Boiling Point: Jimmy Blewett, Rowan Pennink Trade Barbs After Whelen Mod Tour Event At Stafford

TSI 125 LogoSTAFFORD – When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson Speedway for the division’s next event on June 15 it will be interesting to see if the leftovers from the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway get reheated.

Jimmy Blewett, who finished second to Doug Coby Friday at Stafford made it clear after the event that he has Rowan Pennink on the mind, and it’s not happy thoughts.

Blewett was angered by Pennink after an incident between the two following a lap 117 restart of TSI Harley-Davidson 125. The dustup through turns one and two in the battle for position near the front of the field ended with Timmy Solomito’s car flattened against the backstretch wall.

“It looked like Rowan Pennink’s car shut off,” Blewett said. “But then when I was alongside of him I realized that his car didn’t shut off, he just wants to drive everybody up into the marbles. It’s the same thing he did to Timmy there. He left a hole big enough for a dump truck to drive through. So I stayed to the bottom because I figured he was definitely going to wreck. He’s definitely got one coming if he keeps driving me up the track like that.”

Said Pennink: “I guess I’ve just got to get used to [Blewett] racing like an animal like that. It is what it is. We had a good car and we got banged around a little bit. We almost got caught up in a couple wrecks, but the car came home in one piece and we got a sixth place finish out of it. It’s not what we wanted but better than getting wrecked or something.”

Pennink is the reining NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division champion at Stafford and has won three of four SK Modified events at the track this year.

Blewett, who is in his first year running full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour since 2012, called Pennink’s actions during the Whelen Modified Tour race Friday “uncalled for.”

“It’s one thing if were [SK Modified] racing, but we’re out here Tour racing,” Blewett said. “I haven’t ran with him in a couple years and I think winning here [at Stafford Speedway] every Friday night, or whatever he does over here made his head swell up a little bit. But you mess with the bull you’re going to get the horns, that’s the bottom line. There’s not going to be any secrets here. It’s just totally uncalled for. I watched him do it to three or four guys, [Donny Lia] included. I legitimately thought he broke or the car shut off when I went into [turn one] down there. That’s how fast I got under him. Then when I was alongside of him I just heard him pick up the gas and his wheels were cut to the left and he drove off into [Timmy Solomito]. It’s unfortunate for any of us to be out there wrecking like that.”

Pennink laughed at Blewett’s comments about concerning his participating weekly in the SK Modified division at Stafford.

“I don’t really agree with it,” Pennink said. “I mean if anyone, he was the one that was more rough than anyone out there. I don’t really know what he’s talking about there.”

Lia, who finished third, indicated that the patterns of aggressiveness with the division have been escalated some this season.

“That’s what it’s become out here, a lot of contact,” Lia said. “We need to probably get rid of a little bit of it. It seems like every week that’s what’s going on. It sounds like [Blewett] is pretty frustrated with it and he should be. Toward the end of races like this it just gets out of control and you have three or four cautions in a row. This ain’t [SK Modified] racing and it shouldn’t look like it is. So it is frustrating to deal with that. I don’t know. These things come in cycles and right now it seems a little rough. It is what it is.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    I was in T1-2 and saw it happen … the 4 cut low as if to avoid running into the left-rear of the 3. It looks like the 3 and 16 were rubbing, both got loose and slowed, the 4 was behind those two and cut to the bottom, mostly to avoid running into them and/or getting slowed down and passed by cars closing from behind. The closing rate of the 4 on the 3 was great, meaning the 3 was slow. It looked like an evasive action move by the 4 to avoid running into the 3. No driver would otherwise cut to the inside like that in a turn. Next thing you know, they were 3 wide exiting T2. The 4 was on the bottom, then the 3 in the middle, then the 16 on the outside. The 3 couldn’t get down at that point, he was recovering and he had to get in the gas, the 3 pushed the 16 high into the marbles.

    The 3 & 16 tussled, and the 4 capitalized on the problems they both had.

  2. Just knew you would have the answer

  3. Seekonk fan says

    This seems to be a popular move now. Same thing happened at NHIS last year. Preece slows way up in the corner to disrupt Coby’s momentum, only Coby did slow down, he got into the back of Preece and the rest as they say is history.

  4. all these drivers do today is follow the leader and when a little bumping starts they get all upset. these drivers could never race against the guys that ran 25 years ago, let alone the coupe days. start racing side by side for some kind of action. BORE TOUR all the way.

  5. getserious says

    “He’s definitely got one coming if he keeps driving me up the track like that.” What is that fool talking about? He was on the INSIDE of the three-wide, exactly as Darealgoodfella says, above. And what a crazy driver I now see that Blewett is. Two times he got all squirellry and almost caused a wreck when he tried to squeeze UNDER lapped cars while they were trying to stay low like they are supposed to. Now I see where he got his reputation. (And I am no fan of Pennink, so no bias here, just FACTS.)

