Whelen Modified Tour Driver Tommy Barrett Jr. Arrested For Driving Under The Influence

Tommy Barrett Jr. celebrates after his first Whelen Modified Tour victory last August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tommy Barrett Jr. celebrates after his first Whelen Modified Tour victory last August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

WILLIMANTIC – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Tommy Barrett Jr. was arrested last week in Willimantic for driving under the influence.

Sergeant Alex Coriaty of the Willimantic Police Department confirmed that the 19-year old Barrett was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at 1:48 a.m. on April 17 in Willimantic.

Barrett was also cited for driving unreasonably fast and failing to signal a turn.

Barrett, of Millis, Mass., is due in Danielson Superior Court on Monday regarding the arrest. He was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning.

Barrett is in his second year competing full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour for team owner Chris Our and his Our Motorsports team. Barrett is considered one of the top young prospects of Modified racing in the Northeast.

Chris Our was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning.

Barrett is currently on the entry list for Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway. It’s unclear at this time if NASCAR would take any action in regards to the arrest. Whelen Modified Tour director Jimmy Wilson was not immediately available on Thursday morning.

Barrett was expected to run part-time with the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015 and also run a part-time schedule on the national ARCA Racing Series for Our. The team attempted to qualify for the season opening ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona International Speedway in February but did not earn a starting spot in the race.

Barrett finished 19th in the Whelen Modified Tour season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson on April 12. Before the event he said he thought the Our owned Whelen Modified Tour team would likely change their original plans to run part-time and instead run full-time this year with the Whelen Modified Tour.

Barrett arrived on the local racing scene as a 15-year old in the SK Light division at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2010 and recorded 14 victories in two seasons at the track before moving on to the Valenti Modified Racing Series full-time in 2012.

He had three victories with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in 2012 and three wins, ten top-five’s and 15 top-10’s in 17 starts in 2013 with the division, to finish second in the series standings.

Barrett replaced seven-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik in the Our Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour ride prior to the 2014 season. In 13 events in 2014 he had three top-fives and five top-10’s, including a win at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway during his rookie year. He finished 12th in the series standings in 2014.

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  1. Andy Boright says

    He needs to have less drama surrounding him. If he doesn’t get his head on straight, he will either be out of racing fast ot worst.

  2. Just heard the news that Steve Park will be back at the sizzler this weekend. I Cant Wait !!!

  3. I will be disgusted in Nascar and or Stafford speed way allow that punk to race. That’s all I have to say

  4. Who cares says

    Let him race. Kurt Busch got in trouble for it. Everyone thinks the kids a punk. He’s a talented driver. Stop hating him because he’s a good driver. He’s still a kid and still makes mistakes. No ones perfect. Half the people in the grand stands have duis or have been arrested for similar things.

  5. Who will Park be driving for

  6. Modfan…Steve Park?

  7. Mark Stanton says

    OMG, the internet is such a place for cowards, how come the haters never sign their name? People in glass houses……..

  8. Who cares? Um, I care! I drive our roads and don’t want to be his or any other drunken moron’s victim. Anyone and everyone choosing to drive drunk is a moron. Underage is no surprise either! This isn’t the first time and if it continues to go unchecked it won’t be the last. Yes, it is time to put his driving up on blocks. No lessons learned, when your bad behavior is rewarded. I have watched too many friends die, because of idiots like this guy, either from DUI or from drunken drivers killing them. If his handlers can’t get a grip on this problem, then NASCAR certainly should. He’s not a good driver, he’s a drunken driver! You are mistaking his talent, it’s more like luck, which hopefully has run out. Get some rehab, Tommy Barrett. Yes, you do need it.

  9. Half the people in the grandstands have been arrested? Doubtful… If that’s true, it’s a pretty sad statement about race fans.

    A few things to remember, though… He’s allowed his day in court, just like anybody. Also, he’s under 21, which means OUI is as low as .02, not the .08 for those over 21 in Connecticut. Lot’s of folks can hit .02 with a single pint of decent beer.

  10. I don’t think NASCAR should do a thing until he is proven guilty. I hope NASCAR has learned from their recent mistakes. Maybe he can take a road to recovery class during the month long break.

  11. Last I knew, you had to be 21 to drink in CT anyway. I would expect NASCAR to suspend his Nascar license. DUI is no joke. He should not be allowed to race until he is cleared or serves his penalty whatever that may be.

