturday’s event, with each looking to prevent Silk from repeating as a Tour winner at New Smyrna while concurrently trying to add their names to the legendary list of World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing victors.

Tickets to the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 are available here. Below is everything you need to know for Saturday’s opening race of the 2024 season.

New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 at New Smyrna Speedway

What to watch for:

It’s been more than 100 days since Ron Silk was crowned NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion at Martinsville Speedway. His march to a third series championship begins Saturday night at the same track where he opened his 2023 campaign with a victory.

Silk is one of 35 drivers slated to compete in the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200, but none have more momentum than him. He led the Modified Tour in nearly every statistical category last year, including wins (five), average finish (3.3), top fives (15) and top 10s (17). Last year, he led 33 laps on his way to victory at New Smyrna, but it was far from an easy task.

His chief title rival last year was Justin Bonsignore, the same man Silk battled in the closing laps last year at New Smyrna. In search of his fourth series championship in 2024, Bonsignore will begin a busy week Saturday at New Smyrna before heading to Daytona International Speedway to make his ARCA Menards Series debut one week later.

Other likely contenders Saturday night include Austin Beers, who led 51 laps early last year at New Smyrna, as well as Doug Coby, who led a race-high 106 laps. Both are entered again as they look to kick off a new season with a trip to Victory Lane.

Two familiar names to NASCAR Cup Series fans, Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Preece, are set to compete at New Smyrna. Newman will pilot the No. 15 for Advantage Motorsports; Preece will drive his own No. 40 that he also piloted to victory in October at Martinsville.

Three members of the Catalano family, Tommy, Trevor and Tyler, are among the 35 entrants. Patrick Emerling will kick off a busy seven-day stretch at New Smyrna before he, too, heads to Daytona to compete the following weekend. Matt Hirschman, the 2022 New Smyrna winner and four-time World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing champion, will look for another New Smyrna victory.

Other notable entrants include Eric Goodale, Craig Lutz, Jake Johnson, Joey Coulter, Kyle Bonsignore, Tyler Rypkema, J.B. Fortin, Spencer Davis and Ronnie Williams, among others.

The complete entry list for the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 can be found here.


RaceNew Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200
DateSaturday, Feb. 10, 2024
TrackNew Smyrna Speedway
LayoutHalf-mile asphalt oval
LocationNew Smyrna Beach, Florida
Start time7:45 p.m. ET
Posted awards$134,047
Live streamFloRacing (Live)

Schedule: Saturday, Feb. 10 … Practice from 1 to 1:45 p.m. ET … Final practice from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. ET … Qualifying at 5:30 p.m. ET … New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 at 7:45 p.m. ET (FloRacing)

Qualifying: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Starting field for the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau 200 is limited to 32 starters including Provisional Positions.

Tire allotment: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is fourteen (14) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is six (6) tires, any position.


  1. Suitcase Jake says

    Wow this really came fast… Should be a great start to the Mod Tour…
    i am going to pick Beers to be the 2024 Champion… Speaking of PICKS , gotta get the PICK’EM FIRED UP QUICK with 35 entries should be interesting …..

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