Multiple Issues Led Whelen Modified Tour Owner Chris Our To Decision To Shut Team Down

Whelen Modified Tour team owner Chris Our (Photo: Nicholas Teto/Yankee Racer)

Whelen Modified Tour team owner Chris Our (Photo: Nicholas Teto/Yankee Racer)

Chris Our said he got into fielding a team on the Whelen Modified Tour for the fun it gave him.

And he said by the end of the 2015 season, he wasn’t having any fun doing it.

Our announced Monday that he was shutting down his Our Motorsports team effective immediately, one day after the conclusion of the 2015 Whelen Modified Tour season.

“It’s all in the fun,” Our told RaceDayCT Monday evening. “It wasn’t the money end of it. It was just the fun wasn’t there. I’m getting older and it’s time for me to focus on family. Time for me to slow down and enjoy my family.”

A season of turmoil in many ways helped set in motion the decision to walk away.

Our, who was a part-time owner in 2012 and had his first full-time season with the series in 2013, began the 2015 racing season riding what he thought was a reenergized invigoration.

He was starting his second season with Tommy Barrett Jr. as his driver on the Whelen Modified Tour and had plans to run the Millis, Mass. teenager in selected events with the national ARCA Racing Series.

Then it all went off the tracks in mid-April when Barrett was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Willimantic. The tumult of the situation was only made worse by the fact that more than a week had passed after the arrest before Our found out about it, and it wasn’t Barrett who told him of the arrest but rather a crew member from another team.

“When I originally got into it I said three or four years and then when Tommy came along I thought I had a shooting star there that I could hold onto his ankles and push him a little bit hard and fast,” Our said. “It probably could have worked if he didn’t [mess] up. I got him qualified on all the tracks and took him to Daytona. Nobody else on the Tour was getting that. But that deal kind of did take the wind out of me.

“Tommy has serious talent. But Tommy doesn’t have his head in the game.”

Our said beyond any issues surrounding the team or racing, family was a huge part in the decision.

“I have three children, I have a young daughter, she’s only 12, and I beat myself up that I’m not here for a lot of stuff,” Our said. “It’s me. My wife doesn’t get on me, she wants to have fun and do what I want. But it’s me. In the end, I decided it was time, I wasn’t enjoying it. I need quality time with my family. Four years I haven’t missed a race, that adds up.”

Our also said he wasn’t happy with some things involving NASCAR and how events were operated.

“I have’t been thrilled with the administration and the calls,” Our said. “They’re not consistent, and that’s the biggest downfall of it.”

Our arrived as a part-time Whelen Modified Tour team owner in 2012 fielding a car for seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik. Our went full-time with Stefanik in 2013 and the team won events and finished fifth in the standings. In 2014 Our replaced Stefanik with Barrett, who finished 12th in the standings with one victory.

After Barrett’s arrest in April, Our replaced him with former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Keith Rocco, but Rocco was sidelined in early August because of a broken wrist. He was replaced by Ted Christopher, who closed out the season with the team.

“I will be around next year, I’m coming to the races, I’m going to go camp there at a few,” Our said. “I’ll probably be helping some people. I’m not going to be Doug Dunleavy, but I’ll be around here and there and it will be fun for me.”


  1. Biggest mistake was moving on from Stefanik. He probably would have run another season.when he won Bristol he said he didn’t know how much longer he was going to be racing.But he would have gone another year. Barrett never impressed me at all in that ride.

  2. Nice,ambitious,and serious race car owner.Chris Our will be missed.His hot rod modified will be missed.Let’s hope he can’t stay away!

  3. just a fan says

    this is another photo copy of the 36 car deal a few years ago with eddie whalen …..the owner loves racing …wants to race …but the internal workings of the team implodes ….takes all the fun away ….see guys like theses turn over TONS of money to a guy to run there team ….they just show up with there motorhome to enjoy a weekend of racing ….when the team runs like crap the troubles start to multiply …..the fun meter goes the wrong way ….till it breaks altogether ….the doors close …one more great car owner retires ….sad story ….90% of racing the tour is hard work and putting up with huge amounts of grief from nascar ,drivers,crew members,engine builders …etc. to get to that 10% that is fun ….as you can see it is hard to do this long for the 10% as a owner that does not work on his car or run his team …..the guy running the team is never the problem it always turns to the driver..told stefanik he forgot how to drive..told barret why don’t you drive the 22 like you drive the 9…keith drove the hell out of it till it broke thing that sticks out here is the same guy that ran the 36 car out of the sport is the same guy that ran chris ours deal …..the owners walk away with there pockets a lot lighter there fun meter broke ….his pockets are overflowing with there cash out looking for the next car owner inline ….jmo

  4. Thanks for the memories! I enjoyed watching the 22.

  5. Mr. Our, focus on your kids, these are the years where they transform from kids to young adults to adults. It is something to behold, and definitely not to miss. You will reap far more enjoyment and life memories by being involved with your kids. Be involved, go to school events, have fun. Go on school trips, be a chaperone.

    Thanks for your involvement in Tour mods.

  6. This all comes down to the last 3 drivers screwing the car owner.
    Barrett with the first blow after Ore buys an ARCA team and gives him a top notch modified ride and Barrett blows it. Then Keith Rocco is the second blow to this race team. Rocco gets a great chance and can’t see past his SK racing to give this a full try. The third could be the worst. Ted Christopher he leaves the 13 car hanging and jumps to the 22 team and doe’s anyone remembers the infighting with the 36 team that led to their demise between Brad and Teddy. Well that started all over again. No wonder Chris wasn’t having any fun. It looks like the owner got screwed by all of these drivers and that equals no fun.

