NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Notes by Mike Twist and Denise DuPont
Who is Going South to Caraway?  What Have Some Racers Been Busy With?

Fans might have a hard time picking out a Pasteryak in Modified racing this year. 
Chris Pasteryak showed off his new colors at the Speedway EXPO.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
While Carl Pasteryak will still be in his familiar black #75, the family’s #5 car isn’t going to look the same.  Over the past few years, Carl’s brother Charlie has gradually gotten out of that car and let his son Chris take off the driving chores.  This season, Chris will have a new look with maroon paint, an orange stripe and yellow numbers on his ground-pounder.

It’s been a long time since the #5 has been anything but blue.

“20 years was enough,” said Chris Pasteryak.  “Actually, it might have been 25 years, I don’t even know how many…maybe 30, 31, 32 years, because Carl’s’ cars were blue.  [This new color] is a Dodge color.  Somebody had a Dodge pickup at the World Series last year that was painted this color. And we both liked it so we changed the color to it.”

Pasteryak plans to do a lot of racing in 2007.

“We’ll probably run the Stafford, Thompson, New Hampshire races with the Modified Tour. Then we’ll go run the True Value Modified Series at Waterford, Seekonk, Oxford Plains and whatever we can make it to. We’ll pick and choose and have fun.”

Pasteryak has a new weapon in his arsenal this year, but he’s also gotten rid of something familiar to him as well.

“This here is a brand new car from top to bottom and we have the car we ran on the Tour last year too. We sold our SK Modified [which Pasteryak has plenty of success at Waterford
Speedbowl with].  We’ll run the blue car [last season’s car] in the True Value Series. We’ll run this one at Stafford and Thompson.”

Chris’ father Charlie had hip replacement surgery off the off-season.  He’s recovering well and will probably even get behind the wheel at some point this coming season.

“He’s doing great. Later on this year, we might see him race. He’s mentioned something about it, so we’ll see.”

And Uncle Carl will be back in his black #75 as well.

“Carl’s going do about the same thing he did last year. Stafford and Thompson once in a while. If he wants go somewhere else he’ll go there too.”


Another second generation driver is also gearing up for 2007.  Matt Hirschman plans to get his
season started a little earlier than much of his competition by entering the March 24th NASCAR
Whelen Southern Modified event at Caraway Speedway (NC).

“Since we had success down South at the end of last year, we’d see if that success could continue,” said Hirschman, who splits his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule between cars owned by Darling Racing and Ed Bennett.  “We’re going to attend the first Whelen Southern Tour race at Caraway with Ed Bennett’s black #59 car.  We’re starting out the Tour season at Thompson with the Darling #59. 

“There’s noting going on until the end of April or beginning of May with Ed’s car, so we figured we would go down to at least the first one.  We’ll see how that goes and maybe we’ll be back for more than one race before he has to run Wall in May.”


Of course, it comes as no surprise that Ted Christopher will be at the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour opener as well.  TC has won that race at Caraway for the past two seasons.  He’s driven different cars both years, but will wheel the famous #00 of Brady Bunch Racing this time around.
“We’ve been getting ready for the season,” said Civali. “It looks like it’s going to be a very good year for us.  Our plans are to do the same thing as last year.  We’ll be racing on Whelen Tour with Don King Racing.  We’re not doing anything different. Hopefully, we can get a few more top tens and maybe even finish in the top five in points this year. That’s what we’re looking for really.”

Civali scored his first career Tour victory last season in an exciting race at Stafford Motor Speedway.  He’s looking for more victories in 2007, but can anything top it?

“That was a really big win. I don’t know if you can top that one.”

Last month, Civali headed down to Florida Speedweeks, where he wheeled a Modified at New Smyrna Speedway for Joe Brady’s team.  It was a good experience for the young racer.

“That was fun. It was different. It was interesting. It was a fast-paced week. You’re
James Civali will be back in the King Racing #28 this season.  (51 Photo)
Matt Hirschman's last trip South to race was a very good one.
“We’re getting ready for Caraway.  I’ll be in [Joe] Brady’s car.  Last year, I won with Brady and the year before I won with the #79 team.  So that opening race seems to be good for me no matter what car I run.”


James Civali still has a little over one month to go before rolling onto the track at Thompson International Speedway for the season’s first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race, the Icebreaker.  He can’t wait for the year to get started.
racing every day.  It’s like a season that goes by in just days. It’s fun, but it gets tiring after a while, racing every day like that.”


