Jimmy Blewett, Ted Christopher Waiting For Bob Garbarino Whelen Modified Tour Decision

Bob Garbarino's No. 4 Mystic Missile Whelen Modified Tour ride (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Bob Garbarino’s No. 4 Mystic Missile Whelen Modified Tour ride (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

In just over two weeks the teams of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be rolling into the paddock area at Thompson Speedway for Icebreaker weekend and the start of the 2016 season.

And the biggest questions remaining when it comes to the Whelen Modified Tour in 2016 surround Bob Garbarino’s iconic No. 4 Mystic Missile ride.

Todd Szegedy, who drove the car in 2015, parted ways with team after one season behind the wheel. So will the team be at Thompson competing in the Icebreaker 150 on April 10? And if so, who will be the driver?

Garbarino isn’t budging with any information,

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Garbarino said Saturday. “I don’t have a plan. That’s all I can say now. It sounds crazy I know, but it’s the way it is.”

At least two well known drivers seem to be waiting on Garbarino’s next move.

Longtime Whelen Modified Tour competitors Ted Christopher and Jimmy Blewett have both talked to Garbarino about the open seat with his team.

Christopher, of Plainville, is the third winningest driver in Whelen Modified Tour history with 42 victories. Christopher drove last season in a split team operation for most of the year owner Bob Katon Jr. before closing out the year driving for Our Motorsports. Team owner Chris Our made the decision to shut down his team following the conclusion of the 2015 season. Christopher’s last Whelen Modified Tour victory came in Fall Final 150 at Stafford Speedway on Oct. 2, 2011.

Christopher has made 361 Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 1987 and was the 2008 series champion. Christopher has said that if he doesn’t land the ride with Garbarino’s team he likely would not run full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour. He is slated to run full-time in the SK Modified divisions at Stafford and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

“I haven’t heard anything,” Christopher said of the Garbarino owned ride. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Blewett’s last Whelen Modified Tour start came in the Budweiser King of Beers 150 on Aug. 15, 2013 at Thompson. He finished seventh in that event. He ran full-time in 2012, finishing eighth in the season standings before turning his focus to dirt racing. He sold all his dirt racing equipment after the 2015 season in hope of returning to Modified racing.

Blewett, of Howell, N.J., has 105 career Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2001, with five career victories and 21 top-fives. His last series win came on Aug. 8, 2008 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“I haven’t heard anything from Bob or those guys,” Blewett said. “If anything is going to transpire it better transpire soon because I haven’t even got my NASCAR license yet. But I haven’t talked to anybody. I’ve just been focused on getting my stuff ready for Wall Stadium. I’m just playing everything by ear. If I hear something and someone wants me to drive something, I’m up for it. If I get a phone call I’m ready to go.

“If he picks me he picks me and if he doesn’t I wish him the best of luck. It’s a great seat and there’s a lot of great drivers he can choose from if he picks me it would be an honor.”

The Whelen Modified Tour will have an open test Saturday at Thompson Speedway. Garbarino said Saturday his team would likely not be there.


  1. you would think that Bob would be looking for someone that can win on the tour – these two guys were the best a few years ago, now they are on the down slope of their careers.

  2. I can believe Teddy hasn’t heard anything!

  3. Kelly Gordon says

    I wouldn’t mind seeing either of these guys get the wheel job but like Jimmy said”there are so many great drivers” personally I’d go with Christopher.

  4. speed kills says

    why isn`t it acceptable that a respected car owner hasn`t made a decision yet? clearly the man said he had not made up his mind. now we have a story that 2 alleged drivers are waiting on Mr Garbarino to make his choice. I feel this is disrespectful to the car owner.This is a developing story .Wait for it to develop or come to fruition.. What did you hope to gain by posting/publishing it?? If neither guy is picked I hope there is a follow up to how they feel about not being selected. Are they disappointed?? What success could they have hoped to achieve if they had landed the ride ?? do they feel they were robbed of an opportunity to contend or win the championship.. ??. were they led to believe based on discussions with said car owner they had a ride for the upcoming season and what will they do now that the season is upon us ?.. Are they bitter they were deceived??? .Perhaps we could ask Silk, or Stefanik or Hinckley if they are disappointed or angry for not getting a phone call from the owner….oh the humanity! I normally like your column Shawn .I think you should be more patient

  5. bill realist says

    Then screw these two clowns….call les hinkley. How he doesn’t have a tour ride is a sign of the sad state of the tour. I mean come on, would anyone really want to have to deal with the bs either one would bring if they didn’t have to?

  6. That seems a little harsh! These two “clowns” as you call them are just waiting on Bob. Seems like they both would like the opportunity to drive for him. They both have their own stuff to race if they choose along with other rides in other series. Bob may be taking a little more time than any of us would like to see to make a decision but I can’t see putting JB or TC down because of it.

  7. How about a Chuck Hossfeld reunion?

  8. darealgoodfella says

    I wouldn’t call Blewett a clown.

  9. Hope bob braces himself if he hires oneway Ted. if ted does well its all Ted when they go wrong its everybody elses fault.

  10. bill realist says

    no he is not. However begging for a ride through the media is ceaseless.

  11. bill realist says

    -class less-

  12. darealgoodfella says

    uh, donnie, of all the thousands of acts of stupidity and other incidents that happen on a track, how many do the drivers own up to? It is always somebody else’s fault, always, always, always. When an incident happens, I can’t wait for the driver interview to hear his version of the incident. If there are five cars involved, according to each driver, it was the fault of the other guys. It’s comical.

