DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official series release by Jason Cunningham, NASCAR — Getty Images for NASCAR photo —
After a year’s absence, five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race winner Jimmy Blewett is planning to return to the tour with a partial schedule in 2015.
“I’m going to run the Icebreaker and the Spring Sizzler, and a few races here and there throughout the season,” Blewett said. “I’m not going to be able to make it full-time, but I’ll be there when I can get there.”
Blewett, from Howell, New Jersey, has posted five wins and 36 top 10s in 105 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. He last competed in 2013 when he made six appearances.
With the impending birth of a second child, and with the responsibilities he has at the family business, Blewett sold all of his asphalt modified equipment prior to the 2014 season. He didn’t necessarily expect to return to the tour this quickly, but a recent conversation steered him back.
TS Haulers Racing owner Ed Partridge, who Blewett raced for from 2005-09, informed his former driver that he had a car for sale, specifically the one that had recently won the North-South Shootout. It was a situation that Blewett wasn’t actively looking for, but the new circumstances prompted him to consider a return to Whelen Modified Tour competition.
“The car was 90-percent there, so we looked at everything and decided we were going to do it,” Blewett said. “We called up (engine builder) Bob Bruneau, and now that NASCAR does the new spec engine, it’s reasonable to get a new motor and go. So we ordered a new engine from Bruneau, which he got from Robert Yates Racing Engines, and we’re going to try and hit as many races as we can.”
Blewett already had an investment in built engines before leaving the tour in 2013, so at the time, adding a spec motor didn’t make sense. Coming back to the tour now, he feels that his return might not be possible without the spec engine option.
“If it wasn’t in place, I don’t think I’d be able to do this right now without the spec engine,” Blewett said. “Now I can get an engine and go racing for the same amount that it would cost just for a motor, and then I wouldn’t be able to go out and race.”
Blewett will be looking for sponsorship for his No. 76 modified in addition to the help he has already received to get this venture off the ground from Partridge his grandfather’s company John Blewett Inc.
The 2015 season will open in Connecticut with the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on April 12 followed by the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 on April 26 at Stafford Motor Speedway.