CANAAN, NH- The Canaan (N.H.) Fair Speedway held a meeting on Saturday to inform race teams of what their new sanctioning agreement with NASCAR means.
Track Promoter Dick Therrien explained to the audience the benefits of having a guaranteed point fund, better insurance coverage and the chance to be recognized nationally at the NASCAR Banquet for accomplishments.
“The opportunities for you, the race drivers are incredible,” Therrien stated. “What we’re offering is an exciting program with guaranteed point funds. You’re going to reap the harvest. There are so many people who think they know everything (about the NASCAR short track program). They don’t have a clue. That was similar to me. I had no idea.”
Therrien was led to the NASCAR Sanction idea by Mike Bruno, who is the new track owner at the Devil’s Bowl (VT.). Once Therrien learned about how the sanction had helped that track, he was sold on the idea. He then convinced track owners Chick and Sandy Henry that it was the way to go. The whole process took just one week.
“We wanted to make the track grow,” Therrien reasoned. “We wanted to take it to another level. There are several other Saturday night tracks for our drivers and fans to chose from. We wanted to use something that was going to benefit us, the fans as well as the race teams. By going NASCAR, that has the biggest benefit for everybody involved.”
Therrien said that although this agreement does not include the dirt track, which runs on the same property of Friday nights, he told The Sun that a NASCAR sanction being added in two or three years to the dirt program was certainly a possibility.
“We wanted to take this one step at a time to start with,” he added. “We feel that there is a lot of good information here for the dirt track as well. Our dirt track is growing leaps and bounds already. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere in the next couple to three years that we bring the dirt track in the fray.”
When asked, Therrien stated that there have been no talks to bring in either the K&N Pro Series East or the Whelen Modified Tour as part of the deal. He would like to see NASCAR start a tour that is more affordable for the weekly short tracks.
“That is the one thing that we can not do from NASCAR at this point,” he reasoned. “We could not afford that kind of financial outlay. We’d love nothing more than to bring in the Whelen Modified Tour. When we run the Modified Racing Series we pack the house, so we know this is Modified country up here. Who knows, maybe down the road we could become a bigger partner in that line.”
The Canaan pavement schedule is expected to be completed in early January. It does include a Modified Racing Series event in July, and although Therrien doesn’t expect the race to pay $12,000 to win like it did in 2011, he said that it will be a, “significant event.”
The track will also host a Late Model open event to pay $5,000 to the winner, and a PASS Tour race as well. They will however not host a Granite State Pro Stock Series event unless the series decides to rent the track, and the six race series with the Lee Speedway held in ’11 will also not be on the schedule due to a conflict with Lee concerning rules.
It was confirmed on Saturday that the (ACT-legal) Late Model class would be the tier one NASCAR division. The Pro Stocks will be the level two class, and tentatively, the Super Streets will be the third and final class racing under the NASCAR banner.
The level one division champion could potentially earn more than $5,000, and every effort will be made to get the Late Models 18 feature events, with double feature nights added if necessary. The Late Model purse will also increase slightly, and a new handicapping system will be implemented in an effort to make heat races more meaningful.
“My goal is to have three NASCAR Champions come out of Canaan this year,” Therrien concluded.