Stock car racing is a Southeastern production and most of its success is still in the Southeast. NASCAR has expanded across the nation, trying to reach big markets, such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. For the most part, that has worked. However, at the same time, NASCAR’s investment in the region of America where this man author lives has not seen a real NASCAR touring series of its own in 12 years, the Northeast. By 2006, the former Busch North Series, rebranded to Busch East, saw a drop in the number of races from its peak in the low-20s to just 10. Since then, the formatting has changed and the K&N Pro East series focuses on east of the Missouri River. Despite some remaining prestige, the old Busch North schedule is gone for the most part.
With the exception of Indianapolis, Rockingham, Charlotte and Darlington, the original 1987 Busch North Series schedule mainly focused on tracks north of the Mason-Dixon Line. In that schedule, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire were well represented. By 1995, with the exception of a race at Daytona, the schedule was all tracks in that conglomerate of states, along with Vermont. In 2006, it fell apart. The rebranded Busch East series, it fell to 11 races, two races at Loudon. Otherwise, it was just Greenville, Stafford Springs, Holland, Thompson, Lake Erie, Adirondack, Waterford, Dover and Lime Rock.
The American-Canadian Late Model Tour, which an excellent series, has some of the luster of what the Busch North Series used to be. However, its American division is only 10 races at 7 tracks, all in New England. A real series needs to be including of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, all of which fits the same idea. A new series has to deal with the entire area. Tracks outside of New England have a lot to offer. That is not to say New England should not be involved, but a good series should be equaled out a bit more.
NASCAR sanctioning fees are high, and can break a track. That is why this series should be independent if at all possible. If it’s a NASCAR Busch North-esque series on a lower level, maybe a division of the Whelen All-American Series that works. If NASCAR can offer lowered sanctioning fees for a 150-lap affair for 25 weeks, then there is a chance for a profit. There are many tracks that the area offers. Obviously, this concept is a dream into fantasyland, but one can offer.
A new Northeast series should include at least 2 tracks from every state in the list (PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT). The headliners of the series should be New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway. A new series should start in New Hampshire; be in Stafford on Memorial Day weekend and end the series at Jennerstown. By state:
- Pennsylvania: Jennerstown Speedway (Jennerstown, PA) and Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, PA).
- New York: Holland Speedway (Holland, NY) and Watkins Glen International Raceway (Watkins Glen, NY)
- Vermont: Thunder Road Speedbowl (Barre, VT) and Devils Bowl Speedway (Fair Haven, VT)
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH) and Twin State Speedway (Claremont, NH)
- Connecticut: Stafford Motor Speedway (Stafford Springs, CT) and New London-Waterford Speedbowl (Waterford, CT)
- Massachusetts: Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, MA) and Palmer Motorsports Park (Palmer, MA)
- Maine: Oxford Plains Speedway (Oxford, ME) and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (Scarborough, ME)
These 14 tracks could be just the start, but there is a way to expand Northeast racing. NASCAR sponsorship or not, there is a need for expanding the influence of racing.