Cole Babcock isn't in the business of wasting time. For a young man who races cars, there can't be a better mantra.

The 16-year-old Northern Late Model Racing Association rookie from Jamestown has had to pinch himself more than once this season while behind the wheel. Just two years removed from piloting a beginner-level slingshot at area dirt tracks, Babcock is now slinging mud with some of the biggest names in regional racing: Brad Seng, Dustin Strand, Joey Pederson and so on.

Babcock and the NLRA tour storm Jamestown Speedway this Saturday night. The action begins at 7 p.m.

"I grew up watching those guys come to Jamestown and watched them at the Stampede," Babcock said. "It's just kinda surreal when you're out on the track and racing with them. I know we're not to the levels they are yet speed-wise ... but it's like, wow, we're really doing this."

Babcock piled up 20 slingshot victories between 2016-17. But instead of taking the well-beaten path forward in the form of a bomber or street stock, Babcock dreamt late model.

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A Jamestown High School senior this fall, Babcock is the son of Levi Babcock and PJ Hardy. The kid's got racing in his veins, as dad Levi and uncles Jason Babcock and Josh Eberhardt have all been, or still are, out on the track. He's also dating 17-year-old lightning sprint driver Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, who's the daughter of late model driver Joey Pederson.

Kelsi won a second Jamestown Speedway feature victory here in as many years last week. Babcock will turn 17 on Saturday when the late models come to town.

"It's going to be a pretty special night," Babcock said. "It's my birthday, and it's our first time being there with the big late so we can actually kind of compete this year."

Babcock competed in the limited late model ranks in 2018, and competed at Jamestown Speedway with the NLRA boys on Aug. 4, finishing the feature with a DNF in 18th place. Strand won his third NLRA event in Jamestown that evening, while Seng, also a three-time Jamestown winner, placed third.

After seeing some success with the limited late model, Babcock and his father decided to up the ante in 2019, jumping up with the big dogs in a 2014 Bob Pierce chassis.

"Dad kinda sat me down one day and he's like, 'Well, where do you want your career to go in racing?'" Babcock recalled during his slingshot days. "I told him where I want to end is in a late model, and he said, 'Well, let's get you in one while you're still young and see what you really got.'"

Babcock has competed in nine shows between tracks in Grand Forks and Devils Lake so far in 2019, finishing inside the top 10 twice with a pair of ninth-place feature efforts. He also placed ahead of one of his heros -- Seng -- by capturing a career-best second during a June 4 heat race at Grand Forks' River Cities Speedway.

"He's all ears. He wants to learn," Seng said of Babcock. "He races everyone with respect and he'll get respect back. It's just nice to see some young blood in our class."

Seng, a three-time NLRA champion and former WISSOTA Super Stock national champion, knows as well as anybody the kind of competition that awaits a teenage late model rookie like Babcock each week at the track.

"There's no shame in not winning in a late model class because there's so many veterans," Seng said. "If the kids today stick with it, it'll come. Everyone's turn comes.

"We're looking forward to Jamestown on Saturday. It's one of our favorite tracks and I'm guessing Cole is going to have a big fan section there for him."

Babcock's only real blemish this season was wrecking out of a feature in Devils Lake on May 25, but other than that he's completed every feature he's raced. Babcock lives and works with his dad, Levi, during the summer in Rothsay, Minnesota. Levi owns his own construction company.

"We're just having fun," said Babcock, who placed ninth his last time out on July 5 in Grand Forks. "We feel like we're kinda on to something right now. Just to be able to run in the top 10 is something, because I know there's at least 11-12 guys every night that can win that show."

Babcock's sponsors include Dale Mathison and DM Motors, United Savings Credit Union, Casselton Lumber, Cody Erickson and T&E Racing Products, Dakota Powerlift Hydraulic Doors, Lucha.bet, Dakota Storage Products, Advantage Racing Suspensions, Art Wraps Signs and Graphics, Team #1 Racing and Dakota Engine Builders.

The rookie also said he'd like to extend special thanks to his dad, Levi, grandpa Pat Eberhardt, Matt Aukland, Joey Pederson and all of his family, friends and fans.

"Matt Aukland (of Glyndon, Minnesota) has been helping us out a lot with our suspension and setups," Babcock said. "Brad (Seng) has been helping me out on the driver part. If I have driving questions in Grand Forks I always kinda go over to him. Him and Joey (Pederson) normally park right next to each other so I can kinda bounce ideas off both of them.

"It's definitely a change from the slingshot."

Jamestown Speedway

2019 Top 5 Points Standings

IMCA Modifieds: 1. Casey Arneson, Fargo, 120; 2. Eric Edwards, Edgeley, 106; 3. Josh Eberhardt, Jamestown 105; 4. John Nord, Enderlin, 98; 5. Jarrett Carter, Lisbon, 95.

