Pure stock, pure joy
Cloquet’s Dustin Follett is off to a flying start in the WISSOTA Pure Stock racing standings.
Follett won his fourth feature race of the season Sunday night, June 26, at Proctor Speedway to climb to fifth place overall in that category — winning his 70th career feature race in the process.
“I guess you could say it’s a good start to the season,” Follett said, in perhaps the understatement of the week.
Follett drove his green and pink racer to victory on Sunday night, showing that even a somewhat garish color combination doesn’t matter as long as the car runs well and finishes strong.
“I used to always drive orange and white cars,” Follett said. “But I bought this one about three years ago and hardly touched it since. It’s been running well and so I never thought about changing it. Some guys are superstitious about the colors on their cars but not me.”
The colors that have been most common to Follett so far this season have been black and white, as in the checkered flag.
That success has raised the ire of some competitors, who requested that Follett’s engine and transmission be inspected by race officials last weekend.
“It’s not the first time (the car has been inspected),” he said. “They took my engine apart one year and they looked at the transmission last weekend. Every time it’s the same: the car is legal, and it’s to the point where it doesn’t bother me anymore.”
Follett’s advice for competitors in the wake of that latest inspection was plain.
“It’s maybe better for people to worry about their cars than to spend time worrying about mine,” he said.
As dominant as Follett has been in Pure Stocks racing at Proctor, Superior and Grand Rapids, his other category — Super Stocks — hasn’t been quite as kind.
“Blew out the rear end of the car last weekend and that gets expensive to repair,” he said. “I’ve got four kids, so racing that car again is going to have to wait for awhile.”
With the win on Sunday, Follett moved within striking distance of points leader Mike Blevins of Hibbing, whom Follett has befriended, despite running in five fewer shows.
“We get along well,” Follett said. “Sometimes this year he’s come in behind me and other times I’ve come in behind him. He’s a good guy and a good driver and it goes back and forth between us a lot of nights.”
Cloquet’s Devin Reynolds entered Sunday’s races in 10th place in the Pure Stock standings, with Dylan Shelton of Wrenshall in 16th place, Jon Hammitt of Cloquet in 18th and Annika Hammitt in 25th place among Carlton County racers.
But it’s the top spot that interests Follett the most. Driving in a car owned and maintained by his father Dan, the team has been sort of a dynamic duo in the season’s early going.
“He’s the brains of the outfit, I’m just the driver,” Dustin Follett said. “He’s the main contributor to what we’re doing.”