WINSTON, Mo. — Fans filled the stands. The pits bustled with activity. Engines revved. Dirt flew and the temperature lowered as the sun went down.

It was a perfect Saturday night at I-35 Speedway, and Shadren Turner earned his fourth win of the season.

The 20-year-old St. Joseph native drew the perfect seed for his heat race: first. He went on to win and earn the pole seat for the A main feature, which he also won.

“We ended up leading all the laps and got it done,” Turner said. “Man, it’s tough when you’re out front sometimes, you don’t know exactly the best place to run on the track, but luckily, we held on.”

A Saturday for Turner can start early — especially if he races on a Friday. He works from 3 to 9 a.m. during the week, goes home for a nap on Friday and is loading up the trailer by 4 p.m., sometimes earlier if he races farther away. He spends the late morning and early afternoon making any adjustments necessary from the previous night before loading up the trailer and doing it all over again.

Last weekend was a one-race weekend for Turner.

At I-35 Speedway, Turner tucked himself in the farthest corner of the pits. His trailer was set with everything he might need that night. After running his heat race, he and his dad refueled the 17T car and figured out what needed to be done before his feature.

Turner’s dad used to race. He stopped when he started his son in racing. Turner started racing go-karts at the age of 5 and moved up to running a B modified car at 13.

Since getting into B mod racing, Turner has gained local support. Three local businesses have sponsored him for multiple years and 54th Street has sponsored him since his second year.

“I really am super proud to be able to represent a big restaurant name like that — that’s awesome for me,” Turner said.

His dad owns the business that is his fifth sponsor, and Turner said he couldn’t do what he does if it wasn’t for his dad.

“I have never actually went racing without Dad, so I don’t think I would know what to do without him, and he definitely makes it all happen,” Turner said.

As the complexity of the cars increases, the price of racing increases. Turner said he started racing B mods because it fit in his family’s price range.

“A lot of it has to do with money and really I guess it’s something that fits our budget, but also I think that it’s the toughest class around right now, in my opinion,” Turner said.

His dad helps him, but Turner is motivated every time he heads out onto the track. In his eight years, Turner has turned into a consistent powerhouse in the B mod races.

Turner has raced at I-35 Speedway nine times this season. He currently sits third in points behind two racers who have competed in all 13 races. At I-35, Turner has four first-place finishes. Of the 41 racers who have competed two or more times, Turner has the best average points per race at 94.67.

Turner has competed in 17 races, recording 16 top 10s and 15 top fives. Turner said he thinks the B mod class is the toughest around, and yet, he’s found a lot of success in just this season.

“It feels great. Every time you can get a win in this class, it’s awesome, for sure,” Turner said.

Amanda Sullivan can be reached


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