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Aukland, Eckerdt Win Night 1 of Ada Nationals; Weather Wipes Out Rest of Night

Justin Jones (69) of Bemidji and Andy Wagner (3x) of Ada battle in an IMCA Sport Mod Heat Race.

I made it to Norman County Raceway for the first night of the Ada Nationals which was also the opening night of the Norman County Fair. The highlight of the night was supposed to be a 40-lap IMCA Sport Mod feature for the Sanders Sport Mod Challenge, but rain and lightning would spoil that party. Fifty cars were on hand in the five classes.

The second night of the Ada Nationals, scheduled for Thursday, includes the Rebel Midwest Mod Tour, the NLRA Late Models and the IMCA RaceSaver Sprints. After that, NCR is off until July 20. NCR has shortened its schedule to 10 nights this summer (11 if you count the school bus races on Saturday).

Four laps of the IMCA Sport Mod feature got in – Ryan Restad of West Fargo stormed out to a 2.608 lead over Rich Pavlicek of Casselton before a caution waved for a spin. The race resumed and another spin came before rain started to fall. That, coupled with lightning in the area, led to the cancellation of the remainder of the evening with the IMCA Stock Car and INEX Legends features still on tap. It was announced the IMCA Sport mod, Stock Car and Legend features will be made up in July at NCR; check out their website and social media for further details.

It's too bad it rained out; there were some good cars on hand, including Restad, Pavlicek, Andy Wagner of Ada, Justin Jones of Bemidji, Luke Johnson of Moorhead, Dave Siercks of Princeton and Scott Jacobson of Fargo being among them. It should be a good feature whenever it is made up.

Two features were completed before the weather hit. Matt Aukland of Glyndon, coming off of a feature win last Friday at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, grabbed control of the IMCA Modified feature from the green on Wednesday. Aukland built a big lead over Jeff Nelson of Perham, who had moved into second.

For a while, Brennan Borg of Harwood, Brandon Langer of Alice and John Miller of Enderlin had a good battle for third until a caution waved for a spin. Once the race resumed with six to go Aukland pulled away again to a 2.579 lead by the checkered over Nelson. Miller was third while Borg was fourth.

One driver who is having a big-time season is Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks in the IMCA Hobby Stocks. He entered the night with six wins in eight starts and had finished in the top eight all times.

Veteran Brad Orvedal of Fargo took the lead from the green flag in the IMCA Hobby Stock feature from the outside pole. Tyler Hehn of Horace was in second but soon found Tim Church of Moorhead on his bumper.

Eckerdt started back in fifth and was patient. HE worked past Todd Gettel of Mahnomen for fourth and shortly after worked into third.

Church was staying close to Orvedal up front as Eckerdt closed in on those two. Eckerdt would take over second and would turn his sights to Orvedal, who had no intention of giving up the lead without a fight.

Eckerdt went to the high line and edged past Orvedal for the top spot with less than two to go. Orvedal wouldn’t go away and stayed close but Eckerdt prevailed for his seventh win of 2023. The margin of victory was .601 seconds. Orvedal edged Church for second with Gettel and Hehn rounding out the top five.

The rest of the blog will be a notebook.

RaceChaser notes

You have a lot of family connections in the INEX Legends class. You have three sets of brothers – Alex and Ryan Braseth of Ulen, Noah and Joseph Lewis of Hawley and Gracin and Ashton Spieker of Sabin. You also have three sons of current racers – Carter Restad of West Fargo (son of Sport Mod driver Ryan), Kyle VanMIl of Barnesville (son of IMCA Stock Car driver Rob) and Regan Reinke of Lisbon (son of Midwest Modified driver Zach Reinke).

The Rebel Midwest Mod Tour kicks off Thursday at Norman County Raceway. The tour will go to River Cities Speedway on Friday, Greenbush Race Park on Saturday and Buffalo River Speedway near Glyndon on Sunday. The tour is broken up into a pair of four-night weekends; the second is Aug. 3-6 at Sheyenne, Brown County, Jamestown and Casino Speedways. The finale is set for Aug. 18 at I-94 EMR Speedway.

The Dirt Race Central Street Stock Tour resumes on June 29 at Sheyenne Speedway, followed by two nights at I-94.

Sheyenne Speedway hosts the U.S. Legend Car Tour on Thursday along with Wissota Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. The Wissota Midwest Modified class has the night off with the Rebel tour racing at Ada.

It’s very early but some drivers are doing well in Wissota national points as of 6/11. Cole Schill of Hawley is second in the Wissota Late Model points behind Kevin Burdick of Proctor; Shane Edington of East St. Paul, Man., is fourth and Bryce Sward of Nelson is fifth.

Joseph Thomas of Fargo is second in the Wissota Modified national points to Shane Sabraski of Rice. Corey Storck of Morris is fourth in the Wissota Midwest Modified national points while Austin Hunter of Winnipeg is fifth. Lucas Rodin of Marion is ninth and Mike Nichols of Watertown is 10th.

Justin Vogel of Brooten is third in the Wissota Street Stock national points while Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks is sixth and Trey Hess of Grand Forks is seventh. Maria Broksieck of Goodwin is 10th.

Viking Speedway in Alexandria is off this week but is hosted Rev-d Up Country Fest in the stands.

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