Story By: ADAM FENWICK / NASCAR – WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ – Jimmy Blewett is one of the best to ever race at Wall Stadium Speedway.
He reminded everyone of that by topping the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field in the Jersey Shore 150 on Saturday night at the popular third-mile high-banked oval.
The victory, Blewett’s seventh with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and first since 2016, was his 81st victory overall at Wall Stadium Speedway. He ranks second on the all-time win list at the track.
“Tommy and these guys just prepare such a good car. He makes all the drivers who drive this thing look so good,” said Blewett, who was piloting the No. 7NY for team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. “Just riding, biding our time watching these guys burn it up so we had some stuff there at the end.”
Blewett spent much of the race riding in the top five, content to let pole-sitter Ron Silk and defending track Modified champion Andrew Krause take turns at the front of the field.
A caution for a spin by Eric Goodale with 17 circuits left in the 150-lap event presented Blewett the perfect opportunity to take control of the race.
Restarting second with 13 laps left, Blewett rocketed under Krause to take the lead by the time the field got back to the start/finish line.
Once in front, Blewett inched away from the battle for second, ultimately crossing the finish line nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Matt Hirschman.
“I want to dedicate this win to my grandfather,” said Blewett, who also won a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Wall Stadium Speedway in 2007. “He always is my biggest supporter and he never, ever doubts me. He just knows I need the right opportunity to get it done. Thanks, Grandpa.”
The victory by Blewett gave team owner Baldwin his fourth victory of the season with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Doug Coby drove Baldwin’s No. 7NY to victory at New York’s Riverhead Raceway and New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway, and Mike Christopher Jr. earned a victory for Baldwin at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway.
Hirschman, a multi-time winner of the annual Turkey Derby event at Wall Stadium Speedway who added Saturday’s race to his schedule at the last minute, snuck past both Krause and Silk to finish second.
“This wasn’t on our schedule, I just knew there was going to be a great crowd here tonight,” Hirschman said. “Glad to come race in front of them tonight. A good run. It’s no surprise there at the end, Jimmy’s first and I’m second. Congrats to them.”
Patrick Emerling also managed to make his way past Krause and Silk in the final laps to complete the podium. It was his second top-five finish this season.
“It was a little rough out there, but had a lot of fun tonight,” Emerling said. “We had a pretty good race car for only running here once before.”
Krause settled for fourth after leading prior to the final restart. Silk faded to fifth after starting from the Mayhew Tools Pole and leading a majority of the race.
Justin Bonsignore, Austin Beers, Jon McKennedy, Blake Barney and Kyle Bonsignore completed the top 10.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday, July 16, for the running of the Whelen 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.