been known to take in a feature or two as a driver while traveling on assignment. Every time that Frederickson races, it’s a different situation.
“I’ve raced in a lot of divisions in this area [Southern New Hampshire] and most of the guys around here knew me when I was racing at Hudson in the early 1980’s,” said Fredrickson. “They know me as a racer who happened to get a job at a magazine. If I go out to the Midwest, then I’m a magazine guy. I have experience racing cars that I’m not familiar with at tracks that I’ve never seen. That’s where I get the attitude of starting last, figuring the car out and then you pass cars if you can. You can start up front and try to hang on for as long as you can, but I’ve seen that not work so many times. It’s just better to sneak up on it when it works.”
When Fredrickson made his TVMRS debut last summer at Lee, he jumped in with both feet. The first time that he ever hit the track with the tour was not practice, but lap one of his heat race.
“We planned to get there earlier,” said Fredrickson. “But the protocol between a Street Stock and a Modified were very different. We thought that we were ready. The pits were jammed, we got in late and had all of the excuses in the world, so we missed both warm-ups.”
FREDRICKSON BALANCES MOD RACING WITH AN INTERESTING DAY JOB by Mike Twist
Speedway Illustrated Racing Editor Gets Real World Experience on Weekends
Not very many Modified drivers are able to make racing their full-time jobs in this day and age. There are a number of guys who fans see competing on the weekends who do something very different from 9-5 on weekdays and those jobs can vary greatly.
Ted Christopher has business rebuilding heavy equipment and truck transmissions, Doug Coby has a white collar job as a corporate trainer, Tom Bolles sells Dodges at the family car dealership, Renee Dupuis travels the country to conduct advanced driving seminars and Tyler Haydt works in the commodity trading field in New York City.
True Value Modified Racing Series competitor Karl Fredrickson has an occupation for which he is probably better known at than driving a racecar. Fredrickson is the Racing Editor for Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated magazine, which Speed51.com fans voted as the Best Racing Publication of 2005-2006. He writes about everything from IMCA Modifieds to NASCAR Nextel Cup cars and once a month, race fans across the country get to find his work in their mailboxes.
But before he was a race writer, Fredrickson was a race driver. He moved up through the ranks at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway, Star Speedway and Hudson Speedway. Frederickson now drives part-time in TVMRS competition.
Those dual roles can lead to some interesting situations. Before being interviewed for this story, Fredrickson was shown a tape recorder and was jokingly asked if he knew what it was.
“Yes, I do,” laughed Fredrickson. “I have one of those.”
That tape recorder sometimes even allows Fredrickson to get the opportunity to race cars in other parts of the country. He’s
A few familar touring names raced SKs at Stafford this past season. (51 Photos)
It didn’t take Fredrickson long to realize though that he found a home with the rapidly growing Modified Series.
“We have a great time,” said Fredrickson. “The True Value Modified Racing Series is an extremely well-run series. They are absolute professionals. They come by and tell you what’s going on, where you need to be and when it’s time to get ready. They don’t just tell you when it’s time to race. You don’t have to guess at it. I’m really thrilled with participating in the series. It’s really exciting.”
Frederickson isn’t looking to take the series by storm. He’s very respectful of the level of competition in TVMRS.
Karl Fredrickson (51 Photos)
He may have rubbed plenty of shoulders with Cup drivers, but Fredrickson is still impressed to race against some of the veterans in TVMRS who he has looked up to for years.
“We’re very aware of how talented the guys out here are,” said Fredrickson. “They’ve been racing for several years and know what they are doing. These are guys who I’ve written stories about. It’s a privilege to race against them. Our first goal is to earn respect by being good competitors and then to be competitive. We’ll take it step by step. I’m aware of how long Rusty Ball has been racing. I admire everyone in the field and have a realistic outlook on our performance. We’ll work hard and we’ll get it, but we know the competition level is so high that it will take awhile.
Most working guys have to beg and scheme to get time off to race, but Fredrickson’s biggest fan might actually be his boss.
“It’s really a privilege for me to get to race,” said Fredrickson. “The job that I have is a privilege too. If I crash my car on Saturday and Dick Berggren finds out about it, he’s mad if I’m in the office on Monday morning. He wants me to do what I need to do to race.”
In fact, Berggren is a record-holding driver at one of the tracks that the TVMRS visits. He holds the track record on dirt at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The track was paved in 1987, so that record will likely stand infinitely.
“Unless they tear it up and turn it back to dirt again,” said Fredrickson.
Fredrickson can’t help to notice a few more things at the track than your typical competitor. He’s seen firsthand what leads to a successful show in racing and feels that the TVMRS has all of the ingredients to be a winning tour for the future.
“I get to go to a lot of racetracks and I get to see a lot of good ideas and not-so-good ideas,” said
The #41 in the pits at Lee.
Fredrickson. “I go to well run racetracks and some poorly run racetracks. There are some common denominators between the good tracks and you try to pay attention to that. Hopefully, promoters pick up the good ones. It’s all about having a good tight show, keeping the fans entertained and having a low general admission price. Those are the things that fill the grandstands. They have that in this series and I’m glad to be a part of it.”