Going Viral: Whelen Modified Tour Driver Mike Stefanik Enjoys Time As A Web Sensation

If losing his temper gains him anything, Mike Stefanik is hoping it’s an invitation to see Jay Leno’s car collection.

Mike Stefanik waits to be interviewed during a broadcast on Speed following Tuesday’s Whelen Modified Tour at Daytona International Speedway (Photo: From Speed Broadcast)

Stefanik, of Coventry, R.I., became a sensation of social media channels and Youtube last week after angry interview on a national TV broadcast on Speed.

Stefanik was leading the NASCAR Battle at the Beach Whelen Modified Tour event on the final lap when he was spun out by eventual race winner Steve Park.

As Speed reporter Ray Dunlap spoke an intro leading into interviewing Stefanik, the seven-time series champion had a look of rage on his face.

And not surprisingly, given the chance to speak, Stefanik erupted.
When Dunlap said race winner Steve Park said he got pushed into Stefanik before spinning him out of the lead a menacing Stefanik said: “Yeah right.”

Then Stefanik went on.

“I don’t want to say anything because I’m just going to say the wrong thing here,” Stefanik said on live national TV broadcast. “I am that freaking pissed. This is just bullshit.”

Almost immediately Stefanik’s interview became a raging hot topic and punchline for jokes on Twitter. The next day Stefanik was feature on the cover of the popular sports website Deadspin.

“It got a lot more attention than I thought it would get,” Stefanik said. “I was pretty aggravated and I didn’t really want to do the interview. I asked Ray not to do the interview. I didn’t really want to speak. Then what came out came out because I was very aggravated.”

The interview truly went big time when Jay Leno made it part of a bit during his opening monologue on The Tonight Show Friday evening. Stefanik’s wife Julie saw the news Saturday morning about The Tonight Show.

“Julie got on the computer early Saturday morning and saw it and we just started cracking up,” Stefanik said. “We thought it was pretty funny. We were laughing probably as loud as anybody else was when they saw it. I’m a good sport about that stuff. To see how well they put that together, that was pretty funny. I’m still chuckling about it. I realize I was mad and they had fun with it, it’s no big deal. I think it’s pretty cool I got exposure on Leno. I’ll ask him for an invitation to see his car collection, maybe some day I’ll be able to visit his car collection because I’m a big car guy and I like a lot of the cars he does have in his collection.”

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  1. He is one of my favorite drivers. Great to see he has a an excellent sense of humor and is taking it all in stride. Quite frankly his exposure is great for the sport!


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