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The premier asphalt touring modified circuit in the nation, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour features NASCAR’s oldest division of racecars contesting top-notch open wheel racing at some of the Northeast’s most storied venues. With a history that dates back to Daytona Beach in 1948, the tour features a passionate, veteran-laden core of drivers as well as emerging young talent.
ALL-TIME TOP 10 MODIFIED DRIVERS | CHAMPIONS | YEAR-BY-YEAR TOP 10 | ALL-TIME RACE RESULTS | TOUR RECORDS | CAREER VICTORIES | CAREER POLES | CAREER LAPS LED | SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR | MOST POPULAR DRIVER | TRACK RECORDS
• The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars are unique to NASCAR racing – the sanctioning body’s only open wheel division. With wide tires, a low center of gravity, and exceptional maneuverability, modifieds produce some of racing’s most intense competition.
• The cars produce 625 HP at 8000 RPM, as compared to 650 at 8,200 for NASCAR XFINITY Series and 850 at 9,000 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. An optional NASCAR-approved spec engine package is available to teams as cost-effective alternative to traditional “built” motors.
• Modifieds have a two-speed transmission in contrast with their four-speed full-fendered counterparts.
• The tour features multiple chassis suppliers, including Chassis Dynamics, LFR, Raceworks and Troyer.
• The first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned event on the beach and road course in Daytona Beach, Florida, was a modified race.
• Prior to the formation of the tour, NASCAR crowned modified champions from 1948-84 via national championship events that were held up and down the East Coast.
• The modern-day NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was set up a regional touring format for the popular style of race cars that were the feature attraction at many race tracks throughout the Northeast. Patterned after the popular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it formalized the procedure used to determine a NASCAR modified champion.
• The circuit began competition in 1985 as the NASCAR Winston Modified Tour and has since competed under entitlement sponsorship from Featherlite (1994-2004) and Whelen (2005-pr.).
Richie Evans in Victory Lane at Thompson in the tour's inaugural event during 1985 Icebreaker weekend. Howie Hodge
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR HISTORY
• The first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race was held on March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Richie Evans, named the Greatest Modified Driver in NASCAR history in 2003, won that first race and the inaugural title.
• A total of 29 championship events were held the first year. Since then the tour has maintained a schedule of between 14 and 27 races each season.
• The Whelen Modified Tour has raced at 38 different speedways in 13 states in its first 31 seasons. Thompson, which has played host to the most events, and Riverhead Raceway, have sanctioned at least one series race every year of tour competition.
• Jimmy Spencer became the first multiple champion, winning titles in 1986 and 1987, and Mike Stefanik won the first of his record seven championships in 1989.
• The tour visited a superspeedway for the first time in 1990 with New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the first road course event was held in 1996 at Watkins Glen International.
• Tony Hirschman won the tour title in 1995, the first of his five championships.
• Hirschman and Stefanik would combine to win nine more championships over the next 11 seasons. Hirschman won in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Stefanik took top honors in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006.
• The tour held its first combination race with the newly-formed NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour in 2005 at Martinsville Speedway. The annual tradition has continued at Martinsville through 2009 and has continued since then at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• In 2007 the Whelen Modified Tour made its first appearance in the Midwest as it held a race in Mansfield, Ohio, and the 2011 season featured the first international event with a trip to Delaware, Ontario, Canada.
• The All-Star Shootout non-points invitational debuted at New Hampshire in 2014 and features champions, race winners and Sunoco Rookies of the Year from both modified tours.
• In 2015 Doug Coby joined Hirschman and Stefanik as the only drivers to earn three or more titles in tour history. Coby’s latest triumph followed previous championships in 2012 and 2014.
• The tour has produced several drivers and crew members who have climbed up the ladder to the three NASCAR national series among them Brett Bodine, Ken Bouchard, Donny Lia, Mike McLaughlin, Jeff Fuller, Steve Park, Jimmy Spencer and Stefanik as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs Greg Zipadelli and Tommy Baldwin Jr.
Mike Stefanik at the 2006 postseason banquet with his nine NASCAR championship rings - seven from the Whelen Modified Tour and two from the K&N Pro Series East. Howie & Mary Hodge