NASCAR Whelen All-American Series News
Seekonk Speedway Aligns With NASCAR
Feb 17, 2015 - updated Feb 17th, 2015 9:32pm
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Whelen All-American Series Returns To Massachusetts
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2015) – NASCAR and Seekonk Speedway revealed today in a press announcement that the famed Massachusetts oval will celebrate its 70th season of auto racing in 2015 by joining the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly racing program.
The announcement reunited two longstanding entities of the auto racing world. Seekonk, which opened in 1946 – two years prior to NASCAR’s inaugural season – was previously aligned with the sanctioning body from 2000-05.
Seekonk President Francis Venditti, son of the track’s founder, the late D. Anthony Venditti, expressed his anticipation of the new alliance during today’s announcement.
“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.”
Known as the “Action Track of the East,” the .333-mile asphalt oval is located in Seekonk, just across the border from Providence, Rhode Island.
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. Competitors at more than 50 paved and dirt tracks throughout North America vie for track, state and province, and overall series championships in Divisions I-V.
Seekonk’s reigning track titlist out of the pro stock feature division, Kenny Spencer, met with the media at today’s announcement. The Taunton, Massachusetts, competitor expressed excitement about his home track becoming a NASCAR Home Track.
“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.”
Also on hand at today’s festivities was North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, driver Len Ellis, who knows what it means to earn a NASCAR championship at Seekonk. He was the track’s 2001 titlist during the previous NASCAR era, and has extremely fond memories of the celebration at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards that year.
“That was probably the greatest moment other than the birth of my kids – I can honestly say that,” Ellis said. “When I went down there in 2001 everything was top shelf, and you understand why these people strive to do what they do.
“I’m overwhelmed by the fact that NASCAR is coming back, and I hope they’re back for a while.”
Seekonk’s opening day of NASCAR-sanctioned competition will be Sunday, May 3 and the regular Saturday night program kicks in on May 9. Pro stocks will be designated NASCAR Division I at Seekonk while the late models will be Division II, street stocks Division III and sport trucks Division IV.
Not only will the pro stock champion earn distinction as a NASCAR champion in 2015, but they will also become the first NASCAR Massachusetts state champion since Stan Greger in 1981. Top drivers were recognized by regions instead of states during Seekonk’s previous NASCAR association.
“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.”
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America and Europe are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, please visit seekonkspeedway.com.