Monday January 2, 2006



By Brian Danko                


The 2006 NASCAR Whelen modified tour schedule was released and one must wonder the stability of the tour when it looks at a 14-race schedule that NASCAR has tentatively set forth.

The season as always will open and close at the 5/8ths mile Thompson International Speedway, which will also host three other races including not one but two on a Thursday night, something I'm sure will not fly well with the teams on the tour.

The Stafford Motor Speedway hosts their traditional four races including the popular Spring Sizzler in April and the Carquest Fall Final in October.

The Waterford Speedbowl rounds out the Connecticut modified tour with its lone race on Saturday, July 22nd.

The New Hampshire International Speedway also plays to the tour twice, both on Nextel Cup weekends, the first one on Friday, July 14th and again on Friday, September 15th.

Lone races on the schedule include one race at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island and one race at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

When NASCAR officials spoke at the banquet just a couple of weeks ago they said most would be pleased with the schedule. One certainly finds this schedule hardly anything to get excited about.

The Riverhead Raceway, which for years a staple on the series is only having one event instead of their usual two while the Waterford Speedway is losing one race from the last couple of years.

The Jennerstown Speedway and the Seekonk Speedway are not apart of the 2006 schedule. That is a loss not only for the tour but for NASCAR as Seekonk has already announced that they are not part of the NASCAR weekly series and rumors are that Jennerstown may also dump the NASCAR weekly series.

There are too many gaps in the schedule, which kicks off on Sunday, April 9th with the Thompson Icebreaker and then waits three weeks for the Stafford Spring Sizzler on Sunday, April 30th.

The tour is off then almost one month before returning to the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, May 26th.

The tour is then off one month plus a couple days before heading back to the Thompson Speedway for a Thursday night event on June 29th.

The modified tour finally leaves the state of Connecticut for the first time on Friday, July 14th for a 100-lap race at New Hampshire before returning to the state one week later at Waterford on the 22nd of July.

The month of August finds three race with the first one on Saturday, August 5th at the Riverhead Raceway and then the following Friday, August 11th at Stafford and then less than a week later on Thursday, August 17th at the Thompson Speedway.

The month of September opens up at the Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, September 2nd. The tour heads back to Thompson for what should be the Thompson 300 on September 10th, but there have been some rumblings about that, that it may include the True Value series but one finds that hard to believe.

The mods return to the New Hampshire Speedway on Friday, the 15th to close out September.

The modified tour concludes the 2006 schedule with two races, one on Sunday, October 1st at the Stafford Motor Speedway and the other at the Thompson International Speedway on the 15th.

The tour races by days include five Sundays, three Saturdays, four Fridays and two Thursdays.

Now in defense to NASCAR, it does say that the schedule is tentative but one must highly doubt that any events will be added to a weak schedule.