Ex-MSUM wrestler a thinker on track

With a massive 265-pound frame and a background in ultimate fighting competitions, Chris Tuchscherer might be expected to play the role of intimidator on the race track.

Chris Tuchscherer

With a massive 265-pound frame and a background in ultimate fighting competitions, Chris Tuchscherer might be expected to play the role of intimidator on the race track.

That's not his style.

"Some people might think they better not run into Tuchscherer," said the former Minnesota State Moorhead heavyweight wrestler. "Most people think that when you go into the ring, you have to be angry. But I'm a big teddy bear. You have to go in with a gameplan. It's the same with racing."

Tuchscherer, who finished second at the NCAA Division II national wrestling meet as a junior, is in his first season in the Midwest Modifieds class at Red River Valley Speedway. He's 11th in the season points race and third in the chase for national Wissota rookie of the year honors.

A Fargo resident, Tuchscherer began racing demolition derby cars in 1998 near his hometown of Rugby, N.D.


A friend asked him to try dirt-track racing a year later, and Tuchscherer said he was instantly hooked.

"It just came naturally," Tuchscherer said.

Tuchscherer has spent the last three years competing in the Streets class in Minot and Williston. He won the points title last year in Williston.

But it wasn't easy.

While in college the last four years, Tuchscherer drove from Fargo to Williston on weekends to finish the last few races of the summer.

He would be in Williston on Saturday, Minot on Sunday and make it home around 3 a.m. Monday to attend classes.

MSUM wrestling coach Keenan Spiess said he was never worried that his nationally competitive starting heavyweight would hurt himself.

"I knew his personality," Spiess said. "He's a pretty fierce competitor. I like people to be diverse. And I wasn't going to be the one to tell him not to do it."


Tuchscherer's life got even more complicated when he picked up ultimate fighting a couple of years ago.

Now his schedule is nonstop. He gets home from work at 4:30 p.m., works out for two to three hours and works on his car for a couple hours after that.

And he still needs to find time to bond with his 10-week-old daughter, Arabelle.

"I run 24-7," said Tuchscherer, who is 12-0 in ultimate fighting bouts. "I think my body is used to it."

Tuchscherer's friends are not surprised at his success on the track.

"He thinks about stuff a lot more than a lot of drivers," said teammate Steven Pfeifer, a veteran Modifieds driver. "I think he's almost overprepared. But I would rather he be more prepared than not know what's going on."

Midwest modifieds

Heat one: 1, Mike Anderson, West Fargo. 2, Jason Strand, Portland, N.D. 3, Cullen Brown, Fergus Falls, Minn.


Heat two: 1, Phil Christlieb, Fargo. 2, Jeremy Schmidt, Mandan, N.D. 3, Ross Romdalvik, West Fargo.

Heat three: 1, Brock Gronwold, Fergus Falls, Minn. 2, Royce Jawaski, Horace, N.D. 3, Richard Pavlicek, Casselton, N.D.

B-main feature: 1, Troy Burnside, Fargo. 2, Rich Truesdell, Wahpeton, N.D. 3, Chris Tuchscherer, Fargo. 4, Rusty Kollman, Carrington, N.D. 5, Chad Sogge, Glyndon, Minn. 6, Dennis Swanson, Moorhead.

A-main feature: 1, Gronwold. 2, Phil Christlieb, Fargo. 3, Travis Saurer, Dalton, Minn. 4, Schmidt. 5, Jason Grimes, Jamestown, N.D.

Super stocks

Heat one: 1, Barry Robertson, Moorhead. 2, Todd Carter, Lisbon, N.D. 3, Matt Sparby.

Heat two: 1, Ryan Aho, Chisholm, Minn. 2, John Nord, Enderlin, N.D. 3, Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, Minn.

Heat three: 1, Scott Jacobson, Fargo. 2, Paul Engelstad, Beltrami, Minn. 3, Justin Thompson, Horace, N.D.


Feature: 1, Peterlin. 2, Jeff Hapala, Fargo. 3, Engelstad. 4, Corky Thomas, Fargo. 5, Carter.

Street stocks

Heat one: 1, Royce Jawaski, Horace, N.D. 2, Randy Klein, Valley City, N.D. 3, Joe Pellman, Wahpeton, N.D.

Heat two: 1, Rick Schulz, Fargo. 2, Nic Klein, Fargo. 3, Levi Babcock, Fargo.

Feature: 1, Jawaski. 2, Klein. 3, Pellman. 4, Ryan Pommerer, Oriska, N.D. 5, Kevin Veralrud, Comstock, Minn.

Mod fours

Heat one: 1, Matt Greseth, Harwood, N.D. 2, Mike Greseth, Harwood, N.D. 3, Jesse Yarmon, Paynesville, Minn.

Heat two: 1, Tyler Elser, Fargo. 2, Eric Monson, Harwood, N.D. 3, Dennis Charles, Fargo.


Feature: 1, Ma. Greseth. 2, Charles. 3, Elser. 4, Lance Johnson, West Fargo. 5, Greg Morris, Moorhead.


Heat one: 1, Dev Malmlov, Moorhead. 2, Mark Trautner, Mahnomen, Minn. 3, Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn.

Heat two: 1, Jon Bachmeier, Fargo. 2, Bryce Bjerke, Argusville, N.D. 3, Mike Greseth, Harwood, N.D.

Feature: 1, Bachmeier. 2, Len Kneip, Moorhead. 3, Jeff Oden, Fargo. 4, Greg Pfaff, Fingal, N.D. 5, Jegtvig.

Late models

Heat one: 1, Troy Olson, Fargo. 2, Marshall Fegers. 3, Myron Tschakert, Kent, Minn.

Heat two: 1, Tim Buhler. 2, Greg Meyer, Wahpeton, N.D. 3, Matt Aukland, Fargo.


Feature: 1, Olson. 2, Aukland. 3, Tschakert. 4, Meyer. 5, Fegers.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

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