Ground was broken Friday for the new North East Motor Sports Museum, which will be built on the south end of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and is scheduled to open in September 2016.
On hand for the event were several of the most famous NASCAR racers to come out of New England, including Pete Hamilton, Ron Bouchard, Ricky Craven and Joey Logano, all part of an estimated crowd of 250 people.
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"This vision began more than 15 years ago — to put the deep, rich history of motorsports of all kinds into a museum in New England," said Dick Berggren, president of the North East Motor Sports Museum. "We wouldn’t be here without the help of Speedway Motorsports Executive Chairman Bruton Smith. His willingness to sign a 90-year lease for one dollar a year is the reason we are all here today."
Smith is the executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the company that owns NHMS.
During his media availability at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday morning, Joey Logano was asked multiple questions about Kevin Harvick, who last week had contact with Jimmie Johnson on-track and cut a tire, finishing 42nd. Logano and Harvick have had their moments in the past, with Logano once famously saying Harvick’s wife DeLana wore the firesuit in the family.
This time, though, Logano was having none of it. "I’m staying out of this one," he told reporters. "I don’t want to be a part of this one, let me tell you right now. I’m just happy to be out of the drama. I’ve been in it plenty long. I want to be out of the drama and focus on my race car, so sometimes it’s best off just to keep your mouth shut."
Matt Kenseth didn’t want anything to do with it, either. Asked about Harvick punching or pushing Johnson in the chest after the race, Kenseth said, "I didn’t really see any of it to be honest with you and I don’t know. That’s two good answers. I didn’t see it and I don’t know. I practiced that one this morning."
In the pits
Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet team have two new tire changers this weekend. Josh Franko, a backup pit-crew member for Michael Waltrip Racing, will change front tires this weekend, replacing Dave Collins, who injured his ankle Wednesday during a practice session.
Adam Hartman, another MWR backup, replaces Kyle Turner as the rear-tire changer. The Furniture Row Racing pit crew is based out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C.