GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Brodee Eckerdt wrote his name all over the record books in 2020.
The youngest rookie of the year, and the first from North Dakota, crowned in the Big Daddy Race Cars Northern Region for IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Eckerdt didn’t celebrate his 15th birthday until two weeks before the end of the season.
He collected three of his four feature wins on the year at Red River Valley Speedway, becoming both the youngest feature winner and youngest track champion in the storied history of the West Fargo speedplant.
“My main goal this season was to finish races and get in the top five,” said the Red River High School freshman, who discussed chasing rookie of the year and the Junior National Champion awards with his parents before his first family-funded IMCA season. “We decided that the Hobby Stocks were a perfect fit for me because of my age, my driving experience and because I could race weekly within an hour from home.”
Eckerdt had previously raced go-karts, 50 hp sling shots and street stocks. He got his first Hobby Stock win in just his second start, on June 5 at Red River.
“I didn’t think I was going to get my first feature win that soon,” said Eckerdt, who passed veteran Tim Gonska for the lead and eventual checkers. “I didn’t know what to think at first but it was good to be able to get the win.”
Fourth in the points race at Norman County Raceway and 18th in Junior National Champion standings, he won three of his last six starts, wrapping up the season with the Sept. 18 victory at River Cities Speedway.
“We went back to more of what we knew and were pretty good at the end of the season,” Eckerdt said. “We’ll be back in a Hobby Stock and I hope to run for another track championship at Ada or Fargo in 2021.”
Starts-21 Wins-4 Additional Top Fives-7
His Crew: Parents Bob and Denise, Tim Berg and Liam Larson.
His Sponsor: Gateway Cenex of Grand Forks.