Koranda, Staples, Schill, Greseth Lead I-94 Winners; Shipley Picks Up Win at RRVS
It was a busy night at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls on Friday. There were 131 cars in attendance in the seven divisions, plus a makeup feature for the Wissota Street Stocks.
It was a very hot and humid evening at I-94 and the 3/8-mile oval endured a lot of laps. So let’s get to the racing.
15-year-old Jack Koranda of Bluffton, interviewed above, picked up his first career Wissota Street Stock win during the makeup feature. After a caution on the initial lap re-set the field, Koranda took the lead from the outside pole and pulled out to a nice advantage over Cory Dykhoff of Perham.
A great battle for third took place between Jeff Ekdahl, Jimmy “Nitro” Williams of De Graff and Ryan Satter of Dent as the top two pulled away from the field. Satter eventually took over the spot and set his sights on Dykhoff, who had quite an advantage over second.
There was no denying Koranda is first win as he won by half a straightway. Dykhoff, who got off to a miserable start to the season but has since turned the season around, was second with Satter who has four wins at I-94 this season taking third. Ekdahl held off Williams for fourth.
Nitro Williams, by the way, was coming off of a big $1,300 win at the Steffes Street Stock Tour at KRA Speedway on Thursday. Unfortunately he suffered some left front damage in the makeup feature and was done for the night.
The midwest modified feature was not short of action, including a few too many early cautions. Cody the Cobra Lee of Alexandria led early but was pressured by Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls and Travis Saurer of Elizabeth, who was driving one of Randy Klein’s 88 cars.
Gronwold made the pass for the lead with about 12 to go with a slider on Lee. After that, however, Matt Baker of St. Joseph became Gronwold’s primary challenger, and the two waged a big-time battle for the lead. Gronwold running his patented high line, and Baker running low.
Meanwhile, the car moving up through the field was Sam Zender of Fergus Falls, who started 11th. He moved into the top five and soon passed Lee for third.
Baker and Gronwold were battling for the top spot when Alex Langland of Enderlin rolled his #6 machine hard in turns one and two, bringing out the red flag with two to go. Because the class had reached its time limit — the race was called, ending hopes of a battled to the checkered for the lead. Gronwold picked up the win with Baker taking second. Zender, who ran an excellent race, finished third, with Lee fourth and Travis Saurer of Elizabeth taking fifth. Baker and Gronwold each have three wins at I-94 and are the only midwest modified drivers to win there this season.
Langland was credited with a sixth place finish. He was OK — I checked with his brother Kyle afterwards. but the car was really torn up. The cars really fly at I-94 but one of the bad things is the wall is very unforgiving when a car hits it.
A multi-car wreck down the backstretch on the first lap brought out the yellow on the regularly-scheduled street stock feature. Craig Gardner of Eagle Bend and Ryan Satter got tangled down the backstretch and it looked like a bad wreck was coming. How Gardner didn’t roll the #8 car I will never know. Both were able to continue, but Joe Potter of Euclid ended up with a flat left front and was done and Cory Dykhoff also pulled in. Why Gardner was put to the back I’m not sure it should have been a complete restart IMO.
Koranda, looking for win #2 on the night, led early but Satter has been the car to beat all year at I-94. Satter went high to take the lead and had a decent advantage on Koranda, who had his hands full with Kyle Anderson of Jamestown, Ekdahl and Jake Froemke of International Falls.
After a restart Satter opened a commanding lead. Anderson passed Ekdahl for second. On the move was Brady Gerdes, driving the #28 machine, as he moved into the top five and worked on Ekdahl for third.
Satter looked like he was out for a Sunday drive and picked up the win. Anderson has run well each time at I-94 and took second with Gerdes third. Gardner made a heck of a comeback from the rear to finish in fourth with Koranda settling for fifth.
In my opinion there were way too many caution laps in the street stock and midwest modified features. Time to use the yellow/black a bit earlier.
Brad Staples of Herman hasn’t had a great 2020 season, but his #10 machine was fast in the Limited Late Models on Friday. He opened a big advantage on the field as Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls and Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria worked through the field.
The big lead was erased with five to go as Mike Hart of Erhard spun in turn two. That brought both Wolden and Mikkelson to Staples’ rear bumper. On the first restart Staples opened up a few car length advantage. Tony Robertson spun in turn two to bring out another caution, and this time Wolden applied heavy pressure to Staples.
