One conversation led to Cody Thompson earning his first IMCA modified win. The victory occurred at Park Jefferson International Speedway in Jefferson, South Dakota. That discussion took place during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals at Boone Speedway in Iowa.
“I approached Kyle Brown and Mark Elliott [both of Harris Auto Racing] just to start a conversation on setup,” Thompson said. “We kept on talking, and after the Super Nationals I was part of their team.”
The 24-year-old driver from Sioux City, Iowa, impressed Brown and Elliott.
“We saw that he was a smart driver who wasn’t worried about what the other guys were doing,” said Brown. “[He was] more focused about making himself faster and better.”
Thompson fit the mold for the kind of driver Harris Auto Racing wishes to have represent them. His track record included 80 victories, ranking 10th all-time in IMCA, and five track championships. They put Thompson’s impressive five-year IMCA sport mod career into perspective.
“I look for a driver who can do well with little — Cody is that driver,” Brown said. “There are a lot of skilled racers out there. The ones who do not need the best and the newest, who do well without a big checkbook, are the drivers who get my attention.”
Harris Auto Racing keeps five to seven modified drivers on their program. The company helps those pilots with chassis and suspension sponsorship.
Cody Thompson plans to race at a pair of South Dakota ovals — Park Jefferson and The New Raceway Park. He said he’ll add other races to his schedule as time permits.
“I told [Brown and Elliott] I want to drive a modified at as many different tracks as I could, win races, and make a run at the national IMCA rookie of the year in the modified division,” Thompson said. “I know I need to pull off not only wins, but great finishes, track championships, and bonus points for running in big fields of cars.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.