  7. Brad didn’t get along with Stefanik either. Any other crew chief and Stefanik probably would have stayed on with Our.

  8. Andy Boright says

    How many people need to leave the series before it’s supporters will admit the tour is in trouble?

    The talent & quality is leaving, not coming in.

  9. “By the way while we are talking about double standard NASCAR. ”

    Winston everywhere, then COPD meds, anybody? You can’t make that one up!

  10. Common denominator for issues on the 22 may be crew chief, not the drivers. He is kinda notorious for being difficult. Not like TC didn’t know what he signed up for. They did win a ton in the 36.

    Darealgoodfella, well said about the family stuff.

  11. People,
    I said it the other day and I’m gonna say it again. No vulgarity, and that includes replacing letters with symbols in a word to represent a vulgar word. Come on folks, you’re adults. I understand people get emotional and heated about certain topics, but really, we all possess the ability to post a comment without using vulgarity. As I’ve said before, if your comment has vulgarity, or some type of recipe of letters or numbers or symbols representing a particular vulgar word, it’s going to get deleted. I don’t clean them, I don’t fix them, I don’t edit anything in them. They get deleted.

  12. Sorry Shawn. People that post on here need to get a clue, instead of talking the crap they talk. Anybody that posted here work on ANY of the cars you’re talking about with that said crew chief or the drivers named? Didn’t think so!!!

  13. Maxim410, please remember that there is no double standard – Barrett was 20 when he was charged with his DUI. That is underage for any alcohol level, and if it were narcotics, that is even worse. Think about it, coming down hard on underage or drunk driving looks BETTER for the adult beverage sponsors on the national side, not worse. Additionally, the only money that NASCAR is currently taking from an adult beverage company is from CoorsMiller and the Coors Pole Award (Keystone Pole Award in the NCWTS). Any other money you see on the national broadcasts, be it on the side of a car, the sponsor of a race, or a commercial during the race, is not money going directly into NASCAR’s piggy bank – it is going into the owner’s pocket, or the track’s, or the television broadcaster’s. Does it work back into NASCAR’s bottom line? Of course, through license fees, pit fees, hosting fees, the television bids, what have you, but it is not like Anheuser Busch is cutting a check to the France family to put their products on the side of the #4 car you see every Sunday.

    It is a big let down to see a great team owner, overall nice guy, and a superb competitor pull the plug on his operation. Hopefully we see Chris Our and the #22 machine back on track shortly.

  14. Hey Tire guy, I never worked on the Big Carb 36 or the Air Passages 7NY, but I knew something was amiss. Just like dozens, or hundreds, of others that never worked on those cars knew something was amiss.

  15. Ryan,
    He was actually 19 at the time he was charged. Happened a couple weeks before his 20th birthday.

  16. Wasn’t there “Big Carb 51” (Bonsignor) which was penalized at the same time the 36 was penalized?

  17. maxin410 says, “By the way while we are talking about double standard NASCAR. remember How they treated Tim Richmond when they found out he Had AIDS , then years after they have a car running around for 500 miles with VIAGRA plasters all over it for several seasons They would run the Iranian enriched uranium 500, if Iran would put up the money .”

    Ryan, I think maxim410 had a slightly different message. NASCAR tries to project an image of a family product, but it has or had prominent beer sponsors, Crown Royal, Viagra, etc. Hardly the kind of thing the mainstream public would want promoted to minors and young children.

    Back when Crown Royal was sponsoring a car, NASCAR claimed they had problems with that because it was hard liquor and not the image they were after. In the end, $$$$$$ won. That’s the image they are after.

  18. Rafter fan says, “Wasn’t there “Big Carb 51” (Bonsignor) which was penalized at the same time the 36 was penalized?’

    Yes Rafter fan, that does sound familiar. Do a Google search on “Ted Christopher carburetor” and you will get plenty of results, including the Car 51 violation that happened at the same time.

    It’s hard to keep track of so many similar violations. Thanks for bringing that one up.

  19. Darealgoodfella what is your infatuation with Ted Christopher ? You googled his name ? Bro you have a real problemo !

  20. Jim, I responded to Rafter fan, “Wasn’t there “Big Carb 51” (Bonsignor) which was penalized at the same time the 36 was penalized?”

    So it was obvious, to Google TC and carburetor, and it popped up the report of the Ted Christopher and Bonsignore. It wouldn’t work if I Google “36, 51, and carburetor”. What’s so amazing about using Google? Make sense? Big carbs are more common than you might think, unfortunately.

  21. I see that the 36 won 3 tour races in 2011 after the carb infraction at the Icebreaker. Were carb infractions undetected for the remainder of the season?

  22. Rafter, that season, carbs were under intense scrutiny. Carbs were checked over and over and over. Cars were sequestered after qualifying to have the carbs checked yet again. Rarely were carbs not checked in post race tech. When the top qualifying cars were sequestered for carb checking, it was pretty tense.

    I often thought that NASCAR was “wearing” out the carbs with all the checking!!!

    Have you seen any press on the carbs that have been confiscated this year? Just because there wasn’t doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  23. darealgoodfella,

    We get it. The big boys are playing with carbs. Grey areas or outright cheating. Shouldn’t be any kind of a news flash to anyone that understands racing. But seriously, most folks on here have absolutely NO INFLUENCE on how NASCAR responds. And, honestly, unless you’re a car owner, driver, or have the last name of France, no one in NASCAR cares about what you think. So PLEASE !!!!! Give it a rest already. Or at least tell it to someone that can do something about it, instead of beating the dead horse here.

  24. I hate political correctness.

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