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Racing is a True Bond for Pederson Family


The Pederson racing family, from left: Joey, Kelsi and Tucker

The way Joey Pederson sees it, his children, Kelsi and Tucker, were destined to follow in his footsteps into racing.

“They were in a racing family from the time they were born,” Joey said.

Racing is truly a big deal for the the Pederson family, which is from East Grand Forks. Combined, they have more than 40 years of experience behind the wheel, led by 31 years for Joey, a respected Wissota Late Model driver at the family’s home track, River Cities Speedway. And all three have had success behind the wheel.

Joey, 47, is in his 31st year behind the wheel of a race car. He works as the jail administrator for the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston.

Kelsi, 20, is in her sixth year in the Lightning Sprint class. She is a psychology student at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Tucker, 17, is in his fifth year in the Wissota Street Stocks. He will be a senior at Sacred Heart High School in East Grand Forks this fall.


“It’s been in the family forever,” Tucker said. “It’s really special. It’s definitely a thing that brings us all together each week. It’s what we all bond over.”

All three cars are housed in the same shop in East Grand Forks.

“It’s a family effort for sure,” Joey said. “This has been a lifelong passion for me. For any parent to have your kids share the same passion, it couldn’t get any better for me.”

Joey got his start in the outlaw streets in Hallock more than three decades ago.

“My dad got me going in it,” Joey said. “We took turns that first year, and it was my first year that I ended up getting one win. I was hooked at that point. The thrill of victory, the adrenaline — it was definitely for me.”

Kelsi and Tucker Pederson grew up watching their dad race and both got their starts in the go-karts. Kelsi has more than a dozen feature wins to her credit while Tucker is at 12.

“His success early on, it really motivates us to be the best in our classes,” Kelsi said. “And not only that, but be a role model for everyone around us. Dad’s always been great with trying to help people, and (with) great sportsmanship. All of his help helped us be successful now.”

Joey has four late model track championships at River Cities. He was third in the Wissota National Points in 2001. He has 120 career feature wins.

Both Tucker and Kelsi got their first career wins at their home track of River Cities.

“It was definitely really special, at my home track of River Cities,” Tucker said.

“That really meant a lot, just being at my home track,” Kelsi said. “I’ve always had success there, and I really loved racing there just watching my dad.”

A handful of nights a year, all three cars race on the same night. ON a few occasions, Kelsi and Joey have won on the same night. The big goal is to have all three cars win on the same night.

“It’s a dream to have all three of us win at the same track on the same night,” Joey said. “Never all three of us. We’re still chasing that. It’s a heck of a feat to try to accomplish, but it’s a goal.”

“It would definitely be cool,” Tucker said. “I don’t think the party would ever end.”

“It would be really cool if we could all pull that off,” Kelsi said.

The Pedersons have built many memories in racing over the years — with more to come. But for Joey, after more than three decades behind the wheel, besides the competition, one thing stands out.

“It’s the people,” Joey said. “I’ve developed a lot of great friendships over the years, and cherish them for sure.”

Driver Profiles

Joey Pederson

Wissota Late Model #7P

Age: 47

Sponsors: Shawn Horn Realtor, Amy Dallum Photography, Dahlstrom Motors, Markit County Grain LLC, Northdale Oil, Invision Ag, Channel Seed & Red River Bean Co, ​Northland Sheds, R&R Farms, Ad Monkeys, B&E Meats, Big Jim’s Tires, Olson Underground, Votova Trucking (Don & Darleen), Dynamic Welding & Machine, Northern Valley Fertilizer, Phil Thompson and Associates, Custom Stripes Inc., Lind Electric, Energy Release, Sky-Vu Drive In, Moen Farms, Southline Farms, Marcus Steien Agency - American Family Insurance

Kelsi Pederson

Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint #93

Age: 20

Hometown: East Grand Forks, Minn.

Sponsors: Shawn Horn Realtor, Amy Dallum Photography, Dahlstrom Motors, Northdale Oil, Northland Sheds, Ad Monkeys, Olson Underground, Energy Release, Southline Farms, Marcus Steien Agency - American Family Insurance

Tucker Pederson

Wissota Street Stock #27P

Age: 17

Hometown: East Grand Forks, Minn.

Sponsors: Shawn Horn Realtor, ​Amy Dallum Photography, Dahlstrom Motors, Northdale Oil, Northland Sheds, Ad Monkeys, Olson Underground, Energy Release, Southline Farms, Marcus Steien Agency - American Family Insurance

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