Kendall Becoming Accustomed to Racing Towards the Front
Billy Kendall is only in his fifth year in an IMCA Modified, but he’s piled up the feature wins already.
The Baxter, Minn., driver, only 21, has 27 victories in that span in his #9 car, including one last Saturday at North Central Speedway in Brainerd. He also won the season opener at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo on June 5.
He’ll be back at Red River Valley Speedway this Friday for the opening night of the Dakota Classic Mod Tour. He plans to race all six nights of the tour, which concludes July 15 at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D.
“My goal is to make a few shows and have some fun,” Kendall said.
His dad is his biggest racing influence. His parents, Will and Diane, own the #9 racing team.
“My dad (Will) got me into it. He’s been around it forever and raced everything — from jet skis to drag cars to asphalt late models,” Kendall said. “He got me into it and it took off from there.”
Kendall started in go-karts and moved into the hornets than the pure stock class. One year, he did double duty driving a street stock and midwest modified.
“It taught me how to drive and how to work on them pretty well,” Kendall said.
Will Kendall and fellow modified driver Erick Thiesse of build the 218 Chassis that Billy is driving in 2020.
“Our last (SSR) car was pretty good, we won 25 races in those. They’re obviously really good. This car is a little different here and there, a little more adjustability so we could get exactly what we needed…just enough with shock package we running nowadays, it helps a lot,” Kendall said.
While North Central is his home track, he’s also raced at several RaceChaser tracks. He has a couple of wins at Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, N.D., over the past few years and has won at RRVS in the past. He’s not chasing points at any track this year.
“(I’m) trying to get some wins. I don’t think we’re going to go for points anywhere,” Kendall said. “I don’t like doing the points deal because you get wrapped up in it. I’ll race where I want to and we’ll have fun with that. I feel like I have more fun when I’m traveling around.”
He’s having a good season in 2020, with two wins and eight top five finishes this season.
He finished fifth at 141 Speedway in Wisconsin at the Clash at the Creek XII in June, finishing behind some big name drivers such as winner Ricky Thornton Jr. and Missouri standout Terry Phillips. He also finished third at the Don Gumke Memorial in Jamestown on June 13. He plans on chasing some more higher-paying events the rest of the season.
“At this point it’s going to be a wherever is a draw, re-draw kind of deal,” Kendall said. “If it’s draw/re-draw or anything that’s a little more to win, we’ll go for that.”
IMCA Modified #9
Hometown: Baxter, Minn.
Sponsors: Fox Shocks, 218 Chassis, Metal Works, Will and Diane Kendall