17-year-old Brandon Aggen goes from go-karts to A-modifieds
RUSHMORE -- When 17-year-old Brandon Aggen made the move from go-karts to an A-modified this season, he was unsure about his new racing endeavor.
Now, four months after driving an A-modified, one of the fastest classes that race at local speedways, he is happy with his decision.
"I went out there for the first time and got on the gas and thought, 'What am I doing?'" said Aggen. "I finished, I didn't get lapped and I didn't spin out, so I was happy."
The young Aggen raced his first A-modified race March 21 at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., during a United States Modified Touring Series event.
Aggen, who will be a junior at Adrian High School, first became interested in racing when he attended local races as a fan with his father, Bruce.
"Me and dad always used to go watch at the race tracks and we saw an ad at the track for Koopman Racing," remembered Aggen. "My dad called them, and I decided to try go-kart racing. We started doing it, and that got us hooked."
At age 10, Aggen began his racing career. For two years, he raced go-karts locally at Allendorf, Iowa, and Pipestone, and then he began competing in larger scale races. He raced two national tours and won two national championships during his go-kart career.
Last summer, Aggen began considering the move to a race car. Then he met Josh Reisch of Pro Chassis in Luverne, who has been driving an A-modified for 10 years.
"He told my dad I should come to a couple races with him to see if I like it," said Aggen. "I was pretty much in heaven the first night."
After going to several races with Reisch, Aggen's decision to race an A-modified was certain. He purchased Reisch's old car to race.
"His whole pit crew has helped me a lot," said Aggen. "We worked on getting my car ready last winter."
Staying patient has been key for Aggen.
"I get frustrated and I think I should be doing better, but they remind me of the mistakes they made when they started," said Aggen. "Reisch keeps telling me, 'Seat time, seat time, seat time."'
During the summer, Aggen keeps busy working on his race car and at his full-time job at the Adrian Coop. When school is back in session, he plays football and basketball. He also makes time to help his brother, Adam, with his go-kart. The youngest Aggen started racing gokarts at age 7. Now 11, Adam races go-karts part-time when his brother is not racing the A-modified.
"A lot of times my brother comes down to the pits when he is allowed," said Aggen. "Whenever he is racing I try to help him out, too."
At a recent Nobles County Speedway Inc. race in Worthington, Aggen placed in the top five.
"I started last and ended up getting fifth," said Aggen. "That was my first top five finish of the year."
Several times a month, Aggen plans to race at Alexandria, where his family has a cabin. He also wants to race at Deer Creek Speedway, near Rochester.
Aggen plans to cut his family vacation a few days short this year so he can race Saturday and Sunday at the Worthington Nationals.
"That's my home track and the track has been really good this year," he said.
Halfway through his first season of racing, Aggen plans to continue for many years to come.
"The next couple of years I want to be a contender everywhere we go race," he said. "I want my results to do the talking."