NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Races Saturday, Helping Headline 13-Division Card For Two Days
Race Advance by Souza Media’s Jeff Brown
New England race fans have endured back-to-back weekends of wet weather. This weekend’s promise of thunder in the hills of western New Hampshire, however, is far more welcome.
Monadnock Speedway opens its gates and grandstands on Saturday for the second Duel at the Dog Weekend, with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour anchoring an action-packed lidlifter at the Winchester, N.H. oval on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.
NASCAR’s only open-wheeled division is one of a baker’s dozen of feature races spread out over two days at the track dubbed “Mad Dog.”
The teams and talent of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour already have two races under their belts in 2023, with season-opening tilts in Florida and Virginia setting the stage for the Tour’s most rigorous itinerary in years.
Saturday’s Duel at the Dog 200, though, is the first NWMT race of the year in the division’s native Northeast, staged at one of the famed bullrings that earned the Modifieds their place in racing lore.
Three-time NWMT champion Justin Bonsignore is the defending winner of the Duel at the Dog 200, slipping past Matt Hirschman to take the checkers in last June’s thriller. A four-time winner at Monadnock and winner of the track’s last two Tour appearances, Bonsignore is third in the Tour standings, only one point out of the lead. The Holtsville, N.Y. racer will be gunning for a third-straight “Mad Dog” win on Saturday evening.
Bonsignore’s path to victory, though, is anything but easy. Hirschman will be on hand to avenge last year’s late-race loss. Reigning NWMT champion Jon McKennedy, six-time Tour titlist Doug Coby, recent race winners Ron Silk and Austin Beers, and local hotshoes Matthew Kimball and Brian Robie are just some of the Tour talent making their way to Monadnock this weekend.
Sweetening the pot for the Duel at the Dog 200 are some of the special programs and bonuses established last year by promotional partner JDV Productions. The Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup, a three-race mini-championship worth $5,000 to the victorious car owner, opens with the Monadnock event and includes the next two JDV Productions-promoted Whelen Modified Tour features at Lee USA Speedway and Claremont Motorsports Park. Hirschman claimed last year’s inaugural Granite State Short Track Cup for car owner Roy Hall and PeeDee Motorsports, and “Big Money Matt” will try to repeat that honor in 2023.
The Duel at the Dog 200 caps off a busy Saturday on the high banks, with seven feature races slated for the opening day of the two-day affair. Regional touring favorites like the EVOLVE Pro Truck Challenge, the Northeastern Midget Association’s NEMA Lites, and the New England Dwarf Car Series make up a diverse lineup for Saturday’s show, joined by the track Pure Stocks, NELCAR Legends and Pro 4 Modifieds.
Sunday’s program has a more local look, as the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association helps to open Monadnock’s weekly racing season. An 80-lap feature for the NHSTRA Modifieds, as well as big features for the NHSTRA Late Models and Outlaws, headline a day that also includes main events for the track’s weekly heroes and rising stars. Sunday racing also includes the Young Guns, Six Shooters and Mini Stocks.
JDV Productions is also pleased to bring back the JDV Experience for 2023. The unique all-access pass provides fans with opportunities they will not want to miss.
With a balance of New England’s best touring competition and Monadnock’s own local heroes, plus JDV Productions’ commitment to bringing fans a world-class experience at regional short tracks, the Duel at the Dog Weekend is a can’t-miss event.
Saturday’s Duel at the Dog racing program is headlined by the visiting NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with special appearances by the EVOLVE Pro Truck Challenge, New England Dwarf Car Series, New England Pro 4 Modifieds, NEMA Lites, and weekly Pure Stocks. Qualifying heats kick off at 1:30pm. General admission seating is $45 for adults, and children 12 and under are free. JDV Experience All-Access tickets are $99 each.
Sunday’s card features the NHSTRA Modifieds along with a full slate of weekly divisions including NHSTRA Late Models, NHSTRA Outlaws, Mini Stocks, Six Shooters and Young Guns. A fan appreciation party is planned for 12:45pm with heats to follow. General admission seating is $25 for adults, and children 12 and under are free. JDV Experience All-Access tickets are $79 each for Sunday only. All pit passes will be sold at the track. However, JDV is offering weekend general admission tickets for $65 for adults.
For more information on JDV Productions, visit JDVProductions.com and follow on social media for the latest updates throughout the season, including updates from the track on race day with feature winner posts.