Departing: Jimmy Blewett Shutting Down Family Owned Whelen Modified Tour Team

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

The dwindling ranks of teams in competition on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is taking yet another hit.

Jimmy Blewett confirmed Monday that he is shutting down operation of the  Whelen Modified Tour team he drives for and that his grandfather John Blewett Sr. owns.

Struggling to keep things going with the organization, the 33-year old Blewett ran a part-time schedule with the team in 2013.

“I’ve decided to take a step back from it,” Blewett said. “It’s getting too hard to find the people to take the time off of work for these two and three days events. And it’s so hard to find sponsors.”

Blewett, of Howell, N.J., started six of 14 events this year on the Whelen Modified Tour, recording four top-10 finishes. He debuted the team owned by his grandfather in 2011 and ran a full season with the team in 2012, finishing eighth in the standings with four top-five finishes in 14 starts.

“It’s an extremely tough decision, but at the end of the day you can only do what you can do,” Blewett said. “If you can’t find the people to do the work with you, you can’t do it all on your own. And it comes down to paying the bills. My grandfather, he isn’t hurting, but he’s not rich either. No matter how you cut it, to go to a [Whelen Modified Tour] race it’s $5,000. Now, if you don’t win, it doesn’t cover it. Sometimes even if you do win it doesn’t cover it. It’s not even feasible money-wise to even go to them.”

Blewett, who made his first Whelen Modified Tour start in 2001, has started at least one race in the division each year for the last 13 years.

Over 105 career starts Blewett has five victories and 21 top-five’s. He has three career poles, the most recent coming in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He ran from 2005 to 2009 with team owner Eddie Partridge. He was on track competing with his older brother John Blewett III when John was killed in an accident at Thompson Speedway on Aug. 16, 2007.

Blewett said he isn’t closing the door entirely on competing with the Whelen Modified Tour, he just won’t be doing it with a family owned team.

“Maybe I can get a call over the winter for someone looking for a driver,” Blewett said. “Maybe I can do something like that. I still think I can go out there and win. I’m definitely going to miss it. I’ve got some unfinished business. I definitely want to get a win at Thompson to close that chapter for me, and there’s a couple other things I’d like to accomplish on the Tour. But if not, I had a good run while I had it. All I can do now is sit here and hope the phone rings and maybe I can set something up with somebody.”

Over the last couple years Blewett has dabbled in dirt racing and he said he will continue with that endeavor.

“I’m going to continue doing some dirt stuff at New Egypt [Speedway in New Egypt, N.J.] and Bridgeport [Speedway in Swedesboro, N.J.] and maybe even travel a little bit with that. It’s a little more efficient for me. The tire cost is down a lot more with that than what you’re seeing at a Touring Series event. It’s just a lot more feasible financially.”

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  1. ” No matter how you cut it, to go to a [Whelen Modified Tour] race it’s $5,000. Now, if you don’t win, it doesn’t cover it. Sometimes even if you do win it doesn’t cover it.”

    That is a structural defect in the series, which I realize NASCAR doesn’t care about. Basically, you have to be very wealthy to play this game. It is not surprising that Thompson is changing their focus to the uber-wealthy.

  2. How much do u need 2 get for your equipment im intrested in purchasing the whole team

  3. I heard 120K will buy it …

  4. Henry I’m sure a question like that would be best asked by calling one of the Blewetts, not by asking in an online post lol. and p.s. wake up NASCAR….your killing the best division you have!!!!!

  5. That sad to hear. If this keeps up. Soon the WMT numbers will drop below 20 cars per race and that will not be good. And it could mean the death of the WMT.

    In all honesty if the WMT goes under. I can see VMRS making a pro series. Just saying.

  6. Charlie Sharpsteen says

    This is not good for the sport. Its sad to see a family that has helped build a class have to drop out. Jimmy always plays a good villan for fans to talk about.

  7. Again, another solid team is leaving thanks to the powers to be in Daytona. Would the last team standing be sure to turn out the lights on NASCAR’s oldest series.

