A local dirt track racing veteran picked up the biggest win of his career recently. Joey Jensen of Stacy earned a $5,000 payday by finishing first in the 40-lap Hanson Tire Service Summer Sizzler held June 27 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley. It marked his first win in the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), which is regarded as the premier open-wheel dirt modified touring circuit.
Jensen moved up from the second row early in the race and held on after a mid-race caution to top the 30-car field racing on a 3/8-mile clay oval.
The former Forest Lake resident grew up in a racing family and took to the track in his mid-teens. He has since competed all over Minnesota and Wisconsin and has even trekked to Florida most years.
“I’ve been around it my whole life,” he says.
Now 32, Jensen takes part in over 50 races per summer, hitting relatively nearby tracks in places such as Wissota, Princeton, Ogilvie and Superior.
He was the modified track champion at Amsoil Speedway last summer and he won the Como Modified Series points race in 2010.
His second year competing in occasional USMTS races has been a success, helped by a move to a bigger motor. He uses a 390-cubic-inch Chevrolet motor that spits out about 700 horsepower.
“It’s been fun running with those guys, I know that,” Jensen says of the USMTS circuit.
One of Jensen’s main sponsors is Dennis Frandsen, founder of Frandsen Bank, which has an office in Forest Lake.
Jensen, a Maplewood native who drives truck by day, is hoping for more magical nights at Deer Creek. The USMTS returned to Spring Valley this Wednesday for the second annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship, which runs through the weekend.