Ebert and Baker Win Bob Gierke Memorial Crowns
I was back at I-94 Sure Step Speedway on Friday night for the fourth annual Bob Gierke Memorial. An excellent field of 41 Wissota midwest modifieds and 25 Wissota Mods were on hand in tribute to the long-time modified racer who passed away in 2017.
The track, for the features, was fantastic with multiple lanes to run. And once again, Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, who I consider as talented a driver as there is in this region, stole the show.
Tyler Kaeter of St. Cloud and Brett Hoium of Villard shared the front row for the 26-lap Wissota Modified feature.
Hoium, running the high line, took the lead from the outset and was fast. Working the lower line was former Wissota 100 winner Dave Cain of Corcoran, who got around Ryan Gierke for second.
On the move again was Ebert, who had won the Advantage RV Mod Tour stop earlier this month.
Cain went low and Hoium high as the two put on a great show for the lead. But Ebert, running in the middle, was closing quickly. Cain took over the lead for a few laps but Ebert — who was an absolute bullet coming out of turn two — powered by on the outside.
Ebert led the rest of the way and won by 1.232 seconds over Cain in what was a terrific performance. He took home $2,626 for the feature win.
Hoium capped off a great night to finish third while Gierke finished strong in fourth. Tyler Peterson of Hickson, who leads the Advantage RV Mod Tour standings, finished fifth.
Brady Gerdes of Villard went from 11th to sixth while Landon Atkinson of Little Falls was the RaceChaser Hard Charger, going from 22nd to eighth. There was just one caution for the mods with some excellent racing, Bob Gierke would have been proud.
Dan Pederson of Underwood took the early lead in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature. Ron Saurer of Dalton, in his 49th year of racing, soon pressured him. On the move was Matt Baker of St. Joseph, who started fifth.
Baker used the lower line to get by Saurer, who had passed Pederson. Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls moved into third.
Baker built a huge lead as Saurer and Gronwold battled for second. Behind them was a great battle between Justin Froemming of Elbow Lake, who won Thursday at KRA Speedway and former King of the Dirt winner Shane Howell of Buffalo.
A caution erased Baker’s huge advantage, but on each restart, he powered on the bottom and opened up breathing room. Saurer and Gronwold resumed their battle for second with Froemming joining in.
Baker was the class of the field, however. His car stuck on that lower line and he was flawless as he picked up the $1,026 winning check. Saurer finished a strong second with Froemming capping off a good night in third. Gronwold was fourth and Howell fifth. Jeff Nelson of Perham ran well all night, and finished just outside the top five in sixth.
Despite the six cautions, 19 of the 26 starters finished, which isn’t a terrible number.
One more note on the midwest modifieds — I was happy to see Haley Lee of Starbuck win the non-qualifier feature. Haley’s luck is usually terrible, but she ran very well to win that race. Bob Sagen of Arthur, the Innovator, was second.
Kyle Howland of Zimmerman built a commanding lead in the Wissota Street Stock feature — that was erased with a caution. Prior to that, Cole Greseth of Harwood was battling season point leader Ryan Satter of Dent for second.
And the caution changed things dramatically.
Satter cleared Greseth and began to pressure Howland for the top spot. But another car joined the mix — Dave Mass of East Bethel, driving the 12X car. Mass, the defending I-94 Wissota Late Model champion and a former Wissota Super Stock national champion, moved into fourth and then joined the battle up front with Satter and Howland.
Satter, who has 12 wins this season, moved into the lead, but it was Mass who made the charge to the front. He cleared Satter and while Satter hung close for several laps, opened up a little breathing room. Mass prevailed for the win — his first night in the car this season. He won by .592 seconds over Satter. Howland capped off a great race in third with Greseth finishing a solid fourth.
Daniel Aberle of Finley ran in the top five all night and was a solid fifth.
Kevin Youngquist’s winning streak in the Short Trackers is over. Matt Pederson of Lake Park proved to be the car to beat on Friday, starting sixth and picking up the win.
Pederson had a nice lead but Youngquist closed to his bumper on a few occasions. Pederson didn’t flinch on his way to the win.
Only one caution flew in the Short Trackers as they did a nice job. By the way, they’ve been added to the weekly racing card at Viking Speedway and will be there on Saturday.
Youngquist still has a commanding point lead after finishing second. Zach Kort of Fergus Falls ran third, Brady Molter of Rothsay was fourth and Shawn Beto of Wahpeton was fifth.
The Viessman Late Model feature was a pretty good race up front — and a complete cluster further back. It was a frustrating race to watch, and I thought they waited too long to use the yellow/black, frankly.
Up front, the racing was pretty good. Johnny Lindgren of Willmar led early but was overtaken by Sam Zender of Fergus Falls. Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls, who had dominated the class since its inception, moved into second.
