Story By: KRISTEN LESTOCK / NHMS – LOUDON, NH – New Hampshire Motor Speedway reinforced its New England roots for Full Throttle Fall Weekend’s main feature by naming the Sept. 22 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race the Musket 250.
The stakes are high as the winner of the Musket 250 will claim a share of the $181,100 purse to go along with a custom Revolutionary War-era musket and tricorn hat.
“This will be an epic weekend for short track racers and fans from across the Northeast, so we knew we had to give it some New England flare,” explained David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We’ll have minutemen in victory lane with a customized musket, a tricorn hat and a big check for the winner of The Musket 250. You can’t get any more New England than that!”
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will be racing for the highest payouts for the tour this season. The winner of the Musket 250 will take home $25,000, including the $3,500 Whelen Winner of the race bonus. A new $25,000 lap leader bonus has just been added paying $100 to the leader of each lap during the 250-lap event.
“Every driver wants to win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway more than any other track,” said five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby. “Mentally it is intense during the 100 lap races so I can only imagine how intense it will be for 250 laps. And to top it all off, not only are we racing for the Modified Tour’s biggest winners purse ever, but the added lap money for leading throughout the race gives the potential for a massive pay day if you can lead a lot of laps and win the race. It’s going to be tough to find the balance between wanting to be up front to earn the lap money and saving enough of your equipment to make sure you have a shot in the end. Add to that the live pit stops for tires and fuel, and you’ve got one exciting package that Modified fans have never seen before. It’s going to be quite a show.”
The musket and tricorn hat will be similar to what was given to Dale Earnhardt Jr. during his 2017 Appreci88tion Tour. The musket will be customized over the course of a few weeks by Black Hart Long Arms in Eastford, Conn., which has twice been featured on the History Channel. The unique winner’s award will have New England-styling including the ramrod pipes, trigger guard, color-casehardened lock and 46-inch barrel.
The Full Throttle Fall Weekend will feature a unique NASCAR tripleheader. Headlined by the Musket 250 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the Saturday of racing will also include a 125-lap championship points race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well as a 100-lap NASCAR Pinty’s Series race.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been a crown jewel of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East since the 1.058-mile oval opened in 1990. The Whelen Modified Tour has run 67 times, through 2017, with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik leading the wins list with eight victories. The action is always ratcheted up, and when you combine the nerf bars and restrictor plates with the significance of winning on one of the tour’s biggest stages, the event often features multiple passes for the lead every lap.
The K&N Pro Series has been a fixture at NHMS since its days as the Busch North. Brad Leighton has a record eight wins, while the late Ted Christopher has five K&N Pro Series wins to go with his five Whelen Modified Tour wins. Past NHMS winners in the K&N Pro Series include 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano and 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion William Byron. The NASCAR Pinty’s Series race will be the first points event outside Canada for that country’s national stock car championship series.