New Hampshire Motor Speedway eyeing night race in summer

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s summer NASCAR weekend may undergo a big change if track officials get their way. Citing fan feedback, NHMS executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens has revealed that they’re interested in turning their July event into a night-time race.

According to NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce, such a move would not only require NASCAR’s approval but also the approval of local authorities; the original agreement when the track was first built included the stipulation that there would be no night races.

But Gappens is hoping he can get around that matter in order to ensure that New England’s punishing summers stop having an adverse effect on his track’s box office.

“We do a lot with our fans; I’m all over this place during race week interacting with fans and…That is the feedback I’ve gotten,” Gappens said Saturday according to Bruce.

“I’ve learned one thing, New Englanders don’t like 90-95 degree heat and high humidity. And I’m seeing the [ticket] numbers reflect that in renewals for July. I get letters [and] a lot of people who say they had their father or their parents with them and it was just too hot [in July].”

Should NHMS gain the approval of both NASCAR and the locals, Gappens believes that the track would be ready to host night racing in 2015.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.