Ethan Braaksma: Pairing with Car Owners Leads to Success

Ethan Braaksma: Pairing with Car Owners Leads to Success

Modified driver Ethan Braaksma already has eight wins to his credit, including last Saturday at Boone Speedway and Thursday at Stuart International Speedway in Iowa (pictured). Last year, he admittedly struggled. The difference maker was pairing up with a new team, thanks to a recommendation by his chassis builder.

Braaksma and his crew chief Drew Janssen toiled on their own modified until Rage Chassis owner Justin O’Brien connected them with Canadian car owners Danny Meier and Trent Guest.

“Justin knew them and said they were big supporters of modified racing,” Braaksma, of Newton, Iowa, said. “Justin knew we were young, enthusiastic, smart, and could spend a lot of time in the shop. He put us together, and now we are so thankful for what they have done for us.”

Incidentally, Meier and Guest have no IMCA-sanctioned tracks in their native Alberta. Braaksma and Janssen keep the cars more than 19 hours away in Iowa.

“The nearest track to our car owners is eight hours from where they live — Estevan Motor Speedway in Saskatchewan,” said Braaksma. “They became interested in IMCA modified racing at the Dakota Classic Modified Tour. They drove in the tour last summer.”

It takes a team to find victory lane, and seat time is helpful for all involved.

“[Drew and I] will both get seat time in the modifieds,” Braaksma said. “We will change up driving each car. Drew [Janssen] is really smart behind the wrenches. He knows a lot and we work together. We’re able to change what we need to as the night goes on. Justin [O’Brien] gives us excellent support. It’s a big team effort for us to race as many nights as we have planned.”

The duo hopes to race often. They believe that’s the key to finding success.

“Today, everyone wants to be so fast — to do that you have to go racing year-round,” said Braaksma. “Drew and I can do that — it’s what sets your game up.”

Friends since racing karts together as kids, Ethan Braaksma and Drew Janssen have one goal in mind — wanting their car owners to succeed in modified racing. They keep constant contact with Meier and Guest, who have been proud of the results Braaksma and Janssen have gotten this year.

“Our car owners have done so much for us,” Braaksma said. “We have no problem stepping out of the driver’s seat for them to drive. We will be their crew and help them do well.”