  6. darealgoodfella says

    Look, there are too many crybabies out there. They like to dish it out, but go crying “IT’S UNFAIR!” when they are on the receiving end. It’s called racing. It is competing. It is laughable, even embarrassing, when these macho racers complain that another car didn’t get out of the way. And I’m not talking about cars like the 01, 18, and 26. I’m talking competitive cars that are battling. If the trailing car was indeed a better car, it should have been able to pass on its own merits. The lead car is not obligated make it easy for the trailing car to pass. Blocking is a part of racing, everyone does it. Have you ever seen two competitive cars going at it and one gets out of the way of the other to let him go by? Definitely not going to happen at “Go Time”. Blocking is part of racing, everyone has it done to them. Then they cry. Modified racing was a contact sport long before the Cup fendered cars started trading paint. When the fender cars starting making contact, the slightest contact was considered spectacular. Now contact is part of racing. I’ve been going to modified races since I was a little kid, and back in the day, bumping was a part of racing that made it exciting. Bumping, not wrecking. They did not go for the knock-out, just appropriate bumping. And lots of rubbing at Go Time. No whining and crying about it. Like mike a., said, “all these drivers do today is follow the leader and when a little bumping starts they get all upset. these drivers could never race against the guys that ran 25 years ago, let alone the coupe days.” These drivers today sound like enabled crybabies compared to the racers back then. These cars need a box of Kleenex installed for all the crying that goes on.

  7. darealgoodfella says

    getserious, the 4 had to go low to avoid the 3 & 16 in the incident that ended up taking out the 16. The 3 and 16 were battling and slowed down because they got themselves all squirrelly. The 4 was right behind all that and HAD to go low to avoid them. While watching it unfold, it was scary, but after it was done, what the 4 did was the right move. The 3 & 16 were going to happen no matter what, they were already a mess regardless of whatever was going on behind them.

    As far as the 4 dealing with lapped cars, I saw the incident with the 26. The 26 is not much better than the 01. The problem with the 18 and 26 is they run in the racing lane, they do not get down very low and out of the way. The racing lane at Stafford is narrow. A car like the 4 is much better than the 26, so when the 26 insists on running the racing lane, it makes sense for a competitive car to go under. Lapped cars are the slow cars and they need to stay out of the racing lane. Otherwise, the faster cars have to do what they have to do. Several years ago at Stafford, the 4 was taken out of the race by Johnny Bush in the 68 when the 4 tried to pass the 68 on the outside. The 68 drifted up and took the 4 out. It is a shame when back markers like the 01, 18, 26 and 68 take out competitive cars like that. The last place you want to be is on the outside of a back marker that insists on trying to race in close confines. At a previous Stafford race, the 26 caused 3 or 4 yellow flags by spinning all by himself. I would not want to be on the outside of the 26, EVER. Most back markers stay out of the way. The 18, 26 and 68 think they are competitive and they cause trouble. A couple years ago, Preece was almost put into the Thompson backstretch wall by one of the listed back markers as it drifted up while Preece was bearing down. Preece had to slam on the brakes down the backstretch to avoid getting walled or slamming into the back marker.

    With that, I’m amazed that the 01 continues to run the NWMT. That car gets nerfed quite often as it gets passed. I think a message is being sent. She needs to get a clue.

  8. Some guy says

    If this was the early 1990s these guys would be racing for 14th place so i won’t even bother….The Reg, Stefanik, both Fullers, Magic Shoes Mike, Hevron etc. etc. etc. would eat these “drivers” alive. Time has not been kind to the Mod Tour.

  9. I agree with you elect, he always seems to!

  10. Some guy, you forgot Evans, Bodine and Charlie J, your also right no competition!

  11. The three cars and drivers involved are all top notch.Everybody gets a little excited sometimes.I wasn’t there but it sounds like just racing not a dump move.The non competitive teams don’t seem to me to be much of a problem.Racers in all divisions and surfaces have to run thru slower traffic,it’s fun to watch.As far as our most popular turtle is concerned she should be in an SK three nites a week for seat time but I think they know it wouldn’t help.It’s embarrassing, she gets lapped 10 laps in.

  12. darealgoodfella says

    Some guy, I’m referencing the 80s with Evans, Spencer, Leaty, Kent, Jarzombek, et al. These guys went at it. They raced hard, not reckless.

    There’s no crying in Modified Racing!!!

    But, since we are traveling down memory lane and old school modified racing, let’s realize that the 3 & 4 are the last remaining cars from the good ol’ days. An intense rivalry between the 3 & 4 can be just what the NWMT needs.

    I like both cars, drivers, and teams. Bring it on! But be professional and classy.

  13. darealgoodfella says

    The last thing we need is a TC – Fuller redux replacement. Remember when those two constantly took each other out? If they got near each other, you knew what was going to happen.

    We don’t want that again.

  14. Sharpie Fan says

    At a qualifying time of 20.365, the 01 is slower than half of the SK Lights.

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