If you look outside your window you’re not going to believe what you’re about to read, but the 2018 short track racing season will be here before you know it.  Despite the snow and cold temperatures, it’s time to start planning your 2018 season.


A number of tracks and series throughout the Northeast have been busy releasing their 2018 schedule, as well as other news surrounding their upcoming seasons.  In this edition of Northern Exposure, we try to get you caught up on all of that news.



Once again, the first taste of racing in 2018 will be experienced at the 30th Annual Northeast Motorsports at the Augusta Civic Center (ME).  Representatives from tracks, tours and short track racing businesses throughout the region will be in attendance to show you what they have planned next season.


And of course, there will be plenty of beautiful race cars on display and the always-exciting Heluva Good! Pit Crew Challenge.


If you’re located in the Northeast, be sure to stop by the show January 12-14. Speed51.com will have a booth set up displaying videos from the Speed51 Network and selling apparel.



Are you a hardcore fan or racer?  If so, you don’t have to wait until April to watch your first short track race in 2018.  Once again this year, Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH will be hosting the Winter Blast 100 on January 20.


The event has absolutely no boundaries as any type of vehicle is allowed to compete as long as it meets the remainder of the rules.  $500 will be up for grabs for the winner and it costs only $25 to enter.


If you trust someone enough behind the wheel, you can even strap into one of the cars as a passenger for a $25 fee.



The full 2018 PASS North schedule is expected to be released soon.  But until then, a few tracks have already released dates for PASS events next season.


Once again, the series will kick off the year at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s (CT) Icebreaker event on April 8.  From there, the series will head back to the state of Maine for the Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) season opener on April 15.


PASS North is currently slated to make three stops at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME including the season opener on April 28.  The series will also visit Beech Ridge on July 7 and September 23.


At least one new track has been added to the PASS North schedule for 2018.  Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH recently revealed their 2018 schedule that includes a Pro All Stars Series 150 on August 11.


The series is also set to return to Thunder Road International Speedbowl (VT) for the third straight year during the Memorial Day Classic on May 27.


A quick look at the Speedway 95 (ME) website also shows tentative plans for a PASS North race to held at the track on Sunday, June 17.


Although dates have not yet been announced, White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) also announced that the track will be featuring the Pro All Stars Series again in 2018.


Be sure to stay tuned for more information and a complete schedule for the 2018 PASS North season.



For the first time, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will be making its way to Claremont Speedway (NH) for a special Saturday night race on May 26.  The race is slated to pay $6,000 to win.


Additional Tri-Track dates for 2018 currently include Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway (MA) on June 27 and the Haunted Hundred on October 27.



Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will feature multiple big event dates once again in 2018. Icebreaker weekend starts off the racing season in New England on April 7 and 8 with the Valenti Modified Racing Series making their Icebreaker debut and opening their 2018 schedule on Saturday.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Models head up the Sunday action.


The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will also have two Wednesday night appearances during the mid-season stretch on June 13 and again on August 8. The midway event of 2018 features the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East on Saturday, July 14 for the Busch North Throwback.


Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will have two Sunday dates on May 20 and September 9.


The Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing will conclude 2018 at the ‘Big T’ with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, ISMA Supermodifieds, American-Canadian Tour Late Models, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Granite State Pro Stock Series, NEMA Midgets & Lites, Northeast Mini Stock Tour, Street Stock Showdown Series, Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series, and much more in action October 12-14.




The American-Canadian Tour recently released a 10-event schedule for the 2018 season that will see the tour visit seven tracks in four different states.


A pair of traditional events, the NH Governor’s Cup at Lee USA Speedway (NH) on April 15 and Merchant’s Bank 150 at Thunder Road (VT) on April 29 kick off the season.  The tour has added a trio of new stops to the schedule for 2018 in the form of Speedway 51 (June 2 and July 14), Oxford Plains Speedway (May 20) and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl (June 16).


ACT will also visit White Mountain Motorsports once this season (reduced from two visits in 2017) on August 4.  The season will conclude and a champion will be crowned at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson on October 13.



A return to Hudson International Speedway (NH) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway highlight the recently released Granite State Pro Stock Series schedule for 2018.


One of the most talked about aspects of the schedule is a visit to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on May 26 that will feature a unique format of three 35-lap races.


Traditional stops at Monadnock Speedway, Star Speedway, Claremont Speedway, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and White Mountain Motorsports Park are also included on the schedule for next season.



Stafford Motor Speedway comes into 2018 packed full of excitement once again with a grand 22-event schedule, which features one of the best lineups of Modified racing in the country. It all starts with the ‘Greatest Race in the History of Spring’, the NAPA Spring Sizzler on April 28 & 29.


The 20-race Friday night schedule features two appearances by the Valenti Modified Racing Series May 18 and August 31, as well as two open shows for Tour-type Modifieds June 8 and July 13.


The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make its mid-season appearance on August 3.


Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, headlined as always by the SK Modifieds, will be in action each week from May 4 to September 14. The much-acclaimed NAPA SK 5K is back for its fifth running on Friday, June 29 with SK Modifieds going 100 laps for upwards of $5,000.


The Stafford season concludes September 29 and 30 with the NAPA Fall Final, with championship races for Stafford divisions and the penultimate round for the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.



With long-time ACT Director of Competition Dean Gallison stepping down from his position, the tour recently announced that Pete Knights will take over the position next season.


Knights, who won the ACT Crew Chief of the Year Award in 2008 as a member of Randy Potter Racin, has been working as the Head Technical Inspector at North White Mountain Motorsports Park since 2013.



The New London-Waterford Speedbowl has a lot on its plate in the coming weeks, with new grandstands expected to be going up early in the new year. While the full season schedule has not yet been announced, the Bowl is set to open the 2018 season on May 5 and 6, with the Valenti Modified Racing Series staging a Saturday night show along with the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites.  Sunday will see the Speedbowl’s SK Modifieds heading things up.


The Valenti Modifieds will be back for two more shows in 2018, including Wings & Wheels Night on Saturday, August 11, along with the ISMA Supermodifieds, NEMA Midgets and more. The final MRS appearance is set for September 15.


For the first time, the Granite State Pro Stock Series will make two season appearances on the Connecticut shore; the first on May 26 will have a ‘Triple 35s’ format. The GSPSS will also have their season finale, a 100-lap feature at the Speedbowl on Saturday, October 20.


-Text by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor & Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Regional Editor

-Photo credit: Speedway 51

Northern Exposure: Offseason News From the Northeast