Story By: KYLE SOUZA / JDV PRODUCTIONS – CLAREMONT, NH – With over $83,000 in posted awards on the line, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set for their 10th race of the season next Friday, July 29.
The Clash at Claremont 150 will mark the first time the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hits New Hampshire’s Claremont Motorsports Park in 15 years, and it comes in the middle of a tight battle for the Tour championship.
Although some drivers have competed at Claremont in other Tour-Type Modified events, the 150-lap special, where tire changes are not permitted, will be a new venture for many of the competitors. It’s the longest Tour-Type Modified race at Claremont in a while, and drivers will have to try to figure out the best way to get to the end of the race in contention to win.
On the championship front, Ron Silk may have wrecked at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the 2011 Whelen Modified Tour champion will look to win the $11,300 prize at the end of the Clash at Claremont. Silk has a 10-point lead over Jon McKennedy with Eric Goodale only one point back, sitting in third. Three-time series champion Justin Bonsignore has been plagued with mechanical failures for much of the year, but is only 25 points behind heading to the stretch run in hopes of winning a fourth title in five years.
Claremont could be a crucial one in the title battle, set as the final race of the month of July for the Tour. Following Claremont, the series won’t hit the track again until a visit to Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway in mid August.
The race will also mark the conclusion of the inaugural Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, and the champion will be crowned at Claremont. With the car owners earning the crown, right now, Tommy Baldwin Racing and Roy Hall (Matt Hirschman’s car owner) are tied with 86 points. Closely following, Tyler Haydt (Silk’s car owner) is three points back, while champion car owner Ken Massa (Bonsignore) is only five markers back. The champion will collect a $5,000 winning prize, while second grabs $2,000 and third $1,000.
On top of the championship battle for the Cup, multiple other contingency award winners will also be crowned at Claremont. The Consistency Bonus, worth $800, will be awarded to the driver who has the best average finish of the four JDV Productions events combined. The Lap Leader bonus, worth $500, is for the driver who leads the most laps combined across the four events. The Challenger Bonus ($200 per race), Moe’s Moving Move of the Race ($200 per race) and Hard Charger Bonus ($200 per race) have all been distributed for the first two Cup events, and are back for the final round. A full description of the current standings for each of the season-long awards will be distributed later in the week.
The race is also expected to include a few New Hampshire regulars who will wrap their Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup run. Jacob Perry, Sam Rameau and Matthew Kimball competed in the first two races of the Cup battle at Lee USA Speedway and Monadnock Speedway, and are set to return for round three. Fans should keep their eye out for young gun Jake Johnson, who will return to the seat of the No. 3 Boehler Racing ride for the 150-lap event.
A full entry list for the race will be released next week.
On top of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, multiple of Claremont’s NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series divisions will also be on the track on July 29. The Six Shooters, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Pure Stocks are all scheduled to compete as part of a full Friday night of racing.
The race day schedule includes the opening of grandstands and the start of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice at 4:30 p.m., followed by house division practice. Qualifying will begin at 6:30 p.m. and features will follow. The green flag for the Clash at Claremont 150 is scheduled for 8:45 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $40 in general admission, while kids 12 and under are free. Special passes to the JDV Experience are also available for Claremont for just $99 – with access as part of the pass to include a private autograph session with select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers, preferred seating at the track and more.
Pit passes are $50 for the race. All tickets sold at the track – both grandstands and the pit area – will be cash only sales. If needed, the rain date for this event will be Saturday, July 30. There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets. Tickets will be honored on all race dates.