Streak Breaker: Ed Flemke Jr. To Miss NASCAR Mod Tour Icebreaker; Pondering Retirement From Competition

Ed Flemke Jr. (Photo: Kim Tyler/NASCAR)

Ed Flemke Jr. (Photo: Kim Tyler/NASCAR)

As he has done for most of the months since the 2013 NASCAR Modified Tour season ended, Ed Flemke Jr. struggled on Monday using the word retirement.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said the 58-year old Flemke, who has competed full-time with NASCAR Modified Tour since 1992. “It’s probably time to call it a day, I’m just not quite ready to do that. I’d like to at least run a few select shows this year. That’s what I’d like to do, but I just don’t know if it’s feasible or not. We’ll see.”

Flemke, of Southingon, was not on the entry list released by NASCAR Monday for Sunday’s season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway and he confirmed that he has no plans to racing Sunday. Flemke said competing regularly is not feasible financially at this point.

“Going to lay low for a bit and see what happens,” Flemke said. “I don’t know what the future is going to be. But unless something falls out of the sky, we will be missing the Icebreaker for sure.”

Sunday’s race at Thompson will mark the first NASCAR Modified Tour event without Flemke in the lineup since July 22, 1992 at the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass. Last year’s season ending event at Thompson marked the 382nd consecutive Modified Tour event for Flemke, a series record.

Sunday’s event will also mark the first since 1991 that the Modified Tour will hold its season opening event without Flemke in the lineup.

“[The streak] means a lot and I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me,” Flemke said. “I’m not really sure how I’m going to handle things. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect me. The only thing I can say to compare it with is when [Riverside Park Speedway] closed. When we ran the last race, it was sad but it was time marching on and progress and blah blah blah blah. It bothered you, but life went on. But when the spring came along and we weren’t at the Park like we’d normally be, it really hurt. So I don’t know how it’s going to affect me, but it bothers me.”

Overall Flemke has made 439 career NASCAR Modified Tour starts dating back to the 1988 season. He has 17 career victories, 91 top-five’s and 160 top-10’s along with 14 career poles. He finished in the top-10 in the standings 12 times over the last 20 years, including series runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2006. He is tied for 10th on the series’ all-time win list. His last victory came in 2008 at the Icebreaker at Thompson. Last year he finished 18th in the series standings with two top-10 finishes.

“I’m still going to go to the races,” said Flemke, who co-owns Raceworks Chassis with former Modified Tour regular Reggie Ruggiero. “I’ve got customers to think about and people that I want to see. I still care about racing. It’s my life. It’s why I’m so passionate about it, it’s the only constant that I’ve had in my life. You always could count on it, it’s been there. It was concrete. I’ve had parents pass away, grandparents, partners, friends. Jobs have gone away. People have left racing. But for me, racing is the only thing that I’ve always been able to count on, so I’m certainly not going to turn my back on it.

“And being angry and bitter, I’m really trying my best not to point fingers. It’s just not making sense financially. I can’t blame anybody for it. NASCAR can’t fix it, I can’t fix it, sponsors can’t fix it. I’m to the point where it just doesn’t make sense to continually think that it’s not going to hurt when the Band-aid comes off so I guess I just have to pull the Band-aid off and go.”

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  1. Ed Flemke Jr is one of the best humans God has created. It’s an honor to know him. Racing has had true gentleman racer, who speaks words of wisdom from the heart. It’s sad he won’t be in the line-up on the track but it is totally understandable.

  2. Steve Skaling says

    Love to see him drive the #3 “Old Blue”. Ron Bouchard, any sponsorship money left? Let’s go racing!

  3. Well spoken! The cost has affected everyone, fans, sponsors, teams and drivers. Bad times for anyone starting off but at least drivers like Ed have a record to show their love for the sport before it forced them out!

  4. Eddie if you do decide to retire, just know that I thought it was great being able to watch you and say thats my cousin out on that track.

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