PIT BOX: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ponies up for Inaugural Granite State Derby

Robert Roffulo

(Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR) For the first time since 1998, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is returning to New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway this Saturday night. The 0.375-mile paved oval welcomes the Tour back for the Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation, the first of four Tour races this […]




(Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

For the first time since 1998, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is returning to New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway this Saturday night.

The 0.375-mile paved oval welcomes the Tour back for the Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation, the first of four Tour races this season to be promoted by JDV Productions and an event that will pay out almost $90,000 in posted awards.

The Inaugural Granite State Derby, the first race of the new Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup bonus program, will also feature a Kentucky Derby theme in its pre-race ceremonies.

RELATED: Watch the Mods at Lee USA Speedway on FloRacing

This marks the sixth time the Tour has visited Lee USA Speedway dating back to 1993. That first race was won one of the Tour’s greatest stars, Reggie Ruggiero, who led 94 of 102 laps on his way to victory. Other Tour winners at Lee USA Speedway include Jamie Tomaino (1994), Tim Connolly (1995), Rick Fuller (1996) and Ed Flemke Jr. (1998).

A stacked entry list featuring an even mix of Modified Tour regulars and local Riverhead heroes are set to descend onto the historic quarter-mile bullring on Saturday evening with the goal of building momentum heading into the summer.

What to watch for:

Inaugural Granite State Derby Logo White Outline

For the first time since his victory to open the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in February at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, Matt Hirschman is back with the Tour this Saturday night at Lee USA Speedway.

Hirschman, one of the top Modified stars of the Northeast, will be in search of his sixth career Tour victory. While no active Tour competitor has competed in one of the previous Tour events at Lee, Hirschman is among a select handful who has raced there and even has a victory at the track.

His competition includes Doug Coby, who returns to the seat of Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7 after winning last Saturday’s race at New York’s Riverhead Raceway. Justin Bonsignore will try to get back on track after another rough outing due to a mechanical issue, while Eric Goodale looks to pad his Tour points lead.

Anthony Nocella will attempt his season debut after a part failure forced him to sit out the second race of the season at Richmond Raceway. J.B. Fortin also returns to action after opting to skip Riverhead following the birth of his daughter, Joelle.

Other Tour regulars scheduled to be in action include Ron Silk, Kyle Bonsignore, Dave Sapienza, Austin Beers, Jon McKennedy and Craig Lutz. Spencer Davis makes his third attempt of the season, while Jake Johnson is back in the Boehler Racing Enterprises No. 3 for his second start of the year.

The complete entry list for the inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation can be found here.

Cars line up before the New Smyrna Visitors Bureau 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour during night 2 of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Florida on February 12, 2022. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Cars line up before the New Smyrna Visitors Bureau 200 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour during Night 2 of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on Feb. 12, 2022. (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

RACE FACTS

Race Inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation
Date Saturday, May 21, 2022
Track Lee USA Speedway
Layout 0.375-mile paved oval
Location Lee, New Hampshire
Start time 6:30 p.m. ET
Laps 175
Posted awards $89,950
TV channel USA (Delayed: Friday, May 28, 11 a.m. ET)
Live stream FloRacing (Live)

Schedule: Garage opens at 11 a.m. ET … Final practice from 1:40-2:40 p.m. ET … Single-car qualifying (two laps) at 5:30 p.m. ET … Race at 7 p.m. ET

Qualifying: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Starting field for the inaugural Granite State Derby presented by USA Insulation is limited to 28 starters including Provisional Positions. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race setup.

Tire allotment: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is 12 tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is six (6) tires, any position.

PIT BOX: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ponies up for Inaugural Granite State Derby

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