New Hampshire Motor Speedway
|"The Magic Mile"|
|Location||1122 Route 106 North
Loudon, New Hampshire 03307
|Owner||Speedway Motorsports, Inc.|
|Operator||Speedway Motorsports, Inc.|
|Broke ground||August 13, 1989|
|Opened||June 5, 1990|
|Former names||Bryar Motorsport Park (1960–1989)
New Hampshire International Speedway (1990–2007)
|Major events||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Lenox Industrial Tools 301
NASCAR Nationwide Series
New England 200
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
New Hampshire 175
IZOD IndyCar Series MoveThatBlock.com 225
Global Rallycross Championship
Sylvania Silverstar ZXE
|Surface||Asphalt & Granite|
|Length||1.058 mi (1.703 km)|
|Banking||Turns – Variable banking at 2/7 degrees (12% grade)
Straightaways – 1 degree banking
|Lap record||0:21.466 (Andre Ribeiro, Tasman Motorsports, 1995, CART PPG IndyCar World Series)|
|Length||1.6 mi (2.57 km)|
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a 1.058-mile (1.703 km) oval speedway located in Loudon, New Hampshire which has hosted NASCAR racing annually since the early 1990s, as well as an IndyCar weekend and the oldest motorcycle race in North America, the Loudon Classic. Nicknamed "The Magic Mile," the speedway is often converted into a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) road course, which includes much of the oval.
The track was originally the site of Bryar Motorsports Park before being purchased and redeveloped by Bob Bahre. The track is currently one of eight major NASCAR tracks owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports.
The track opened as New Hampshire International Speedway in June 1990, after nine months of construction following the Bahre family's purchase of the Bryar Motorsports Park. The existing road circuit was redeveloped into a multi-purpose track, with NASCAR added to the popular Loudon Classic motorcycle, WKA go-kart and SCCA races on the complex. It was the largest speedway in New England, and later expansion has made it the largest sports venue of any type in the region. Its construction was extremely unusual for a race track, in that it was designed and constructed without consulting engineers, and using just one surveyor (whose primary job was to plant stakes) to help. NASCAR made its debut at the track in July 1990, with a Busch Series race won by Tommy Ellis. For three years, the Busch Series hosted a pair of races at the track each year.
The Busch races were successful. Loudon gained a spot on the Winston Cup Series schedule in 1993. Rusty Wallace won the inaugural Slick 50 300 in July of that year. That race was also Davey Allison's final race: the next day, Allison was fatally injured in a helicopter crash.
In 1996, Ernie Irvan captured the win in the July race, making it one of the more emotional victories in NASCAR history. The win came less than two years after Irvan suffered a near-fatal crash at Michigan International Speedway, where he was given less than a 10% chance of survival.
After the 1996 season Bahre and Bruton Smith bought North Wilkesboro Speedway and moved one of its Winston Cup dates to New Hampshire. The second race is held in the middle of September. From 2004 to 2010, it was the site of the first event of the Chase for the Championship. In 2011, however, NHMS will host the second race in the series, following the opening event at Chicagoland Speedway.
The speedway was the first for NASCAR to start the field in two groups under the warm-up laps to help set pit speed.
The track also hosted open wheel racing for seven years, hosting CART from 1992–1995, then the Indy Racing League from 1996–1998. One of the open wheel winners was Tony Stewart who later won two Winston/Nextel Cup races at the track as well.
In 2000, the track was the site of a pair of fatal collisions which took the lives of two promising young drivers. In May, while practicing for a Busch Series race, Adam Petty perished when his throttle stuck exiting the second turn, resulting in a full speed crash head-on in the middle of the third and fourth turns. When the Winston Cup Series made their first appearance of the season, a similar fate befell 1998 Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin, Jr. For safety reasons, track owners decided to run restrictor plates on the cars during their return trip to the speedway in September 2000, making it the first track in recent history outside of Daytona and Talladega to use them. It would be the last one as well; an uneventful race won by Jeff Burton, which had no lead changes, was the result of the experiment. It was the first wire-to-wire race since the 1970s.
The 2001 New Hampshire 300 was originally scheduled for September 16, the Sunday after the September 11 terrorist attacks. NASCAR initially announced that the race would be held as scheduled, but the event was postponed until November 23 of that year, which was the Friday after Thanksgiving. There was much concern about the weather, but race day turned out to be unseasonably mild. Robby Gordon won that race.
In 2002, in an effort to increase competitive racing, the track's corners were turned into a progressive banking system, as the apron was paved and became part of the track, and the track's banking was varied from 4 degrees in the lower two lanes to 12% grade (about seven degrees). The addition of SAFER barriers to the corner walls was made in 2003.
