October 5, 2022


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Despite tragedy, Jimmy Blewett carries on family tradition of Modified racing


Jimmy Blewett can recall it like it was yesterday.

As a kid, joined by his more mature brother John Blewett III, the two would stand alongside the fence at race tracks like New York’s Riverhead Raceway and New Jersey’s New Egypt Speedway to look at the most effective the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had to offer you fight for supremacy.

“I always recalled standing at the fence with my brother,” the 41-year-old Blewett mentioned. “My brother and I have been six yrs apart and generally whichever he did, I was his shadow as a baby. He would stroll up to the fence, and he’d keep on to the fence, and we’d watch fellas pull out on the monitor for warmth races and for exercise for the element.

“Back then, anyone could put on open up-encounter helmets. It was interesting simply because you could see the driver. He could see you, you could see his face, you could see his expressions. You observed men like my father (John Blewett Jr.), Richie Evans, Charlie Jarzombek, Reggie Ruggiero, Wayne Anderson, all individuals men.”

Being in a position to get an up-shut-and-particular appear at the best Modified drivers in the state aided the two Blewett kids tumble in appreciate with Modified racing, substantially like their father had many decades in advance of them.

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John Blewett Jr. expended most of his Modified racing career competing at neighborhood weekly tracks, but he did make 29 starts with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He acquired one particular victory, which came in 1986 at Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire.

“It’s 1 of those people items, in our house, developing up there were being no pics of the child with the baseball and the baseball mitt,” Blewett reported. “It was racing. It was family members photographs in Victory Lane. It as my brother in his go-kart. We’re a racing family, and I grew up close to that my full lifestyle.

“It was a thing as a kid, you want to be like your father. You hear that tune, ‘I want to be like you dad.’ It’s some thing that my brother required to do and I desired to do what he did and he required to do what my dad did. Ultimately that is what drew me in the direction of racing.”

The Blewett youngsters created a lot of excellent reminiscences on the Tour. They both of those joined their father as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winners, with John Blewett III earning 10 wins and Jimmy Blewett scoring six of his very own.

Brothers Jimmy Blewett (left) and John Blewett III (suitable) at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey, prior to a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour celebration on May well 6, 2007. (Picture: NASCAR)

On two different events, the Blewett’s swept the leading two positions in a Tour occasion. It occurred for the initially time at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway on July 4, 2006, with John Blewett III besting Jimmy Blewett.

It happened a 2nd time a minor significantly less than a yr later on at the Blewetts’ home monitor, Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey. This time it was Jimmy Blewett who emerged as the winner, with John Blewett III subsequent him across the end line.

It is a victory that still stands out in Jimmy Blewett’s memory 15 decades later since, in spite of racing from his brother, the two constantly worked as a workforce. In actuality, John Blewett III was the human being who set up his more youthful brother’s automobile that day at Wall Stadium.

“He established the cars and trucks up for himself and I,” Blewett recalled. “The motor vehicle was carrying out some thing in apply and my spotter (Freddie Kraft) and we were like, ‘We just need to be a little far better right in the center and we’ll have the finest auto below.’

“My brother, in my brother’s trend, came over and was like, ‘Quiet, do this, do this, we never have enough time. Do this and this. Set it in the car or truck.’ He seemed about at me and said, ‘Now you go out and gain.’ Good ample, honest ample. Put the stuff in the car and who did I defeat to acquire the race? Him.”

What neither Blewett understood at the time was that a handful of months later, John Blewett III would be long gone.

Jimmy Blewett (12) leads brother John Blewett III during a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey, on May 6, 2007. (Photo: NASCAR)
Jimmy Blewett (12) sales opportunities brother John Blewett III during a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour occasion at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey, on May well 6, 2007. (Photo: NASCAR)

John Blewett III died when the two brothers had been concerned in a crash at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Aug. 16, 2007.

It was tough for Jimmy Blewett to carry on in the aftermath of the crash. So tricky, in fact, that he admits he gave critical consideration to quitting racing entirely.

“Everybody is familiar with my brother was my finest friend, my father determine,” Blewett reported. “He was almost everything to me in my daily life foremost up to his passing. He was my advice. He was my almost everything to me.

“That evening and that working day was something that hit me hard. I honestly did not know how to take it. I did not know if I should just give up entirely and just not ever do just about anything again or maintain heading and continue to keep his identify alive.”

As time passed and Blewett mourned the decline of his brother, he came to notice that the previous detail his brother would want was for him to give up.

“I arrived to a summary in the adhering to weeks that I necessary to continue to keep his memory alive,” Blewett mentioned. “I required to generally converse about him. I generally experience like he is with me all the time in just about anything and anything I do.

“I also know that he constantly taught me to under no circumstances give up and to be the most effective and to show people today incorrect.”

Now 41, the youthful of the Blewett brothers proceeds to race in his brother’s memory.

Jimmy Blewett during qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Jersey Shore 150 on May 18, 2019 at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey. (Photo: Mike Lawrence/NASCAR)
Jimmy Blewett through qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Jersey Shore 150 on May well 18, 2019 at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey. (Image: Mike Lawrence/NASCAR)

Jimmy Blewett has built quite the name for himself at his property track, Wall Stadium Speedway, where he is a 4-time track champion in the Modified course. He’s also attained 25 victories across multiple divisions in Wall’s annual Turkey Derby party, which include eight victories in the headlining Modified division.

“It’s been a long highway. Every time I pull into a observe, I have to have that time on your own to feel about it all,” Blewett mentioned. “At the end of it all, we’re never heading to give up.”

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Wall Stadium Speedway this Saturday for the functioning of the Jersey Shore 150, the eighth race of the 2022 time.

Blewett, who life minutes from the third-mile, high-banked paved oval, is hoping to protect his household turf even though also racing in his brother’s memory.

“There ain’t a race that I enter that I do not think I can win. And if I can not do it, you will not see me at the race keep track of,” Blewett explained.

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Not too long ago Blewett has started to curtail his individual racing to target far more on the racing initiatives of his 14-year-previous son, James Blewett. The program is for James to contend in several races up and down the East Coast this summertime.

If all goes as planned, James Blewett will turn into the 3rd era of the Blewett household to race with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“My son, I simply call him my angel little one,” Blewett mentioned. “When my brother passed, my wife observed out she was pregnant with my son. He turned 14 lately, and he’s growing up to be really the younger person. Fourteen years back I hardly ever envisioned myself owning a son, let alone a son as excellent as him.

“We put him together a crate auto and now that he’s out of college — school is the first precedence — but now that he’s out of college we’re going to consider him racing.”

The long run of racing in the Blewett household is dazzling. Which is just how John Blewett III would have desired it.


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