Upcoming Exit?: Angry Owner Ed Partridge Prepared To Shut Down Whelen Modified Tour Team

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Ryan Preece in the Ed Partridge owned TS Haulers Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour ride (Photo: Brenda Meserve/Image81)

Ryan Preece in the Ed Partridge owned TS Haulers Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour ride (Photo: Brenda Meserve/Image81)

After more than a decade fielding a team on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, team owner Ed Partridge is ready to walk away.

Partridge told RaceDayCT exclusively Friday that if Ryan Preece is committed to other options for the 2016 season, he will not return to the Whelen Modified Tour.

Partridge remains seething over the way the F.W. Webb 100 on Sept. 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was officiated by NASCAR.

On the final lap of that event, Doug Coby hit Preece from behind while Preece was leading. Preece spun out and Coby went on to win the event. Preece, of Berlin. went into the event leading Woody Pitkat of Stafford in the standings by one point and Coby by 25 points in third. Had Preece won he would have walked away from the event with a more than 20-point lead over Coby in the standings. Instead Preece was dropped to second in the standings, three points ahead of Coby going into the season’s penultimate event at Stafford Motor Speedway on Oct. 4.

Coby, of Milford, won at Stafford and Preece was second, sending the pair to the final event of the season on Oct. 18 at Thompson Speedway tied for the points lead. Coby won at Thompson and Preece was seventh. Preece, the 2013 series champion, ended up second in the final standings to Coby, 11 points behind. It marked the third time in the last four years Preece has finished second to Coby in the Whelen Modified Tour standings.

“We’re all pretty upset about what happened at Loudon with the turd that driver of the No. 2 car [Coby],” Partridge said. “And I expressed my anger to the officials after the race. Some people you just can’t race. You don’t know what you’ve got when you go up against that guy, especially because you don’t know what’s happening. He just took us out completely and changed the face of the championship and I’m not happy about it. I’m not happy at all about it. And I’m going to figure out a way to fix him.

“I don’t want to go back. I’d rather race somewhere else. I just see that the officiating sucks, to put it mildly. It absolutely sucks. For them to stand there and tell me what happened, you just want to kick somebody’s ass really. I don’t really want to go back. I told Ryan that. Ryan, right now he’s in a pretty good situation where he’s at with the [NASCAR Sprint Cup Series], I don’t know where that’s going to head. I hope he does good. But I’m not looking to go back [to the Whelen Modified Tour].”

Partridge’s departure would mark the second top-level team to leave the series since the season’s end. Chris Our, who was fielding a car for Ted Christopher, announced he was shutting down his team on Oct. 19.

Preece will run the final four events of the Sprint Cup Series season for Premium Motorsports and could likely see some bigger opportunities at the national level in 2016.

“I’ve told that to Ryan, he knows the deal,” said Partridge, who recently purchased Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. “I’ll go back if he wants to. If he wants to I’ll go back, but I don’t want to go back.

“If Ryan gets a ride full-time in the Sprint Cup. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. He’s got the next four races and there’s been people looking at him all year. If he doesn’t come back, I’m gone. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to look at those officials. I don’t want to look at [Coby]. I’d rather not go there.”

Partridge said he has told Whelen Modified Tour series director Jimmy Wilson that he will likely leave the series.

“There’s nothing there,” Partridge said of Wilson, who replaced Chad Little as series director prior to the 2013 season.

“It’s a shame because the Tour was starting to grow,” Partridge said. “When Chad [Little] was the series director, it was pretty cut and dried. I’ve never seen what goes on right now. It’s horrible. I told Jimmy Wilson after the Loudon race that he needs to go to Florida and get a new job.”

Partridge fielded a car for longtime series competitor Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. before going with Ron Silk of Norwalk full-time in 2010. Silk won a series championship for Partridge in 2011. The pair parted ways following the 2014 season and Preece was joined Partridge’s TS Haulers Motorsports team.

“It’s very heartbreaking,” Partridge said. “We were leading by 20 points at Loudon and [Coby] took us out. He dubs himself as the smartest Modified Tour driver out there. I’ll tell you what, he’s the most expensive. He wrecked a lot of people’s cars and equipment this year. Up to Loudon we bent one bumper all year and then he wrecked us.

