Todd Heinrich of Fargo was helping friend Rick Schulz with his IMCA Stock Car when the racing bug bit again in 2018.
Heinrich had not driven a race car since 2006, but the IMCA Stock Cars were alluring.
“I really like the stock cars,” Heinrich said. “When Rick got one of those and I was helping him out, I thought they were really cool cars. I kinda got the itch again to get back in it. I’ve been having a lot of fun with these cars.”
Fast forward to 2022, and Heinrich is in his fifth year in the highly competitive IMCA Stock Car class, and is coming off of a big win at the King Pin Klash at Red River Valley Speedway on Friday. He has five top five finishes in seven starts.
“Our season so far has been good,” Heinrich said. “It got a bit of a late start due to the weather but so far the car has been good and we haven’t wrecked anything. Friday’s win of the King Pin Klash has been the highlight of the season by far.”
Heinrich’s racing career started in 1992 in the Bomber division.
“Jamestown and Lisbon, that’s how I got started racing bombers,” Heinrich said.
He raced in the bombers, Wissota Street Stocks and Wissota Super Stocks from 1992 to 2006. In 2006, Heinrich stepped away from driving to focus on his children, who were involved in sports and activities.
Then, after more than a decade away, while helping Schulz, the racing itch returned, and Heinrich, who is a platform manager for CNH Industrial, hopped into the IMCA Stock Car class.
The IMCA Stock Cars have become a popular class locally, in large part because of the parity in the class, and the 2-3 wide racing that often takes place.
“They are really competitive,” Heinrich said. “If you make a little mistake, someone is going by you. It’s side-by-side racing, and good clean racing. There’s a lot of really good drivers.”
He won the 2020 IMCA Stock Car track championship at Red River Valley Speedway, and the 2021 championship at Norman County Raceway. Those were the first track championships of his career.
“I’ve been really fortunate that way,” Heinrich said. “It was kind of cool that I got one here in West Fargo because all of the years I raced here and ended up second quite a few years and never quite got there. So that was fun.”
Heinrich and Schulz are teammates, working out of the same shop.
“We get along really good, and we bounce things off of each other,” Heinrich said. “We supplement each other. We work on everything in his shop, and I have a lot of the tools we use. It’s a team.”
His goal is to remain competitive in the stock car class, where as many as a dozen drivers are capable of winning the feature.
“I just want to have fun,” Heinrich said. “I want to be competitive. Last year I struggled a little bit in West Fargo. This car was new and we made some changes to it. I just want to feel like I’m competitive.”
IMCA Stock Car #38
Residence: Fargo, N.D.
Sponsors: Sanders Metal Products, Mathern Cattle Company, Fargo Brewing, Bernath Recycling, Desserts by Mac, Thomas Transport, Schulz Engine and Machine, Pro Landscapers