Carlsrud Right at Home at a Racetrack
When he was a young kid, Brody Carlsrud’s dad, Cory, brought him to the races at Buffalo River Race Park. It was also there that he discovered his favorite driver — Tyler Hall.
What an impact that trip proved to have.
“My dad took me out to the racetrack one night at Buffalo River Race Park, and I wanted to start going every week,” Brody Carlsrud said. “That’s how I picked my favorite driver, Tyler Hall. He got me into racing, too. Mostly my dad because he took me out every weekend and I couldn’t thank him enough for that.”
Years later, the 17-year-old — who will be a junior at Moorhead High School this fall — has established himself as one of the top competitors in the INEX Legends class at local tracks. He’s in his fourth year in the Legend class driving the #B1 machine.
On the track, he has three feature wins, including one earlier this season at Sheyenne Speedway, and track championships at Sheyenne and Norman County Raceway. This season, he’s been a model of consistency, with one win and 14 top fives in 17 starts this season.
“I keep building more confidence every time I’m hitting the track and keep building up more speed,” Carlsrud said. “I look back on videos — my mom videotapes — and learn from that and what I can do better next time. There’s always more room for improvement.”
Hall, by the way, remains his favorite driver (he drives the #60 IMCA Modified) and now is one of Brody’s good friends.
“That friendship has been very close since Day 1,” Carlsrud said.
“At a young age his mom and dad reached out to me to surprise him for a birthday party and I gave him my race helmet from the previous year,” Hall said. “He was amazed and it really makes a small town kid feel special when someone as great as him looks up to you. I later went on to win the A main at Buffalo River for Brody’s birthday. It was one of the most memorable days in racing I’ve had. I love the kid like a brother and am thankful everyday that I am his ‘No. 1 driver.’”
Brody’s life off the track hasn’t been without challenges. He has autism, diagnosed at age four. That has led to some tough times in school — struggles with getting homework done, plus dealing with bullying. As he has gotten older and moved into high school, things have gotten better in those areas.
“I was bullied a lot in school, and I had a hard time in school getting assignments done,” Carlsrud said. “A lot of kids bullied me in elementary school, and middle school too. High school it’s definitely getting better. I had a pretty good year this year.”
“He has been bullied at school. It hasn’t always been easy,” said his dad, Cory. “Middle school was tough. He likes school more and more each year. High school has been pretty good so far.”
Making friends at school wasn’t easy either. Brody said he didn’t make a lot of friends in school because he was shy and didn’t talk to others. Being at the racetrack, however, has provided opportunities socially to build friendships — like the one he’s developed with Hall.
“The racing community is the best,” Carlsrud said. “I’m glad I made this decision to come into racing. I’m made way more friends than what I had in school in the racing community.”
Being autistic doesn’t define who Brody is on or off the track.
“Brody has met many great friends,” said his mother, Amanda. “He is accepted for who he is and respected.”
Racing is a big part of the Carlsrud family. Brody usually races the #B1 car 3-4 nights per week — at Norman County Raceway, Red River Valley Speedway, Jamestown Speedway and Sheyenne Speedway. Brody has also raced at Dickinson and Wishek this season.
“We take a lot of trips as a family for Brody to race,” Cory said. “We all help out in some way. It has brought our family close together and we have made some awesome memories. We have made lifelong family friends along the way.”
This season, he’s in the top four in points at four different tracks. Seat time has proved valuable for Carlsrud and played a role in his progression into a consistent top five car.
“You have to play with your feet more than anything — the brake and gas — you have to keep building up your momentum in the corner with these or you aren’t going to get the drive you want,” Carlsrud said. “That’s why a lot of people say it’s tough, the steering isn’t the easiest thing in the world . Jesse Skalicky told me one time ‘if you can drive a legend, you can drive pretty much anything after that.’ I learned from that.”
His goal this year to continue to be consistent — and add to his win total.
“Try to get as many wins as we possibly can,” Carlsrud said. “Keep building up more confidence and keep being consistent every week, getting top fives.”
INEX Legend Car #B1
Residence: Fargo, N.D.
Sponsors: Sanders Metal Products, Urgent Med, Grandpa and Grandma Heitman, Randall’s Excavating, Norman County Fair, Wes’s Truck Repair, Hall’s Auto Body, Sleep Wellness Center, Olson Portable Toilets, Clark’s Excavating, Corey’s Car Care Center, Northern Plains Mechanical, Larson Farms.