In just his second year in the INEX Legends class, Evan Hendrickson is certainly making some waves.
He has seven feature wins this summer, including his first career win at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo in May. He leads the points at two tracks – by 11 over Sean Johnson at RRVS and by two over Collin Compson at Buffalo River Speedway – and finished second in the points at Norman County Raceway in Ada. He has 29 top five finishes in 43 starts.
Like many in the Legends class, Hendrickson is a graduate of the go-karts. That experience, plus more seat time each week, has led to success.
“It’s definitely a factor. The karting, the skills from that, really are shining through,” Hendrickson said of confidence. “Every time I get on the track, I feel a little more comfortable in the car.
“It’s different than football or baseball. Instead of going to practice, you’re working on your car. The more work you put in, the better results you have on the track.”
The 17-year-old from Mapleton, N.D., will be a senior at Central Cass High School this fall. He started his racing career in go-karts when he was eight years old, buying a kart from the Tandeski family. But his initial interest in racing involved a machine with two wheels, not four.
“When I was younger, I was interested in dirt bikes. I wanted to be a dirt bike racer,” Hendrickson said. “We’re four wheels now instead of two.”
In 2022, he made his debut in the INEX Legends class, and had eight top fives in 27 starts in a solid rookie campaign.
This year, he’s become a top runner in the class locally.
“We got a new car -- maintenance is the biggest thing, the hours in the shop and just going over everything,” Hendrickson said of the success. “Nailing setups and (doing) all the normal racing stuff to stay competitive.”
The first breakthrough came on May 26, 2023, at Red River Valley Speedway, when he picked up his first feature win. He started ninth on the 25-car field.
“It felt really, really good,” Hendrickson said. “I think it was long due; last year I had a couple of close calls, some mechanical failures. It felt good to finally get one out of the way.”
That first win was part of seven feature victories for the 67 car. He also got a chance to hop into an IMCA Sport Mod (Alex Tschakert’s 01 machine) at RRVS last Friday; he had a DNF but got his first taste of a new class. He’s undecided about moving to a different class but wanted to give the class a try.
His focus is on finishing the summer strong in the Legends.
“Just keeping the momentum going, I’m happy with how it’s been going so far,” Hendrickson said. “I say as long as I am in tech at the end of the night I can’t complain.”
INEX Legends #67
Residence: Mapleton, N.D.
Sponsors: S, W & L Attorneys, General Equipment, Northern Horizons, Thunder Road, The Bowler