NEW TRACKS AND SPONSORS SIGNAL BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR 2006 season begins March 25 at Caraway Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2006) -- The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour begins its second season...
NEW TRACKS AND SPONSORS SIGNAL BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR
2006 season begins March 25 at Caraway Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2006) -- The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour begins its second season March 25 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. As the 2006 schedule gets underway with the 150-lap race at Caraway, the Tour is showing signs of growth and good times ahead.
After completing an inaugural 12-race schedule last year, the top 20 drivers on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour shared $35,000 in post-season prize money from title sponsor Whelen Engineering along with six award sponsors -- Budweiser, Featherlite Trailers, POWERade, CV Products, Hank Thomas Performance and Hoosier Tires. For this upcoming season, prize money and sponsor participation has nearly doubled.
In addition to continued support from title sponsor Whelen, a Connecticut-based manufacturer of emergency lighting and warning systems, 11 companies will sponsor the Whelen Southern Modified Tour in 2006. New sponsors include Edelbrock, Holley, Mechanix Wear, Moroso and Ohlins Shocks. The total post-season prize money from these sponsors is now $58,000.
Whelen Director of Motorsports Phil Kurze says his company is pleased with the direction the Tour is taking.
"We're excited about the growth, in both the car counts and the tracks that have an interest in the Southern Modified Tour," said Kurze. "We're looking forward to 2006 and continued growth with the Tour. It's the most exciting Modified racing in the South and we're sure that these new sponsors coming on board will have the same great experiences that we have had so far."
The Whelen Southern Tour will visit a new venue in 2006, at South Carolina's historic Greenville-Pickens Speedway, one of the oldest operating race tracks in the nation. The Tour will make its Greenville-Pickens debut April 8, before returning to Caraway April 15.
Other tracks returning to the schedule include Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. (April 22 and Oct. 14), Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Aug. 5), Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Sept. 2) and Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C. (Sept. 15).
With renewed corporate support and a new track on the schedule, NASCAR says the future is bright for this upstart Tour.
"The first year of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour could not have gone any better," said NASCAR Director of Regional Racing Development Don Hawk. "Fan support was strong at every race and the championship came down to a great battle between two of the region's top Modified stars, Junior Miller and Burt Myers. It was a very good start for the Tour and we've seen a great deal of interest in the off-season. It's still early in the year, but we're looking forward to even better things in the future."
Last season ended with Miller, of Pine Hall, N.C., winning the inaugural Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship by 32 points over his rival Myers, of Walnut Cove, N.C. Among his rewards, Miller was a guest of honor along with the champions from every other NASCAR series, at the "NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champions' Week presented by Sprint" in New York City last December. Third-place finisher Brian Loftin, of Lexington, N.C., led the Tour in wins, with four victories last season.
Miller, 55, has been racing Modifieds since the 1960's and says NASCAR's first year of involvement with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour was an unqualified success.
"It's a whole lot better," said Miller. "We won the championship and they sent us to New York; we got more point fund money and everything's just bigger and better. We got a lot more publicity out of it. We really enjoyed it last year."
The new season officially gets underway March 25 at Caraway, with Bud Pole qualifying time trials at 6:20 p.m. The Whelen Southern Modified Tour season gets the green flag at 8 p.m. Along with the season-opening Modified race, a 75-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car race will also be featured.