Strand Finds Late Model Class to His Liking
He’s only in his second year in the Wissota Late Model class, and it’s clear Jason Strand is hooked.
“I love it,” said the farmer from Portland, N.D. “It’s fun to drive. I like the horsepower, I like the big tires. It’s just a fun car to drive.”
Strand’s racing career has spanned two decades, but he didn’t make the move to the late models until 2021. Strand picked up his first late model feature win on June 16 at Norman County Raceway in Ada.
“That was a good monkey to get off my back,” Strand said. “Last year we were close a few times. Everybody you race against in the late models is so good. There’s so many guys that can win every night, it’s so competitive.”
The 40-year-old Strand has raced a bit of everything in his career — street stocks, super stocks, B modified, A modified and now the late models. And that was after he started in motocross in 2001 before moving to dirt oval racing; he got his start in the street stocks.
“I made six or seven shows, and the next year I got into one of Terry Dale’s super stocks,” Strand said.
In recent years Strand has bounced between the B mods and A mod divisions. He did win the Golden Hammer challenge in the B mod at Devils Lake in 2020.
Prior to the 2021 season, he bought a Millennium Chassis from East Grand Forks driver Dustin Strand. Strand had a good rookie season in the class with six top five finishes, including a runner-up finish on July 9.
One thing Strand has not done in his career is chase points titles, in part because farming keeps him busy.
“Farming messes up with the points. I try not to ever do points because it kinda takes the fun out of it,” Strand said. “I’ve been doing this long enough, if you go for points that’s all you worry about. You get frustrated, and you have a bad night and you worry about the points. I like to go and win.”
This year, he’s raced in four states, and run a Tri-State show at Park Jefferson International Speedway. Much of his schedule is dictated by farming during the summer months. He plans to run at River Cities Speedway on Fridays when he can, and also hit NLRA, Tri-State and even some SLMR shows in Iowa.
“We’re going to bounce around,” Strand said.
He’s looking to build on the momentum from his first late model feature win.
“When you move to a class, there’s guys who’ve been in this class a long time and never win,” Strand said. “It’s just so tough. It’s good to feel that a guy can win.”
Wissota/NLRA Late Model #E85
Residence: Portland, N.D.
Sponsors: North Dakota Corn Council, Sower Power Race Engines, Millennium Chassis, Hatton Co-op