Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 10, 2003

Jerry Wren would rather be racing

By Lynda Jensen

It may be winter, but Jerry Wren doesn't have cabin fever ­ he's got summer racing in his blood.

Wren does modified stock racing nearly every week in the summers, in fact it's a family team sport that he enjoys with his wife, Pamela, and sons, Joshua and Cody.

"It is definitely a team concept," Wren commented.

The Wrens own two B&B racing chassis modified cars, and two go carts, which they work on at their shop in Howard Lake.

They raced 47 nights in the 2002 season, every Saturday and Sunday, and miscellaneous Friday nights, Wren said.

The Wrens have travelled far and wide to race, including Boone, Iowa; Luxemburg, Wis.; Shawano, Wisc.; Alta, Iowa, Arlington, and Redwood Falls.

"We were attempting to win our Regional Points title," Wren said. Although they came up a bit short, the Wrens made a respectful run finishing 11th out of approximately 700 drivers.

His favorite care?

"I really like my current modified car especially after the last season we had," Wren said.

His first race car ­ a 1969 Ford LTD ­ was a "lot of fun and cheap," he said. "I think we spent around $200-300 for the whole thing race ready," he said.

In fact, he started racing at 15 years of age.

"I got my start in racing pitting for my dad when he raced at Willmar, Princeton, and the Wright County Fair," Wren said.

"I owe so much to my dad in life in general and all of my racing skills," he said.

He started at the entry-level street stock class at Grove City about 25 years ago, and raced against his dad for a couple of years in the same class.

"We actually finished first and second in a feature race," he said. Later in life his father admitted that he let Wren win that race.

Looking back, Wren is lucky that he didn't get hurt because he used to race in a T-shirt, he said.

Nowadays, he wears fire proof gloves, shoes, socks, and a three-layer driver's suit.

"I feel that with the current safety equipment the sport is pretty safe, although there is always the possibility of injury as we reach speeds up to 100 mph," Wren commented.

"I have had a few minor injuries along the way, mostly just being real stiff after some hard crashes," he said.

"It's kind of funny that in the 2000 season I was home picking pears from one of our trees, fell off the ladder, and broke my finger," he said.

"Everyone that knew me assumed it happened at the race track."

He did finish the last two nights of racing with his left hand in a cast ­ and actually won the last race.

Wren's 2002 season accomplishments include:

· Arlington Raceway Track Champion

· Minnesota State Champion

· Redwood Falls Speedway Runner-up

· 11th in IMCA North Central Region Points

· 26th in the IMCA National Points

· 5th in IMCA Super Nationals Race of Champions Feature

· 8 'A' Feature wins

· 10th in Valvoline Cup National Points

His past accomplishments include:

· 2001 Jeff Rucks Memorial Sportsman of the year

· Arlington Track Champion 1995 and 2000, Runner up 1994 and 2001.

· Floyd Allen Memorial Family participation Award

· Ford Motorsports SVO contingency, top points nationally in 2000.

Currently, Wren is competing in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified division.

This class has hundreds of tracks all over the country, which make it easy to race at a lot of different tracks with the same rules.

"We compete mostly in the North Central Region, which is made up of Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin," he said. Their weekly Saturday night track is the Arlington Raceway, which is at the Sibley County Fair Grounds in Arlington.

Joshua and Cody help at home with repairs and cleaning of the racecar.

"Joshua started racing go-carts last summer and picked it up quite fast, winning the first race he was in," Wren said. Joshua went on to have a good rookie year.

The Wrens just purchased a second cart and Cody will be starting go-carting this summer.

The pit crew is Fran Wren, Jerry Lockwood, Joshua, Cody, and "a lot others who help out along the way," without there help we would never make to the track, Wren said.

"Having a racecar is like having a second job," he said.

The Wrens' sponsors are Greenfield Homes in Rockford, Engelke Machine in Lester Prairie, JP Printing in Becker, and B&B Racing Chassis in Belle Plaine.

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