When the green flag falls to start this year’s John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout at North Carolina’s Concord Speedway, the Boehler Racing Enterprises team will be able to tell their driver, “It’s Showtime.”
Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett and Michael Boehler are partnering together to have Blewett drive the famous “Ole Blue” No. 3 machine in this year’s $10,000-to-win Tour-Type Modified main event.
The North-South Shootout is Blewett’s first event planned in his return to asphalt racing. Blewett had been running dirt Modifieds in the Northeast for the last two years after a successful pavement career that included a North-South Shootout SK Modified victory in 2007.
“Not many people know that I took a step back from dirt racing to head back to asphalt racing,” Blewett said. “I put all my dirt stuff up for sale. I’ve pretty much sold half of it already. Michael called me and he said, ‘Hey I heard you’re not trying to run dirt anymore. What do you think about maybe doing the Shootout?’ When he said that I told him I’d definitely be interested.”
The 35-year-old New Jersey driver explained that when he heard the North-South Shootout was leaving its most recent home at Caraway Speedway (NC) to head back to Concord, he just had to find a way to run the race.
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Concord for that race,” he said. “That’s the whole reason I want to go run the Shootout. And it’s been my brother’s memorial race for a few years so it will mean a lot to me to get back there.”
In addition to running the Shootout this year, Blewett is going to be doing a lot more asphalt racing over the course of the next year. He said he plans on coming back to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the start of the 2016 season, but after that his plans are kind of up in the air.
“We’re going to start out with probably the first three to five races,” said Blewett. “If we’re running in the top 10 or top five in points then you’ll see us at a lot more. We’re looking to come out with everything we need to get the job done. I can’t see why there’s any reason we can’t put the car out front right off the bat. I know I’ve been away from the Tour for two years, but I haven’t stopped racing in that time.”
Blewett has been racing and winning on the dirt of New Jersey and even sometimes in Pennsylvania, but he recently decided that it’s time to move on from dirt racing and go back to something that he knew a little bit better.
“I sat down with my grandfather this past Tuesday and I said that I think it’s time to take a step back from dirt racing,” he said. “We ran it for four years and won some big races. But it just got to be a lot for me. I haven’t had enough guys to go with us every week and it got to be too much for me.”
For now, Blewett is focused on the North-South Shootout with “Ole Blue.” He doesn’t have to put a crew together for that race. He just wants to go down to North Carolina and win a race in his older brother’s memory. Blewett knows that both the driver behind the wheel and “Ole Blue” can win, but he knows that some people may already be counting them out.
“I feel like I’m going into it as an underdog, and I feel like the team is going into it as an underdog even though ‘Ole Blue’ has a lot of wins and history,” Blewett said. “But times have changed somewhat with the Spec motors and other things. I feel like some people have counted that car out.
“But we’re going with every intention of winning. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can go there and win. I feel like if you don’t think you can win then there’s no sense in even going.”
The 13th Annual North-South Shootout will take place at Concord, North Carolina’s Concord Speedway November 5-7. Entry forms for the $10,000-to-win John Blewett III Memorial Tour-Type 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.
For more on the 13th Annual North-South Shootout, visit www.northsouthshootout.net.
-51 Sports / North-South Shootout Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo