North-South Shootout Still Honors Late Blewett
SOPHIA, N.C. – Jimmy Blewett believes that his late brother stood for something important in short-track racing, and he’s glad that the 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG continues to honor that spirit.
John Blewett III was the prototypical “racer’s racer,” and his name continues to carry the banner for the North-South Shootout as it heads to Caraway Speedway for the second consecutive year this November 8-10. The Howell, N.J., driver lost his life in a crash during a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson Int’l Speedway in 2007.
“For this race to continue, it just says what type of person he was and what type of impact he had on the racing community,” said Jimmy Blewett, John Blewett’s younger brother. “It just goes to show you what type of person my brother was. Not everybody got to meet my brother personally, but at the same time a lot of people did. He’s the type of guy, you go to Bristol, Tenn., or Charlotte, N.C., and you see a bumper sticker on a car with his name. No matter where you’re at, you always see some sign of him
“Besides being such a good, stand-up race car driver, he was a do-it-all guy. He’d set it up and drive it himself, but he was also one of the best people you’d ever cross paths with in this sport and everybody knew it.”
The Tour Modifieds once again highlight the North-South Shootout with a 125-lap main event in this year’s edition of the autumn race. The Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models will also hold a 125-lap feature on the card, while the SK Modifieds race in a 50-lap event. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, with consolation rounds and feature racing slated for Saturday, Nov. 10.
In total, seven different divisions will compete in feature races at the Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG. Legends, Lite Modifieds, Sportsman and Super Trucks will tour the half-mile banked Caraway Speedway as part of more than 600 laps of feature racing.
“Everybody who has any connection to Modified racing knows what John Blewett III meant to the sport,” said North-South Shootout promoter Renee Hackett of Caraway Speedway. “We’re just happy that we can continue to honor his spirit and what he stood for in some small way at the North-South Shootout. He was the kind of racer that we hope enters our event and gives their all toward trying to win.”
Jimmy Blewett remembers his brother as a throwback to generations past while going head-to-head and having success with the new wave of race teams and drivers.
“He went to every race to win,” Blewett said. “He was everything. I’m doing most of the stuff that he did, trying to do it on my own. I’ve got (crew chief) Ed Bennett here to help me, but my brother didn’t have that. He did everything on his own – he scaled the car, he fabricated everything on his car, he drove the truck and trailer to the track, he made the calls from the seat – and he won the biggest races.
“It says a lot for what kind of racer he was, and he gained a lot of respect from a lot of people just on the type of person he was and how he approached everything.”