Official: Jimmy Blewett To Drive Bob Garbarino Whelen Modified Tour Car In 2016

Jimmy Blewett works on his car during a Whelen Modified Tour event in July 2013 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Jimmy Blewett works on his car during a Whelen Modified Tour event in July 2013 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Part of the show since the inception of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been the division’s iconic No. 4 Mystic Missile ride owned by Bob Garbarino.

In 2016 that long rolling part of the Whelen Modified Tour will be celebrating “Showtime” behind the wheel.

As reported earlier today by RaceDayCT, Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett was officially named as the driver for Garbarino’s Mystic Missile ride Wednesday.

The new driver brings with him a new sponsor, L.S. Starrett Company of Athol, Mass.

“You never know what is going to work and with Jimmy being away from the tour the past couple of years,” Garbarino said in a release. “I know he is looking to get back and make a good impression. I think the timing is right for Jimmy as a driver and is the right fit for my team.”

Blewett replaces Todd Szegedy, who left the No. 4 ride after one year with the team following the 2015 season.

“I talked with Bob early in the winter and I told him I was available to drive,” Blewett said. “I know that Bob had his choice of several top drivers and I am glad that he chose me.”

Garbarino has won Whelen Modified Tour titles in 2007 and 2009 with Donny Lia and in 2010 with Bobby Santos III.

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.

Starrett was founded in 1880 and manufactures more than 5000 precision tools, gauges, measuring instruments and saw blades for industrial, professional and consumer markets worldwide.

“The whole company is excited about the new sponsorship deal with Garbarino and Blewett.” Jim Ballou, marketing manager for Starrett said. “When we met Bob before our executive board meeting, we knew of his success in his fifty plus years in racing and we feel honored to sponsor a legend in the sport. Bob has a reputation of doing things the right way and that is the way that we at Starrett have done business since 1880.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    Check the calendar, is it April 1?

  2. darealgoodfella says

    Well, two legendary names in Modified racing join forces, and Garbarino brings an outstanding sponsor to the series.

    Thank you Mr. Garbarino!!!!!!

  3. I wish them well my feeling it wont last five races.I hope i am wrong stranger things have happened.

  4. Kinda agree with Bill,if they do make the year it will definitely be Bob’s last

  5. Justafella says

    Oil and Water: best of Luck Bob you got yourself a real winner

  6. Will we see TC in the Brady 00 in some NWMT races this season? I know he’s entered in this week end’s NWSMT event.

  7. old observer says

    Good luck to Bob, Jimmy & the team.
    Glad to see Starrett, maker of the finest measuring equipment available, join the tour.

  8. darealgoodfella says

    I’m glad to see Starrett involved. They make awesome products, I’ve used them and been around many more. They made a great choice in teaming with the Mystic Missile.

    The Mystic Missile is a great performer, and a heavily favored car at Bristol and Loudon, so it will get plenty of coverage and TV exposure.

    Thank you Starrett!!!!

  9. Pete Kelly says

    It’s Showtime! No pun intended… and yes your welcome!

  10. The last paragraph in this article says it all. This is what the tour needs, strong owner/driver and new sponsor. Best of luck Bob, 50 plus years in racing, that is what I call commitment!

  11. Not sure why there are doubters. They show up at the track and they already have 90% of the field beat. Been doing it for years. They’ll run top 5 all year with a win or two along the way. It may take them a few races to gel but there are a lot of races this year. I’m looking forward to watching the 2,4 and 44 slicing and dicing all year.

  12. darealgoodfella says

    NH Mark, I’ll add the 3 to the slicing and dicing.

  13. It will be great to see Jimmy Blewett return to the tour.
    Does anyone know about tv coverage yet.?

  14. mark i wish them well like i said ask todd how great the car was after don left last year.Why do you think he left?

  15. Fast Eddie says

    Here’s the primary competition to #2, along with Tinio/Santos. A great team is now better with new sponsorship. Jimmy was always good, albeit a little impatient sometimes. I would bet the dirt experience changed some of that and made him even better. This team will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

  16. darealgoodfella says

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about this, and I like it more and more.