  12. late model fan says

    *to Who Cares* Yea that’s probly why he did this in the first place . No consequences he feels invisible to world like he can do no wrong because everyone tells him how good of a race car driver he is. I’m sure he’s not stupid he knows right from wrong. I’m in my 30’s and drink socially but NEVER have I gotten behind the wheel after drinking. People always think about the intoxicated driver when they get arrested. Well what if he crossed the line and this was a much differet story and someone innocent was hurt. He’s not even 21 he needs to be taught a series lesson or will think he can get away with anything. I hope nascar does the right thing here. Let’s not forget he is supposed to be DRIVING this weekend.. somthing he clearly can’t do responsibly in public underage.

  13. The 22 of course!

  14. ….I wonder who Mario’s going to blame this on? I can’t see how he can blame the VMRS for this.

  15. Mod Fan2…Steve Park is not racing at stafford

  16. Not in the 22. What are you going to try and tell us next for a rumor that Mike Stefaniak is going to be his spotter

  17. It’s none of anyone’s business, it really isn’t. Nascar doesn’t need to get involved, and probably won’t because it’s a Regional tour not a national series, and because the Ct. Court system will bealot harsher on him than Nascar will…. All of the keyboard warriors acting outraged, and calling for sanctions need to move on to something that matters like ticket prices at tracks, or race purses…. this is Tommy’s personal matter.

  18. Nothing good happens after midnight. A DUI is fastest way to ruin a career. Good thing there aren’t too many young drivers with dreams of racing in a national series. Oh wait… When you have more to lose than most you have to make better decisions.

  19. What does Mario have to say?

  20. Billy… Ticket prices are more important than a NWMT Driver putting innocent lives at risk?

  21. Di Di is right, Billy is wrong, period. It may be true that many people do drive drunk, but when you get caught that’s it, PARTY OVER!

  22. Keep in mind, it’s not clearly stated if it was even alcohol… it states alcohol OR drugs. His apology should be interesting

  23. Billy, actually it IS NASCAR’s business… They instituted a rule after the Kurt Busch incident as follows…

    Section 2.11 Required Notice: Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR…prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being charged, whichever is earlier

    Anyone holding a NASCAR license is considered a NASCAR Member, from the Cup Series to the Charger Division from your local weekly tracks. This applies to all of us.

  24. Instead of sitting on your computers why don’t you all mind your own business. This is not a racing matter. It’s a personal matter. He learns his lessons, I’m sure every single one of you still make mistakes whether you are 10 or 50. Nobody in life is perfect, so stop acting like you are. NASCAR does not need to get involved, they have more important things to worry about. Nobody even knows what ACTUALLY happened so therefore everyone needs to mind their own business! Point Blank! He made a damn mistake, now get over it! Everyone needs to look in the mirror and thinking about all the mistakes you have made instead of picking on Tommy for a MISTAKE HE MADE! And to whoever keeps saying this is not his first offense.. Well you are wrong. Am I sticking up for him? No I am not because it was wrong what he did, but it was a MISTAKE and I’m almost POSITIVE he learned from it. Nobody knows the FACTS so stop assuming the worst! Have a great day everyone!

  25. Kaitlyn, see my comment above yours. That is a direct excerpt from the NASCAR handbook.

  26. Did Mario hide this news for the past week? Go Rocco!

  27. Kaitlyn… People are talking about this because Tommy competes in a professional sport. People who compete in any high profile sport are subject to a larger level of scrutiny, whether it is positive (winning Bristol in your rookie season) or negative (committing a crime). A sport is predicated on having a public following so those who compete can’t have it both ways… There are a lot of people who make just one mistake and it changes there lives drastically. When you get behind the wheel under the influence you need to be prepared to pay an extremely steep penalty…. It doesn’t sound like many people here are jumping to conclusions but more disappointed in seeing a young man putting a golden opportunity as well as people’s lives in jeopardy. Drunk driving is going to get people fired up and there is nothing you can do about it.

  28. speed kills says

    I see this case has already been tried on social media. one person posts its not the offenders first time. another posts essentially what could be perceived as the offender knows he made an error. I will wait for the court to decide. my opinion is he is a good driver.. not the best available in ct for the big leagues but good. he has had opportunities others have not. he is young and probably has more people who dislike him than like him for various reasons. if NASCAR is going to try and enforce rules every time a NASCAR licensed driver is CHARGED with a crime they will need to have a person at each sanctioned track trolling the state court case websites daily and I can tell you car counts will suffer. If they are only going to apply the rules to a touring series well its still difficult as some court cases can go on for weeks even months. I guess now driving a race car is a privilege?. If Mr Barrett is found guilty hopefully he can apply for available programs to get himself back on track as thousands of others have done. glad no one was hurt.. by the way how many of you bashing this kid talk on your cell phone while driving? at some point if not already this will surpass DWI for motor vehicle fatalities.. hypocrites all…

  29. We as race fans, owners and drivers should stand behind our own (meaning we should all care about each other, we are one big family) so lets stand up for our brother and support him 100%. If he needs help then lets get him help. if it is just a mistake and he learns from it, great!! Let the kid race after a one race suspension….