During the September 2003 Sylvania 300, an incident occurred at this track involving Dale Jarrett where his wrecked race car brought out a caution flag. At the time, NASCAR's policy was for its drivers to race back to the start-finish line to begin the caution period. This policy allowed drivers who were one or more laps down to pass the leader and get back one lap, but during the 2003 season there were several incidents which involved drivers racing back to the caution nearly causing collisions. Jarrett's car had stalled on the front stretch— in fact, directly in the path of oncoming cars— and he was in danger of being hit by cars that were trying to get laps back. Although Jarrett avoided contact, the incident was enough for NASCAR to act and beginning with the next race, NASCAR outlawed racing back to the caution flag and instead froze the field after a caution, and a "free pass" rule (popularly referred to as "the lucky dog") was put in place in which the first car behind the leader not on the lead lap would get their lap back during each caution period in all of NASCAR's national and regional series.
In mid-May 2006, Loudon was one of many New England communities which experienced damaging floods after a week of near-record rainfall. Several roads and bridges were washed out near the speedway. The infield was flooded, as was the track itself (while a road racing event was going on). The facility also experienced flooding in October 2005. In June 2008, the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup race was ended early by a storm which caused flooding at various locations around the track, including the infield tunnel: however in that case the post-race activities were not interrupted.
Before the 2008 racing season, Speedway Motorsports purchased NHIS and other racing-related assets from the Bahre family for $340 million cash. The name of the speedway changed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The track will continue to have two Sprint Cup dates for the foreseeable future. One of the assets included in the sale was a 50% interest in North Wilkesboro Speedway. The other 50% was still owned by Bruton Smith, the CEO of Speedway Motorsports.
NHMS representatives made a heavy push to reintroduce open-wheel racing in the form of IndyCar Series to the track in the 2009 season. In 2011, the series returned to the track. However, the race failed to meet attendance expectations and controversial decisions made by race officials at the end of the race caused the race to be left off the 2012 schedule.
After the 2012 Sylvania 300, Bruton Smith stated he wants to install permanent lighting at the speedway, just like the other SMI ovals. However, Bob Bahre signed an agreement with the surrounding communities when the track opened that nighttime races were prohibited. In an October 2012 poll in Loudon, however, 58% of the population said they did not mind a night race. This poll also included plans to build a casino at the track, if approved by the New Hampshire Legislature.
Current NASCAR events
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Lenox Industrial Tools 301
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Sylvania 300
- NASCAR Nationwide Series – Camping World RV Sales 200 presented by Turtle Wax
- NASCAR Camping World East Series – Heluva Good! Fall 125
- NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – New England 100
- NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – New Hampshire 100
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying: Ryan Newman, 28.165 sec. (135.232 mph), 7/15/2011
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race: Jeff Burton, 2 hrs. 42 min. 35 sec. (117.134 mph), 7/13/1997
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying: Brad Keselowski, 29.067 sec. (131.035 mph), 7/14/2012
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Race: Bobby Hamilton, Jr., 1 hr. 55 min. 2 sec. (110.368 mph), 5/11/2002
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying: Kyle Busch, 28.917 sec. (131.715 mph), 9/23/2011
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race: Ron Hornaday, Jr., 1 hr. 55 min. 39 sec. (109.780 mph), 9/15/2007
- NASCAR Camping World East Series Qualifying: Brian Hoar, 29.893 sec. (127.414 mph), 7/18/2002
- NASCAR Camping World East Series Race: Ted Christopher, 1 hr. 13 min. 9 sec. (108.476 mph), 5/12/2001
- NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Qualifying: Mike Ewanitsko, 28.693 sec. (132.743 mph), 7/19/2001
- NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race: Mike Ewanitsko, 58 min. 15 sec. (108.979 mph), 9/16/2000
- NASCAR Sportsman Division Qualifying: T. W. Taylor, 33.740 sec. (112.887 mph), 9/02/1990
- NASCAR Sportsman Division Race: Dennis Setzer, 1 hr. 33 min. 5 sec. (85.250 mph), 9/02/1990
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Records
(As of 9/19/10)
|Most Wins||4||Jeff Burton|
|Most Top 5s||14||Jeff Gordon|
|Most Top 10s||18||Jeff Gordon|
|Most Laps Completed||9254||Jeff Gordon|
|Most Laps Led||1207||Jeff Gordon|
|Avg. Start*||8.9||Ryan Newman|
|Avg. Finish*||7.6||Denny Hamlin|
* from minimum 10 starts.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners
