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Hastings, Corcoran, Klostreich Celebrate Big River Cities Wins; Jochim Wins 1st Stock Car Feature

Jade Hastings won his first NOSA Sprint feature of 2020.

What an entertaining night of racing Friday at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. There were some rough crashes, hard-fought battles — and some pretty popular winners, too. That included Jade Hastings in the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprints, 51-year veteran Tom Corcoran in the late models, John Halvorson in the Wissota Midwest Modified class and Seth Klostreich picked up a hard-fought first career win.

Let’s start with the NOSA Sprint feature. Austin Pierce of Grand Forks entered the night on a three-feature winning streak. With Jade Hastings and Wade Nygaard leading the front row of the feature, I figured either of those drivers had a great shot at ending the streak.

Hastings, interviewed above, took the lead from the get-go. Nygaard dropped to third, and is off to a very uncharacteristic slow start in 2020. He later spun and was charged with a yellow.

Hastings had a decent lead, but once he encountered lapped traffic, Nick Ranten of East Grand Forks became his primary foe. The two drivers exchanged the lead for a few laps as they worked through the lapped cars before the caution came out. The caution also brought Pierce into the mix, and another driver — Chris Ranten of Climax -- was now in the hunt.

Chris Ranten went up to the high side to take over second and was flying and was closing on Hastings, who ran the bottom effectively much of the race. Chris Ranten pushed too hard in turn four, however, and nearly slide into the wall; he made a great save but the slip up gave Hastings some breathing room at the checkered. Chris Ranten was second after starting fifth while Pierce was third and Nick Ranten a strong fourth. Jordan Adams of Reynolds also looked good, finishing fifth for his first top five of 2020.

The sprints had a rough time last week I was told by a few RCS followers but did a nice job on Friday night.

Then there’s 60-something year old Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks, interviewed above. The ageless veteran — in his 51st year behind the wheel of a race car — started on the pole in the late model feature. He had built a commanding lead by more than a straightaway over second but the last thing he wanted to see was a caution — and that’s exactly what came out. That brought another East Grand Forks driver, Joey Pederson, into contention. Pederson started sixth but had worked his way into second prior to the caution.

I was curious what Pederson had for Corcoran on the restart. Pederson peeked low, and then went up top to try and gain some ground. Corcoran, though, was fast on the bottom and didn’t make a mistake. Pederson stayed fairly close but Corcoran had a few car length lead at the checkered. One note about Corcoran — he now has feature wins in SIX different decades. An incredible feat, and it was a highly popular win with the fans and in the pits. Pederson settled for second, with Jeffrey Massingill of Keewatin, Minn. — who always seems to run well at River Cities — taking a solid third after starting ninth. Veteran Steve Anderson of Grand Forks was fourth and Brad Seng of Grand Forks was fifth.

Seth Klostreich, interviewed above, will never forget his first career street stock win. The Grand Forks driver took the lead early in the Wissota Street Stock feature and had a few car length lead when the caution came out

One driver who had a great shot at a top five finish was Alan Lane of Williams. He gave Klostreich chase but had mechanical trouble and had to pull in about halfway through the feature in his #87 machine.

The restart brought two established street stock veterans into the mix -- John Halvorson of Warren and Daniel Aberle of Finley. And it turned into a barnburner.

Halvorson and Aberle had a tense battle for second — which allowed Klostreich some breathing room — but soon Halvorson inched ahead into second and set his sights on Klostreich. He peeked his nose on the bottom a few times but couldn't make the pass -- and Klostreich had held on for a nerve-wracking first career win. Halvorson and Aberle rounded out the top three. Ryan Johnson of Karlstad, already armed with one win this season, moved to fourth at the finish after starting 13th. Trey Hess of Manvel battled through some traffic to snag his third top five in his last four starts.

Halvorson wasn't done for the night. He started on the outside pole of the midwest modified and took the lead and never relinquished it. Jamie Dietzler of Lamoure, who won a couple of weeks ago at RCS, started fourth and finished a strong second. Jory Berg of Grand Forks was third, Preston Carr of Carrington fourth and Nathan Raasakka of Grand Forks fifth. For the most part it was a pretty clean race in the midwest modifieds.

RCS Notes

—The qualifying and heat races took their toll on Friday. Ty Hanten of Fargo had trouble during his qualifying run and his night was over before the heat races.

Ronnie Novacek of Greenbush drilled the wall hard on the final corner of his midwest modified heat races, ending his night with pretty significant damage to the right side of his car.

