The Famous Barney 14: A Family And Grandson Continue A Tradition On Whelen Modified Tour

Blake Barney (Photo: Jim DuPont)

By Denise DuPont

STAFFORD – Blake Barney, the Lakewood, N.J. grandson of the famous Modified car owner, Dick Barney, has always had racing in his blood.

Blake Barney though did not follow a normal racers career path. It was not until he became a teenager that his grandfather put the race bug in his ear while promising him a car when he was old enough to drive, sixteen.

Once a car was under him, Barney took onto the sport like a natural.

“My grandfather always joked to me that I would run the #14 car,” Blake Barney said. “He would tell me: ‘Buddy wait until you are sixteen.’

“So I did not grow up like most kids that started racing go carts when they were five. I played baseball and regular sports instead. I was about thirteen that my grandfather got me some go carts and I thought that was cool. And to me that was just a hobby and I did not think any more about it.

“Then when I turned sixteen, my grandfather gave me a crate car, which was equivalent to an SK Light Modified at Stafford. I thanked him but I did not think that he was serious. But come 2016 race season we had a car to run. That was definitely cool.”

Blake Barney drove races in the Valenti Modified Racing Series and also competed at various tracks.

When Blake Barney turned 18 last winter his grandfather was ready for him to step up his racing a notch with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“I am eighteen now, so to be at this level so fast, it is definitely a tough step,” Blake Barney said. “To keep going up higher levels when you are young without the experience is hard. But we are all learning together and having a great time. Sometimes we do not run as good as we would like but that is okay because we are learning and having a good time as a family and we are having great fun at the race track.

“This is my first year in the Tour and no one knows who I am. But when we have fan fest like the Stafford pit party, people come up to me and say that they have seen this car.”

At Stafford’s 2018 Fall Final Pit Party, Blake Barney had an opportunity to meet and greet fans of the famous car and the legends associated with it.

The red No. 14 modified has been an icon in modified racing for years.

“The car has a lot of history, at least fifty years.” Blake Barney said. “And the car has been the same the whole time. My grandfather has crewed it. Then my grandfather was the owner and my father crewed it.”

Busy signing autographs at Stafford, Blake Barney was amazed how many people actually came by and knew the car and its history. The sight of the car brought back memories of some of the best short track modified drivers that had taken the car repeatedly to victory lane.

“The team has had a lot of good drivers over the years: Tony Siscone, Reggie Ruggiero, John and Jimmy Blewett to name a few,” Blake Barney said. “It is just crazy that my grandfather’s whole life has been devoted to this car. He has run the car with the same number over the years so people recognize it. I am lucky to be able to drive it now. So it is definitely a ride in the car with a lot of history and that people that have been involved in this sport for a while can relate to.”

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Comments

  1. Glad to see this car and team return to the sport, another great modified racer didn’t start racing until his later teen years so keep positive!!!

  2. wmass01013 says:

    Love the story and love seeing the famous 14 on the WMT, I hope Blake has success and a win in the future!!

  3. Mark Pavliv says:

    More than a tradition – a legacy in the making!
    Go Big Red 14

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