The quiet, unassuming Jeff Crooks, who operates Smitty’s in Brandon along with his wife Ivale, has done what people many thought would be impossible. Over the past weekend in world famous Brainerd, Minnesota Jeff was able to beat 65 other cars and win 6 races in a row to capture the Super Gas category. The races were held at the Brainerd International Raceway.
This is his first national championship and according his wife Ivale this is like winning an Oscar. “This is a racers dream” said Ivale.
After a long stint of 20 years of racing this appears to be all worthwhile. The costs are significant as Jeff points out that “it is all self-funded”. According to Crooks he “now perhaps will pick up some sponsor money but nothing to talk about”.
From a safety perspective Jeff feels fortunate that he has only had a few bumps and bruises over the years. “We have seen ambulances take away deceased drivers so we do know the risk” added Ivale Crooks.
Next up for Team Crooks is Earlville, Iowa and Great Bend, Kansas.
The last Manitoban to win was Lorette’s Tom Patterson 11 years ago.