NASCAR Drivers Supporting Grassroots Racing


Matthew Wiernasz Photo

LOUDON, NH (WWLP)-  Last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, fans got to see grassroots with racing with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.  On Friday night for the first time, fans got to see the USAC DMA Midgets along with the U.S. Legends cars on The Flat Track with the Dirt Duels.  

Last Thursday, Christopher Bell ran in the Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT.  He told 22News how much he liked the track. 

“Yeah, I did enjoy last night. It was fun, man. They have a great following there and it’s really cool to see how many people show up, how many cars, how many fans and the atmosphere there is really, really special.”  Said Bell 

Ryan Blaney was the Grand Marshall for the Dirt Duels on The Flat Track on Friday night at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He told 22News on Friday what it meant for grassroots racing. 

” It’s neat. I am excited for it myself. I am excited to see the race track. I haven’t seen it yet. I raced Legends cars growing up. Didn’t ran them on dirt. It’s just something neat. I am excited to go watch and be able to do that.” Said Blaney 

Kyle Larson has always enjoyed coming to Loudon. He told 22News that he feels the modified race a lot of times is the coolest race of the weekend. 

” All the mechanics, All the drivers all stay in tune of what’s going on with the race track when the modifieds are out there. They always put on a heck of a show. The way their cars race. It’s really really good here at Loudon.” Said Larson 

Larson would not mind hopping into a modified in the future at Loudon. 
Brad Keselowski is a big supporter of Short Track Grassroots Racing. He gave his thoughts to 22News. 

” There is certainly a gap there between the local tracks and the upper Sherline of the sport. There is a number of reasons for that. Some are just innocent and some are not. I would say that at the end of the day. We need the grassroots. The grassroots are important to our sport. I feel fortunate to have played a role in supporting that with owning some Late Model teams.” Said Keselowski 

” It’s in all of our hands and that’s not drivers. It’s everyone that enters this garage from the fans that maybe bring their kids to the race and experience it for the first time to media members that reach out on social media to new fans and tell them whether the track has lights or not to us drivers and NASCAR officials. Those interactions are how we pay it forward to this sport for the privileges and opportunities that it has given us. I think they are very important. The grassroots level is just one of many ways for us to pay it forward.” 

Kevin Harvick has been supporting the SK Modifieds at Stafford Motor Speedway for the last two seasons with a bonus contingency program.  Harvick told 22News how important it is to support local short track racing.
 “Yeah, I think the momentum over the last few years has been really good since we kind of voiced our opinions, and I think when you see NASCAR and NBC and the campaign that they have going on right now and you see the guys in the garage going to the short tracks, for us this year we’ve done contingency programs with one of the short track series.  We have one in Stafford, and that’s been way more impactful than anything I think we’ve ever done, just because it’s a weekly help, and it’s not a lot of money, but it’s a big impact on the competitors.” Said Harvick 

 ” Just showing them that you care makes a difference and makes them feel involved.  In this part of the country, I think a lot of people overlook it for racing in general just because of how much racing and how many racing enthusiasts there are, racing fans there are in this part of the country.  The Oxford 250 really opened my eyes to that, and a lot of those fans have followed us here and come back every year and show their support and still talk about us going up there.” 

Harvick talked about how well the program has worked at Stafford Motor Speedway. 

” The Stafford connection for us has been really good.  Ryan (Preece) obviously started that on Twitter, and those guys at Stafford did a great job of kind of bantering back and forth.  But honestly, they’re some of the best promotors in the country and do a great job for their competitors and give their competitors a great place to race.” Said Harvick 

The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 19, 2020. 

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