Ed Partridge, a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion car owner, who gave Ryan Preece, and many other in the NASCAR industry, their big break, has passed away at the age of 68. News of Partridge’s death comes just hours after Preece won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Richmond Raceway on Friday night in Partridge’s No. 6 car.
Preece shared the devastating news on Saturday morning in the form of a tweet:
Last night we won the race.
Last night I lost one of my best friends and modified owner.
Rest in Peace Big Eddie. I’m going to miss you. pic.twitter.com/krzu1SkAX7
— Ryan Preece (@RyanPreece_) September 11, 2021
Partridge, who owned Riverhead Raceway in New York, was the 2011 and 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Owners Champion. Additionally, Ron Silk won the 2011 NWMT driver championship in Partridge’s car.
On Friday, NASCAR released a statement on the passing of Partridge.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of championship car owner and track owner Eddie Partridge. Eddie’s passion for racing was felt not just throughout the modified community, but also throughout grassroots racing as a whole. He fielded teams for some of the best drivers in the sport, and truly loved seeing his cars run up front. After taking on the task of running Riverhead Raceway, he then also proudly fielded a venue for those drivers to showcase their talent. It is only fitting that Eddie’s last race was a victory. A fierce competitor who fought for the good in short track racing, he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates at this time.”
For Preece, the course of his career changed when he received a phone call from Partridge in 2014 to drive his No. 6 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race car.
14 of Preece’s 25 wins have come in the No. 6 — including Friday night’s triumph at Richmond. Preece has scored three wins in just seven NWMT starts this season in the No. 6 machine.
Partridge also gave 23XI Racing’s crew chief Michael Wheeler his big break in racing. Wheeler shared an old team photo to Twitter on Saturday morning:
At a loss for words this morning. Over 20 years ago, Eddie Partridge gave me an opportunity that help make me who I am today. We spent countless time racing together and he taught me so much about it all. Going to miss you Eddie. pic.twitter.com/rnuGemw0Od
— Michael Wheeler (@MikeCWheeler) September 11, 2021
Partridge was a team owner who gave so much to so many over the years. It’s incredibly sad news.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.