One And Done?: Jimmy Blewett Unsure Of Future With Mystic Missile Whelen Mod Tour Team

Jimmy Blewett (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

Jimmy Blewett (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

THOMPSON – It took only minutes after the final checkered flag had fallen to close out the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season before the offseason “Silly Season” had its first revelations rolling out.

Following a third place finish in Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson, Jimmy Blewett indicated that there’s no guarantees of him returning to drive next year for the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile team.

“Hopefully throughout this season I proved myself to owners and maybe I’ll get myself another opportunity for next season to hopefully get myself another ride,” Blewett said, before even being question about his plans for 2017.

Garbarino was not immediately available for comment Sunday evening.

After two full seasons away from the series and a three-year hiatus from running full-time with the series, Blewett, of Howell, N.J., joined Garbarino’s team just prior to the start of the 2016 season.

“I haven’t really sat down and talked to Bob at this point,” Blewett said when asked specifically about the situation. “We only kind of signed up for one year. We really haven’t sat down and talked about it, I’m really not too sure at this point. Basically going to take the next couple weeks and enjoy it with my family”

Blewett finished the season sixth in the standings despite missing one race because of illness. He won the Stafford 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Aug. 5 and had seven top-fives and 12 top-10’s overall in 16 starts.

“To finish on a good note, a nice top-three finish, be on the podium the last race, it feels good,” Blewett said. “For me this year coming into it, it was kind of just, I got thrown in here basically on the fly. It was basically just go in there and do the best I can for Bob and this team and try to show everyone that I was still really capable of winning.”

Blewett replaced Todd Szegedy with the Garbarino outfit. Szegedy raced one season with the team in 2015. Szegedy had replaced Donny Lia, who parted ways with the team after the 2014 season.


  1. Ray Skoglund says

    One would think if Mr Garbarino was going to still field a car Jimmy would be the driver.
    He has proven to be a top Driver on the tour.
    And the 4 has always been a top car.
    Good luck Jimmy!

  2. I think Showtime proved he still has the drive to win. Not so sure about the Mystic Missle.. the new schedule may not be desirable for that team

  3. If you wait for Bob you’ll be blowing in the wind till 3 days before the icebreaker

  4. Jaun Mortime says

    Something isn’t quite right down in the 06355… One has to question why Blewett would even mention this situation publicly before the dust settled on the season.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jimmy back in the 6 car next year. Top notch equipment, and if Partridge wants to be in the championship hunt he needs a driver who’s priority is to run a modified. Not just show up when it is convenient. Yes they parted ways before, but there is no doubt Jimmy is a better driver now. Definitely in better physical shape now, and has matured a lot as a driver.

  6. Paul obviously does’t know how the Partridges feel about Ryan Preece

  7. I’m with Art, that is Ryan’s ride as long as he wants it. If Ryan gets a top notch Busch ride that could change things but until that happens, no way.

    Showtime had a good season. They were just a tick behind the 2,16 and 51 most weeks. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back in the 4 myself.

  8. A tick behind??
    Try slow as ell
    Jimmy.needs better ewuipment
    That team got
    These guys from new jersey are very poor
    Did you ever see a team argue over who has to buy hotdogs
    That car and trailor look like a dare stock team
    The crew chief has holes in his shoes

  9. With as many other cars Jimmy seems to always use up, can’t imagine another owner who would want him. He caused the Ron silk wreck do to his tire going down when he used Robbie Summers up. He didn’t even give Wade Cole a chance before he simply drove through Wade. He belongs in a limited at best. Definetly didn’t get the talent his brother had.

  10. Bill Realist says

    Put Les Hinckley in that car. Go out and win some races. No BS involved. Probably just what the owner of that car needs at this point in his career

  11. So the 6 car collects dust until Preece wants to drive it?…What a waste of a good car.

  12. When are you going to realize Les Hinckley is not going to get any of these rides

  13. jeffrey your posts are that of a Child.

  14. Well, Garbarino did more for the Modified Tour this season than most realize. He brought in sponsors to the Tour, which is exactly what the Tour needs. He brought in sponsorship and exposure to get more fans. This is what the Tour needs to stop the contraction and hopefully get some growth, real growth. While the rest of the owners are worried about their own teams, Garbarino was taking care of the Tour.

    Most other owners use their own businesses as sponsors, or get sponsorship from their friends’ businesses. That doesn’t help the Tour, just their racing operation. The 4 car was a great looking car with all that sponsorship. The Tour would be in much better shape if all other owners showed the same respect for the Modifieds as Garbarino does. Garbarino promoted the Tour, not just his operation.

    As far as Blewett goes, owners need to look carefully at the risks. Why doesn’t the Blewett family run their own Tour car for Jimmy anymore? They don’t run their own car anymore and Blewett was off the radar for a few years. A few driving mistakes this year with a come back didn’t help. Wrecked at Stafford early in the season, spun on his own at Bristol, went in under the 3 way too hard and spun at the recent Stafford race, were the biggies. Drives like he is way too anxious and impatient. Without a doubt he can drive a Modified, but he needs to crank it down a few notches and wait for the opportunity to happen, and not force the issue and bring on the mistakes. With his years of experience, this should not be happening. A driver should have learned very early in his career when to make things happen, and when to wait. The Stafford wreck (DNF) and the other driving bloopers added up. Add up the points lost from those bloopers, and points from when he was out sick, and he would have finished at least 3rd place. The race for the championship could have been a three way.

    Anyways, Garbarino finished in 4th place in points, only 26 points behind Sanderson. The 4 lost more points than that when Blewett nerfed the RF and DNF’d at Stafford. There is a reason why “can’t make mistakes” is the motto and mantra of racing.

  15. I really hope to see Bob Garbarino back on the tour next year. Bob and Art Barry represent the best of NASCAR tour racing for the modifieds. Art is retiring this year after the Tri-Track race at Waterford. Nascar has no one to blame but themselves for the decline of the low car count in both tours. All the rules that make no sense but to get the car owners to spend money. The final nail in the coffin for the modified tour is to combine the north and south tour too many car owners on both tours are able to spend all the money that it will take to travel to all the races. Other than Bristol no one travels to run a tour race either north or south .Look at the north/south combination races that Thompson ran a few years ago and the low car counts for those races. The World series at Thompson really showed that when a car count in the mid twenty’s to race is pitiful .Not to many years ago there would be 50 cars in the pits to qualify for the 150. NASCAR needs to sit down and think for a change about what they are doing to the tour. When there is more officials than cars at the race shows something is not right Daytona needs to stop thinking about how much money they can wring out of the car owners wallets and see what they are doing to the modifieds

  16. There were also 45 Pro Stocks and 45 SKs at the World Series 10 years ago too. Its not just a tour issue.
    There aren’t many Connecticut based tour teams either. A majority are out of NY now.
    The tour only had 2 off weeks between the Loudon races. IMO that is what really hurt the car counts down the stretch. In that time they had to travel to Bristol and Oswego and back to Loudon in Sept. Any additional travel in 2017 will be early in the year so it won’t hurt that much. Especially if it’s in northern VA as rumored.

    The Martinsville 300 next fall will be first race under the lights. Doesn’t look like mods will be on their schedule in 2017 at this point.

  17. NH Mark, did you post in the correct thread?

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