Ole Blue, New Series: BRE Expects Part-Time Effort With Modified Tour and Modified Racing Series In 2014

One of the legendary rides of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is expected to be one of the new kids on the block of the Valenti Modified Racing Series in 2014

The legendary Boehler Racing Enterprises Ole Blue No. 3 with the Whelen Modified Tour (Photo: Corey Sipkin/NASCAR)

The legendary Boehler Racing Enterprises Ole Blue No. 3 with the Whelen Modified Tour (Photo: Corey Sipkin/NASCAR)

Boehler Racing Enterprises team owner Michael Boehler said Friday that the team will likely run part-time on both the Whelen Modified Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series next season.

“It’s probably going to be five or six races on each Tour or something like that,” Boehler said of his East Freetown, Mass. based team. “Maybe do the [races at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway] and stuff like that and stay close to home.

“It is sad and it is tough, but it’s probably been coming for quite a while. If you don’t go out [on the Whelen Modified Tour] and win three or four races and finish in the top-five in points you’re not getting your money back no matter what. It’s probably one of those deals where maybe we should have stopped five years ago, but somehow, someway, with all the sponsors and help we’ve gotten, we’ve been able to continue. But it’s just getting tough on everybody.”

The Ole Blue No. 3 is one of the legendary rides of Modified racing and a fixture on the Whelen Modified Tour since the division’s inception in 1985. The team was pioneered for decades by Boehler’s celebrated father Len, who passed away in 2001.

Before the Modified Tour was created, the team won NASCAR Modified National championships in 1967, ’68 and ’69 with Bugsy Stevens behind the wheel. On the current Modified Tour, BRE won championships with Wayne Anderson in 1994 and Tony Hirschman in 1995 and ’96.

The car has seen four drivers over the past four years. Ryan Preece ended a three-run behind the wheel of the BRE car after the 2010 season. Matt Hirschman drove the car in 2011. Keith Rocco and Ted Christopher shared the ride in 2012 and Christopher ran the car full-time in 2013.

Christopher finished 10th on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2013 with four top-fives and six top-10’s in 14 starts.

“Truthfully, we barely could finish last season,” Boehler said. “It was just an awful year. It was nobody’s fault, tons of effort from Teddy and my guys and everything, just a lot of bad luck. We never really could get caught up financially. Just one of those years.

“I think, looking forward, in order to keep racing, with the limited sponsors and the help we have, the key is to stay more local. The [Whelen Modified Tour event at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.] last year killed us. It almost ended our season. We spent $7,200 and got back $1,500. Stuff like that you just can’t continue to do. We still want to race, we still love it, we’ve still got our equipment, but to run the whole Tour is just tough now.”

Boehler got his team’s No. 3 registered with the Valenti Modified Racing Series recently.

“I’ve wanted to do it in the past, I wanted to make sure we got our number,” Boehler said. “It probably makes a lot more sense budget-wise over there.”

The Whelen Modified Tour is expected to have four races at Stafford, three races at Thompson and one race at the Waterford Speedbowl in 2014. The Valenti Modified Racing Series is expected to have three events at Stafford and two each at Thompson and Waterford next year.

Boehler said he is still unsure who will be driving his car next year.

“We’re taking our time with that,” Boehler said. “I still haven’t even talked to Teddy about next year.”

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  1. Really wish this team would make some R.O.C. Tour races. Even the actual ROC at the end of sept. 10k to win and 20 in lap $

  2. .. hello, Eric, Bob, Wayne, Mike, Ed, Christopher (collectively the WMT car owners), the time is now, make a stand.. Good for Mike and Ole’ Blue – not to worry, by testing the waters of a competing tour or bailing altogether – NOBODY will think less of the 3 team and NOBODY will question the heritage of this team and its appeal going forward. Ole’ Blue still retains Mt. Rushmore like status in the modified world. If others could put their egos aside and think practical, you may get NASCAR’s attention.. or not and so be it – move on to other pastures..

