SMT: Series ready for inaugural season

NASCAR Southern Modified Tour Opens Inaugural Season March 26 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2005) -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour now has a southern twin -- the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, which begins its inaugural season March 26 at ...

NASCAR Southern Modified Tour Opens Inaugural Season March 26

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2005) -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour now has a southern twin -- the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, which begins its inaugural season March 26 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. The Southern Modified Tour becomes the first series to join NASCAR since the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series (formerly ARTGO Challenge Series) became a NASCAR-sanctioned series in 1998.

"March 26, 2005 will be a historic day for NASCAR," said NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter. "The formation of a new NASCAR-sanctioned series is an exciting opportunity for our teams, tracks and fans to enjoy NASCAR racing in many new areas. While the Whelen Modified Tour has grown throughout the Northeast, the Southern Modified Tour comes from the great tradition of Southern Modified racing that has been maintained for many years."

The Southern Modified Tour will feature cars which are almost identical to the lightweight, open-wheeled cars on the Whelen Modified Tour. NASCAR Modifieds are famous for their unique design, which allows for fast and close competition on tracks of all sizes. Scott French, of Knoxville, Tenn., will serve as Series Director. Previously, French worked as a NASCAR Busch Series official and the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series Director.

After the first event at Caraway, the tour travels to Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C. on April 2-3, followed by return visits to Caraway on April 9 and 16.

"NASCAR has stepped up and offered a great opportunity for our track and for our fans," said Caraway Speedway track owner Russell Hackett. "Open-wheel Modified racing is truly unique, and it's great to be a part of NASCAR history by hosting the opening race of this new tour."

The tour resumes July 1 at Caraway, before heading to historic Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. for a 199-lap event on Aug. 6. Additional events at Ace Speedway (Sept. 5), Caraway (Sept. 10 & 24), Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. (Oct. 1), Concord (N.C.) Motorsport Park (Oct. 8) and Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 29) complete the inaugural schedule.

While the series itself is new to NASCAR, the sanctioning body has a long tradition of Modified racing in the Southeastern U.S. Prior to the formation of today's Northeastern-based Whelen Modified Tour in 1985, NASCAR Modified teams competed in championship events up and down the east coast, including stops at Bowman Gray Stadium, North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Top drivers from North Carolina and Virginia, such as Ralph Brinkley, Ray Hendrick and Satch Worley, were regular NASCAR Modified competitors.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jim Hunter