From The Back: Pole Winner Jimmy Blewett To Start At Rear Of Whelen Modified Tour Race At NHMS

LOUDON, N.H. – As teams worked to get cars ready for pre-race inspection Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, in preparation for today’s Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 100, Jimmy Blewett was still putting the finishing touches on repairs to his car.

Jimmy Blewett works on his Whelen Modified Tour car Saturday morning in the pits at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Blewett, of Howell, N.J., won the pole in Whelen Modified Tour qualifying Friday at New Hampshire, but crashed on the second lap of his qualifying effort.

Blewett’s team worked in the pits until 8 p.m. Friday evening and they were back the track first thing Saturday morning working to get their car back in working order.

“They were actually pretty lenient with us,” Blewett said about getting to stay late in the garage Friday. “They gave us until 8 o’clock to kind of get our bearings and at least get in somewhat of an order of what we had to do.

“It was mainly bolt on stuff, but time consuming stuff. Straightening sheet metal out. Basically it was the whole right side of the car. The right side nerf bad, the hubs, rotors, the whole right front suspension all had to be fixed.”

Blewett is mandated to go to the rear of the field for the start of the event because he will not start the race on the tires he qualified with. The tires were damaged in the crash. Changing the tires constitutes an unapproved adjustment in the eyes of NASCAR. Though Blewett said he had already decided he was going to start in the back whether NASCAR mandated it or not.

“I know better,” Blewett said. “If you get the thing fixed you’re not going to know if it’s 100 percent right and I wouldn’t want to be putting myself or any of these guys that are running for points in that position of me starting up there and not being able to go.”

Blewett said the rear starting spot in the 32-car field is of little concern to him.

“This is one of them racetracks where track position doesn’t mean anything at all I don’t think,” Blewett said. “One lap you can be 35th and the next lap be 15th. We’re just going to play it safe in the beginning and try to put ourselves in position for the end and not take any chances until it’s time to.”

With Blewett falling to the back, the inside lane from qualifying will move up, putting third place qualifying Bryon Chew of Mattituck, N.Y. on the pole for the start of the event.

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