Silly Season Drivers Settle In For 2016 On Whelen Modified Tour

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Ron Silk (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ron Silk (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Each offseason brings change to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and a handful of familiar names are gearing up for the coming 2016 season with different teams.

When the 32nd season of Whelen Modified Tour competition stars next weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, one-fifth of the drivers in the starting lineup will be with different teams. Chase Dowling, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy have all changed rides from 2015 to 2016 while Rob Summers will rejoin the tour for the first time since 2010.

And announced Wednesday, Jimmy Blewett is also back following a two-year absence.

Dowling, who earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 with Tomaino Motorsports, has joined Berkley Auto Racing for the coming season. The Roxbury, Connecticut, native, now 18, recorded eight top 10s in 15 races as a rookie. He’ll continue to race the No. 9 with his new team, owned by Bob Katon.

Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania’s Pennink has moved on from his own team and into the seat of the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3 of Boehler Racing Enterprises for a full-time run in 2016. He recorded two wins and 58 top 10s in 124 starts across nine seasons in the No. 93.

A championship contender in 2015 with Buzz Chew Racing, Pitkat landed on his feet with Kevin Stuart Motorsports for the coming season after the Chew team decided to switch to dirt racing closer to its upstate New York home base. A nine-year Whelen Modified Tour veteran from Stafford, Connecticut, Pitkat recorded all three of his wins and each of his four poles in the two previous seasons with Chew. The Stuart team will be new to the tour this season, and current plans are to compete in 11 of the 17 events on the schedule.

The 2011 Whelen Modified Tour titlist, Silk made seven starts last year including five with Rob Fuller Motorsports. This year he will take over for driver/owner Danny Watts Jr. in the No. 82. A nine-time winner on the tour, Silk already drove the Watts 82 to Victory Lane once this year when he won the tour-type modified opener at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. The team currently plans to run the full slate of events.

In this game of musical chairs, Szegedy is the only driver to land in a seat he previously occupied. After a full season in the Mystic Missile Racing No. 4 last year, the 2003 tour champ wanted to reduce his schedule in 2016, and he will do just that with a return to Rob Fuller Motorsports. Szegedy, with 19 wins in 202 career races, posted an average finish of 15th in five starts in the RFM No. 15 two years ago.

Summers’ case is different from the previously mentioned drivers. Aside from a spot start in 2013, the Manchester, Connecticut, driver hasn’t competed on the Whelen Modified Tour since 2010. His last full-time season was 2006. He will return to a full slate in 2016, however, as he joined KLM Motorsports to drive the No. 64. Summers has 27 top 10s in 132 career tour races.

The vacancy left by Szegedy in the “Mystic Missile” No. 4 was the last piece of the puzzle put into place this offseason. Blewett was considering returning to the tour with his own No. 76 with which he last competed in 2013. Instead he landed a big opportunity with a team that has won three tour titles since 2007. The Howell, New Jersey, native has five wins and 36 top 10s in 105 starts since 2001.

The 17-race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will commence with the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. For 42nd Annual Icebreaker weekend ticket and event information, please click HERE.

Check the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Roster


  1. I can not wait for the tour to come to the new Riverhead Raceway. They always put on a good show at the head. The local drivers really give the tour guys a solid run for their money.

  2. Jeff Colasurdo says

    This is all good news to see things finally shake out for these drivers, really looking forward to seeing their return to Oswego Speedway on Saturday of Classic weekend.

  3. We want TC. Also nice to see mike McLaughlin kid is racing on the dirt car tour in a big block modified for TBR with mike as crew chief. Not long before he will be on the tour I would think.

  4. darealgoodfella says

    Franky, TC is on the 00. Check the NWMT roster page. M&T Enterprises is sponsoring the 00.

  5. Teddy owns m&t enterprises. I wouldn’t call that a sponsor. More of a self funder to get his business out there. Hope he runs the full season and best of luck for Brady son and team. 00 is always fast and out front.

