WMT: Martinsville Speedway to host event

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Returns to Martinsville Speedway * Sept. 3 Event Marks First Race "Under the Lights" at Legendary Virginia Oval * Race to be Combination Race with NASCAR Southern Modified Tour MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 2, 2005) --...

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Returns to Martinsville Speedway

* Sept. 3 Event Marks First Race "Under the Lights" at Legendary Virginia Oval
* Race to be Combination Race with NASCAR Southern Modified Tour

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 2, 2005) -- After a two-year hiatus, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, for a 250-lap event on Sept. 3. The race will be held in combination with NASCAR's newly-formed Southern Modified Tour, with drivers earning championship points in both series.

Modified racing has long been part of Martinsville's history, even before the formation of the Whelen Modified Tour in 1985 and before the beginning of NASCAR itself. Modifieds were the first division to race on the track in 1947.

In another new twist, the race will be the first event held at nighttime, under the lights, at Martinsville.

"For years we've been almost constantly asked when Martinsville was going to get lights," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Well, now we know, at least for one night. We couldn't think of a more exciting show to bring in under the lights than the Whelen Modified Tour. It's always been a fun series to watch here, but the lights are just going to add another dimension."

As a combination race with the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, participating drivers will receive championship points respective to their own regular series, regardless of overall finish. For example, the highest finishing Whelen Modified Tour driver will receive 180 Whelen Modified Tour points, while the highest finishing Southern Modified Tour driver will receive 180 points towards the Southern Modified Tour standings, regardless of their overall finishing position in the race.

"Teams, drivers and fans from both the North and the South have been waiting for this event," said Don Hawk, NASCAR's director of regional racing development. "Modified racing at Martinsville, under the lights, it doesn't get any more exciting than that. Martinsville is one of the great short track venues in the nation, and this will be one race that our fans will remember for a long time."

Forty-three cars will compete in the race. Bud Pole qualifying will be held on Friday evening, Sept. 2, with starting positions 1-20 determined by time trials. Provisional starting positions will be granted for positions 21-28, with five provisionals for the Whelen Modified Tour teams and three provisionals for Southern Modified Tour teams. The provisionals are based on current car owner point standings for each series.

Prior to the 250-lap main event on Saturday, all remaining non-qualified teams will participate in a 50-lap "last chance" qualifying race to determine starting positions 29-43. Including the 50-lap qualifying race, all teams will have a chance to race on the famous .526-mile track, and Martinsville's new surface should have plenty of room of racing. Since the Modifieds last visited Martinsville, the old track surface has been replaced with new asphalt and concrete.

The Southern Modified Tour cars are almost identical to the Whelen Modified Tour cars. The Southern Modified Tour cars use a different tire compound for all other Southern Modified Tour events, but all cars will use the same Hoosier tires at Martinsville.

The Whelen Modified Tour has raced at Martinsville throughout its 21-year history. The Tour's most recent visit to Martinsville was Oct. 19, 2002, with L.W. Miller capturing the win ahead of Rick Fuller. Other Whelen Modified Tour winners at Martinsville include Mike Ewanitsko (March 1989, 1997, 1998, 2001), Reggie Ruggiero (March 1987, March 1990, 1999, 2000), Satch Worley (March 1992), Mike Stefanik (Oct. 1991, Oct. 1992), Jeff Fuller (Oct. 1989, March 1991), Tony Hirschman (Oct. 1990), Mike McLaughlin (March 1988), Tom Baldwin (Oct. 1988), George Kent (Nov. 1987), Brett Bodine (March 1986), Charlie Jarzombek (April 1985, Nov. 1986) and John Bryant (Oct. 1985).

Under the Lights at Martinsville ... Musco Lighting will supply the temporary lighting for the Sept. 3 event. Musco is the most experienced lighting company in racing, having erected lights at 12 major NASCAR venues since 1986. Four Musco Mobile lighting trucks will supply more than 36,000,000 lumens of light for the race.

Fast Facts

What: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 250
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.

When: Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Who: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Southern Modified Tour.


Posted awards: $110,000.

Race length: 250 laps, 131.5 miles.
Track layout: 0.526-mile oval.


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Drivers Brett Bodine , Jeff Fuller , Mike McLaughlin , L.W. Miller , Clay Campbell