Future starting now with teen drivers at Bemidji Speedway

One of the reasons for bigger numbers at Bemidji Speedway is a renewed passion for racing by the younger generation.

Some of the many teen drivers at Bemidji Speedway in 2021 gather for the pit meeting prior to a race earlier this summer. (Dennis Peterson / Special to the Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Over the years, Bemidji race fans have seen plenty of drivers evolve into legends on the speedway track.

Names like Lancaster, Matzdorf, Caspers and Matthews -- just to name a few -- have earned the respect of fans who have watched them race over the years.

Today, many legendary drivers are still active in racing, but most are involved through a son or daughter.

A resurgence in the interest of racing has taken place at Bemidji Speedway. Just 10 years ago, the track was at a low with 35 to 40 cars in the pits. Those numbers have grown in the past three years, up to an average between 80 and 90 cars each week this summer.

One of the reasons is a renewed passion for racing by the younger generation.


Bemidji Speedway has witnessed the growth of the sport as well as any other track. Over 30 teen drivers compete in the various classes each week, including seven girls between 14 and 16 years old. The interest has never been higher, with more expected to join the ranks in the coming year.

With each new driver comes pit crews and additional supporters showing up at the track. Many want to see a rookie driver compete on the track and cheer them on.

The list of teen drivers taking on the competition at Bemidji Speedway includes: Alex Aderman (18 years old), Justin Barsness (15), Caylyn Binkley (16), Logan Braford (16), Waylon Current (17), Ruby Eggebraaten (15), Hayden Engen (14), Blake Erickson (18), Lilian Farrington (14), Jonathon Feda (16), Ryder Gangl (14), Jack Geschwill (16), Ryan Gierke (17), Cole Greseth (14), Landon Gross (17), Justin Honer, Tyler Kaeter (18), Ellen Lange (14), Joey LaValley (16), Josey LaValley (15), Jase Lien (15), Hunter McDougall (18), Gavyn Moncher (15), Reese Mostad (15), Tate Niehaus (17), Tommy Pogones (16), Brandon Puschinsky (16), Landyn Randt (14), Paul Ripley (18), Logan Sathre (17), Brennan Schmidt (15), Ashton Schwinn (16), Malaki Wilson (17) and Kaylie Winge (17).

Some of these drivers may become the legends of tomorrow at Bemidji Speedway.

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