Wide Range of Emotions in Tour-Type Mod Finale by Steve Neely
Blewett Wins Again, But Beers Is The Champion
Joy, relief, anger, and disappointment; the complete range of human emotions were on display after Saturday night’s Tour-Type Modified feature. Only 24 hours after the Modified division’s premier race of The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing (The Richie Evans Memorial), almost all of the Modified teams stayed the extra day for one more shot to prove themselves, learn something new to apply to the rest of the year or just plain have fun.
Once Jimmy Blewett (#19) got around Jim Storace (#47), he set sails for another win. (51 photo)
One man, Jimmy Blewett, could be found in a familiar place: victory lane.
One night after winning the Evans Memorial for the second-straight year, Blewett wrapped up the Tour-Type Modified Division in style with yet another win.
“It feels good when you got that winning chemistry,” said Blewett. “It just makes my job so much easier.”
Blewett took advantage of a slip up the track by Ted Christopher and a slide into the wall by polesitter Jim Storace to grab the lead in the opening laps. He held off challenges from his older brother John III, Donny Lia and Christopher before riding off into the night with his third win in the Tour-Type Modifieds.
It was a monumental World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing for the Blewett family, with 10 total wins in the nine days of action, with Jimmy’s coming in two different divisions.
“It’s a dream come true, to be honest,” said Blewett. “I don’t even know what to say. It still hasn’t hit me yet from last night. It gets me and everybody else on the team pumped up for the upcoming season.”
Meanwhile, Eric Beers, who has been “Mr. Consistency” this Speedweeks, held on to finish fifth in the race and claimed the championship for the Tour-Type Modified division.
Eric Beers collects his championship trophy from New Smyrna's Terry Roberts.
Beers explained how tough it was to beat such a competitive group for so long.
“To win here is big,” said Beers. “The best-of-the-best come here to race. You got 10 of the toughest guys here - guys that if you show up at a racetrack you don’t want them showing up because they’re going to be hard to beat.”
Not everyone was quite so happy after the event, however. At the conclusion of the race, members of Bobby Holmes’ and Donny Lia’s teams were involved in a scuffle in the infield in which objects were thrown.
The dispute was over a mid-race incident in which Lia ducked under Holmes in turn one. The two made contact, sending Holmes’ car up the track in a shower of sparks before colliding hard with the wall.
Most of the competitors now have to look forward to a full season ahead of them. They will try to emulate what Blewett says is his goal for the year.
“Win,” said Blewett. “Win as much as I can.”
MOD NOTES: DAY NINE
Holmes Not Thrilled with Lia
After the post-race skirmish between the teams of Bobby Holmes and Donny Lia, Holmes took some time to talk about the incident and his team at The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
Bobby Holmes' #22 was wrecked, then he tossed his steering wheel at Lia's car. (51 Photos)
“I know accidents happen, but that obviously wasn’t an accident,” said Holmes. “He drove in there four cars over his head. I was in the middle of the corner and he almost hopped over my left front wheel. I let him know about it.”
Holmes had a disappointing World Series of Asphalt, but found a silver lining through all of the turmoil.
“It’s a shame we ended up with a mangled car,” said Holmes. “We were coming up strong. We wrecked, but we learned a lot. We got faster as we went along, we learned how to qualify, and we’ll overcome it.”
Lia Apologetic After Wreck
Donny Lia charged his way up from his starting spot in the middle of the pack to finish a strong second to race-winner Jimmy Blewett. The story of the night for Lia, however, was a wild move in turn one that ended Bobby Holmes’ night.
“On the restart, I went into one and got in too deep, locked the front brake up and got into him,” said Lia. “I didn’t do anything intentional. We got together and ended up wrecking.”
Lia blamed the race format for the erratic driving styles and extra chances taken in the race.
“It’s going to happen, especially these 25-lappers,” said Lia. “The inversions and re-draws, that’s what causes this. They take the faster cars and put them back there, so you’re going to have this.”