LEXINGTON, N.C. — Just when Eddie Harvey had most of his planning done for his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule this season, as often happens in the ownership business, a wrench got thrown into the works and required a change.
That wrench came in the form of Burt Myers’ schedule at Bowman-Gray Stadium.
Myers, who was scheduled to contest close to half the schedule for Harvey this season on the Tour, has conflicts with several of the races in the first half of the year due to the racing calendar at the quarter-mile oval.
Suddenly in need of a driver for three races, Harvey went to long-time family friend Jimmy Blewett as the solution.
Blewett and Harvey will pair up for the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 29, the Thompson 125 on June 13 and the Tour race at Langley Speedway on June 23.
The Blewett and Harvey families have a deep history in NASCAR modified racing — including when Jimmy’s father John Jr. won the 1986 Tour race at Star Speedway driving for Eddie’s father — and signing Blewett was a deal that Harvey said Tuesday he simply “couldn’t be more excited to be a part of.”
“Man, this is beyond cool,” Harvey smiled. “It’s special for me in a lot of ways. Our families go back more than 35 years; they raced together in the 80s and Jimmy’s dad won a lot of races with my dad, as well as two track championships back in the day. I used to pick up Jimmy as a kid after school every day and take him to the race shop, back when I first got my (driver’s) license, so we go back a long, long time. It was a no-brainer for me.”
“Burt has this commitment to Bowman-Gray, obviously, with his sponsorship and family down there, and I 100 percent respect that. But he said to me when we realized the situation that we were going to have to work around that if he was going to do this (share the car) with anyone else, that he felt comfortable with Jimmy being that person. People may not realize it, but the two of them have a great working relationship. I think it’s going to be a great deal to have both of them driving for me this year.”
Blewett added that not only is driving for Harvey something he relishes, it’s not a new idea, either.
“Me and Eddie have been talking about putting something together for about three years now,” Blewett said. “He had Andy (Seuss) there for a while and I never wanted to step on anyone’s toes. When Andy finally got down to running only a few shows (for Harvey), I called Eddie and we talked, and then him and Burt teamed up and we felt it was best for them to sort out their deal first before we tried to do anything.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity. There’s no pressure in this situation, not with the friendship he and I have. I feel really blessed to be in this position and I’m looking forward to going out and hopefully contending for some wins for him in our races together.”
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