June 20, 2019

Chris Moore gears up for 28th year on dirt tracks - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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Chris Moore gears up for 28th year on dirt tracks

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019 3:11 pm

Chris Moore is in his 28th year of driving race cars. The quiet Madison man with a ready smile and heavy right foot will compete in the highly-competitive modified class, running both a Wissota A mod and an IMCA A modified.

He'll see action in the IMCA mods at Slayton, Minn., Worthington, Minn., and Park Jefferson but will also climb behind the wheel of a torrid United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) A mod for several select races.

The USMTS professional series is the elite of the modifieds, running races all across the country, from Texas to Minnesota.

A heavy schedule will include stops in Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin, including several races in South Dakota.

The first appearance of the big bore mods in this area will be on June 7 at Park Jefferson in North Sioux City. Next up area-wise will be the Nobles County Speedway in Worthington, Minn., June 9 (and again Aug. 24) with a stop at Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa, Aug. 23. Casino Speedway in Watertown will feature the cars on Aug. 25.

"I've decided to cut back on my racing schedule some," said Moore. "When I race, I'll probably do two or three races in a weekend. Otherwise, I may skip a weekend or two -- go camping with my wife Cathy and grandkids, just kick back."

Moore caught the racing fever from his dad, Lewie Moore. He flagged the races at Pierre, Miller and Huron back in the day when Tony Dean was promoting races. That's when Moore met Elt Ristesund, himself a standout driver and flagman in the early coupe days and one of those responsible for building Lake County (Interlakes) Speedway near Madison.

Moore's first race was in a modified at Red Devil Speedway (now I-90 Speedway). I had always gone to the races as a youngster and even while attending college. After spending time with my dad, Elt and others, I decided that I wanted to try racing myself. In 1991 I built my own car. All through the 1960s, '70s and '80s, the modifieds were the most popular class of racing machinery.

How did that first race go?

"Well, I finished," smiled Moore. "I was so nervous about that first race. My brothers helped me, so that support was appreciated."

The car number? "X, of course. Ron Droog, a late model chauffeur, was one of my favorite drivers. His number was X."

Lance Beebe's wife snapped a photo of Moore and his first car. He still has the picture in his race shop.

"You know, almost all of my friends today were somehow associated with racing. Racers seem like family to me," said Moore.

In those early years, Moore raced throughout the area, mainly with the Wissota modifieds. One of his favorite tracks was Madison, Minn.

"It's as smooth as can be and slick. I just love driving that track," he said.

One of his first rides was a car he built himself, built to Wissota standards as an A mod in 1991.

The A modifieds have some 200 more horsepower and rear suspension than the B Mods normally seen running here. Most A Mod drivers are professionals; several race for a living. Moore took in several of the big USMTS shows last year.

"Ya gotta be on your game to run with those guys," he said.

This year Moore will run two cars, both A Modifieds. What's different is that the cars won't be painted green, which has been his color combination for many years. They now will be white.

"I really wish I could run the entire USMTS schedule, but it just isn't practical. It costs too much and they are often far away. So I'll join the tour when they come through the area," he said.

Last year he ran at Rock Rapids, Watertown, Miller, Park Jefferson and Madison, Minn. One of his first races of this season will be Park Jefferson, scheduled to run this weekend.

Helping Moore as sponsors this year are Ghost Race Shop, Anderson Collision Center, S&T Fab Shop, Integra Steel Truss, Ron Weber, Hegg Realtors, Asphalt Pros, Pro Dent and Sioux Falls Wheel Chair Express.

The weatherman has been hard on tracks hoping to run early this season. Many shows fell victim to snow and cold temperatures. including Park Jefferson's Defroster on April 4.

Rapid Speedway is hoping to race on Friday and I-90 will have a car show on Saturday in the parking lot of the Goat Bar and Grill, Sunshine Foods and Hartford Pizza Ranch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a test and tune to follow at the speedway. I-90 is scheduled to open on May 11.

On the sprint car scene, Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., will host six nights of 410 winged sprint car action and 10 nights featuring the Midwest Sprint Touring Series. A new tire rule will be in effect for the 360 sprinters. Effective July 1, the Hoosier RD12 left rear tire will no longer be allowed.

Jackson opens on May 10 with Outlaw Sprints, 410 winged sprint cars, IRA sprints and Heartland Steel RaceSaver sprint cars.

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