Keaten Froemke of Glyndon had raced go-karts, and was ready to give baseball a try as a teenager.
He soon found he missing being on the racetrack.
“I didn’t really like baseball as much as go-karting,” Froemke said. “Racing, once it’s in your blood, it stays there.”
So in 2020, the 15-year-old Froemke got back behind the wheel — this time of an IMCA Stock Car. He drives the #88K machine weekly at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo. It’s been a season of learning for Froemke, who scored his first career top five on July 24 at RRVS by taking fourth.
“My season has been good, we’ve had a few ups and downs,” Froemke said. “We’re still trying to figure out the car likes and how to be faster. But it’s been a pretty good rookie season.”
Froemke will be a sophomore at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School this fall. His dad, Dominic, was a street stock racer at Red River Valley Speedway years ago.
“My dad used to race street stocks here,” Froemke said from the pit area at RRVS in July. “He got me a go-kart and I stuck with it.”
There's been plenty of on-the-track training in Froemke's first year. The stock cars themselves present a challenge to drive and set up as well.
“The hardest thing to learn would probably driving with my foot,” Froemke said. “It’s hard if you’re on a slick track and you hear the cars behind you, you just want to floor it but if you do that your not gonna be going anywhere. Like my dad always says to me, sometimes slow is fast.”
During the Dakota Classic Mod Tour stop at Red River Valley Speedway, Froemke was not in a transfer position on the final lap of his heat race. However, as the white flag flew, several cars, including the leaders, pulled off the track thinking it was the checkered flag. Mike Anderson of Walcott and Froemke drove back on the track, and crossed the finish line first and second to make the feature.
“That was kinda cool,” Froemke said.
The primary objective for Froemke at the Dakota Tour race was making the feature in the field of 43 cars, and he did that, albeit in bizarre circumstances. He finished a solid 11th in the stout field of 24 cars
“That was the main goal. I’m a rookie driver; we’re trying to figure out how to get the car set up and get faster,” Froemke said.
It’s been a big learning curve for Froemke in a fast-growing class locally. The competition is stout every week at RRVS, which includes veteran drivers like Rob VanMil, Rick Schulz, Travis Robertson, Todd Heinrich and Brennan Borg.
“We’ve got a bunch of good guys around here,” Froemke said. “It’s a really competitive class, for sure.”
His aim each night is for improvement.
“That’s the goal is to get better every night,” Froemke said. “We’re obviously looking for a first place finish one of these nights.”
IMCA Stock Car #88
Residence: Glyndon, Minn.
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