Greseth Wins Another NLRA Feature; Pavlicek, Grager Also win at NCR
RaceChaser was back at Norman County Raceway in Ada for the NLRA Late Model Show that was part of the Norman County Fair. It was sure nice to see the county fair back after it cancelled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NLRA Late Models took center stage, and man, what a rookie late model season Mike Greseth of Harwood is having. He picked up his fourth win of the year and third NLRA win with another impressive victory. It's as impressive a rookie season I've seen in a late model in this area in recent memory.
Greseth, interviewed above, and Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks led the 19-car field to the green. The front three rows were stacked — Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., and Brad Seng of Grand Forks were in row 2, while Bryce Sward of Nelson, Minn., and Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks, the defending NLRA champion, were in row three.
Greseth took the lead from the get-go with Troftgruben settling into second. He was soon pressured by Doar, who eventually took over the spot. That left Troftgruben to fend with Seng for third. Meanwhile, a nice battle for fifth was developing between Strand, Tyler Peterson of Hickson and Shane Edginton of Winnipeg, the season points leader for the NLRA.
The race went caution-free until Josh Johnson’s #84 car went off of turns three and four. Something broke on that machine and he left on the hook.
That brought Doar and Seng to Greseth’s rear for the restart, but the #17 car was on a rail on the low line. Seng cleared Doar for second, while Edginton moved into top four with Peterson in tow.
Greseth won by 2.8 seconds in what is proving to be an incredible first year in a late model. Seng, the all-time NLRA late model wins leader and five-time series champion, came home second. Doar, Edginton and Peterson rounded out the top five.
A determined Rich Pavlicek of Casselton didn't take long to get to the front of the IMCA Sport Mod feature, and once he did, he rolled to a pretty strong victory. Pavlicek made his move right away to get past Kevin Veralrud and Brady Moore of Ulen on the first lap.
Moore, who won the heat race convincingly, ran in second for several laps with Scott Jacobson of Fargo pressuring him.
A caution with 11 to go didn't deter Pavlicek who opened another nice lead. Ryan Restad of West Fargo, making his first appearance at NCR this season and who's won three features in a row at Red River Valley, moved into third ahead of last week's winner, Andy Wagner of Ada.
The top four got pretty spread out as Pavlicek picked up the win, his third overall of 2021. Jacobson crossed the line second, but I saw on MyRacePass he was credited with eighth, so not sure what happened in post-race tech. Restad was credited with second on those results with Wagner, Brandon Ferris of Moorhead and Vince Jegtvig of Dilworth rounding out the top five.
Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada was looking to make it two in a row at NCR after a thrilling last lap win last week. He had the outside pole and took the lead from the green. Soon, however, Trent Grager of Sykeston, N.D., was there to apply pressure. It turned into a pretty good duel between the two for the lead. Late in the race, after a restart, Grager made his move with a slider in turn four, and made it stick, on his way to the feature win, his xxth of 2021. Kesselberg settled for second with Rick Schulz of Horace, Todd Heinrich of Fargo and John Sandvig of West Fargo rounding out the top five.
Grager is on some kind of roll in his #71 car; he has five feature wins in his last eight starts. Keep in mind he’s a rookie in the class.
There were 17 Hornets on hand with Matt Pederson of Lake Park, who I considered one of the favorites, on the pole. He took the lead from the outset and led every lap, on his way to a solid win.
Kevin Youngquist of Barney,N.D., armed with a new engine in the #00 machine, gave chase early after moving into second. Randy Thompson of Lake Park was battling Youngquist for scond. Jason Reinke of Moorhead and John Current of Bemidji battled for fourth.
After a later caution, Thompson got by Youngquist for second and closed the gap on Pederson, but the #4P had it covered on its way to the win. Thompson, Youngquist, Reinke and Current rounded out the top five. Youngquist, by the way, leads the points at I-94 Sure Step Speedway and has set his sights on the season points title there.
Nine cars took the green flag for the Minnesota IMCA RaceSAver Sprint Car Series, but the race got off to a rocky start with a red flag. After that, only six cars remained. Trevor Serbus of Olivia, Minn., dominated the race to pick up the win over Ty Hanten of West Fargo. Monty Ferriera of Lincoln, Neb., was third; he wins the long tour award of the night by a mile.
—Tyler Peterson of Hickson was behind the wheel of Donny Schatz's #15 Wissota/NLRA Late Model, and will be for the rest of the weekend. He will run at I-94 Sure Step on Friday, Devils Lake on Saturday and River Cities on Sunday as part of the Grand Forks County Fair.
—I can't believe there were only six IMCA Stock Cars on hand. Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo gets 20 a night, and NCR, which pays well by the way, struggles to get to 10. I'm not sure there is one specific reason for this but I'd like to see more than six because they put on a good show.
—The Minnesota IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Tour was on hand with 10 cars. The two local drivers in attendance were Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes and Ty Hanten of West Fargo. Wilke had trouble early in his heat and did not make the start of the feature, unfortunately.
—Cole Schill of Horace had some issues with his distributor, leading him to pull off early in his heat. He worked to get the #44 ready, and he finished ninth after starting 19th in the feature. I’m guessing with the way the night began, Schill will take a top ten.