Tommy Baldwin Racing guarantees the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Owners Championship


Tommy Baldwin Jr. has a lot to be thankful for this year.

His Tommy Baldwin Racing team found a foothold in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, leading to a dominant season that ended Thursday at Martinsville Speedway with the team winning the owner’s championship for the first time.

It’s been years in the making of Baldwin.

Tommy Baldwin Jr., owner of No. 7 John Blewett Inc.  Modified, while training for Virginia with the Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2022. (Adam Fenwick/NASCAR)

Tommy Baldwin Jr., owner of No. 7 John Blewett Inc. Modified, while training for Virginia with the Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2022. (Adam Fenwick/NASCAR)

“It’s been in the business for a long time,” said Baldwin, who clinched the Angel Championship when he waved the Virginia green flag for the Racing Lovers 200. something you want to achieve. You kind of did it backwards, right? I won the championship after I moved south and it was a huge success at the cup level.”

Baldwin grew up in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour pits up and down the East Coast with his father, Tom Baldwin Sr. Baldwin raced the oldest with the Tour for 20 years, racking up six wins before dying in a crash in 2004.

His son continued the family racing tradition, becoming a successful crew chief at the level of the NASCAR Cup Series. He later owned his own NASCAR Cup Series team, fielding cars for drivers such as Michael McDowell, Geoffrey Bodine, Dave Blaney, Steve Park, Alex Bowman and Bobby Labonte, among others.

However, his heart has always been with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Baldwin returned to the tour as a full-time owner in 2020, but this year his show has only reached its stride.

With Doug Kobe, Jimmy Bloit and Mike Christopher Jr. split driving duties at Baldwin’s No. 7, the team emerged as the top program of the Tour this year.

Doug Kobe, Driver #7 John Blewett Inc.  Modified Races During the CheckeredFlag.com 150 Modified NASCAR Whelen Tour at Larry King Law's

Doug Kobe, Driver #7 John Blewett Inc. Modified Races During the CheckeredFlag.com 150 Modified NASCAR Whelen Tour at Larry King Law’s

“Obviously all three have very good talent,” Baldwin said of his drivers. “They are all capable of winning races no matter what car they are riding in. I was lucky enough to get them all three.”

It started with Kobe, who wasn’t originally scheduled to drive seventh this year, when he drove to win the third event of the season at New York’s Riverhead Raceway.

Kobe added two more seventh-place wins for Dwayne at New Hampshire Lee USA Speedway and Virginia Langley Speedway. In all, Kobe finished nine games in seventh place and never finished worse than tenth.

Related: Doug Kobe’s revised 2022 NASCAR Whelen Tour stats

“What I’ve said to Tommy from the start is whether it’s just this race, or just these two races, that’s cool,” Kobe said. “She turned into a few over the course of the season and ultimately ended up with a real team effort to win the championship between all of us.”

Originally the season plan was for Blewett to lead Baldwin No. 7 for most of the season, with Christopher making a few starts at events that Blewett was unable to do. However, when Blewett’s daughter fell ill, Baldwin needed to find someone to drive his car while Blewett focused on his family.

Baldwin contacted Kobe, who admitted he was a little surprised when Baldwin reached out about the opportunity.

Kobe recalls, “He texted me, ‘This is it, Do you want to drive?’” “He had, I want to say, a lot of easier options. He’s from Long Island, we were racing in Riverhead, obviously anyone on Long Island could drive a Tommy. I don’t know if it was Jimmy or Tommy or who, but they are They decided to call me.”

7 John Blewett Inc driver Jimmy Blewett celebrates after winning during the Jersey Shore 150 of the modified Whelen Tour at Wall Stadium Speedway on July 9, 2022 in Wall Township, New Jersey.  (Costas Limperopoulos/NASCAR)

7 John Blewett Inc driver Jimmy Blewett celebrates after winning during the Jersey Shore 150 of the modified Whelen Tour at Wall Stadium Speedway on July 9, 2022 in Wall Township, New Jersey. (Costas Limperopoulos/NASCAR)

Despite missing several races to take care of his ailing daughter, Blewett benefited from the events he took to compete this year with Baldwin.

He made five appearances with the team, including Thursday’s final in Martinsville. The highlight of those events was a win on his main track, New Jersey Wall Stadium Speedway, on July 9.

“I know I was a part of it, but all the credit really needs to go to Tommy,” Belewitt said. “I think all the drivers who drove the car this year can agree on that. Tommy and the team. We as drivers, made our role easy. The hard part is getting the race car ready, having the crew, getting the crew on and running the car every time you take the load off the trailer.

“Tommy and his team did it.”

Related: Jimmy Bloitt 2022 NASCAR Whelen Tour Revised Stats

Blewett is acknowledging the opportunity to be part of a championship-winning program that he never thought he would experience, making the 2022 season even more special.

“Obviously I didn’t win the Tour, and I don’t think I would,” Blewett said. “I’ve never run for points. I rarely have. I always try to run to win and I’ve never had the chance to run all the races. With Tommy this year and the other drivers, that gave me the opportunity to be part of something, to be part of a championship race.”

The last driver to drive the No. 7 this year was 23-year-old Christopher the Younger. The nephew of 2008 Tour Champion Ted Christopher, a youngster from Walcott, Connecticut, proved he had a knack for competing with the best that the Tour had to offer.

Mike Christopher Jr., Driver #7, celebrates after his victory at Jennerstown's 150th Salute to the NASCAR Whelan Modified Tour at the Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania on May 28, 2022. (Nate Smallwood/NASCAR)

Mike Christopher Jr., Driver #7, celebrates after his victory at Jennerstown’s 150th Salute to the NASCAR Whelan Modified Tour at the Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania on May 28, 2022. (Nate Smallwood/NASCAR)

In three starts on board #7, he finished no worse than third. Join Coby and Blewett as tour winners thanks to his impressive win at Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania on May 28.

“It was just a huge opportunity that I tried to make the most of,” Christopher said. “All these guys know exactly what they are doing. I knew my job as a driver was very simple, to go in and drive my car, because the car was always good and the team was always there for me too.”

Related: NASCAR Whalen Revised Tour Stats 2022 by Mike Christopher Jr

When you add it all together, the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season has been a dream year for Baldwin, Kobe, Beloit and Christopher.

Perhaps most importantly, Baldwin secured the legacy of the #7, which always bears the initials NY like the cars his long-time father drove in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“Securing the legacy of No. 7NY and Dad is probably the biggest achievement ever,” Baldwin said. “I grew up very young, 8, 9, 10 years old with the Modifieds, then you start working on it at that young age, and then all of a sudden you head the crew at 14 or 15 with my dad and work on it.

“To come back and put all the pieces in place this year, it’s very special.”


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