DANUBE, Minn. – Brandon Beckendorf starts every season with the goal of winning 15 IMCA Modified features.
He accomplished that and much, much more in 2018.
From Danube, Beckendorf collected a career-best 27 checkers – including his career 100th in the division on May 25 at Fairmont Raceway – on the way to becoming the first Minnesota driver to win an IMCA Modified regional title since 1983.
Along with the Side Biter Chassis North Central Region title, Beckendorf motored to track championships at Fairmont, Arlington Raceway and Redwood Speedway, as well as a career fifth Minnesota State crown.
He was third in the national point standings and is now tied for 30th on the all-time list for the division with 124 career feature wins. Beckendorf also made his first Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational start at this year’s IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.
“This was the best season we’ve ever had. To be the first Minnesota driver to win the region in that many years and to win three track championships were both pretty cool,” he said. “My goal every year is to get 15 wins and we had 10 in the first month and a half. We didn’t plan to run for the region. We stayed close to home and raced weekly at our local tracks.”
Thirteen of Beckendorf’s wins came at Arlington, six at Fairmont and four at Redwood. He had single victories at Clay County Fair Speedway, Kossuth County Speedway’s Harken Memorial, Murray County Speedway and on opening night of Park Jefferson Speedway’s Iron Cup special.
“We had a lot of top five finishes (42) and finished every feature we started except for two. Our team is keen on maintenance. There isn’t any secret to it,” he said. “One of the other things that was neat was that we won at Spencer and Jefferson and had never been to either track before.”
Beckendorf got in a go-kart at the age of five and then jumped in a Modified at 16. He got his first win in the sanctioned division in 2008 and has averaged better than 10 wins each season since. His previous season best total was 14 in 2016.
“We tried getting to 100 wins last year and came up a little short. Being able to do it this year with all my family, friends and sponsors there was pretty special,” he said. “I’m just grateful to everyone who has helped me since I started racing. My son August gives me the most motivation to keep doing it and be successful.”
Wins-27 Top Five Finishes-42 Starts-47
HIS CREW: Parents Bryan and Nancy, wife Elizabeth and Kris Zuhlsdorf.
HIS SPONSORS: Danube Auto Works and Creative Details, both of Danube; Palmer Farms and Remax Realty Plus, both of Redwood Falls; Greeley Trucking of Welcome; Carlson’s Collision of Hector; Chiglo Law of Houston; B & Z Farms of Renville; VP Racing Fuels; Shryock Racing Components of Fertile, Iowa; CPD Shocks of Fort Dodge, Iowa; Real Racing Wheels of Independence, Iowa; Strange Oval of Morton Grove, Ill.; Wehrs Machine and Racing Products of Bangor, Wis.; Adirondack Foot Clinic of Buffalo, N.Y.; and TCC Cars of Denham Springs, La.