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Finish Line: Racing becoming a family matter for Boyd driver

August 11, 2012
By Alex Oey ( , Marshall Independent

Success on the track is always nice, but for Boyd's Ryan Schmitt, there's more than where he is in the standings.

It's about enjoying what he's doing and going where he and his family wants to go.

"This year I've been jumping around wherever I feel like going," Schmitt said. "I went to Willmar one night. I've gone to Watertown (S.D.) a couple times and went to Huron (S.D.). I'm hoping to get up to Fergus (Falls).

Schmitt has seen his best success at Fiesta City Speedway in Montevideo, winning the July 27 Midwest Modified race after taking second the week before.

Before rain pushed last week's feature race to this weekend, Schmitt had finished second in his heat to set himself up for another successful night.

"We had a whole different suspension setup under it earlier in the year. It didn't seem like we were going anywhere," Schmitt said. "Before, it seemed like I could start in the back in Monte and always make the top four. It wasn't going so well.

"We went and redid the whole rear suspension. The first night we took it out, we got second. It was kind of a shot in the dark what we did. It's definitely turned around since then."

Besides his recent success at Fiesta City, Schmitt has been hitting tracks all over the upper midwest.

In late April he had a fourth-place finish at the Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, S.D. He finished eighth in late June at the Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, N.D.

For Schmitt, one of the more meaningful races of the year was the L. Jan Nelson Memorial Special in Willmar in early August.

"It was a special Charlie Nelson puts on, a memorial race for his wife. He's at every race in Willmar," Schmitt said. "We had a Jordy Martinson memorial race and he always did the trophies for it. He's a huge contributor to the tracks and racing in general, so I thought it was for a good cause and it paid pretty well all the way back."

Schmitt's family also plays in to where he decides to run. With a cabin on Lake Ponisett, which is near Arlington, S.D., the Casino Speedway near Watertown, S.D. is a convenient race.

"A lot of times we race Friday night, come home, grab some fuel and go to the lake, and on Sunday, go to Watertown," Schmitt said. "It works out alright."

Schmitt, who currently sits in 11th pace in the point standings at Fiesta City, isn't concerned about where he nets out at the end of the season in the standings.

"I'm not really running for points. I've done it. We won the championship in Monte a few years ago," Schmitt said. "You want to accomplish it, but now I want to go have fun.

"I want to be able to go wherever I want. I don't want to be tied down to one place. If you run for points you can't miss a weekend."

But just because he's not worried about points, doesn't mean he's not looking to win.

"We go there to be competitive and win races," Schmitt said, "but it's fun to be able to go where you want, when you want and be a little flexible."



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