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Pender Tackling Challenge of Competitive Wissota Street Stocks at I-94

Kevin Pender is in his fourth year piloting a Wissota Street Stock at I-94 EMR Speedway, and he’s seen the caliber of competition in the class first-hand.

“A lot of these guys here are very good as well. It’s hard to get a win here,” Pender said. “It’s definitely a competitive group.”

The 31-year-old from Barnesville is aiming for top 10 finishes this season; in three starts he has one.

Like some in racing, his start in the sport came because of racing in enduros.

“I started racing enduro cars years ago, and I started to get into this class,” Pender said.

In his rookie season of 2020, he had a respectable season with one top five and six top 10s. His best feature finish was fifth.

“The first year, I didn’t do anything to the car, just tried to learn how to drive it,” Pender said. “Every year a guy just tries to learn more and get some tips and tricks.”

In 2021, he finished sixth in the feature three times. In 2022, he scored his first top three finish – third – on July 29.

“Everybody has a different feel for what they like,” Pender said. “You have to try and figure out what works for you. It’s just learning every week.”

Even with the career-best third-place finish, the 2022 campaign was bumpy. He had five DNFs as he battled transmission issues and a tangle with the wall.

“Last year was a rough year,” Pender said.

Pender is the owner of Mutt Chassis and has built his own street stocks.

“Someone had it for sale, my specialty is welding and fabricating, so I bought it and built my own and built a couple of other ones,” Pender said.

He is adapting to a new car this season and is optimistic about its prospects. He would like to finish in the top 10 in points at I-94.

“This is a new car, a new build,” Pender said. “I learned a lot last year. My goal is to at least be in the top 10 here in Fergus at the end. I’d like to consistently finish in the top 10; I’m shooting for some top fives.”

His son helps him with the car, and his wife also enjoys watching each week.

“It’s a family event,” Pender said.

As he is continuing to learn in the street stocks, he is enjoying himself along the way.

“It takes a lot of time and money,” Pender said, “but it’s just so much fun.”

Driver Profile

Kevin Pender

Age: 31

Wissota Street Stock #12

Residence: Barnesville, Minn.

Sponsors: Mutt Chassis, Pender Farms, Brummer Performance

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