  30. Voicing opinions on topics like this is frequently interpreted as passing judgement. Those that have an interest and right to level some sort of punishment or have a say in a course of action to take are:

    Tommy’s Parents / Guradians
    Chris Our – Car Owner
    Sponsors associated with the Our 22 Team
    Local Law / Judicial system..
    NASCAR – Competition License issuer and Sanctioning Body for the event(s) , which includes code of conduct policies each competitor and team member must abide by.

    I would suggest that no else has a judgemental say in the matter as those listed above do.

    Rather, you can choose to supoprt those people, or choose not to.

    I’m not sticking up for Barrett at all. Not a fan of his, actually, sincee he pulled that garbage with the VMRS a couple of years ago.

    I applaud Mr Our for handling the situaition as he has.

  31. If you think he will race a Nascar event anytime soon you are sadly mistaken. My guess is he will be peeing in a cup before he gets behind the wheel of a Nascar modified again. Failure to report his arrest is probably enough for some sort of penalty. If there was anything beyond alcohol in his system when he was arrested he will be done for a while. Any hope of racing for a living is GONE! Not sure the “I made a mistake” is going to fly in the Daytona offices. It shouldn’t. Its doesn’t in real world either. People lose their careers every day over incidents like this. I’ve known a few myself. The only sad part is seeing a young man completely piss a way a golden opportunity. Opportunity knocks for someone else though.

  32. I can name a few drivers that had a reputation to consume a few beers during intermission and they won a lot of races and NASCAR championships so don’t be so hard on the kid. Don’t forget nascar was brought up on doing a lot of illegal things such as running moonshine

  33. I am the same age as Tommy, I too was also brought up within the racing community. And I will be the first to admit I go out and drink even though I am underage. That being said the difference between me and him is I am responsible. I have never once considered putting my key into the ignition while under the influence. Everyone knows the potential Conscience of driving under the influence (Drugs OR alcohol). In my opinion he made his choice as soon as he started his car, He knew the risks he was taking and now he must face the Consciences. He was arrested on a public road making this our business. He made an adult decision, so I don’t think we should chalk it up to a being a naive kid making a mistake. Just because he risks his own life as every driver does on Sunday afternoon doesn’t mean he can risk those of others on our streets. But then again he still has yet to have his day in court. No need to attack me if you do not share the same view as me. This is just my view on the situation

  34. Looks to me a few people writing in have bigger problems than Tommy , he’s a college kid who made a mistake,bet you never heard that before! And I doubt Mario was with him .

  35. Cornellsgt12 says

    To all those that say it’s no big deal, nobody’s business, etc. Have you or your family been the victim of an incident that involved a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs ? Have you ever been to an accident scene and witnessed the loss of life due to such actions ? Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal for a reason. The kid should not be allowed behind the wheel until the conclusion of his court proceedings. If found guilty, he should be dropped by the car owner and/or suspended by NASCAR. If found innocent then let him back on the track.

  36. This IS his second offense. He sent himself, along with two buddies to the hospital for surgery near death a few years ago. He sent one through the windshield. He didn’t even have a license then. His behavior effects all of us, and is everyone’s business when he takes it off the track. This concern goes way beyond that. He clearly hasn’t learned any lessons after numerous run-ins with the law.
    The impact goes far greater than his potential career in racing cars, c’mon people.

  37. Erin Jackson says

    To those of you who have big mouths & a halo over your head . . . judge not. He’s a great person & is 19 yrs old & made a mistake. I’d love to know what you perfect people were up to when you were 19. I have a good idea . . . why don’t you save your ugly opinions for something truly ugly. Give him a break. Rehab, shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  38. Erin, I hope you enjoy your family of enabled deviants.

  39. Erin Jackson says

    I enjoy my precious & loving family very much, thank you.

  40. I hate to bring this back to the top while people are still mourning, but i sincerely hope the untimely and unfortunate death of Joe Brady causes some of these commenters to rethink their “it was a mistake, give him a break” mentalities.
    DUI kills our friends. It destroys families. And you never know who the next victim will be.

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