Story By: BOB GUPTILL / NORTHEAST MINI STOCK TOUR – LEWISTON, ME – After three seasons of moving forward, the New England Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been put into park for the 2020 season.
Event promoter Bob Guptill cites high costs and high risks for the decision to put the event on hiatus.
“In 2019, we had a perfect event in a lot of ways,” said Guptill. “The support from the competitors was incredible, the weather was good and having Dave Dion go above and beyond in his role as the Grand Marshall is a memory that we will always treasure. It ended up being profitable too, but it was a tough way to make a paycheck. Had anything gone less than perfect with the weather, scheduling or any number of things, it could have been a devastating loss.
“This is a family-promoted event and we just cannot gamble like that. We gave the race a three year commitment when we first announced it and many people said it would never happen at all. We proved those critics wrong and made some great memories over three seasons, but just could not make it as commercially viable as we needed to.”
The Guptill family mulled over the decision on the fate of the event for 2020 and explored sponsorship possibilities, but nothing materialized in time to properly plan the race for next year.
“The different tours involved are all getting ready to release their schedules for 2020, so a decision needed to be made,” said Guptill. “Given the right support, this is an event that could come back in the future, but for now we are taking a break.”
The New England Short Track Showdown has been built around four cornerstones of New England short track racing. Super Late Models competed in the event under the Granite State Pro Stock Series banner in 2017 and 2018 before switching sanction to the Pro All Star Series in 2019. The Tour-type Modifieds of the Modified Racing Series took part in all three Showdowns as did the grassroots level North East Mini Stock Tour and Street Stock Showdown Series. Guptill is the promoter of both the NEMST and SSSS divisions and is exploring other options where those tours might be able to compete at NHMS in 2020. Further announcements may be forthcoming.