Three wins, consistency drive Braaksma to Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour crown

Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights IMCA Modified Tour Champion Ethan Braaksma. (Photo by Jim Steffens)

NEWTON, Iowa – Ethan Braaksma started his season with the simple goal of consistent finishes wherever and whenever he raced. 

Consistent trips to victory lane made him champion of the Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour for IMCA Modifieds.

The 19-year-old from Newton, Iowa, won three times, at Park Jefferson Speedway, Buena Vista Raceway and Fairmont Raceway and finished in the top five in another three starts in becoming the 11th different champion in as many years as the series has been held.

“We had a car built a week before the tour started and got three nights on it,” said Braaksma, who drove a Corey Dripps-owned 2020 Rage Chassis. “The car was just lights out when I got it and we picked up the win in our fourth night, in the opener at Park Jefferson. It was definitely a car to contend with when we showed up at the track.” 

“The win at Buena Vista Raceway (two nights later) was pretty sweet,” he continued. “We’d finished deep in the field there just the week before, came back for the tour, started seventh and checked out.”

Top five finishes came at Hancock County Speedway, Clay County Fair Speedway and Kossuth County Speedway. Braaksma wrapped up the tour title when he took the green flag in the finale, when Benton County Speedway hosted the 100th Dirt Knights event on Aug. 30.

Braaksma ventured to Texas for five early-season outings, then logged another 50 starts after tracks in the Midwest opened in the spring. In all, he traveled to 22 tracks in half a dozen states, winning seven features.

“Going into the season, we just wanted to be consistent. That was our big goal, because this is only our second season in a Modified,” said Braaksma, who moved up from a Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod. “It doesn’t matter where you go around here, there are always three or four or more guys who can win any night. The experience level and skill the Modified drivers have is top notch. You can’t cherry pick.” 

Starts-7 Wins-3 Additional Top Fives-3

His Crew: Father Marty and Drew Janssen.

His Sponsors: Multi-Packaging and Printing, Bruce and Jane Keith and Antle Farms, all of Newton; Kellogg Lawn and Snow of Kellogg; Corey Dripps Racing of Reinbeck; Bob Harris Enterprises of Ames; Performance Bodies and Grasshopper Lawn Mowers, both of Cedar Falls; Fast Shafts of Des Moines; Motorsports Warehouse of Boone; Peak Decals of Nevada; Rookie’s Rockin’ Sports Bar of Clear Lake; Wehr’s Machine and Racing Products of Bangor, Wis.; Quick Car Racing Products of Lebanon, Tenn.; Eibach Springs of Corona, Calif.; Extreme Enterprises of Cecil, Wis.; Multi Fire Wires by Money of Penokee, Kan.; Paulson Rock Products and Stussy Construction, both of Mantorville, Minn.; and Bulldog Rear Ends of Lancaster, Pa.