However, it turned into a caution fest, and each time Zender and Wolden were poised to battle for the lead, the yellow waved. It was beyond maddening. And sadly the spins were the story of the race, not the racing itself.
Zender got the win; the race was shortened a bit after all the cautions. He now has three Limited Late Model wins this season, and has done a great job in Scott Rachels’ #7S machine. Wolden settled for second with Larry Samuelson of Erhard finishing a solid third. Derek Quinn of Brandon was the hard charger, going from 12th to fourth. Dave Zimmerman of Elizabeth, a Viking Speedway Hall of Famer, hopped into Scott Zimmerman’s #20 machine and finished fifth.
I-94 Sure Step Speedway
--there is another Lick racing from Rosholt, S.D. -- Tristyn Lick, who drives the #28 midwest modified. Luke has been racing several years and runs the #5 modified. He has a good-looking blue machine this year. Tristyn, a rookie, is Luke’s cousin.
--Matt Aukland of Fargo was on hand competing in the Wissota Modifieds. He drives a Lethal Chassis that Dusty Bitzan raced a year ago. Aukland is normally an IMCA Modified competitor at Red River Valley Speedway. He finished 13th in his first trip to I-94 this year.
--I talked with Viessman Late Model driver Blake Saathoff of Alexandria. He hasn't raced as much this year -- he's a youth pastor who has been busy with church camps this summer. He's a good guy and looked solid in the feature.
--Shawn Beto's brother, Caleb, has hopped behind the wheel of a Short Tracker, driving the #01 car.
Seng, Raasakka Lead River Cities Winners
Brad Seng of Grand Forks won the Wissota Late Model feature Friday night at River Cities Speedway. He picked up his first victory of 2021.
Seng topped Cole Schill of Horace, who picked up his second top three in as many nights, for the win. Schill settled for second. Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks was third, Shane Edginton of Winnipeg was fourth and Steffen Snare of Greenbush was fifth.
Nathan Raasakka of Grand Forks broke through for his first career win in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds. He topped Preston Carr of Carrington. Rusty Kollman of Carrington was third, Darren Pfau of West Fargo fourth and Matt Schow of McIntosh fifth.
Brandon Corbett of Grand Forks won the Wissota Street Stock feature over John Halvorson of Warren. Ryan Johnson of Karlstad was third, Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks was fourth and Dan McNamee of Arvilla fifth.
Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush topped Alex Truscinski of Greenbush for the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint win. Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks was third, while Garrison Miller of Fargo his second top five of the season after finishing fifth.
Ken Horn of Grand Rapids won the Northern Renegade Wingless Spring feature. Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks took fourth.
Wilke Wins 2, Kent, Restad, McDougall Win at Red River Valley
It was a good night for Detroit Lakes teenager Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes on Friday as he picked up two feature wins at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.
Wilke won the IMCA Racesaver Sprint Car feature over Ty Hansen of West Fargo. He also continued his dominance in the INEX Legends, picking up the win after starting ninth. Ryan Braseth of Ulen was second, Sean Johnson of Kindred third, Joshua Wiest of Jamestown fourth and Collin Compson of Valley City was fifth.
Allen Kent of West Fargo won the IMCA Modified feature over Jordan Sours of Lisbon. John Nord of Enderlin was third, Casey Arneson of Fargo fourth and Kollin Hibdon of Pahrump, Nev., was fifth.
Ryan Restad of West Fargo returned to victory lane in the IMCA Northern Sport Mods. Rich Pavlicek of Casselton was second after starting 11th while Brandon Ferris of Moorhead was third. Kevin Veralrud of Horace was fourth and Paul Colvin of Horace, who won Thursday at Norman County, was fifth.
Tyler McDougall of Hawley started 14th but charged to the front to pick up the IMCA Stock Car win on Night of the Sanders Stock Car Challenge. Brennan Borg of Harwood was second after starting way back in 21st while Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada was third. Randy Klein of Enderlin, who won Thursday at Norman County, was fourth and Keaten Froemke of Glyndon was fifth.
Tanner Engen of Detroit Lakes topped Brad Orvedal of Fargo for the IMCA Hobby Stock win. Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks, who won Thursday at Norman County Raceway, was third and Andrea Jacobson of Fargo was fourth.
--Jonny Carter of Lisbon won the Wissota Street Stock feature at Night 1 of the Governor's Cup at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan.
--Lucas Rodin of Marion won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen on Friday.
--Kyle Genett of Auburndale, Wis., won the Steffes Street Stock Tour feature Friday at Red Cedar Speedway in Menomonie, Wis. Justin Vogel of Brooten, who has three tour wins this year, was second.