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Gardner, Sean Johnson and Dobmeier Win at Red River Valley Speedway

Sean Johnson won the INEX Legends feature.

I snuck over to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo for the NOSA Sprint special which caps off the Red River Valley Fair. A good crowd was on hand with 56 cars signed into compete in three classes.

The track was vastly improved from the June 28 show when I was there. There was some moisture on the track but it was smooth a racy.

I tell you every time I’ve been at Red River Valley this year, I swear Doug Gardner of Glyndon has been a contender in the IMCA Sport Mods. He started on the pole on Sunday and had plenty of pressure.

Ryan Restad of West Fargo applied pressure underneath Gardner for several laps, but a restart brought Barnesville driver Chris VanMil into the mix. I honestly thought, the way VanMil was powering on the high side of turn two, that he was going to get Gardner; but Gardner established his advantage in turns three and four. Restad and VanMil then began to battle for second, which allowed Gardner to open up a several car-length lead by the checkered. Restad was second, VanMil third, Brandon Schmidt of Kindred — who was using a borrowed transmission from fellow driver Andy Wagner of Ada — was fourth and Austin Veralrud of Barnesville had a nice run through the field, taking fifth after starting 19th.

The win was Gardner’s second of the year at RRVS. He was interviewed above.

I felt for Jacob Jordan of Brainerd. He was running near the top five and got spun in turn two and ended up with terminal front-end damage.

You probably would have had a pretty good race just with some of the cars that DNF — Scott Jacobson of Fargo, Kelly Jacobson of Fargo, Luke Johnson of Moorhead and Andy Wagner being among that group. Kelly Jacobson had mechanical issues, Wagner’s transmission blew up and Johnson made contact with another car and damaged his front suspension, ending his night. Scott Jacobson was charged with a caution for contact with another car after the race went yellow/black, ending his night.

The INEX Legends had 17 of the 18 cars in attendance take the green. Sean Johnson of Kindred had all kinds of heat on him after he took the lead. For many laps it was Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes who was all over Johnson. Soon, Andrew Jochim of Glyndon made his presence felt, working into third and then turning the race up front into a really good three-car battle.

Johnson, who was interviewed above, didn’t make any mistakes and picked up the win, his fourth of 2019, with Jochim, Wilke, Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead and Alex Braseth of Ulen rounding out the top five.

The NOSA Sprints wrapped up the night with 15 cars taking the green. I figured Mark Dobmeier of Grand Forks would win — he had the pole — and for a while he was in total control. I timed him one lap that he averaged 90 mph. But, a restart changed things, and brought Thomas Kennedy of Winnipeg into the mix.

Kennedy used a slider off the restart to pass Dobmeier and take the lead. It wasn’t nearly over, however. As East Grand Forks driver Nick Omdahl found some speed on a lower line and took the lead.

It appeared as if Omdahl was on his way to the win, but the caution flew with three laps left. That brought Lee Grosz of Watertown, S.D., and Dobmeier back into the mix.

Dobmeier saw the blood in the water, and flew by Omdahl on the high side, taking the lead with two laps left and surging to the win. Omdahl settled for second, Grosz was third, Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks fourth and Ty Hansen of West Fargo fifth.

Next week, RRVS, I-94, Viking, River Cities, Jamestown, Norman County Raceway and Buffalo River Race Park are all in action.

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