April 2, 2014 — report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — Sometimes the right decisions are the hardest ones to swallow.
Such will be the case for 2013 NASCAR WHELEN Modified Tour (NWMT) Rookie of the Year Cole Powell. The 21-year-old out of Mt. Brydges, Ontario was an unexpected absence from the entry list released on Monday after putting together a solid season last year en route to rookie honors, and officially announced earlier today via his website that he and his family-owned No. 73 team would not be making the trek to the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the 2014 Icebreaker 150.
Powell’s explanation for why his team will not participate in the season-opener is below:
“During our February race schedule in New Smyrna and Daytona Beach, Florida my dad received devastating news about his sister Kathy. She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. This is the most aggressive and hardest to fight brain cancer that you can get. Racing took a back seat during February with both of my parents focusing on any and all treatments, and options that they could find for my aunt. Upon returning home our entire family has banded together to help with Kathy’s at-home care and trying desperately to get treatments from around the world sent to her and administered in Canada.
Since my dad is my crew chief, drives the hauler with the race equipment to and from the races, orders parts and together we fix the cars, I totally respect and support his decision to sit out the Thompson Speedway season opener. Kathy is one of my biggest fans. She has traveled all over the country on numerous occasions to support my career. She even flew to Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby this year even after she heard that our car arrangement was not working out and after a lot of business consideration we pulled the plug on the race. She still came to cheer me up and tell me not to give up! It is truly my time to take a back-seat and support my family.
Of course this is not a great way to start the season off especially coming off being the rookie of the year last year, and this may throw us right out of the points race for the year…..but family comes first.
I would like to thank all of the people who have sent positive thoughts to us and also those who have been asking why I am not on the roaster for this weekend’s race. Also to my crew who have waited patiently through that terrible winter for the race season to start, only to have to wait a little while longer, thanks for your patience.
Again thanks and I wish all my competitors good luck this weekend for a safe race.”
Powell scored a season-best finish of ninth last August at Stafford Motor Speedway en route to a 16th-place finish in the final NWMT standings in 2013.
The young Canadian has not announced any current timetable for his return to the WHELEN Modified Tour, but his absence will be duly noted after his consistent races in 2013 and his commitment to the Tour.
The 2014 NASCAR WHELEN Modified Tour takes the green flag this Sunday at 3 PM Eastern for the running of the 40th Annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, and 30th Icebreaker under the NASCAR WHELEN Modified Tour banner.