NHMS gets Sprint Cup schedule; trucks returning
In past years, NASCAR releasing the Sprint Cup Series schedule would be enough news for New Hampshire Motor Speedway fans to chew on through the winter months.
But Tuesday, Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway, added a few more appetizers, including the return of the Camping World Truck Series next season.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Loudon for the 22nd consecutive year on July 13, 2014, in the form of the Camping World RV Sales 301 at 1 p.m.
For the 12th straight year, the fall Cup race at NHMS will be in the form of the Sylvania 300. The race will serve as the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m.
“We’re extremely happy with the schedule,” said Gappens. “We also thank our fans for their continued support. They certainly deserve two NASCAR race dates.”
Gappens also provided the fans with an early Christmas present when he announced Tuesday the return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014, ending a three-year absence from the Magic Mile. The Truck Series will join NASCAR’s top-tier national touring series, the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series as featured events next July and September.
Next season, a 200-lap Nationwide Series event will highlight an action-packed racing schedule on Saturday, July 12. There’s also a 175-lap event slated for Sept. 20, the day before the Sylvania 300.
“Bringing back the trucks was because of the feedback I was getting back from our fans,” said Gappens.
The Camping World Truck Series had run 16 consecutive years from 1996 through 2011.
Gappens also provided an update on the possibility of holding a NASCAR race in July of 2015 under the lights.
“A couple of things are happening on that front,” said Gappens. “After next season NASCAR will have two new broadcasting partners starting in 2015. As for our races, Fox will replace TNT for our July race in 2015. NBC will replace ESPN for our September race in 2015. We plan on holding conversations with NASCAR and Fox to see if they would consider our proposal of holding a Saturday night NASCAR race in July. If they agree, then we would begin the process of installing the lights. The feedback from our fans is they’d welcome a night (NASCAR) race in July to beat the heat.”
The Town of Loudon and its citizens will obviously have a say in the matter, but Gappens is confident he can work with all parties to bring night racing to New Hampshire.
“Over the last three to four years, I can tell you our relationship with the town has grown and strengthened,” said Gappens. “We have a good dialogue and rapport and I plan to be very transparent throughout the whole process. I’m sure some people don’t want us to have lights, but we also believe there’s many who want us to install them. Our fans have told us they want a Saturday night NASCAR event and we believe we can work with all parties involved to make it happen. But we can’t start anything until we hear from NASCAR and Fox.”
Ticket holders from 2013 NASCAR races at NHMS have first opportunity to renew their seats for 2014 by Oct. 31.
All remaining tickets for the July Camping World RV Sales 301 weekend will go on sale Nov. 15 and on Jan. 2, 2014 for Sylvania 300 weekend events.
Fans may renew or purchase tickets for the 2014 season in-person at the speedway’s ticket office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call the NHMS Ticket Hotline at 783-4931.