The Moonshine Mod Tour headed to Norman County Raceway in Ada for its second night of racing for the week.
A 23-car field was on hand with several quality cars competing. I thought the track was very slick but racy and produced really good modified, legend and stock car features.
Former national champion Mike Stearns of Aberdeen led lap one of the Moonshine feature over Zach Johnson of Lowry with Blake Jegtvig of Hawley passing Aaron Blacklance for third. Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks started eighth but surged quickly to fifth in just three laps. Matt Aukland of Glyndon moved into fifth.
Strand was working on Jegtvig for third as Johnson closed on Stearns on the low side as those two went side by side. Johnson would take the lead briefly with 24 to go but the caution would wave, putting Stearns back in front.
On a later restart, Strand and Jegtvig had contact and the 71 of Strand slid from third to sixth on the restart in what was a costly sequence.
Johnson and Stearns resumed their fight for the lead side by side as Aukland moved into third. Tour point leader Brady Gerdes of Villard was fourth after starting back in 10th.
Stearns and Johnson put on a heck of a show up front; Jegtvig would call it a night with 19 to go, ending hopes of back-to-back wins after being victorious at Buffalo River on Wednesday. Gerdes and Aukland were battling for third in a similar fashion and were closing on the battle for the lead.
Stearns slipped up for one second, and that opened the door for Aukland and Johnson to make a run up front.
Johnson would take over the lead with 10 to go with Gerdes now in second. Gerdes stuck the 2X to the bottom line as the two Viking Speedway veterans went at it hard for the lead.
Two-time tour winner Tyler Peterson of Hickson had worked into the top five, and then got by Stearns with eight to go to settle into fourth.
Johnson opened up a gap on Gerdes as Peterson was pressuring Aukland. Stearns had to contend with Strand for the fifth spot. A dreaded debris caution would wave with two to go to step up a green-white-checkered finish.
On the restart Gerdes looked for any way around Johnson and made one last charge out of turn four but Johnson edged ahead for the feature win. The final margin was .087 seconds. Aukland edged Peterson for fourth with Strand topping Stearns for fifth.
It was Johnson’s second win of 2023. Gerdes has finished in the top five at every Moonshine stop but has yet to finish in victory lane, but has been remarkably consistent. Peterson leads with two tour wins while Jegtvig, Johnson, Joe Thomas and Travis Saurer have wins. The Moonshine Tour moves to River Cities Speedway on Friday.
You had some real quality cars in the Wissota Midwest Modified field – Corey Storck of Morris, Reise Stenberg of Argusville, Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown, Jamie Dietzler, Jory Berg, Matt Schow, Aaron Blacklance and Jason Grimes (driving Scott Bintz’s 1S machine) being among them. When there was racing, there were some good battles. But five cautions plagued the race and led to some unhappy folks.
Outside pole sitter Jamie Dietzler of Larimore took the lead on the opening lap over Jory Berg of Grand Forks, who faced pressure from Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls for second.
After a caution Blacklance threatened Dietzler for the lead as Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown moved into third ahead of Berg.
Grimes moved into the top five and looked to have a car to challenge for a top three spot but pulled off with a problem with 10 to go.
Dietzler opened up a few car length lead on Blacklance with Wibstad in third. Justin Olson of Thief River Falls moved into fourth. Storck was making a move through the field and passed Olson for fifth. A caution for Kamey Leedom’s spin came out with six to go to bunch up the field.
Wibstad would clear Blacklance for second and soon was closing on Dietzler for the lead when the fifth caution of the race waved. Storck and Blacklance battled side by side for third with Olson close behind.
Wibstad, who won the Rebel Tour stop at Norman County earlier this summer, made a good run but Dietzler was solid to pick up his first feature win of 2023. Wibstad was second, Storck was third and Blacklance fourth. Olson, who started 11th, made it up to fifth. Phil Christlieb of Fargo had a good run, going from 14th to sixth.
Scott Richardson of Pelican Rapids led the first lap of the INEX Legends feature but slid off high in turns one and two and lost a bunch of spots. Ryan Braseth of Ulen would take the lead. Young Kyle VanMil moved into third on the first lap.
Alex Braseth of Ulen moved into third as Josh Wiest, Richardson and VanMIl fought for the fourth spot.
Hendrickson, who won the makeup feature earlier in the evening, was closing on Ryan Braseth as Alex Braseth was following closely.
Hendrickson was giving Ryan Braseth all he could handle for the lead. Richardson had moved back up to fourth after the early slip up.
A spin by Regan Reinke with six to go brought out the caution; he was able to continue.
The restart was crazy, as Alex Braseth made a challenge for the lead that went four-wide down the front stretch. Hendrickson edged ahead but Ryan Braseth fought back on the outside. Richardson was also making his presence felt.
Ryan Braseth regained the momentum after that wild restart and would pick up his sixth win of the season over. Hendrickson. Richardson edged Alex Braseth for third; Braseth finished fourth after starting 11th. Joshua Wiest of Jamestown rounded out the top five.
Brandon Tendeland set the early pace in the IMCA Sport Mod feature with Paul Colvin of Horace and Vince Jegtvig of Dilworth right behind. I was watching two cars back in the field – Rich Pavlicek of Casselton, who dominated Wednesday at Buffalo River, and Andy Wagner of Ada.
Jegtvig went to work on Tendeland up front as Pavlicek and Luke Johnson of Moorhead closing. Jegtvig would take the lead but Pavlicek would use the high lane to surge to the top spot.