“At Loudon we could have done that to him for 50 laps. … We could have done that to him anytime. It makes your blood curdle that that happened and NASCAR was OK with it.”


  1. Two teams shutting down, one going maybe part time (Pennik) maybe not at all. What is going on within the Whelen tour? NASCAR better step in and do something before its to late!

  2. Want some cheese with that wine? Maybe the 6 can run that new start up mod tour that wants to replace the MRS…

  3. Right on Ed.I was amazed. watching a long time and have seen many sent to the back for a lot less than that move its called rough riding Cobys move was as flagrant as i ever seen.i also sat near the disgusting Smeriglio group at thompson.They sat there booing racers at introductions,What a bunch of creeps

  4. Come on Ed, cry me a river. This is a great way to fix Coby , just give up and Quit you must have put a lot of thought into this .

  5. It doesn’t matter how mad you are… NASCAR will not change anything the way you want them to… That, I can guarantee!

  6. Long time owner/racer says

    I applaud Ed Partridge for speaking out loudly! He has fielded a class act team and driver(s) for many years, and if you drove for Ed, you did not pull the kind of trashing that Coby did all year! The sponsors for the #2 car and driver should take a second look at what their dollars are buying–certainly not class racing. Hope to someday see that TS Hauler rig pull in to a racing venue where drivers are there to race, not to “win in any way you can”. A major loss for this division.

  7. Jim Hemstock says

    Really, complaining about Preece getting spun out. CMON MAN You must not see what happens weekly at Stafford. Cry a little harder, I’m gonna take my toys and go home. Don’t worry Preece will be back, not thinking he’ll do much down south once the big boys get to know him he will probably be spinning weekly. Just my opinion. Bet you can’t guess that I’m NOT A PREECE FAN!!!

  8. I go to Stafford a lot and what happened at Loudon was considerably worse than most of what happens at Stafford. Partridge has a right to be angry, but blame Coby instead of the officials.

  9. As a race fan who works hard to provide for his family & gives up family time to go to Modified Tour shows, for me this year has been horrible. Both NHMS shows had the lead pack cars wreck a bunch of good running cars, early summer race @ Stafford was a follow the leader race with no passing & the late summer show at Thompson had the leader getting spun out in turn 4 while leading with no penalty. So for me, I wasted over $200.00 on race tickets for terrible racing!! Then look at the Bristol race, when they end the race with 5 minutes of notice.NASCAR doesn’t care, so why should drivers or owners care anymore. I don’t blame them one bit about leaving the series.

  10. It’s not the officials fault. You never leave a Championship in the hands of officials in any sport.
    Ryan should evened the playing field at Stafford and wrecked the 2 car. I have a lot of respect for Ed and the 6 team, but Ryan showed no balls in going after the 2 car. A driver like Coby will step all over you if you let him.
    Coby never wins the Championship if Ryan had the nerve to take care of business like the great John Blewett III.
    Don’t start calling me a Ryan Preece hater either, because I’m a fan of Ryan Preece.
    The facts are the facts take care of your own business and everything falls into place. Just ask the Champion Doug Coby.

  11. all of this STUFF THAT SMELLS never happened when ed cox , bill brice and all the great people that worked the pits for them ran the show …..it was like a big family ….nascar and the racer working together to put on a show ….but the most important thing was THEY ALL HAD FUN DOING IT …both sides ….laughing… joking..respecting each other all the time …on and off the track …when the fun goes away so do the car owners……nascar needs to fire everyone involved with the tour and look back to go forward ….the car owners could tell them what needs to be done then build a team around that ….i know not going to happen …..the last days of the tour are coming fast ….

  12. I agree with the point that you never leave it in the hands of officials. Loudo was a month and 3 races ago. Why all this now? Also,at the summer race at NHMS. Colby spun em and got taken out. It happens. Race was great though. Blame halftime for that one. In august, Coby got sent to back when the 9 spun the tires. Bad call but he came back in won. The 6 is doing nothing but favors in 2016 by maybe not coming back.