  6. Will TC also use one of his own cars to supplement the Brady stable this season?

  7. I doubt we will see TC @ the icebreaker or very many tour races this year . This should make the real jerk fellow so happy I wonder who he will bash then ? Any one want to take a stab at that one ? This one might break his 30% record

  8. Andy Boright says

    If Pennink is skipping races, you know the series is screwed up. I didn’t see or hear about any changes in the off season to fix some of the series problems.

  9. darealgoodfella says

    From the article: “Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania’s Pennink has moved on from his own team and into the seat of the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3 of Boehler Racing Enterprises for a full-time run in 2016. He recorded two wins and 58 top 10s in 124 starts across nine seasons in the No. 93.”

    Andy Boright, what makes you say Pennink is skipping races? Note that the article states Pennink will be FULL TIME.

  10. His name should be bowrong

  11. darealgoodfella says

    Look, since the 36 abruptly shutdown mid-season when TC was the driver, TC has not been a factor on the Tour. The car owners have spoken.

  12. He was second at Concord last night

  13. I’d say TC has not been a consistent factor on the Tour since the 36 team shutdown. However, he’s had his moments (e.g. Riverhead, NHIS and Stafford Fall Final in 2014). Unfortunately, none none of those moments were converted to wins.

  14. Justafella says

    Darealgoodfella: Ted Christopher is a Self Made Man if you know what that is , he didn’t have daddy’s give him everything He operates a successful business ,works hands on 7 to 530 5 days a week and still manages to run 100+ at the age of 57. You love to quote statistics go on and check out part of his dossier and then come back on here flap your gums for nothing. Oh by the way he finished second in Concord last night in a six-year-old Creaky Troyer

  15. He is up to 27% Jim and it is not over yet!

  16. darealgoodfella says

    Justafella, I don’t care what TC does off the racetrack, and what he does away from the racetrack doesn’t matter at all. Whatever he does off the racetrack is no excuse for the chaos and destruction he causes on the racetrack. I pay $$ to attend these races, and hate to see a couple knuckleheads wrecking expensive cars, causing all those yellow flags, and ruining the racing.

  17. Dareal, you just confirmed what I have been thinking for some time now. I don’t believe you have ever laid a finger on a modified race car in your life (well maybe at a pit party because that as close as you will ever get to one) however, you come off like the crew chief extraordinaire when you are really just a bleacher warming wacker. Google is a great tool isn’t it, you certainly have it mastered and you use it to berate others on this site with your so called vast experience in modified racing. You are the classic definition of a person who is a “legend in his own mind”.

    And oh by the way, as a very good friend of mine who has been in the sport of modified racing for a half century used to say, TC is worth 2 tenths of a second in what ever he gets into and can make a bad car look good. Now mind you I am not and never was a TC fan however, the man can still wheel a race car at 57 so lets at least give him that.

  18. Andy Boright says

    darealgoodfella Pennink skipped the last 2 races of 2015, and since then the series has lost how many teams? And while Pennink plans to run the full series in 2016, that still means the lost of another team.

    I guess LM isn’t the expert he wishes he was.

  19. Justafella says

    Darealgoodfella , what kind of chaos and destruction has Ted Christopher caused on the racetrack ?? Why would he wreck expensive cars that he buys and pays for with his own hard earned money ? I find it very difficult to knock hard work and success both on and off the track and by the way he and his Company M &T Enterprises are contributors and sponsors of this website what have you contribute lately.

  20. darealgoodfella says

    Uh-oh, TC isn’t on the Entry List for the IceBreaker.

  21. I agree completely with Justafella and Humphry in regards to their comments about TC…NO Silver Spoon for Teddy unlike another northern driver (a prince actually) who finished rather poorly at Concord with superior equipment. Teddy can drive a modified like nobody’s business. As far as the v4 goes, expect to see it removed from the track hammock style on more than 1 occasion this year.

  22. darealgoodfella says

    No need to be concerned about TC if he isn’t on the track.

