FOLSTAD FLIES TO 2023 WISSOTA HORNET ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TITLE
Hibbing, Minnesota’s McKenna Folstad, a true rookie to the racing world, just wrapped up the 2023 WISSOTA Hornet Rookie of the Year Award after a very successful season. McKenna entered several Enduro events in Hibbing and Grand Rapids in past years, but 2023 was her first full season behind the wheel of a Hornet car full time.
Folstad, 20, raced to her first ever Hornet feature win in early August at the Grand Rapids Speedway in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. McKenna entered 24 races during 2023, winning for the first time ever, racing to five top five finishes and finishing inside the top ten during 20 of her 24 starts to claim the Rookie of the Year title.
Of all the races she entered this season, McKenna mentioned that her most memorable moment this year was her first career feature win. It came at the Grand Rapids Speedway in Grand Rapids, MN and was a very special night. Another memorable moment from the year, while not a great memory, was the night at the Hibbing Raceway where I was involved in a big wreck that nearly totaled her car right before the end of the year. She also mentioned the Hornet Nationals, held at the Gondik Law Speedway in Superior, WI as the most fun that she’s had in a feature race, where she finished well in her first race at the track.
Folstad’s #25 is sponsored by TB Automotive, Keewatin Auto Repair, Jayko Towing, Scov’s PowerSports, and Northern Sticker Co. She is supported on and off the track by her family, which includes her mom Sarah dale, dad Larry Folstad, stepmom Ashley Folstad, uncle Jeramie Dale, grandparents Kathy and Toivo Dale and brothers Collin Folstad, Aaden Folstad and Carter Dale. Her crew consists of her boyfriend Zeb Graves, who also races a Hornet and a Pure Stock, their puppy Hoosier, along with Jacob Kampen and Cole Scovill.
McKenna wanted to add ‘being at the Hibbing Raceway on Saturday nights in the summer has always been my favorite thing. From being at the race track for the first time at 2 weeks old, winning a bike off the front stage of the Hibbing Raceway when I was 6, watching my grandpa and uncle race Pure Stocks, watching my grandpa get into a Super Stock a few years back, to watching my cousin Duane Dale race the Super Stocks and now his Modified, to having heat race wins and a feature win in my rookie season in my Hornet.’ She went on to say ‘I couldn’t thank my boyfriend Zeb Graves enough for coming home with a Hornet car and fulfilling my dream of driving a race car. Huge thank you to everyone in the pits that is always willing to give a helping hand, especially the Carlson family (Dalton, Austin and Tim). After wrecking my car at Hibbing, I was still having issues the week after and the Carlson boys did way more than they needed to, to try to get be back on the track. While the decision of racing this year was very surprising to some, my family didn’t think twice about supporting me and to me that means so much. Although most of them were not able to be at the track most nights, the “good luck” texts and the “good job” phone calls meant the world to me’
At the conclusion of the 2023 season, Folstad amassed 1844 points to win the Hornet rookie championship and was able to win the title by 161 markers over runner-up Mikayla LaBarge when the final points were tallied.
As of today, McKenna plans to continue to compete in the Hornet division when the 2024 season rolls around.
The WISSOTA Promoters Association exists to benefit its member tracks to enhance safe, profitable and successful dirt track racing, through unified, cost-effective rules, policies and procedures, enacted within a democratic environment.
The WISSOTA Promoters Association was founded in 1981 by eight track promoters in Wisconsin and Minnesota, with intent to offer uniform rules for the promoters and drivers involved in the Late Model division. Soon, the group decided to do the same for the growing Modified division.
In 1984 a voluntary steering committee was formed to oversee the business aspects that developed and to guide the future of WISSOTA’s racing divisions. That steering committee evolved into a board of directors, and the non-profit racing organization became incorporated in 1986.
Promoters who join the organization become, in essence, part owners of the racing organization and are expected to contribute to its overall success. Each November, the WISSOTA annual meeting is held; the member promoters gather annually in this forum to discuss the future of the organization. Member promoters are given the opportunity to vote on all organizational policies and procedures as well as rules for competition in the various racing divisions. WISSOTA’s member promoters and racing associations have spent approximately 30 years of hard work at the annual meetings crafting unique rules for each of the divisions, which are known as WISSOTA Late Models, WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Super Stocks, WISSOTA Street Stocks, WISSOTA Mod Fours, WISSOTA Pure Stocks and WISSOTA Hornets.
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Submitted By: Camryn Sullivan