Jon McKennedy Ready For Overflowing Modified, SuperModified Schedule For 2021

Team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. (left) and driver Jon McKennedy (right) celebrate winning a pole last season at a Whelen Modified Tour event at White Mountain Motorsports Park (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

If there’s a Tour Type Open Modified event happening in 2021, the chances are pretty likely you’ll be able to find Jon McKennedy in the pits. 

The Chelmsford, Mass. driver is setting out in 2021 with an ambitious schedule that will see him running full-time with both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, while also getting into whatever Tour Type Open Modified Shows are possible for him to enter at Stafford Speedway, Thompson Speedway or wherever else something may pop up. 

McKennedy will run on the Whelen Modified Tour for car owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. He will compete with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series and other Tour Type Open Modified events with a team owned by Tim and Cheryl Lepine, owners of Middlesex Interiors of Dracut, Mass. He will also run selected races on the ISMA SuperModified schedule with a team owner by the Lepine’s. 

“It’s great to have all these races,” McKennedy said. “Seat time is always good. I really just enjoy racing all kinds of cars and I’m fortunate to have really good car owners behind me helping make that happen. I’m very fortunate, I’ve got some really good rides and I want to make the most of the opportunity and race as much as I can.” 

McKennedy is no stranger to chasing down championships behind the wheel. He has four Modified Racing Series titles (2009, ’10, ’12, ’16), a Tri-Track Open Modified Series title (2014) and an ISMA SuperModified title (2017). 

McKennedy ended up second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings last year driving for Baldwin with two poles, four top-five’s and nine top-10’s in nine events. McKennedy has 62 Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2006 with one series win, coming in 2018 at Myrtle (S.C.) Beach Speedway. The 2020 season marked McKennedy’s third working with Baldwin and the first year he’s run every event on the schedule. 

“I think things are good with that deal,” McKennedy said. “Tommy and I have been racing together now for a few years. The first year together we obviously ran really well and we kind of made a lot of noise. The last year or two we were always up front, consistent. I think last year, running all the races on the schedule, we proved that we’re a championship caliber team. We’re a top-three, top-five car pretty much every race. 

“We definitely have some good momentum. I feel really good about this coming year. I think we’ve got a few years under our belt, we’ve learned a lot as a team and I’m really excited and anxious to get going. I feel really good about everything with that team.” 

Away from the Whelen Modified Tour, McKennedy will look to land in the starting lineup at a plethora of other shows. He said he intends to run all six events on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series schedule for 2021. He’s also looking to get in as many of Tour Type Open Modified events that he can at Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway. Stafford Speedway will host four Open Modified 80 events in 2021. Thompson Speedway, under the direction of promoters Cris Michaud and Tom Mayberry, will host six Tour Type Open Modified events in 2021, including the return of the Thompson 300 in October. 

“That’s a brand new car that we’re building to run all those shows,” McKennedy said. “It’s going to be a brand new LFR car. I look forward to working with [LFR owner] Robby Fuller and everyone involved over there.”

McKennedy will carry the momentum of winning the last three ISMA SuperModified events of the 2020 season into the new year.

 

Comments

  1. I have to say that Jon McKennedy is my favorite Driver. I have watched him since the early days at Hudson ,Lee and Star. He races the right way, He always tries to make clean passes as He moves through the field. He finishes every lap of every race , He is easy on equipment saving it for late race charges. Many of His cars had plenty of years on them before they were updated, Rarely does he get a DNF . If he wrecks it’s usually on of those big wrecks with lots of cars caught up in or freak thing. Last year He really put on a SHOW in the Super Modifieds Winning all the Races [3] in 2020. He has also won the North South Shootout . Jon is confident behind the wheel and rightly so , with all those Championships & Wins from Maine to Florida. Jon is truly a Racers Racer. He will race you as hard as you race him but won’t spin you out on the last lap to Win the Race. I respect that. I can’t stand the last lap spin and win thats crept into racing more and more over the years. I respect a Driver that can jump up on the outside and make a skillful pass on the Leader without banging him out of the way , The way it should be done. Give the Man or Woman a lane to race in and let the better Driver or Car Win the race. I believe the true race fans really enjoyed the side by side racing lap after lap that brings a roar from the Grandstands as people rise to their feet in appreciation !! The side by side racing with Rocco & Owen & Williams is absolutely better than smashing a guy out of the way for a Win ……. Ban the spin & win

  2. I’m also a fan of McKennedy. Clean, fast, and always in the mix. As Jake wrote earlier, clearly skillful! Another short track guy that could probably make serious hay in a national series if given a chance.

    I’ve often wondered if open mods feel like slow motion after driving supers at many of the same tracks.

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