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Published May 12 2012

Hawley’s Jegtvig driving toward third straight national championship

Hawley, Minn.

Some play golf.

Some go to a lake house. Blake Jegtvig has auto racing.

What makes him different than the average area golfer or lake lover is, he’s actually a two-time national champion at what he does.

“The national championship is not as big a deal as people think it is,” said Jegtvig, a Hawley native. “It would be fun to win it again and I want to.”

Jegtvig, more specifically, is the defending Wissota National Open Wheel Modified Champion.

His attempt at a third straight national title will come through the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo. He’ll be there today but it may not be that way for the rest summer.

“It’s hard with West Fargo because they are not sanctioned,” he said. “It would be fun to win it again but it’s hard to not go to West Fargo when they are paying so much better.”

This is where having fun becomes complex.

When Jegtvig wins at RRVS, it doesn’t go towards the national points race. He gets his points by racing at Wissota regulated tracks on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

“If you have to choose between the points or the purse (at West Fargo), I look at it like this,” Jegtvig said. “If the purse is good and you’re running good, the points will come at the end of the year.”

Jegtvig said the first-place purse at the RRVS is $800 while second place is $500. He said some tracks offer $500 to whoever places first.

“There are guys who look at it,” he said. “And you can’t afford not to go to Fargo.”

For now, Jegtvig’s plan is to continue his current arc. He’ll race Thursdays at the Norman County Raceway.

He’ll then spend his Fridays at the I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls followed by the RRVS on Saturday and then Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon, Minn. – which opens its season today

That way he can get the needed points and pick up some extra cash at the same time.

But when the season comes to a close and if Jegtvig is in position to claim a third crown, he’ll bypass the RRVS for other tracks which are Wissota sanctioned.

“That is something I hope not to be doing but I will be if I need to,” he said.

At 30 years old, Jegtvig is in his 15th year of racing. It’s a career which has seen him win multiple titles and walk away with some hefty cash prizes too.

“I like doing it and I like meeting a lot of the people who are out there,” he said. “Basically, it is the same thing as guys going golfing every Sunday. Maybe they do it to get away from their wives. Or they are like me and they do it because it’s a challenge and its fun.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com