The travails for NASCAR in setting the path for a 2021 schedule for the Whelen Modified Tour have seemingly faced some odd twists and unusual bumps along the way.
NASCAR is expected to announce a full schedule this week. A number of events have been confirmed, a few events have not been confirmed but are generally expected, and there still remain some mysteries.
But at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall, New Jersey it seems negotiations to bring the Whelen Modified Tour back in 2021 have taken a quite unexpected path that has left track management unhappy about their dealings with NASCAR.
The Krause family has leased Wall Stadium for the last 10 years.
After 11 seasons away from the facility, the Whelen Modified Tour returned to Wall Stadium for one event in 2019. The track scheduled a return for the series for July 11, 2020, but that event was ultimately cancelled due to strict COVID-19 restrictions in New Jersey.
Wall Stadium operations manager Emily Krause said last week that track management is focused on getting a new operating contract in place with the property owners before scheduling any events for the 2021 season. She said NASCAR had been pushing them to schedule a Whelen Modified Tour event for 2021, but the family decided they would not schedule an event at the track until they had a firm contract in place to operate the facility for next year.
Krause told RaceDayCT on Tuesday that Whelen Modified Tour director Jimmy Wilson was pushing the family to allow another promoter to rent Wall Stadium from them to put on a Whelen Modified Tour event in 2021. Krause termed the request “insulting”.
“He [Jimmy Wilson] called us a couple weeks ago and said ‘I have somebody who is going to rent your track. Don’t worry about it. They’ll run it and you’ll just get flat rent.’” Krause said Tuesday. “Well that’s really insulting. Like we’re a bunch of monkeys over here that don’t know how to run a racing event? Because we told you no you went and found somebody else to try to rent our race track and run an event? Excuse me? We’ve been around for [10 years], we’re not stupid. If we’re telling you it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work. We didn’t create the COVID restrictions.”
On Sunday afternoon Souza Media operator Kyle Souza, in a post on Twitter, intimated that a deal for an outside promoter to put on an event at Wall Stadium could be in the works.
The Tweet by Souza read: “Don’t close the door just yet on a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Wall Stadium Speedway in 2021, I’m told. Discussions with the track may include a promoter that may step in for a one-off event.”
Krause said her phone was blowing up Sunday after the tweet.
“I would never agree to something like that,” Krause told RaceDayCT Sunday. “It’s very upsetting. Never have we ever said anything favorable to [Wilson] in regards to that discussion. We would never consider it. Absolutely we would never consider it.”
Despite Krause telling Wilson that the family would not consider a rental deal, she said he told her to expect a call from former Thompson Speedway general manager Josh Vanada to talk about renting the facility. Krause said Vanada left a voice mail with her mother Diane but the family never responded.
“We have nothing to say to [Vanada],” Krause said. “We were approached about doing this type of setup and we told him we would never consider it. We don’t deserve to be treated like that. We never said no to him on us scheduling an event. Even from the beginning of the year, we never said no. We just said, let’s plan a responsible, cost effective event when the time is right. I thought they would understand and kind of work with us.”
Vanada declined comment on the situation Sunday evening. Wilson was not available for comment Sunday evening.
Multiple sources indicated that Vanada has also reached out to the property owner concerning leasing the track for promoting an event.