ALGONA – Colby Fett has already had a very accomplished 22-year career in racing, but this year, he’s taking his program to a whole new level – with help from an Iowa racing legend.
The IMCA northern sportmod racer was the 2017 track champion and 2018 runner-up at his hometown track, Kossuth County Speedway. Prior to hopping behind the wheel of his sportmod, he raced go-karts and junior hornets, taking a break of a few years after each. And while he dabbled a little with wrestling and football in high school, in reality, he’s always been a racer:
“My dad has always been a big fan of racing and decided to let me try my hand in it. We lived on a farm where no one really lived close to us, so I grew up fighting with my three other siblings.
“Probably one reason why I race now is because I always found something with an engine or even pedal bikes and drove in circles. I did it so much, my brother Ryan, sister Erin and even sometimes (fellow sportmod racer) Alec would get bored and leave me while I kept riding in circles.
“I love the competition and having all the big names all in one place. Second, the friends and memories you make to look back on.”
Colby says he loves racing in the sportmod division because it has the most balance in terms of racers who are using open motors versus those who are using crate motors. He adds that in his division, he frequently gets to race against the very best everywhere he goes.
Although he has more than 20 years of racing experience, he has yet to “earn” himself a racing nickname that has stuck:
“Some friends sometimes call me Hollywood. It doesn’t really stick with me, though. My buddy Ben Kraus started calling me that as every time he came over, I was usually signing something.”
Colby will continue to run his home track, as well as a number of select tracks around the Midwest:
“I really bounce around and like to support many tracks that are ran well in Iowa and surrounding states. I think we are fortunate to have so many options in Iowa.”
Among the tracks he’s already visited in his racing career:
- 141 Speedway (Maribel, WI)
- Boone Speedway
- Clay County Fair Speedway
- Deer Creek Speedway (Spring Valley, MN)
- Fairmont Raceway (Fairmont, MN)
- Hamilton County Speedway
- Hancock County Speedway
- Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
- Marshalltown Speedway
- Mason City Motor Speedway
- Murray County Speedway (Slayton, MN)
- Stuart International Speedway
Colby, now 29, always wanted to race his way into a NASCAR job, but he admits time is no longer on his side. So his aspiration now is to eventually run double-duty in both an IMCA modified and stock car. As he moves in that direction, he has aligned himself with Kelly Shryock – one of the most distinguished dirt track racers in Iowa today:
“I’m already making plans on traveling to tracks with him and working together. We also have practices scheduled together. It’s nice having him here as word on the street is he’s been to every track in the U.S. at least five times, so he’s like a dirt track racing encyclopedia
“We have known him for a long time. My dad (fellow sportmod racer Drew Fett) has talked to Kelly here and there through the years. First time I really got to talk one on one with him, though, was this winter being in the shop with him.
“We have some big plans ahead with a lot of testing and talking about setups. He has already taught me things about the car that I really never paid attention to before.
“What he also gives me is the fact that I’ve heard him tell me I can wheel a car as good as anyone. Hearing that from come from someone as accomplished as him boosts my confidence.”
As with any season, the biggest challenge for Colby this year will be avoiding a mid-season slump:
“Everyone every year is amped up to try their new stuff or setups. But there is something to when the season isn’t going as expected while still carrying a smile around fans and sitting in a shop late at night studying notes and staying focused. Sometimes the best thing is to walk away and come back to it later. I’m really confident that with Kelly’s help I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem this season.”
But ultimately, he has some really big goals for 2021:
“I want to win Super Nats and the other big races we have been so close to winning in this new Skyrocket chassis. I’m ready for things to return back to normal after the crazy year everyone endured last year.”
The IMCA Super Nationals, which will happen this year Sept. 6-11 at Boone Speedway, is a place that holds some special memories for Colby. It’s where he experienced the happiest moment, to date, of his racing career:
“2018. Boone. Super Nationals. I got wrecked First night of qualifying. The guys at [Bob Harris Enterprises] let me use the car Rocky Caudle drove that year and I ended up winning the Race of Champions that year. We were at the lowest of lows to winning the biggest race of my career all in a few days.”
Longer term, Colby says he wants to continue building a great relationship with his new racing partner and to see how they can help each other out for the long haul. For others who have just started out racing, or are seriously thinking about racing, he has the following advice:
“If you’re just starting out, do research and ask some drivers you trust. Start at the tail if you aren’t comfortable until you start passing cars weekly. If you can’t pass to the front you won’t stay in the front – Matt Hoeft taught me this at the beginning of my sport mod career – it will save you a lot of time and money while allowing you to put the money where it makes the car faster. Wraps don’t make a car fast.”
Click HERE to follow Colby and the rest of the Fett Racing team this season.
(Photos provided by Fett Racing; racing photo by Broken Arrows Photography [click HERE for more])
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