RIDGEWAY, Va. – We’re still a few months away from racing at Martinsville Speedway, but excitement is already building. For the first time in 10 years, the Whelen Modified Tour will return to the paperclip.
“Modifieds have so much history here; they’re just synonymous with Martinsville. We’d run them for years and years and guys would come down here from the North,” said Martinsville Speedway track president Clay Campbell.
Modified racing started back in 1960 in Martinsville, drawing the interest of young and old, resulting in huge crowds at what was the equivalent of the Daytona 500 for the series. They raced at the track every year until 2002, with a total of 116 races over 4 decades. Now the younger generation is hoping to keep the interest going as they prepare for the triumphant return of a different pace of racing this spring.
“I’m excited about it because I have a lot of passion towards racing and passion towards modifieds. It’s something... there’s a lot of heart in the Northeast and a lot of people excited about coming back down to Martinsville,” said Ryan Preece. He raced a Cup Series car full-time in 2019 and is the 2008 Whelen Series Martinsville winner.
“It’s something that would definitely be on my bucket list to go do and I think I’d have fun after driving it after today and knowing in my mind that I’m not just showing up and racing, really takes a little pressure off of me mentally thinking can I drive it, what’s it like, what’s it feel like,” said 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick.
The MAXPRO Window Films 200 will kick off the weekend of full of activities on May 8th under the lights, with the Cup Series to follow on Saturday night, May 9.