NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Southern Modified Tour release expanded 2015 schedules


It’ll be a milestone year for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (WMT) in 2015, as the primarily northeast-based series celebrates its 30th anniversary.

And not to be outdone, the southeast-based Whelen Southern Modified Tour (WSMT) will celebrate its 11th season in 2015.

Both series will add either a new or former race date or venue to their respective schedules for next season, according to

The Whelen Modified Tour will have 14 points-paying races, as well as a non-points all-star race, on six different tracks.

Back on the schedule for its traditional early June race will be Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut (June 10). Thompson also plays host to the season opener on April 12 and the season finale on Oct. 18.

Meanwhile, the Whelen Modified Southern Tour will have 11 races at seven tracks, including adding for the first time one of the most historic short tracks in the country, Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway (Oct. 3).

“The combination of new and traditional events, and national series companion weekends are sure to provide NASCAR modified fans with the wheel-to-wheel action they’ve come to know and love once again in 2015,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president for regional and touring series said in a statement. “We are very excited that historic Hickory Motor Speedway will showcase the Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the first time and that Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park has returned its popular June date to the schedule.”

The WMT will run three events run that coincide with NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends, including one combined event with the WSMT, while the WSMT will have share the bill on one Sprint Cup weekend.

The WMT and WSMT will jointly race at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 19), while the WMT will race twice on Cup weekends at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18, Sept. 26).

NHMS, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, will also host the WMT All-Star Shootout on July 17.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile track will host the Whelen Southern Modified Tour on Oct. 8.

Doug Coby is defending series champion in the WMT, while Andy Seuss is defending WSMT champ.

Here’s the 2015 schedules for the WMT and WSMT, courtesy of


Date Track Location
4/12 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
4/26 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
6/5 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
6/10 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
6/27 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
7/17 New Hampshire Motor Speedway (All-Star Shootout) Loudon, N.H.
7/18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
7/25 Monadnock Speedway Winchester, N.H.
8/7 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
8/12 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWSMT) Bristol, Tenn.
8/29 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y.
9/26 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.
10/4 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn.
10/18 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn.



Date Track Location
3/14 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
3/28 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
4/4 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
4/11 Langley Speedway Hampton, Va.
7/4 Caraway Speedway Sophia, N.C.
8/1 Bowman Gray Stadium Winston-Salem, N.C.
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway (combination with NWMT) Bristol, Tenn.
9/5 Langley Speedway Hampton, Va.
9/19 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va.
10/3 Hickory Motor Speedway Newton, N.C.
10/8 Charlotte Motor Speedway (.25-mile) Concord, N.C.

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Kyle Busch interests McLaren for Indy 500, but team is leaning toward experience

McLaren Indy Kyle Busch
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With Arrow McLaren SP heavily weighing a fourth car for the Indy 500 next year, Kyle Busch is a candidate but not at the top of the IndyCar team’s list.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown addressed the possibility Wednesday morning during a video news conference with Gavin Ward, the team’s newly named racing director.

“I have not personally spoken with Kyle Busch, but you can read into that that someone else in our organization has,” Brown said. “We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we’re in the mindset that we want someone that is experienced around the 500. It’s such an important race, and from a going for the championship point of view, we’ve got three drivers that we want to have finish as strong as possible, so if we ran a fourth car, we’d want to be additive, not only for the fourth car itself, but to the three cars and so bringing in someone who’s not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experience point of view.”

Busch will race the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing next season in NASCAR under a new deal that will allow the two-time Cup Series champion to make his Indy 500 debut. Busch, who had a previous deal to run the Indy 500 nixed by Joe Gibbs Racing, openly courted Chevy IndyCar teams to contact him during his introductory news conference with RCR last month.

After Team Penske (which has given no indications of a fourth car at Indy alongside champion Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin), McLaren is the second-best Chevy organization, and it’s fielded an extra Indy 500 car the past two years for Juan Pablo Montoya. The Associated Press reported last month that McLaren was in “serious conversation” about running Busch at Indy with Menards sponsorship.

But with its restructured management, the team is in the midst of significant expansion for 2023. AMSP is adding a third full-time car for 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to team with Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and a massive new shop also is being built in the Indianapolis area.

“(It’s) not because of him but purely because of experience,” Brown said of Busch. “He’s an awesome talent and would be huge, huge news for the speedway. But yeah, I think everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is right at the top of the list as far as what’s going to be the most important to us.”

And it seems likely there will be a veteran joining Rossi, O’Ward and Rosenqvist at the Brickyard.

“A fourth car at the 500 is very much under consideration,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t even want to get ahead of ourselves, but we wouldn’t be ruling out a fourth car in the future on a full-time basis. That definitely wouldn’t be for ’23. But as we expand the team and get into larger facilities and things of that nature, it’s something that Gavin and I have spoken about.

“I think we would be in a position to run a fourth car at the 500 this upcoming year. If we do decide to do that, we’ll make that decision soon for maximum preparation, and I would say we’re open minded to a fourth car in ’24 and beyond and probably will make that decision middle of next year in time to be prepared if we did decide to do that.”

Brown also addressed the future of Alex Palou, who will be racing for Chip Ganassi Racing next season after also signing a deal with McLaren. Though Brown declined to get into specifics about whether Palou had signed a new deal, he confirmed Palou will continue to test “our Formula One car from time to time.

“Everyone has reached an amicable solution,” Brown said. “We’ve now had Alex in our Formula One car as we have Pato. That will continue in the future, which we’re quite excited about. At this point we’re laser-focused on 2023 and glad to have the noise behind us and now just want to put our head down and get on with the job with the three drivers we have.”