WISSOTA Street Stocks: 1. Jonn Carter, Lisbon, 555; 2. Bob Banish Jr., Milnor, 500; 3. Kyle Anderson, Jamestown, 492; 4. Royce Jawaski, Horace, 477; 5. Rory Opp, Hannaford, 474.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds: 1. Reise Stenberg, Argusville, 625; 2. Lucas Rodin, Marion, 555; 3. Brennon Weight, LaMoure, 546; 4. Nate Reinke, Lisbon, 545; 5. Jeff Schwind Jr., Jamestown, 528.

INEX Legends: 1. Donavin Wiest, Wishek, 538; 2. Dylan Johnson, Durbin, 514; 3. Sean Johnson, Kindred, 499; 4. Drew Papke, Bismarck, 485; 5. Brian Hanson, Jamestown, 474.

Bombers: 1. Billy Carow, Jamestown, 605; 2. Dillon Thorpe, Monango, 589; 3. Leann Christensen, Spiritwood, 580; 4. Lane Stoppleworth, Jamestown, 556; 5. Greg Moore, Jamestown, 550.

Slingshots: 1. Joseph Banish, Milnor, 245; 2. Collin Compson, Valley City, 219; 3. Zander Compson, Valley City, 202; 4. Gavin Edinger, Spiritwood, 192; 5. Noah Lewis, Hawley, Minn., 160.

July 13 Results

(Starting positions in brackets)

IMCA Modifieds

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. Casey Arneson, [10]; 2. John Nord, [5]; 3. Jason Grimes, [11]; 4. Marlyn Seidler, [4]; 5. Lucas Rodin, [3]; 6. Eric Edwards, [8]; 7. Dylan Goplen, [7]; 8. Josh Eberhardt, [9]; 9. Ryan Schroeder, [21]; 10. Jarrett Carter, [6]; 11. Travis Traut, [20]; 12. Billie Christ, [13]; 13. Andrew Michel, [12]; 14. Randy Gordon, [22]; 15. Shawn Becker, [15]; 16. Dwight Wegner, [16]; 17. (DNF) Don Gumke, [14]; 18. (DNF) Rusty Kollman, [1]; 19. (DNF) Kenneth Watson, [18]; (DNS) John Corell, ; (DNS) Jeremy Forester, ; (DQ) Crist Pittenger, [2].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Grimes, [7]; 2. Seidler, [4]; 3. Carter, [5]; 4. Michel, [8]; 5. Christ, [3]; 6. Wegner, [1]; 7. (DNF) Corell, [6]; 8. (DNF) Gordon, [2].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Kollman, [1]; 2. Rodin, [3]; 3. Goplen, [5]; 4. Eberhardt, [6]; 5. Gumke, [4]; 6. (DNF) Forester, [2]; 7. (DNF) Traut, [7].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Nord, [4]; 2. Arneson, [6]; 3. Edwards, [5]; 4. Pittenger, [2]; 5. Becker, [1]; 6. Watson, [7]; 7. (DNF) Schroeder, [3].

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. Brennon Weight, [8]; 2. Reise Stenberg, [5]; 3. Kelly Hagel, [3]; 4. Jeffrey Schwind Jr, [4]; 5. Lucas Rodin, [19]; 6. Aaron Michel, [2]; 7. Nate Reinke, [6]; 8. Arin Beyer, [13]; 9. Victoria Stutsky, [20]; 10. Lindsey Hansen, [18]; 11. Andrew Kapp, [16]; 12. Zach Reinke, [28]; 13. Jason Thoms, [22]; 14. Laine Schwehr, [24]; 15. Patrick Sobolik, [26]; 16. Tanner Theis, [1]; 17. Kevin Oeder, [27]; 18. James Marsaa, [25]; 19. (DNF) Preston Carr, [11]; 20. (DNF) Charlie Christ, [30]; 21. (DNF) Jim Morlock, [9]; 22. (DNF) Jaren Wibstad, [17]; 23. (DNF) Aaron Blacklance, [7]; 24. (DNF) Tony Smith, [21]; 25. (DNF) Caleb Johnson, [10]; 26. (DNF) Travis Traut, [12]; 27. (DNF) Jay Sahr, [14]; 28. (DNF) Todd Duchscherer, [23]; (DNS) Kyle Langland, ; (DNS) Alex Langland.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Stenberg, [1]; 2. N. Reinke, [5]; 3. Morlock, [6]; 4. Beyer, [8]; 5. Wibstad, [3]; 6. Smith, [4]; 7. Marsaa, [2]; 8. A. Langland, [7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Michel, [1]; 2. Hagel, [3]; 3. Johnson, [2]; 4. Sahr, [5]; 5. Hansen, [4]; 6. Thoms, [8]; 7. Sobolik, [6]; 8. Christ, [7].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Schwind Jr, [2]; 2. Blacklance, [4]; 3. Carr, [5]; 4. K. Langland, [3]; 5. Rodin, [7]; 6. Duchscherer, [6]; 7. Oeder, [1].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. Weight, [4]; 2. heis, [2]; 3. Traut, [3]; 4. Kapp, [6]; 5. Stutsky, [7]; 6. Schwehr, [1]; 7. Z. Reinke, [5].

