MEDFORD, Ore. – Jorddon Braaten got a pretty good idea how he measured up with Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod competition from across the country at last November’s Duel In The Desert.
Next, he’ll test his mettle racing with the best of the best at Boone Speedway in September.
The first driver in division history from the State of Oregon to finalize plans to race at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s, Braaten won back-to-back track titles at Southern Oregon Speedway before running seventh in the big season-ending show at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Dirt Track.
“I’m pretty proud of how we did at the Duel In The Desert and I’ve always wanted to go to Super Nationals,” said the Medford pilot. “I have the opportunity to go with Fred Ryland so I’ll drop my car off in California. He’s got a crewman who will drive the hauler there. We’ll fly to Des Moines and race at Marshalltown (the Sept. 2 Showdown) before Super Nationals.”
“The competition here probably isn’t comparable to the Midwest,” he added. “I want to go there and learn as much as I can. We’re going to go with what we know when we get there and hopefully that will be a good baseline.”
Braaten is a first-generation driver, although he followed his father Don into the sport. The senior Braaten began pitting for a friend, the family started going to the track and it wasn’t long before Jorddon was hooked.
He got his first car, a street stock – similar to an IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock – for Christmas in 2009 and began his on track career the next summer, racing primarily at White City.
New Northern SportMod sanctions in the Pacific Northwest gave Braaten the chance to race in an open wheeled division.
“Northern SportMods are one of the fastest growing divisions around here and they’re less expensive than Modifieds,” he explained. “No way did I expect to have the success that I’ve had running with guys who have raced 10-15 years. I have to thank the Lord, my crew and a lot of good sponsors for our success.”
The 2014 Allstar Performance State champion and current point leader in Oregon, Braaten was fresh off his 12th victory of the season, a total that includes six wins in as many starts at Cottage Grove Speedway.
“We’ve won over 50 percent of our races this year. That’s pretty cool,” he said. “Realistically, our goal at Super Nationals is to make the main event. If you do that, anything can happen. We have to make sure we have everything we need when we get there and maybe pull some luck out of Iowa.”
His upcoming trip to Super Nationals will also be his last with a SportMod. Braaten has purchased a 2014 Larry Shaw Chassis and will be an IMCA Modified rookie in 2017. He’ll put the For Sale sign on his SportMod after the Duel In The Desert.
In addition to his parents Don and Melissa, Braaten’s crew includes his uncle Mike Van Brunt, girlfriend Joscelyn Johnson and Tucker Harlow.
His sponsors, all of Medford, are Quench & Drench, Severson Custom Fabrication, Miller Paints, Stewart Media, Rodgers Racing Engines, West Coast pipeline, Schaefer’s Racing Oil, Cloud Maintenance and Advanced Door and Hardware.