Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett really needed to get a win and he finally got one this weekend at New Egypt Speedway (NJ). He needed a win for multiple reasons, but more than anything he needed that win to lift up the spirits of everyone involved in his racing efforts.
“Sunday was a year since my mom passed away,” said Blewett. “So getting the win this Saturday was kind of bittersweet more than satisfying.”
August is always a rough month for the Blewett family. Blewett’s older brother, John Blewett III, was killed in a crash at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on August 16th, 2007.
“To win Saturday… we needed it.”
The 34-year-old driver from Howell, NJ has struggled to break into victory lane this year. He’s been fast every week. He’s consistently up front. He’s currently sixth in points in the 358 Modified division at New Egypt. But no matter what he did up to this point he just had not been able to get that win.
“Last year we got three solid wins in some big races,” he said. “We thought we’d be able to carry the momentum into this season but we just weren’t doing it.”
Blewett is known for his prowess on the high banks of Wall Stadium Speedway (NJ). He’s known for winning there on a consistent basis. But his three wins on dirt last year at Bridgeport Speedway (NJ) and New Egypt convinced him that it was the right time to go dirt racing on a full-time basis. And when Blewett made that decision he went all-in.
“I sold probably every last nut and bolt I had for an asphalt car,” he said.
Blewett said that running dirt has made him an all-around better racer on and off the track.
“As far as setting the cars up, to car control and driving the car, you understand a lot more on dirt in other areas,” he said. “Things you never thought about on asphalt people think of on dirt. It just brings a whole new outlook to how you approach racing.”
He said that it even made him a better asphalt racer as well. But when he’ll get to prove that remains to be seen. As of this time Blewett has no plans to run on asphalt anytime soon and that includes Turkey Derby at Wall in November.
“I’ll be honest with you that’s entirely up to my grandfather,” he said. “My grandfather makes the rules around here. If he says that we are racing Turkey Derby then we’ll be at Turkey Derby one way or another whether it’s with a car that we put together or hopefully if I do go it’s maybe with Tommy Baldwin again. I’ve done it every year for the last 15 years. I’d hate to miss it.”
It doesn’t take long when talking to Blewett to realize that he loves what he’s doing on dirt right now. He loves the competition level, the higher purses, and the style of racing. But Blewett said he does miss racing at Wall on occasion.
“You feel like you should be there when you hear who wins,” he said. “There’s certain people that you want to put a whooping on on Saturday nights. And when you hear they won and you don’t want them to win you’re like ‘man I wish I was there to give it to them.”
But mostly Blewett is happy to be running New Egypt on Saturday nights slinging the dirt around in his red, white and blue no. 76.
“My family does have a lot of history over there and every time I run good over there it’s another accomplishment for me,” he said. “It makes more history for my family.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, NJ, CT) – Twitter: @RobBlount
Featured Photo Credit: Jimmy Showtime Blewett Facebook Page