STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT - MAY 27:  Wade Cole, driver of the #33 Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan Oil Chevrolet, looks on during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford Motor Speedway on May 27, 2011 in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Wade Cole | Getty Images
Wade Cole was known on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for his open trailer and dedication. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Wade Cole Passes Away Following Accident


Longtime NASCAR Whelen Modified driver Wade Cole has passed away following an accident at his home Sunday.

Cole’s passing was first reported by RaceDayCT.com. He was 67.

From Riverton, Connecticut, Cole made 371 career starts on the tour, running in every season except 1986.

"Just an absolutely great guy that you always looked forward to seeing pull through the gate," NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series director Jimmy Wilson told RaceDayCT. "I’m just absolutely shocked."

RACING-REFERENCE: Wade Cole Career Statistics

He ran a full schedule in 10 of the last 13 seasons – missing just six starts in that span.

Cole had seven career top 10s and a best points finish of 11th (2017), and his best finish was eighth (twice). However, he was best known for his dogged work ethic and consistent presence in the Whelen Modified Tour garage.

"Wade was a part of the backbone of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour," said Wilson in a statement. "Always had a smile on his face, hard working, had fun and happy to be at the race track. Wade will truly be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wade’s family, friends, race team and fans during this very difficult time."

Rank Driver (active drivers in Bold) Starts
1 Jamie Tomaino 623
2 Mike Stefanik 453
3 Ed Flemke, Jr. 439
4 Rick Fuller 438
5 Reggie Ruggiero 419
6 Tom Baldwin 373
7 Ted Christopher 372
8 Wade Cole 371

STAFFORD, CT – SEPTEMBER 29: Wade Cole driver of the #33 Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/ Ryan’s Chevrolet signs autographs during the pit party prior to the CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway September 29, 2013 in Stafford, Connecticut. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)*** Local Caption *** Wade Cole. | Getty Images
Wade Cole told The Chrome Horn website in 2010: "The thrill is driving on the race track with the people that are here, the fans and the little kids that are here." (Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)