Buffalo River Speedway near Glyndon hosted the fourth night of the Rebel Midwest Mod Tour with 96 cars in the pit area.
After Sunday, Buffalo River has raced 12 different classes this summer. My opinion is they are trying to provide variety for fans with some of the classes making one trip there (Rebel Mod Tour, for example). Promoter Jason Berg said there are 4 core classes they are built on for weekly racing but are rotating the other class or two and bring in the Dirt Race Central Street Stock Tour, Red River Sprint Tour or Moonshine Mod Tour, for example for a night.
They did a lot of work to the track at intermission and to be honest, I thought it paid off. The track had some traction for the earlier features; I thought the Midwest modified feature especially had several lanes to race on. It would slick off as the night went on.
Justin Jones of Bemidji and Justin Olson of Thief River Falls led the 22-car Wissota Midwest Modified feature to green with Olson taking the early lead. Jones – who knows Buffalo River very well, soon was putting pressure on Olson up front. Reise Stenberg of Argusville was battling with Scott Bintz of Jamestown for third. Jory Berg of Grand Forks, who won the Rebel Tour race at River Cities on Friday, was in fifth.
Olson slid up high and Jones took advantage and took the lead with 19 to go. Stenberg had moved into third as Berg and Bintz tangled for fourth. Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown, who won the tour opener at Norman County, was closing in on that battle. Berg would take over fourth and Wibstad would slide into fifth.
Stenberg was catching Olson for second as Jones opened up a nearly four-second lead. Wibstad, meanwhile had caught Stenberg and it soon turned into a three-car battle for second. Berg soon caught that group and Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls wasn’t far back.
The race for second was intense in lapped traffic as Olson, Stenberg, Wibstad and Berg were racing very hard. Blacklance soon moved into fifth and then got by Wibstad for fourth.
While all of this was happening, Jones was out for a Sunday drive as he was blitzing the field. The lead grew to more than six seconds with the while flag waving.
Stenberg got around Olson for second with Blacklance solidly in fourth.
Jones, once he cleared Olson, had no trouble, winning by 6.125 seconds in the caution-free main event. Jones is the fourth different winner in four nights on the tour, joining Lucas Rodin, Wibstad and Berg. Jones has finished in the top three in all four tour stops and certainly will have the point lead.
Stenberg crossed the line second but was disqualified in postrace tech, moving Olson to second. Blacklance was third, Wibstad fourth and Berg was fifth.
Rodin was the hard charger, going from 17th to nine.
Nick Shumansky of Perham was the early leader in the Wissota Street Stock feature but Greg Jose of Grand Forks was soon putting some pressure on him. The long-time veteran Royce Jawaski of Adrian settled into third. I was keeping an eye on Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks, who is second in the Wissota Street Stock national points.
Tucker Pederson made a huge pass out of turn two – passing two cars, Jawaski and Shumansky to surge into second, and he quickly closed in on Jose, who had built some breathing room up to that point.
Cole Greseth of Harwood was into fourth with Trey Hess of Grand Forks in fifth.
Jose was having a good run up front as Pederson was patient. But with nine to go Jose got tight in turn two and got on the brakes, and that was the opening Pederson needed to take the lead.
Pederson checked out after taking the top spot, and Jose soon found Jawaski, Greseth and Hess reeling him in. Greseth was working hard on Jawaski for third.
Pederson cruised to his 10th win of the season by 3.476 seconds; wins are huge for his national point standing. Pederson won the Dirt Race Central Street Stock Tour Saturday at Greenbush.
Jose capped off a good run in second with Jawaski outlasting Greseth for third. Hess, also in the top 10 of national points, rounded out the top five. The nine Wissota Street Stocks went 20 laps caution-free.
Mike Spieker of Superior Customs put together the Red River Sprint Series, which was on hand on Sunday at Buffalo River. I give him credit for doing this in order to grow the class locally. And on Sunday, a nice 13-car field was competing at the ¼-mile.
The top two points in the series – Andy Pake of Felton and Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes – were on the front row. Pake would lead the opening lap. Brandon Rekow of Ellendale moved into third.
Pake got rolling and added to the lead in lapped traffic. Laela Eisenschenk of West Fargo moved into fourth past Brett Allen.
Eisenchenk moved into third as the top two, Pake and Wilke, had a big advantage on the field. Wilke had closed the gap as the laps waned but ran out of time as Pake would prevail for his second win of the season. The final margin of victory was .725 seconds. I suspect that series title will come down to those two drivers.
Eisenschenk went from seventh to third to cap off a good run. Rekow was fourth and Owen Carlson of Somerset, Wis., went from ninth to fifth. After a caution on the first lap the race went caution free, nice job by those drivers.
Steve Johnson led the opening lap of the INEX Legends feature but soon was threatened by Alex Braseth of Ulen. But on the move was Evan Hendrickson of Mapleton, who started in the fifth row but would fly into the lead. The race would be plagued with cautions early unfortunately.
A big crash on the front stretch damaged a lot of race cars. It started with two cars got together and turned into a multi-car mess. One car was stalled and the 25 of Alexander Clark came down the frontstretch with a head of steam and crashed into it, suffering big damage. Everyone was OK but Clark, Mike Hart of Erhard, Noah Lewis of Hawley and Talon Seckerson of Jamestown were among the cars whose night came to an end.
After a lengthy cleanup Hendrickson had the Braseth brothers, Ryan and Alex, in pursuit as another caution waved for a two-car spin in turns three and four. The Compson brothers, Zander and Collin, were also in the top five.
After another caution, Ryan Braseth went to work on Hendrickson and would take over the top spot with 16 to go. Collin Compson of Valley City, already armed with five wins on the season, joined the battle for a three-car fight for the top spot with 14 to go. Compson would get past Hendrickson for second. Zander Compson was running a solid fourth ahead of Kody Machart of Moorhead.
Ryan Braseth was smooth up front and had to be as Compson was looking for any kind of opening. Hendrickson, meanwhile had Zander Compson and Alex Braseth closing.
Ryan Braseth and Collin Compson pulled away as Zander Compson moved into third. Collin Compson stayed close but couldn’t find the opening as Ryan Braseth picked up win #5 on the season. Collin Compson made a big move through the field to take second after starting 11th. Zander Compson was third, Hendrickson fourth and Alex Braseth fifth.
Fourteen POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints took to the lead with Bryce Haugeberg jumping out to the lead with Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks passing Kate Taves of Detroit Lakes for second. Mark Williams was running fourth.
The top three were pretty spread out and well ahead of the rest of the field. Williams was in fourth with Matthew Taves of Detroit Lakes fifth.
Haugeberg, who has raced the ARCA series a few times, had issues in lapped traffic and got slowed, and Pederson would take advantage to take the lead with less than three laps left. Taves would follow into second.
Pederson picked up her third win of the year by 1.539 seconds over Taves. Haugeberg settled for third. Taves has improved every year and a feature win is coming soon I believe.
Williams was fourth and Matthew Taves was fifth in a caution free main event.
Tyler Peterson of Hickson and Joe Thomas of Fargo led the modifieds to the green with Peterson taking the lead. Blacklance, doing double duty, settled into third ahead of Blake Jegtvig battling Ryan Gierke of Villard for fourth.
Peterson and Thomas had some breathing room on the field while Blacklance had a few car length on the two cars battling for fourth, Jegtvig and Gierke.
Peterson was dominating the field, opening a 3.3 second lead over Joe Thomas, but a caution with 12 to go wiped out that advantage.
On the restart Blacklance, Gierke and Thomas were fighting three-wide for second as the 1TPO pulled away. Gierke found something on the low line and inched ahead of Blacklance for second with Jegtvig close behind.
Peterson was never threatened and Gierke had opened up a gap on third. Blacklance and Joe Thomas were fighting for fourth.
The winning margin was 1.7 seconds for Peterson as he continues to add to his win total. No matter which car he’s been in this season, the late model or mod, he’s been winning. He’s up to 13 wins between the two cars.
Gierke had a good run from fifth to second with Thomas topping Blacklance for third. Jegtvig rounded out the top five.
Buffalo River/Sunday Notes
--I joked with Tim Compson of Valley City that he’s raced about every class. I wasn’t far off – he’s raced late models, A mods (IMCA and Wissota), B mods, IMCA Stock Car and Street Stocks in his career. He had his Midwest modified on hand on Sunday at Buffalo River.
--With regular track announcer Corey Litton announcing the six-day Dakota Classic Mod Tour in North Dakota, there was a familiar voice, to at least some race fans, on Sunday: Jon Roberts, the regular announcer at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, with assistance from Chad Hoff, who does the victory lane interviews at that track. They did a good job. I speak from experience that announcing at a different track where you don’t know all the drivers for the first time is tough.
--I visited briefly with late model driver Joey Pederson, the father of street stock driver Tucker and lightning sprint driver Kelsi. It’s been a busy summer for the Pedersons, with three race cars in the shop. Making it even busier is Tucker is chasing national points this year and has traveled all across the region to race. My last count was 10 tracks he’s raced at. The Pedersons are very nice people and a great racing family.
--Blacklance’s Midwest modified is a 2011 GRT formerly owned by Jamie Trautner of Felton, who raced the car in the A mods. His Wissota Modified is an MB Customs machine.
--Two former national champions were in the Wissota Modified field – Blake Jegtvig of Hawley and Peterson, the two-time defending champion.
--Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., hosted a $5,000 to win B mod special on Saturday which was won by Jason Vandekamp. A field of 65 B mods were on hand. Corey Storck, who was in attendance on Sunday at Buffalo River, made the feature at Cedar Lake which is an accomplishment itself.
LaValley, Koranda, Feda Lead Bemidji Speedway Winners
Joseph LaValley of Bemidji picked up his second straight Wissota Midwest Modified feature Sunday night at Bemidji Speedway. Brennan Schmidt of Bemidji was second, Brandon Bahr of Tenstrike third, Gary James Nelson of Ponemah fourth and Cory Peterson of Red Lake was fifth.
Jack Koranda of Bluffton topped Matt Sparby of Bemidji for the Wissota Super Stock win. Brandon Bahr of Tenstrike was third, Nic Lewis of Bemidji was fourth and Dalton Carlson of Cohasset was fifth.
Jeff Reed of Bemidji topped Billy Kendall of Walker for the Wissota Mod win. Skyler Smith of Bemidji was third, Josh Beaulieu of Bemidji was fourth and Lance Schilling of Laporte was fifth.
Jonathan Feda of Bemidji won the Wissota Mod 4 feature over Kalin Honer of Laporte. Ashton Schwinn of Little Falls was third, Nick McCann of Brainerd was fourth and Conrad Schwinn was fifth.
Josh Berg of Bemidji won the Wissota Pure Stock feature over Austin Carlson of Cohasset. Kade Leeper of Guthrie was third, Joshua Bitker of Bemidji was fourth and Deryk Weleski of Bemidji was fifth.
Ashton Schwinn of Little Falls picked up the Mini Stock feature over his father, Conrad. Kalin Honer of Laporte was third, Hayden Engen of Gonvick fourth and Peyton Emerson of Grand Rapids fifth.
Travis Olafson of Wilton toppled Brooklyn Vernlund of Bemidji for the Wissota Hornet feature. Cejay LaValley of Bemidji was third, Chad Reller of Waskish was fourth and Jayme Gordon of Leonard was fifth.