According to the latest AARN: Jimmy "Showtime" Blewett, made his commitment that he'll be returning to Wall Stadium Speedway on a full time basis for the first time since 2003. Eric Mauriello and Shawna Ingraham still, with no rides in sight.
Blewett 36, raced off and on Wall from 2004-2016; during those years he had been dabbling on the Nascar Whelen Modified Tour with his late brother John III (passed away in August 2007). While racing Wall, he had been hit with penalties and punishments/suspensions. He captured the championship in 2001 and 2002 and, finishing the runner-up spot in 2003 behind Dave Michel.
This year, he'll be mentoring his nephew John W. Blewett this year and, he'll be racing the Sportsman division in the #5 that was purchased by the Zacharias Bros. and Jimmy won in it at Turkey Derby last season. Like he stated, he'll be competing for the 2017 championship against two time king Steven Reed and multi time Chas Okerson. Finally, Blewett will be strapping in once again in the Ormsbee #19 that he ran last year.
Still Rideless: Sixth and Eighth place finishers Eric Mauriello and Shawna Ingraham, had been released from the Dick Barney machines after last years Turkey Derby ended.
Eric Mauriello, won the Sportsman championship in 2012. He started running the Barney Modified during the season and, the next year he was hired. Mauriello, won several races for the Barneys including the 2014 Turkey Derby in the Tour Type Modified by holding off Les Hinckley, Jr. In 2015, his hope were high to win his first Modified title for Barney but, it became a fiasco when his #14 failed post race inspection.
In the finale of that year, Barney protested Steven Reed (was leading the points) about his engine being "illegal" before the title, was designated. After the near deserted track, Reed officially became the champion and, Barney lost the protest that left him and the fans resentful.
Mauriello, had stated that he had great years with Barney and everything that he accomplished during his tenure in the Big Red #14.
Fan favorite, Shawna Ingraham is also rideless. In 2011, she stunned the racing world when she became the first female to win an open wheeled car. In 2012, she moved to the Modifieds and the # was 66 during that excitement, she was struck with tragedy when her grandfather Don Ling, Sr. passed away during his valiant battle with cancer, he was 70. In 2013, she won a Modified event by defeating Jimmy Blewett. Last season, she won twice and she had been voted Most Popular Driver for the past five years.
Over the years she had a growing fan base; age, gender, or race didn't matter to watch her. Recently, she commented in the recent AARN that she won't be able to continue her career. In fact, she'll be watching the events in the stands but, the fans still have chances to chat with her about her career, etc. Finally, her fans will keep their shirts, pictures, etc for memories and keeping her events in their minds daily.
With Ingraham and Mauriello out, the Barney camp had turned their attentions to Dick's 17 year old grandson Blake who won Rookie of the Year honors by finishing 4th in the Sportsman points with one win. Barney, will be strapping in a Modified and continue on his journey for years to come!