Shawn Olson says over the past few years, he’s planned to walk away from racing. He simply can’t — he loves it too much.
“We’ve always said we’re going to quit,” Olson said. “But it’s in the blood and we can’t get out of it.”
The 31-year-old from Alexandria is a longtime member of the Wissota Midwest Modified class at Viking Speedway in Alexandria. He won the 2017 track championship in the Midwest Modifieds at the half-mile.
This year, he is driving a new car — a Razor Chassis he bought in November — and has switched from a concept motor to an open motor.
“We switched things up this year, and we’ll see how its going to go,” Olson said. “With the virus going around, we didn’t even know if we were going to race. We put it on the back burner and enjoyed our summer the way we could. But now we’re getting to have some fun.”
Olson has four top five finishes in a row at Viking, highlighted by a third-place finish on Aug. 1. He’s third in the point standings at Viking.
“2020 hasn’t been to bad of a year,” Olson said. “I’ve gotten a few top five finishes but we’re still figuring out this new car and each night we have gotten faster. We’ve been only racing at Viking Speedway this year but we’re hoping to try another track before the season is over.”
Olson, who works as a night shift supervisor at Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management, began his racing career in 2007 in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds. He had previously raced in the go-karts before hoping into a B mod.
In 2017, the year he won the track title at Viking and had three wins. He had one win in 2019 as well. Overall he has nine career wins at Viking.
He credits his family for their support of his hobby.
“Our family is very, very into racing. If I didn’t have all the help I have right now, I don’t think it’d be possible,” Olson said.
This summer, with a new car and engine and the delay of the start of the season with the Covid 19 pandemic, Olson isn’t focused as much on where he finishes. It’s just about getting to race every week.
“I want to be at the racetrack and have fun and be with family and friends,” Olson said. “And enjoy doing what we do.”
Wissota Midwest Modified #32
Residence: Alexandria, Minn.
Sponsors: Window Boss, Swift Springs, Rocket Auto Electric, Northwoods Auction, Razor Chassis, JDI Signs, J-Glines Trucking, Chubbs Performance, Masters Plumbing and Heating, Seph Construction, TRE Race Parts, In Loving Memory of Jayme Olson — Olson Masonry, Tori’s Daycare, Fast Shafts