    Mike isn’t saying anything that isn’t common knowledge. Why continue this losing proposition? In absence of any real bargaining power or a collective of drivers and owners with a strong voice (like NEDOC had in the 70’s – to a degree) – what you do is, you don’t go to Daytona, you don’t go to Bristol – you walk now and make plans similar to this.. although, I suppose if you enjoy hemorrhaging money, your choice – but it’s not a good one for modified racing and sends the wrong message.

  3. How many more nails are needed before they put it in the ground?

  4. 7200 to go to bristol, to get back 1500!!!!.. you will have better luck at the casinos. I’d be willing to bet that at least half of that is tires. I know the pay outs are mainly controlled by the tracks themselves but no wonder these guys can’t do this anymore. They should all band up and leave before they’re all broke ..

  5. darealgoodfella says

    That’s $7,200 for a frugal operation to run Bristol. Other teams spend much more. First place (~$10,000) at Bristol might net enough to pay for a pizza party for the crew. Second place paid about $5,000, so second place and below was a major lo$ing experience.

    It is amazing that any cars show up.

  6. What series is strong enough to control the North/East and South/East regions together? A series that can control cost, bring new tracks, and work with the teams? I asked if a 575hp, $7,000 crate motor would be a possible cost saver with no responses. Like was mentioned above “How many more nails are needed before they put it in the ground?”

  7. This is why I think the whole not going to New Smyrna situation is not a bad thing. Teams can’t afford to race 1500 miles away. Let the K & N guys have it.

  8. I never really liked the Valenti series. I just don’t know the drivers and the cars, so I always felt the Whelen series more exciting. If some of those teams start to move over, I think it will be like opening the flood gates. There must be a lot of people like me who will make it a point to go to a VMR. Todd Szegedy was said to be free for 2014?

  9. darealgoodfella says

    Too much emphasis on cost containment. It is not the responsibility of the owners. Owners already do not want to spend enormous amounts.

    No effort on marketing, promoting, public awareness, sponsorship, mindshare, purse growth, special events, etc. NASCAR and sanctioning bodies need to do that.

  10. Remember when everyone use to say that the WMT needed more TV coverage to make it viable? The tour was on national TV 5 times in 2013, 4 of them live. What has that done? Absolutely nothing. Where is all the TV money going??

  11. A. Scott Collier says

    Mr Chim,
    The Valenti modified series is the best thing that has happened to the modifieds in years. Just the fact of 100 green flag laps gets the fans their money’s worth. Us veterans are sick and tired of watching a third of a race go to cautions ! Go to these races and see what it is like!

  12. lets not forget VMS run heats too, another great thing for us fans. Time trials suck they are no fun to watch and they determine nothing at all.

  13. The Valenti series Ct, races last year were more entertaining overall than the WMT events. Also cheaper to attend for fans as well as more entertaining with heat races as well as larger fields. I have always loved the WMT but the cost vs.payoff has reduced car counts to less than a full field. Cost saving changes are needed soon or the WMT will soon cease to exist. Why can DIRT mods and Sprint Cars in Pa. still have very high paying purses that frequently are double or triple the payoff of any asphalt modified events?

  14. Dirt racing is just different don’t know how else to explain it other than this.. go to Stafford on Friday night and watch the tour mods follow each other around , then go to Lebanon valley on Saturday night and watch the mods. Dirt racing is not a parade. There 3 and 4 wide in the corners. And there usually battles at all ends of the race track. It’s a more exciting experience for me anyways and I love asphalt racing. The stands are constantly packed because prices are low and you can afford to bring your whole family for 10 bucks each. A mod tour race is 35+ each. Racing is better prices are lower sponsors ase more prevent because of the fan base that’s why it’s more successful. Something nascar should be watching closely in an attempt to resurrect their current series…

  15. Prevelent… stupid auto correct

  16. Andy Boright says

    Before everyone jumps on the MRS bandwagon and say how great it is for modified racing, I’d like to remind people how much race fixing and stroking MRS series officials have allowed to go on there.

    That’s not good for modified or short track racing in general.

  17. Andy, that’s your opinion. The M.R.S. has consistently put on the most exciting mod. racing no matter what track they run. As a fan I’ll take heat races and 100 green flag laps every time

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