New Hampshire International Speedway

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New Hampshire International Speedway
Loudon, The Magic Mile
Facility statistics
Location 1122 Route 106, Loudon, New Hampshire 03307
Broke ground August 13, 1989
Opened June 5, 1990
Owner Bob and Gary Bahre
Operator New Hampshire International Speedway, Inc.
Construction cost $? million USD
Former names
Bryar Motorsport Park
Major events
NASCAR Nextel Cup
Lenox Industrial Tools 300, Sylvania 300

NASCAR Busch Series
New England 200

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Sylvania 200

Seating capacity
91,000 (NASCAR)
Current dimensions
Track shape Oval
Track length 1.058 miles
Track banking Turns - 12% grade, about 7 degrees
Straights - 2 degrees

New Hampshire International Speedway is a 1.058 mile oval track which has hosted NASCAR racing since the 1990s. It is commonly referred to by its location, Loudon.


[edit] History

The track was opened in June 1990, after nine months of construction following the Bahre family's purchase of the Bryar Motorsports Park. The existing motorcycle circuit was redeveloped into a multi-purpose track, with NASCAR added to the popular motorcycle 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. 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.

These races were successful and led to Loudon earning a spot on the Winston Cup schedule in 1993. Rusty Wallace won the inaugural Slick 50 300 in July of that year.

A second 300 mile race was added to the schedule in 1997, taking one of the spots that North Wilkesboro once had on the schedule after that track was sold in an estate sale. The race is held in the middle of September, and in 2004, Loudon became the first race in NASCAR's Chase for the Cup "playoff" series.

The track also hosted open wheel racing for seven years, hosting CART from 1992-1995, then the Indy Racing League from 1996-1998.

In 2000, the track was the site of a pair of fatal accidents which took the lives of 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 1970's.

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 the Friday after Thanksgiving. There was much concern about the weather, but race day turned out to be unseasonably mild.

Two changes were made. 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 car was stuck in the middle of the race track and was in danger of getting hit while other cars raced back to the caution flag. As a result, NASCAR banned racing back to the caution flag, resulting in a "free pass" (popularly referred to as "the lucky dog") 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.[1]

[edit] Current Events

[edit] Records

[edit] Open wheel race history

Season Date Winning Driver Chassis Engine
CART Champ Car history
1992 July 5 Flag of United States Bobby Rahal Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor
1993 August 8 Flag of England Nigel Mansell Lola Ford-Cosworth
1994 August 21 Flag of United States Al Unser Jr. Penske Mercedes-Benz-Ilmor
1995 August 20 Flag of Brazil André Ribeiro Reynard Honda
IRL IndyCar Series history
1996 August 18 Flag of United States Scott Sharp Lola Ford-Cosworth
1997 August 17 Flag of United States Robbie Buhl G-Force Oldsmobile
1998 June 28 Flag of United States Tony Stewart Dallara Oldsmobile

[edit] External links

Current NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racetracks

Atlanta - Bristol - Brooklyn, Michigan - Charlotte - Darlington - Daytona - Dover - Fontana, California - Fort Worth - Indianapolis - Joliet, Illinois - Kansas City - Las Vegas - Loudon - Martinsville - Miami - Pocono - Phoenix - Richmond - Sonoma, California - Talladega - Watkins Glen

Current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racetracks

Atlanta - Bristol - Brooklyn, Michigan - Charlotte - Daytona - Dover - Fontana, California - Fort Worth - Indianapolis - Kansas City - Las Vegas - Loudon - Madison, Illinois - Mansfield - Martinsville - Memphis - Miami - Milwaukee - Nashville - Phoenix - Talladega - Sparta, Kentucky

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