Points Of Note: A Look Through The Final Whelen Modified Tour Standings For 2023 

Austin Beers (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Five of the top-11 drivers in the final NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings for the 2023 season scored career best finishes in the final rundown for the year. 

Austin Beers, in his second full-time season driving for KLM Motorsports, gave the team its first series victory in the second event of the season on March 31. Beers scored a second series win on Aug 5 at Lancaster Motorplex. Beers ended up third in the standings, 82 points behind series champion Ron Silk. Beers’ previous best finish in the standings with fifth in 2022. 

Tyler Rypkema came into Thursday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway fifth in the standings, 25 points behind Kyle Bonsignore. Rypkema used a fifth place run at Martinsville to jump to fourth in the final standings. It topped Rypkema’s previous best standings finish of fifth in 2022. 

Ken Heagy, a 29-year veteran of the series, topped his previous best standings finish by six spots. Coming into this season Heagy’s best finish in a season was 14th in 2008. He ended the 2023 season in eighth in the series standings. Heagy had an average finish of 18.4 in 2023 with one top-10 run. 

Despite only running 13 of 18 events in 2023 Jake Johnson was able to finish ninth in the series standings, which was a career best for the Rehoboth, Mass. driver. Before this year Johnson’s only other experience with the series was running six events in 2022, when he finished 21st in the standings. 

Melissa Fifield completed her 10th season with the series with a career best 11th place finish in the standings. Before this season Fifield’s best standings finish was 15th (2017 and 2022). Fifield came into the night 10th in the series standings but was passed by Matt Hirschman in the final rundown. Hirschman, who ran 11 of 18 events in 2023, ended up 10 points ahead of Fifield for the final spot in the top-10. Fifield ended the season with an average finish of 21.2. She recorded a career best finish of 12th on Sept. 16 at Riverhead Raceway.

The final notable mark of the standings was the finish of six-time series champion Doug Coby. Despite starting only 13 of 18 events, Coby ended up sixth in the series standings. 

Only seven drivers, Silk, Justin Bonsignore, Beers, Rypkema, Kyle Bonsignore, Heagy and Fifield, competed in all 18 series events in 2023. 


  1. Just Saying says

    Only seven drivers ran the whole Whelen modified tour series for the season. That’s sad.

  2. If only 7 drivers ran the entire season that says something’s wrong somewhere.

    Purse structure, points fund, travel expenses, lack of available funding to operate? Or is it the teams don’t have the time and personnel to compete full time on the tour? I suppose it’s all the fore mentioned so how do you fix it?

    The tour will never be what it was back in the day so I guess we will have to get over it, get used to it or learn how to live with it.

  3. Fairly obvious why more teams don’t run the whole schedule. Too many races and too many long travel distance to close together. Unless the series finds sponsors they can afford to up the purses significantly, which is a long shot, purses aren’t going to grow. You can’t charge the tracks anymore because there maxed out. With today’s car, equipment, team and travel cost 13-15 races is all a season should be.

  4. I don’t consider Mr. Courchesne to be a particularly humorous fellow although there are those moments from time to time when he relates a particularly funny story as good as anyone.
    Is this tongue in cheek? Mentioning career best finishes by the likes of Heagy, Fifield and very part timers like Johnson. We’re all on the same page here aren’t we? There are good points races at the very top for sure we just saw a dramatic example. The fact K. Bonsignor lost a place in a heartbreaker finish not a headline but you can bet it’s ticking them off for sure.
    Last night was a terrific event, outstanding, eclectic field of cars with all kinds of stories to keep us engaged. 3 drivers with CUP credentials current and past. But it was more open then points race wasn’t it? That’s the way it is now. Sure the Tour and MMTTS have points but the attraction of their events is unique to the race presented points are more on the back burner. The MMTTS have run only 5 events. Only 10 teams raced them all and 2 in the top 10 there in spite of missing one race. Hirschman up by 29 points so no drama as to who the champ will be unless he crashes on the way to the race.
    That dead horse you insist on kicking has been long dead. The Tour offers terrific events, the points deal is what it is but in no way reflects it’s health as a viable series. Admit it you know the score, you’re just kicking that horse because it’s a long held tradition in this forum.

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