After success in an IMCA Northern SportMod, Tim Jorgenson joins the IMCA Modified ranks in 2010
By Bert Lehman
Editor, Full Throttle Magazine
Winning a championship in any sort of sporting competition requires a lot of hard work and dedication, as well as time. But the reward is great. Imagine the effort it takes to win eight championships. That’s exactly what Seymour’s Tim Jorgenson has done since 2006.
Jorgenson got his start in racing in 2004 in the Sport Four division at local dirt tracks. It didn’t take him long to find success in this division, winning track championships at Luxemburg Speedway, Manitowoc Expo Speedway and Seymour Speedway.
In 2007, Jorgenson switched to the IMCA Northern SportMod division, winning track championships at Luxemburg Speedway and Shawano Speedway during his rookie campaign. He also won the 2007 IMCA Northern SportMod Wisconsin Rookie of the Year and the Wisconsin points championships.
The championships were nice, but Jorgenson says his most memorable racing moment also occurred in 2007 when he won the feature at Luxemburg Speedway in only his third night in an IMCA Northern SportMod car.
“I never thought in the world I’d win a feature that early,” he remarks. “My good friend Jerry Wilinski (who races an IMCA Modified), helped me go through the car and get it set up. He was there and it was kind of the handshake with a hug. It was really cool.”
The success didn’t stop there as Jorgenson won a hat-trick of track championships in 2008. He accumulated championships at Luxemburg Speedway, Seymour Speedway and Shawano Speedway. He once again won the IMCA Northern SportMod Wisconsin points championship.
One championship that he was going for did elude him in 2008 — the IMCA SportMod National championship. In an effort to win the national title, Jorgenson found himself doing a lot of traveling trying to get as many top finishes as possible. He raced at several tracks in Iowa — Marshalltown, Stewart and Harlan. He also traveled to Winston, Mo.
“It was a headache,” Jorgenson says about all the travel. “It was fun too. But it was always traveling and trying to get the car ready. As soon as you were done with work, you were on the road traveling somewhere.”
Jorgenson says what made the travel worse was the fact he had to leave behind his fiancé and child.
A driver in Iowa helped Jorgenson out with tools and a shop to work in while he was on the road.
Jorgenson says even though he lost the national title by two points, it was worth it doing all the traveling. In fact, he says he wishes he would have traveled one more time because that could have won him the championship. The last race of the year to accumulate points was on the Sunday after Shawano Speedway’s special, but Jorgenson decided not to travel to that race. All in all, Jorgenson says he is happy with finishing second in national points in 2008.
With all the IMCA Northern SportMod championships under his belt, Jorgenson was looking to move up to the IMCA Modified division in 2009, but finances prevented him.
“I had two cars, just SportMods and I would have liked to have sold one of them before I bought a new modified or a used modified,” Jorgenson says. “I just couldn’t see having three cars.”
So he entered the 2009 season once again in the IMCA Northern SportMod division. He did sell one of his cars early in the season but decided to stay in the SportMod division the entire year. It was a good decision, as he won his third straight Shawano Speedway IMCA Northern SportMod track championship.
“I know it’s hard to do (win a championship),” Jorgenson says. “… It’s tough to do and it takes a lot of team effort.”
But Jorgenson says he knows he couldn’t have been this successful without the help of his pit crew. He says three or four of his good friends help him through the good times and the tough luck and bad nights.
“A guy can’t do it without that,” Jorgenson says.
Support from his family is also important.
“My fiancé and her family and my family, they support me no matter what,” Jorgenson says. “It’s just one big team effort. And to have kids coming down after the races asking for Hot Shots, that’s really cool and it makes a guy feel good.”
It was a busy offseason for Jorgenson, as he got married and made the decision to move up to the IMCA Modified division in 2010. He says all through the 2009 season he anticipated that he would switch divisions in 2010.
“Going through last year I was putting pieces together and saving a little bit of extra money to switch to a mod,” Jorgenson says.
He says many of his sponsors also provided him with extra sponsorship money to help with the division switch. But Jorgenson is realistic as to what kind of immediate success he’ll have in the IMCA Modified division.
“With it being a tough class and all the competitors are really good drivers I’m just setting a goal to win a heat race,” Jorgenson admits. “If I can do that, that would be fine and then make a feature or two here and there, I’ll be happy.”
Jorgenson says he plans on racing weekly at Shawano Speedway, Seymour Speedway and 141 Speedway. In addition he wants to race as often as he can at Luxemburg Speedway.
“I’m excited to get behind the wheel that first practice,” Jorgenson says. “I’m excited, but real nervous. I’m hoping some of the experience I’ve had will help me through it a little bit.”
(This article first appeared in the April 2010 issue of Full Throttle Magazine.)