The Sylvania 300 has traditionally held in mid-September, however, the race has been rescheduled once in its history. (see below)
The Sylvania 300 also has the distinction of being the only Sprint Cup race outside of Daytona and Talladega to run a restrictor plate race since the adoption of the current 358 cubic inch formula. After Adam Petty's fatal crash in the Busch Series practice in May, and Kenny Irwin, Jr.'s fatal crash in the Cup Series practice in July, NASCAR decided to run restrictor plates, already used for the Whelen Modified Tour races at the circuit, for the 2000 Cup race, then known as the Dura Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart. Adding restrictor plates did have the desired result of slowing down the cars drastically, but at the same time, restricted passing so much that Jeff Burton led all 300 laps. This lack of passing was so uncompetitive, that for Cup cars only, the restrictor plates were gone for the very next race, the 2001 New England 300.
Since 2004, the race has served as the opening round of the "Chase for the Sprint Cup", a ten-race "playoff" designed among the top ten (twelve as of 2007) drivers in the standings of the series following the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 to spur interest in a championship series while NASCAR faces competition from the start of the NFL season and college football, the pennant races and post-season of Major League Baseball and the outset of the NHL and NBA seasons.
It was announced on July 15, 2006 that the title sponsor Sylvania signed an extension until 2012 to be the title sponsor of the race. This most likely will secure the track's September race until 2012.
The 2001 fall race, originally scheduled for September 16, 2001, was postponed due to the 9/11 terror attacks. Not wanting to cancel the event outright, NASCAR decided to reschedule the race to the next available date, November 23, 2001, the day after Thanksgiving. This created an interesting challenge for Goodyear, the tire manufacturer, as they were not expecting to run a race in New Hampshire in November, at a much colder time of year than normal, with snow a possibility. They brought a tire that they hoped would be better suited to the cold conditions, and NASCAR scheduled the race for a Friday in order to allow for two available weather dates, but at the time of the race, their concerns were unfounded. The race took place with temperatures in the 50s, with live national television coverage being tape-delayed in the West Coast to accommodate NBC's third hour of Today.
NASCAR didn't conduct traditional qualifying for the race. Instead, the field was set based on the top 43 positions in owner points after the September 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400. Since the 43rd ranked team in owner points, Eel River Racing, had folded prior to the race, only 42 cars started.
The race saw Robby Gordon, driving the #31 Lowe's Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, win his first ever race in NASCAR, and was marked by an incident in which Robby and Jeff Gordon got tangled together late in the race which put Robby into the lead. Jeff, who had been running up front all day, hit Gordon during a caution flag to retaliate and finished in the middle of the pack (although it was all moot, as Gordon had clinched the 2001 Winston Cup championship at Atlanta the week before).
On September 14, 2003, Dale Jarrett spun and hit the wall in turn 4, and came to rest in the middle of the racetrack. At that time, it was procedure to race back to the yellow (caution) flag in NASCAR. Drivers raced past Jarret's stalled car, some nearly running into him while at racing speed. The incident caused rule revisions that banned racing back to the yellow flag and modified pit road entry for the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Craftsman Truck Series, and went into effect the following week at Dover International Speedway for the Dover 400.
New Hampshire 300
Dura Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart
Dura Lube/Kmart 300
Farm Aid on CMT 300