Melissa Fifield Named Whelen Modified Tour Most Popular Driver For Second Consecutive Year

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Melissa Fifield

Melissa Fifield

After nearly 34,000 votes were cast around the world for NASCAR regional touring series’ 2015 Most Popular Driver Awards, seven drivers earned the ultimate honor from fans – including four rookie drivers and a pair of repeat winners.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2015 are:
• Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
• Nicole Behar (Spokane, Wash.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
• Jason Hathaway (St. Thomas, Ont.), NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
• Rodrigo Marban (Mexico City), NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series
• Alon Day (Ashdod, Israel), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
• Melissa Fifield (Wakefield, N.H.), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
• Trey Hutchens (Lexington, N.C.), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour

Underscoring the exciting young talent entering NASCAR’s ranks, award winners Abreu, Behar, Day and Hutchens are all in their first full season of NASCAR touring series competition, with Hutchens also earning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

Both Fifield and Marban won the Most Popular Driver Award for their series last year, with Fifield making history as the first female to win the award for the tour.

Marban of the NASCAR Mexico Series garnered more votes than any other driver in 2015, just ahead of NASCAR Next drivers Behar and Abreu. Behar dethroned 2014 Most Popular Driver Brandon McReynolds, while Abreu earned the award in his first year in stock cars after transitioning from a successful open-wheel career.

The closest race was in the Canadian Tire Series where championship runner-up Hathaway edged Alex Tagliani by just 104 votes. It is the second year in a row in which Tagliani missed out on the top spot by a slim margin. Last year, he was beaten by JR Fitzpatrick by just 48 votes.

Similarly, Fifield beat Preece for the Whelen Modified Tour award by 110 votes. Hutchens collected more than 40 percent of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour vote to top tour champion Andy Seuss, a three-time winner of the award.

Day won three of the final four races of the Whelen Euro Series season to finish as runner-up in the championship standings in his first year in the series.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners will be recognized as part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.


  1. Amazing… NASCAR can step in and hand Kyle Busch the championship, but they can’t put a stop to this.

  2. She races mods? Never seen her!
    What a joke.

  3. Here’s a thought, give everyone who buys a ticket a code on the ticket that entitles them to one vote per purchased ticket. I have to wonder what percentage of those voters actually saw a race and what the average number of votes per voter is. Just as screwed up as the presidential electoral college vote, but in a different fashion.
    In the grand scheme of things, this is among things least wrong with the WMT. How unfortunate is that? The brain trust in Daytona must have a team of experts working to implode the tour in the shortest time possible.

  4. Kevin Joerres says

    Good for her, congrats to her and her whole team!

  5. What a joke, never heard a clap when she is introduced. She is usually blacked flagged for going too slow by lap 20

  6. I agree its a sham BUT did you vote?? Hard to complain if you didn’t go online and vote for someone else.

  7. Just my thoughts... says

    Steve, I have to agree with you I have NEVER heard a clap or a cheer for Melissa, I think it is safe to say that most of the votes she got were not from fans that actually attend the races. If NASCAR cannot figure out how to have a legitimate Most Popular Driver Vote for the WMT , they should just end it. Again, just my thoughts.

  8. NH Mark, why vote when the ballot is loaded? The rules state something like a vote per day per email address. I’m not going to go online and vote everyday, with multiple email addresses, to load the vote. The process is designed to be manipulated.

  9. Huge modified fan…… but seriously? …she never finishes a race….probably she got voted most popular just for the fact of humor watching her

  10. And NASCAR is using this to demonstrate diversity.

  11. I give them credit they spend alot of money on her hobby but we can’t have the vote for MF party’s and not be invited.

  12. She’s always the most popular driver during the infield pit parties. C’mon guys. Give the girl a break.

  13. “She’s always the most popular driver during the infield pit parties.”

    She is! If you didn’t notice the crowds around TC, Preece, Woody, “Colby”, Tomaino, or anyone else who is either competitive or a long time tour competitor.

    I’m sure she’s a actually a nice person who is nice to her parents and a pleasure to be around, but something tells me her church stuffs the box, and most of her voters have never personally attended a race. Maybe she’s got really great free candy on the hood?

  14. Sharpie Fan says

    She probably got more votes than she completed laps.

  15. Someday she’s gonna be fast When she gets one of those carburetor’s

  16. Andy Boright says

    She needs a lot more than a special carburetor to be competitive.

    This is simply another NASCAR farce.

    She certainly isn’t the most popular driver at the race track, not by crowd reaction during driver intros, or during pit parties, and certainly not by team chatter over the radio during the races.

