Longtime Modified driver and team owner Carl Pasteryak passed away Friday following a brief illness.


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Longtime Modified driver and team owner Carl Pasteryak passed away Friday following a brief illness.

Pasteryak, of Lisbon, was 71 years old.

Pasteryak, who had been involved in Modified racing in the Northeast for more than 45 years, competed regularly with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for 25 years. In recent years he was involved with the racing efforts of his nephew, Chris Pasteryak.

Carl Pasteryak got his start racing Modifieds in 1976 at Stafford Speedway with his brother Charlie – who was just under five years younger than him – working alongside him as a crew member.

Charlie Pasteryak ultimately joined his brother on the track and the pair became stalwarts on the Whelen Modified Tour and great to be affectionately known around Northeast racing as the Polish Pavers. The pair operated the Pasteryak Asphalt company.

Carl Pasteryak made nine starts on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in its first year of existence in 1985.

For 25 consecutive years from 1985 on he made at least three or more starts every year with the series. He made his last series start on Oct. 4, 2009 in the Fall Final at Stafford Speedway.

Over 25 seasons Carl Pasteryak made 354 Whelen Modified Tour starts with five podium finishes, 15 top-fives, 91 top-10’s and three pole positions. He had second place finishes at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (1990) and Stafford (1999). Tim Connolly held off Carl Pasteryak on a green-white-checkered restart to win the Connecticut Classic 150 on May 29, 1999, at Stafford Speedway.

With 665 starts between them, Carl Pasteryak and Charlie Pasteryak (311 series starts) had the second most Whelen Modified Tour starts by a combination of brothers in series history. Only the Fuller brothers with 692 starts between Rick Fuller (438 starts), Jeff Fuller (240 starts) and Bobby Fuller (14 starts) had more than the Pasteryak brothers.

“NASCAR mourns the passing of Carl Pasteryak, who was a pillar of the modified community in the Northeast,” read a statement released Friday evening through the NASCAR Roots social media accounts. “In addition to racing for 25 years in the Whelen Modified Tour, Carl was a proud brother (Charlie) and uncle (Chris) of racers. He will be missed at the track, and his family and friends are in our thoughts.”

Carl Pasteryak went on to compete with the Modified Racing Series after leaving the Whelen Modified Tour and was joined later on track in competition by his nephew and Charlie Pasteryak’s son Chris Pasteryak, who is still involved regularly as a Tour Type Modified driver racing locally.