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  • tombergie01

Second-Year Driver Koehmstedt Gaining Valuable Experience Behind the Wheel

It’s a big week for the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints in the region. The four-night POWRi Nationals will kick off Thursday night at Devils Lake Speedway near Crary, N.D., and will also go to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, Greenbush Race Park and wrap up Sunday at Buffalo River Speedway near Glyndon.

Second-year driver Hayden Koehmstedt of West Fargo is one of those who will be racing four nights of the tour, which attracted cars from Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and Canada last year.

Unlike many drivers who got their racing beginning in go-karts, Koehmstedt jumped right into a lightning sprint in 2022. He and his father had helped fellow driver Jason Berg on his machine, and that sparked the interest in getting a car of his own.

“My dad and I worked on Berg’s car for 4-5 years and we started helping build his cars,” Koehmstedt said. “We’re like might as well get one, we’re always at the track.”

The 19-year-old Koehmstedt, who is a student at North Dakota State University, had a pair of top five finishes in 37 starts a year ago in his rookie campaign, with a best finish of third.

“Basically all learning,” Koehmstedt said of the first year. “We had a different car; (it was) a cheap car we picked up, and we just learned in it.”

This year, Koehmstedt is armed with a new car and new engine. In 13 starts this year, he’s matched his top five total of two.

“We have way more power and it’s completely different out on the track,” Koehmstedt said.

Now, he has set his sights on finding victory lane for the first time.

“We’re trying to go after our first win now,” Koehmstedt said. “We’re getting better every week. We’re working out the kinks on the new car. We’re trying to chase that win now.”

He likes the group that races in the lightning sprints locally.

“Everyone helps everyone here,” Koehmstedt said. “It’s so nice. If you ever need a part or anything, someone’s always here to help.”

He does have a goal for this week’s POWRi Nationals as well.

“The top 24 cars make it to the A main, so we’re hoping to make that A main every night," Koehmstedt said.

Driver profile

Hayden Koehmstedt

POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint #18

Residence: West Fargo, N.D.

Age: 19

Sponsors: Epic Concrete Coatings, Realty Xperts, RB Manufacturing and Sales, Kelly Koehmstedt, Outta Town Garage, Half Past Five Computer and Network Solutions, Jason Berg Racing, Foxtrot Sales, Magnum Contracting, Superior Plumbing

2023 POWRi Nationals

Thursday, Devils Lake Speedway ($1,000 to win, $125 to start A Main)

Friday, River Cities Speedway ($1,000 to win, $125 to start)

Saturday, Greenbush Race Park ($2,000 to win, $125 to start)

Sunday, Buffalo River Speedway ($2,000 to win, $125 to start)

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