Race Week Storylines | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog

Race Week Storylines

Published on July 14, 2016 under Blog
Race Week Storylines

Race Week Storylines

Dave Matthews Band, the Boston Bruins, and ‘The Voice’ will all be represented this weekend; not to mention more than 700 miles of racing action


Stefan Lessard, the bassist for Dave Matthews Band, will lead the field to the green flag as the Official Pace Car Driver for the New Hampshire 301. Before Lessard leads the field of 40 drivers around the Magic Mile in a Toyota Camry, he will participate in a mandatory pace car training session with NASCAR officials as well as attend the morning drivers’ meeting.

Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Hassan is the current and 81st Governor of New Hampshire, having been sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2013. Hassan is currently running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Kelly Ayotte, a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, will serve as the honorary starter and will wave the green flag to begin Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Ayotte has served on the U.S. Senate since 2011.

Caroline Burns of Hollis, N.H., was last at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when she was 13 years old, having won the opportunity to sing the national anthem before a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race thanks to her efforts in the Speedway Star singing competition. On Sunday, the now 16-year-old Burns will return to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after an amazing run on NBC’s popular singing contest show “The Voice.”

Eric Paslay, a 2016 Grammy Award nominee, will headline the New Hampshire Motor Speedway frontstretch stage before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, July 17. Paslay, who will take the stage at 10:45 a.m., is part of a jam-packed weekend of racing and entertainment at the speedway. To go along with today’s announcement, speedway officials have created a special Eric Paslay ticket package giving fans the opportunity to win an exclusive meet and greet with the country singer prior to his 45-minute concert. Stage-front access on the Magic Mile frontstretch will be available with the purchase of a pre-race pit pass.

A New England tradition, the winner of this year’s New Hampshire 301 will receive “Loudon the Lobster” from Makris Lobster & Steak House in Concord, N.H. The lobster typically weighs between 20-25 pounds.

Tim Schaller, a 25-year-old native of Merrimack, N.H., will lead the XFINITY Series field to green for the AutoLotto 200 at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. Schaller played his collegiate hockey at Providence College and is entering his fourth season as a professional. Schaller has two goals and three assists in 35 games at the NHL level. He scored his first NHL goal against Bruins All-Star goaltender Tuukka Rask as a member of the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Dec. 21, 2014.

Something’s Bruin: Tim Schaller will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday with two of his teammates, as Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) and Frank Vatrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) will take part in a series events for NESN Fuel. Acciari played in 19 games with the Bruins last season, notching an assist, while Vatrano potted eight goals and three assists in 39 regular season games for the B’s. All three Bruins will attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers’ Meeting and will be on the pre-race stage during New Hampshire 301 .


Friday qualifying for the New Hampshire 301 will compete in group qualifying knockout format to determine the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Group qualifying will also be used for Saturday’s AutoLotto 200 XFINITY Series race.

Toyota Domination: Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas dominated the Magic Mile in 2015. Carl Edwards was the pole-sitter in both the July and September NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, while JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth won the July and September Cup races, respectively.

Four at Three: Four drivers rank tied for the active lead with three wins at New Hampshire: Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart. The four will try to tie Jeff Burton’s all-time record four victories at the track located 80 miles north of Boston. Johnson (2003) and Busch (2004) are the only drivers who have swept the track. Newman holds the New Hampshire track record with seven pole awards, four more than second-place Brad Keselowski, who has three.

Eddie MacDonald, a late model local fan favorite, will make his third start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the New Hampshire 301. MacDonald has signed on to drive the No. 32 car for team owner Archie St. Hillaire. A native of Rowley, Mass., MacDonald has made nearly 200 career combined starts in NASCAR’s four sub-divisions: XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Modified Tour. He has three K&N wins (twice in 2008 and once in 2009) and is the only three-time champion in the American-Canadian Tour’s Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational, held every September at the Magic Mile. MacDonald will also be in the field for Saturday’s United Site Services 70 K&N Pro Series East race.

Tony Stewart, who is in his last season as a full-time driver, will make one of his last two starts at NHMS in the New Hampshire 301. Stewart is a three-time NHMS winner.

Joey Logano, a native of Middletown, Conn., calls New Hampshire Motor Speedway his home track. Logano picked up his first-career Sprint Cup Series victory as a rookie in the 2009 rain-shortened June race at the Magic Mile, and earned his second career win here in September of 2014.

Chase Elliott will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at NHMS in the New Hampshire 301. Elliott is the son of fan favorite Bill Elliott and is in his rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports. Elliott took over the No. 24 car driven by the legendary Jeff Gordon, who retired last season.

Brad vs. Kyle: While the Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been filled with parity over the last six years, the same can’t be said about the XFINITY Series. Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski have combined to win six of the last seven races at the Magic Mile. In fact, it’s been 10 years since a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver did not win the Saturday XFINITY race. Could this be the year?

Jones-ing for a win: If anyone can knock off Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, it’s likely to be Erik Jones, who has two wins in the XFINITY Series this season – the most of any full-time driver in the series.

All-Star Shootout, the third annual modified All-Star Shootout event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified National and Southern series will take place on Friday at 2:10 p.m. The 30-minute timed segmented shootout will feature 20 cars, representing previous winners and champions from the national and southern touring series along with the 2015 Sunoco Rookies of the Year for both tours.