|Season||Date||Winning Driver||Car #||Sponsor||Make||Team||Avg Speed||Margin of Victory|
|1993||July 11||Rusty Wallace||2||Miller Genuine Draft||Pontiac Grand Prix||Penske Racing||105.947 mph (170.505 km/h)||1.31 sec|
|1994||July 10||Ricky Rudd||10||Tide||Ford Thunderbird||Rudd Performance Motorsports||87.599 mph (140.977 km/h)||0.69 sec|
|1995||July 9||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||107.029 mph (172.246 km/h)||1.23 sec|
|1996||July 14||Ernie Irvan||28||Texaco Havoline||Ford Thunderbird||Robert Yates Racing||98.930 mph (159.212 km/h)||5.47 sec|
|1997||July 13||Jeff Burton||99||Exide Batteries||Ford Thunderbird||Roush Racing||117.134 mph (188.509 km/h)||5.372 sec|
|1997||September 14||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||100.364 mph (161.520 km/h)||0.209 sec|
|1998||July 13||Jeff Burton||99||Exide Batteries||Ford Taurus||Roush Racing||102.996 mph (165.756 km/h)||7.439 sec|
|1998||August 30||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||112.078 mph (180.372 km/h)||0.664 sec|
|1999||July 11||Jeff Burton||99||Exide Batteries||Ford Taurus||Roush Racing||101.876 mph (163.954 km/h)||1.347 sec|
|1999||September 19||Joe Nemechek||42||BellSouth||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Team SABCO||100.673 mph (162.017 km/h)||UC|
|2000||July 9||Tony Stewart||20||Home Depot||Pontiac Grand Prix||Joe Gibbs Racing||103.145 mph (165.996 km/h)||UC/Rain|
|2000||September 17||Jeff Burton||99||Exide Batteries||Ford Taurus||Roush Racing||102.003 mph (164.158 km/h)||UC|
|2001||July 22||Dale Jarrett||88||UPS||Ford Taurus||Robert Yates Racing||102.131 mph (164.364 km/h)||0.656 sec|
|2001||November 23||Robby Gordon||31||Lowe's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Richard Childress Racing||103.594 mph (166.718 km/h)||2.008 sec|
|2002||July 21||Ward Burton||22||Caterpillar||Dodge Intrepid||Bill Davis Racing||92.342 mph (148.610 km/h)||0.656 sec|
|2002||September 15||Ryan Newman||12||Mobil 1 / Alltel||Ford Taurus||Penske Racing||105.081 mph (169.111 km/h)||UC/Rain|
|2003||July 20||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowe's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||96.924 mph (155.984 km/h)||1.582 sec|
|2003||September 14||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowe's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||133.357 mph (214.617 km/h)||6.240 sec|
|2004||July 25||Kurt Busch||97||Irwin Industrial Tools||Ford Taurus||Roush Racing||132.36 mph (213.01 km/h)||0.607 sec|
|2004||September 19||Kurt Busch||97||Irwin Industrial Tools||Ford Taurus||Roush Racing||109.753 mph (176.630 km/h)||2.488 sec|
|2005||July 17||Tony Stewart||20||Home Depot||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Joe Gibbs Racing||130.327 mph (209.741 km/h)||0.851 sec|
|2005||September 18||Ryan Newman||12||Mobil 1/Alltel||Dodge Charger||Penske Racing||95.891 mph (154.322 km/h)||0.292 sec|
|2006||July 16||Kyle Busch||5||Kellogg's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Hendrick Motorsports||101.384 mph (163.162 km/h)||0.406 sec|
|2006||September 17||Kevin Harvick||29||Reese's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||Richard Childress Racing||102.195 mph (164.467 km/h)||0.777 sec|
|2007||July 1||Denny Hamlin||11||FedEx Ground||Chevrolet Impala SS||Joe Gibbs Racing||108.215 mph (174.155 km/h)||0.068 sec|
|2007||September 16||Clint Bowyer||07||Jack Daniel's||Chevrolet Impala SS||Richard Childress Racing||110.475 mph (177.792 km/h)||6.469 sec|
|2008||June 29||Kurt Busch||2||Miller Lite||Dodge Charger||Penske Racing||106.719 mph (171.748 km/h)||UC/Called due to rain|
|2008||September 14||Greg Biffle||16||Dish Network Turbo HD||Ford Fusion||Roush Fenway Racing||105.468 mph (169.734 km/h)||0.505 sec|
|2009||June 28||Joey Logano||20||Home Depot||Toyota Camry||Joe Gibbs Racing||97.497 mph (156.906 km/h)||UC/Called due to rain|
|2009||September 20||Mark Martin||5||Carquest/Kellogg's||Chevrolet Impala SS||Hendrick Motorsports||100.753 mph (162.146 km/h)||UC|
|2010||June 27||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowe's||Chevrolet Impala||Hendrick Motorsports||113.308 mph (182.352 km/h)||0.753 sec|
|2010||September 19||Clint Bowyer||33||Cheerios / Hamburger Helper||Chevrolet Impala||Richard Childress Racing||106.769 mph (171.828 km/h)||0.477 sec|
|2011||July 17||Ryan Newman||39||U.S. Army||Chevrolet Impala||Stewart-Haas Racing||104.1 mph (167.533 km/h)||0.773 sec|
|2011||September 25||Tony Stewart||14||Mobil 1 / Office Depot||Chevrolet Impala||Stewart-Haas Racing||116.679 mph (187.777 km/h)||7.225 sec|
|2012||July 15||Kasey Kahne||5||Farmers Insurance||Chevrolet Impala||Hendrick Motorsports||116.226 mph (187.048 km/h)||2.738 sec|
|2012||September 23||Denny Hamlin||11||FedEx Freight||Toyota Camry||Joe Gibbs Racing||116.81 mph (187.987 km/h)||2.675 sec|
Open-wheel race winners
Other racing series
The speedway hosted a round of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway official site
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway Page on NASCAR.com
- Trackpedia guide for drivers including telemetry sessions at the track (road course only)