Carson Gramm is no stranger to racing.
The Ipswich teenager is competing in the Super Stock class at the Brown County Speedway for the first time this season. However, he is very familiar with other forms of racing. He has raced go-karts and Legends cars in the past before making the move to the local oval this year.
We have been racing around the area quite a bit, Gramm said, like in North Dakota mainly. We decided to bring it back home and race at our home track in Aberdeen and we decided Super Stock looked like a great class. We felt like it was a great class to get started in.
Even before he raced go-karts, he was a regular at Brown County Speedway. His father Mark raced a Modified car before Carson was born and was also the track announcer at BCS.
That was really fun, Carson said. It was enjoyable for me listening to him announce and how much he enjoyed it.
That enjoyment rubbed off on Carson. He recalls when he was 7 years old going to the go-kart track and after about an hour of watching, he said to his father: 'I want one of these.'
Go-karts are a great place to start, Carson said. If you go around the pit area now and ask a handful of drivers, they are going to say they started out at the go-kart track. Go-karts teach you how to be smooth and really give your fellow racers space on the track. It creates for better racing. It is just a great start because you learn the fundamentals of racing and then also how to race cleanly and how to show sportsmanship to other drivers.
Gramm, 18, also recalls spending some race nights at Brown County Speedway in the pits and picking up things he uses now on the track.
I got to listen to drivers talk, he said. Then I may not have known what they were saying, but I think about what they were saying now and I think about how my car is reacting on the track now and I try to implement some of the things they were saying.
Gramm then tried his hand at Legends cars, which are automobiles from the 1930s and 1940s and are powered by a Yamaha motorcycle engine. He raced those in North Dakota and Minnesota and also raced them in Aberdeen one time a few years ago.
It was kind of a good step up from go-karts before we got into this big car - the Super Stock, he said. It was kind of cheaper class to run because everything is sanctioned. We felt like it was kind of a good beginning class before we really got into the full-blown stock cars like I am now.
He got his Super Stock car from Shawn Malsam, who is not racing this year. The two-time BCS Super Stock track champion has been a big help for Gramm so far this season.
I really enjoy having him be there to help me out, Gramm said. He and my dad together are just a great pair because they both know a lot about racing.
Tonight will be Gramm's third night of racing in the Super Stock division. How is the Super Stock different than racing a go-kart or a Legends car?
You can drive these cars a lot harder than anything else I have driven, Gramm said. You can really throw them into a corner if you have to and you can maneuver them anywhere. They are not as touchy when you go to steer. It is kind of fun to drive because you can throw it in sideways. You can really get that left side to stand up. It just a great feeling to be able to do that.
The Carson Gramm File
Family: Parents, Mark Gramm and Emily and Gerard Kadlec; brothers, William Kadlec (10), Ty Kadlec (8) and Tucker Kadlec (5).
High school: Gramm graduated from Ipswich this past spring. He played football and basketball for the Tigers.
Future plans: Gramm will attend Minnesota State, Mankato, in the fall. He will major in sports management.
No. 18: Gramm's racing number is No. 18, which he picked because of his favorite driver Curt Gelling of Aberdeen: I always watched him. My dad kind of introduced me to him. We are still really good friends. My dad and I like to talk with him.