  13. Sucks when you get your ass kicked. Most people would come back and let there actions do the talking. Guess he knows they can’t beat Coby so let’s just quit. Hysterical.

  14. Justafella says

    Mr Ed Talk,about Officiating You and your team received a gift from the WMT NASCAR Officials when they allowed Cryan to return to the Falll Final after the wreck with out changing the Nerf bar . I’m sure no one wants to talk about that !

  15. Crazy in NY says

    NH Mark, how nice and easy is that to just toss away a quality team like Ed P brings to every race,
    Are you kidding? Nothing to his concerns you think? That kind of race is what NASCAR wants and promotes. Check the second feature here after the Home Tracks one at the start.
    Not only is it allowed it’s promoted. Sickening I think. Can’t pass a guy no problem, just move him
    (or loop him) if need be. That crap is in every one off their series the WMT included.
    A friend of mine describes the Whelen Tour as a place where SK drivers go to wreck even more expensive stuff. He may be right. Hey Ed …I’m sure the ROC would welcome you up there.

    , think about it . # 2 TEAM PUT UP A LOT MONEY LOOK AT WHAT HE GOT FOR WINNING THE POLE , 12.000 . THINK ,THAT WHY TEAMS ARE LEAVING , Partridge is right . is not fun anymore , Nascar needs too change , put back like in the 80,s that was racing . these is not racing .

  17. What I meant to say is 6 is doing the 2 a big favor by not coming back possibly. My phone sent last post before I could finish. If you are so mad at 2 team come back and beat them.Walking away makes it that much easier for 2 in 2016.

  18. I'm Mike From Utica says

    Crazy in NY, your friend that made that statement, must be none other than Pud. His knowledge of asphalt modified racing is limited to ROC, and whatever might happen in western New York and all of Pennsylvania. And believe me there is more sportsman cars in those fields than real modifieds.

  19. Andy Boright says

    Jimmy Wilson doesn’t have a great track record. Between his race directing and NASCAR rule changes/spec engine issues, no wonder teams are leaving. Do people really think it’s going to stop at two?

    I wouldn’t count on the 4 team being around for this crap much longer, and I can see a few others leaving as well. It’s pretty obvious the series isn’t a top priority for most of the big names in asphalt modified racing any more either. Pretty soon the whole series will amount to Coby and one or two other NASCAR kissers lapping Melissa Fifield every 10 laps. I guess the positive out of all this is that she won’t be getting black flagged out of all the races when the starting field is only 12 or 13 cars.

  20. Folks,
    Going to put this out (seems like I have to about once a week these days). Any comments with unneeded vulgarity will be deleted. And that includes getting creative with symbols or dropping certain letters.

  21. Poor Ed, he has never benefited from a call by Nascar! However, I seem to remember his driver dumping Szegedy on the last lap at Bristol (who happened to be driving the 2 at the time). And what about at Thompson when his car got probably 6 lucky dogs to gain positions and win the championship (also over the 2 car). Remember… “have at it boys”, maybe Nascar figured the 2 sending the 6 around was just returning the favor.

    Now that Ed owns Riverhead, will the tour still be making two stops there? The series will be just fine without his team, and if Riverhead is not the schedule Seekonk and a second race at Waterford will make up for it.

  22. This series is doomed ! I don’t see it as a good thing when top teams leave a series . It’s to bad but You can’t say You didn’t see this coming

  23. Justafella says

    How about all the beating and banging Jimmy Blewett did when he drove for Mr Ed ? Also lets not forget the 6 was the first to run a Spec Motor at NHMS , Seems like Ed has always had the attitude to spend and do what ever it takes to win at all costs.

  24. This is such s tired argument. 2015 had the highest car counts in years. Best racing in years too. Great crowds from my vantage point. Come April, there will be 30 plus cars in pits. Probably 16 or 17 races on schedule. Yup, sounds real broken to me. Not!

    Coby was handed championship??? He won 7 races. 7!!