Whether it has been on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or in the True Value Modified Racing Series, Jim Storace’s orange #47 cars have been a common sight over the past several seasons.  But just like Chris Pasteryak, Storace will have a new look in 2007.  He took a paint scheme that he tried out at Martinsville in September and has taken it one step further.
“We changed last year from orange to silver and orange for Martinsville,” said Storace.  “We liked the silver, so now we’re going for a silver bottom, with a purple top and orange number.  It will be pretty cool.”

Storace also had a new direction in racing to go with his new paint.  Instead of running shows all over the map in 2007, he’s focusing on one Tour.

“We may run a couple of True Value races, but I need to concentrate mainly on the Whelen Tour this year.  That’s what I want to do, it has always been what I wanted to do and we’re taking steps to doing that.”

Storace stands out on the Tour since he is not from Connecticut, Long Island or a Mid-Atlantic State.  The #47 team tows out of New Hampshire instead.
“It’s tough [running the Tour from New Hampshire].  Most of the races are in Connecticut.  It’s hard to find sponsorship.  I’m the only one from the area, so it is tough.  But we’re doing it.”


Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway are still fresh on Bobby Grigas, III’s mind.  He wheeled his Modified down there for a week and a half of racing to get an early start on his 2007 season.
“It was fun,” said Grigas of this year’s experience.  “It was definately a learning experience compared to last year when I lasted two nights.  [This year] I finished every single race. We learned a lot too, so I’ll go back down there next year, really have fun and do something good. There was a lot of competition with a lot of good, good, good guys. We had a couple of good finishes. I mean you know that it just I went down there to have fun. And obviously to win and stuff like that. It was really the first chance that my whole team got to work together. You know what we had an awesome job. Everything was great and next year we should go back and do well.”

Grigas has some big plans for this season.  He’ll be a rookie on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and find a few other places to race in his spare time as well.

“We’re going to run the full NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and I’m gonna run some of the Whelen Southern races.   I’ll dabble in the True Value Series too, so I’m going to try to run as much as I can."


Last season, John Blewett, III won the track championship at Wall Township Speedway (NJ) and also was a major threat on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, winning three races in a
limited schedule of only 11 events.  This year, he should be hard to beat wherever he races primarily, but where will that be? 

Well, at this point, Blewett isn’t even sure yet.

“I’m going to concentrate on one thing this year, but I just don’t know what it is yet,” said Blewett.  “Whether I’ll run the for the Weekly Racing Series or the Tour, I don’t know.  We’ll get about four races in and see how things are going before we decide.”


Eric Beers loves to race – and that’s a very good thing considering that he is going to be doing a lot of it in 2007.

“We’re going to run the full ROC schedule and the full Whelen Tour schedule with the 94 Gaydosh car,” Beers said.
But that’s not all either.

“And we’ll probably do seven or eight at Mahoning [Valley Speedway]. They’re having seven 100-lap races and that’s close to home. So once the whole season is done, it’ll be around 50 races we’ve run.  It will be busy, but it keeps me out of trouble.”

Beers got a head start on the season by going to Florida and winning the Speedweeks Tour-type Modified championship.  His mount for that was a chassis that started life as a Willie Hardie car, but has had a few tweaks here and there.

“We had that car awhile already [before Speedweeks]. Since we got it we changed a whole bunch of stuff on it . We don’t run a typical Troyer car. We change a little bit of stuff around and it definitely made the car a little bit better. Since we had the car it’s been fast. We won a lot of races with it.

“It’s almost completely Tour legal. The only thing would be we don’t have the Tour fire bottle. We just run a ROC legal fire bottle. Other than that everything else is the same.


Zach Sylvester, also had a good Speedweeks showing, being very consistent with his own #15 car at New Smyrna.
“That was the best Speedweeks I ever had that’s for sure. We were very consistent and brought it back in one piece every night.  We’re very happy about that. We were a little bit shorthanded down there, so any less work we had to do was a benefit.  Had a lot of fun down there, came back here and are ready to roll.”
But Sylvester won’t be rolling in his familiar #15 this season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.  He’ll be running for a well-known car owner instead.

“We’ve hooked up with Curt Chase and I’m going to drive his cars this year.  Foxwoods is on board for five races, so that’s real cool. Racing Against Cancer is on board too, so it should be real good.”

In his spare time, Sylvester plans to do some extra racing at Stafford Motor Speedway in the SK Modified division.

“The SK deal is back together again this year with XtraMart convenience stores," said Sylvester.  "It will be the same thing with two brand new cars again. So we’ll do a full year at Stafford, a full Tour year and probably do some open True Value and ROC races with my car.”

Storace's silver #47 at Martinsville.  (51 Photo)
Grigas and his #09  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Eric Beers at Speedweeks
Zach Sylvester