  8. Fred Pucylowski says

    Eventually all auto racing comes down to ability to spend! I go back to the days of his Dad and recall seeing Jr. and Jimmy racing Big Wheels at New Eqypt.

  9. Dave Haggerty says

    I have followed the mods back to the 60’s nascar has done a poor job if any helping the most exiting division it has,now saying that drivers years ago did not care about cup they would stay with the mods ,RICHIE 66 Cookman Charlie J REGGIE R,J COOK, AND SO MANY MORE GIL HEARN AT WALL TONY SISCONE AT WALL NO NASCAR TRACK WITH BIG CROWDS now how many guys work in cup and gave up driving Ray Everham,gordon’s spotter EDIE D’HOUNT who won best looking car at the race of champions,Doug Hewitt,Doug Walcot,sorry about the spelling of names if they are wrong.Also the cars do not look like factory cars any more they need to get away from the J car look and make them look like a modified stock car,yes the J car look is sharp but that will not bring sales to the factory,this is one area that the tour could do better,still leave the tires hang out and the headers but put a nose and tail that looks like a stock showroom car.Put the mods with the cup cars at the short track,make all points from any nascar track count toward the championship any night any track that will make drivers from the north and south and any track mix.NASCAR needs to put more money into the series and the tracks forget about the back gate money give half back to the track,get a tire deal to help the teams.Modifieds have become 100 percent race cars and are very costly help them don’t slow them down you take away their trill but do something.

  10. Walter A Fike says

    I have been a modified fan for over 25 years slot of people have come and gone from the division and in my opinion its getting worse just 8 or 9 year’s ago you had 25 cars at the tracks now there’s less than 20 most of the time in my opinion nascar needs to give the division more prize money I have talk to alot of people who say its just not worth it any more and I have to agree yes racing is more expensive than 20 years ago but nascar could and should give more prize money to

  11. Bill Boulay says

    Dave Haggerty i grew up in the Modified division and you are absolutely confusing modifieds with cup cars! The modified was never designed to look like a stock car! It isn’t there to help dealers sell cars! That’s why they are called Modifieds and that’s what has made them so attractive to so many people! I do agree that NASCAR has done nothing to support or promote their oldest and most exciting division !!!

  12. Damon creeden says

    Someone save wall stadium

  13. Stuart A Fearn says

    The quality of racing on the Tour is just going down, down, down and will be worse this year. There will most likely be 20 plus cars simply because now there are a couple guys that say “hey look a lot of top teams are folding up or just lacking so we can swoop in and win races and compete for the championship!” That is logical. Those are the serious racers that go to win and have the resources to do so.
    Then there are the others with stars in their eyes that always dreamed of being in the big show, there are dozens and dozens of these racers out there and they will now see the reduced fields and equipment for sale and say, “hey I can get the minimum level of equipment to get to the track and I’ll definitely make the field since so many others have bailed in the last number of years so it’s low risk and I’ll have a lot of fun and be able to tell everyone that will listen that I’m a modified tour driver. ”
    The net result is more field fillers and less real racers that actually have a chance to win the race. It’s pretty bad now and I can’t really imagine it getting worse but a blip down in the economy certainly will trigger the beginning of the end. A major structural change would be required to change the course the tour has taken for, I don’t know, the last 15 years? It’s pretty simple, too expensive. Losing proposition however you look at it, except for the glamour aspect which is getting less and less.
    What sounds more glamourous to you, “I won the 50th Spring Sizzler and won $34,000 that weekend, beating 50 other drivers” or ” I drove 1,000 miles, spent $5,000 in tires, fuel, entry, and won the Tour race, beating out 16 other drivers and netted $3,000 after expenses”
    Think about it

  14. Geee More NASCAR HATE STUART, why do you care so much? the Spring Sizzler should be great, as A Modified fan i hope it is, but why the continued bashing of the WMT, whats the POINT?????? Enjoy your Stafford races, ANY win at ANY track is glamorous, why bash Teams going out because they Love Modified racing no matter the Track or Series, WOW, who are you to RATE teams and drivers as field fillers, Not every team wins but some are Happy to be doing something they enjoy, Give it a Rest!

