LOUDON, N.H. – The New Hampshire International Speedway is g LOUDON, N.H. – The New Hampshire International Speedway is getting a second, as yet-unsponsored, Winston Cup race.
The race, to be held Sept. 14, 1997, is one of two being moved from the North Wilkesboro, N.C., track, it was announced Thursday by New Hampshire speedway owner Bob Bahre and NASCAR officials.
The announcement came less than an hour after a similar news conference in Texas, where Bruton Smith, half owner of the North Wilkesboro track, announced he was moving its other Wilkesboro race to his new speedway in Fort Worth.
Bahre made his move possible when he bought half of the track last Dec. 28. The move apparently upset Smith, who had hoped to buy the other half of the track and move both races to Texas, Bahre said.
“I’m not upset with Bruton; he may be upset with me,” Bahre said.
Bahre said he paid $8 million for his share of North Wilkesboro, and Smith later “offered us a helluva lot more.” Bahre’s son, Gary, said they never considered selling.
The Bahres and Mike Helton, vice president of competition for NASCAR, said next year’s first Winston Cup race at the New Hampshire speedway would be July 13, the same weekend as this year’s race being held Sunday.
Bob Bahre said the second race would be the same 300-mile distance as the first, and the two races would offer a combined $3.5 million in prize money.
Gary Bahre said they would decide on a ticket policy in the next two weeks. The July race has a waiting list of thousands.
The New Hampshire speedway has had a Winston Cup race since 1993, two years after the Bahres opened it.