The State of New Jersey is set to be well represented in 2016 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Jimmy Blewett will return to full-time action while fellow New Jersey native Jamie Tomaino will roll into his 32nd straight season on the tour. In addition to those two familiar faces, the Garden State will also be represented by a new face who has cut his teeth racing on asphalt, concrete, and dirt in his state.
Andrew Krause is ready to hit the road in 2016 and will be joining the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour beginning at the season opener this weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).
Krause has put in a lot of time in Asphalt Modifieds at his home track of Wall Stadium on the Jersey Shore. The 25-year-old of Holmdel, New Jersey has put in work in the track’s Modified and Sportsman Modified divisions over the last couple of seasons. He also recorded time driving a Tour-Type Modified in the season-ending Turkey Derby event in November.
After some discussions with those close to him, he and his team are ready to make a big step up.
“We decided to make the move up in the offseason,” Krause told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’ve talked about it a couple of years trying to put something together and finally got the right opportunity. We made the jump and got the car, now we’re here.”
Rather than seeking a ride or upgrading one of their Stadium cars, the AMK Racing team sought a machine that had been bred to run the Tour. In the end, the team came away with a piece that is both unique and has experienced success on the track.
“This car was originally a Buzz Chew car, it was one of the prototypes to develop the Troyer TA2,” Krause explained. “A lot of R&D went into this car. It’s a one of a kind and it has been successful in the past, so we hope to keep the trend going.”
While succeeding in Tour competition is a main goal, Wall Stadium remains the primary home for the team in 2016. The Krause family manages the day-to-day operations of the high-banked oval and Krause’s touring schedule will be based around Wall’s Saturday night slate, where he will chase wins on a weekly basis.
“My home is Wall. Our family promotes it, so Saturdays are kind of tough,” he explained. “We’ll be there pretty much every week and when we are not we’ll be running the Tour as much as possible.”
Kruase is also known throughout the rest of New Jersey for his time in Big Block and Crate Sportsman Dirt Modifieds running at both New Egypt and Bridgeport Speedways. He has recently put time in TQ Midgets, managing to qualify for the A-Mains in all three Indoor Racing Championship rounds at Allentown, Atlantic City, and Trenton this past winter. After learning all these different racing disciplines, Krause knows his best tool for learning the ways of the Tour-Type Modifieds is seat time.
“The goal is to get a lot of track time. It’s a whole new experience, new series and new tracks. We want to catch up to everybody else, learn a lot, and start to understand what it takes to compete on the Tour.”
Krause will begin his goal towards getting more track time this upcoming weekend when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour kicks off the 2016 season at Thompson.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, LI, MA) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Pete MacDonald