SEEKONK, Mass. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Seekonk Speedway photo —
NASCAR and Seekonk Speedway officials made the news official on Tuesday. The “Action Track of the East” will be under the NASCAR banner in 2015 as it enters its historic 70th season and will be part of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series.
“The northeast has a dedicated NASCAR following, and the addition of Seekonk Speedway to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly racing program further strengthens that bond,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s vice president for regional and touring series. “We are also extremely excited to expand our Southern New England presence into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which has deep NASCAR roots.”
The last time Seekonk was under the NASCAR banner was in 2005. Since then, the track has gone through many changes and track officials feel that they are ready and are more excited then ever to get back on board with NASCAR.
“There’s a lot of history [at Seekonk Speedway], and this is an important effort to keep that history alive,” said Seekonk Speedway President Francis Venditti. “We want to build our fanbase and our sponsor base. We have a great team here and we want to build on that and create a lasting and enduring relationship with NASCAR that is going to be notable.”
Kenny Spencer, defending Seekonk Speedway Pro Stock champion, met with the media at today’s official announcement. The Taunton, Massachusetts, competitor is among those who are pumped up about Seekonk returning to the NASCAR family.
“I’m very happy that NASCAR has come aboard, so hopefully we can go out and win it again,” Spencer said. “The NASCAR name is everything in racing. That’s why we love to see the NASCAR name on the car. We’re pretty excited to see it back at Seekonk Speedway.”
Seekonk’s Pro Stock (Div. I) champion this season will not only be recognized as a NASCAR Home Tracks champion, but they will also be recognized as the first NASCAR Massachusetts state champion since Stan Greger received the honor in 1981. During Seekonk’s previous time under the NASCAR banner, drivers were recognized by region instead of state.
In addition, Seekonk teams, fans and drivers have been wondering about how the NASCAR sanction changes things for 2015. The Speedway has responded to many of the questions.
The following was released via the track Facebook page:
- Admission prices for both the front gate and pits WILL NOT be changing. All admission prices will remain the same.
- Purses for Saturday night divisions will not be changing. They will remain the same. However the points fund payout has the potential to be a little larger.
- All Saturday night drivers MUST register (if they don’t already have one) for a NASCAR license. The fee is $100 for Sports Trucks, Street Stocks and Late Models. $200 for Pro Stocks. If you do not already have a NASCAR license you must come to the office to register for one.
- The registration fees for Sport Trucks, Street Stocks and Late Models are an additional $25. For Pro Stocks it is $50.
- As a registered NASCAR driver, you will not have to pay any extra money for a VIP crew pass to receive the crew member price. With your NASCAR license you will automatically pay the crew member price, ultimately saving you money.
- In order to get a VIP crew member pass you must buy a NASCAR license. We urge ALL crew members including car owners to purchase their $100 NASCAR license to receive their VIP crew member discount. ($32 without membership, $22 with membership). It saves you money.
The Speedway also released that Fast Friday racing will remain the same for 2015, with no changes. The NASCAR banner will carry the Saturday divisions. The Sports Trucks (Div. IV), Street Stocks (Div. III), Late Models (Div. II) and Pro Stocks (Div. 1) will all be a part of the Whelen All American Series in 2015.
“I’m excited as a driver. I’m hoping to see some more people in the stands and hopefully make it easier to attract sponsors,” said defending Pro Stock Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Champion Mike Brightman. “It’s getting tougher and tougher for the little guy to compete without sponsors. The point fund increase is a plus too. All around definitely excited.”
The Seekonk Speedway will officially open the season under the NASCAR banner on Sunday, May 3 at 1 p.m. The regular Saturday night program begins on May 9.
Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman and NASCAR Home Tracks contributed to this report.