This past weekend the No. 90 UNION Insurance Group team packed-up and headed south to the famed Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, VA).

After a 650-mile treck, the team unloaded the hauler on Saturday morning and participated in the first of two practice sessions. Early on, while still on old tires, the team topped the leader board for practice speeds. During the second session, the team struggled to find balance in the car on new rubber.

After making a shock and spring change – along with some chassis adjustments – the team headed out for qualifying. Turning her fastest lap of the day, Renee’s time put her 19th in the 37-car field.

“After the last practice session, we were happy we qualified that well,” said Renee.

After time trails, Renee participated in a local TV station interview and conducted two additional interviews for websites (links will appear when available). On Sunday morning, she also took part in an autograph session staged on Martinsville’s front stretch.

The 200-lap race – which will be televised on SPEED at a date yet to be announced – started at 1 PM on Sunday afternoon.

“I haven’t been to Martinsville in a several years and they told me that the checking at the start was brutal – and to take a conservative approach.”

Just seven laps in, the No. 14 car dove under Renee in turn three and made heavy contact with her left front – breaking the steering rack upon impact.


[Blewett] and I had problems at Thompson [the season opening event], so there’s some history there. He just totally over-drove the car going into three, washed up the track and used me up. It was seven laps into a 200-lap race. Jimmy’s capable of better than that, so it was obviously intentional. Too bad he also spun himself in the process.”

The rack from Renee's car - the housing is cracked on both ends. Click on the image to view a larger version.

For 72 excruciating laps the team worked in the pits to change the destroyed rack – eventually returning the car to competition.

“We’re running for points, so we had to get back out there and try to regain as many spots as possible. Carol – our spotter – had it all figured out. She knew exactly how many spots we could advance. We actually had a pretty good car, but it didn’t make sense to mix it up with anyone. In the end, Carol was right on. With her help – and because of the effort in the pits – we went from a 37th place finish to a 26th place finish. Certainly not what we wanted, but the best we could muster under the circumstances.”

Next up, the team will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a 100-lap event on Saturday, June 26. While at Loudon, the Whelen Modified Tour will run as a support division to NASCAR’s headlining Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.