NASCAR never gets closer to Maine than when racers show up in Loudon, New Hampshire and this weekend is the first of two Granite State stops.

But, it is also the last year for two NASCAR events at Loudon.

Starting next year, NASCAR will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway only in July. The September race will be moved to Las Vegas.

Maine's Rickey Craven competed at Loudon many times in his racing career and the ESPN analyst says winning the pole position in 1998, driving the Rick Hendrick Motorsports #50 Budweiser car, sticks in his mind as he was coming back from injuries sustained in a crash...

NOTE: Craven grew up in Newburgh, Maine. His wife, Kathleen, and her family are New Hampshire natives. Craven always considered NHMS is home track on the NASCAR scene...The fall race at Loudon this year is on September 24th.