New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway
"The Magic Mile"
New Hampshire Motor Speedway logo.png
Location 1122 Route 106 North
Loudon, New Hampshire 03307
Capacity 88,000 (seated)[1]
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
5 Hour Energy 301
Sylvania 300
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Lakes Region 200
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
UNOH 175
Loudon Classic
Surface Asphalt and 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)
Road Course
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 the longest-running 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.


Overview of New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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 and entertainment 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, the date was shifted to the second race in the Chase, and currently serves as one of three races in the Challenger Round.[citation needed][2]

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 three 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 Dura Lube 300 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.[3] In June 2009, 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.[4] 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.[citation needed]

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 a legal agreement with the Town of Loudon and several neighbors when the track opened that nighttime races were prohibited. The agreement is binding on the current owners. In an October 2012 poll in Loudon, however, 58% of those who responded 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.[5]

Track mascot[edit]

In 2009, the track introduced its first mascot, Milo the Moose. He wears a fire suit with the Speedway Motorsports logo and the track's name around it and is often seen wearing an open-faced helmet with a dark visor. He is seen on race weekends shaking hands with the drivers during driver introductions and hanging out with fans.

Track length of paved oval[edit]

The track length is disputed by the two major series that run at New Hampshire. The NASCAR timing and scoring use a length of 1.06 miles (1.71 km).[6] The IRL timing and scoring use a length of 1.025 miles (1.650 km).[7]

NASCAR statistics[edit]

Current NASCAR events[edit]

NASCAR records[edit]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records[edit]

(As of 7/13/14)

Most wins 4 Jeff Burton
Most top fives 16 Jeff Gordon
Most top tens 22 Jeff Gordon
Starts 39 Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton
Poles 7 Ryan Newman
Most laps completed 11363 Jeff Gordon
Most laps led 1371 Jeff Gordon
Avg. start* 8.7 Ryan Newman
Avg. finish* 8.9 Denny Hamlin

* from minimum 10 starts.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners[edit]

