Hastings Wraps Up NOSA Sprint Title; Robertson, Dvergsten, Palm and Eckerdt Add River Cities Wins
Jade Hastings of Grand Forks put the finishing touches on his first Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint championship on Friday with a dominating feature win at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. Hastings was joined in victory lane by Brandon Palm, Dexter Dvergsten, Travis Robertson, Brodee Eckert and Isaac Sondol.
It was the season finale at RCS, and three IMCA classes — the Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks and Stock Cars — made their first appearance at the Bullring this season. The POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints and Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints were also on hand on a nice September evening.
We will start with the NOSA Sprint feature, where Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks and Blake Egeland of Climax shared the front row. The race saw a caution early with Zach Omdahl and Tom Egeland involved in an incident in turn two; both left on the hook.
Nygaard led early but Hastings made his move to the front, and the Grand Forks driver just checked out on the field. He built a lead as Nygaard had his hands full with Brendan Mullen of Grand Forks in the battle for second. Austin Pierce of Grand Forks, the season champion at RCS, was moving up from his 11th starting spot into the top four.
Hastings had well over a straightway lead as Mullen moved past Nygaard for second. Pierce moved into third and battled Mullen for second, but neither was in the same area code as Hastings on this night.
I joked with Hastings before the race that on almost all of my trips to RCS, he had won and therefore got a RaceChaser video interview. I gave him the night off from my interview (he had others to do) so he could celebrate a well-deserved feature win and title. Mullen, Pierce, Nygaard and Shane Roemeling of Grand Forks rounded out the the top five.
Travis Robertson of Moorhead, interviewed above, knows River Cities Speedway well -- he won 17 Wissota Street Stock features at the track -- and I figured with him starting on the pole it'd be a difficult task for the field. It was. Robertson led all 20 laps for his fourth feature win of the season.
Tyler McDougall of Hawley and rookie Keaten Froemke of Glyndon had a nice battle for second that lasted may laps. McDougall prevailed to take second while Froemke finished third which was a career-best
Aaron Olson of Mekinock -- who I believe was running for the first time in 2020 -- was fourth ahead of Fargo veteran Todd Heinrich. Olson, by the way, is from the Canby, Minn., area, about a half hour from where I grew up.
Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush, interviewed above, pretty much controlled the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints from the green and led the entire race. He had a decent lead on Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks although once they got into lapped traffic Pederson closed the gap.
Dvergsten picked up his eighth win of 2020 and his third at RCS with the run. Pederson, who has five wins this year, finished a strong second. Alan Truscinski of Greenbush was third while Cody Swenson of Middle River was fourth. Travis Sureus of Fargo made a good run through the field, taking fifth after starting 13th.
Brandon Palm of Portland, interviewed above, is a rookie in the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprint division but is having quite a year and he put on quite a show on Friday. Rob Caho Jr. of Rush City, a top open wheel driver from eastern Minnesota, led for several laps.
Palm, interviewed above, was on the move using a lower line. He started ninth on the grid but eventually overcame Caho for the top spot. Caho had his hands full with Caley Emerson of Grand Forks. Palm went on to pick up his fourth win of 2020 with an impressive showing a track that is fairly close to home for him. Emerson topped Caho for second. Ross Cummings of Minot and Teal Arneson of Balsam rounded out the top five. It was a pretty good race with just one caution.
The IMCA Sport Mod feature got off to an ugly start.
Vince Jegtvig of Dilworth got into turn one too hard and hit inside pole sitter Kelly Jacobson, spinning him. It ended up being a four-car pileup which also included Rich Pavlicek of Casselton who really had nowhere to go from what I could tell and hit Jacobson hard. Jacobson told me his brake pedal actually broke off with that impact and he called it a night after the caution. Jegtvig went to the rear -- not sure what he was thinking driving like that on lap one -- and had some damage. Pavlicek's #17 car was battered but he continued.
It was a pretty dang good race for the lead between Paul Colvin of Horace and Isaac Sondol of Turtle Lake. Colvin ran up high while Sondol ran low. Andy Wagner of Ada was also lurking in third.
Sondol moved ahead but a lapped car slowed him, allowing Colvin to regain the top spot for a few laps. But Sondol regained his momentum and took over the lead on his way to the win. WAgner got by Colvin for second. Brock Beeter of Minot was fourth. Pavlicek ran in the top five all race long but cut a tire on the final lap; he limped to a seventh-place finish. Matt Talley of Sabin finished in fifth after starting 11th.
I talked with Kelly Jacobson briefly. He had been out of racing since having surgery on a non-cancerous tumor on his spinal column last winter. However a few weeks ago he was cleared by the doctor to return and Friday was his fifth night out of 2020. It's good to see him back on the track he is a formidable foe in his #51 machine even though his night ended prematurely.
Brodee Eckerdt's dad, Bobby, has won many features in Grand Forks. So for the 14-year-old to pick up a win at his hometown track had to feel good. He started fourth on the eight-car IMCA Hobby Stock grid and took the lead early and was smooth the whole way to pick up his xxth win of the year. Marvin Priem of Moorhead and Caleb Gardner of Glyndon had a good battle for second with Priem prevailing. Brad Orvedal of Fargo was fourth and Todd Gettel of Mahnomen fifth. It was also a caution-free main event.
--Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake, the owner of the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprint class, blew a head gasket prior to the show. He missed his heat but with the help of his fellow competitors got it replaced and made the feature. He ran well, taking seventh after starting dead last on the 18-car field.
—I talked with Wagner; he's on a little break from his beet-truck driving duties that will resume soon. He co-owns Arc Lanes in Ada with his mother. He had to be happy ending his season with a runner-up finish and a car in one piece.