    From a quick look over the 4 car record, it looks like it finished mostly in the top 5 in the last ~10 years or so. In that time, the drivers had their best years. Lia, Santos won championships, Szegedy would have been competing for the championship last season at Thompson if he had not been taken out at least twice (twice definitely by the 2 car), so that shows that the Mystic Missile elevates drivers and gets the best out of them.

    Blewett seems to be on a mission, he’s older, wiser, more mature. A driver with that determination in a car as good as the 4 is going to be a contender.

    It’s good to see the 4 is on the Tour, and better than ever. I’ve been a Modified fan for many years, and the 4 is an icon, perhaps THE iconic car of Modified racing.

    Here’s what we fans get:

    1. Garbarino & Blewett joining forces
    2. Garbarino brings impressive sponsorship to the Modified series.
    3. SPEC motor
    4. New chassis (rumor)

    I can’t wait for the IceBreaker, see you there.

  17. darealgoodfella says

    bill d, how was the car after the crew chief “left”? Looks like the CC left after the 3rd Thompson race, so the car was without Don for the following last 5 races:

    At Bristol, the 4 car was taken out on lap 2 by the 2 car. The Mystic Missile is the best car at Bristol, but gets taken out.

    At Riverhead, the 4 car came in 9th. It’s a bullring, stuff happens.

    At NHMS the 4 came in 20th, after being in the top 3(?) on the final restart when it was taken out by the 2 car.

    At Stafford, the 4 car came in 10th.

    At Thompson, the 4 car came in 4th.

    Prior to Bristol and the CC leaving, the 4 car had several bad finishes. A 10th, 19th, and 16th place. The 16th place finish at the 3rd Stafford race was an anomaly. No obvious technical failure noted in the results page, finished on the lead lap, just bad performance.

    So when you take out the accidents, things weren’t much different after the CC “left”.

    You can ask why the 93 was never that good with Don as the crew chief. The 93 had all the best parts a team can ask for, but was never a real contender. It was very inconsistent. When Don ran his own operation, he had a great crew chief working for him. Don hasn’t had much success as a crew chief. Wasn’t Don the crew chief for the 45 with Eric Beers? Potent but never worked. Don’s reputation as a championship owner with a hired crew chief is very different than his reputation as a crew chief.

  18. Yup, I should have added the 3 to the mix. I expect big things from them as well. The 4 won at NHMS last season. That’s a big win. Accidents cost them points as mentjoned. Stuff happens but Todd didn’t leave because it wasn’t a top ride. They have a shot each and every race.

  19. Justafella says

    Dareal :Don Barker is a very capable crew chief , you will see for your self at the Ice Breaker with Sypher’s 8 and 2 time champion Long Islad Ace Domenic Lia at the controls !

  20. dareal here is a statistic for you since you seem to enjoy quoting them so much, you have 35% of the comments on this article……………..

  21. darealgoodfella says

    Justafella, the NASCAR roster shows Dan LaFierrere as the crew chief for the 8. And Lia won those two championships with the 4 car, right? So the 8 w/Lia, LFR, and top notch SPEC motors ended up behind the 4 with its creaky old Troyer that ran a built motor for the first half of the season. Oooooooooo… the field is just shaking!!!!

  22. Yep. And 100% of the crap on this website!

  23. darealgoodfella says

    Hey Bruce, I do cite statistics. Statistics that disprove and refute the crap flowing from the advocates around here.

  24. Speaking of crew chiefs, Tommy Grasso no longer with Preece Lightning and the 6 team??? Why would he go to another team? hmm

  25. darealgoodfella says

    Isn’t the 6 going part-time since Preece is running Xfinity? Looks like Ryan’s dad took over the crew chief duties on the 6.

  26. LOOK OUT MOD TOUR – two of the best teaming up . old school . BOB G. and JIMMY KNOW how too win . they been around a long time .

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