Anderson Wins Night 1 of Steffes Tour; Gronwold, Saurer, Goulet Victorious
RaceChaser was back at I-94 Sure Step Speedway on Friday for the opening night of the Steffes Street Stock Tour. What a race that turned into, and if that’s an indicator of what’s ahead, we are in for some big-time racing.
The intensity in the street stocks was amped up a notch or two with 43 cars in attendance -- and a ton of quality cars, I should add. There was hard racing in the feature and the battle between Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis., and Ryan Satter of Dent over the final 12 laps will go down as one of the best I've seen in the class. There was some incredibly hard racing and as a fan, it's a joy to watch.
A whopping 149 cars were on hand -- 43 street stocks and 34 midwest modifieds leading the way. While the Wissota Late Models had the night off, the wingless sprints were on hand with 12 cars. The Viessman Late Models had a season-high 17 on hand as well, and a nice 19-car modified field was on hand.
I-94 benefitted, car counts wise, some by Fiesta City Speedway and Brown County Speedway raining out. But it also was the first night of the Steffes Street Stock tour, and pulled a lot of good cars from Wisconsin. A great opener for that tour.
Hunter Anderson of Phillips, Wis., set the pace in the Wissota Street Stock feature, which started 28 cars. Dustin Doughty was running second.
Veteran Royce Jawaski of Horace, who looked good in his heat, didn't even make it to the first lap efore pulling in. Daniel Aberle of Finley, N.D., also had a mechanical issue and left on the hook.
On the move was former King of the Dirt champion Hunter Carter of Lisbon, and defending I-94 champion Ryan Satter. The two moved into the top three as the battle for the lead turned into a three-car battle. Doughty’s night would end with mechanical trouble.
With 12 to go, the Big One happened -- Kolby Kiehl got hooked and turned heading into turn three, and that led to a multi-car pileup. Kiehl, Mike Jans of Clarfield, Cory Dykhoff, Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck. were all casualities of that wreck -- all good cars.
Kyle Dykhoff, by the way, had quite a run going. He broke a rocker arm in the heat -- which seems to be a growing trend in the street stocks -- started 10th in the B, won it, and was in the top 10 when he was involved the wreck. His older brother, Cory, really took a hard hit and the right side of the 3C machine was badly mangled. I would say Jans and Cory Dykhoff suffered the most damage in that crash.
The last 12 laps turned into an outstanding side-by-side battle between Parker Anderson and Satter. Neither driver backed down an inch and it was an epic fight for the lead as the two exchanged spots in what seemed every lap. Carter had a great view — he was right there in third.
On the final lap, Satter cleared Anderson off of turn two. Anderson, however, wasn’t through. He was aggressive went for the slider with his foot to the floor and took the lead. Satter hit the gas hard to counter and spun as Anderson went on to take the win. Carter’s outstanding race ended in second; he’s a former King of the Dirt winner at I-94, but doesn’t race as much as he co-promotes Sheyenne Speedway.
I visited with both drivers briefly about the final lap. Satter could have easily spun Anderson after the final-lap slider but didn’t — he’s not the type of racing to do it. He was disappointed in not getting the win but didn’t make excuses. Anderson told me he was all in going for the win and he did just that with the slider move. Like I said, the intensity was cranked up a notch; this was a great battle to the final lap. In my opinion the whole deal was mostly hard racing running for $1,000.
Eric Riley of Morris avoided some of the mishaps, and ended up earning the Hard Charger Award (worth an extra $250) for taking third. The 51 car started way back in 23rd and drove a nice race for a top three.
Kyle Anderson of Jamestown and Justin Vogel of Brooten also made nice runs, Anderson started 19th and finished fourth while Vogel, who was charged with a caution and put to the rear, made a great charge back through the field to finish in fifth.
Promoter Don Shaw said at the pit meeting he isn’t a big fan of B features -- so he decided to run all 34 Wissota Midwest Modifieds in the feature. It turned out to be 32 as two cars scratched. Either way that’s a lot of race cars!!!
It’s not often former national champion Travis Saurer of Elizabeth starts on the pole in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature and doesn’t win; but that was the case on Friday, as Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls, pictured above, was a rocket in his #2G machine.
Last week’s winner Austin Chyba of Browerville and Saurer each led early. Gronwold was flying around the outside and powered into the lead. It was clear he was the fastest car and he survived some cautions to pick up the win. Chyba was second, Saurer was third. Watertown, S.D., driver Mike Nichols was fourth and Corey Storck of Morris, who started seventh, finished fifth. A total of 22 of the 32 starters took the checkered.
Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls has set the standard in the Viessman Late Model class the last few years, and the #50 car was fast again on Friday as he picked up another feature win from his sixth starting spot.
Dustin Johanneck of Litchfield, the 2020 Viking Speedway champ, was second. Zach Tysdal of Fergus Falls was third. Brad Staples of Herman — who was a DNF in his heat after having a belt issue — charged to fourth from 14th, with Watertown’s Tony Croninger taking fifth.
Much like Gronwold did in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature earlier, Travis Saurer went to the top line in the Wissota Modified feature and simply flew from the pole spot. It seems like Saurer has figured out this year’s mod after struggling a bit the past two years. Saurer opened a commanding lead over second.