  25. knuckles mahoney says

    I understand his frustration. He just about had the tour title wrapped up, and got cleaned out. I would be pissed too. But I don’t understand the leaving the tour stuff. If ryan doesn’t come back, there are several good drivers to jump in the car and would be right up there to give you a title shot. TC, Hirshmann, and of course Hinckley, who lives only a town or two from the grasso brothers. And those who think the tour is doomed, guess again. There was a large influx of new cars this year with likes of Sapienza, Solomito, the new young 15 year old can’t think of his name, Dowling, Zachem and a couple others . So the tour is doing just fine, but the 6 not being there is just handing the title to the 2. And while we’re at it, how is it that the 2 by the first turn on every restart at Thompson has 2 to 3 car lengths on the field in supposedly equally prepared cars? When I was at Loudon and saw Newman playing with the field I told my wife there’s no way he can pull away from this field without cheating. Do we have the same scenario?

  26. Muddbus461 says

    It’s the beginning of the end.

  27. crarzy Larry says

    Stop cryan they took Coby out in the first lap at Bristol he said was out !!! The fight between Ryan an Coby has gone on for years. Ryan is like Jeff Gordon a crier, I didn’t do it BS. Didn’t do so good at the super bowl going to cry also!!

  28. ok so here it goes this is from a guy that knows its not fun when the spec motor was suppose to be cheaper went from 25k to 35k why can you only buy it from yates? why have three weds night shows all crew members are volunteers why bring us to loudon on thursday act tour does everything on sat because nascar wants one thing money i saw the light after 5races i will always love modified racing it its a shame because it was and could be great again

  29. There are a ton of better drivers out there than Preece. Stop crying and hire someone else!

  30. Congrats to Eddie for having the guts to call out the officiating. If more owners did this, then maybe they would see a positive change in the tour. The last guy that had the guts was Tommy Baldwin back in the 90’s when he wanted to start a different tour!

  31. Let me let you all in on a secret. The tour will do just fine without Ed who? Many owners have come and gone. Ryan who will not do anything with driving as a career. Look him up in 5 years he will be landscaping. Coby absolutely embarrassed them this year. Was never a close race. Sorry. If Doug didn’t wreck 3 times and finish last the points would have been wrapped up 3 races ago. Poor Ed. Bought new z link cars, those didn’t work so get rid of them and go back to the old cars. Bought all new speck motors which didn’t help the program either. Still got whooped. I’d quit too! Sounds like the guy just made some bad decisions this year. Blame it on who ever he wants but that team just got out performed. Plain and simple.

  32. Mark says in 5 years he will be landscaping…that’s too funny

  33. Ed knows about people that will do anything to win as he start in racing with Charile J, good guy but he would put you in the fence faster than Dale.

  34. Years ago it started with Barry, Pasteryak, Boehler, Flemke, the 52 team, Eddie Whelan, now Pennik, Eddie Partridge, Hillbilly racing, Chris Our and the list keeps growing. Something has to be wrong here and I am certain Coby is not the common denominator!

  35. Not a Fanboy says

    Am I the only one who rolls their eyes every time Chris D leaves a comment? t(‘_’t)

  36. Hey Ed, if you don’t like Coby hire a driver next year and just come to wreck Coby EVERY week! CRYAN RYAN has BURNED so many race bridges with his fellow competitors that NO ONE has any ” FEEL BAD’ for you or Mr innocent! A great race team like yours should have never got in bed with him anyway! You have to have watched some of the Stafford races on Friday nights? You should have told cryan at Stafford that if you don’t put Coby in to the turn one wall you would remove him from the car but you didn’t!!!!! WAAAH WAAAAH

  37. Hey Ed, Ryan sucked in video game to!

  38. Boo-hoo is all I have to say about this article. The tour is going to be just fine there is just going to be some new faces. Some people just love to cry.

  39. Landscaping in 5 yrs. Too funny! Although if you need your lawn done quicker you might want to call Coby’s folks. They’re faster! LOL

  40. crarzy Larry says

    ED it sounds like your crying to NASCAR for maybe a, Different reason a second tour race for the new track owner ED !!!!!!!! LOL waterford be better!

  41. Alfred Stone says

    As some crew members learned a few years ago in the infield at Stafford, Colby landscapes by throwing rocks everywhere. He’ll even hit you in the head with one and never apologize for nearly killing you.

