Newsmaker of the Week // NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

The first race of the newly unified NASCAR North and South Modified Tours was run at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway Saturday on a track notorious for its tire-killing abrasiveness.

Tires and tire rules proved to be the story of the race, far more so than a sound race strategy or keen driving skills.

This one was all about tires, with a twist: late race cautions ate up many of the remaining laps, negating the advantage of fresh rubber for the run to the finish.

Yet the NWMT opener proved that a unified tour works. Unification had been a bold concept that had generated pre-season uncertainty and, yes, criticism.

Unfounded, as it turned out. By silencing the critics, the NASCAR brass that unified the Modified Tour are Area Auto Racing News’ Newsmakers Of The Week.