Skytland Has Racing Highlights On and Off the Track
In a racing career that has spanned 17 years and piled up several meaningful victories, it was an 11-hour trip with his now 9-year-old son in 2018 that Cody Skytland that ranks among the biggest highlights.
Skytland raced down in Kansas in March 2018 and brought his then eight-year-old Cade along.
“Just him and I road-tripped together. Eleven hours in the pickup for Kansas, the 8-year-old joke book gets a little dry,” joked Skytland from the pit area at I-94 Speedway earlier this summer. “It was great. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was the most fun I’ve had in racing in years. That trip with my kid to Kansas was the highlight of my racing career.”
There have been plenty of highlights on the track for the 34-year-old resident of Horace, who currently pilots the #75 modified owned by Bryan Kakela of Langdon, N.D.. Skytland won the John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational in 2010 and is 2-time NLRA Late Model series winner (2006 and 2009). He had four NLRA late model feature wins.
He also had 15 wins at I-94 Speedway from 2011-16, the most of any modified driver at the 3/8-mile dirt oval. He was track champion in 2013 and has won two Advantage RV Mod Tour stops at Fergus.
The past couple of years, however, his racing schedule has been reduced because of family and work commitments. He and his wife Katie have three children, ages nine, three and one. He is also the GM of Petro Lube and operations manager of the that property in Fargo.
“I’ve obviously scaled back a lot. I used to race pretty serious; and I still try to, I just don’t have the time anymore,” Skytland said.
This year, he’s raced only five times at I-94 and finished sixth at the Advantage RV Modified Tour stop at the track on May 31. Rainouts and a blown motor have limited his racing at the track this season.
Skytland’s last name is well known in the northern Red River Valley. Cody’s grandfather raced 50s and 60s, and his father Dale Skytland drove the #75 late model for many years at tracks like River Cities, Greenbush, and Devils Lake. The father-son tandem ran late models together on the NLRA tour from 2004-07.
“Dad was a big influence,” Cody said. “It was a normal father-son deal. He obviously gave me the best stuff and took the hand me downs. I got the new tires, he got the used tires; I got the new shocks, he got the used ones. I can’t thank him enough for that — that was a big help in my career.”
Dale retired in 2007. Cody’s driven a modified for well known names in the Red River Valley such as Mitch Johnson, Dell Arneson, Jay McDonald and Jake Bitker. Now, he drives the #75 owned by Kakela.
“He’s become one of my best friends,” Skytland said. “Without him, I would not be racing.”
So even though he’s cut back on his racing, the love of the sport is still there.
“The people keep you in it,” Skytland said. “I’ve met a lot of people over 17 years. There’s nothing like the racing community.”
Wissota Modified #75
Residence: Horace, N.D.
Sponsors: Langdon Implement, D and B Motors, Popeye’s, Charlie’s, Forest Flying, Kakela Farms, CHS