Wibstad Eyes More Success in Wissota Midwest Modifieds
Most third-year drivers would be satisfied with 11 top five finishes in a season. Jaren Wibstad, however, is continuing to aim higher.
The Jamestown driver is having a good year in his #36 Wissota Midwest Modified. He has one win, at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen in late July, and has finished in the top five 11 times this season. He’s third in points at Sheyenne Speedway heading into this Sunday’s show.
“It’s been going pretty solid. I haven’t had any wrecked cars,” Wibstad said. “From a racing standpoint, a top five isn’t good enough; I want to be better than the top five.”
Wibstad raced motocross until 2016 when he gave that up. In 2017 he started going to the races, and his friend Charlie Christ suggested he look at buying a race car. So he traded off two of his dirt bikes for a midwest modified.
In his rookie season of 2018, Wibstad had one top five finish. In 2019, he showed great improvement from Year 1, with one win and finishing in the top five nine times. On June 30, 2019, Wibstad won his first career feature at Sheyenne Speedway, topping Lucas Rodin for the win.
“It was a good feeling. I led the whole race,” Wibstad said.
He’s continued that ascension in 2020 and now has consistently become a top five car. He picked up his second career win on July 31 at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, starting seventh on the 22-car field.
“Right away exiting corner two I was in second,” Wibstad said. “I just ran the bottom. It ended up being a dominant bottom lane the whole time. Once I got in second place I said I’m going to win this race. That was a good win.”
Modified veteran Jason Grimes of Jamestown has served as a mentor of sorts for Wibstad.
“He’s been very helpful,” Wibstad said.
He is third in the points at Sheyenne Speedway, trailing leader Nate Reinke of Lisbon by 18 points heading into this Sunday’s race.
“I honestly don’t keep track of that,” Wibstad said of the points. “Maybe next year I’ll put that as more of a goal. I still want to race and get seat time and keep learning.”
Wibstad, 20, is plenty busy during the week — he works for Gasal Feed Lots, which is owned by his grandfather. The farm takes care of thousands of cattle.
“It’s hard to even work on the car some nights,” Wibstad said. “We’ve been haying pretty hard.”
One thing that has helped Wibstad is simply experience. Learning about the car, developing more confidence behind the wheel have made a world of difference.
“I learned what each change to do on a car, but I haven’t mastered that,” Wibstad said. “It’s just becoming an aggressive driver. I used to be nervous to stick my head into (situations), and now I’ll stick my head there. I feel like more of a go-getter.”
#36 Wissota Midwest Modified
Residence: Jamestown, N.D.
Sponsors: Gasal Feed Lot, Trapper’s Meat and Supply, Job Erection, Schaeffer’s Oil, Grimes Racing Service, J&J Cattle