Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Touring Series Most Popular Drivers Announced

Four Rookies & Two Repeat Winners Among 2015 Honorees

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2015) – After nearly 34,000 votes were cast around the world for NASCAR regional touring series’ 2015 Most Popular Driver Awards, seven drivers earned the ultimate honor from fans – including four rookie drivers and a pair of repeat winners.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2015 are:

  • Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
  • Nicole Behar (Spokane, Wash.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
  • Jason Hathaway (St. Thomas, Ont.), NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
  • Rodrigo Marban (Mexico City), NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series
  • Alon Day (Ashdod, Israel), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
  • Melissa Fifield (Wakefield, N.H.), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
  • Trey Hutchens (Lexington, N.C.), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour

 

Underscoring the exciting young talent entering NASCAR’s ranks, award winners Abreu, Behar, Day and Hutchens are all in their first full season of NASCAR touring series competition, with Hutchens also earning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

Both Fifield and Marban won the Most Popular Driver Award for their series last year, with Fifield making history as the first female to win the award for the tour.

Marban of the NASCAR Mexico Series garnered more votes than any other driver in 2015, just ahead of NASCAR Next drivers Behar and Abreu. Behar dethroned 2014 Most Popular Driver Brandon McReynolds, while Abreu earned the award in his first year in stock cars after transitioning from a successful open-wheel career.

IMG_8336The closest race was in the Canadian Tire Series where championship runner-up Hathaway edged Alex Tagliani by just 104 votes. It is the second year in a row in which Tagliani missed out on the top spot by a slim margin. Last year, he was beaten by JR Fitzpatrick by just 48 votes.

Similarly, Fifield beat Preece for the Whelen Modified Tour award by 110 votes. Hutchens collected more than 40 percent of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour vote to top tour champion Andy Seuss, a three-time winner of the award.

Day won three of the final four races of the Whelen Euro Series season to finish as runner-up in the championship standings in his first year in the series.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners will be recognized as part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Andy Seuss Hopes to Make His First NASCAR Camping World Truck Start at Talladega.

Andy Seuss,(Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Andy Seuss,(Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

It’s always great to see a  local race car driver who gets to show his talents on a bigger stage.  One complaint short track fans have is our local guys never get a shot at the big leagues.  Well just a  few weeks ago New Hampshire native Andy Seuss was wrapping up the NASCAR Southern Whelen Modified tour championship on the 1/4 mile inner oval at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Now he is focusing on racing at a much larger track this weekend, the Talladega Superspeedway.  Andy will climb behind the wheel of a 3,400 pound Camping World Truck Series truck at Talladega Superspeedway.  Andy normally drives a much lighter open wheel modified on the north and south NASCAR Whelen Modified tours in addition to running the Tri-Track Open Modified Series in New England.

Andy is no stranger to driving at the worlds fastest Superspeedway. Originally Andy attempted to qualify for the ARCA race at Daytona Speedway in February, but did not make the field.  In May he again attempted to qualify  for the ARCA series  International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at  the Talladega Superspeedway. This time he made the field and finished 2 laps down in 21st after starting 26th.

Now Andy has a chance to return to Talladega but this time driving a Camping World Truck for the #28 team owned by Jim Rosenblum out of Rahmoc Racing Engines shop in Concord, North Carolina.

We spoke to car owner Jim Rosenblum and Andy Seuss this afternoon and both are looking forward to this weekends race.  Andy told us he is a little nervous but very

 (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

excited for the opportunity to race a Camping World Truck at Talladega.  When we asked how this ride came about we learned that he is no stranger to the team and has crewed for the #28 for the last 3 years. Andy originally met Jim through Rahmoc where he gets the engines for his modifieds. Andy hopes to bring home the truck in one piece as if he does Jim promised they would head to Daytona for Speedweeks in February. Andy also asked us to thank the sponsors that have come on board this weekend to help get him to the track, Doug Dunleavy who has helped so many race teams, Ed Harvey who owns his championship modified on the southern tour and William E Smith Trucking.

Jim is a native New Yorker but has been around NASCAR racing for decades.  He brings his FDNY Racing truck to 4-5 races a year like and said he just wants to have fun at the  track.  The # 28 FDNY team is a unique team made up of all former fire fighters, policemen and first responders. Each of the #28 trucks that hit the track proudly display the FDNY and NYPD logos. All the teams race earnings along with the profits from shirt and hat sales to The Widows and Children’s Fund for FDNY and NYPD. His charitable work has earned him the NY Post’s Liberty Medal and an Honorary Battalion Chief of the FDNY. This weekend Fox and NASCAR will show a short film about the #28 team filmed around NYC during the pre-race show. Go to FDNY Racing for more information on the team.

 

Tune into Fox on Saturday at 1:00PM to see Andy’s Camping World Truck debut in the Fred’s 250 presented by Coca-Cola Camping World Truck Series race.

