Edmonds Gets Later Start on Racing Career, but Enjoying It
Many racers get their get their starts in their teens, 20s or even 30s. Not many start in their 40s or even 50s.
Chris Edmonds of Larimore is truly an exception. He started his racing career in 2021 at age 55 -- at an age when some drivers retire.
“I started late in life,” Edmonds said with a smile.
Edmonds hopped behind the wheel of a Wissota Midwest Modified in 2021. He had interest in racing as a child years ago, watching his neighbors, but it never worked out financially to put a car together.
Prior to the 2021 season, he jumped at the chance to get behind the wheel for the first time.
“It was always fun, but we never had the means to put a car together,” Edmonds said. “I always thought if I ever had a chance to do it, I would do it. We were empty nesters; one day we came out to the races...and I’m like, you know what, I think I can do this.”
If you are wondering why Edmonds took so long to get behind the wheel, there are a few reasons. One, he joined the Air Force at age 20, and served 24 years before retiring. He used to be a boom operator and did in-flight refueling.
He was stationed at the Grand Forks base, and when he retired from the Air Force, got a civilian job at General Atomics on the base.
Once his daughter graduated from college, Edmonds felt the time was right to hop behind the wheel. He began talking to others about putting up a car. Fellow drivers Dustin Strand, Aaron Blacklance and Scott Bintz have helped Edmonds the past two years.
Last year, in 39 starts, he had four top fives in his first year behind the wheel.
“You’ve got to get hooked up with the right people,” Edmonds said. “They’ll get you going in the right direction. They are not going to do everything for you. I owe a lot of my luck this year to them.”
Blacklance in particular has been a racing mentor of sorts. This season, Edmonds picked up his first career win at Greenbush on May 28 and has six top five finishes in 27 starts. He said it’s been a season of “peaks and valleys.”
“Aaron has been helping me out and kinda showing me the way,” Edmonds said. “We’re getting better and better. it’s way harder than everybody tells you. It’s a lot of time and definitely an effort sport. You can’t just jump in them and go. We put a lot of time and effort turning wrenches.”
He did savor his first career feature win on May 28 at Greenbush Race Park.
“That was the best thing ever,” Edmonds said “I’ve won some things before, but something like that, it was an accomplishment; you know I did it I finally did it.”
The 2022 season is in its homestretch, and Edmonds is about to wrap up Year 2 behind the wheel. His thoughts on racing?
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Edmonds said.
Wissota Midwest Modified #15C
Residence: Larimore, N.D.
Sponsors: Fast Graphix, RHR Swag, Tim’s Automotive, Lancer Fabrication, Strand Racing, Dietzler Electric, Racers Motorsports Consignment