Mod Tour Season Hasn't Started, But Jimmy Blewett Already on a Roll by Mike Twist
Speedweeks Triumphs Gives Plenty of Momentum Entering Thompson's Icebreaker
Jimmy Blewett is victory lane was a common sight during Florida Speedweeks.
For some competitors on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway will be their first race of the season.
Jimmy Blewett isn’t one of those competitors. Not only has he already raced this year, he’s also won races…and a championship too.
Blewett was one of the stars at Florida Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway this year. He won a pair of Tour-type Modified races, including the most prestigious one of the week - the Richie Evans Memorial. Blewett also captured six SK Modified checkered flags and the Speedweeks championship for that class.
Those performances gives the colorful young driver an extra kick entering the regular season.
“I’m pretty pumped up,” said Blewett. “We’ve got good momentum going in the season. That keeps everybody excited.”
One way or another, everyone around Blewett for Speedweeks seemed to be excited. His fans loved what he did. He detractors didn’t. Rumors flew that he won because his
cars were cheated up. But Blewett isn’t afraid to tackle those rumors, or the comments of one of his competitors in particular, head on.
“As soon as you win, everyone says that you are a cheater,” said Blewett. “We were legal. Every single night, we passed tech. When you win races, people are going to have to complain about something – especially Teddy [Christopher]. He’s got nothing better to do than to complain about someone. We don’t sit around and complain about him, but he seems to find plenty of time to complain about us.”
Actually, the trash talk against Blewett started even before Speedweeks did.
“Everyone on the computer [forums] counted us out before we even went down there, but we showed them what was up.”
Looking deeper than bragging rights though is the fact that Blewett might have actually learned how to be a better driver during Speedweeks this year – and he’s planning to make use of that knowledge during the Mod Tour season.
“I’m going to try and keep the same attitude that I had at Speedweeks,” said Blewett. “That is to make sure that I finish and be there at the end of the race. I’m not going to start racing hard until the last 20 laps.”
Blewett also has some family ties when it comes to racing this year. His brother John, a long-time contender on the Modified Tour, will be racing against him just as in years past. This season, he’ll have a role with Jimmy’s Tour team owned by Eddie Partridge and the brothers will be teammates in Partridge’s cars in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson on a weekly basis.
“My brother is doing the set-ups on the Tour car, so that makes me a little bit more pumped up. Eddie has a new motor program with the SK Modified, so between that and that, I’m really looking forward to the year.”
Jimmy Blewett's #12 won one race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last season. (Jim DuPont Photo)
There’s no sibling rivalry here though. Both brothers are genuinely happy when the other one wins. Last year that included a Tour victory for Jimmy at Martinsville and three victories for John.
“If I don’t win, I hope that he wins,” said Jimmy. “I don’t see why not [this can’t be our year]. John has great equipment and my stuff is better than it has ever been. I think that you can look forward to seeing us up front."