Revving up for racing

Published 12:31 pm Saturday, April 3, 2010

Across southern Minnesota the racing season is beginning to get under way.

At tracks like Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Fairmont Raceway, Deer Creek in Spring Valley and Dodge County Raceway in Kasson, area racers are prepping for another season.

The Albert Lea area boasts several racers, including New Richland resident Jason Cummins, who finished the 2009 season as the Freedom Series champion and the Deer Creek USRA modified champion.

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Albert Lea resident Greg Jensen races at Deer Creek and Chateau Raceway. Jensen finished fourth last season in points at Deer Creek in the USRA modifieds.

The Wissota and USRA modified races have a strong following in the area, said racer Bryan Hernandez, who is from Blooming Prairie and races Wissota Midwest Modifieds. Hernandez begins the 2010 season as the Wissota Midwest Modifieds defending champion at Chateau.

“This is A-mod country,” Hernandez said. “A lot of people follow it.”

Hernandez said the races bring out a lot of families during the weekends and the kids like to come down to check out the cars following the races.

From April to September Hernandez and many others will head to Chateau on Fridays, Deer Creek on Saturdays and elsewhere on Sundays to race on the dirt tracks.

“You see the same guys every week, three nights a weekend,” Hernandez said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Hernandez battles racers like Brandon Davis, who won 32 events last season, including the Deer Creek and Dodge County championships, Jerry Young, and Doug Hillson every weekend.

The quality of the competition drives people out to the track, too.

“In our area I think we have some of the best racers in the country,” Cummins said. In southern Minnesota we probably got 30 great racers in the area.”

Cummins listed Kelly Shryock, a nine-time United States Modified Touring Series champion from Fertile, Iowa, Tommy Myer and several others as a reason why the area is one of the best in the country.

Deer Creek features Wissota Late Models, USRA modifieds, Wissota Super Stocks, Wissota Midwest Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, and USRA B-modifieds.

Racing started Saturday at Deer Creek and features weekly shows from April to September.

Chateau Raceway has replaced Wissota Super Stocks this season with IMCA Stock Cars and will continue to feature USRA Modifieds, Wissota Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stock and Hornet divisions.

Chateau Raceway has 27 dates scheduled for racing with the United States Modified Touring Series making stops May 28 and Sept. 3.

The Wissota Race of Champions qualifying night will be held July 29 and the Corn Belt Clash will take place Aug. 13. The Midwest Modified Fall Nations will run Sept. 10-11 and the season will end with the Buzz Festival on Oct. 1-2.

The Fairmont Speedway will hold 27 races and got underway Friday. The season will run from April to Sept. 24.

Dodge County Speedway starts its season April 11 and will feature USRA Modifieds, Wissota Super Stock, Wissota Midwest Modifeds, Wissota Street Stocks, USRA B-modifieds, and senior and junior hornets.

Dodge County Speedway has 18 races scheduled through September.

The I-35 speedway in Mason City starts its season Sunday and has 26 races dates scheduled through September.

The I-35 speedway features IMCA modifieds, IMCA stock cars, IMCA sport modifieds, IMCA hobby stocks, pro hornets and novice hornets.