Freds

Recently Crowned NWMT Champ Heading South for a Shootout

Three-time Champion Coby Looking for North-South Shootout Win

(Concord, North Carolina) – It’s been nearly six years since Doug Coby has taken a shot at winning the North-South Shootout.  The last time the IMG_8538 (2)Milford, Connecticut driver made the trip south to North Carolina for the end-of-year event was in 2009 when he finished third at Concord Speedway.

A lot of things have changed since Coby’s last visit to the North-South Shootout.  The race itself was moved to Sophia, North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway in 2011.  He won his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2012.  Then he won another in 2014.  Now, Coby is now fresh off clinching his third NWMT title last weekend, the race is moving back to Concord and Coby is making the trip south once again to compete for the $10,000 payday in the Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modified event November 6-7.
“I’m very excited to get down there,” Coby said.  “It’s my absolute favorite track to race on, and it’s my favorite end of year race.  I’m very glad that we’re going with the 2 car.  We’re taking the car that we just won Thompson with.”
Coby posted on Facebook that he and his Michael Smeriglio III Racing Team would be making the trip south almost immediately after the announcement was made that the 13th Annual John Blewett III North-South Shootout was moving back to Concord.
“As soon as I saw it announced I told Phil Moran (his crew chief) we had to go,” said Coby.  “There’s very few times that I feel we have to go do something.  I think it was 10 minutes after I saw the announcement that I turned to Phil and said we have to go.  He absolutely loves that place too.”
  Doug Coby is eyeing a North-South Shootout win at Concord. (Speed51.com photo) – click thumbnail for larger
He explained that the uniqueness of the race track and the speed that drivers carry there is why he loves the place so much.
“I think it’s crazy fast.  When you haul down the backstretch you’re cranking there,” he said.  “Then it gets very technical kind of like a quarter-mile off of turn four when you have to get the car straight and not spin the tires.  It’s also very racy.  It’s a track that you think you can’t pass on, but once the race starts there’s lots of passing.”
The 36-year-old driver is just days removed from clinching his third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship, his second straight, and also a win at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  Coby said the two tracks are very similar, and that has him confident that he can take home the victory.
“I think the momentum from Thompson will definitely carry over because the setups are very similar,” he said.  “We typically run a Thompson setup down there, and it’s been quite some time since Modifieds have really rumbled around there.  We’re taking the car that we just won Thompson with.  We should be really good and it’s also more track time and testing for that chassis.  Maybe we’ll learn something for Thompson next year.”
Coby won all four races at Thompson this year, but has yet to win at Concord.  Winning this race would be the ultimate way to cap off a year that has seen Coby win seven NWMT races and the championship, but there’s more to it than just that.  There’s also the fact that this race is run in memory of John Blewett III, a New Jersey driver considered by many to be one of the best Modified drivers at the time of his untimely passing in 2007.
“Winning the race in general would be very special, but the fact that it is his race makes it even more special,” said Coby.  “It’s a big deal.  I’m glad to go and be a part of it.  It would be a huge deal to win it.”
While Coby and Blewett were never really friends, Coby said he always looked up to Blewett and learned a ton from him.IMG_8749 (2)
“He was not my best friend,” Coby said.  “I really only talked to him a handful of times, but I’ve gotten to learn more about him since his passing.  I’ve gotten much closer with his family because of it, and I just try my best to have people remember someone who really deserves it.  He’s that great of a driver and I think a lot of us younger guys really looked up to him because he was so aggressive and really didn’t fear anybody.”
In addition to that, Coby wants to win this race because he wants bring the trophy back to the North, the area traditionally known as “Modified Country.”
“It’s definitely a pride thing,” Coby said.  “They’re very territorial of their southern turf and we want to go down there and win some money and win another race track.  It’s the North-South Shootout. It’s a special race to bring together the best of the two series.  We’ve proven that we have a really strong car and if anyone wants to take a shot at it then that’s the place to do it.”
Entry forms for the $10,000-to-win John Blewett III Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Tour-Type Modified North-South Shootout event, as well as the $5,000-to-win Mr. Rooter SK Modified event, are currently available by visiting www.northsouthshootout.net.
Practice day kicks off the 13th Annual North-South Shootout on Thursday, November 5. Additional practice and qualifying will take place on Friday, November 6, with the North-South Shootout main events taking the green flag on Saturday, November 7.  The features will consist of a 125-lap race for the Pro All-Stars Series South Super Late Models, a 60-lap event for the Southeast Trucks, 75-laps for the Limited Late Models, the Mr. Rooter 50 for the SK Modifieds and the John Blewett III Memorial 125 for the Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Tour-Type Modifieds.
For more on the 13th Annual North-South Shootout, visit www.northsouthshootout.net.
northsouth11