Reynolds Aiming for Strong Finish to Summer
Nate Reynolds has only raced four times this season but it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the 33-year-old.
He has two top fives in four starts in his #6R Wissota Midwest Modified, including a feature win but also two DNFs. He was running toward the front on May 26 when another car made contact with him and damaged the #6R, ending his night. After missing some time because of illness, he returned on June 30 at River Cities and won the feature.
“We’ve had an up and down season so far,” Reynolds said. “I had originally planned on running for points at River Cities but I got really sick so we missed two weeks. But our first week back when the World of Outlaw Late Models were in town I won.”
Reynolds, of Manvel, N.D., will be one of the cars competing at the Rebel Midwest Mod Tour tonight at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks.
Reynolds has taken quite a path to a racing career in North Dakota. He’s a native of western New York, and started racing go-karts there when he was six years old.
“We had really good success in go-karts,” Reynolds said.
At age 15, he moved into the street stock class.
“We almost won the championship our first year,” Reynolds said. “Just bad luck.”
He moved into the Northeast Sportsman Modified class, which runs similar motors to the Wissota Midwest Modifieds.
But then things changed. He was unemployed, and a friend was working out in the oil fields in western North Dakota. He flew out and worked in the fields for a while – planning to eventually return to New York – and then following a series of events, ended up working for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, where he currently works. He also met his fiancé, Jennifer Slama, whose brother, Chase is one of his crew men. So in terms of professionally and personally, things worked out to stay in North Dakota.
Meanwhile there was the racing aspect. One night, he went to a race and saw the Wissota Midwest Modified class.
“I came out here to work with no intention of staying here,” Reynolds said. “I went and watched one night, and ‘hey I like that.’ Then I came here and watched, and I said I need to get one. The following week I had one.”
And since 2017 he’s become a top runner in the class. Since 2017 he has 17 feature wins and 86 top five finishes. He has two track championships at Greenbush Race Park and one at Devils Lake. He won a big $2,000 to win event at Greenbush and also won the John Seitz Memorial in 2019.
“it’s been really good to me,” Reynolds said. “I’ve got a decent amount of wins in it, and I take it to Dustin for updates occasionally. It’s been a good car. It’s nice to have good stuff.”
Last season he had one win and 11 starts. It was his first season without his father, Patrick, helping out; Patrick died in Dec. 2021 at the age of 66.
“Dad and Mom were really huge,” Reynolds said of their influence on racing. “After my dad passed away, I wasn’t feeling it, I didn’t want to race.”
This year, he set his sights on winning the points title at River Cities Speedway – but missing time because of illness has left him far down in the standings.
“I would like to get one here,” Reynolds said. “We’ve always been close, we haven’t had the good luck.”
This Friday, he will likely face a stout field of Wissota Midwest Modifieds as the Rebel Tour comes to town. While that in itself will provide competition, Reynolds also pushes himself to do well.
“I’m really competitive,” Reynolds said. “If I don’t do good, I am really hard on myself.”
Wissota Midwest Modified #6R
Residence: Manvel, N.D.
Sponsors: Brent’s Pit Stop, Walhalla Building Center, Helm Enterprises, Johnson Sugar Beets and Grain, Dahlstrom Motors, Miller Motivations, Einarson Contracting, Haugland Farms/Haugland Trucking, Miller Farms, JTN Trucking, Back in Motion Chiropractic, Silverado Trucking, Millenium SRT Chassis/SRT Specialities, C&N Tranmissions, Paul Czapiewski
Reynolds wants to especially thank his fiancé Jennifer Slama, his kids, his mom, and his pit crew Chase and Lenny.