Rowan Pennink Out For Whelen Modified Tour Season Opener At Myrtle Beach After Emergency Surgery

Rowan Pennink celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150 last April at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Rowan Pennink won’t be in the lineup when the series kicks off the 2018 season March 17 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Pennink revealed exclusively to RaceDayCT on Wednesday that he recently had emergency surgery involving a pair of herniated discs in his back that will force him to miss the Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

“I screwed up my back somehow,” Pennink told RaceDayCT. “It was probably a past injury from too many racing wrecks. But I had two herniated discs. All of the sudden I was in a ton of pain and I went and got checked out and they were like ‘You need surgery tomorrow.’”

Pennink said he doesn’t expect the Boehler Racing Enterprises team to be at the Myrtle Beach event with another driver.

Depending on his recovery, Pennink said he may also miss the second event of the Whelen Modified Tour season on April 8, the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway.

“I’m disappointed not only for myself but for the [Boehler Racing Enterprises] team,” Pennink said. “I really wish I could have been down there racing here early in the season. I’ll be back and once I get healed up I’ll be back behind the wheel again.”

Pennink finished fourth in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2017 with a victory and 12 top-10’s in 16 events. He said 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.”

Hear more from Pennink on this RaceDayCT Unmuffled Quickcast


  1. darealgoodfella says

    Take care and get well.

  2. Get well soon Rowan!

  3. GET WELL SOON ROWAN. Ole blue is a fixture in the tour. Won’t be the same without you.

  4. Did a little reading on herniated discs. Depending on the severity treatment can range from physical therapy to medication to surgery. If they pulled him in immediately for surgery it had to be pretty severe.
    We want you back racing and I especially do in the Stafford SK’s. But you only have one spine, it’s important and can make your life misery if you aren’t careful. This isn’t an iron man competition. Heal first, then drive. No matter how long it takes.

  5. Eric Beers on line one. Although its a joint ownership deal so it might be hard to get Pennink to sign off on another driver. Probably why he said what he said. As Dr. Doug explained, he could miss one or two races or six months depending on recovery. Another temp driver would at least allow them to compete for the owner’s title. I’ll chalk the 3 up as a part time team for now. Bad deal all the way around.

  6. Blew a disc in my neck at C4 C5 very painful. Went to surgeon on Friday had surgery following Monday was walking that night but took 6 months to fully recover. I had spinal fusion don’t know what procedure Rowan had or where the injury was in his spine but it is nothing to fool around with. Although he will be missed at the races hope he takes the time to fully recover. It ain’t worth the risk to climb back in a car too soon. That being said get well soon Rowan but take your time will still be a fan upon your return.

  7. darealgoodfella says

    I have a slightly compressed disc and it can be painful and temperamental. It’s not bad enough for surgery.

    Pennink can’t be expected to allow the use of his engines while his recovery is unknown and open ended. Sounds fair. If the BRE crew can get a fill-in driver and has an engine available, go for the Owner’s Points.

    I liked what I saw with the BRE/Pennink Team last season. They’ll always be a favorite, but a 3 car/driver championship is going to be tough to realistically consider at this point.

    Get in the garage and get that chassis fixed. Hopefully a speedy recovery!!!

  8. Fast Eddie says

    Sorry to here about Rowan’s back problem. I watched both of my parents go through issues with herniated discs. Hopefully Rowan is a good candidate for micro surgery. The regular recovery time is 6 weeks, but that doesn’t take into account a racing environment. maybe he’ll be good to go for the Sizzler. Get well quick!

  9. Patrick Emerling. A classic hard nosed driver for a classic car to fill in for Pennink if he can’t make the Ice Breaker.

  10. “ Best Touring Series of 2017”
    ROC, what’s up with that?

  11. Hank Hill says

    Not a fan of rowan. But I don’t wish this upon anyone. Get better and see you soon on the tour

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