River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks hosted the Dirt Race Central Street Stock Tour presented by Shocker Hitch while also hosting the Rebel Midwest Modified Tour, which was rescheduled after an earlier rainout.
While the Wissota Midwest Modified numbers were strong with 30 cars, I was disappointed to see only 19 street stocks on hand. I didn’t expect all the Wisconsin cars to make the trip two weekends in a row but there were some other cars I thought would be there but weren’t. There was good quality in the streets with four drivers in the top 10 of the national points.
Cautions plagued the Midwest modified and Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint feature with some questionable driving in traffic in both, in my opinion.
Weston Ramsrud of Bagley and Jonny Carter of Fairmount, N.D., led the Wissota Street Stock field to the green. The two fought hard for the lead early.
Hunter Carter of Mapleton was battling Justin Vogel of Brooten for third with Trey Hess of Grand Froks
Jonny Carter and Ramsrud set a frantic pace; Hess moved into fourth to challenge Vogel with Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks moving into fifth.
Vogel and Hess had the best battle on the track for third for a few laps.
Jonny Carter approached lapped traffic with 14 to go and the lapped car of Rodney Hulst went around in turns one and two.
After another caution Jonny Carter surged back out front with Ramsrud facing heat from Vogel and Hess for second. Hess would eventually edge ahead of Vogel when the caution came out, and the race went back to the last completed lap.
Vogel found something on the restart on the higher lane and got beside Jonny Carter as the laps waned as it turned into a great duel between the two former national champions. Ramsrud had his hands full with Hess and Pederson close behind for that spot.
Vogel made one last charge on the final lap but came up short as Jonny Carter prevailed by .215 seconds for his second street stock tour win of 2023; he also won at Buffalo River Speedway in June. Vogel, the defending tour champion, settled for second with Ramsrud holding on for third. Hess and Pederson capped off good nights in fourth and fifth, respectively.
For Vogel, it was a good turnaround after tearing up his #10 machine in a crash at KRA Speedway on Thursday night.
Cole Greseth of Harwood had a solid run, going from 11th to sixth. Greg Jose of Grand Forks moved up to ninth from 14th as those two were the furthest advancers.
What do say about the Wissota Midwest Modified feature – some good racing at times, but way too many cautions. Some not very impressive driving back in the field.
Jory Berg of East Grand Forks took the lead initially in the Wissota Midwest Modified main event over Shane Howell of Buffalo. Lance Schill of Langdon was running third. Justin Jones of Bemidji and Lucas Rodin of Marion moved into the top five.
The caution came out three laps into the race when Jarod Klein of Jamestown and Corey Storck of Morris were involved in an incident in turn four; Klein would continue, Storck would end up on the hook.
Berg would resume the lead as Schill went to the outside of Howell for second with Jones and Rodin battling for fourth.
Schill was closing in on Berg for the lead with 15 to go and got a run on the outside; there was some contact near the flagstand that led to some debris flying off the 17 car, bringing out the caution. Schill would pull in under the caution, not sure if there was damage from the incident or what the deal was.
On the restart, Berg led but now had Howell and Jones now chasing him. Zach Reinke of Lisbon was having a good run and moved into the top five.
Berg had his hands full up front, but the race soon was plagued by cautions.
With nine to go Zach Reinke’s potential top five finish faded when his car slowed suddenly with nine to go; he would pull in. Rodin, the two-time tour champion, had moved past Howell for third, and he and Jones were on the heels of Berg’s B0 machine on the ensuing restart.
Justin Olson of Thief River Falls moved into the top five after running near there all night long. Just as the race for the lead was heating up between Rodin and Berg, the caution waved – again.
On the restart, Jones and Berg got together briefly out of turn but were able to continue, although Jones would slide back a couple of spots by the checkered. Berg then started to pull away from Rodin, who was now facing pressure from Howell for second as Jones fell back to fourth . Jarod Klein had climbed up to battle Olson for the fifth spot.
Berg finally had built some breathing room at the end to top Howell by .909 seconds. Rodin was third with Jones fourth and Olson taking fifth. Klein went from 12th to sixth.
A pair of cars made long treks through the field from the B main. Nate Reinke of Lisbon went from 21st to eighth while Nate Raasakka of Grand Forks went from 24th to ninth as both avoided some of the spins and melees in the middle of traffic.
You would have had a good race with the cars who didn’t finish – Schill, Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls, Austin Hunter of Winnipeg, Storck and Reinke. Reise Stenberg of Argusville did not start the main event (he would have started seventh), nor did Ryan Schow of McIntosh, who was involved in a wreck in his heat race (but would have qualified for the feature by finishing in the top five).
It was midseason championship night for the Wissota Late Models and Buffalo Wild Wing NOSA Sprint cars, meaning the high point cars would start up front in the features. I will be honest in saying as a fan I do not like that format at all, I think the midseason race should be treated like any other points night. But that’s one opinion and I know others may differ. Guess what? Race fans can disagree.
