Rowan Pennink Returning To Action For Whelen Mod Tour Icebreaker 150 At Thompson

Rowan Pennink at Thompson Speedway last October

The reigning champion of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 expects to be defending that status on April 8 at Thompson Speedway.

Whelen Modified Tour driver Rowan Pennink announced that he has been cleared to return to competition.

Pennink was forced to have emergency surgery in late February involving a pair of herniated discs in his back. It kept him out of the Whelen Modified Tour season opening Performance Plus 150 on Saturday at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway.

“The doctor cleared me to race if I feel good enough, so I’m hoping to go,” Pennink told NASCAR. “I’m pretty sure we are going to be there. It’s looking good right now.”

Pennink’s lone victory in 2017 came at the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson.

Pennink finished fourth in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2017 with 12 top-10’s in 16 events in his second season driving for Boehler Racing Enterprises. He said in March that he hopes to still have the opportunity to chase his first Whelen Modified Tour title in 2018.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but you see the way Ryan Preece ran last year with missing a couple of races and still did really good in the points standings,” Pennink said. “… We’re still going to get out there and see what we can do as a team and come out with the best points we can.”


  1. darealgoodfella says

    From the selfish perspective, this is great news. I do hope Pennink makes the right decision based on his health.

    Some cars have clinched the championship before the last race of the season. Not many, but it has happened. I’m quite confident that if PReece ran all races last year, at his torrid pace, he would have clinched the championship before the World Series at Thompson.

  2. Agree with you Dareal. It’s great to see Rowan returning to compete but hopefully he takes his health into consideration. Drivers are stubborn and do sometimes drive injured but a spinal injury is nothing to screw around with. Good luck to Rowan and the 3 team going forward

  3. great news good luck rowan

  4. WeldingWonders says

    Pennink’s a big boy and I’m sure he and his doctor have made the right call. You can bet the principles involved from the team owner to NASCAR to maybe even the Thompson management have inquired about his health and were assured all is well. I’ll betcha they did.
    So how about the Stafford SK’s. With Dowling iffy we need a big gun like Pennink in the saddle for the opener at the Sizzler. Is he up to that as well? We’ll see.

  5. darealgoodfella says

    Can’t wait to see Rowan wheeling Ole Blue!!!

  6. With the #00 not on the tour doesn’t that make ole blue the only OG tour car left? With all the talk of chassis builders lately another interesting fact is that the 3 is a Boelher chassis probly the only one in existance yet they seem to run well. Maybe it’s not the chassis but the team that makes the difference I think that’s the case with the 2 car don’t forget they’ve got a championship with a TROYER and seemed to transition to the LFR quite well

  7. We know that Rowan is returning to compete on the NWMT but will he also return to SK racing?

  8. darealgoodfella says

    Rob p. gets it. And the #2 crew chief won a championship with a CD, back with the Wisk car I believe.

    So much is said about the cookie-cutter racing cars, but yet the thing that differentiates performance is expertise.

  9. Jeffrey P says

    Mike Stefanik in 1997 in the X-6 won the championship by 317 points and he missed one race ….points back then were 180 to win ….Did the same in 1998 winning by 310 points ….also was done in a one of a kind homemade car !!!!

  10. darealgoodfella says

    Back on topic… Rowan is a core driver on the Tour. Ole Blue is an icon, a legend on the Tour. It will be good to see them running. Health however, is far more important.

  11. WeldingWonders says

    I have no knowledge of who built the X-6. I know Stefanik was building cars for RGM Racing in Manchester in the 1980’s. Saying he raced a homemade car is like saying Todd Owens races homemade cars. It’s strictly true but they each are master craftsman.

  12. darealgoodfella says

    And speaking of very small attention spans…

    Back on topic… the IceBreaker will be much better with Rowan and Ole’ Blue.

  13. Don’t forget when Stefanik and Olsen teamed up. Mike won the championship in the #15 kozzella speed car which was a one off. By the way Kozzella speed is now an authorized TROYER dealer. Wonder if Mike is involved at all.

  14. Race dude. says

    Mike Stefanik won in pretty much any car he drove. Started in modifieds in merts #64 car back in 1977 or 78 white car red chassis and numbers was a troyer car for Stafford and a RE car
    ( Richie Evans) for Riverside Mike won many races in many cars throughout the years and is deserving of being a consideration for the hall of fame he’s in the top 20 for 2019 class. Keep your fingers crossed he makes it

  15. Anybody remember when Stefanik hot lapped the first ever prototype Pro Stock at Riverside? Division debuted the following year.

  16. Another tidbit Geoff Bodine was the first modified guy to race a cavalier bodied modified in 1978 car was white with gold numbers everyone else were running Pinto’s and chevettes and Leo Cleary was running a Vega station wagon on the T5

  17. Butch Shea built Owens car although I’m sure Todd had allot of input. Anyone who raced at Riverside should know Butch. Chassis Pro built allot of very fast Pro Stocks that dominated at Riverside and elsewhere . I think Tom Fearn won the Pro Stock championship at Stafford in a Chassis Pro car.

  18. WeldingWonders says

    I believe Don Merriman who worked part time at RGM Racing built the engine using a Targetmaster engine he modified for the Pro Stock prototype. I would like to know the year it rolled out at Riverside. I can’t remember.

  19. wmass01013 says

    WMT looking good
    Thompson 34 entries so far
    Stafford 17 entries so far

  20. 34 entries you say?!?! The Tour is dead people can’t be far behind. The Nascar ruined the mods folks will be right behind them. LOL. This after the got 27 cars in South Freaking Carolina. All is well kids.

  21. wmass01013 says

    Mark I Love it, I don’t care if teams are from North, South, East or west, love competition, we wont ever get back to 50-60 cars but I will take this and cant wait for both races!!!!!!!!!!! I so Hope the 250 at Louden gets 40 plus cars

  22. Wmass, I feel the same way. It’s awesome! Time to go racing!

  23. the first cavalier body modified was debuted by Geoff Bodine at the 1981 Thompson 300….

  24. darealgoodfella says

    Weather looks better… mostly sunny with a high of 45º.

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