Modified Schedule: Rowan Pennink Mapping Out Expected Changes For 2016

Rowan Pennink (Photo: Stafford Motor Speedway)

Rowan Pennink (Photo: Stafford Motor Speedway)

Driver available, inquire soon.

That’s the message being shared by NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular and reigning Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified division champion Rowan Pennink.

Pennink said his family run Whelen Modified Tour team, which is also backed supporters Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson, won’t be running full-time with the series in 2016. Though Pennink said he’ll be hunting for an opportunity to continue running full-time with the series next season.

The 30-year old Pennink, from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., has driven full-time with the Whelen Modified Tour for the last nine years with his family owned team. He has two victories and 27 top-five finishes in 124 career series starts. The team skipped the final two Whelen Modified Tour events of the 2015 season.

“I don’t really know what the plan is for next year yet,” Pennink said. “If I run my own cars again I probably won’t end up running the full season. We’ll probably run the one’s we want to run. But if I get the opportunity to drive for another team we’ll go from there. That’s all I’ve pretty much got in the works for right now.

“I’d like to not spend so much money running the Tour with all my own stuff. Even if I have to bring something to the table to [run for another team] I think it would be better that way instead of doing the whole deal myself.”

Though the subtraction of Whelen Modified Tour obligations could mean the addition of Pennink in the SK Modified lineup at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

With only 21 starts in the SK Modified division in 2015 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Pennink finished 12th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings. He finished the season at Stafford with six victories and 16 top-five’s on the way to his first championship at the track, driving for owners Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson.

The hope is that running selected events at the Speedbowl could help boost those numbers in the national rankings. Pennink was one of four local drivers to finish in the top-12 in the national short track standings. Keith Rocco of Wallingford was fifth, Ryan Preece of Berlin seventh and Ted Christopher of Plainville eighth. Rocco runs full-time in an SK Modified at Stafford, Waterford and Thompson. Christopher runs Stafford and Waterford. Preece runs Stafford, Thompson and in the Tour Type Modified division at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway.

“We only ran Stafford with the SK [Modified] and we did really good there and could have probably had a really good shot at being at least in the top-five [nationally] if we had run a few more races in different places,” Pennink said. “Waterford is just another good place to run an SK. There’s a lot of good competition there and I think it would be fun to do that.”

Pennink said he’s unsure what the plan will be for his 2016 with his efforts on the Valenti Modified Racing Series with car owner Gary Casella. Pennink, who won a Valenti Modified Racing Series championship in 2013 for Casella, ran part-time for the team in 2015.

“I haven’t really talked to Gary about what the plans are for next year with that deal,” Pennink said.


  1. just a fan says

    he really had turned the corner on the tour with don barker running his program …..should have never went with that CD bomb and fuller this year …if anything a change to the another fuller…. buying a LFR chassis would have made a lot more sense….jmo tour not looking good for 2016 …need new owners coming in not drivers like the old days ….but cost vs reward is stopping all that in its tracks ….

  2. Preece said he won’t be racing at Riverhead as much next season so he might make a few appearances at the speedbowl. Bernt came back for the first time in years and they expect to race more at the bowl . If this all pans out next season should be another great one.

  3. Don’t blame the parts, everybody uses the same parts. Well, except carburetors. LOL!

    It’s what gets done with the parts. Rowan can clearly drive. Perhaps get the people that run his championship SK program to help with the family Tour program.

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