The schedule said there were three races on the docket, but the talk throughout New England leading up to race weekend was on ‘the big one.‘
The Musket 250.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been the big stage for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since Mike McLaughlin went to Victory Lane in the inaugural Sunoco Winston 125 on Sunday, Sept. 2, 1990.
Sixty-eight Whelen Modified Tour had been held at the “Magic Mile” prior to the Musket 250, but arguably none was bigger than what was on deck for Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.
In the first year since the fall NASCAR Cup Series date was moved to Las Vegas, New Hampshire put on its inaugural Fall Full Throttle Weekend. The Whelen Modified Tour shared the bill with the penultimate races of the NASCAR Pinty‘s Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East seasons.
The Musket 250 set up as the longest race in the history of the Whelen Modified Tour, and one that would have championship implications.
Justin Bonsignore entered the event with seven wins in 13 races as he chased his first tour championship. He held a 79-point lead over Chase Dowling and 105-point cushion on Timmy Solomito. Doug Coby sat in fourth, 115 points out, as his chase for a fifth straight title was rapidly running out of time.
And Ryan Preece made the drive up from Richmond, where he was running in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Friday, to jump in the No. 77.