Love for Racing Keeps Samuelson Going Every Week
There is no place Larry Samuelson of Erhard, Minn., would rather spend his Friday nights than at the racetrack.
In fact, every Friday night at his home track at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls, he’s probably the first car in the pits — by a few hours — and you will find Samuelson parked in the exact same pit spot next to fellow driver Sam Zender — and that is in the shade not far from the staging area.
“The whole atmosphere of a racetrack makes it worth the racing. I could care less if I won or not,” Samuelson said. “I just like racing. If I can load the car at the end of the night, I’m tickled.”
The 55-year-old drives the #11* Limited Late Model at I-94 Sure Step Speedway and also has made an appearance at Viking Speedway in Alexandria. He’s in his second year in the division after spending several years in the Wissota Midwest Modified division.
“It’s a blast,” Samuelson said. “I love it.”
Samuelson, who owns a construction business, not only races at I-94 but also has helped new owner Don Shaw with remodeling projects at the track.
Samuelson was a late starter in his racing career, beginning at age 45.
“I avoided the races because I knew if I’d seen them, I’d be coming back to them and getting a car,” Samuelson said. “I ended up coming to the races, and (I said), ‘I’ve got to do that.’”
While he didn’t win any features in the midwest modified class, he came close. He was third in the points at I-94 in 2017.
“I’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds,” Samuelson said. “I blew it every time. They’re a bunch of good drivers, and always have been.”
He moved into the Limited Late Model class prior to the 2019 season.
“I always wanted to drive one. I figured since I am crossing off stuff down the road I might as well get one,” Samuelson said. “Eventually I’d like to drive a late model. The next year or two I’m going to go up into a late model.”
Samuelson has run well of late at I-94. He has two fourth-place finishes and a fifth in his last three starts at the 3/8-mile oval and is third in the track point standings. Learning about the suspension and setup has been a learning curve for Samuelson.
“The suspension — there’s a lot to them,” Samuelson said. “I’ve had a lot of help though. You try as much as possible and see what works and what doesn’t work.”
He isn’t focused much on results as much as just the atmosphere every week at the track.
“It’s something a lot of people don’t get a chance to do,” Samuelson said. “That in its own should be reward enough.”
Limited Late Model #11*
Residence: Erhard, Minn.
Sponsors: Enderson Cattle Company, Scott’s Machine Shop, Lakeside Lumber, Pelzer Construction, Thompson Livestock