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Fritel finding his form on the race track

Rugby driver as a feature win to his credit this season

June 10, 2009
Matt Mullally

Maureen Blessum says she's there to give moral support. The driving is up to her fiance, Brad Fritel.

So far, Fritel is his holding his own at Rugby's Geographical Center Speedway (GCS). The Pure Stocks driver has a feature win to his credit and is currently near the top in the point standings.

"It's been a good start to the season,' the 22-year-old rural Rugby resident said. "Racing a full season (last year) helped me coming into this year."

Adjustments to his engine are also paying off. "The engine I had in the car last year was built more for Enduros,' he said. "Now it's set up for this racing class."

Fritel races predominantly at the GCS but occasionally has also raced in Bottineau. His days are spent farming and also assisting Farmers Union Oil as a crop consultant. Fritel recently graduated from North Dakota State University with an agriculture degree in crop and weed science.

The itch to race came at a young age for Brad, noting his father, Steve, raced at the GCS for several years.

"I raced a go-kart, ATV, anything I could drive that would go fast,' he said. "Eventually, it was race cars."

Like many young drivers, he learned right away that winning is in the preparation and putting in the time to get the car ready for race night.

The racing advice his dad gave him was to be patient. "Things will come, but don't be in such a rush,' Brad said. "Having the car on the trailer while the feature race is going on is not where you want to be at the end of the night."

So far, Brad is taking that advice to heart and is a contender for a points title.

He admits racing is more of a hobby and an outlet for his competitive nature.

His competitive side, however, will have to take a back seat to something more important next week - getting married.

Brad and Maureen's wedding is Saturday, June 20 - the day after the next scheduled race at the GCS.

"I think if I really pleaded, she'd let me race, but I think It would be better to miss it,' Fritel quipped. "I likely won't be in the car, but someone will."

Yes, Pure Stock points go with the car and not the driver, so someone may be behind the wheel of the No. 15 car on June 19.

In the future, Brad will be back behind the wheel, and Maureen will be in the pit yard, giving support.

 
 

 

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