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Highlighting Standout Performers from 2019

Haley Lee after her first career win at Sheyenne.

It’s time to reflect on some of the on-track successes this season in the RaceChaser area. So I’ve highlighted some drivers who stood out this season. This applies to people who raced regularly at one of the eight RaceChaser-area tracks — for example, Shane Edginton of Winnipeg raced weekly at River Cities in Grand Forks.

Here we go:

Top dogs

Jonny Carter (#46 Wissota Street Stock, Lisbon): Hard to argue against a driver who won the Wissota Street Stock national title, won 25 features and two track titles at Sheyenne and Jamestown. Brooten driver Justin Vogel is a close second for his outstanding year.

Brock Gronwold (#2G Wissota Midwest Modified, Fergus Falls): Former national champion won two track titles at I-94 and Viking and finished 10th in the national points despite running less shows than several who finished around him. At I-94 alone he had four wins and 13 top five finishes in 15 starts.

Shane Edginton (#4 Wissota Late Model, Winnipeg): He finished second in Wissota Late Model national points, second in NLRA points and won track titles at Red River Co-op and River Cities Speedways. Edginton finished in the top five all 15 nights at River Cities to win the track title. He was the only driver to do that in the late models. Edginton had seven wins on the season, including his first career win at River Cities Speedway, his regular Friday night track. You could also include him in breakout performers. Don Shaw is a close second but Edginton’s national points finish gives him the edge.

Ben Wolden (#50 Limited Late Model, Fergus Falls): Five wins at I-94 and won the Limited track title for third straight year. He has set the standard locally in that division, although Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria certainly closed the gap this year.

Trevor Saurer (#21 Wissota Super Stock, Dalton): Won the track title at Viking — the only RaceChaser area track that runs super stocks — with three wins. He finished in the top five 11 times in 12 features.

Adam Goff (#30 IMCA Hobby Stock, Minot): Undefeated at Buffalo River Race Park in seven features in the hobby stocks. Also had a win and six top fives at Red River Valley Speedway.

Daniel Harstad (#77 Short Tracker, Fergus Falls): The 77H had a breakout season, winning track titles at I-94 and Buffalo River and picking up 11 wins this season.

Rob VanMil (#40, IMCA Stock Car, Barnesville): Four stock car wins and a track title at Red River Valley and the same at Norman County. He has established himself as the IMCA Stock Car to beat in this area, and is a pretty formidable IMCA Modified competitor too.

Nick Omdahl (#0 NOSA Sprint, Grand Forks): Omdahl only had one win this year but was a model of consistency and won the NOSA Sprint title and River Cities Speedway track title as well. He had 11 top five finishes.

Austin Arneson (#10 IMCA Modified) and Casey Arneson (#2A IMCA Mod, Fargo): The Arneson brothers had a great year. Austin had some huge wins — the Harris Clash at Deer Creek and a big $10K win at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan in July. Austin finished with eight wins overall. Casey won the track title at Jamestown with five wins and was edged in the points by Dylan Goplen at RRVS. Casey had 10 wins overall. Usually, one or both were near the front in the mods at local tracks.

Breakout Performers

Haley Lee (#50H Wissota Midwest Modified, Starbuck, Minn.): Lee got her first career win at Sheyenne Speedway on Aug. 18 , but she had been knocking on the door all year and running towards the front. In fact, she had nine top five finishes, including three runner-up finishes. She had a great year, even overcoming a nasty rollover crash a little more than halfway through the season.

Landon Atkinson (#18A Wissota Modified, Little Falls): He won the USMTS stop at Fergus for his first win in that series, and added a second Fallen Lineman win at Viking in September. Atkinson is emerging as one of the top mod competitors around if he isn’t already.

Dillon Thorpe (#6T Bomber/Pure Stock, Monango, N.D.): He picked up three wins, including his first career win in May, and finished fourth in the points at Jamestown.

Dylan Goplen (#6D IMCA Modified, Fargo): Picked up his first track championship in the A mods at Red River Valley and also his first modified win. His consistency led him to a track title.

Kelsi Pederson (#93 NLSA Lightning Sprint, East Grand Forks): The daughter of late model veteran Joey Peterson, Kelsi Pederson had five wins this season and finished in the top five 21 times. She’s emerged as one of the top drivers regionally in that division.