  15. Wade Cole and Carl Pastreyak didn’t have any $34,000 Glamorous wins but THEY raced mods because they Love doing it, i guess racing at Stafford will cost 0 for tires, gas and entry and guys like Jankowiak and Emerling wont travel any miles to get there, I love what Stafford is doing for the 50th Spring Sizzler on every level but why do you have to Cut down the WMT and teams that support it??, Yea now i do have anger and venom for dumb comments like yours Stuart.

  16. ” WOW, who are you to RATE teams and drivers as field fillers, Not every team wins but some are Happy to be doing something they enjoy, Give it a Rest!”

    Well said, couldn’t agree with you more!

  17. wmass01013,
    First, I’m not sure how this comment threat got fired up on a story published in 2013, but so be it.
    I think calling Stuart Fearn’s comment “dumb” is a pretty simple and insulting take. I think as a longtime participant and team owner in short track racing Stuart Fearn brings an educated, fair and objective perspective to many topics.
    I understand that people are passionate about what they love in sports, and that goes for the Whelen Modified Tour. But, I also think when people just ignore reality because they don’t like it or don’t want to accept the picture it paints, it’s kind of sad.
    The basic message from Stuart was that the quality of the fields overall on the Whelen Modified Tour has declined in recent years and that the return on the investment is not the same as it was say 10 years ago.
    I don’t think anybody looking at the current state of the Whelen Modified Tour objectively can disagree with those facts. And that’s in no way any sort of insult of guys like Justin Bonsignore or Doug Coby or Ron Silk or any other top-level teams. When you look at average car count per event, the Whelen Modified Tour had the lowest overall number of participants in its history in 2021. That’s certainly not a good trend to be on. There were 12 teams that participated in all 14 series events in 2021 and that number will almost certainly go down in 2022, and could possibly fall into single digits. Again, not a good trend.
    And as far as the return on investment, that’s just simple math. Obviously when you have a team racing for X amount of dollars in a Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford or Thompson it will cost less than racing for the same amount X amount purse in an event far outside of the Northeast base.
    Again, it’s not saying the races aren’t good and it’s not an insult to the quality of the top-level teams and drivers, but it’s just the reality of what’s taking place. To ignore the facts or act like it’s not happening is just living in a fantasy world. Nobody is saying it’s doomsday, and I don’t think anyone is calling for an end to the series, but reality is reality.

  18. .” I think as a longtime participant and team owner in short track racing Stuart Fearn brings an educated, fair and objective perspective to many topics.”

    I would not completely agree with that. I would say he brings an informed opinion that the record shows can be fair and at times educational to the fan base but at other times completely biased and self serving.

    “There were 12 teams that participated in all 14 (NWMT) series events in 2021 ”

    Tri Track had a track championship as well as the CBYD bonus. They were strictly regional and they too had only 12 cars competing in only 6 events. Not exactly an apples and oranges comparison but noteworthy.
    A contributing factor may be the enormous number of choices tour type teams have that have exploded over the years making lower full time participants IN PART a function of not only travel and expense but more options.

  19. Doug,
    Definitely apples and oranges there. That number for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series for participants in every event is a typical number for them. That number for the Tour is one that has been trending downward in recent years. Numbers are numbers, but trends illustrate the story.
    And I’m not sure what’s “self serving” about Stuart Fearn commenting honestly about what he sees in trending issues with the Whelen Modified Tour. I’m at a loss to understand why someone who owns a weekly running Late Model team would have a “self serving” interest offering an honest critical observation of the Whelen Modified Tour.

  20. 12 full time teams is more than just about any touring series in the country, too.

    It may take a year or two to see results, but i think this Flo money will be a real boon to the tour. I think you are starting to see it with the schedule they assembled.