Dustin Strand and Brad Seng led the Wissota Late Models to the green with Strand taking the early lead. After a caution, soon it was the 1TPO of Tyler Peterson of Hickson who was challenging Strand for the lead; remember those two have met before this season. And it turned into a duel between those two with Seng closing.
Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks moved into fourth ahead of Shane Edgington of East St. Paul, Man.
Strand and Peterson were in heavy lapped traffic, and Strand was able to avoid any big issues and opened up several car lengths on Peterson with seven to go. Peterson’s spoiler was knocked out but he was catching Strand again late. Seng, meanwhile had caught Peterson as the laps waned. Edginton moved into the fourth spot ahead of Troftgruben.
For those looking for another major tussel between Strand and Peterson, it didn’t happen although there was some contact earlier. Strand’s ability to get through lapped traffic efficiently was probably the difference as he would win by .875 seconds. Seng settled for third right on Peterson’s bumper while Edginton and Troftgruben rounded out the top five.
There wasn’t a ton of big movers in the late model feature, which just had one early caution. In fact, by my count, Amelia Eisenschenk of West Fargo – driving her uncle Donny Schatz’s #15 car – made the biggest move, going from 18th to 13th.
Mark Dobmeier of Grand Forks and Jade Hastings of Grand Forks led the Buffalo Wild Wing NOSA Sprints to the green and Dobmeier stormed out to the early lead. Brendan Mullen of Grand Forks and Hastinss fought for second.
Once Mullen cleared Hastings for second, he quickly closed the gap on Dobmeier who was mired in lapped traffic. The caution would come out for Ty Hanten’s spin in turn four with 21 laps (out of 30) to go.
Hastings moved into second with Austin Pierce of Grand Forks, racing for only the fourth time this season, moving past Mullen for third. Jack Croaker of Grand Forks was running in fifth.
Dobmeier was flying around the outside and had some breathing room over Hastings when Weston Olson went off of turn four for the caution.
ON the restart Pierce and Hastings exchanged sliders for second as Dobmeier opened up a half straightaway advantage. Pierce would take over second.
After a series of cautions, Pierce was penalized one row for jumping a start, moving Mullen back up beside Dobmeier on the restart. Hastings would take over second.
Jordan Graham of Grand Forks was being patient and had moved into the top five, and soon moved into third past Mullen. Dobmeier’s lead shrunk once again in lapped traffic, and Hastings would get beside down the backstretch and make contact; Hastings made a great save and didn’t lose a position but Dobmeier was able to open up a gap for the top spot again.
Dobmeier picked up his third win of the season with Hastings taking second. Graham capped off a great night in third by edging Pierce, with Croaker rounding out the top five.
River Cities/Friday Notes
--I talked to late model driver Jason Strand of Portland. He raced his car with the open motor with the World of Outlaw Late Models down in Mason City, Iowa, a few weeks ago; he unfortunately rolled that machine over and damaged it. He had his Wissota car on hand on Friday.
--Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls raced at Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor last Sunday and then went to Rice Lake (Wis.) Speedway on Monday. The Wissota Midwest Modified features at both tracks had one thing in common – they barely got any racing laps in because of numerous cautions and were called because of time limits.
--Kyle Anderson of Jamestown has battled some mechanical gremlins this season, and was a DNF in Friday’s Wissota Street Stock feature.
--Ashley Wampler of Hecla, S.D., has been a faithful follower on the DRC Street Stock Tour the past few seasons, and moved up four spots in the feature to 13th after starting 17th.
--The IMCA RaceSaver Sprints will be racing at River Cities for a doubleheader on July 14 and 15 as part of the IRA vs. NOSA weekend. Ty Hanten of West Fargo and Laela Eisenschenk of West Fargo were on hand with their IMCA cars and ran with the NOSA Sprints.
--Nate Reynolds of Manvel had a tough night. He won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature on June 30 at River Cities, but suffered some damage in his heat race and did not make the call for the B.
--Kamey Leedom of West Fargo is a young driver who is getting her feet wet in the B mod classes locally. She races in the IMCA Sport Mods at Red River Valley Speedway and Buffalo River Speedway but also has done some Wissota Midwest Modified racing. Seat time is important at this point for Leedom and she is getting that running at different tracks.
--Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks has moved into the NOSA Sprints this season after spending the previous three seasons in the wingless sprints. He has been highly successful in the wingless sprints, posting 29 feature wins in the last three seasons; Friday was his fourth night in a 410 sprint. His wingless sprint is for sale, but he will race that until it is sold. Sobolik got his start in motocross.
--Olson, of Warren, races in the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint class but has also picked up a NOSA Sprint for the season. Olson is 15 and the youngest driver in the NOSA class weekly at River Cities.
--I-94 EMR Speedway in Fergus Falls got hit with late afternoon rain and cancelled for the night. Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo was off this week.
--Congrats to Morgan Ward Grosz for picking up her first career Wissota Late Model win Friday at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen. Ward Grosz's first career win came in the Wissota Modified class.
--One note from Thursday, congrats to Sophie Anderson of Chokio, Minn., for picking up her first career feature win in the Pure Stocks at KRA Speedway in Willmar.