Tye Wilke (#72 INEX Legend, Detroit Lakes): The teenager had 17 wins and won track titles at Buffalo River Race Park and Norman County Raceway. He was the car to beat locally and you needed a heck of a performance to keep him from taking the checkered.

Reise Steinberg (#87S Wissota Midwest Modified, Argusville, N.D.): Stenberg has always been competitive but this year emerged as a top b mod driver locally. He finished with eight wins, including the Jeff Carpenter Memorial at Jamestown, and won track titles at Jamestown Speedway and Norman County Raceway. This in spite a pair of rollovers this season.

Up and Comers

Alyssa White (#14 IMCA Hobby Stock, Fargo): The West Fargo teenager picked up three wins in the IMCA Hobby Stocks at Norman County Raceway and ran in the top five both at NCR and Red River Valley all year.

Brendan Mullen (#11M NOSA Sprint, Grand Forks): Teenager picked up his first career win at Devils Lake Speedway this past summer and finished eighth in the points on the NOSA series.

Tucker Pederson (27P, Wissota Street Stock, East Grand Forks): Won two features in the Wissota Street Stock class at River Cities and finished in the top five five times.

Brody Carlsrud (#B1 INEX Legend, Moorhead): The teenager won the track title at Sheyenne and picked up the first two wins of his career. Also had 35 top five finishes. Each year he continues to get better.

Tyler Hall (#60 IMCA Modified, Fertile): Hall had four wins, but finished in the top 10 nine times. Also had some good showings on the Dakota Mod Tour.

Zack Nord (#98 Hobby Stock, Enderlin, N.D.): Finished with two wins this season and seven top five finishes at Sheyenne. The teenager finished second to Bo Gregor in the points at Sheyenne.

Gavin Walton (#7x Mini Stock, Englevale, N.D.): The 14-year-old picked up his first career win at Sheyenne earlier in the summer and finished second in the points at the 1/4-mile oval.

First Wins

In addition to Haley Lee, Mullen and Walton, several drivers got their first wins in 2019. By my count, a total of 20 drivers in the RaceChaser coverage area got their first career wins this season.

Travis Sureus, Fargo, N.D. (NLSA Lightning Sprints, Buffalo River Race Park, Aug. 24)

Brendan Mullen, Grand Forks, N.D. (Outlaw Sprints, Devils Lake Speedway, Aug. 24)

Noah Metzger, Crookston, Minn. (IMCA Sport Mod at Norman County Raceway, Aug. 22)

Haley Lee, Starbuck, Minn., (Wissota Midwest Modified at Sheyenne, Aug. 18)

Dylan Steele, Jamestown (Bombers at Jamestown Speedway, Aug. 17).

Gavin Walton, Englevale (Mini Stock, Sheyenne Speedway, Aug. 11)

Brandon Ferris, Moorhead (IMCA Sport Mod, Red River Valley Speedway, Aug. 9)

Cory Dykhoff, Perham (Wissota Street Stock, I-94 Speedway, Aug. 2)

Alyssa White, West Fargo (IMCA Hobby Stock, Norman County Raceway, July 18)

Jaren Wibstad, Jamestown (Wissota Midwest Modified at Sheyenne Speedway, June 30)

Cole Greseth, Harwood (Mini Stock at Sheyenne Speedway, June 30)

Zack Kort , Fergus Falls (Short Tracker at I-94, June 28)

Tucker Pederson, East Grand Forks (Wissota Street Stock at River Cities, June 28)

Jarod Klein, Wimbledon (Bombers, Jamestown Speedway, June 22)

Kelby Anderson, Fort Ransom (Mini Stocks at Sheyenne Speedway, June 16)

Ryan Schow, McIntosh (Wissota Midwest Modified, River Cities Speedway, June 14)

Zack Nord, Enderlin (Hobby Stock at Sheyenne Speedway, June 2)

Brody Carlsrud, Moorhead (INEX Legends at Buffalo River Race Park, June 1)

Jaden Christ, Jamestown (Wissota Street Stock, Brown County Speedway, June 1).

Dillon Thorpe, Monango (Bombers at Jamestown Speedway, May 11)

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