Mighty Axe checkers highlight Kendall’s regional rookie of the year season

BMS North Central Region IMCA Modified Rookie of the Year Billy Kendall. (Photo by James Jones)

BAXTER, Minn. – Billy Kendall didn’t hesitate to answer when asked about the highlight of his first Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified season.

The BMS North Central Region rookie of the year won the night two main event at North Central Speedway’s Mighty Axe Nationals, earning $1,200 and a spot on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invita­tional ballot.

“I finally got a win at the Mighty Axe and it came in a Modified,” said Kendall, who celebrated his 18th birthday a month after the point season ended. That was a pretty big deal for me.”

Now a senior at Brainerd High School, Kendall started racing go-karts at the age of six and worked his way through the hornet, pure stock, street stock and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod ranks. He won five of his 37 Modified starts this season.

“It was time for us to go to a new car and with the crate engine option, we decided to make the jump to a Modified. We had a really good season,” he said. “At the start of the season we set a goal of winning a heat race and maybe finishing in the top five once in a while. There are a lot of good Modified drivers around here and I didn’t know if we’d be able to run with them.”

The track champion at Brainerd, Kendall was runner-up at Princeton Speedway and 16th in re­gional standings.

“The biggest difference for us this year was that Modified drivers don’t make a lot of mistakes. They’re harder to get around,” said Kendall, now looking forward to the start of his prep hockey season. “I went out for a lot of practice days and got in a lot of laps. That helped me become a competitive racer this year.”

“My dad helps with maintenance,” Kendall concluded. “He’s the reason why I’m able to do this.”

Starts: 37

Wins: 5

Additional Top Fives: 17 

HIS CREW: Parents Will and Dianne, sister C.J., Noah Karnsia and Grant Kosobud. 

HIS SPONSORS: Hockey House, Supreme Counters and Lake Country Dental, all of Brainerd.