  21. Well Shawn the thread was dragged up by Stuart Fearn to show the level he will go to takes shots at NASCAR and the WMT, i dont care who Stuart Fearn is or what cars he owns, the last yr of post by him always cuts Down NASCAR or the WMT, i am welllllllllllllll aware of the state of the WMT and know the fields go up and down like any other series, but by saying that the winner of this yrs Spring Sizzler will win $34,000 when that means they won their Duel and lead every lap on Sunday, which while possible is unlikely, is far more glamorous and worthy then racing the WMT, you can HATE NASCAR or the WMT all u want, thats your choice but who is Stuart Fearn to knock teams who follow it, and if you dont see a trend in his post then you are as blind as anyone!! Again i ask you and him why if you like a track or seies Series that you have to cut down another series to make your points.

  22. wmass01013,
    You come back and illustrate exactly the point l was trying to make. Unless someone offers up undying devotion and praise of the Whelen Modified Tour you characterize whatever is said as bashing the series. All you want is for people to forever say everything is great, everything is wonderful, nothing is wrong, there’s nothing to worry about. When people offer up real factual information to back up their opinion and you call it “hate” it just paints the picture that you refuse to look at anything with even an ounce of objectivity.

  23. The only way I can see NASCAR restoring the WMT as the top Modified series that it once was is to reach into their pockets for more $$. Yes, their points championship $$ is great, but the expense of chasing that is also getting greater and greater as well. I think Mr. Fearn’s point is spot on. All I know is if I was a Northeast tour-type Modified team owner, particularly in CT or MA, I WOULD NOT be incurring the fuel and hotel $$ to run at Richmond when I can run at the Icebreaker in April. The same for running at Langley when I can be at the Sizzler in May. Winning a season long points championship has long odds for ANY race team, regardless of their resources and talent. Look at some of the top-running teams who have decided to not chase the WMT championship next year; maybe chasing it the last few years led to some “negative cash flow”? Not many have unlimited resources, that’s for sure!

  24. Well, I was having another deja vu all over again, when I realized this is an 8 year old thread.

  25. I sympathize with tour first fans that have to endure these regular gratuitous attacks. I’ve read the original post that started all this and I’m not seeing facts. Mostly it’s conjecture, projections and a little demeaning to teams as well. Complete with ascribing motivations to teams taking certain actions that at this point no one can know will be the case.
    Wilson put together a pretty good schedule with some really interesting races coming up. I should think if you do support racing and if you do have respect for the guys that support the tour you could at least keep your powder dry until February at least to see how the kick of goes.

  26. wmass01013 wrote, “Well Shawn the thread was dragged up by Stuart Fearn to show …”

    WRONG!!!!! 😑. Stuart Fearn did not dredge up the thread… that happened about three posts earlier by someone else.

    wmass01013, you can not be believed. 😔

    Doug wrote, “Wilson put together a pretty good schedule with some really interesting races coming up.”

    WRONG AGAIN! This schedule sucks. Stafford and Thompson traditionally made up just over 50% of the schedule. The NWMT is a regional series, with the NORTHEAST being the region. When the two home tracks (Stafford & Thompson) are not participating, and the cars are rarely in the home region, it ain’t a good schedule. The fans, aka: paying customers, are not being served.

  27. There are only 4 races out of the region, lol. It’s the most amount of tracks on the schedule in 2 decades. There isn’t much point in having a touring series anymore if it can’t run at tracks other than Thompson or Stafford. Doesn’t really fit the definition of touring at that point, does it?

    Sure, not having a Stafford date sucks. Don’t think either side will lose sleep over it, though.

    Kinda hard to grow the tour and modifieds as a whole when 9+ races have to be in CT if it were up to you. There are fans that want to go to these races in places other than CT.

  28. Dareal, I have to say it: Thompson has two WMT races in 2022. However, I do understand your point though. When most of the racers in the WMT are in the Northeast, why are races scheduled down south? Yes it’s cool to have them race on Cup weekends, but does that exposure really expand the fanbase and car counts? I would think the increase in streaming will do more to help the fan base. As for car counts, with most of the teams being being north of Wall Speedway, I think having events in Florida, Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania, and even Oswego New York won’t do much to produce more teams willing to chase the WMT championship.

