Last year, 2007, it looked like Jimmy Blewett,
who had 15 wins to his credit in 2007, would be spending his non-touring
Saturday nights at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island in 2008. Blewett
would compete on the tour in 2008, but not in the familiar Eddie
Partridge No. 12. Blewett was scheduled to be driving the George Bierce No.
19 that was driven by Ronnie Silk. Partridge consummated a deal that
will see both race teams merged into one. To supplement the Bierce team
Partridge would supply an additional car plus motors and transmissions.
Blewett and the Partridge SK Modified would compete weekly at the
Stafford Motor Speedway and at the Thompson Speedway.
Silk was a candidate to drive the Curt Chase No.77 as well as the
Boehler No. 3, which is if Bobby Santos III is committed to racing in
the south. Eric Beers, who lives down the street from Tony Hirschman,
will be stepping into the Massachusetts based No. 46 that was driven by
Dick Houlihan. Beers, whodrove the Boehler No.3 a while back, finished
an impressive second in the No. 46 at the recent North-South Shootout.
Jamie Tomaino, who is considered to be the oldest active tour driver
with close to 500 starts, has his home in New Jersey up for sale and
hopes to be moving to North Carolina. Once the move is made he will
concentrate his racing efforts on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour with
occasional starts on the northern tour.
This year would mark the end of an era as it will be the final
appearance of the Blewett Motorsports family owned, Red, White and Blue
#76 Modified. Jimmy Blewett, in honor of his late brother John who lost
his life in a racing accident at the Thompson Speedway last summer,
would race the car number for the final time in the Wall and Open Mods,
and then the car would be placed in the Blewett Automotive Museum. The
number 76 would be retired by Wall Speedway. The Blewett 76 had been a
mainstay in Modified racing the last 4 decades
The Stafford Motor Speedway honored its 2007 track champions at its
38th annual Champions Awards Ceremony at the La Renaissance Banquet
Facility in East Windsor, CT. The guests of honor included Ted
Christopher who was recognized as the 2007 SK Modified Champion, which
is his sixth overall at the central Connecticut oval. Corey Hutchings
was honored as the 2007 Late Model Champion, which he achieved in his
rookie campaign at Stafford. Chris Matthews, who missed out on racing
for the inaugural SK Light championship in 2006 because he was on his
honeymoon, drove to the 2007 SK Light Championship in dominating fashion
this season, clinching the championship with two races remaining. Sean
Foster drove to four feature victories and eight top-4 finishes in the
final 9 races this season and was recognized as the 2007 Limited Late
Model Champion, and Norm Sears put together an amazing stretch during
the second half of the 2007 season with seven podium finishes in the
final eight races to win his second consecutive DARE Stock Championship.
Reliable Welding and Speed Rookie of the Year honors went to Wade
Mattesen from the SK Modified division, Corey Hutchings from the Late
Model division, Josh Sylvester from the SK Light division, and David
Capriati from the Limited Late Model division. In addition to
recognizing the 2007 track champions, other prestigious awards,
including Most Improved Driver, Most Popular Driver, and the Reliable
Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards were presented.
Matt Kenseth ended Johnson's four-race winning streak, but
Johnson's seventh-place finish was more than enough to cap a brilliant
Chase for the Nextel Cup performance and give him a 77-point final
margin over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon. Kurt Busch
battled back from a flat tire 100 laps in to finish second. Denny Hamlin
was third. Gordon ended up fourth.
In Busch Series action at Homestead Jeff Burton won the Ford 300
for his 5th win of 2007 and the 27th of his career. It was the series'
final race with Anheuser-Busch as the title sponsor. Mark Martin was
second followed by Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Stephen Leicht, Greg
Biffle and Tony Raines.
In the season ending event for the Craftsman Trucks a spin by the
#08 brought about a green-white-checkered finish and gave Johnny Benson
the room he needed to make the pass on then race leader, Kyle Busch to
pick up the win in the Ford 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway. This was
Benson's fourth win in 2007; ninth career. In the race for the
championship, an early tire problem put Skinner a lap down and then
again on lap 74 Skinner had tire problems as he lost the left rear
wheel. Skinner had to pull the #5 Toyota into the garage losing eleven
laps while the team made repairs. Ron Hornaday finished seventh to win
the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series Championship. In his first outing Don
Lia finished 25th.
Thatís it for this week from 40 Clark Street, Westerly RI 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E Mail
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications for over 3
This week are
several vintage racing photos of Hall of Famer Billy Harman
The Chrome Horn
'Looking Back with Phil Smith' Archive