A New Hampshire fairgrounds paved track has joined the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Canaan Fair Speedway, a .333-mile paved oval, is located in east central New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region. It opened in 1996.
“Teaming with Canaan Fair Speedway expands NASCAR’s longtime presence in New Hampshire northward,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “NASCAR has gained a great track with great participants.”
The track is owned by Chick and Sandy Henry and operated by Dick Therrien.
“Canaan Fair Speedway is ready to step to the next level,” Therrien said. “The best way for the track and our racers to take the biggest step forward is with NASCAR.”
Weekly Saturday night racing at Canaan begins May 5 and will feature Late Models as it's Division I. Other NASCAR-sanctioned classes include Pro Stocks as NASCAR Division II and Super Streets as NASCAR Division III.
While there is no longer an annual fair on the grounds of the track, the property includes a .250-mile dirt oval. The first track on the site was a long-gone .500-mile dirt track that opened in the 1950s.
NASCAR has sanctioned Monadnock Speedway, a .250-mile paved oval in Winchester, N.H., since 1986 and Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway, a .375-mile paved oval since 1992. Both are located to the south of Canaan. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has appeared at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon since 1993.
Therrien said he also plans to work with Mike Bruno who recently assumed operation of Devil’s Bowl Speedway located about two hours to the west of Canaan in West Haven, Vermont. Devil’s Bowl joined the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2011.
Lee's Small Block Supermodified champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. won the 2011 New Hampshire state championship over Monadnock's Modified Division champion Kirk Alexander. Lee’s David Sanborn was the state’s 2011 winner of the NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award presented by Jostens.
NASCAR-licensed Division I drivers are eligible to compete for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championships and point fund awards at the track, state, national level. State champions also receive customized helmets and racing uniforms from series sponsor Whelen Engineering.
NASCAR-licensed drivers in Canaan’s NASCAR Divisions II and III compete for points in the NASCAR Finalist program. The program brings added recognition to drivers who compete in support divisions. Points are kept separately for asphalt and dirt tracks.
More than 50 tracks throughout the United States and Canada participate in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.