Pictured with father and crew chief Mark, Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod driver Randy Cram races this season in honor of his brother Kevin, killed in the line of duty last September while serving with the Algona Police Department. (Jane Burd, Icon Images)

Cram Racing To Remember Brother Who Protected, Served

ALGONA, Iowa — Randy Cram will remember an important member of his race team every night at the track this season.

Cram’s brother Kevin, an officer with the Algona Police Department, was killed in the line of duty last September.

In his memory, Cram’s Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod sports a wrap designed by Elite Signs that incorporates Kevin’s badge on the nose and roof, his badge number and the slogan “I’ll Finish This Fight” on both sail panels and Iowa Concerns for Police Survivors (or COPS) logos on both door panels.

“We’ve finished top 10 before. Hopefully, maybe this year we can get a top five,” said Cram, who will race Thursdays at hometown track Kossuth County Speedway, Fridays at Hancock County Speedway in Britt and select Saturdays at Boone Speedway. “Of course, the best scenario would be to win a race for him but that’s a lot to ask for. I’m going against the Fett brothers and Matt Looft.  There’s a lot of good competition to go up against here.”

“We’ve got to work more on setup and I’ve got to be more consistent out there in order to hang with the big dogs,” he continued. “That drives us because we’re kind of the underdogs and I know Kevin liked that.”

The rare Ford family – Kevin’s engine of choice – got its start in the sport when the brothers joined an uncle racing gas-powered RC cars.

 “I decided one day I had the money, went and bought a used race car and showed up at the farm the next day, told him here it is. Ever since then he just came out to help,” Cram said. “It’s always been old-school racing with us. We build our engines in the shop and family and friends all work on the car.”

“There’d be days where I would message Kevin at 2 or 3 o’clock because dad was late getting the car in the trailer. With him, it helped a lot to make sure dad got the car to the track.”

Kevin made it a point to be at the track himself on race nights at Algona, whether on duty or helping crew.

“Every Thursday night if he was on duty he would stop in. He would drive his patrol car through the pits and go to our trailer to check in and see how everything was going. Other nights when he wasn’t on duty he would come help change tires or change bar angles,” Cram said. “He was a big part of our racing. If we went to Boone or Britt, he would message me late at night after the races and ask how we did or what we needed to do to make the car better.”

A 10-year law enforcement veteran, Kevin was on patrol last Sept. 13 and was shot and killed while serving an arrest warrant.

The idea of remembering him, somehow, on Randy’s car this season quickly came to the minds of his family and friends.

“Dad said we’d put his badge number on the car for this year and my cousin (Scott Glawe) came up and said he had Elite Signs out of Fort Dodge make a wrap. He took the reins and got things organized and set up,” Cram explained. “Between me, dad and my oldest brother Steve we kind of gave Scott some ideas and he told Elite Signs and they ran with it.”

Cram already has some practice laps in the new-to-him 2018 Assault Chassis he’ll drive in his fifth Northern SportMod season but missed getting that late-night phone call from his brother.

“We went to practice in Britt and when we got done everything kind of hit me. Kevin wasn’t there and I was waiting for that message from him saying, ‘How’d it go, how did the car feel?’” said Cram. “I’ll probably feel that every race we go to, not having him there or not getting that phone call or message from him.”