    It doesn’t say much about Fifield’s ethics that she would encourage her few supporters to stuff ballot boxes in her honor.

    Just another example of people doing the wrong thing in the name of religion.

  17. Wow happy Thanksgiving.all but a couple of comments are really nasty here.wild speculation about stuffing ballot religion comes into it.If people want to talk about childish religions they should leave ms fifield out of it.Besides it not like she’s out wrecking people.If her father wants to spend his money riding around a track uncompetively whats the mean spirited problem?She is a nice kid,unfortunately not much to clap about at intros.

  18. A Real Mod Fan says

    To all you arm chair racers-
    If you want someone else to win the Most popular here’s an idea maybe you should have voted.
    Congratulations to Melissa and her entire team, also thank you to her and her team for competing in every race this season. That is dedication to the sport.
    -A Real Mod Fan

  19. A Real Mod Fan, she did NOT compete in every race this season. She missed two races. Her best race was at Loudon, and that was 3 laps down at the finish. Otherwise, many races she finished over 100 laps behind the leader, most races she finished over 50 laps behind the leader. She is popular for what?

  20. A real mod fan. Are you kidding? She should be embarrassed. I’m sure she’s nice and is trying sooo
    hard but if you actually went to a race you would clearly no that she is minimal recognized from the fans
    many other drivers who compete face the same lack of recognition. Don’t congratulate her for stuffing the ballot box.

  21. Here are some other Most Popular Driver Award recipients: Mike Stefanik, Ryan Preece, Justin Bonsignore, Ted Christopher, Todd Szegedy, Tony Hirschman, Tom Baldwin Sr., Ed Flemke Jr., Reggie Ruggerio, Rick Fuller, Jeff Fuller, Satch Worley.

  22. I do believe that she is not the most popular driver,not even close.Her presence on the race track presents a danger to herself and the racers around her.I sincerely hope that a catastrophic crash does not happen as a result of her low speeds.I support any competitive female drivers involvement in racing.She is an accident waiting to happen.Her dad should swallow his pride and move her to a more appropriate division.SK Lites at the Speedbowl;not the Tour.

  23. I don’t know the Fifield family, but I hope my votes help put her over the top again next year. No one encouraged me or held a gun to my head to gain my vote. Congratulations Melissa!

  24. Chelsea, how many votes did you cast? How many races do you attend per season? What makes a driver most popular to you?

  25. This only proves that the mod tour does not have a really good following .
    Fans don’t even bother to vote anymore, I don’t even really hear much of a cheering section at these events, back in the day I used to see the same fans in the same seats year after year, always had trouble finding a seat just before the tour started, now I can sit anywhere. It’s sad, I believe too many divisions, too much money, talent is watered down, admission prices too high

  26. Chelsea, vote for who you want it is a free world even though I may not agree with your choice.

    Steve, I agree, admission prices too high, purses to low on the WMT. Go to the dirt series format one race, one day. Good way to start cutting expenses and bring the fun back into racing.

    Dareal, take a chill pill and stop berating everyone you don’t agree with. Everyone has an opinion, they are entitled to it and please learn how to respect it.

  27. female computer voice says

    Melissa Fifield is Nascar Whelen Moified Tour most popular driver for the second straight year, Illuminati confirmed.

  28. humphry says: “Dareal, take a chill pill and stop berating everyone you don’t agree with. Everyone has an opinion, they are entitled to it and please learn how to respect it.”

    An opinion is one thing, stating something as a truth when it is far from the truth is another. No respect for that at all.

    I thrive on hypocrisy, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Look up the definition of “popular”. She is not popular at least of the right reasons, on the Tour. There is no response of admiration from the crowd towards her. Only cringing when she is in the racing lane and the leaders are bearing down on her. Go ahead, tell us her fans are the “silent majority”.

    Last I saw, she runs Hutter power. Nothing but the best.

  29. In my opinion, she has no business being on the WMT. Plenty of other divisions that are better suited for her.

  30. Sorry but I only attended a mere eight WMT events this year. I can only hope that you feel that is enough evrnts attended for me to vote. I lost track of how many times I voted, but I do know that I voted once for every time read the word carburetor on this site.

  31. Sorry but I only attended a mere eight WMT events this year. I can only hope that you feel that is enough events attended for me to vote. I lost track of how many times I voted, but I do know that I voted once for every time I read the word carburetor on this site.

  32. James Scott says

    Easy solution to this process. Eliminate all on line voting etc. At every WMT event there should be a booth with an old school ballot box. This should be the only way to vote like the old days. No Knock on Melissa she seems real nice but I do not think she is the WMT most popular. If she should win again with event only balloting then great for her.