  42. Anyone know the ‘Vegas over/under for comments to this article?

  43. Fanboy, that’s so cute that you know how to make faces with letters and punctuation marks… Did Ryan teach you that?

  44. Barry – it is 43, and i just bet the over. 🙂

  45. not a Ryan fan says

    Isn’t it derogatory for a NASCAR sanctioned track owner to disrespect NASCAR and their officials? Ed’s drivers have never been complete angels so why is he complaining about something his drivers have done many times in the past on purpose? From the videos it does not look to be a blatant attempt to take Ryan out. It looks like the 2 had nowhere to go once the 6 got a little loose. Build a bridge and get over it NWMT will a lot better without Ryan.

  46. Shows what this guy knows. “Ryan is in a good place with sprint cup ride.” Baaahaaaaa!! Does he not own a TV? 35th place every week in a bottom line team car is not a good situation. Now someone said he owns a nascar track?? Wow. If he has a nascar race at his track I can probably say it brings in a decent crowd. Now he slams nascar for his team not winning. He’s a good business guy. Lol!!!! I agree with the landscaping comment too. He should focus on what got him headlines and it wasn’t running last in cup! This team just sounds like a joke.

  47. Sorry. I gave Ryan too much credit saying he would run 35th in a cup car. He was actually 42nd. My bad. Good place? That’s funny Ed.

  48. Well, let’s see if Riverhead shows up on the NWMT 2016 schedule.

  49. I heard Riverhead wants three races next year. As long as they pay nascar there won’t be a problem.

  50. Shawn, You should keep a thread going with the tally of teams that are ceasing operations.

  51. At the rate they are going the mod tour will continue with short fields in 2016 and the highest ticket prices in local racing. The races are not very competitive or entertaining with their “Heads Up” starts for the fan’s in the stands either. The Valenti Series has better racing and a more competitive atmosphere for a much more reasonable ticket price. If the MRS can eliminate all the controversy with better officiating they have the potential to replace the Mod Tour in the near future. I love the mods but in the eyes of NASCAR they will never be one of their “Premier Divisions,” just a cheap filler division for Loudon and Bristol Cup Race Weekends. Unfortunatly a VERY expensive to race filler division.

  52. Mod tour should be replaced with an sk tour .you get more cars closer racing more passing ,less expensive for everyone car owners and fans.get the big name drivers moving from the tour to sks you will really see some good racing…..that follow the leader crap won’t happen and the sks will put on a lot better show….make the purse worthwhile you will get 45 cars trying to make the race. The tour is boring, lost interest years ago, I am a fan of racing for 55 years still love the sport. I remember Trenton longhorn , car counts were 75 or better then, now it’s how much money you have , not good…

  53. Bob Freeman says


    I’ve often wondered the same thing…

  54. Scaremy Badley says

    Me and my group of mod fans would laugh at a wimpy no power SK tour. When Stafford kicked the real modifieds it took twenty years before I attended a Friday show without tour mods. SK stands for SUCK.

  55. Modified Lover says

    Nobody should EVER intentionally take out anyone no matter what. I’m just as angry as Ed about the lousy calls NASCAR has made this year. Ryan has handled himself professionally and with dignity considering all the bad calls. We can only hope NASCAR gets their act together with the Modified Series otherwise there won’t be a division left if this continues.

  56. Well, with Seekonk on the Tour schedule for the 2016 season, Seekonk could replace Riverhead. I doubt the Tour schedule is going to add races, only replace venues. The regular Tour teams would rather go to Seekonk than Riverhead.

  57. Put Todd Segedy in the care full time

  58. Don’t count on Seekonk doing anything with modifieds. The only reason they went back to NASCAR is so they could have NASCAR on their front sign. Might put few more fannies in the seats at a very boring show.

  59. It seems to me if you have the same equipment as the 2 car then maybe your driver just doesn’t have what it takes to beat them. Get a new driver! Stop all the whining and saying you are going to quit!

  60. No other car has the same “equipment” as the 2 car.

  61. Now that the 2016 season is upon us, ya gotta laff at some of these old posts. Flip floppers.

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