  29. Is the NWMT schedule a good one or bad. At this point you could conclude either and you wouldn’t be wrong since the result won’t be known until next fall.
    Speaking only for myself obviously the races at Claremont, Monadnock, Lee USA as well as the two at Thompson a bit of a surprise and much appreciated. The three at Riverhead with their local teams participating is never a bad show. Then there is Wall that last time was a blood bath and won’t be boring in any event. Add the NHMS show and that’s 10 regional events so what’s the problem?
    My view is that the notion of championships is for the most part outdated with all the different entities holding events. Each event standing on it’s own with regard to drawing fan interest.
    I disagreed with pretty much everything in the original comment posted on December 11. Mostly the last paragraph that like everything in our world today seems to have to result in a winner and a loser. How about this idea. Every originator of a tour modified event in 2022 has a successful season..

  30. Zig13,

    I don’t think any team owners or competitors are saying they want nine plus races in Connecticut. What I do hear from team owners though is that they would prefer to not have so many long trips that are big drains on fuel, hotels, meals and other expenses. I’m not sure what you consider “the region”, but I don’t think anyone on the Modified Tour considers Jennerstown to be in “the region”. It’s actually pretty much the same distance to Jennerstown as it is to Richmond, Va. So that would make five races out of the region.
    I think team owners want to race at a good assortment of tracks, but within reason when it comes to costs. I know of at least three team owners who told me last year that the costs of trips to Martinsville and Richmond alone last year were enough to make them want to quit the series because the payoff in the end was next to nothing even if you won the event.
    And those travel costs are only trending upward. We’re at a time where there are really fewer and fewer team owners around who can absorb the cost of racing the series full-time and instead of efforts being made to bring the overall cost of travel down, it’s actually going up, and in a big way.
    Let’s look at this table. Let’s use Hartford, CT as the base point for the series for travel purposes. Below is a listing of some years for the series with the total miles of travel, average miles per race and number of events that include a more than 500-mile round trip.

    2022: 16 races – 9,112 miles (569.5 miles per race) – six events plus 500 mile round trip
    2021: 14 races – 6,436 miles (459.7 miles per race) – six events plus 500 mile round trip
    2019: 16 races – 5,350 miles (334.3 miles per race) – three events plus 500 mile round trip
    2015: 15 races – 3,378 mile (225.2 miles per race) – one event plus 500 mile round trip
    2010: 14 races – 4458 miles (318.4 miles per race) – two events plus 500 mile round trip
    2005: 18 races – 4,544 miles (252.4 miles per race) – two events plus 500 mile round trip

    The average distance per race in 2022 will be 569.5 miles per race. That’s more than double per race from seven years ago. That’s a huge increase when consider the cost of fuel and wear & tear on truck & trailers. And remember, in 2015 teams were travelling 225.2 miles per race and racing for essentially the same purses they’re racing for today while travelling on average more than double the distance per race. And in 2015 most teams probably had to get hotel rooms for one event. In 2022 they will need hotel rooms for six or more events, plus flights. And again, essentially racing for the same purses they were racing for in 2015 when there was one race where you might need hotel rooms and you were traveling half the distance overall for the season.

    Again, I think everybody wants to see the series travel to cool and unique venues, but it has to be remembered it’s a regional series. If you price out most of the teams that support it because it’s grown far beyond the “region” then what?

  31. Just a couple years ago, there was a big push to go to one day shows, for a good reason: reduce costs.

    Now we have this schedule with massive travel and INCREASED COSTS.

  32. I think the goal would be to get some new teams outside the “region”. Even if they are just part-timers. I think the days of a 15-18+ race touring series getting ~20 full time teams are in the rearview. I’m perfectly ok with having 10-15 full-timers, with another couple one offs and part-timers sprinkled in. mix those in with riverhead cars at their races, a couple WNY,PA and NJ cars at wall/oswego/JT, CT/NH teams at the CT/NH races, and some southern mods at the VA races is AOK in my book. Frankly, I’m not looking for more than 25 or so cars for a race. More is of course better, but I think that’s the point it starts to hit diminishing returns. And who knows maybe you impress them enough to make them consider joining up full time eventually.

    I look at series like WoO, ASCoC, USAC for example, and they make those car count numbers work quite well. A core 10-15 guys, with part-timers and locals spread in.