Ryan Preece, a native of Berlin, Conn., will be pulling double-duty this weekend, running in both the Auto Lotto 200 XFINITY Series race and the New England 100 Whelen Modified Tour events on Saturday. Preece, a former Whelen Modified Tour champion, has never won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but will certainly be a favorite to take home his first victory in one of the most exciting races of the weekend.

Mad Max: Fans should keep an eye on 23-year-old Max Zachem of Preston, Conn., in Saturday’s New England 100 Whelen Modified Tour race. After a 12th-place finish in the 2015 Whelen Modified Tour standings – his first full season – Zachem is currently positioned in second place with five top-10s in his first six races of the 2016 season. Zachem has yet to find victory lane, but will likely be a threat for it on Saturday.

All hail Haley: In what has become a norm in the K&N Pro Series East, a teenager leads the standings coming to New Hamsphire. Following in the footsteps of recent teenage K&N Pro Series East success stories like William Byron, Ben Rhodes, Dylan Kwasniewski and Kyle Larson, 17-year-old Justin Haley has been on fire, notching eight top-10s, including two wins in the first eight races of the season. He comes to the Magic Mile fresh off a win at Columbus Motor Speedway on July 2.


Camper Appreciation Party will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 15 in the Fan Zone. There will be $1 draft beers and $1 hot dogs, while former Boston Bruin turned radio personality Lyndon Byers from the WAAF Morning Show will have giveaways for fans, play music and games, and much more. All proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.

Taste of the Speedways will feature signature food items from each of the eight Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) racetracks throughout the country and will be located under the Main Grandstand to the right of the main elevator. Food items include the New England Fried Lobster Plate, Speedway Breakfast Burger, Clam Bake Sandwich, Magic Mile Sundae and Maple Cotton Candy (all from New Hampshire Motor Speedway); Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshakes from Atlanta Motor Speedway; Loaded Tots from Bristol Motor Speedway; the Speedway Picnic Burger from Charlotte Motor Speedway; the Fried Bologna Sandwich from Kentucky Speedway; the South of the Border Cheesesteak and Busch Brothers Beer Braised Brisket Nachos from Las Vegas Motor Speedway; the Crab Cake Skewer from Sonoma Raceway; and Bacon Cotton Candy and the Queen Wing from Texas Motor Speedway.

The Fan Zone will look a lot like a state fair as it will once again be filled with balloon artists, raffles, caricatures, a Ferris wheel, wildlife encounters, Kids Zone, the Great Clips Mobile Salon, face painting, driver appearances and a plethora of displays and musical entertainment. The Fan Zone is located directly across from the Turn 2 Tunnel.

Trackmaster’s Mobile Kart Racing will return to the Fan Zone, giving fans an opportunity to get behind the wheel for some great bumper-to-bumper action. RC Car racing on the mini-track is also available. Trackmaster’s is open daily until 11 p.m.

Speedway Children’s Charities New Hampshire Chapter will have several weekend activities, including the Laps for Charity on Wednesday, July 13; Ricky Craven’s “One for the Kids” Golf Tournament on Thursday, July 14; Champions Breakfast with Kyle Busch and Chris Buescher, the “Dinner with Tony” Online Auction, and Ride of a Lifetime Auction on Friday, July 15; Track Walk presented by PPG on Saturday, July 16; and the Red Bucket Brigade on Sunday, July 17.

The Miller Lite Lobster Lounge will once again be a featured attraction for all fans. Situated just outside the infield tunnel, the Miller Lite Lobster Lounge is the ideal place to relax before or after the on-track action throughout the weekend. True to its name, the lounge features a variety of authentic lobster dishes, along with other sandwich and salad options for the non-lobster eaters. One of the few sports bars at a NASCAR-affiliated track, the lounge is open to all and promotes a family-friendly environment as well as nightly concerts.

Christmas in July, a first-time campsite decorating contest, encourages campers to decorate their campers and sites to compete in four categories, including Best Light Display, Best Theme, Best Overall Display, and Most Popular Fan Vote. Winners will be announced on Saturday night at 9 p.m. Winning campsites will receive a visit from Santa, Milo, and Elves delivering presents and the Wreath Trophy. Voting will be conducted through the NHMS mobile app and fans will be allowed to vote for each category once per day.


New Hampshire Motor Speedway has sold tickets to 49 states and 12 countries.

Free Renewal Gifts for fans who renew their 2017 race tickets and camping, on property, during the July race weekend will receive free gifts, including a New Hampshire Motor Speedway 24-can cooler (for July renewals) and 7-inch Milo the Moose Bobblehead (for Sept. renewals).

Chance to win a Harley for everyone that renews 2017 tickets by Nov. 15, 2016. Those who renew will be entered to win a new Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout motorcycle and garage passes.


AutoLotto 200: AutoLotto is the first-ever safe, secure, and fun mobile lottery ticket management service. Via a smartphone application available for all iOS and Android devices, users can purchase tickets and monitor winnings remotely, without having to keep track of paper tickets or risk losing money by not checking the winning numbers. The AutoLotto 200 will run on Saturday, July 16.

United Site Services 70: With nearly 70 races in 25 years of NASCAR racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the K&N Pro Series East now has a race sponsor fitting of its long-standing tradition of racing in New England. Celebrating its 25th anniversary season, United Site Services, a partner of the Magic Mile’s for the last 15 years, will be the entitlement sponsor for the United Site Services 70 on July 16.

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