PIT BOX: Whelen Modified Tour On The Clock

Paul Lambert
·5 min read

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour kicks off its 2021 season Thursday at Martinsville after a wait of nearly six months.

After a nine-race season in 2020, the Tour returns to a full schedule in 2021 that begins at the historic half-mile oval with the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 (8 p.m. ET, TrackPass).

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With fans in the stands at Martinsville Speedway (buy tickets) and a full field of cars ready to roll, the NASCAR’s oldest division will add another chapter to the historic venue.

Fans can watch the race live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Dis 17 743631 Coca Cola 250 V6gb 4pres
Dis 17 743631 Coca Cola 250 V6gb 4pres

After nearly 11 years without racing at the flat Virginia half-mile, the playing field for this year‘s event is rather wide-open. Only nine drivers who competed in the 2010 race are on the entry list for this year.

The driver to keep an eye out for, however, is obvious: Justin Bonsignore.

He finished second to Bobby Santos III in the last race the Tour ran at Martinsville. Dating back to 2019, Bonsignore has finished inside the top five in 15 straight races and 20 straight times inside the top 10.

Bonsignore also looks to defend his title from 2020 in which he set the Tour record for best average finish in a season.

And of course, two wild-cards in Thursday‘s 200-lapper will be Ryan Newman and Ryan Preece. Both drivers have had success at Martinsville. Newman has gone to Victory Lane at Martinsville in the Cup Series (2012), while Preece will be the only past Modified winner in the field, having done so back in 2008.

Doug Coby is only a year removed from his sixth tour title, while Craig Lutz, Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk showed the ability to break up the Coby-Bonsignore domination of the championship trophy. Two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss is also entered in Thursday’s race. Seuss was sixth at New Hampshire in his only tour start last year.

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE

Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200

PLACE

Martinsville Raceway in Martinsville, Virginia

DATE

Thursday, April 8, 2021

TIME

8 p.m. ET

TV/LIVE STREAM

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live) / NBCSN – Wednesday, April 14, 5 p.m. ET

TRACK LAYOUT

Half-mile paved oval

LAPS

200

MILES

100

EVENT SCHEDULE

Friday, March 12: Garage opens: 9:45 a.m. ET; Practice: 2:30-4 p.m.; Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200: 8 p.m.

TWITTER

@NASCARRoots, @MartinsvilleSwy, @_TrackPass

HASHTAG

#VARacingLovers200

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CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 is limited to limited to 32 starters including provisionals. The field will be set by qualifying (1-26) and provisional process per the entry blank (27-32) for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200. In the event that qualifying as stated on the entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2021 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. (EIRI) Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time.

RACE PIT STOP: Live pit stop procedure – Teams may not take tires and fuel in the same stop. Maximum five crew members over the wall.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is twelve (12) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event.

The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.

QUALIFYING AND SPECIAL AWARDS

$400 Phil Kurze Halfway Leader Award presented by Josten‘s per event award to the race leader at the halfway point of the event, regardless if the race is running under green or yellow.

$600 Hoosier Tire “Lap Leader” per event award to the eligible car owner whose driver leads the most laps in each event. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Hard Charger” per event award to the highest finishing eligible driver who advances the most positions during the course of the race. In the case of a tie, the highest finishing driver will receive the award.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Most Improved” per event award to the eligible new team/organization whose driver improves the most positions during the course of the race. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event. If money is not awarded during this event, funds will rollover to the next event and will continue to rollover until an eligible new team/organization claims the money.

$1,000 Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole per event award to the driver with the fastest qualifying time eligible to participate under the Manufacturers’ Prize Money Conditions.

$550 Sunoco Spec Fuel award divided: 1st-$300 5th-$150 10th-$100.

$3,500 Whelen Engineering “Winner of the Race” award to the winning driver.

Whelen Non-Starter award will be paid to the first 15 competitors throughout the season who pass inspection, practice, attempt to qualify, but fail to make the feature event.