This weekend was a dream weekend for Jimmy Blewett. The driver known by many as “Showtime” ran three races in two nights in two different states in two different types of cars. A NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT), a local Modified race, and a Late Model race at Wall Stadium Speedway (NJ). Blewett parked it in victory lane after all three.
Blewett runs a Modified at Wall Stadium for his own team, and runs on the NASCAR Modified Tour in the legendary Mystic Missile for Bob Garbarino. He doesn’t normally race a Late Model.
“It was a last minute deal,” Blewett told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “A friend got called into work late, so I ran it for him. I wanted to support the track and the division and we were able to get a win. It’s just nice because it’s one of those weekends that you dream about and this time it came true.”
The biggest win of the weekend came on Friday night at Stafford in the Modified Tour race. The last time Blewett won a NWMT race was in 2009, also at Stafford. Blewett was the first to the checkered flag at Riverhead Raceway in 2012, but he was black-flagged for jumping the restart on a green-white-checkered. That year was Blewett’s last full-time year until this year, which is why this win is so special for him.
“It’s always special to win a NASCAR race,” said Blewett. “It was very special also for my guys. The guys that I have on my crew right now are a great group of people. We put this deal together very last minute. Some of these guys were already with Bob. A couple guys were guys we picked up the first race, and one of them was a guy we picked up the third race. But just from the start of it, everybody just worked so hard. They have that determination every week. Those guys work their butts off for me. So to win for them and Bob and his wife, it was just very special.”
When Blewett took a step back from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour a couple of years ago, he started running Dirt Modifieds regularly. He won a few times throughout those couple of years, but this year he decided to come back to the pavement world.
Blewett and Garbarino set up a deal for Blewett to run the Mystic Missile No. 4 Modified full-time this year. Blewett and Garbarino came close to winning a couple of times this season before taking the win on Friday night.
The veteran driver, now in his 17th year of racing, said he thinks he might be at his best right now thanks to his dirt experience.
“Dirt will humble anybody,” surmised Blewett. “Teddy Christopher and I were sitting at Super DIRT week about four or five years ago. Teddy was running a Big Block and I was running my dirt car and actually Chucky Hossfeld was there too. We all looked at each other like ‘what the hell are we doing here?’ I t definitely makes you a better driver. You learn a lot more about car control and racing and driving the track and searching around and finding grip. It was a great experience and I’m glad I took it.”
There’s another reason why this win is special to the man known as “Showtime.” It quieted some of his detractors.
When it was announced that Blewett was going to drive the Mystic Missile this year, some people didn’t understand why.
“He hasn’t won in seven years!” Many statements like that could be found on Facebook and Twitter and in the comments sections of articles.
“People can talk all they want but until they go out and actually drive a race car and race on the Tour and go up against guys like Doug Coby, Ryan Preece, Ronnie Silk and Timmy Solomito, when you get to that series you’re racing the best of the best,” said Blewett. “There’s a reason why a lot of people don’t run it, and it’s because they’re afraid of the competition. It definitely is good to humble some of the people that like to do some of the behind the scenes talking.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com