I really felt for the Meyer cousins, Shawn and Casey of Wahpeton, in the late models. Shawn hit the wall hard in his heat and rolled his 18x machine; Casey wasn't far behind and had nowhere to go and hit him hard. Both drivers were OK, but both cars endured severe damage. It took quite a bit of work to get the cars ready to load (they traveled together).

Bob Martin also had a bad break in his sprint heat; a car had flipped in front of him and struck it damaging his 10 machine. It was a tough break.

The water barrels in turn four got tested too many times on Friday. Meyer and Novacek were among the hardest hits. They did their job, serving as a shock absorber and preventing cars from jumping the fence. The downside is the length cleanup that ensues if water is spilled out of those barrels when they are hit. It's not a criticism at all -- but I'm guessing they are going to start look at some different options to address that area. The track did a good job of getting things fixed and keeping the show moving throughout the features as there were no lengthy delays.

Jochim Breaks Through at Red River Valley Speedway!

Andrew Jochim of Glyndon broke through in the IMCA Stock Cars for his first feature win in the division on Friday at the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo. Jochim, a rookie in the class who had several wins in the INEX Legends class, started seventh on the 17-car field. Brennan Borg, who won two weeks ago at RRVS, was second, with Mike Anderson of Walcott third, Todd Heinrich of Fargo fourth and Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada fifth.

Austin Arneson of Fargo out dueled his brother Casey for the IMCA Modified win. Dylan Goplen of Fargo, the 2019 IMCA Mod champion at RRVS, was third with Rob VanMil of Barnesville fourth. Jesse Skalicky of Fargo continues his consistency to start 2020 with a fifth-place finish. An amazing 30 modifieds took the green; Tyler Hall of Fertile started 30th and got up to 12th at the checkered.

Tanner Engen of Detroit Lakes now has three wins in a row in the IMCA Hobby Stock class. He topped Tim Shiek of Fargo for the win on Friday. Marvin Priem of Moorhead was third, Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks fourth and Alyssa White of Fargo fifth.

Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush picked up his third feature win of 2020 in the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints. Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks, who has three wins herself in 2020, was second.

Ryan Restad of West Fargo picked up his second IMCA Sport Mod feature win of 2020. He started seventh and worked his way to the front. Scott Jacobson of Fargo ran a solid second, while last week’s winner, Rich Pavlicek of Casselton, was third. Chris VanMil of Barnesville finished fourth for his fifth top five of the year while Austin Veralrud of Barnesville was fifth.

Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes is up to nine INEX Legends wins in 2020. He started 10th on Friday and worked his way to the front yet again. Sean Johnson of Kindred had a good run, taking second, with Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead taking third. Alex Braseth of Ulen was fourth while Garrison Miller of Fargo had a nice run in his 5G, taking fifth.

Satter, Harstad, Baker Stay Hot at I-94 Sure Step Speedway

Ryan Satter of Dent is 3-for-3 in the Wissota Street Stocks at I-94. He started eighth and picked up another win. Cory Dykhoff of Perham was second while Eric Riley of Morris, who started 17th, finished third. Jim “Nitro” Williams of DeGraff was fourth and Justin Vogel of Brooten fifth.

Daniel Harstad of Fergus Falls won his second straight Short Tracker feature over Corey Mehrwerth of St. Stephen. Brent Engler of Barrett was fourth and Levi Lease of Harwood fifth.

Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria prevailed in the Limited Late Model feature over Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls. Derek Quinn of Brandon took fourth.

Matt Baker of St. Joseph won his second straight Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Watertown, SD., driver Mike Nichols. Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls started 15th but battled to third. Brendan Blascyk of Kensington and Austin Chyba of Browerville rounded out the top five.

Brady Gerdes of Villard outlasted a stout 26-car Wissota Modified feature for his first win of 2020. Tyler Peterson of Hickson was second, Dan Ebert of Lake Shore third, Landon Atkinson of Little Falls fourth and Dave Cain of Corcoran fifth.

Dave Mass of East Bethel prevailed in the Wissota Super Stock feature. William Lund of Brandon was fifth.

Kyle Anderson Wins Again

Kyle Anderson of Jamestown hadn't won a street stock feature in his career until last Sunday. Now he has three in a span of a week. Anderson won at Tri-County Speedway in Wishek on Thursday and added a win at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen on Friday.

Anderson topped Billie Christ of Jamestown for the win on Friday. Jonny Carter of Lisbon was third.

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