New Hampshire Motor Speedway has played host to many different types of cars throughout its history, but never a Super Late Model. However, that will change this weekend when the Pro All-Stars Series North takes on the Magic Mile on Sunday, July 5.
There’s plenty of uncertainty for the fans, teams and drivers as Sunday’s green flag starts to inch closer. But everybody is certain of one thing. It will be fast. Very fast.
“That car was fast,” said former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, Ted Christopher. “We were down in Modified times.”
Joey Doiron, a winner earlier this year at Vermont’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl, a small 1/4-mile bullring, said that he expects to be entering NHMS’ flat corners close to 170 miles-per-hour.
Doiron was quick to admit that the speeds did make him a little bit nervous.
“I’ve see some of these cars wreck at Thompson,” Doiron told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I wouldn’t want to do that at another 40 miles per hour.”
Christopher said the speed doesn’t have him nervous at all, especially because he goes fast at NHMS twice a year in a Modified.
“It’s not the speed that bothers me,” Christopher said. “It’s the sudden stop that hurts. Speed doesn’t bother me.”
For possibly the first time in his short Super Late Model career, 18-year-old Christopher Bell finally has more experience than most of his competitors. But not by much. While most of the drivers he’s racing against have never turned laps in a Super Late Model on a track this big, Bell actually has.
“My first ever time in a stock car, I went to Milwaukee last June and ran like 15 laps whenever Erik (Jones) was running the Truck race,” Bell explained. “I do have 15 laps around Milwaukee which my Kyle Busch Motorsports team said is kind of similar, but I don’t remember much of it so that will be a big learning curve for me.”
Fortunately for Bell, and everyone else, there will be plenty of practice on Saturday and even Sunday morning to get acclimated to the big race track and it’s long straightaways. Although, Bell isn’t exactly the biggest fan of practice. He comes from the dirt side of the racing world where he usually just gets a couple of hot laps before going straight into heat racing.
“I’m not a big fan of the full day events where you have to be there at eight in the morning to go racing at eight at night,” Bell said. “I guess, yeah, I’d rather show up, hot lap and then race.”
Ted Christopher tends to agree with Bell, even though he hasn’t raced a Super Late Model since 2012 when he won a PASS race at Stafford Motor Speedway.
“They’ve got way too much practice and I don’t like practice,” Christopher said. “These guys need a lot of time to acclimate themselves to a race track I guess. Screw that. That’s not my idea.”
Because of that, Christopher will be skipping much of Saturday’s on-track activities to hop on a helicopter and fly south to Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl to run a SK Modified race that night.
But he insists he’ll be just fine without the practice. He also made sure it was clear that he isn’t scared.
“A lot of these guys, they don’t like going to Thompson,” said Christopher. “So it’s like if they’re scared of Thompson, look the f*** out. They’ve got to bring their diapers I guess. But I’m not scared. I haven’t gotten scared in a race car yet. When you get scared in a race car it’s time to stop. I haven’t been scared yet so I haven’t stopped.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount