Despite NASCAR Lifting Suspension, Some Tracks On Whelen Mod Tour Holding Sam Rameau Out Of Competition 

Sam Rameau (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

On Thursday NASCAR announced that they were lifting the indefinite suspension of Whelen Modified Tour driver Sam Rameau, effective on May 15. 

But that announcement by NASCAR does not mean Rameau will be fully welcomed back to the division at all tracks left on the series’ 2024 schedule. 

Rameau has not been in competition behind the wheel since his team was involved in an in ugly issue on the infield during an Open Modified event at Thompson Speedway on Oct. 9, 2023. NASCAR suspended Rameau indefinitely on Oct. 13, 2023. 

Two of the nine tracks left on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2024 will not allow Rameau to compete in Whelen Modified Tour events they will host later this year. Rameau would be restricted from competing in four of the 12 events remaining on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule after his reinstatement on May 15. 

Cris Michaud said Friday that Rameau remains banned from any events at Thompson Speedway in 2024. Michaud promotes events at Thompson Speedway in partnership with Tom Mayberry. 

Michaud also co-owns Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H. and the American-Canadian Tour. Mayberry owns the Pro All-Stars Series and Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Me. 

Thompson Speedway will host the Whelen Modified Tour again this season on Aug. 14 and Oct. 13. Thompson Speedway will also host seven Outlaw Open Modified division events during the 2024 season. Rameau is also banned from participation at all other facilities and divisions controlled by Michaud and Mayberry. 

Michaud said Rameau would be allowed to reapply for reinstatement following the conclusion of the 2024 racing season. 

JDV Productions owner Josh Vanada, who is leasing and operating Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., announced last fall that Rameau was indefinitely suspended from competing in any events at Monadnock. Vanada reiterated Friday that nothing has changed concerning Rameau’s status at Monadnock. 

The Whelen Modified Tour returns to action on Saturday with the running of the Granite State Derby at Monadnock, which is taking place before the lifting of Rameau’s suspension on May 15. 

The Whelen Modified Tour returns to Monadnock Speedway for events on July 20 and Sept. 21. 

For the 2024 season, NASCAR will not push back on any individual tracks making the decision to keep Rameau out of action for a Whelen Modified Tour event. 

The Rameau camp has not publicly announced any of their plans for racing for the 2024 season. 

The Miller Lite Salutes Wayne Anderson 200 at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway on May 18 would be the first Whelen Modified Tour event in which Rameau would be eligible to participate. The Whelen Modified Tour will run a second event at Riverhead on Sept. 14. 

Riverhead Raceway general manager John Ellwood said Rameau would be welcome to compete with the Whelen Modified Tour at the Long Island facility. 

“Riverhead Raceway has no issues with Sam,” Ellwood said. “… We strictly enforce our code of conduct. Since 1985, Riverhead Raceway has a partnership with [the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour], and our policies are in lockstep on any decisions they make.” 

The second Whelen Modified Tour event Rameau would be eligible to run would be at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway on June 1. 

Ed St. Germain, director of business development at Seekonk Speedway said Rameau would be welcomed at the facility.

“He was never suspended here, he never did anything wrong here,” St. Germain said. “… If NASCAR is allowing him to race on the [Whelen Modified Tour], he hasn’t done anything here that wouldn’t allow him to race here. … I have no firsthand knowledge of what happened. It didn’t affect anyone at Seekonk, it wasn’t done at Seekonk and it didn’t affect Seekonk in any way shape or form. I’m not going to get into condoning or not condoning behavior outside of tracks or at tracks or anything like that. It didn’t happen here and I guess NASCAR is over it.” 

Track or event managers for Whelen Modified Tour events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 22), Lancaster Motorplex (Aug. 3), North Wilkseboro Speedway (Oct. 5) and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 26) also confirmed to RaceDayCT that Rameau would be welcome to run in the series events they have scheduled in 2024. Mangement at Oswego Speedway (Aug. 31) was unavailable on Friday. 

Rameau remains indefinitely suspended by the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series and the Race of Champions Series. 

Similar to the NASCAR status, Rameau is welcome to race with the Milton CAT Modified Racing Series, as long as the track where the series is competing is welcoming of that. The Modified Racing Series opens its 2024 season on Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Chris Austill from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl confirmed to RaceDayCT recently that Rameau is not welcome to compete in Speedbowl events. 

Comments

  1. Ain’t life a fickle bitch. He has no one to blame but himself. Auto racing in general is slowly migrating from the redneck, hillbilly image it carried for decades, to more of a gentleman, family focused sport which leaves no room for violence and serious consequences for those who choose to participate in fighting. There’s enough hatred and division in this country don’t need it at the races when you’re there with the kids.

  2. And that applies with or without the Almighty NASCAR. Glad to see track management stepping up.

  3. Enduro59 says

    Rob P,
    As a proud unapologetic son of the south I resemble that redneck hillbilly remark. Your diatribe has you aligned against 7 of the nine track promoters as per Shawn’s article. Are those seven hate filled and divisive? Are they insensitive to “the children”? What do you want for Rameau? How about Bessette? Kopcik?
    It is a fact that auto racing in it’s purity is not migrating anywhere. It is dying. Probably not in my lifetime but certainly in my children’s. When all is said and done , social media will have done more to hasten the death of it than to have prolonged the life of it. I just can’t connect what you mean about hatred and division having anything at all to do with this situation.
    I don’t get out much so I have never heard life is a fickle bitch. I have heard however that Karma is a bitch and hatred always, always contaminates it’s container.

  4. Crazy in NY says

    And in other news…NASCAR has announced that the suspension Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Donnie Allison at the conclusion of the 79′ Daytona 500 has been lifted.

    Oh wait…

    Rob P. It’s OK guy. You can go back to watching Cup again.

  5. Thanks dad……

  6. and the Tour goes on and on .... says

    Well maybe his Dad should tell these tracks that his little boy always gets what he wants.

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