ELKO, Minn. (WCCO) — The closest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track is more than 400 miles away, the Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s plenty of racing excitement to be had at one small Minnesota town.
Just outside of Lakeville in the small town of Elko, quarter midget racing can be found at Elko Speedway. The figure-eight track is just three-eighths of a mile.
There are no pit stops. The races move right along.
“A lot the drivers out here, their dads raced and their grandfathers raced, and the crowds continue to grow with the lineage,” Duane Fredrickson, Marketing Manager at Elko Speedway, said.
One racer, Nick Beaver, found his love for racing at a young age — 10 to be exact.
“It’s a hobby like most sports. For me, it’s an adrenaline rush,” Nick said.
He is currently in 11th place in the Big 8 standings after a crash earlier in the season set him back a bit.
No, he’s not topping speeds at over 200 mph, but he’s not afraid to turn tight corners.
“I think we average 88 mph, so that might be down the straightaway through the corners,” Nick said. “I’d say the raw power that these cars produce, the unexpected handling that it’ll throw at you, it’s not like driving your street car. When they come off the corner it wants to get sideways, it’s very hard to handle. But that adds to the fun.”
His most memorable win came last June when he started in the 14th position and climbed all the way to earn his way to victory lane.
Nick always gets to celebrate with his dad, who handles and oversees all the crew and maintenance.
“It’s busy, the back gates open around 2 p.m. and we get in. We put the tires on the car and get the car ready. We get three practice sessions,” Nick’s dad, Mike Beaver, said.
Mike has enjoyed watching his son climb the ranks of quarter midgets to Big 8 racing, and is helping fine-tune his No. 10 racing car.
Even if there are a few bumps along the way, this father-son duo is always glad they’re living out their dream together.
“I’m kind of living out my dad’s dream and mine own at the same time,” Nick said.
This weekend head down to Elko for Night of the RACES.
Gates open at 5 p.m. on Saturday. It’s Kids Night, so they get in for free.
There also will be school buses on hand for kids paint, a petting zoo and pony ride.
For more information on how to purchase tickets, click here.