  33. Chelsea says: I lost track of how many times I voted, but I do know that I voted once for every time I read the word carburetor on this site.

    Great answer Chelsea. I would imagine it will take a while for your fingers to recover if you voted that many times. The system is screwed up but I doubt anyone cheated. The fact remains though, that her racing in this series is like the best junior high quarterback getting tossed into the NFL-probably not a good idea. She doesn’t begin to approach being competitive and is generally a hazard when in a mix of cars. I don’t say that because she’s a female, I think Renee Dupuis was a pretty respectable racer while she was on the tour. She wasn’t afraid to get in there and mix it up.

  34. From the report: “Both Fifield and Marban won the Most Popular Driver Award for their series last year, with Fifield making history as the first female to win the award for the tour.”

    She made HISTORY!!!! She’s up there with Shirley Muldowney!






    Don’t blame me for all those votes.




    Go check her on Facebook where she was soliciting votes for another award… here it is for you: “Please vote for my entry. You can vote everyday until February 2nd. Thank you for your support!”

    She needs seat time, lots of seat time. She should be running a weekly series where she can get all that seat time. Danica Patrick has shown that popularity is no substitute for performance. Danica is losing her appeal, popularity and big sponsors, she needs to perform in order to produce sponsors. But she does have an outstanding bikini portfolio. I doubt the corporate sponsorship world is going to hand sponsorship dollars over to a driver that can’t finish on the lead lap, is almost always > 50 laps down and often > 100 laps down at the finish. That’s not what sponsors want to be associated with.

  35. Please Chelsea lets not get this discussion about carburetors started again! I have heard enough about that.

  36. I think once she gets a littler faster they should let her drive the pace car.

  37. old observer says

    She is usually way out of the racing lane when getting lapped, which is often. She pulls way down & give the leaders lots of room which causes her to run even slower. Other lapped cars should show the respect that she does.
    Not a fan of her but while everyone is bashing Melissa, they are at least leaving the other back markers alone.

  38. old observer, any car that has a top priority of staying out of the way of the actual racing needs to consider what it is doing on the track. It is not winning any popularity contests. And lets make it clear that much of the extremely subpar performance is not driver related but due to the car. The car has many problems that cause it to decline or drop out. I really don’t think she is showing respect by doing a wonderful job of staying out of the way of the competitive cars. It appears that the team is doing all it can to not be black flagged.

    And those other back markers get all the attention they deserve when they think they are competitive and take up space in the racing lines, or cause the yellow flags and deprive the other cars and fans of racing laps.

    A car can’t race its way into a VMRS event, but it can get into the show in the low car count NWMT.

  39. Maybe she needs the same carburetor that the 2 has…………….

  40. Maybe she needs a LFR chassis…………..

  41. humphry, she runs a Hutter built motor, last I saw. The carb the 2 has is for the SPEC motor. That would be illegal on a built motor. And I also think she runs a rather new SPAFCO chassis. All good stuff. Why is it so s-l-o-w? And popular because it is so slow.

  42. Let’s face it, you could put her in the 2 car and she would be lapped inside of 10 laps. It ain’t the equipment. Ken Barry drove Jake’s 9 car during a practice at Thompson probably 7 or so years ago and was flying with it. Nobody ever thought that car had the potential to go that fast. Same situation applies here. But hey, She’s popular-got the plaque to prove it! Maybe going so slow is intentional so everyone has plenty of time to read her name as it goes by. It’s a Jedi mind trick to subconsciously get into peoples heads and rally the votes.

  43. Just Saying says

    IMO its time to let this issue go. She is out there doing what she likes to do. Is she competitive, no, so be it, not everyone can be. As long as she does not get in the way and cause others hardship give her a brake. Sure you can debate her actual popularity but apparently she won the Most Popular award fair and square according to the rules. You had the right to vote for your favorite driver if you wanted to. To quote a famous politician, “At this point what difference does it make?”. 2016 is fast approaching and I feel there are more important things to discuss instead of trying to bring this lady down. Please lets move onto more important topics.

  44. Well said.

  45. old observer says

    I Agree

  46. This is all about car counts. With plenty of competitive cars, this would not happen. Cars like this would never qualify.

  47. Just saying I agree, bigger fish to fry.

  48. It’s just disingenuous. I’m tired of participation trophy’s

  49. Dale Jr. just won the Most Popular Driver Award for the 13th time!!!!

    He must be so excited to be like Melissa!!!!

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