Blacklance Embraces Challenge of Frequent Travel
Aaron Blacklance’s 2019 racing season has taken to him 13 different tracks in four different states. The Thief River Falls driver has piled up the miles this season — and he doesn’t complain about it one bit.
In fact, aside from some long trips and late nights, Blacklance sees a clear benefit to racing at different places.
“You see how different facilities run, different track surfaces, different shapes, the way they are banked, how they prep the track — everything about it makes you a better driver,” Blacklance said. “If there’s things I can pick up while traveling, see things other guys are doing, that’s going to make me faster at my home tracks.”
The 26-year-old veteran — in his 10th season of racing — pilots the #5BA Wissota Midwest Modified at Norman County Raceway in Ada and at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. He started his season in Humboldt, Kan., and has raced everywhere from Ogilvie, Minn., to Wishek, N.D., to Madison, Minn., to Lisbon, N.D., where this interview was conducted in June.
“We’re going to travel as much as we can and race as much as we can,” Blacklance said from the pit area in Lisbon. “The sun was shining, and we didn’t have anything better to do, so why not go to a racetrack?”
A third-generation driver, Blacklance started in go-karts before moving into street stocks at age 15. His dad, Terry, piloted the famous station wagon street stock for several years.
“It’s been in my blood ever since,” he said.
Blacklance has 46 career feature wins and has a track championship at Norman County Raceway. He won the John Seitz Memorial in 2018 — winning a stout $1,292, and has won the Duane Nelson Memorial and Paul Bunyan Stampede in the past.
He started out in the street stock class 10 years ago and is in his fifth year in the Wissota Midwest Modified division. NCR has turned into one of his favorite tracks, one that he considers his “home track”; he wanted the chance to run a bigger track than the smaller bullrings he was used to.
“”I wanted to challenge myself, so I tried the 3/8-mile track,” Blacklance said. “I sucked to be honest with you. But we were able to learn, and that’s how you get better as a driver. Eventually I’ve picked it up and we’ve done better.”
He described 2019 as “up and down.” At one point he had a streak of seven straight top five finishes and overall, has 16 top five finishes. Blacklance has a feature win at Bemidji Speedway on June 30. On the flip side, he also has six DNFs and two DNS nights. He is eighth in Wissota national points in the midwest modifieds.
“If we keep the car in one piece, we’ve got a pretty fast car,” Blacklance said.
Blacklance recently debuted a new SSR Chassis, which has been an adjustment from the Millenium chassis he’s raced for several years.
The challenge of racing is what keeps Blacklance’s racing fire burning.
“For me, it’s doing a lot of the things myself, and knowing I can study, I can read up on what is supposed to make the car better, and apply it to different racetracks and actually see better results,” he said. “I’ve never been a guy that’s able to afford dropping off a chassis at somebody else’s shop and having them go through it. I have to pick and choose when I put new parts on the car compared to one that is maybe a little worn out.. I have to pick and choose on tires. Knowing I can do all that stuff myself, and be competitive and pick up some wins here and there, that’s the most thrilling part.”
Wissota Midwest Modified #5BA
Residence: Thief River Falls, Minn.
Sponsors: Lancer Fabrication, Fast Graphix, Northern Acres, Pennington Fast Lube, Les’s Sanitation, Brian Steernerson Photography, Fastenal