    But TC is one of the most entertaining for sure.

  13. donnie, Are you Donny Lia?

  14. Jerry Fascione says

    speed kills do you even know what this column is about ? you ask why Shawn is writing articles about it…BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THIS COLUMN IS ABOUT. If you want other news try Fox or CNN 🙂

  15. Ted has some unfinished business that would be beneficial to the success of the #4 owner, and he brings much more to the table than meets the eye. It would be a good fit for both parties.

  16. blewett on the down slope of his career ??? i highly doubt that. hes as good as ever. i hope it isnt blewett though…this way he races at wall and makes the racing better there all season long.

  17. TC in the 4 is the end of the 4 as we no it. TC has driven many car owners out of the sport.
    What makes Jimmy Blewett qualified to drive the 4. He cant win or be consistent in anything. Runs the Tour quits the Tour over and over again. Going dirt then quits dirt with nothing to show for it. the only thing he can run with any success is an SK at Wall. Big Deal. Same with TC cant win on the Tour anymore.

  18. Who knows maybe the crew missed fixing the car last year, Jimmy would give them plenty to do

  19. speed kills says

    Jerry Fascione……..Bob stated he hasn`t chosen a driver ..(didn`t know what he was going to do this year ).. so.. lets wait til he makes a decision.. to write a story about two drivers allegedly waiting for the phone call on the seat implies to me the writer is trying to get Mr Garbarino to show his hand…as far as I am concerned Bob owes no one any explanation. its developing so be patient and wait for an announcement .I like Shawn’s column. I appreciate the fact he allowed my post (criticism).. and I support his site (Shawn’s) I just felt this has been beaten to death already with wild speculation and when the car owner is ready he will let everyone know what his plans are and we should respect that.. why does everyone need to know other peoples business???..

  20. Jerry the builder says

    T.C hasn’t won a” points” race on the NWMT since Oct. of 2011. However, if you remember, he did win a North-South shoot out race in Old Blue at Thompson since then. He beat a number of better race cars that day and put on one hell of a show in the process. I go to nearly all of the NWMT races; ( I haven’t made Riverhead or Bristle yet) and I recall in the past few years, even though he hasn’t won, he’s had some really good runs only to end up with mechanical problems or to get caught up in a mess and get knocked out. Believe me, if Ted has a car underneath him that’s capable of winning, he can still get it done as well or better than anyone else out there. I swear, I have never seen anybody better at finding his way through a pileup in front of him than Ted Chistopher. He’s still an incredible talent who very often makes the show. Whether you like him or not, it’ll be a sad day when he’s no longer out there. I’d love to see him in the Mr. Garbarino’s car

  21. darealgoodfella says

    The 2016 NWMT Driver Roster shows TC registered with car #100.

  22. It can’t be car #100, the WMT does not allow a car with three numbers. It must be #00…………..

  23. He is listed as #100. Guessing that is because NASCAR wants his profile on the site but does want to list him under a usable number to cause confusion and I’m guessing the system they’re using needs a number listed.

  24. crazy larry says


  25. Hey Jerry,For me the tour without T.C. is like the tour without Stefanik I think both those guys can still win with the right equipment.Teddy can be Teddy sometimes but he still is a top shoe in my book.

  26. Greg Hardy says

    Just please no Christopher. Just retire already. At this point, he’s just a menace to the field who only knows one way to make a pass: to wreck the other driver out. And he can’t win in anything above SKs. Reminds me of Ron Hornaday in his final days in the trucks.

  27. wait jimmy blewitt has a chance???? No way! I thought that was impossible

  28. and just think, some time next week it will become “breaking news”!

  29. justafella says

    Elect Ditto that :Who knows maybe the crew missed fixing the car last year, Jimmy would give them plenty to do ALso go on NASCAR home tracks and dial-up Jimmy Blewett stats not very impressive


  30. Hinckley is focusing on some other family commitments/priorities is my understanding, and a full-time WMT ride may not align with those plans.

    I take Bob at his word…he doesn’t have a plan at this time. Which, to me, means if something comes together, even part time, and his passion is there and the rest of his crew’s passion is there, they might run some races. But there is no rush, no “we MUST make the first first race and we MUST run the entire schedule!” immediacy in play.

    Bob has been around long enough that he is not going to spend time and money if he does not think he can have fun doing it and be competitive.

    Frankly, I am going to suggest there are many. many teams that think the 2 is still light years ahead of the pack at Thompson. While there are more teams running LFR chassis, it’s not like the 2 team gave all their notes to everyone.

    At least at NHMS and a couple of shorter tracks, we know the V4 can compete and have a real chance to win. but The Deuce flat out owns Thompson, and it will most likely be another snoozefest of a race.

  31. crazy in NY says

    I can’t believe the people on here that think it’s about talent who gets the seat. It’s about CASH cold and hard. It’s the NASCAR Tour for pete’s sake. You need two boat loads of money to get a seat in
    most cars now a days. Maybe Bob G is waiting for the Queen Mary to sail up Mystic harbor.

  32. darealgoodfella says

    According to the NASCAR roster, TC is now listed as the driver of the 00 car, of listed owner Brian Brady, sponsored by M&T Enterprises.

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