The best battle late was for second as Tyler Peterson of Hickson, who has five wins at four different tracks this season, and defending I-94 champion Dusty Bitzan of Brandon went at it. Bitzan held the spot but Peterson made a charge late; Bitzan would hold on at the checkered. Peterson settled for a solid third. Mike Anderson of Jim Falls, Wis. — a top runner in western Wisconsin — made the long haul and looked good, taking fourth after starting ninth. Pole sitter Blake Jegtvig of Hawley was fifth.
A 23-car field took the green flag in the Short Tracker feature, and when it was all said and done, Hunter Goulet of Fargo picked up the win over starting fourth. Travis Roush of New York Mills was second, last week’s winner Kevin Youngquist of Barney, N.D., was third. Brady Molter of Rothsay was fourth and Zach Kort of Fergus Falls was fifth.
Bryan Roach of Welch, Minn. -- a former late model winner when I-94 was asphalt -- won the UMSS Wingless Sprint feature over Cam Schafer. It was Roach's third career UMSS win.
I-94 Sure Step Notes
—Blake Saathoff of Alexandria has added a Wissota Late Model to race this season. He plans to race that car at Casino Speedway in Watertown on Sundays, as that is closer to his dad’s home.
—Greg Platzer of Robbinsdale had a nice heat win in the Wissota Street Stocks. Platzer had a wild ride at Viking last year and has also run in the B mods and late models before -- and hasn’t gotten a win. So good to see the 16 car get a heat win, hope it’s a good boost for him.
—Here were some of the cars in the first B main on Friday: Todd Carter, Kyle Anderson, Eric Riley, Mike Jans, Ryan Pommerer, Dan Aberle, Ben Albertson and Andy Rossow. A lot of feature wins over the years with that group. Only 5 got in. It may be the strongest and deepest Wissota Street Stock field I’ve seen at an event that isn’t the Wissota 100 in this area. I mean I counted 24 cars that I would pick to potentially win a feature. Likewise, the Wissota Midwest Modified field was stacked as well.
—Dan Pederson of Underwood is back in the Wissota Midwest Modified class after spending a couple of years in the Wissota Mods. Pederson farms and runs a seed company near Underwood.
—A couple of drivers from my hometown of scenic Clarkfield were there — Mike Jans, mentioned early, and Ben Albertson, who now lives in Cottonwood. Jans was fast but got caught up in the big wreck in turn three, which was not of his doing. Albertson had a flat in his heat; he was hit by another car during the pace laps of his heat and didn’t even make it a lap. That was unnecessary and the driver of the other car is a veteran who probably should know better.
Greseth Gets 2nd Win of Week
Mike Greseth of Harwood is having quite a week — he won the NLRA Late Model show in Grand Rapids on Thursday for his first late model win, and he followed with a win at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday. The 2019 RCS Late Model champion, Shane Edginton of Winnipeg, was second, Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks third, Tom Corcoran of Grand Forks fourth and Cole Schill of Horace fifth.
Lance Schill of Langdon made it two in a row in the Wissota Midwest Modified class at River Cities. Defending RCS champion Matt Schow of McIntosh was second, Darren Pfau of West Fargo -- a former IMCA Modified driver -- was third, Jamie Dietzler of Larimore fourth and Brennon Weight of LaMoure was fifth.
John Halvorson of Warren won the Wissota Street Stock feature for his first RCS win of the year. Ryne Uhrich of Langdon was second, defending RCS champion Ryan Johnson of Karlstad was third, Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks fourth and Alex Minks of Larimore fifth.
Defending Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint champion Jade Hastings won the sprint car feature from the pole. Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks was second, Nick Omdahl of Grand Forks third, Jordan Graham of Grand Forks was fourth and Shane Roemling of Grand Forks fifth.
Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks topped Ross Cummings of Minot for the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprint feature win. Cory Palm of Bismarck was third, Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake fourth and Steve Nordrum of Devils Lake fifth.
Jacobson, Grager Lead RRVS winners
Scott Jacobson of Fargo won the IMCA Sport Mod feature Friday night at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo. It was his second feature win of the year. Rich Pavlicek of Casselton was second, Doug Gardner of Glyndon third, Kelly Jacobson of Fargo fourth and Charles Jensen of Pelican Rapids fifth.
Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes is rolling again in the INEX Legends, picking up his third win in a row. Sean Johnson of Kindred was second, Australian driver Glenn Mitchell third, Tony Brockhouse of Glyndon fourth and Brian Frederick of Gwinner fifth.
Trent Grager of Carrington captured the IMCA Stock Car win in a field of 22 cars. Brennon Borg of Harwood, who has one win at RRVS this season, was seond and Brandon Schmidt of Hillsboro was third. Tyler McDougall of Hawley and Week 1 winner Travis Robertson of Moorhead rounded out the top five.
Todd Gettel of Mahnomen captured the IMCA HObby Stock win over Tanner Engen of Detroit Lakes. Alyssa White of West Fargo finished a season-best third, Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks was fourth and Dylan Krueger was fifth.
Kollin Hibdon of Nevada won the IMCA Modified feature over Allen Kent of West Fargo. Austin Arneson of Farg o was third, Tyler Hall of Fertile fourth and last week's winner Matt Aukland of Glyndon fifth.
Brandon Rekow of Ellendale won the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint feature over Ty Hanten of West Fargo.