    The 00, or TC, are still not on the IceBreaker entry list.

    Chris D., I think the v4 was taken off hammock/flatbed style last season with TS driving… after the v4 was taken out by the 2, twice, at Bristol and NHMS. Gotta watch out for them knuckleheads.

    Justafella said, “Darealgoodfella , what kind of chaos and destruction has Ted Christopher caused on the racetrack ?? ”

    Are you serious? Did you just crawl out from under a rock? You must have just started following modifieds. Since the 36 shutdown, TC has not been a factor on the Tour. Prior to that, the parts trucks followed TC’s schedule, and the shops were ready for the carnage after the race.

    It will be an interesting season. The 88 is gone, the 6 is questionable since it is part time and that might impact how much a factor it is when it shows up, and the 2 is back from last year. We’ll have to see what cars step it up to run with the 2.

  23. justafella says

    The Real Good Fella you need to stop living in the past and give credit where credit is due. just go back and check the stats / Wikipedia / Google you know the spots and Quote on !

  24. Hey Justa, get out from under that rock will ya, LOL………………..

  25. darealgoodfella says

    Justa, the 36 shut down how many years ago? And your boy hasn’t been a factor since then… he hasn’t even been wrecking as much. Maybe trying to impress some top owners to let him drive. But you have to realize that the 36 happened a very long time ago, you have to stop living in the past. TC hasn’t been a factor, even much of a wrecker, since the 36 shut down, years ago. Why doesn’t he run his own car, y’all talk about his topnotch equipment… why doesn’t he run his own car and show everyone how it is done? The stats on his accidents/DNFs are voluminous, I will give him credit for that.

  26. Chris D. says

    dareal, why would running a part time schedule affect the 6 car’s performance??? Now, losing their crew chief, that’s a different story.

  27. justafella says

    The Real Good Fella It’s all about money, time and preparation not Doug Coby’s /MSIII carburetor ! and Ted Christopher is not my boy the only boy in my Son.

  28. darealgoodfella says

    Running more frequently will help performance, certainly better for performance than running less frequently. Consider it practice, OJT. A car that does not run as frequently will lose the edge.

  29. RaceDayNH says

    Dareal: TC isn’t on the entry list for the icebreaker because he will be down in south Boston this weekend on the NWSMT…… Chris D.: Preece led most laps in Concord and dropped back after an air gun malfunction. Guess not all their equipment is top notch 😉

  30. I don’t think TC has his own car down in South Boston it is very possible it is one of Steve Park. He owns a few of those Batteries Plus Bulbs stores that are sponsoring TC right now on the Southern tour

  31. darealgoodfella says

    RDNH: The IceBreaker without TC is like the Long Island Expressway without traffic.

    Justa: What are you talking about? TC? Stats? And now you change the subject to the MSIII carburetor. smh

    So it looks like we can forget about TC here.

  32. OMG dareal something you don’t know, stop the presses, TC at a NWSMT race instead of the Ice Breaker. But wait raceday, he is checking this out to make sure you are correct, stand by I am sure he will find something to correct you about……………

  33. Andy Boright says

    Melissa Fifield for the championship, when nobody else is interested in it?

  34. Chris D. says

    So, when the air gun malfunctioned on the 6 car at Concord, did the prince scream and yell at everybody and call everybody names over the radio? Just curious. Oh, and by the way, TC may have caused a few wrecks through the years, but he never had to hand the checkered flag back to the officials in victory lane…just saying

  35. darealgoodfella says

    April 4, Chris D. said: “Darealgoodfella , what kind of chaos and destruction has Ted Christopher caused on the racetrack ?? ”

    April 5, Chris D. said: “Oh, and by the way, TC may have caused a few wrecks through the years, …”

    Contradict much?

    Just one day later!!!!


  36. darealgoodfella, are you drunk or just stupid? the coment about chaos and destruction was posted by Justafella on April 4th, not me… you KNUCKLEHEAD!

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