Former ARCA Midwest Tour champion Dan Fredrickson will be one of more than 40 drivers to take on The Milwaukee Mile for Sunday’s ARCA Midwest Tour Father’s Day 100. The Lakeville, Minnesota native is a driver to beat anytime he pulls in to a racetrack in the Midwest, especially at the famous mile oval, where he has won in the past.
Fredrickson called into Speed51.com’s The Morning Bullring on Monday to talk about this weekend’s return to the Mile and his old memories from the track. He recognized the history of the track and what makes it fun to race there.
“Up here in the Midwest, it’s definitely a racetrack that has a ton of history,” Fredrickson told Speed51.com. “It has lots of speed, it’s a flat racetrack, the surface is old and wore out. It’s fun and super challenging.”
Fredrickson is no stranger to The Milwaukee Mile, having won the Midwest All-Star Racing Series Governor’s Cup at the Mile in 2004. 15 years after that race, he remembers what all happened on that eventful day.
“It was a similar situation to this coming weekend,” explained Fredrickson. “There was a full practice day the day before, then a real short practice at the end of the day. Like normal, my brother and I rolled in a day late and got in line for practice and got on the racetrack. I must’ve ran something over on pit road, the tire was flat by the time we got on the racetrack.
“We got back in the pits and by the time it was fixed, the practice was over,” Fredrickson continued. “We had no practice and everybody else had a day and a half. We went out, tied Eddie Hoffman for fast time, started like twelfth, drove to the front, and won by half a lap. It was pretty awesome.”
Fredrickson admitted not much has changed when it comes to preparing for a race since his win at Milwaukee 15 years ago. He sold his race car to Sam Mayer during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway back in February, and has recently purchased a new car, which has yet to be finished. He looks to replicate his end result from that race in 2004, but with some on-track time before qualifying this time around.
“The plan is to do the same, but it doesn’t always go according to plan,” he said. “We might try to make practice this time, but I’d like to repeat the winning part if possible. All I’ve got left is I’ve got to put the motor in it, all the oil lines, the wiring, the body. It’s close.”
“That’s how it works,” he continued. “I work on my car here and there and then we get down to crunch time and then my dad and brother will both feel bad for me and my dad will give my brother four or five days off. He’ll go off hay farming for four or five days and me and my brother won’t sleep and make it to the racetrack. It’s not different than it was the very first year. Now we know how far behind we are instead of just thinking.”
Fredrickson himself used to be involved in the family hay farming operation, but has stepped away over time.
“My dad does all the hay farming now,” said Fredrickson. “I used to be into it, but I sold it off so I could focus more on racing so we wouldn’t get so far behind the week before the race.”
He went on to tell another story from that day when he went to victory lane, which involved a champagne shower and the late tech director, Mike ‘Lumpy’ Lemke.
“The last time we were there and won let me tell you, I get down in victory lane and my brother and I were the only two there,” he said. “I didn’t know where he was, I didn’t even know where victory lane was, I didn’t get a chance to look around when we got there. So they’re shooing me in there and when I got there, they had this huge champagne bottle.
“I had nobody to spray, so I sprayed the tech guy (Lemke),” Fredrickson continued. “I looked at him and he gave me this dirty look like he just hated me at the time. I just blasted him in the face and I turned around to the guy that got second (Eric Fransen), and I’m going to spray him. He said ‘don’t spray me, I got to drive to Slinger to race still’ and I said okay.”
Fredrickson made his pitch for Midwesterners to attend The Milwaukee Mile for Sunday’s Father’s Day just before his time on The Morning Bullring was up. He brought up the Minnesota State Fair in his home state, a track that held races annually until 2002. He mentioned the importance of racing at the famous oval and the fan support needed in order to have more races there in the future.
“It’s going to be an awesome show. Anybody from the Midwest needs to come to the race because it’s the Milwaukee Mile,” he said. “I think it’s America’s longest standing asphalt track if I’m not mistaken. It is a special race, it’s a big racetrack, and we don’t know how many times we’ll get to see races there. It’s touch-and-go really. It’s a must attend.
“In Minnesota here, we used to have the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and they had that ASA race on Labor Day every year,” he continued. “That was a big deal, and everybody kind of took it for granted. Then all the sudden one year, it was gone. Every chance I get I tell everybody in Wisconsin, hey, you guys got something that’s special. Make sure you keep it.”
Fans who missed Fredrickson’s appearance on The Morning Bullring can listen to the full interview in podcast form by clicking here.
Fans unable to make the trip to The Milwaukee Mile for the Father’s Day 100 can still watch the race via Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast. Click here to order your video ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo