Two future step-brothers will battle it out against each other next season at North Central Motor Speedway south of Brainerd.
Nick Musel, 19, and Justin Aylward, 24, both of Brainerd, will become step-brothers in December with the marriage of Justin's father, John, to Nick's mother, Geri.
Justin has been racing for eight years and is currently driving a Wissota Super Stock. Musel, currently driving a Midwest B-Modified, will be making the jump to Super Stock next season.
Justin, who got behind the wheel of a race car at age 15, started his career driving in the Outlaw class at the raceway in Aitkin. He then moved into Wissota Street Stock where he earned rookie of the year honors at NCMS.
Justin wanted to jump into something a bit faster so he made the move to Wissota Super Stock and again earned rookie of the year honors at NCMS, plus was rookie of the year nationally in Wissota.
This year he is fourth in the point standings at NCMS, third at St. Cloud, first at the Buffalo River Speedway, and 14th nationally.
Musel started his career in the NCMS Pure Stock class and is in just his second year of racing. He is in the hunt for national rookie of the year in Midwest Modified this season and is fifth nationally in points. He is currently third in points at NCMS and first at the Princeton Speedway. He also races in St. Cloud but not for points.
With two young talented drivers now teaming up and their dad, John Aylward, now turning the wrenches on both cars, fans will probably see two fast super stocks tearing up the track next season.
"Right now it's a dream come true for me," said Musel. "I never thought I would have what I have now. From not having a dad around before to having one now it's just a great thing for me." Musel's dad died when Nick was 6 years old.
With the two racing against each other next season, Justin believes Musel will make the transition to Supers with ease.
"Next year people are going to see twin ARC (Aylward Racing Chassis) cars out on the track," Justin said. "Nick has gotten better every year and I think he is going to do great. I also think that next year the pressure's going to be on me. I'm going to have to worry about staying in front of him."
With two boys in a family now racing, money and time are issues to through the season.
"This is pretty much a full-time racing family for the summers now," said Justin. "Nick and I go to work all day to help pay to keep the cars going while Dad is working eight-hour days on the cars. A lot of our money is going into the cars, including Mom's as well."
The racing season includes considerable traveling and time. The new family has spent considerable time bonding.
"I'm very proud of my boys," John Aylward said. "We get to spend quality time together when we're working on the cars, when we're out at the track and when we're traveling."
"We're really proud of how the boys conduct themselves on the race track," said Geri. "They show great sportsmanship and great attitudes."
With two race cars at the Aylward household a big shop to work on them was definitely in order.
"We just built a big shop at our place for the two of us," Musel said. "Working on the cars with Justin and Dad I really have learned a lot. There still is much more to learn though."
It's inevitable that brothers may fight, and next season Justin and Nick will be fighting for position when they battle it out in the Wissota Super Stock class.
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