Ryan Schroeder: Road Trip from North Dakota to Tennessee

Ryan Schroeder: Road Trip from North Dakota to Tennessee

It was a long way for Ryan Schroeder to haul from Devils Lake, North Dakota, to Bulls Gap, Tennessee. About 1,400 miles and 21 hours long. And that’s just one way. However, Schroeder made that trip to race in the ONUM modified class, which supported the XR Super Series at Volunteer Speedway.

“It’s probably the same temperature here [in Tennessee] as it’s up there [in North Dakota], like 70,” said Schroeder. “Didn’t come for the weather. We did drive 20 hours through rain and snow.”

Schroeder made that treacherous journey for a vacation and to see how his WISSOTA-legal modified stacks up against other sanctions in ONUM competition. ONUM welcomes modifieds from various sanctions — Cumberland Plateau, DIRTcar UMP, USRA, WISSOTA, XR — and attempts to equalize them through specifying the tire for the type of modified. Schroeder plans to race ONUM-sanctioned The Big Deal, a $100,001-to-win modified event at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wisconsin. It takes place May 30-June 1.

In Tennessee, many modifieds conform to DIRTcar UMP rules. Those cars run steel-block engines with minimal limits. Schroeder races a WISSOTA-legal 360 spec engine. He said his car puts out roughly 525 horsepower while some of his competitors have engines capable of 700 horses.

“I came here [to Volunteer Speedway] because I figured there would be a bunch of mods,” Schroeder said. “It’s not too often you get to run against the likes of Steve Arpin and Kyle Strickler, because they’re UMP guys.”

Typically, the heavily banked Volunteer Speedway favors high-horsepower cars, but as the day went on, the track became quite slick.

“This banking is crazy,” said Schroeder. “You can have a pretty okay car and hold it to the floor. We’re trying to stick it in there [high], keep it wound up and not spin the tires.”

Ryan Schroeder has had a successful racing career. He earned two Midwest modified championships in 2012 at a pair of North Dakota tracks, River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks and his hometown’s Devils Lake Speedway.

Back at Volunteer Speedway, Ryan Schroeder finished sixth out of 18 cars on Saturday and 13th of 15 cars on Sunday.

“I overdrove the car,” Schroeder said of his Sunday performance. “The red dirt is a different animal. We had a lot of fun down there. When you race with high-caliber people, it makes you try harder.”