Andrew Jochim was one of those sons who followed his dad’s racing career everywhere. His dad, Greg, not only raced stock cars but also competed in demolition derbies across North Dakota.
On Nov. 1, 2005, when Andrew was 11 years old — the Jochim family was hit with sudden tragic news: Greg, 29, was killed in a car crash near Linton, N.D. He left behind five children, including his oldest, Andrew.
It took a while for Andrew Jochim to return to the racetrack where he had spent so much time with his father — and understandably so.
“I hid for quite a while,” Andrew Jochim said. “I went everywhere with him. He raced and ran (demolition) derbies…I didn’t want anything to do with it. I just had to step away, there were too many memories.”
Fast forward a few years — Andrew’s future father-in-law was driving a Legends car, and soon, he the racing bug returned.
“Her dad raced legends, and I followed him around,” said Jochim, who lives in Glyndon and runs a home remodeling/repair business. “I started to get the itch back and couldn’t stay out.”
In 2014, he hopped behind the wheel of a INEX Legends Car and continues in the class to this day. He is off to a blazing start in 2019 in his No. 21 machine — in four starts this year, he has three wins and a runner-up finish.
Andrew hasn’t forgotten his father’s influence on his racing. On the 21 machine he currently pilots there is a sticker on the side of his #21 machine in honor of Greg Jochim’s memory.
He has found a home in the Legends division. He has already raced at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, Dacotah Speedway in Mandan and Southwest Speedway in Dickinson, and has plans to race Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon, Tri-County Speedway in Wishek and Jamestown Speedway this summer. He is pursuing the INEX Pro Legends National Points crown.
“We’re chasing national points,” Jochim said. “We’ll do a lot of traveling.”
This year, he has two wins at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan and a win at Southwest Speedway in Dickinson. Last Friday at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, Jochim lost a thrilling race on the final lap to Detroit Lakes driver Tye Wilke.
Jochim’s on the track success started in the offseason, when he took the car back to his hometown of Wishek and started over in terms of setup.
“As soon as I jumped into this car…it’s more or less confidence in the car,” Jochim said.
Jochim may have the chance to pass along his love for racing to his own children himself — he and his wife, Ashley, welcomed their son, Hayden, to the world on May 13. It's likely Hayden will make trips to the track once he is old enough.
It's clear Andrew Jochim has found a home in the Legends division.
“The thing I like most about them — it’s more of a driver-oriented class,” Jochim said. “You really have to be on your toes. You have to be a good driver to run these cars and be competitive.”
INEX Legends #21
Residence: Glyndon, Minn.
Sponsors: Barnesville Homes Inc., Raile Farms, Craig Companies, Outlaw Construction, Microtel, Curt’s Dairy Cattle, Jerret’s Plumbing, Randall’s Excavating, Denise’s Daycare, Dakota Performance Legends, Central Arts Wraps, Stevenator Photography