Ebert, Thompson, Jacobson Claim Norman County Raceway Wins; More Victories for Wilke and Gonska
RaceChaser visited Norman County Raceway in Ada on Thursday night as the Wissota Modifieds and Hornets made their first appearances at the track this season. A great field of 84 cars was on hand.
Before I get into the racing, a memo to the blockhead that sent a stupid SnapChat message to INEX Legend driver Brody Carlsrud of Fargo — his numbers speak for themselves. I published a RaceChaser blog on Brody earlier this week. In his young career, he has three wins and two track championships already in his 4th year and some drivers don’t accomplish that in 20-30 years of racing. So, I’d challenge whoever wrote that message — and didn’t have the guts to leave a name — to hop behind the wheel next week of a Legend car or any race car and show us how it’s done. Yep, that pissed me off.
Brody is a nice kid, by the way, well liked in the pits and has improved each year he’s been on the track.
Onto the racing, I was thrilled to see 21 Wissota Modifieds on hand, and what a deep field it was. There were not many slouches in those 21 cars.
And once again, what a driving performance by Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, interviewed above. Every time I see him he impresses me — he’s smooth and not afraid to try a different line to move forward. And on Thursday he found a different line to get to the lead.
Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks took the lead on the first lap from Joseph Thomas of Glyndon. Strand led several laps but Ebert was on the move. With a majority of the field running on the bottom, Ebert was passing cars on a higher line.
Strand sensed this and move up high, and that gave Ebert a lane on the bottom to take the lead in turns one and two, and he led the final 12 laps to pick up the win. Ebert, by the way, has raced NCR in midwest modifieds and modifieds in the past, and has good familiarity with the 3/8-mile oval.
Strand settled for second. Austin Arneson of Fargo — fresh of winning the Dakota Classic Mod Tour title for the first time — finished third after starting ninth. Zach Johnson of Lowry was fourth -in Corey Svor's 6X and Travis Saurer of Elizabeth was fifth.
Randy Thompson of Lake Park, interviewed above, took the lead from the outset of the Hornet feature, but John Current of Bemidji’s #28 Mustang looked quick, and took over the lead. On a restart, Thompson regained the top spot and Current was spun into the infield. Current pulled in with an engine issue.
Thompson assumed control by several car lengths after that and picked up the win — it was only his third night out in 2020. Curtis Huseth of Underwood was second, Zach Besmehn of Baxter third, Kevin Youngquist of Barney, N.D., fifth and Cole Greseth of Harwood fifth. Greseth bounced back after being put to the rear for a caution earlier in the race.
Ryan Veralrud of Ottertail led early in the IMCA Sport Mod feature before being passed by Torey Fischer of West Fargo. Fischer, chasing her first sport mod win, was in front when a caution came out with six to go.
On the restart, veterans Scott Jacobson of West Fargo and Rich Pavlicek of Casselton moved into the top two spots and waged a tense fight for the lead that went down to the final straightaway. Sparks flew on a few laps as the two raced very hard for the win.
Pavlicek looked to have the lead but Jacobson fought back and took over the lead on the final straightway. There was contact down the front straightaway and Jacobson was spun as he crossed the finish but picked up the win for his first victory of 2020. That was very hard racing for the win…I’ll leave it at that tonight. No real fireworks post-race.
Jacobson has finished in the top five in six straight features. Pavlicek settled for second, while Aaron Wetterlin of Moorhead, who is locked in a battle with Luke Johnson of Moorhead for the points lead, was third. Fischer picked up her third top five of the season by finishing fourth while Johnson was fifth.
The wins keep piling up for Tim Gonska of Brainerd. Right now, the 5G car is almost unbeatable at Norman County in the IMCA Hobby Stocks, as he picked up his fourth win at the 3/8-mile oval.
A spin from the front row piled up several cars and ended the night for Alyssa White of West Fargo, who had nowhere to go as cars piled up and endured heavy damage. Amazingly only one of the cars was knocked out because of that incident.
Joe Gonska of Breezy Point led early but Tim Gonska took control for a dominating win. He has four wins and a runner-up at NCR this season and leads the points. Joe Gonska was second. Tim Shiek and Brad Orvedal of Fargo continue to be consistent top five finishes — Shiek was third after starting seven while Orvedal was fourth. Todd Gettel of Mahnomen took fifth.
Bryce Haugeberg of West Fargo led early in the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints but was over taken by Greenbush driver Dexter Dvergsten. However, Haugeberg fought back and took over the lead as he looked for his second win of 2020; but he had trouble with a broken shock and pulled in off of turns one and two. Dvergsten took control after that, picking up the win, his fourth feature victory of 2020. Alex Truscinski of Greenbush was second, and Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks was third.
Alan Truscinski of Greenbush was fourth and Jason Berg of West Fargo fifth.
The INEX Legends turned into another dual between Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes and Brody Carlsrud. Carlsrud led the first half of the feature before Wilke took over the lead. Carlsrud, however, fought back and stayed close and even made a run at Wilke off of turn four on the final lap but Wilke prevailed. Carlsrud picked up his 15th top five of the year with a runner-up finishes. The Braseth brothers, Alex and Ryan of Ulen, were third and fourth, respectively and also were in the hunt while Tony Brockhouse of Glyndon was fifth.
—Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks has raced 11 times this season in the Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints — and has finished in the top four in every feature. She has four wins.
—I got to meed Todd Good, the owner of Casino Speedway in Watertown, S.D., for the first time. Thanks for the invitation to come down — I hope to get there this season. By the way, Todd’s son, Jayson Good, ran a real good race in the Wissota Modified, finishing sixth after starting 13th.
—Arneson won the Dakota Classic Mod tour points title and was racing in his eighth night in a row, dating back to the Dakota Cat Shootout at NCR on July 9. Arneson, by the way, ran a different car than the one he ran on the tour.
—The miserable season for Andy Wagner of Ada continues. He lost his brakes in the sports mod feature and went off the track, ending his night.
—The IMCA Modifieds and Wissota Midwest Modifieds were off on Thursday at NCR.
—A shoutout to Skyla Miller, 17, of Harwood. She had her best finish of the season in the IMCA Hobby Stock class, taking sixth.
—Some really good Wissota mods were on hand — Saurer, Tyler Peterson, Ebert, Blake Jegtvig, Mike Greseth, Strand, Joe Thomas, Johnson, Arneson, to name a few. You could have picked any of them to win the feature going into the night.
—Brandon Mehrwerth of St. Stephen outdueled older sister Ashley Mehrwerth for the Wissota Midwest Modified win at KRA Speedway in Willmar on Thursday. Ryan Gierke of Villard was third.
—Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck won the Wissota Street Stock feature Thursday night at KRA Speedway. Ryan Satter of Dent was third and Justin Vogel of Brooten fourth.