Season Date Winning driver Car # Make Team Avg speed Margin of victory
1993 July 11 Rusty Wallace 2 Pontiac Grand Prix Penske Racing 105.947 mph (170.505 km/h) 1.31 sec
1994 July 10 Ricky Rudd 10 Ford Thunderbird Rudd Performance Motorsports 87.599 mph (140.977 km/h) 0.69 sec
1995 July 9 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 107.029 mph (172.246 km/h) 1.23 sec
1996 July 14 Ernie Irvan 28 Ford Thunderbird Robert Yates Racing 98.930 mph (159.212 km/h) 5.47 sec
1997 July 13 Jeff Burton 99 Ford Thunderbird Roush Racing 117.134 mph (188.509 km/h) 5.372 sec
1997 September 14 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 100.364 mph (161.520 km/h) 0.209 sec
1998 July 13 Jeff Burton 99 Ford Taurus Roush Racing 102.996 mph (165.756 km/h) 7.439 sec
1998 August 30 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 112.078 mph (180.372 km/h) 0.664 sec
1999 July 11 Jeff Burton 99 Ford Taurus Roush Racing 101.876 mph (163.954 km/h) 1.347 sec
1999 September 19 Joe Nemechek 42 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Team SABCO 100.673 mph (162.017 km/h) UC
2000 July 9 Tony Stewart 20 Pontiac Grand Prix Joe Gibbs Racing 103.145 mph (165.996 km/h) UC/Rain
2000 September 17 Jeff Burton 99 Ford Taurus Roush Racing 102.003 mph (164.158 km/h) UC
2001 July 22 Dale Jarrett 88 Ford Taurus Robert Yates Racing 102.131 mph (164.364 km/h) 0.656 sec
2001 November 23 Robby Gordon 31 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Richard Childress Racing 103.594 mph (166.718 km/h) 2.008 sec
2002 July 21 Ward Burton 22 Dodge Intrepid Bill Davis Racing 92.342 mph (148.610 km/h) 0.656 sec
2002 September 15 Ryan Newman 12 Ford Taurus Penske Racing 105.081 mph (169.111 km/h) UC/Rain
2003 July 20 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 96.924 mph (155.984 km/h) 1.582 sec
2003 September 14 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 133.357 mph (214.617 km/h) 6.240 sec
2004 July 25 Kurt Busch 97 Ford Taurus Roush Racing 132.36 mph (213.01 km/h) 0.607 sec
2004 September 19 Kurt Busch 97 Ford Taurus Roush Racing 109.753 mph (176.630 km/h) 2.488 sec
2005 July 17 Tony Stewart 20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Joe Gibbs Racing 130.327 mph (209.741 km/h) 0.851 sec
2005 September 18 Ryan Newman 12 Dodge Charger Penske Racing 95.891 mph (154.322 km/h) 0.292 sec
2006 July 16 Kyle Busch 5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Hendrick Motorsports 101.384 mph (163.162 km/h) 0.406 sec
2006 September 17 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Richard Childress Racing 102.195 mph (164.467 km/h) 0.777 sec
2007 July 1 Denny Hamlin 11 Chevrolet Impala SS Joe Gibbs Racing 108.215 mph (174.155 km/h) 0.068 sec
2007 September 16 Clint Bowyer 07 Chevrolet Impala SS Richard Childress Racing 110.475 mph (177.792 km/h) 6.469 sec
2008 June 29 Kurt Busch 2 Dodge Charger Penske Racing 106.719 mph (171.748 km/h) UC/Called due to rain
2008 September 14 Greg Biffle 16 Ford Fusion Roush Fenway Racing 105.468 mph (169.734 km/h) 0.505 sec
2009 June 28 Joey Logano 20 Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing 97.497 mph (156.906 km/h) UC/Called due to rain
2009 September 20 Mark Martin 5 Chevrolet Impala SS Hendrick Motorsports 100.753 mph (162.146 km/h) UC
2010 June 27 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Impala Hendrick Motorsports 113.308 mph (182.352 km/h) 0.753 sec
2010 September 19 Clint Bowyer 33 Chevrolet Impala Richard Childress Racing 106.769 mph (171.828 km/h) 0.477 sec
2011 July 17 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Impala Stewart-Haas Racing 104.1 mph (167.533 km/h) 0.773 sec
2011 September 25 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet Impala Stewart-Haas Racing 116.679 mph (187.777 km/h) 7.225 sec
2012 July 15 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Impala Hendrick Motorsports 116.226 mph (187.048 km/h) 2.738 sec
2012 September 23 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing 116.81 mph (187.987 km/h) 2.675 sec
2013 July 14 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota Camry Michael Waltrip Racing 98.735 mph (158.899 km/h) 0.582 sec
2013 September 22 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing 107.573 mph (173.122 km/h) 0.533 sec
2014 July 13 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Fusion Team Penske 108.741 mph (175.002 km/h) 0.75 sec
2014 September 21 Joey Logano 22 Ford Fusion Team Penske 98.697 mph (158.837 km/h) 1.15 sec
2015 July 19 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing 108.504 mph (174.620 km/h) UC
2015 September 27 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing 106.480 mph (171.363 km/h) 8.941 sec

Open-wheel race winners[edit]

New Hampshire Indy 225

Other racing series[edit]

Bryar Motorsports Park hosted Round 3 of the inaugural Trans-Am Series (1966). The race was held over 250 mi and was won outright by Canadian-born Australian Allan Moffat in an under 2.0 liter Lotus Cortina. The speedway hosted a round of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship, and it hosts the Bond Auto Parts Invitational in the American Canadian Tour. It has both mini oval and road course U.S. Legends Cars International races,[8] as well as Whelen All-American Series, Bandolero Series, and other local series races.

Since 2011, the track has also hosted a race for the amateur "24 Hours of Lemons" race series. The Loudon Annoying was a spring event held in 2011 and 2012, and the fall Halloween Hooptiefest has taken place since 2012.[9]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°21′44″N 71°27′41″W / 43.36226°N 71.46125°W / 43.36226; -71.46125