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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Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance

LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).