    And based on things like the weekly owner’s plan paying out to 15 cars instead of 25 this year and potential things like a “VA bonus plan” I think the tour is ok with that as well. Between that and the Flo money that I’ve heard, I’m cautiously optimistic they can maintain or even slightly improve the average car count this season and get a little momentum. All while having a much more interesting schedule.

    I also don’t see a ton of the owners that dropped off the tour over the last decade or so flocking to open races either. So it’s more than just the travel expenses for some.

    Will be interesting to watch and see how everything plays out over the next few years.

  33. wmass01013,
    You come back and illustrate exactly the point l was trying to make. Unless someone offers up undying devotion and praise of the Whelen Modified Tour you characterize whatever is said as bashing the series. All you want is for people to forever say everything is great, everything is wonderful, nothing is wrong, there’s nothing to worry about. When people offer up real factual information to back up their opinion and you call it “hate” it just paints the picture that you refuse to look at anything with even an ounce of objectivity.
    Wrong, again i LOVE All Modified Racing, if you read post from me you will also see that I do not think NASCAR is perfect or the golden goose, fees should be lower, Purses should be higher, but most think NASCAR is the big giant bully down in FLA that just takes $ from teams and tracks on the WMT and gives nothing back, alll you kept saying in 2021 was Only 3 weekly tracks wanted a WMT race, now we are onto the travel and lowering entry list but when Thompson entry list was low in 2021 it was they are new give them a chance, when alllll you see here is NASCAR bashing from you and others yes i am going to share my other feelings, AGAIN what Stafford is doing for the 2022 Spring Sizzler is FANTASTIC and i hope great racing, weather and crowd but bringing up a 9 yr old story to take shots at NASCAR is BS in my book! Show me any article where you state any Praise to NASCAR or the WMT SHAWN?

  34. The Tour-type Mod has been around for decades, and has not been successful gaining traction outside the northeast. It’s a regional car running in regional series, delineated by Wall and Riverhead to the south, up and through the northeast, including he RoC NY contingent. If the Tour-type Mod was ever going to expand, it should have happened decades ago, not now when motorsports are dying, particularly asphalt motorsports. Asphalt tracks are closing down.

    The NASCAR southern tour shutdown years ago. Other Tour-type Mod series have tried to gain traction, never got off the ground, and have disappeared or became irrelevant. TTOMS is one of the recent successful series, but it is a LOCAL series focused in the REGION. See the correlation? Bowman Gray keeps mods alive in the south.

    The last few years, the NWMT owners were harping for one day events, and one day events have to be local and not require excessive travel and lodging. So now NASCAR produces this schedule with the exact opposite: massive travel and many nights of lodging. These distant tracks will require expenses to feed and provide lodging, expenses not needed with a local, regional venue.

    The idiots at NASCAR are behaving like antagonistic pricks. The owners have been telling NASCAR what they need, and NASCAR goes out of their way to do the opposite. The SPEC engine was supposed to be a cost reduction, produce parity, and bring in more teams. Nothing like that happened at all, actually, quite the opposite. The joke that owners often tell that they “can’t afford NASCAR’s cost improvements” is true yet again.

    I hope Jimmy Wilson gets promoted soon.

  35. Nicely done Mr Courchesne those mileage numbers are stunning and must have taken some time to put together. Thanks!
    For a misplaced conversation this is turning into a pretty good one. Let me see if I can add to it productively.

