Open Wheel Series To Make First Appearance At “World’s Fastest Half Mile”
Daytona Beach, FL — Six teams from NASCAR’s Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours will head to Tennessee to participate in a tire test session at Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 24 in preparation for an event at the famed .533-mile concrete short track later this summer.
The NASCAR Modifieds will visit the high banks of Bristol for the first time in either series’ history at a combination race on Wednesday, Aug. 19. The primary purpose for bringing teams in next month will be to test Hoosier tires, the series’ official tire supplier. The August Bristol date marks the first time that either the NASCAR Whelen Modified or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours have raced on a completely concrete surface.
“The Bristol Modified race is an important event on the 2009 schedule,” said Chad Little, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series Director. ”Since the cars have not raced at Bristol in the past, we felt it was important to coordinate a tire test with Hoosier.”
Bristol features significantly more banking – between 24 and 30 degrees in the turns – than the venues in which the Modified series regularly compete. The test session will also serve to evaluate the performance of the race car as a whole.
“We will examine tires and other chassis and engine items,” Little said. ”We want this race to be exciting and safe for everyone and the tire test will help determine a good baseline for all competitors.”
NASCAR and Hoosier have invited three teams from each series for the test. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers invited include: defending series champion Ted Christopher, past champion Todd Szegedy, and Ronnie Silk. Reigning champion Brian Loftin, past titlist L.W. Miller, and Bobby Hutchens were selected to represent the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
While specific teams were selected to test on the track, the session will be open for all teams from both series to attend and observe.
NASCAR’s suspension on 2009 testing for the three national series and the NASCAR Camping World Regional Series, announced last November, does not apply to either the NASCAR Whelen Modified or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours.
In a format that has been used in recent years at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours will run together in a combination race at Bristol on Aug. 19, a date they’ll share with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Sources: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR PR