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Broksieck, Johnson, Ward, Newberg, Peterson and Rossow Land Casino Speedway Victories

Maria Broksieck, back, edged Jason Marko (31) by .001 seconds for the street stock win at Casino (photo by Cody R. Papke)

After raining out the previous two weeks, Casino Speedway in Watertown resumed action with Fan Appreciation Night on Sunday.

Aside from 16 Wissota Late Models, car counts weren’t huge, but sometimes that is misleading. If you have several good cars on a quarter-mile bullring track – and the racing is close and tight – the number of total cars doesn’t matter much. The Wissota Mods, Midwest Mods and Street Stocks had nine cars each but all three put on great shows in their features.

Sunday was some of the best racing I’ve seen at Casino this year. There was a lot of good, hard racing in each class and a lot of sliders and a few sparks flew. And the show wrapped up in a little over three hours, nice work by the drivers and staff at Casino.

Tony Miller of Browns Valley and Jason Marko of Watertown led the nine-car Wissota Street Stock feature to the green. Marko entered the night second in the points, 45 behind leader Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, and only three points ahead of third-place Andy Rossow of Florence.

Marko opened up a two-second lead on Miller. Broksieck was working on Wade Tirrel for third; she took over that spot and then got by Miller for second, but faced a big deficit to Marko, who had checked out.

Miller was running well in third and Tirrel was pressuring him. The ageless Al Schmidt was running a solid fifth.

Broksieck was eating into the lead, running about two tenths quicker a lap, and with four to go had closed within a car length. Marko was running low and Broksieck – usually bad fast on the bottom – was working up a higher lane.

It got really, really tense over the final two laps as Marko was desperately trying to hold on. Broksieck made one last charge on the high side of turns three and four, and got a big surge of momentum on the outside and nipped Marko at the line by inches. When I say inches, I mean inches as the margin of victory was .001 seconds. A great, clean race, and it proves you can have a great race on a quarter-mile track with nine cars. It was a tough loss for Marko, who really dominated 99 percent of the race. It proves that racing to the final inches always matters. Keep in mind, the race is determined by where the transponder wiring is and not necessarily the flagstand.

Broksieck is fifth in the latest Wissota Street Stock national points and should finish in the top five at the worst. She has 15 wins this year, which is her best season of her career, and usually is in the top five if she doesn’t win.

Miller was a solid third. Andy Rossow of Florence started dead last on the field but worked up to fourth to earn hard charger honors. It was a caution-free main event that lasted less than six minutes.

The veteran Scott Hansen of Watertown led early in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature but had three good cars chasing him in Tommy Nichols of Watertown, Luke Johnson of Miller and Mike Nichols of Watertown. IN turned into a fierce four-car fight that was soon joined by Todd Stark of Watertown.

Johnson and Hansen raced extremely hard for the lead, exchanging sliders – and racing each other clean – that was putting on a heck of a show for the fans. Mike Nichols was running in the ditch and was quick on the bottom and went to work on Hansen for second.

With four to go Mike Nichols edged ahead of Hansen for second, but faced a considerable gap on Johnson, who had broken away from that group. Johnson would go on to win by 1.672 seconds over Mike Nichols. Hansen was third, Tommy Nichols was fourth and Stark was fifth in the caution free race, which lasted six and a half minutes.

Next was the Wissota Mods, and the Wild Child Scott Ward of Watertown took the lead on the opening lap. Ward had won in the mods Friday at Fiesta City Speedway in Montevideo.

The caution would wave one lap into the race when Tony Konold went around in turns one and two. The restart brought Huron driver Dale Ames to the top three.

Cayden Schmeling of Watertown went for the slider on Ward on the restart, but Ward returned the favor in turns three and four to regain the top spot.

Ames went to work on Schmeling for second as Superman Mike Stearns of Aberdeen, who won Saturday at Fiesta City Speedway, was closing on both.

