Whelen Modified Tour Notebook: Ryan Newman Looking For Elusive Win At Richmond

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Ryan Newman (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

It’s been more than a decade since Ryan Newman last visited Victory Lane on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

He might have his best shot to end that drought Friday, when the series returns to Richmond Raceway for the running of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150(6:30 p.m. ET on FloRacing).

Mods at Richmond: Entries | How to Watch

Newman will make his second Modified Tour start of the season Friday evening at Richmond. It marks the fourth straight year the 46-year-old has attempted this race on the popular, 0.75-mile asphalt oval where he won a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2003.

Newman’s first Modified Tour run at Richmond came in 2021, when he started and finished fourth having led six laps.

He ran the race again the next year, starting fourth and leading two laps early before fading to a 13th-place finish.

Newman returned to Richmond for last year’s Modified Tour race and qualified 11th. But a weather-related race postponement to the following day meant he was unable to compete due to a scheduling conflict.

Unlike the last two years, when Newman has driven cars fielded by Sadler-Stanley Racing, the driver from South Bend, Indiana on Friday will pilot the No. 77 entry owned by Mike Curb. It’s the same car that Max McLaughlin drove to a third-place finish last year at Richmond.

This won’t be Newman’s first time driving a Modified owned by Curb. Of his 36 previous starts with the Modified Tour, 19 of them have come in Curb’s cars.

The 2008 Daytona 500 winner already has one NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start under his belt this year. Driving the No. 14 Advantage Motorsports entry, Newman finished 14th after starting 10th in the opening race of the year at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.

Newman’s last Modified Tour win came in 2011 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Perhaps his next will come Friday at Richmond.

Another round of Beers on tap at Richmond?

One year go, Austin Beers put the entire NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field on notice with a dominant victory at Richmond.

Not only did the then-20-year-old win the pole for the 150-lap event, but he led more than 100 laps on his way to his first Modified Tour victory.

Beers returns to Richmond this Friday in search of another win as he looks to firmly plant himself as a championship contender alongside drivers like Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore.

Last year, Beers used his win at Richmond as a springboard to a fantastic sophomore season with the series. He added a second win at Lancaster Motorplex and finished the year third in the championship standings while also earning six Mayhew Tool Dominator Pole Awards.

His 2024 season got off to a strong start at New Smyrna last month. He started second, ran near the front most of the night and finished just outside the top five in sixth.

Now he’ll look to become the first driver since Mike Stefanik to win in consecutive events at Richmond.

Marcello Rufrano making Whelen Modified Tour debut

A familiar face to Northeastern racing fans will make his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut Friday evening.

Marcello Rufrano, a regular at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway, will make his series debut aboard the No. 17 entry owned by Michelle and Michael Davini.

Rufrano has enjoyed a successful career in SK Light and SK Modifieds at Stafford. He captured the 2018 track championship in the SK Light division at Stafford and has also earned victories in the SK Modified division at the track.

From North Haven, Connecticut, Rufrano will look to make a name for himself in his first Modified Tour start Friday at Richmond. If things go well, this could be the first of many Modified Tour starts for Rufrano.

At just 23, he still has a long career ahead of him.


  • Bobby Santos III will make his first start of the 2024 season Friday at Richmond driving the No. 14 entry for Advantage Motorsports, the same team Ryan Newman drove for at New Smyrna last month.
  • Ron Silk enters Friday’s race as the Modified Tour championship leader after his win last month at New Smyrna. With 23 wins under his belt, Silk sits just three victories behind Cup Series driver Ryan Preece for ninth on the all-time Modified Tour win list.
  • Carson Loftin, widely considered one of the hottest prospects in Modified racing after a string of recent success in the Southeast, will again join the Modified Tour field at Richmond. He was also in the field at New Smyrna, but a mechanical failure forced him to retire from that event early.
  • Two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss will make his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start at Richmond on Friday. He has 60 previous series starts with a best finish of third in 2017 at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing