Jimmy Blewett Heads to Thompson on a Hot Streak From NASCAR PR
Chances of a Double in Tour Mod and Sunoco Mod Look Pretty Good
As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour moves to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway for the ninth race of the 2008 season on Thursday, Aug. 14, Jimmy Blewett will arrive at the track on the hottest streak of his career, showing just how much things can change in a year.
Blewett, the winner of the last two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, turned a slow start around and improved 14 spots in the season standings in a month's time.

Now up to eighth in driver points at the midway point of the season, Blewett will be looking to extend his win streak at Thompson, but continued upward movement in the standings will not be his only motivation.

Blewett's older brother, John, lost his life following a racing accident at Thompson on Aug. 16, 2007. This year's edition of the New England Dodge Dealers 150 will mark the one-year anniversary on the racing calendar of his passing .

Blewett has been able to overcome the adversity and emotions of the loss to forge ahead in racing and in life. A lot has changed since the loss of his brother a year ago, but he has moved forward in both areas.
"This past year has been full of different things, on and off the race track," Blewett said. "Since my brother passed away I've moved into a new house, started a family and I'm racing three days a week instead of just two. I've just got a lot of stuff going on, but I think that the more stuff you've got going on, and the harder you work at it, the better you'll be."

Currently in the top 10 in both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings, Blewett has had a busy year on the asphalt. Almost as hectic as his life away from the track.

One day after the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Blewett's fiancé, Katie, gave birth to their first child, James Denis Blewett, on June 29.

Little Jimmy's arrival has proved to be a blessing for the entire family.

"Since the passing of John, not a day goes by that everybody around here doesn't think about him," Blewett said. "To have the baby around is good; it keeps a smile on everybody's face."

The lighter atmosphere around home might have also transferred to the track. Blewett did not have a top five on the season prior to the birth of his son, but since he has recorded finishes of fourth, first and first.

The hard work behind the wheel has paid off for Blewett. In addition to his two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins, he has reached Victory Lane 11 other times in various divisions in 2008.

Despite all the success Blewett has been able to achieve since the tragic accident, the simple act of getting back into a race car was something that he questioned.

"After John passed away, the first thing I thought was that maybe I shouldn't do this anymore,
maybe it's too dangerous," Blewett said. "But you can get hurt doing just about anything. You
can walk out of your house and get struck by lightning. You can pull out of your driveway and
get hit head-on. I'm a firm believer that if it's your time, it's your time. I know if my brother could
talk to me now he would want me to keep racing."

Keep racing he has. The schedule is still full with races, but the trips themselves have taken
on a different feel.

"John drove the truck and trailer and I drove the motor home, or vice versa," Blewett said.
"Every week we went to the races, we went together. It's different when you go to all of those
races and you're riding up there by yourself. It makes it a little tough without your right-hand
man."

One year after his brother's passing, Blewett would love to win this week's race to provide the
ultimate tribute, but he'll also take a realistic approach to the race, exhibiting the kind of
patience he might not have had this time last year.

"I'm just going to treat this week like every other week," Blewett said. "I would definitely love
to win this race more than anything in the world, but things don't always work out that way.
My goal this week is to time up front and put myself in position to win, and if not, get a top-five
finish out of it."

Five Questions: Jimmy Blewett

You had two wins in your first 52 NWMT starts. Now you've doubled that in the last two weeks. How does it feel?

It feels good. I'm more happy for my team than I am for myself because the guys work so hard every week with the car. Pit stops, at the shop, at the track, everybody just really works hard. The beginning of the year was just a rough start. When we went to Florida we were on top as soon as we started the season, and then we hit bottom and stayed there for a while. It feels good for everyone else more so than for myself.

You guys are on the charge in the season standings. What turned things around?

We found a good balance in the car, and that's been helping us get in position for wins and good top-five finishes. It seems to me that if you put yourself in a predicament where you might get in a wreck when you're riding around in the back where everybody is beating and banging, 50% of the time you end up that way. But we've been unloading fast race cars and putting ourselves in position to get top fives and win races and that's really a good boost for the points.

You've had success in weekly racing at Thompson. What will it take to win an NWMT race at the track?

Big power. That's the first thing. Timing and starting up front and being around for the last 40-50 laps is going to be key. Tire management, with those 150-lappers, you've just got to split it into two 75-lappers and don't burn the tires off the car. I think track position is going to be key this week, along with a little bit of patience.

You were 10th in last week's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings. What's your goal in weekly racing?

I race for wins, and if the points are there in the end, then they're there, but my goal when I unload every week is to win some races.

How's the new baby doing?

He's good. He keeps a smile on everybody's face at home. And most of all, he keeps you busy. 

Home Tracks: Blewett Compiling Points In Sunoco Modifieds

The hottest driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heading into the New England Dodge Dealers 150 will look to continue his success at Thompson International Speedway.

Jimmy Blewett has reached Victory Lane in each of the last two NWMT races, but his success this year has not been limited to the touring series. Through August 5, Blewett ranked 10th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings, thanks in part to his success in Thompson's "Thursday Night Thunder."

Blewett has won twice in Thompson's Sunoco Modified division this year and is currently fifth in the season standings with seven starts, just 24 points behind current leader Danny Cates.

Bobby Grigas III also competes regularly in Thompson's NWAAS Sunoco Modifieds and is 10th in the standings. Woody Pitkat, a part-time NWMT driver, is eighth in the division.





Blewett's #19 Modified  (Jim Dupont Photos)
Blewett won Friday night's Tour race at Stafford.