PHOTO: Jimmy Blewett celebrates his Turkey Derby Tour Modified win in front of a chorus of cheers and boos from the packed Wall Stadium Speedway. Blewett went on to win the SK Modified event later in the evening as well. (Matt Wiernasz/ photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

WALL, N.J. — Jimmy Blewett earned the nickname ‘Showtime’ for his aggressive style and win-at-all-costs attitude. He is a driver fans either love or hate, and all have an opinion of him. He won the 2010 edition of the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway, and returned looking to repeat.

He did more than that, sweeping both Modified races in the 2011 of the Turkey Derby, while living up to his ‘Showtime’ moniker.

Blewett, of Howell, N.J., started on the outside of Doug Coby on the front row of the 150 lap Tour Type Modified feature, but fell quickly behind Coby, who had stretched his lead to a near half of the track in the first 20 laps. Blewett appeared to struggle over the first 70 laps, but only relinquished second place to Windsor Locks, Conn. native Les Hinckley on lap 27.

A lap 73 caution flag saw Coby and Hinckley head to pit road to take on tires, giving Blewett the lead. Blewett would face a battle from Anthony Sesely before a caution flag on lap 83 saved Blewett’s lead. Blewett pitted for tires and adjustments on a lap 100 caution flag, and Matt Hirschman became the new race leader.

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., appeared to be in cruise control, and settled in for multiple restarts with Rowan Pennink on his outside. Hirschman would beat Pennink on every restart, but Pennink would fall in behind Hirschman and ride in the second position. Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., would be beat by Hirschman on a lap 129 restart, which allowed Hinckley to take over second. Hinckley would close the gap to Hirschman, and got to the outside of Hirschman on one occasion as Hirschman battled a lap car.

A lap 148 caution flag put Hinckley on the outside of Hirschman, and after another lap 148 caution, Hirschman was spun entering turn one on the restart by Hinckley. Pennink took over the lead as Hinckley was penalized to the rear of the field, with Blewett restarting in second. Blewett had pitted multiple times since his lap 100 pit stop for his crew to work on his race car and make the handling better.

Blewett would leave early on the restart and officials waived it off, even though Pennink felt may have beaten Blewett. Pennink resumed the lead on the restart, but was hit by Blewett in the middle of turns one and two. Pennink chased his car up the track, and never spun out and never lost the lead. However, officials waved the caution flag for the melee that never occurred.

Blewett would line up on the outside of Pennink, and would lead into turn one. Pennink would drift up and make contact with Blewett, making both cars get loose. Pennink would then get spun, no caution flew, and Blewett would cross the line as the winner.

‘It feel’s great,’ said Blewett. ‘You never know what is going to happen in racing. The crew never gave up and put me in a position to win. I did what I had to do win.’

Pennink was unhappy with the race officiating that handed Blewett the victory.

‘The first two restarts I had with Jimmy [Blewett], I beat him on both restarts and magically the caution comes out for no reason, both times, other than he didn’t get the lead and the race was over,’ Pennink said. ‘He wasn’t going to get by me once I got the lead. But they keep throwing the caution until he gets a good restart. He shoves you around and [the officials] don’t do anything about it. But that’s the Turkey Derby. It’s the Blewett’s place and I guess you have to play by their rules. If that’s how they want to race, that’s how we’ll race them back.’

Sesely, of Hazlet, N.J., would finish second and Steven Reed, of Freehold, N.J., finished third. Chuck Hossfeld, of Ransomville, N.Y., rallied from an early race spin to finish fourth while Danny Bohn, of Freehold, N.J., completed the top five.

Ken Woolley, Jr., John Markovic, Andy Walko, Jamie Tomaino, and Jimmy Zacharias completed the unofficial top ten.

Blewett then would go on to dominate the rough 100-lap SK Modified feature. Blewett held off a late race charge from Hirschman, who rode in second the entire race until lap 72 when he was spun by Justin Gumley. Hirschman rallied to finish second, while Freehold, N.J. native Chas Okerson finished third. Woody Pitkat, of Stafford, Conn., and Ken Woolley, Jr., of Howell, N.J., completed the top ten.

Harry Schaeffer, Roger Cross, Mike Carroll, and Justin Gumley would finish sixth through ninth, while Keith Rocco battled back from an early race incident to finish tenth.

Blewett’s payday, unofficially, is $8,500 after winning the $5,000-to-win Tour Type Modified feature and the #3,500-to-win SK/Wall Modified feature.

Wall Stadium Speedway, Wall, N.J.
Saturday, November 26, 2011


Tour Type Modifieds (150 laps)
1. (2) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J.
2. (6) Anthony Sesely, Hazlet, N.J.
3. (12) Steven Reed, Freehold, N.J.
4. (19) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y.
5. (9) Danny Bohn, Freehold, N.J.
6. (10) Ken Woolley, Jr., Howell, N.J.
7. (13) John Markovic, Bethlehem, Pa.
8. (3) Anthony Walko, Flemington, N.J.
9. (14) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J.
10. (22) Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y.
11. (11) Tommy Farrell, Neptune, N.J.
12. (7) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa.
13. (4) Les Hinckley, III, Windsor Locks, Conn.
14. (15) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J.
15. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
16. (5) Shaun Carrig, Little Falls, N.J.
17. (21) Rob Ormsbee, Wall, N.J.
18. (23) Dan Kurzejewski, Mansfield, Pa.
19. (24) Ken Darch, Riverhead, N.Y.
20. (25) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y.
21. (17) Ken Barry, Preston, Conn.
22. (16) Billy Cole, Jr., Farmingdale, N.J.
23. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn.
24. (20) Rich Kuiken, Jr., Staffordville, N.J.
25. (18) Brian DeFebo, Berwick, Pa.

SK/Wall Modifieds (100 laps)
1. (1) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J.
2. (8) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa.
3. (11) Chas Okerson, Freehold, N.J.
4. (16) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn.
5. (22) Ken Woolley, Jr., Howell, N.J.
6. (23) Harry Schafer, Carteret, N.J.
7. (2) Roger Cross, Lafayette, N.J.
8. (15) Mike Carroll, Pipersville, Pa.
9. (9) Justin Gumley, Colts Neck, N.J.
10. (19) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn.
11. (17) Christian LaCicero, Lavallette, N.J.
12. (7) Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y.
13. (3) Stewart Friesen, Niagara, Ont.
14. (28) Victoria Bergenty, Plainville, Conn.
15. (14) Jason Treat, Jackson, N.J.
16. (6) David Calabrese, Toms River, N.J.
17. (26) Mike Occhipinti, Commerce Township, Mich.
18. (18) Nick Shaw, Warren, N.J.
19. (20) Dave Brigati, Calverton, N.Y.
20. (4) Anthony Sesely, Hazlet, N.J.
21. (10) Chris Hamilton, North Haledon, N.J.
22. (29) Mike Brennan, Old Bridge, N.J.
23. (24) Ron Frees, Brown Mills, N.J.
24. (12) Adam LaCicero, Lavallette, N.J.
25. (13) Tim Arre, Toms River, N.J.
26. (5) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn.
27. (21) Mike Gervais, Southbury, Conn.
28. (25) Dan Kurzejewski, Mansfield, Pa.
29. (27) Ronnie Mullen, Brick Township, N.J.