Bombers

A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. Dillon Thorpe, [3]; 2. Dylan Steele, [2]; 3. Billy Carow, [8]; 4. Lane Stoppleworth, [9]; 5. Paul Morman, [5]; 6. Leann Christensen, [6]; 7. Gregory Moore, [11]; 8. Zack Nord, [14]; 9. Asher Williams, [13]; 10. Chris Welk Jr, [7]; 11. Larry Hanson, [12]; 12. (DNF) Erik Busche, [10]; 13. (DNF) Jarod Klein, [4]; (DNS) Travis Edinger.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Thorpe, [2]; 2. Steele, [1]; 3. Klein, [4]; 4. Morman, [3]; 5. Stoppleworth, [5]; 6. Moore, [6]; 7. Williams, [7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Carow, [2]; 2. Welk Jr, [1]; 3. Christensen, [4]; 4. Edinger, [5]; 5. k Busche, [7]; 6. Hanson, [6]; 7. Nord, [3].

INEX Legends

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. Tye Wilke, [6]; 2. Steven Kuntz, [8]; 3. Andrew Jochim, [10]; 4. Drew Papke, [11]; 5. Donavin Wiest, [9]; 6. Dylan Johnson, [22]; 7. Billie Christ, [4]; 8. Nate Keena, [19]; 9. Ivan Sailer, [2]; 10. Brian Hanson, [13]; 11. Jay Quenzer, [17]; 12. Ben Busch, [16]; 13. Jeff Comer, [18]; 14. Chase Schlafmann, [1]; 15. Joshua Wiest, [20]; 16. Don Hayes, [24]; 17. William Siebert, [15]; 18. Ashton Spieker, [23]; 19. (DNF) Sean Johnson, [5]; 20. (DNF) Preston Martin, [12]; 21. (DNF) Terry Sahr, [3]; 22. (DNF) Alex Kukowski, [14]; 23. (DNF) Jacoby Traut, [21]; 24. (DNF) Brody Carlsrud, [7].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. ilke, [3]; 2. Kuntz, [2]; 3. Martin, [5]; 4. Sailer, [1]; 5. Hanson, [8]; 6. Busch, [4]; 7. (DNF) Keena, [6]; 8. (DNF) D. Johnson, [7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Papke, [2]; 2. D. Wiest, [8]; 3. S. Johnson, [4]; 4. Christ, [5]; 5. Kukowski, [1]; 6. Quenzer, [6]; 7. J. Wiest, [7]; 8. Spieker, [3].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Jochim, [6]; 2. Carlsrud, [3]; 3. Sahr, [5]; 4. Schlafmann, [2]; 5. Siebert, [7]; 6. Comer, [8]; 7. Traut, [4]; 8. Hayes, [1].

WISSOTA Street Stocks

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. Todd Carter, [8]; 2. Jonny Carter, [9]; 3. Royce Jawaski, [4]; 4. Cory Rodin, [3]; 5. Robert Banish Jr, [7]; 6. Joe Potter, [5]; 7. Kyle Anderson, [12]; 8. Dustin Erickson, [1]; 9. Kasey Ussatis, [17]; 10. Tucker Pederson, [10]; 11. Rory Opp, [6]; 12. Jerry Lamb, [20]; 13. Jason Berg, [14]; 14. Jay Schlotfeldt, [19]; 15. Josh Anderson, [16]; 16. Brian Hanson Jr, [11]; 17. (DNF) Christopher Ritter, [15]; 18. (DNF) Scott Gartner, [13]; 19. (DNF) Jordan Johnson, [18]; 20. (DNF) Jaden Christ, [2].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. J. Carter, [3]; 2. Christ, [1]; 3. Rodin, [2]; 4. Pederson, [6]; 5. Gartner, [7]; 6. (DNF) Schlotfeldt, [4]; 7. (DNF) Lamb, [5].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Erickson, [1]; 2. Jawaski, [4]; 3. Potter, [3]; 4. Hanson Jr, [2]; 5. Berg, [7]; 6. Anderson, [6]; 7. Johnson, [5].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Banish Jr, [1]; 2. T. Carter, [6]; 3. Opp, [3]; 4. Anderson, [4]; 5. Ritter, [5]; 6. Ussatis, [2].

Lightning Sprints

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. Kelsi Pederson, [3]; 2. Dexter Dvergsten, [4]; 3. Josh Abrahamson, [2]; 4. Jason Berg, [8]; 5. Presley Truedson, [1]; 6. Patrick Brejcha, [7]; 7. Lawrence Veralrud, [5]; 8. Bryce Haugeberg, [11]; 9. (DNF) Steve Hildebrand, [6]; 10. (DNF) Murray Temple, [10]; 11. (DNF) Mark Williams, [9].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Dvergsten, [6]; 2. Abrahamson, [1]; 3. Veralrud, [4]; 4. Berg, [2]; 5. Williams, [5]; 6. Haugeberg, [3].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Pederson, [2]; 2. Truedson, [1]; 3. Hildebrand, [4]; 4. Brejcha, [5]; 5. Temple, [3].