Rolling Out: Car Owner Chris Our Shutting Down Whelen Modified Tour Team

Keith Rocco prepares for his first ride in the Our Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour car in April at Stafford Motor Speedway

Keith Rocco prepares for his first ride in the Our Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour car in April at Stafford Motor Speedway

The close of the racing season typically begins in earnest the start of the “Silly Season”, the time of year teams shore up changes in their plans for the next year.

When it comes to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, one of the biq questions of the silly season is who would team owner Chris Our put behind the wheel of his Our Motorsports car for 2016.

The unfortunate answer is that nobody will be in the car in 2016.

“I’m done,” Our said succinctly when asked about his plans for next year over the weekend.

Our confirmed to RaceDayCT Saturday that he was shutting the team down, but asked that the information was held until today. Our said Saturday at Thompson Speedway that he was no longer having fun being at the track and was disappointed in many aspects of the way his team was being treated by NASCAR officials at events.

Ted Christopher, who has been driving for the team since August, said he was surprised by the decision.

“I really thought we could have run at least next year and had a good start to the season and do some testing and see how we go,” Christopher said. “I guess that’s not happening.”

Monday Our made his decision official, putting out a press release announcing his team was ceasing operations effective immediately.

“My involvement in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour over the past four seasons has been a wonderful experience,” Our said in a release. “I have been very fortunate to have developed new friendships and business associates that have made this a special time in my life.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank my drivers, past and present, and crew members who worked countless hours to help make our program a success. To all our sponsors who have helped us over the years, we thank you for your support. Lastly, to Brad Lafontaine and Northeast Race Cars, we couldn’t have made it without you.”

Our arrived as a part-time Whelen Modified Tour team owner in 2012. During that season Our fielded a car for half the scheduled Whelen Modified Tour events for seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik, with car owner Ed Marceau fielding Stefanik’s ride for the other half of the schedule.

In 2013 Our went full-time with Stefanik and the team came out of the gate with a victory in the season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson that year. Stefanik also won the Whelen Modified Tour event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway that season.

But after finishing fifth in the standings in 2013, Our and Stefanik parted ways after the season and teenager Tommy Barrett was hired by the team.

Barrett went on to finish 12th in the season standings in 2014, with a victory at Bristol as the highlight of the season.

But 2015 began with unrest on the team. Days after the season opening Icebreaker in April, Barrett was arrested in Willimantic for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Barrett was released by the team after the arrest and replaced by former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Keith Rocco.

Rocco’s time in the seat was short-lived though as a broken wrist sidelined him from Whelen Modified Tour action midway through this season. Former Whelen Modified Tour champion and Whelen All-American Series national champion Ted Christopher replaced Rocco with the team and closed out the season as Our’s driver.


  1. Buzz Chew next?

  2. Another team shut down by same people. I see a common denominator here folks. 8, 36, 22 who’s next?

  3. “Our said Saturday at Thompson Speedway that he was no longer having fun being at the track and was disappointed in many aspects of the way his team was being treated by NASCAR officials at events.”



    So sad. This is the first one.

    A few years ago, Mike Stefanik gave an interview where he said that the biggest challenge to the Tour is the lack of owners. So true. It’s not the lack of cars, it’s the lack of owners. NASCAR needs to understand that the owners are the customers, and that NASCAR can’t afford to lose those customers.

  4. Another top notch mod tour team shuts down. At this rate the car count will continue to drop in 2016. Guess the cost of the Spec motors , and the poor purses compared to 20 years ago will eventually be the death of the tour. As it is the Valenti Series continues to have much larger car counts than the tour. With the right leadership the Valenti Series has the potential of being the surviving force in modified racing. Hopefully some version of the Tri-Track Series will continue in 2016. Dirt modified racing continues to thrive. Every weekend this fall there is an event paying $20k+ to win. Asphalt mods no longer have any races with purses like that. No wonder so many owners are getting out.

  5. Yep. 88, 22, 93 BAM! Thanks NASCAR.

  6. Don’t get what you’re saying David. I don’t see ANY common denominator between those teams!

  7. I believe the Mystic Missile will review things over the winter. Bob Garbarino was leaning towards shutting it down last year, then he and Szegedy put a deal together. Not sure the v4 will be on the track in 2016 with the WMT.

    The 13 ran out of money even with a partner in Katon.
    I have not heard anything on the 88. Would be a shame….
    Ed Partridge bought Riverhead, wonder of he will still feel like he needs to field a WMT team in 2016. Can run the 6 in his new backyard on Saturday nights.

    The 3 has been part time. Will be interesting what 2016 brings for Ol’Blue.

    Had not heard the 93 shut down for good, nor any news for 2016.

  8. So, one part time team closes down and the tour is dead? How many wins did they have this year? Oh yes, none! The MRS does not have higher car counts either. That’s something people like to throw out there but is not true. Not in 2015. I just watched a great season and its all doom and gloom here. The 2 cheated. The tour is dying. The sky is falling. Blah, blah, blah.

  9. Crazy in NY says

    Call me ..ah um..Crazy but I’d wager he’ll be back. Anybody remember when the Hill’s “quit” ?

    I’ll bet the phone rings and the right words will get spoken. I sure hope anyway. The Tour doesn’t

    need another top notch team bagging it. Now Chris, if you need a driver for next year look west to

    NY. There is a kid named Jankowiac who would do you proud AND be a force on the Tour with

    equipment as good as yours is.

  10. Everything I hear about Chris Our shows him to be a stand up guy and a generous friend to have.Big loss for our sport

  11. SAD
    One thing that is consistent..I have been saying for years,”why do these guys do this”
    I did it back in the 70s.. One thing I will always remember is the fun I had..I walk through the pits today,I dont see anyone having fun..Sad because it is the best form of racing..

  12. maxim410, your comments on the rules are so true. Much has been said about getting costs under control and doing better promoting to get more sponsorship. Instead of doing anything about NASCAR reducing licensing and fees, getting sponsorship, promoting, etc., NASCAR comes up with the SPEC motor. WHAT????

    There’s one thing the owners can agree on, and that is that they can’t afford NASCARs cost savings.

  13. just a fan says

    i have talked to jimmy wilson the nascar tour director many times about everything you guys have said ….that the owners do it for fun like a golf game…when the fun stops they stop …told him he lied to everyone’s face saying they would not let the spec motor take over …..told him to hold a test date to run the spec and the open together trying things to make them both work …..said it was a good idea ….listened to all i had to say …over a hour every time i called ….started these calls in april thu august ….you all see how i wasted my time …they do not care …lie after lie to just get threw to the next day ……NASCAR ITSELF COULD CARES LESS IF THE TOUR DIED ….the ONLY REASON it is still here is stafford and thompson live off it …..the sizzler pays all staffords bills for the year ….everything after that race is all profit ….thompson that is another story for another day … me there is a lot more happening here than people will ever know !!!!!

  14. just a fan, you need to get to Geoff Bodine and Tony Glover. Jimmy Wilson follows their orders.

    NASCAR told the engine builders that the SPEC motor will not affect the built motor business. How could that be???

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