Hall and Wilke Put on Shows at Buffalo River; Crandall Picks Up 1st Win at Viking
I decided last-minute to head to Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon. Because of all of the weather cancellations, it was only the third racing night of the summer at Buffalo River — and we are at July 20. On this night the weather was great so that was not a worry.
The story of the night, to be, was the performances of Tyler Hall in the IMCA Modifieds and Tye Wilke in the INEX Legends as they both made big-time charges to their wins late in the race. More on that later.
I was a paying customer on this night — didn’t do any interviews or postrace RaceChaser stuff — simply because I like being a fan once in a while and just watching a race. I choose to do so by sitting in the air conditioning upstairs which houses a full bar. I was in the pit area at I-94 on Friday and got hit by a good-sized rock in the head (off of turn four) so I felt like avoiding the dirt this week. The bar area is very nice, it is comfortable; the only thing is when people cheer, you lose a little atmosphere that you’d get if the fans are outside cheering.
BRRP also has a very nice outdoor patio area that overlooks turn four, similar to what Deer Creek down by Rochester has.
My personal theory is the bar — which is open to 1 a.m. — was a key factor in moving to Saturdays. There are better chances people will hang out and have a few drinks after the races on a Saturday night as opposed to a Sunday.
The one challenge BRRP faces by moving to Saturday is now the track runs against North Central Speedway in Brainerd and Jamestown Speedway. Jamestown runs the IMCA mods and legend cars weekly; NCS runs IMCA sanctioning in modified, sport mods, hobby stock and sport compacts, all classes run by BRRP. Buffalo River used to draw a few cars from Brainerd weekly. But with only three nights of racing it is hard to evaluate the impact of those tracks on car counts at BRRP. Maybe in a month we can see more.
The car counts were solid, including 15 INEX Legends. The NLSA Lightning Sprints had the night off; Greenbush Race Park was hosting a special last night. There were two heats in every class.
Let’s start with the IMCA Modified feature. Hall, a Fertile driver, started 10th on the field, which was chasing early leader Rob VanMil of Barnesville. Hall found speed on the lower line. He passed a few cars and after a restart, was in fourth. The low line proved effective; he passed Jamie Schulz and Jesse Skalicky of Fargo to move into second and set his sights on VanMil.
It isn’t often VanMil gets beat at BRRP, but Hall was the fastest car on this night. It was impressive to watch how well his 60 car worked on the bottom as he picked up the win, his third feature win of 2019. VanMil was second, Skalicky was third, Schulz fourth and Rick Pavlicek of Casselton fifth.
Earlier, what a show Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes put on in the INEX Legends feature, which was caution free, by the way. Glyndon driver Andrew Jochim built a commanding lead and looked to make it a runaway; Wilke took a few laps to get to second, but once he did, he was absolutely flying. He erased a two-second lead in about five laps and made his move on the final lap, edging Jochim for the thrilling win, his seventh of 2019. Jochim settled for second, Steven Kuntz of Bismarck was third, Ryan Braseth of Ulen fourth and Jackson Lewis of Lakeville fifth.
I think every time I've seen Adam Goff of Minot race in the IMCA Hobby Stocks, he has won. He made a late charge and after a little rubbing with Tanner Engen of Detroit Lake, made the pass for the win. Goff, keep in mind, started 10th on the field. Engen, Marvin Priem of Moorhead, Brad Orvedal of Fargo and Kyle Hallgren of Hankinson rounded out the top five.
There was a lot of contact in the IMCA sport mod feature, starting on the first lap. Contact out of turn two resulted in Scott Jacobson's 5 machine getting damaged, ending his night, and the spoiler being removed from Chris VanMil's 40 car. Even during the race I thought there was too much beating and banging in traffic. Just my take.
West Fargo driver Torey Fischer looked strong early, leading the first several laps. Tim Siercks of Princeton moved into the lead about 1/3 the way through and never relinquished it. David Siercks of Princeton was second, VanMil made a nice recovery to take third. Doug Gardner of Glyndon was fourth and Matt Talley of Sabin was fifth.
Dan Harstad of Fergus Falls is having quite a year; he picked up his sixth feature win of 2019 with the victory in the IMCA Sport Compacts. Harstad started eighth, and got a big break thanks to a caution; he got sideways in turns one and two, allowing Kevin Youngquist to take the lead briefly. However, the caution brought the field back to the last completed lap, putting Harstad back in the lead. He weathered a late challenge from 12-year-old Cole Greseth of Harwood to pick up the win. Youngquist was third, Chase Golliet of Fargo fourth and Levi Lease of Harwood fifth.
BTW, a funny thing in the sport compact feature. Jeff Goulet, driving the 24X car, lost a wheel in turn two — and kept racing the next few laps. Didn’t look like he missed a beat but he finally pulled in.
Crandall Breaks Through for 1st Win at Viking
Bryan Crandall of Herman won the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Viking Speedway. It is Crandall’s first win of 2019. Travis Scott of Glenwood was second, Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria was third, Chuck Olson of Evansville fourth and Jim Williams of DeGraff fifth.
Jason Thoennes of Garfield won the Wissota Modified feature for his first win of 2019 with Brady Gerdes of Villard second, Dustin Bitzan of Brandon third, Josh Thoennes of Nelson fourth and Zach Johnson of Lowry fifth. Ironically, Gerdes topped Thoennes
Tom Silver of Glenwood won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature with Brendan Blascyk of Kensington second, Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls third, Corey Storck of Morris fourth and Nick Bruder of Long Prairie fifth.
Ryan Mikkelson won the Limited Late Model feature over Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls. Bryce Sward of Nelson was third.
Matt Miller of Glenwood won the Wissota Super Stock feature over Trevor Saurer of Dalton. Jason Cook of Brandon was third, Jeff Crouse of Alexandria fourth.
Gordon and Reinke Win at Jamestown
Randy Gordon of Jamestown won the IMCA Modified feature Saturday at Jamestown. Marlyn Seidler of Underwood was second, John Nord of Enderlin third, Jason Grimes of Jamestown fourth and Don “The Grinder” Gumke of Jamestown fifth.
Nate Reinke of Lisbon won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Lindsey Hansen of Jamestown. Brennon Weight of La Moure was third, Kyle Schell of Lisbon fourth.
Veteran Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg won the NLRA Late Model feature. Cole Schill of Horace finished fourth after starting seventh.
Travis Edinger of Jamestown won the Bomber feature over Leann Christensen. Dillon Thorpe was third, Jarod Klein of Jamestown fourth and Taylor Saari of Mapleton fifth.
Scott Gartner of Jamestown won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Jerry Lamb of Lisbon. Jonny Carter of Lisbon was third, Royce Jawaski of Horace fourth and Jaden Christ of Jamestown fifth.
An excellent field of 124 cars, including 28 late models, competed at Jamestown.