Ames would take over second with 20 to go as Schmeling scraped the turn three wall and had some sheet metal damage but continued on. Point leader Joseph Thomas of Glyndon was running fifth.

The second caution of the race came out when Tim Waba spun in turn four with 15 to go, erasing about a one-second lead for Ward.

Ames chose the inside on the restart – which was interesting since most of the cars were running up high – and this allowed Ward to open a few car lengths. Schmeling was living dangerously on the high line, and he faced a lot of pressure from both Stearns and Thomas as the top two broke away. Those two went three-wide a couple of times before Stearns finally took over the spot. Thomas followed into fourth.

Ward’s lead was about .7 seconds on Ames, but the 6 car was closing on the lead with five to go. Ames would go down low and take a peek in turns one and two but never got close enough to mount a slider. Ward would prevail for his second mod win in three days, earning a victory of .667 seconds. Ames ran a strong second with Thomas – the point leader at Casino – taking third. Stearns was fourth and Schmeling rounded out the top five. Again, some pretty good racing throughout the field for the mods.

Brady Mellendorf led early in the Gen X Late Model feature with long-time veteran Curt Newberg of Willmar running second. It turned into a tight battle for the lead between the two #22 machines.

Fergus Falls driver Jarrett Huus was running in third as the caution waved with 16 to go for a spin on the frontstretch. Newberg had actually inched ahead on the last completed lap to take over the top spot.

On the restart Tony Croninger of Watertown – who is leading the Gen X national points – had worked into contention in fourth. Croninger would get by Huus for third as Trevor Walsh of Watertown moved into the top four. As the laps waned Mellendorf reeled Newberg in, and Croninger was close behind. Walsh moved into fourth.

The bottom lane was coming into form as Mellendorf made a pass for the lead; however the caution waving for a spin would erase that and put Newberg back up front with seven to go in what was a huge break for the 22.

However, a four-car pileup in turns one and two would bring out the caution. That included Bodie Croninger of Watertown, Scott Harrington of Waubay, Curt Kranz of Watertown and Doug Walsh of Watertown; all four were able to drive away as it didn’t look like hard contact.

Newberg opened some breathing room as Croninger and Mellendorf dueled for second. Croninger took over second but faced about a 3-4 car length deficit by that point. The 67-year-old Newberg picked up the win by 1.180 seconds over Tony Croninger. Mellendorf was third, Kranz was fourth and Trevor Walsh rounded out the top five.

Two of the top three drivers in Wissota Late Model national points – Tyler Peterson of Hickson (first) and Chad Becker of Aberdeen (third) – were part of the 16-car feature. Jayson Good of Watertown, a late model rookie, set the pace early.

Becker moved into second but Peterson was flying around the outside, like he has many times at Casino, and would take over second, and he set his sights on Good, who had some breathing room. But Becker didn’t give up, running in the ditch as he and Peterson dueled for the second spot.

The caution would wave with 19 to go when Dave Thomas slowed in his #03 machine.

On the restart Peterson went way to the outside and would get by Good on the outside for the lead. Good and Becker were committed to the bottom as the 1TPO was going around the very high side of the bullring.

Kranz was also running low and in fourth while Scott Ward moved into fifth.

As Peterson got into lapped traffic he was able to open some breathing room on Good. But slowly that gap closed as Good began moving on the bottom. The top two encountered a group of cars fighting to stay on the lead lap with three left, and that forced Good to move up high, where he was not as quick. This allowed Peterson to open up a 1.266 second on his way to his 14th late model win of 2023. The win had big implications for national points for Peterson.

Good held off a late challenge from Becker for second. Kranz and Ward rounded out the top five.

Bradley Rossow of Florence made an early pass to take the lead in the Wissota Hornet feature. Adam VanDerostyne of Canby, who is third in Wissota national points, moved into second past Nathan Smith of Watertown.

Rossow had about three car lengths on VanDerostyne and was never seriously threatened as he picked up his third win of 2023. Rossow, by the way, is ninth in the national points as of Aug. 13. VanDerostyne settled for second, Smith was third and Brett Alexander of Brookings was fourth. Raiden Helwig, by the way, might win the award for best number/letter on a car this year – his car “number” is PU.

