The rumble and roar of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is heading back to New Hampshire.
On Saturday, May 21, the inaugural Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway – promoted by JDV Productions – will take place right in the thick of a busy month of May for Whelen Modified Tour teams.
The series will visit Riverhead Raceway on May 14, Lee on May 21 and Jennerstown Speedway on May 28. The final two events in the month (Lee and Jennerstown) are events promoted by the JDV group.
The Whelen Modified Tour Granite State Derby 175 will be one of the most anticipated races of the 16-event schedule for the 2022 season, especially due to the strategy that is sure to be a factor. Lee is known for its abrasive surface that eats up Hoosier racing rubber, which will produce quite the exciting battle. Some will pit early for tires and try to hang on out front late, while others will blast their fresh tires on in the final stages and try to make their way through the field.
The visit is the first time since 1988 that the Whelen Modified Tour competes at the New Hampshire track. In five previous events, five different drivers went to Victory Lane.
“Lee USA Speedway produces some of the best racing in New England,” Josh Vanada, owner of JDV Productions, said. “The track has so much character and it pushes drivers to their limit, while they try to not step over the line, and have equipment left to battle for the win at the end. With all of the different divisions racing during the day, and the Whelen Modified Tour headlining the show, race fans should have this one marked on their calendar.”
The race is the first of three in the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup (WGSSTC) for the 2022 season. Through a partnership between JDV Productions and Whelen Engineering, the bonus program for the WGSSTC includes over $15,000 in posted awards, including $5,000 to the car owner of the driver who scores the most points combined over the three races.
Outside of points from each event, multiple bonuses are also on the line at each specific race. The Invader Bonus, Hard Charger Bonus, Lap Leader Bonus and Consistency Bonus will all be offered. Between the four of them, an additional $2,500 is on the line. For $200 per race, the Challenger Bonus will be paid to the highest finishing driver in each event who has competed in less than 50% of the races on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the past two seasons. The Hard Charger Bonus, also for $200 per race, will be awarded to the driver who improves the most positions from their starting to finishing position.
The Lap Leader Bonus will be set for $500, distributed to the driver who leads the most total laps over the three events. The Consistency Bonus, offered to the driver who scores the lowest average finish across the three races, will earn $800. Both the Lap Leader Bonus and the Consistency Bonus will be paid out following the final of the three races.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour major contenders for the race will be those who have set themselves as favorites going into the year. Three-time champion Justin Bonsignore, Patrick Emerling, Eric Goodale, Jon McKennedy, Tommy Catalano and others should be up near the front of the field. Some of the contenders have also run previous laps at Lee in other Tour-Type Modified races, which may give them a slight edge.
Multiple drivers who are not Whelen Modified Tour regulars are also planning on running. Former Seekonk Speedway Legends Cars champion and Pro Stock and Late Model winner Jake Johnson will be competing in the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3 machine in his second Tour start. Names like Jacob Perry and Steven Dickey are also planning on competing. Perry picked up a Tour-Type Modified win at Lee last year and should have enough experience on his side to hit the ground running right from lap one.
Race day for the Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway also includes multiple other house divisions, providing a mix of just about everything for race fans. From Pro Stocks with the Granite State Pro Stock Series, to the winged warriors of the NEMA Lites, to the Pro 4 Modifieds and the New Hampshire Mini Stock competitors with the NHSTRA division, there is something for everyone.
Advance tickets are now available at JDVProductions.com. General admission tickets for the event are $40 per person. Fans can also purchase exclusive passes to the JDV Experience – which will include preferred inside seating in turn one. The Experience also includes a private autograph session with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers, an inspection tour in the pits, a $10 coupon towards the Lee USA Speedway concessions, two free beer vouchers and a JDV Experience hat. This exclusive opportunity is available for $150 per person.
The race day schedule for Lee includes the start of practice just after 12 p.m. for house divisions. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour roar will take to the track from 1:40-2:40 p.m. for final practice. Qualifying heat races will begin just after. The Whelen Modified Tour will complete Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Qualifying at 5:30 p.m. and the green flag for the Granite State Derby 175 is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
For more information on JDV Productions, visit JDVProductions.com and follow-on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest news and updates.
Press Release for JDV Productions, by Souza Media