Up North: Racing Runs in Northland Families

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: May 27, 2020 10:48 PM

For the first time in about two months, live sports returned to the Northland. 


Gondik Law Speedway in Superior opened their track for practice and shortly after hosted the Minnesota Modified Nationals.

After hearing the event was on, 15-year-old Superior driver Darrin Lowney spent each day leading up to the race putting the finishing touches on his car. Thanks to his family, he wasn't working alone.

"We've done a lot to help. We got some T-shirts and stuff made [and got] family businesses to help sponsor him so he could purchase the car. My mom let him use the garage and bought spray paint for painting the car. A lot of work and a lot of help goes into it, so it's more of a family event," said Tanya Lowney, mother of racer Darrin Lowney.

Some of that hard work became last minute for Superior's Jack Rivord. Days before the sudden season opener, he quickly lettered his car with sponsor stickers.

"It kind of got dropped on us, but everyone got ready and we're all here," said modified driver Jack Rivord.

Driving in the Midwest Mods division, the 15-year-old took 8th place. This season he said he's just trying to be a competitor and continue the Rivord racing tradition.

"It's been in the family for a really long time. My dad initially introduced it to me, and I've seen all those videos from past years. That's when I kind of just took a liking to it and wanted to excel in something like this," said Rivord.

Revving engines and speeding over 90 miles per hour around a dirt track attracts thrill seekers of all ages. Jody Bellefeuille, with 18 years of racing experience and 16 in modifieds, discovered the fast passed fun because of his father and brother.

"My dad was a local engine builder when I was a kid and we just would spend every weekend at the race tracks cheering on our local heroes. Over the years, as we got older, me and my brother both built our own cars and are still at the race track," said Duluth native and modified driver Jody Bellefeuille.

Bellefeuille finished 8th in the Modifieds division in last week's race, his first of the season.

"It's great to have a race in our backyard and get to see all the good cars again and get back to somewhat normal," said Bellefeuille.


Alicia Tipcke

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