Bemidji Wins to Leeper, McCann, Sparby, Engen, Barsness, Lawler and Jacobson

Kade Leeper of Guthrie won the Wissota Pure Stock feature with Dustin Puffe of Laporte taking second. Deryk Weleski of Bemidji was third, Austin Carlson of Cohasset was fourth and Dusty Caspers of Bagley was fifth.

Nick McCann of Brainerd topped Blake Erickson of Bagley for the Wissota Mod 4 win. Dean Larson of Pennock was third, Nick Seitz of Bemidji was fourth and Ashton Schwinn of Little Falls was fifth.

Matt Sparby of Bemidji won the Wissota Super Stock feature over Dalton Carlson of Cohasset. Nic Lewis of Bemidji was third.

Hayden Engen of Gonvick topped Ashton Schwinn of Little Falls for the Mini Stock win. Kalin Honer of Laporte was third, Conrad Schwinn of Little Falls was fourth and Justin Honer of Laporte was fifth.

Justin Barsness of Grand Rapids topped Chad Reller of Waskish for the Wissota Hornet win. Brooklyn Vernlund of Bemidji was third, Travis Olafson of Wilton was fourth and Jayme Gordon of Leonard was fifth.

Darrin Lawler of Grand Rapids topped Devyn Weleski of Blackduck for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win. Brandon Bahr of Tenstrike was third, Brennan Schmidt of Bemidji fourth and Gary James Nelson of Ponemah, who won at Greenbush Race Park on Saturday, was fifth.

Nicholas Jacobson of Bemidji won the Wissota Modified feature over John Farrington of Akeley. Lance Schilling of Laporte was third, Alan Olafson of Blackduck fourth and Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls was fifth.

Taves, Siercks, Compson, Clauson, Visser and Greseth Victorious at Buffalo River

Matthew Taves of Detroit Lakes topped Bryce Haugeberg of West Fargo for the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint win Sunday night at Buffalo River Speedway near Glyndon. Kate Taves of Detroit Lakes was third, Dylan Langevin of Thief River Falls was fourth and Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks was fifth.

Dave Siercks of Princeton held off Rich Pavlicek of Casselton for a thrilling IMCA Sport Mod win. Chris VanMil of Barnesville was third, Scott Jacobson of Fargo fourth and Patrick Brejcha of Wahpeton was fifth.

Collin Compson of Valley City won the INEX Legends feature over Ryan Braseth of Ulen. Kody Machart of Moorhead was third, Zander Compson of Valley City was fourth and Evan Hendrickson of Mapleton was fifth.

Weston Clauson of Kathryn won his first career feature Thursday at Sheyenne Speedway and followed with a win Sunday at Buffalo River. Chandler Dick of Lisbon was second, Hunter Goulet of Fargo was third, Braiden Mund of Lisbon was fourth and Adrian Kubitz of Fargo was fifth.

Chad Visser of Ironton won the IMCA Hobby Stock main event with Brad Orvedal of Fargo taking second. Caleb Garner of Glyndon was third, Tyler Hehn of Horace was fourth and Andrea Jacobson of Fargo was fifth.

Cole Greseth of Harwood earned the Wissota Street Stock feature win over Mike Mund of Milnor. Tyler Klugman of Wheaton picked up his second top five of the week in third, Greg Jose of Grand Forks was fourth and Nick Shumansky of Perham was fifth.

Sunday notes

16-year-old Kennedy Swan of Chippewa Falls, Wis., a rookie in the Wissota Mods, picked up her first modified win on Sunday night at Granite City Motor Park. Swan, who had a lot of success in the Wissota Midwest Modified class, won by four seconds over Parker Anderson. It was a good win for the 18S as the field included some excellent cars, including veteran Don Eischens and national point leader Shane Sabraski of Rice.

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