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Weekly Racing
Nelson nabs USRA Late Model National Championship

December 15, 2023

At the age of 14, Cade Nelson became the youngest track champion in the 66-year history of the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., and in September he locked up the USRA Late Model National Championship as well as the Swift Springs Rookie of the Year Award.

The second-generation racer from Hermantown, Minn., outpaced two-time national champ Lucas Peterson of Grand Meadow, Minn., for the title while Michael Hucovski of Corcoran, Minn., wound up third.

In addition to four wins in 2023, Nelson’s consistency was the difference as he registered 21 top-five and 23 top-ten finishes in 25 starts while also racing at the Eagle Valley Speedway, Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Red Cedar Speedway and Tomahawk Speedway.

USRA Late Model 2023 National Championship
Final top 20 points standings showing finishing position, car number, driver, hometown and points earned.
1. 44 Cade Nelson, Hermantown, Minn., 4078
2. 65 Lucas Peterson, Grand Meadow, Minn., 3821
3. 88 Michael Hucovski, Corcoran, Minn., 3672
4. 54 Chad Prissel, Rock Falls, Wis., 3634
5. 99F Mitchell Fenske, New Richmond, Wis., 3349
6. 9 Dylan Kromschroeder, Cambridge, Minn., 3313
7. 63 Matt McEathron, Wausau, Wis., 3208
8. 35X Parker Foster, Winona, Minn., 3203
9. 14 Steven O'Brien Jr., Red Wing, Minn., 2784
10. 26D Chad Dawson, Isanti, Minn., 2619
11. 208 Kory Ressie, Alma, Wis., 2571
12. 24 Justin Sass, Elgin, Minn., 2566
13. 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn., 2477
14. 73 Larry Fitzsimmons, E. Bethel, Minn., 2371
15. 63 Patrick Kelley, Forest Lake, Minn., 2351
16. 34 Triton Krause, Fountain City, Wis., 2288
17. 4G Scott Guthrie, White Hall, Wis., 2285
18. 47 Ryan Olson, Strum, Wis., 2260
19. 11 Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis., 2234
20. 11X Derek Nelson, Buffalo City, Wis., 2231

Having good genes doesn't hurt. Cade Nelson is the son of five-time track champion Darrell Nelson and the reason he began racing.

“My dad’s called the Hermantown hammer,” said Cade Nelson. “When I won my first ever heat race and got an interview, all I was thinking about was, ‘I’m doing it, Dad.’ That’s where I got the 44 from and the Little Hammer nickname.

Nelson still has a long career ahead of him. He will continue to face challenges behind the wheel, including getting his driver’s license.

Cade Nelson will also be honored at the season-ending awards banquet as the Swift Springs USRA Late Model Rookie of the Year.

Past USRA Late Model National Champions:
2023 - Cade Nelson, Hermantown, Minn.
2022 - Dylan Kromschroeder, Cambridge, Minn.
2021 - Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis.
2020 - Lucas Peterson, Grand Meadow, Minn.
2019 - Lucas Peterson, Grand Meadow, Minn.
2018 - Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis.
2017 - Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis.

In addition to a $1,000 national points fund check, Nelson will also earn awards from AERO Race Wheels, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Champ Pans, Edelbrock, Gunshepherd.com, JE Pistons, Keyser Manufacturing, Landrum Performance Springs, Performance Bodies & Parts, Quarter Master, Swift Springs and Wilwood Racing and others.

The United States Racing Association (USRA) and United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) will host a joint awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 27, inside the 9,792-square-foot Nevada Ballroom at the Harrah's Kansas City Hotel & Casino to celebrate the 2023 racing season for both organizations.

Tickets include a luxurious dinner featuring a plentiful selection of fine food and a succulent dessert bar. A cash bar will also be available. The cost is $65 per person and can be purchased by calling (515) 832-6000 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets sales are available through Friday, Dec. 22, at 12 noon, and then resume on Wednesday, Jan. 3, after the holiday break. The deadline to purchase tickets to the awards banquet is Friday, Jan. 12, at 4 p.m.

A limited number or hotel rooms have been reserved for banquet attendees. Call Harrah's at 800-427-7247 or book online and mention the Group Code “S01US24” to receive the special Group Rate.

Harrah's Kansas City Hotel & Casino offers one of the most exciting hotels and casinos in the heart of America, blending small-town charm with big-city amenities with over 390+ luxurious rooms, a collection of gourmet dining experiences and the area's hottest gaming and entertainment. Visit Harrahs.com for more information.

Alternatively, you can book rooms at Ameristar Kansas City, which is located just minutes from Harrah's. Use Group Code “USRA23” and call (816) 414-7000.

For more than two decades, the United States Racing Association has attracted more and more racetracks and dirt track racers each year through fair, logical and cost-effective rules accompanied by an organization that puts the racers, racetracks and their fans first. During the 2023 Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series, more than 60 of America's finest dirt ovals hosted more than 1,000 nights of racing.

To learn more about the USRA, check out USRAracing.com. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. To get USRA news and exclusive promotions delivered to your inbox, click here.

USRA competitors can register for the 2024 Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series online at USRAracing.com/Register or call (515) 832-6000 to register by phone. You can also download the application at USRAracing.com/Downloads and then submit your completed form by email at office@usraracing.com or fax at (515) 832-7958.

USRA OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Beyea Headers, Chevrolet Performance, Christie Door Company, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, KS Engineering, KSE Racing Products, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Nitroquest Media, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt, Summit Racing Equipment, Sunoco Race Fuels.

USRA PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Allen Autosports Race Cars, ARMI Contractors, Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, DAY Motorsports, Duvall Electric, Gunshepherd.com, Innovative AutoGlass & Window Tint, PBM Performance Products, Star 1 Roofing & Construction, Stealth Thru Tubing, Texas Locomotive Solutions, TNT Auto Parts, YouDirt.com.

USRA CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Edelbrock, Hooker Harness, Hyperco, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, JE Pistons, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers, Keyser Manufacturing, Landrum Performance Springs, MD3, Medieval Chassis, MSD, Performance Bodies & Parts, QA1, Quarter Master, QuickCar Racing Products, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.

USRA RACETRACKS: 67 Speedway of Texarkana, 81 Speedway, Alien Motor Speedway, Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Arrowhead Speedway, Bolivar Speedway, Boothill Speedway, Callaway Raceway, Caney Valley Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Crawford County Speedway, Cresco Speedway, Dallas County Speedway, Deer Creek Speedway, Diamond Park Speedway, Eagle Valley Speedway, Electric City Speedway, Elk City Motorsports Park, Fairmont Raceway, Fayette County Speedway, Gondik Law Speedway, Hamilton County Speedway, Harrah's Kansas City Hotel & Casino, Humboldt Speedway, Hunt County Raceway, I-35 Speedway, I-90 Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Lawton Speedway, Legacy Speedway, Longdale Speedway, Lucas Oil Speedway, Mason City Motor Speedway, Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Monett Raceway, Northwest Missouri State Fairgrounds, Ogilvie Raceway, Outlaw Motor Speedway, Rapid Speedway, Red Cedar Speedway, Red Dirt Raceway, Rocket Raceway Park, Route 66 Motor Speedway, RPM Speedway, Sabine Speedway, Salina Highbanks Speedway, Sandia Speedway, Sports Park Raceway, Springfield Raceway, Super Bee Speedway, Thunder Valley Speedway, Tomahawk Speedway, Tri-State Speedway, Tulsa Speedway, US 36 Raceway, Vado Speedway Park, West Texas Raceway, Winneshiek Raceway.