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Ebert chosen finalist for Dream Team

Dan Ebert, who grew up in Lake Shore, is one of 18 finalists in the Peak Stock Car Challenge. The three-day event will take place June 9-11, in Charlotte, N.C. Submitted photo

Dan Ebert’s stock car racing career continues to make progress.

Ebert, a 26-year-old who grew up in Lake Shore, has been chosen as one of 18 finalists from around the country for the Peak Stock Car Dream Team Challenge from June 9-11 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

A total of 15 men and three women drivers were chosen from the applicants for the racing competition that judges contestants on driving ability and marketing skills. The winner will be announced on Aug. 2, on the Velocity TV channel.

“The Peak deal is a neat opportunity,” Ebert said in a recent phone call while racing this summer in Kentucky. “Michael Waltrip is a NASCAR driver, sponsored by Peak, who believes that racing comes from grass roots. He likes to give people an opportunity to (grow) their racing careers.”

The Peak Challenge offers racing education, similar to the Richard Petty Driving School, and different types of competition, including racing Go Karts. Contestants will also be judged on their abilities to communicate and address sponsors.

“If you win, you get an opportunity to racing for Peak in the K&N Pro Series East,” Ebert said of the regional stock car series that has developed current NASCAR drivers like Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.

Ebert adds that the K&N series is one step under the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) series. The Peak Challenge will be judged by NASCAR drivers like Waltrip, Clint Boyer and Danica Patrick, and also Bryan Emrich, chief marketing director for Peak.

This summer, Ebert has been racing a A Modified two or three nights per week at stock car tracks in Kentucky.

“Racing is real popular here, and the pay is pretty good,” Ebert said. “The difference here is the Modified cars have no motor rules. Some motors have upwards of 700 horsepower. I’m not chasing any track or national point titles. I’m just hitting the big race shows.”

Ebert is also working for Jackie Boggs (Open Late Model) Racing shop a day or two a week.

“It has been a lot of fun, but I do miss everyone back in Minnesota,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to make a living driving a race car and doing what I love.”

Ebert has been an accomplished driver growing up in the lakes area. He won more than 140 stock car feature races in the Upper Midwest, and also raced snowmobiles for more than 10 years, including earning a Bronze Medal at the Winter X Games in 2009.