Hastings, Seng, Schill, Hess Stay Hot at River Cities; Sabraski Wins I-94 Super Special
RaceChaser was back at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday as the Wissota Modifieds were in attendance for the first time in 2020.
There weren’t many shockers — all five drivers who reached victory lane — Trey Hess, Lance Schill, Dustin Strand, Jade Hastings and Brad Seng — had been there at least once previously.
A good field of 79 cars were on hand, including 13 modifieds. Once again, I can’t emphasize this enough, the US/Canada non-essential travel ban has hurt River Cities in terms of car counts, especially in the late models and midwest modified classes.
John Halvorson of Warren set the pace from the pole over Greg Jose of Grand Forks in the Wissota Street Stock feature, but moving up through the field were season point leader Ryan Johnson of Karlstad and Trey Hess of Lakota.
Joe Potter of Euclid, who has a win at Devils Lake this season, suffered tough luck in his #10 machine. He slid off turn two and into the barrels below, damaging his front end pretty good. He was OK.
Johnson and Hess moved into the top three and after a restart it turned into a tense three-car battle between those two and Halvorson. They ran three-wide down the frontstretch and there was contact between the three -- Hess on the bottom, Halvorson in the middle and Johnson on the outside.
The contact left Johnson with a flat tire, forcing him to the pits to change it, and Halvorson with front suspension damage that ended his night. Hess was able to continue and assumed the lead. As far as who was at fault…I didn't get a good view from the backstretch (part of the frontstretch is obstructed from where I stand. All I know is no one was charged with the caution.
Hess took control after that…and he was the first street stock driver at River Cities to win from the eighth starting spot this season. The #4 car now has three wins in 2020.
Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks has run well all year with 3 wins, and finished a strong second. Jose looked the best I’ve seen him look all year and took third while veteran Dan McNamee of Arvilla had a good run as well, taking fourth. Daniel Aberle of Finley was fifth. Johnson, who is the season point leader at RCS, came back to finish ninth after his flat.
Lance Schill of Langdon took control early in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature and went on to a comfortable win. By the way, if you’ve ever seen Schill’s hauler…it rivals some from the full-time touring series. Pretty extravagant for a weekly racer.
Reise Stenberg of Argusville continued his good week. He was runner-up to Brock Gronwold on Thursday at Norman County Raceway and outlasted Hoople, N.D., driver Nate Reynolds for second on Friday. Reynolds, who has a win at RCS earlier this year, was third with Matt Schow of McIntosh taking fourth. Schow, by the way, leads the points at RCS by a comfortable margin over Nathan Raasakka of Grand Forks.
Michigan driver Jesse Aho also picked up his second top five in as many nights, taking fifth. He looked solid both at Norman County and RCS. He is the cousin of West Fargo IMCA Hobby Stock driver Alyssa White who didn’t get to race on Friday because of a rainout.
Speaking of taking control, Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks laid a whipping on the 13-car Wissota modified field. He started on the pole and blew away the field in a caution free race.
Aaron Holtan of Newfolden ran in second for much of the race before Matt Gilbertson of Montevideo over took him. Soon, Joseph Thomas of Glyndon and Tyler Peterson of Hickson also moved by.
Nobody had anything for Strand as he ran away. Gilbertson, who has won the John Seitz Memorial modified portion in the past, was second with Thomas, Peterson and Holtan rounding out the top five.
Ever since Jade Hastings of Grand Forks switched to an older car after wrecking his primary #8H machine weeks ago, he’s been the fastest Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint around. He started third on the field on Friday and passed Jordan Graham early to take the lead.
Hastings survived some cautions — and some challenges from veteran Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks — to pick up his fourth RCS win of 2020 with some breathing room to spare. Austin Pierce of Grand Forks made a late pass of Nygaard for second; for Nygaard it was his second top three finish in as many nights.
Brendan Mullen of Grand Forks ran a solid fourth while Blake Egeland of Climax also had a nice night, , taking fifth in his #26 machine.
It’s become a two-horse race for the Wissota Late Model points at RCS and it’s between the two drivers who have seven RCS wins between them — Brad Seng of Grand Forks and Strand, who was looking for his second feature win of the night. Also looking for his second feature win of the night was Lance Schill.
Schill led early with Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks giving chase. Seng went up to a higher line and was on the move. He moved into third and then passed Corcoran for second. Schill was slowed by the lapped car of Kreig Kasin and that was the opening Seng needed to take over the lead. He opened up a nice advantage, but also on the move was Strand.
The caution came out for Blake Anderson late, and it was a time to see if Strand had anything for Seng. He did not as Seng opened up some breathing room at the checkered. Strand settled for second while Corcoran ran a solid third. Schill finished fourth; Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks finished fifth as he challenged Schill late.
For Corcoran, it was a nice comeback after wrecking a motor the week before.
Greseth Wins at I-94 Sure Step Speedway
13-year old Cole Greseth of Harwood picked up the Short Tracker win out of 24 cars at I-94 Sure Step Speedway on Friday in Fergus Falls.
Carter Rieland of St. Cloud was second while Kevin Youngquist of Barney, who leads the Mini Stock points at Sheyenne Speedway, was third after starting eighth. Corey Mehrwerth of St. Stephen was fourth and Curtis Hulseth of Underwood was fifth.
Shane Sabraski of Rice picked up two wins — winning the $800 to win Wissota Super Stock special and also winning the midwest modified feature, driving Randy Laage’s EZ1 car. Sabraski topped 2019 Wissota Super Stock national champion Kevin Burdick of Proctor for the win. Jeff Crouse of Alexandria was third, Jeff Flaten of Hancock fourth and Matt Miller of Glenwood was fifth.
Sabraski topped Chad Gronner of Underwood for the midwest modified win. It was Gronner’s career best finish by the way. Jeff Nelson of Perham was third, while Corey Storck of Morris fourth and Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls was fifth.
Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria won his second Wissota Late Model feature of the year at I-94. Cole Schill of Horace was second, Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls third, Travis Saurer of Elizabeth fourth and Casey Meyer of Wahpeton was fifth.
Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls topped Brad Staples of Herman for the Limited Late Model win. Dustin Johanneck of Litchfield was third, Larry Samuelson of Erhard fourth and Scott Zimmerman of Rothsay fifth.
Randy Thompson of Lake Park won the makeup Short Tracker feature.
Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo rained out on Friday.