Ryan Restad of West Fargo was starting to make some noise and worked up to third and with 10 to go, took over the runner-up spot. Jegtvig now had to contend with Wagner.
Dean Precht spun with nine to go to bring out the caution, wiping out a considerable lead for Pavlicek. On the restart Johnson suffered a flat after cars bunched up in turns one and two; the yellow black had waved, so his night came to an end.
On the restart Restad took a peek on the outside but Pavlicek stayed strong on the bottom. The real battle was for third between Jegtvig, Wagner and Jayden Pavlicek of Casselton. With seven to go Wagner made the pass and Jayden Pavlicek would follow. But they were nearly a straightaway behind the top two.
The lead grew to 2.3 seconds for Rich Pavlicek, who had started eighth, as the white flag waved as the veteran picked up win No. 7 in 2023. It was his second win in as many nights, and right now the 17 car is bad fast. Restad had a very nice night, going from ninth to second and was the unofficial hard charger. Wagner was third, Jayden Pavlicek fourth and Dave Siercks of Princeton was fifth.
Rick Schulz of Horace led the early portion of the IMCA Stock Car feature with Brennan Borg and Kesselberg battled for second, Rob VAnMil of Barnesville, winner of Dakota Tour, moved into fourth. Todd Heinrich of Fargo was fifth.
Schulz held the lead but the real race was for second between Kesselberg, VanMil and Borg, who ran three-wide for that spot for at least a lap.
VanMil would move out front and take control. Heinrich moved through the field to third and was in a great fight for second with Kesselberg. This allowed VAnMil to pull away for some breathing room.
VanMil, right now, is the fastest IMCA Stock Car around. He picked up the win by 1.749 seconds over Heinrich, who edged Kesselberg by .141 seconds for second. Borg was fourth and Schulz rounded out the top five. VanMil won the makeup feature earlier in the evening.
Vogel Wins DRC Street Stock Tour at Renegade
The Dirt Race Central Street Stock Tour made a stop at Renegade Speedway in Canby as part of the annual Yellow Medicine County Fair. I grew up about a half-hour from there and have many memories of the ¼-mile bullring. There hasn’t been weekly racing there in many years but I do know the fair board makes a big effort to try and get racing at least during the fair. Some folks I know would love to see weekly racing there, but I don’t think that’s feasible in today’s racing world.
Watching online, the track hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s a tight quarter mile with some similarities to Casino Speedway in Watertown (Casino officials ran the event).
An excellent field of 25 Wissota Streets was on hand. Two big-time competitors, Justin Vogel of Brooten and Jonny Carter of Lisbon, led the 25-car street stock field to the green. Vogel took the lead on lapped one, and the Wolverine would weather numerous cautions behind him to lead every lap.
A multi-car pileup happened on the ensuing restart as Jonny Carter’s 46 got loose and several cars were collected going into turn three. Kyle Anderson of Jamestown, Nick Traynor of Barron, Wis., Zach Flickinger of Madison and Darak Turner of Fargo. Turner left on the hook; Anderson went pitside but returned. Carter was charged with the yellow.
Things didn’t get any better on the next lap as a huge pileup happened in turns three and four with many cars involved. I didn’t see what triggered it, but Traynor was involved and went pitside. Maria Broksieck of Goodwin and Trey Hess of Grand Forks were among the cars who suffered damage but were able to continue.
On the restart Vogel led Flickinger and Trey Hess to the green in what turned into a bottom-dominant track where passing was difficult. Broksieck passed Flickinger for second and set her sights on Vogel. Kaden Woodie of Milaca, who started seventh, had worked into the top five with Andy Rossow of Florence giving chase.
Hess was running well in fourth but stalled in turn four; he had suffered damage from an earlier pileup that was not his doing. He would pull the #4 machine pitside.
Woodie and Flickinger had a good fight for third as Vogel opened a few car lengths on Broksieck, who had a couple of car lengths on the battle for third. Jonny Carter, who went to the rear, was fighting through traffic and closing in on the top five but would later pull in with an issue.
Flicklinger slipped up briefly and Woodie got a good run into third. The caution would wave with nine to go. When the race resumed, Woodie was starting to pressure Broksieck for second as Matt Goth of Huron passed Rossow for fifth.
Vogel was in control up front as Broksieck maintained second over Woodie. Goth was pressuring Flickinger. Vogel would go on to pick up his third tour win of the year with Broksieck going from eighth to second. Woodie capped off a good race in third with Flickinger and Goth rounding out the top five.
Traynor, Jonny Carter and Vogel each have three tour wins. Kyle Dykhoff, Jaden Christ, Tucker Pederson, Kyle Genett, Kasey Ussatis, Kyle Anderson and Todd Carter each have one.
Tommy Nichols of Watertown held off a late charge from Derek Rieck of Ortonville for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win. Scott Hansen of Garden City was third, Tim Kanten of Milan fourth and Darren Engesser of Gary was fifth.
Adam VanDerostyne of Canby topped Bradley Rossow of Florence for the Wissota Hornet win. Justin Erp of Montevideo was third.
Scott Harrington of Waubay topped Bodie Croninger of Watertown for the Gen X Late Model win. Curtis Newberg of Willmar was third, Tony Croninger of Watertown was fourth and Kris Wilke of Porter. Coltyn Schuler of Montevideo won the Pure Stock feature over Kent Miller of Milroy.