Passing the Torch
There was a significant layoff from racing for Shawn Koranda. In 2018, he made his return behind the wheel after several years away, driving the No. 22 Wissota Street Stock.
The reason for his return? His teenage son, Jack.
“He wants to race,” Shawn Koranda said. “So we’re back in it.”
The Korandas live in Bluffton, Minn., and the No. 22 car races at I-94 Speedway and Viking Speedway on a regular basis. His son, Jack, 14, raced for several years in the go-karts, but had the desire to race the big stock cars.
So on June 22, it was time to pass the torch from father to son.
“He decided it was way more fun going to the big car track, so we sold all the go-kart stuff,” Shawn Koranda said. “The reason we bought this (car) so it was ready to go for him when he was ready to get behind the wheel.”
Shawn Koranda, who is an instructor at M State’s campus in Wadena, started the 2019 season behind the wheel but the plan was to turn the driving duties over to his son.
“I’m really excited, but I’m also pretty nervous,” Jack Koranda said earlier this month “I don’t know how I’m going to feel the day I wake up to (race).”
Shawn Koranda raced in the modifieds for several years at Viking Speedway, and then did some asphalt racing in the late models and modifieds before stepping away. His son’s interest in racing brought him back to the track.
There is quite the family background for Shawn Koranda. His dad, Jim, is a former Sportsman track champion at Viking in the late 1980s, and his uncle, Roy Snyder, is in the track’s Hall of Fame.
It was the advice of Duffy Froemke of Lisbon, N.D., that got Shawn into the street stocks.
“Duffy Froemke — he raced everything. He got a streeter and said it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car. That’s the route I went,” Koranda said. “He’s right. (It’s) a good time, good clean racing.”
This year, Shawn got off to a good start, winning at i-94 on May 17. He also has three runner-up finishes and another third as part of seven top five finishes overall.
“For this chassis, the tires and shocks, that’s key,” Koranda said. “If you don’t have those things right, you’re not as good.”
So while he was also driving, he was also prepping Jack to get ready to take over.
“I’ve been asking a lot of questions. He’s told me a lot of stuff,” Jack Koranda said.
Shawn Koranda is an instructor at M State in Wadena. He also purchased the Race Star Chassis business from Chris Winter and will be building street stocks on the side.
The street stock car has provided a bond between the father and son.
“We get along pretty good,” Jack Koranda said. “I ask him for help with a lot of stuff.”