Race weekend is here and it's the last hurrah for the NASCAR September series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Tim Sink, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, says this season finale has fans in a celebratory mood, even if it is a little bittersweet.
Track owners announced earlier this year that the Loudon speedway would not host the September race starting in 2018. Speedway Motorsports owns Las Vegas Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and plans to move the fall Monster Energy and Camping World Truck Series races to Las Vegas next fall.
Sink attributes an uptick in ridership on the chamber’s NASCAR shuttle, between NHTI in Concord and the track, to the fact that this is a September curtain call.
“I think that is because people are looking at this as, well, this is the last time we’re going to get to do a major NASCAR race in September in New Hampshire.”
Sink says the September race date has historically been a well-attended event. He adds that it’s a beautiful time of the year in the state to watch the motor sports competition on the oval.
Sink is hopeful that Loudon and the Speedway can organize a major country music festival next summer to mitigate some of the loss from missing the September race in 2018.
“Most people associate New Hampshire Motor Speedway with two races a year, but they’ve got things going on all year round,” he says.
The ISM Connect 300 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race is Sunday at 2 pm. The race week schedule began with charity events Wednesday and Thursday. More than 90,000 spectators and 33,000 vehicles are expected to attend the Sunday event. New Hampshire transportation officials, along with local and state police, have announced plans a traffic control plan for Sunday.
Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith made a point to say his company remains devoted to race fans in New Hampshire.