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Auto racing: A constant drive to win

Son and father, Tyler and Dean Larson, race against each other at full-speed.

Kandiyohi's Tyler Larson, 7L, pulls ahead of Albert Hemmesch during a heat in the WISSOTA Mod Four division on Thursday, June 30 at KRA Speedway in Willmar.
Kandiyohi's Tyler Larson, 7L, pulls ahead of Albert Hemmesch during a heat in the WISSOTA Mod Four division on Thursday, June 30 at KRA Speedway in Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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KANDIYOHI — A welder by day. A Wissota Mod Four racer by evening. Tyler Larson grew up watching competitive racing around west central Minnesota and now he is a participant within it.

A resident of Kandiyohi, Larson's interest in racing further peaked when his father, Dean Larson of Pennock, bought a mod four race car in 1999.

As the years went on, Tyler wanted to get a mod four for himself. In 2005, he made it happen and started competitively racing when he was 18 years old alongside Dean.

Seventeen years later at 36 years old, Tyler is racing two nights a week and Dean races four.

Tyler races Thursday' at KRA Speedway and Saturdays at Ogilvie Raceway. Dean is a regular at KRA, Black Hills Speedway, Princeton Speedway and North Central Speedway.

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"[Dean] is super competitive. We'll race really hard," Tyler said. "He definitely instilled the competitiveness in me over the years. Racing has been really good for both me and my dad just to stay focused and have fun doing."

Tyler has appeared in nine Wissota Mod Four races this summer at KRA Speedway. He has first-place finishes in three "A Feature" races.

Of his other six races, Tyler has finished second twice, fourth twice and sixth once. He also had a first-place finish in "Heat 1" of the Wissota Mod Four race on July 7 before the night ended early due to inclement weather.

Dean, aged 65 and retired, has yet to win an Wissota Mod Four "A Feature" race at KRA speedway. He has finished second five times, third twice and fourth once. He also placed second behind Tyler in "Heat 1" on July 7.

Tyler ranks first in the KRA Speedway standings with 825 points, leading Dean by one point. There are five more races before the end of the 2022 season.

"It's been quite a battle all year. Tyler is a good driver and works constantly on his car," Dean said. "It's going to be close, I guarantee you that. I'm not giving up. It's going to come down to the final wire."

Larson&Family.jpg
Tyler Larson (left) smiles alongside his wife, Desarae (right), and their son, Axyl (middle).
Contributed / Tyler Larson

Dean most recently won the KRA speedway Wissota Mod Four title in 2021. Him and Tyler are both two-time champions at the racetrack.

Throughout the years, Tyler has earned 88 career feature wins and has six Track championships to his name. Notably, he was the winner of the 2020 Border Battle and 2017 Wissota 100.

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Outside of racing, Tyler keeps himself busy.

Tyler has a wife , Desarae, who he has been married to since 2017, and the couple has a 7-year-old son, Axyl. The three of them make up his racing crew.

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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.
The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.
The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.
The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.

"Axyl loves racing and Desarae has been a big supportive aspect of my racing. She's helping out a lot more as the years go by," Tyler said. "She realizes how much work I put into it, so she's been helping out a lot too."

Although Dean and Tyler are ultra-competitive, the father-son duo would not want it any other way — for each other and for Axyl.

"It's really fun to be able to race with your own son," Dean said. "My grandson, Axyl, is a fanatic. He knows everything there is to know about racing. When it comes to racing, he's like a walking dictionary."

As for work, Tyler is a welder at Towmaster in Litchfield. He gets to work by 5 a.m. and works anywhere from 45-60 hours a week.

Tyler enjoys being outdoors and hanging out with his family away from time spent at work and the race track.

When asked whether Desarae or Axyl was a bigger fan of him at the race track, Tyler could not choose one over the other.

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"That's a tough one," Tyler said while cracking a laugh. "They're both pretty equal."

More by Michael Lyne:
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City cruises to a 70-33 victory after taking a 41-7 halftime lead at Benson.
Prep girls basketball report for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Eleventh-ranked Montevideo beats No. 8 Warriors 61-39 after a tough loss Thursday at No. 2 New London-Spicer
Prep boys basketball report for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in west central Minnesota. No. 5 Alexandria uses its formidable height advantage to blitz Willmar 67-33
The Bulldogs have adapted the concept of 'Mudita,' while riding a 7-game winning streak and aiming for a top section seed

Related Topics: AUTO RACINGKANDIYOHIPENNOCK
Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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