NHMS KICKS OFF BIG SUMMER IN BOSTON
By Lenny Neslin, Boston.com
Auto racing stars Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti made a pit stop in Boston Monday to promote their upcoming NASCAR and IndyCar races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Franchitti, a Scottish IndyCar star and winner of the first Twin 275 race this weekend in Texas, had walked in Boston Common before, but didn’t expect a chance to drive an IndyCar around it.
“I lived in Boston for a while and spent quite a bit of time walking in this park,” Franchitti said. “I didn’t think I’d ever be driving an IndyCar down the main street here — not without getting arrested anyway. We’re really looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire.”
Montoya added, “I’ve been around a lot of streets in the world and driven a lot of cars on streets, it’s exciting.”
NHMS, based in Loudon, is known as “The Magic Mile,” and stretches 1.058 miles in an oval configuration with variable banking between 2-7 degrees. Montoya will race in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 on July 17 at 1 p.m. Franchitti races Aug. 14, in the newly named MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225.
Jerry Gappens, executive VP and general manager of NHMS, announced the title sponsorship today.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, along with Gappens, Montoya, Franchitti and ESPN analyst Allen Bestwick, spoke to the media at Cheers in Boston after the MoveThatBlock.com sponsorship announcement and race car presentation.
“What we need to hang our hat on is the fact that we have the fastest and most versatile race cars and race car drivers in the world,” said Bernard, who worked closely with Gappens to bring IndyCar back to NHMS. “Jerry was very instrumental in that. We were able to negotiate a deal very quickly and low and behold here we are."