NASCAR’S highest ranks return to the Magic Mile July 19-21 for the track’s annual Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend. The weekend is jam-packed with exciting racing action from U.S. Legends Cars all the way up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, where fans are able to see the stars of the sport battling it out for 301 laps.
The weekend starts out on Friday with the track’s Cape Cod Cafe Pole Day featuring a day full of practices for all four premier divisions, qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, a timed 30-minute NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour All Star Shootout, and the inaugural “Friday Night Dirt Duels” on the new quarter mile dirt track on NHMS grounds, located directly behind the Northeast Motorsports Museum.
Connecticut native, Ryan Preece, will be returning to his roots and competing in the All Star Shootout on Friday, joining his weekly MENCS competitor, Ryan Newman, among many others. Preece, in his rookie season with JTG Daugherty Racing, has one top 5 finish, three top 10 finishes and five top 10 finishes in his first 19 starts. This includes his season-best third-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season. Preece will be looking to impress his hometown crowd over the course of the weekend and has in recent years, scoring impressive finishes in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Whelen Modified Tour in years past.
Another Connecticut native and our reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, Joey Logano, will also be honored by the Northeast Motorsports Museum on Friday night for his recent accomplishments in the sport and his charitable endeavors over the years. This race weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of Logano’s first career win in the Cup Series and this is the driver’s first trip back to NHMS after capturing the championship title. Logano and his wife, Brittany, will both be in attendance at the event, celebrating the driver’s accomplishments as a unified family.
The Dirt Duels will be run on the new “flat track”, a quarter-mile dirt track that will be featuring racing under the lights. This will be the first race under the lights in the track’s history. NASCAR regulars, Corey Lajoie and Daniel Hemric, will be competing in the 35-lap U.S. Legends Cars International event, and Ryan Blaney will be the Grand Marshall for the event. $2,000 will be awarded to the winner, which is the biggest purse for a Legends race in the New England region this year. Practices begin at 6:00 pm with heat races to follow at 7:00 pm. The USAC Dirt Midgets will also be racing a 30-lap feature on Friday night. The flat track is “standing room only” and fans are strongly encouraged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets to sit on. $3 draft beer and hot dogs will be sold and tickets include garage AND pit access and cost $10 for adults. Children 12 and under get free admission to the event. This is a great and affordable way to see some of the biggest stars of the sport battling it out with our local short track heroes!
Friday’s racing action is followed by a “tripleheader” Saturday, featuring the Whelen Modified Tour Eastern Propane & Oil 100 at 2:00 pm, the Xfinity Series’ Roxor 200 at 4:00 pm and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East United Site Services 70 at 6:45 pm. Christopher Bell is the defending winner of the Xfinity Series race, Chase Dowling is the defending winner of the Whelen Modified Tour race and Tyler Ankrum is last year’s winner of the K&N race.
Sunday is the Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301, the premier event of the race weekend featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The race will begin at 3:00 pm, with driver introductions beginning at 2:20 pm and a pre-race show by country group, Love and Theft, at 12:00 pm.
Sunday marks the first career MENCS starts for two local drivers, Andy Seuss and Austin Theriault. Seuss, from Hampstead, New Hampshire, is a 2-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion and has also raced part-time in the ARCA Series in recent years. Both drivers will be racing for the small (yet mighty) Rick Ware Racing team.
Theriault is from Fort Kent, ME, was the 2017 ARCA champion. Theriault dominated the 2017 season, picking up a handful of wins. Race fans across New England were shocked when Austin announced that he would not be racing in the ARCA Racing Series in 2018 due to funding troubles. This was a roadblock in his career, but Austin has kept focused and has made some appearances in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series since, as well as making local appearances in Pro All Star Series North events and taking on a mentorship role/ownership stake at Crazy Horse Racing, which is based out of South Paris, Maine. Theriault’s car will be sponsored by both Bangor Savings Bank and Cross Insurance, who have supported Theriault throughout this racing career.
The track is also the “home track” for some other big names in the Cup Series, including Go Fas Racing team owner, Archie St. Hillaire. Archie hails from Old Orchard Beach, Maine and makes frequent trips back to the Pine Tree state. Both Archie and Go Fas Racing driver, Corey Lajoie, will be making a public appearance this upcoming Wednesday, July 17th, at Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine. Corey’s #32 car will be displayed and it will be sponsored by a handful of local business in Maine, including Weirs Buick GMC. Archie and Corey graciously donated a replica hood from Corey’s famous Old Spice “beard car” to a local fundraiser raising money for a local racing family going through an unbelievable hardship, the McKeen family. The McKeen family calls local NASCAR Home Track, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, home. Both Archie and Corey will be presenting this hood at Bentley’s to the highest bidder and the winner of the hood, which will be a special and commemorative moment for all involved. This event will be taking place from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Wednesday and Austin Theriault will also be in attendance.
Kyle Larson’s spotter, Derek Kneeland, is a Windham, Maine native and has his own “fan club” in New England. Larson has been fast in both qualifying and practice in recent years at the track, but is yet to capture a win at NHMS. Kneeland is looking to help guide the #42 team to the checkered on Sunday.
This race weekend is the most anticipated race weekend in New England, providing a well-selected and wide variety of racing that fans from across the country (and even Canada!) will enjoy over the span of the 3-day weekend. Come out and support your favorite drivers on the biggest stage in New England. See you there!