    # of Events
    # of cars missing no more then 2 events
    total teams participating
    average # cars per event.


    I disagree with the notion that the tour is trending down. Put 2020 aside for extenuating circumstance the tour fell off the table in 2021 with regard to average car count and with fewer events.
    I couldn’t say it as skillfully but am firmly in the gentlemen’s camp that brought WoO, ASCoC and USAC into the conversation. . The days of large numbers of teams chasing tour dates to accumulate points is over. The key for me is in that third number I’ve shown, the total cars participating in 1 or more events. The key to success in the future in my view is making it easier to pick and choose NWMT events on a part time basis. 67 teams raced in at least one NWMT event in 2021 which is a solid number. What you want is to turn the 1 and 2 events teams into 3 and 4 event teams by making the gig more enticing.
    The points been made that low car counts encourage marginal teams to enter NWMT races, get in the record books and win some money. I have no problem with that. In 2021 15 of the 72 teams that entered TTOMS didn’t make the feature. Ricky Knapp, Jr came to three TTOMS events and never made a feature. If he came to a NWMT race he would have. You can argue that it speaks to the strength of TTOMS events and you’d be right. On the other hand neither you nor I really care so much about who is down the running order we care about guys fighting for the win and top 10.
    So if we do care about quality how has that changed in the NWMT over a number of years.
    2018 was a good year that saw a top ten that included J. Bonsignor, Dowling, Coby, Solomito, Lutz, Summers (64), Goodale, Sap, Williams (21) and Pasteryak.
    2021 the top ten included J. Bonsignor, Emerling, Silk, K. Bonsignor, Coby, Goodale, Pitkat, McKennedy, Rypkema and Nocella.
    You could argue that driver for driver 2021 had the stronger name recognition and modified chops. At the least you’d be pressed to say it dropped off.
    2021 also saw the big name drop ins like Preece and Hirschman winning.
    Now think back to the actual races. NWMT vs TTOMS vs Stafford vs Thompson. What series had the most exciting and/or unpredictable events? For my money it was the NWMT.

    When Mr. Courchesne says there is a problem and a real need for a change in direction or face the reality that the tour is near death you can bet it’s spot on. That’s his job to be brutally analytical. As a fan my job is to view the cup as half full.
    So where do we land on this car count thing? I know all I need is 2 or three guys at the top fighting for the championship, a solid top 10 and decent car counts. I don’t see why we can’t have that in 2022.

  36. zig13 wrote, “I think the goal would be to get some new teams outside the “region”.”

    Yeah, that’s pretty funny. 😆 Please tell us how you plan on doing that!!!! 😝😝😝😝

    When there were blended events, north and south NASCAR events, the southern cars didn’t travel up north. One event where there were so few southern cars, they were blended with MRS cars, IIRC. Very few made it, and after getting their asses kicked by the far superior northern teams, they kinda quit these blended events all together. It has been said the southern teams will not travel across the street to race, and that is not a stretch. The northern teams traveled south, stole the candy and ate their lunch, and laughed all the way home.

  37. Zig13, you may be correct in theory, but the reality will likely produce the opposite results. Remember the Busch North Series? That great regional series that NASCAR decided to turn into an east coast feeder division for Xfinity and Cup? Then it became the series that had events getting cancelled due to small car counts? The series they had to merge with ARCA to give the few remaining competitors a place to race? I think NASCAR needs to refresh their memory on that! Fortunately the Modifieds now have options with TriTrack, Open events, and the MRS!

  38. DRGF, I don’t believe anything I said could be seen as me saying “get the southern cars to run up north.”

    It’s getting the southern cars to run the southern races. Getting X cars to run X region, while having a 10-15 car core that are full/near full-timers

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to think you could get a couple southern cars to run Smyrna, Richmond, Langley and Martinsville. Especially if the tour makes the bonus idea meaningful for the VA races.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to get some PA/NJ mods to run JT and Wall.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to get some Riverhead cars to pull to Wall or Thompson.

    Modifieds are more than just North and South these days.

  39. Zig 13 refreshing comments and spot on!

  40. eddie, don’t take this the wrong way, but that Busch north revamp happened while I was way too young to really understand what was going on.

    Looking back at racing reference though, the last 4 season under the North banner went from 19 races in 2002 with a 30.2 car average to a 13 race schedule with a 28 car average in 2005. The lack of rose colored glasses makes it seem the series was starting to struggle at being a northern regional series. some mainstays like Lee and Seekonk had dropped them too. All this while NASCAR was peaking.

    The first 3 years under the East banner all had a better car count average than 2002-2005.

    Even a 3-year span post recession (12-14) had car counts average 29.4, 29.1 and 28.3. With the latter 2 year having more races than at the end of the North series.

