MAKES DRIVER CHANGE FOR 2014
Rookie Barrett Set To
Take Over Seat Previously Held By Stefanik
Whelen Modified Tour car owner Chris Our officially
announced today that Tommy Barrett Jr. will take
over behind the wheel of his No. 22 modified for the
upcoming 2014 season.
With the addition of Barrett to the Our Racing
program, seven-time Whelen Modified Tour titlist
Mike Stefanik has decided to move on from the team
after two seasons.
The 2014 season will be the first full-time Whelen
Modified Tour campaign for Barrett, an 18-year-old
from Millis, Mass. Barrett, who is the first driver
to declare intentions to compete for 2014 Sunoco
Rookie of the Year honors, made his first initial
tour appearances in the last two events of the 2012
season when he finished 19th in the Fall Final at
Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway and seventh in the
World Series at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway.
“I’m excited to start the season off with Tommy
Barrett, I think he’s a talented young man that’s
gonna go places,” Our said. “I figured he’s going to
be a rising star.”
Barrett recorded 14 career victories in NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modified
division action at Stafford from 2010-11. He also
has six wins in 35 starts since 2011 with the
Valenti Modified Racing Series.
The No. 22 crew chief for the past two seasons, Brad
Lafontaine, will remain with the team and work with
Barrett moving forward.
Our Racing has quickly expanded since he first
joined the Whelen Modified Tour in 2012 when it
fielded a car for half of the schedule for Stefanik.
Our then went full-time this past season with
Stefanik, who registered two wins and finished fifth
in the championship standings.
Our was looking to expand his operation in 2014 with
a second, part-time car for Stefanik. It was an
offer that Stefanik ultimately passed on.
“I offered Mike five races [for next season] in a
second car, and he has opted to turn that down at
this time,” Our said. “No hard feelings in any which
way, but I am moving forward with Tommy as my main
driver starting off the tour and running one car at
“We are very much looking forward to starting the
season off with Tommy Barrett, who we’re planning to
bring to Daytona [for the UNOH Battle At The Beach].
We’ll go down there and see how we make out, then
start off the tour with Tommy.”
Our emphasized that the past two years working with
Stefanik proved invaluable in launching his program.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Mike, with all of
his experience and knowledge,” Our said. “He’s
helped us get as far as we have as far as winning
some races – Mike had a lot to do with that.”
Stefanik ultimately decided to pass on Our’s offer
of a part-time role with the team in 2014.
“Chris offered the five-race schedule,” Stefanik
said. “I thought about it, but I think it’s really
hard to do a two car programs out of one hauler. I
just felt that it probably wasn’t the right thing,
so I chose not to.
“Chris is heading down a different road, and that’s
all good, so no problems.”
Stefanik, who will turn 56 next May, opened the door
to possible retirement following his triumph at
Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway this past August.
Owner of nearly every one of the tour’s career
statistical records, Stefanik has compiled 74
victories, 48 poles and 300 top-10 finishes in 449
starts since 1985.
But as of Wednesday when he informed Our that he
would not return to the team, Stefanik wasn’t ready
to officially call it quits, even though at this
point he’s not sure what his racing future in racing
“I’m not worried about it to be completely honest,”
Stefanik said. “If it all ends now then I’m fine
with it. I don’t really have any regrets. If there’s
no more chapters then there’s no more chapters.
“I’m not freaked out. I’m alright with everything.
However it goes, I’m ok with it.”
The 2014 season will launch for the second year in a
row with the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on
the short track at Daytona (Fla.) International
Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The full 2014 schedule
is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR