Anderson, Schill Win Tour Races at River Cities; Big Victories for Heinrich and Beto
I ventured up to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks as the Steffes Street Stock Tour and Rebel Midwest Modified Tour were in town. A field of 23 Wissota Street Stocks and 30 Wissota Midwest Modifieds joined 18 Wissota Late Models and 14 POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints on a beautiful night for racing at the Bullring.
One thing about the Steffes Street Stock Tour has been parity. Through six events this year there have been six different winners. On Friday, that mark became seven different winners in seven shows.
Justin Vogel of Brooten and Greg Jose of Grand Forks led the 22-car Wissota Street Stock field to the green (Royce Jawaski did not start the feature). Vogel took the lead but soon found a challenge from Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks, who won last week at River Cities.
Pederson would take over the top spot with Vogel on his heels. Moving into the battle was Kyle Anderson of Jamestown, who was in pursuit of Vogel.
After a restart, Anderson got by Vogel, but that battle was far from over. Pederson opened up a few car lengths on Anderson for the top spot.
Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls, Jose, and Ty Agen of Chippewa Falls, Wis., were among the cars fighting for the fifth spot. Hunter Carter of West Fargo was also lurking in that battle.
Quietly working through the field was 2020 Steffes Street Stock Tour champion Jonny Carter of Lisbon. He started in dead last – 22nd – after having an engine issue in the heat race – but had worked into the top 10.
Pederson’s lead, meanwhile, began to shrink as Anderson was closing the gap and soon, it was a fierce battle up front. Vogel had settled into third by a comfortable margin.
Pederson’s hope for a second straight win ended with a flat rear tire, which brought out the caution.
Anderson reestablished the lead with Vogel in second. Meanwhile, Jonny Carter was still making a move through the field, and was now in the top five.
Anderson would go on to win by .945 seconds over Vogel to become the seventh tour winner this season. The win was worth $1,300. Vogel is a model of consistency; he took second and has finished in the top five in all seven tour events.
Jonny Carter capped off a great run from the back to third, with Agen running a solid fourth. Hunter Carter topped Blacklance for fifth.
An interesting note about the top five on Friday – all five drivers who finished in the top five have one tour win each this season.
Jason Grimes of Jamestown took the lead from the green flag of the Wissota Midwest Modified feature with former RCS champion Austin Hunter and Corey Storck of Morris giving chase.
Lance Schill of Langdon, who is unbeaten in the Wissota Midwest Modified class this season, was quickly into the top three. He soon overtook Grimes for the top spot.
Grimes, Storck, Hunter, Jamie Dietzler of Laimore and Brandon Bahr of Tenstrike were among the drivers battling for second.
The race was marred by a lot of cautions, unfortunately. Schill looked like he was on his way to a runaway win, but a caution came out. Grimes would pull in shortly after with Storck taking over second.
After that restart, however, Schill did not run away as Storck stayed close. Those two were well ahead of the rest of the field as they worked into lapped traffic.
Hunter found some speed on a little higher line and settled into third. Nate Reinke of Lisbon was lurking around the top five much of the night, and soon moved into the fifth spot.
Storck stayed close but was unable to make the pass as Schill picked up the win, which was worth $1,500. He is the third different winner five nights this season on the Rebel tour. Storck was second; he has finished in the top two in the last three tour events. Hunter ran a solid third. Bahr, despite missing the sheet metal from the side of his #29 machine, finished fourth with Reinke capping off a good night in fifth.
Jory Berg of Grand Forks made a nice move through the field. He advanced through the B main and went from 21st to seventh.
14-year-old Weston Olson of Warren took the lead from the inside pole in the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint main event.
Dylan Langevin of Thief River Falls was battling with Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks for second. Bryce Haugeberg of West Fargo was also in the hunt as he pursued Pederson.
Olson looked like he was on his way to his first career feature win, but a caution waved with two laps to go. The restart proved to be the difference as Pederson made a move on the outside at the drop of the green and made the pass for the lead, on her way to the win. Olson finished a career-best second with Haugeberg third. Langevin and Jake Haugeberg rounded out the top five.
I felt for Olson, who looked on his way to his first career win. The caution, which happened because another car broke a throttle cable, came at the worst time for him. But that’s the nature of racing, some times the breaks don’t go your way. But it was also a testament to Pederson’s experience to make the move on the restart.
Greg Friestad of Valley City looked like he was on his first win in a late model, leading the first several laps of the Wissota Late Model main event. Eventually, though veteran Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks would take over the top spot on his way to his first win of 2022.
Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks was second; he was also runner-up Thursday at Norman County Raceway. Brad Seng of Grand Forks was third, Friestad fourth and Lance Schill fifth.
--I talked to Reinke, who has been following the Rebel Tour this season. He switched to an SSR Chassis for the 2022 season, buying a car from a driver in Wisconsin. He looked good on Friday to take fifth.
--I also talked to Jason Strand of Portland, who won his first late model feature on Thursday at Norman County Raceway. Strand is a corn and soybean farmer near Portland, N.D., and the wet spring affected him like many in the farming field. He told me he plans to run RCS but hopes to hit some Tri-State Late Model shows this summer.
--Lucas Rodin of Marion is the defending Wissota Midwest Modified national champion and is also the defending champion of the Rebel Midwest Modified Tour. He hasn’t had great luck to start the season. He suffered a broken foot in a work accident earlier this year and has been racing with that; he told me the foot is at about 75 percent.
Heinrich Wins King Pin Klash at Red River Valley Speedway
Todd Heinrich of Fargo picked up the King Pin Klash win in the IMCA Stock Cars Friday at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.
Heinrich topped Travis Robertson of Moorhead for the win. Rick Schulz of Horace, Heinrich’s teammate, was third while Randy Klein of Enderlin was fourth and Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead fifth.
Chris VanMil of Barnesville won the IMCA Sport Mod feature for his first win of 2022. Scott Jacobson of Fargo was second, Andy Wagner of Ada third, Rich Pavlicek of Casselton was fourth and Ryan Restad of Fargo fifth. Pavlicek was the winner Thursday at Norman County Raceway in Ada.
Ty Hanten of West Fargo won the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint feature over Andy Pake of Felton. Owen Carlson of Somerset was third, Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes was fourth and Marcus Rothenbacher of Ulen fifth.
Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes started 10th on the INEX Legends feature but got to the front as he added another win. Joshua Wiest of Jamestown was second, Zander Bauer of Gwinner third, Sean Johnson of Kindred fourth and Ashton Spieker of Sabin, who won Thursday at Norman County Raceway, was fifth.
Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks picked up his second win in as many nights in the IMCA Hobby Stock division. Tanner Engen of Detroit Lakes was second, Andrea Jacobson of Fargo was third, Dan Dowling of Davenport fourth and Tim Church of Moorhead fifth.
Darren Pfau of West Fargo won the IMCA Modified feature with Jamie Schulz of Harwood taking second. Kollin Hibdon of Pahrump, Nev., was third, Matt Aukland of Glyndon was fourth and Dave Shipley of Argusville fifth.
Beto Wins Short Tracker Special at I-94
Shawn Beto of Wahpeton won the Short Tracker Special Friday night at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls. The win was worth $500 for Beto, who picked up his first career feature win at I-94 earlier this season.
Zach Kort of Fergus Falls was second, Shawn Robinson of Dalton third, Brady Molter of Rothsay fourth and Brady Albertson of Sauk Rapids fifth.
Dave Mass of East Bethel topped Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria for the Wissota Late Model win. Chuck Swenson of Watertown was third, Sam Zender of Fergus Falls fourth and Lindsey Hansen of Watertown, making his late model debut, was a solid fifth.
Travis Saurer of Dalton won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Brendan Blascyk of Hoffman. Chad Gronner of Underwood was third, Scott Oeltjen of Villard was fourth and Kyle Langland of Enderlin was fifth.
Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck topped Ryan Satter of Dent for the Wissota Street Stock feature win. Kyle Howland of Zimmerman was third, Cory Dykhoff of Perham was fourth and Cole Greseth of Harwood was fifth.
The Wissota Modifieds and Viessman Late Models had the night off at I-94.