The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to make history with its inaugural event at Delaware Speedway in Ontario on Sunday, Sept. 4.
The Delaware 150 will be the first race outside of the United States in the 27-year history of the Whelen Modified Tour. A half-mile oval located east of Detroit, Mich., and west of Toronto, Ont., Delaware will become the 38th facility that the Whelen Modified Tour has raced at since the first year of competition in 1985.
The Whelen Modified Tour will also become just the second of NASCAR’s current touring series to compete internationally. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West contested races previously in Canada, and its last trip outside of American borders was to Montegi City, Japan in 1999.
Delaware might be unfamiliar to the Whelen Modified Tour, but the track is no stranger to NASCAR racing. Delaware is a sanctioned member of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and has welcomed the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series since 2009.
Kennington to represent Canada: Defending NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion D.J. Kennington will represent his host country in the Delaware 150. The winner of the first two Canadian Tire Series events at Delaware, the St. Thomas, Ont., native will be a Modified rookie in this race, but will be the only driver with any prior experience at the track. Kennington has 10 career triumphs in the Canadian Tire Series and is second in the current season standings.
Bonsignore’s busy weekend: Justin Bonsignore will have a weekend full of racing and travel. Bonsignore is in a tight battle for the track title at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway and remains in contention for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state championship in New York, so he will stay on Long Island to compete at the quarter-mile bullring on Saturday night. Following the race, he’ll drive up to Ontario to for the Delaware 150 on Sunday. He’s up to a season-best 10th in the Whelen Modified Tour standings following a runner-up effort last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Derrick Hill will practice and qualifying Bonsignore’s No. 51 Saturday in Delaware.
The Race: The Delaware 150 will be the 11th of 16 races for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2011 and the first in the 27-year history of the Tour outside of the United States.
The Procedure: The starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (75 miles).
The Track: Delaware Speedway is a half-mile, paved track located just west of London, Ontario. For more than 50 years, Delaware has been the home to some of the finest stock car racing in Canada. Its unique natural amphitheatre-like setting allows maximum enjoyment for the fans. The track has undergone extensive remodeling over the past three years under the ownership of Arlen Scherba.
Home Tracks: Gresel Leads Delaware Late Models
Andrew Gresel has the inside track toward the Delaware Speedway track title as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season winds down.
Gresel led Matt Pritiko by 76 points following racing on Aug. 26 in the track’s headliner division, the FT Garage Late Models. In the latest Whelen All-American Series standings posted on Aug. 23, Gresel ranked fourth in Ontario, 112 points behind province leader Ron Quesnelle from Barrie (Ont.) Speedway.
Delaware’s other division leaders include: Barry Newman (POWERADE Modified), Steve Smith (Dynamic Fluids Super Stock), Chad Rijnen (Demar Aggregates Truck) and Steve Book (GAW Recycling Enduro).
Last Time Out: Bristol
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman drove away with the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
Newman successfully defending his 2010 Bristol win and registered his fourth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory overall.
Justin Bonsignore finished second in the annual combination race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Todd Szegedy rallied from an eventful day for third place.
James Civali and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five. It marked the first top-five finish of Emerling’s rookie season and the best finish of the year for Civali.
Frank Fleming was the top finishing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver at eighth overall and will be credited with a win on the tour. It is his first career victory.
Up Next: Thompson
Perhaps the most anticipated and talked about event of the season is up next as the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours will meet in Connecticut for the UNOH Showdown on Sunday, Sept. 11.
After years of the northern-based Whelen Modified Tour going down south to compete in events, its sister series, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour, will make its first trek north of the Mason-Dixon Line for the inaugural special event at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
Fans will not only be treated to many of the best Modified drivers east of the Mississippi, but will get to see at least 300 laps of racing. Both Tours will contest individual points-paying 125-lap races at the .625-mile speedway. The top 12 finishers from both races will then transfer to a green flag 50-lap, exhibition event pitting North versus South.
Practice and qualifying for both Tours will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10. The NWSMT 125 is slated for 12:45 p.m., on Sunday with the NWMT 125 to follow at 2:30 p.m. The UNOH Showdown will take the green at 5:30 p.m.