    The series really has fallen off the last few years, but the series had a pretty good decade or so after the rebranding. I think other issues have brought it down more than just expansion catching up with them after 15 years. I really don’t think the north series would be any better right now if they left it alone.

    I also don’t think the North/East series really apply either. Those cars were pretty specific to that series. There really weren’t locals that can take the car they race every week and race the touring race with it. There are plenty of tracks that race some form of modifieds that can reasonably (by racing standards, anyway) be made tour legal to compete.

  41. Zig13, I saw and read about the Busch North series. The cars were pretty close in rules and specs to regular Busch (now Xfinity) cars at the time. The big difference was the North racers were from this area with a big fan following. We watched them develop from lower divisions at weekly tracks over the years and many followed them all over the northeast. Suddenly there was travel required that not many of the original teams could or wanted to do. Northeast races were coming off the schedule and Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Carolina races appeared. Fans started losing interest in events that had many drivers unfamiliar to them. As the expenses to race that series went up, the car counts dwindled. My point being the “beginning of the end” started when the series travel increased dramatically. The fan base was here along with the racers. When the schedule expanded both started going away.

  42. I honestly thought he already dropped off the tour. Shows how much I pay attention to the tour these days. I knew he still had pavement equipment to run some special events at Wall, maybe the World Series but I thought he was mostly running Dirt modifieds these days. There is just a lot more money and opportunity on Dirt where he is located. The Dirt mods typically run for more money and cost to run is generally cheaper with less travel. It makes all the dollar and cents to go Dirt racing for him. I cant fault him for making that decision. Every year a couple more teams and drivers come to the realization that its just not worth it anymore. Not sure how you correct the issue but you have to believe Nascar must be realizing there is a growing problem here.

  43. Trying to connect the Busch North Series to the current plight of the NWMT is a stretch at best in my view. The current environment with the advent of streaming and abundance of race choices for modified teams completely different. Back then the cars were series specific. By the time the Busch North lost the confidence of teams they had moved on and could not be retrieved. As opposed to now where the modified population is robust the only question being is the NWMT prepared to compete to earn their interest.

    “I don’t think it’s a stretch to think you could get a couple southern cars to run Smyrna, Richmond, Langley and Martinsville. Especially if the tour makes the bonus idea meaningful for the VA races.”

    That kind of crossover is already happening now isn’t it? Burt Meyers, Jeremy Gerstner and Gary Putnum all SMART regulars raced in at least one NWMT last year. Bobby Measmer a southern team that raced in three NWMT events, JR Burtuccio as well.
    Andrew Krause, Eddie McCarthy and Blake Barney all Wall regulars that appeared in at least one NWMT event.
    OK so what you are referring to is already happening and in my view is part of the current pick and choose mentality tour modified teams have in the current environment. It goes the other way as well as numerous northern teams popped into SMART events including Hirschman, Ronnie Williams, Zachem, Hossfeld as well as McCarthy from Wall.
    If it’s already happening it gets back to if the NWMT will encourage it and get the more involvement from local teams by making a one off race worth their while. That’s possibly where FloRacing comes in.
    I know FloRacing’s involvement at Stafford was dramatic. They came in committing up front money to the point funds and all year drivers couldn’t mention FloRacing enough. In victory lane, on social media FloRacing was mentioned regularly.
    What the NWMT does with purses, the point fund always seems to be a mystery. We’ll see if that changes with FloRacing’s involvement and if the tour has the insight to change some of their incentives to encourage the part time local teams. NASCAR does offer the per event license so they are capable to accommodating part time teams. The question is are they capable of putting money up per event and competing for teams that drive in other series.

  44. Doug, I think your last paragraph nailed it. Modified racing is alive and well with multiple event options for teams. NASCAR is going to have to do some work to entice teams to show up for their events, something they haven’t seemed very interested in doing previously. That may have had a lot to do with the FloRacing deal they made, but they’re never very forthcoming with payout info. NASCAR was the big fish in the small pond with WMT, but the pond got bigger over the last couple of years.

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