—I also visited with Ada driver Kalvin Kasselberg has made some significant strides in his #11 IMCA Stock Car. He won his first career feature earlier this summer and was locked in a tight point battle at Norman County Raceway that went to the final week. Friday was his last night of the season. Kasselberg unfortunately didn't finish in the feature.
—I visited with Jordan Adams of Reynolds, the driver of the #20A sprint. He finished in the top 10 on Friday to end his season, and now it’s back to farming. The Adams family farms wheat, sugar beets and soybeans near Reynolds.
—Sabrina Hockenson of Bemidji destroyed her NOSA sprint car during the practice night at RCS in May. She came back later in the year and had a pretty decent run on Friday, finishing 13th after starting 18th.
Night 2, King of the Dirt, I-94 Sure Step Speedway
Night 2 of the King of the Dirt special at I-94 Sure Step Speedway saw the feature lineups taking shape.
Justin Vogel of Brooten won the first Wissota Street Stock qualifier over Greg Platzer of Robbinsdale. Todd Carter of Lisbon was third, Russell Kostreba of Zimmerman fourth. Ryan Satter of Dent won the second Wissota Street Stock qualifier over Cory Dykhoff of Perham. Jonny Carter of Lisbon was third after starting eighth. Kyle Anderson of Jamestown started 11th but finished fifth. Jim Gullikson of Nowthen won the third qualifier with Kyle Dykhoff of Perham taking second after starting eighth.
DJ Tesch of Clear Lake, S.D. won the first Limited Late Model qualifier on Friday over Keith Konold. Once again, Lake Norden, S.D., driver John Kaiser made a move through the field, taking fourth after starting 12th. Brad Staples of Herman won the second qualifier after starting fifth. Sam Zender of Fergus Falls finished second, Fergus Falls driver Ben Wolden finished third after starting sixth and Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria was fourth after starting 11th.
Randy Thompson of Lake Park won the first Short Tracker qualifier over Matt Pederson. Daniel Harstad of Fergus Falls piled up more passing points on Friday, finishing third after starting 10th. Corey Mehrwerth of St. Stephen won the second qualifier with Cole Greseth of Harwood taking second after staring 11th.
Don Shaw won the first late model qualifier over Jeff Provinzino of Hibbing. Jordan Tollakson of Montevideo was third. Dave Mass of East Bethel started 14th and finished fourth while Cole Schill of Horace started 15th and finished fifth as both drivers had good races in terms of passing points. Dan Ebert of Lake Shore won the second qualifier over Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria.
Cody the Cobra Lee won the first midwest modified qualifier over Brendan Blascyk of Kensington. Mike Nichols of Watertown was third, Shane Howell of Buffalo fourth and Brennon Weight of LaMoure, N.D., was fifth.
I-94 track champion Brock Gronwold and runner-up Matt Baker both had tough luck in that qualifier and did not finish.
Justin Froemming of Garfield won the second Wissota Midwest Modified qualifier over Corey Storck of Morris. Storck started 11th by the way. Travis Schulte of Clear Lake started 12th and finished third. Matt Schow of McIntosh was fourth. Shane Sabraski won the third qualifier over Hunter Hougard of Warren. Hougard started 12th but finished second. Zender started 14th and finished third.
Tyler Peterson of Hickson won a Wissota Modified qualifier for a second straight night over Duluth driver Bellefeuille. Dave Cain of Corcoran was third, Landon Atkinson of Little Falls fourth and Shane Sabraski of Rice fifth. Dan Ebert won the second qualifier over Zach Johnson of Lowry. Brady Gerdes of Villard was third. Travis Saurer of Dalton started 11th but finished fourth.
Mike Stearns of Hecla, S.D., won the third mod qualifier with Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids second. Jayson Good of Watertown was third while Mike Greseth of Harwood fourth.
Shane Sabraski won the first super stock qualifier over Dave Mass of East Bethel. Scott Lawrence of Superior was third and Shawn Fernkes of Pennock was fourth. Tommy Richards of Mondovi, Wis., won the second qualifier over Kevin Burdick of Proctor was second. Josh Zimpel of Braham started ninth but finished third.
Dash qualifiers (in starting order, based on passing points):
Midwest Modified: Brendan Blascyk, Cody Lee, Hunter Hougard, Shane Sabraski, Corey Storck, Justin Froemming, Sam Zender, Shane Howell, Ron Saurer, Brennon Weight, Travis Schultz and Mike Nichols
Short Tracker: Daniel Harstad, Corey Mehrwerth, Cole Greseth, Randy Thompson, Matt Peterson, Brady Molter, Andy Booke, Casey Stremick, Brady Hagen, Curtis Huseth, Chase Golliet, Hunter Goulet
Limited Late Model: Brad Staples, Ryan Mikkelson, Ben Wolden, John Kaiser, Sam Zender, D.J. Tesch, Keith Konold, Dustin Johanneck, Dylan Kromschroeder, Rick Nelson, Larry Samuelson, Brady Mellendorf.
Late Model: Dave Mass, Cole Schill, Dan Ebert, Jeffrey Massingill, Shawn Meyer, Shawn Kirwin, Travis Saurer, Ryan Mikkelson, Jeff Provinzino, Cole Searing, Derek Vesel, Casey Meyer
Street Stock: Justin Vogel, Kyle Dykhoff, Todd Carter, Ryan Satter, Jonny Carter, Jim Gullikson, Cory Dykhoff, Russell Kostreba, Gavin Rowland, Kolby Kiehl, Joe Potter, Cole Kannegiesser
Modified: Dave Cain, Johnny Broking, Jody Bellefeuille, Tyler Peterson, Dan Ebert, Brady Gerdes, Mike Greseth, Zach Johnson, Travis Saurer, Landon Atkinson, Jayson Good, Shane Sabraski
Super Stock will be adde