Staples couldn’t afford to mess up — and he didn’t, surviving the challenges from Wolden to pick up his first win of 2020. Wolden, who has been the car to beat in the class since its inception, was second after starting eighth with Mikkelson, who started 11th, taking third. Larry Samuelson of Erhard looked really good in his 11* machine, running in the top five all night and finishing fourth. He was right on Mikkelson’s tail at the checkered. Veteran Rick Nelson of Alexandria was fifth.
I would have put my money on Dave Mass of East Bethel winning the feature beforehand since he was starting fourth. The veteran, with hundreds of wins, rolled to another in the Wissota Super Stocks. Ryan Flaten of Madison ran well, starting seventh and finishing second. Jeff Crouse of Alexandria ran a solid third, with Jeff Flaten of Hancock fourth and Matt Miller of Glenwood win.
Mike Greseth of Harwood, interviewed above took the lead from the get-go of the Wissota Modified feature, but Brian Haben of Holloway gave persistent chase. Teenager Tyler Kaeter of St. Cloud had his hands full for third with Jeremy Nelson of Alexandria and Dan Ebert of Lake Shore.
Greseth was pretty much flawless in the 17 car and he needed to be against one of the strongest Wissota Mod feels you will ever see to pick up his first I-94 win ever. Haben finished a solid second with Nelson moving into third at the finish. Kaeter held off Gerdes for fourth. An excellent 23-car field took the green for the Wissota Mod feature. Haben, by the way, is now three points behind season point leader Dusty Bitzan.
Cole Schill of Horace, interviewed above, had the pole for the Wissota Late Model feature and it became a good spot to be as the track rubbered up. The #44 was plenty fast, though and weathered a couple of cautions to pick up his third feature win of 2020.
Schill built a commanding lead over second-place Dave Mass, who started eighth. Shawn Meyer of Wahpeton started sixth but moved into third. Schill was never threatened as he cruised to win over Mass. Meyer was third, Dan Ebert of Lake Shore fourth and Dustin Hapka of Fargo fifth. Cory Tammen of Moorhead, making his season debut, started 15th and finished a solid sixth.
Matt Pederson of Lake Park picked up the Short Tracker Win after starting 11th on the 21-car grid. Doug Martin of Willmar led early but Pederson made his way to the front for the win. Curtis Huseth of Underwood, who won at Bemidji last week, was second with Kevin Youngquist of Barney finishing third after starting fifth. Martin was fourth and Daniel Harstad, the season points leader, was fifth.
Shipley Wins Dakota Cat Shootout at RRVS
Dave Shipley of Argusville led from the start to finished pick up the Dakota Cat IMCA Modified Shootout win at Red River Valley Speedway on Friday in West Fargo. Shipley, by the way is sponsored by Dakota Cat which is also one of the RaceChaser sponsors. Shipley picked up $700 for his first win of 2020.
Matt Aukland of Glyndon was second, Greg Friestad of Valley City a solid third, Casey Arneson of Fargo was fourth and Tyler Hall of Fertile finished fifth, picking up his second top five of the week.
Travis Robertson of Moorhead has won two IMCA Stock Car features in a row at Red River Valley. He won the feature during the World of Outlaw Late Model show last Saturday and started seventh on the field on Friday and worked his way to the win. Rob VanMil of Barnesville was second, Todd Heinrich of Fargo — who won at Norman County on Thursday — taking third. Rookie Keaten Froemke of Glyndon was a solid fourth with Brennan Borg of Harwood fifth.
Ryan Braseth of Ulen picked up the INEX Legend feature win over Alex Kukowski of Edgeley. Sean Johnson of Kindred was third, Alex Braseth of Ulen fourth and Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes — who has 13 wins this season — was fifth.
Tanner Engen of Detroit Lakes has won four IMCA Hobby Stock features in a row at Red River Valley Speedway. He passed Marvin Priem late in the feature on Friday to extend his streak. Priem settled for second with Caleb Gardner of Glyndon third. Tim Shiek of Fargo and Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks was fifth.
Kevin Veralrud of Horace picked up his first IMCA Sport Mod feature win of the season. Rich Pavlicek of Casselton picked up his second top three finish of the weekend, taking second, with Luke Johnson of Moorhead third and Austin Veralrud of Barnesville fourth. Ryan Restad of West Fargo was fifth.
Dietzler, Johnson, Pierce and Strand Win at River Cities
Jamie Dietzler of Larimore won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. It was his second win of 2020 and third of his career.
Nathan Raasakka of Grand Forks was second, Ryan Schow of McIntosh third, Matt Schow of McInTosh fourth and Reise Stenberg of Argusville fifth. Stenberg picked up his second top five in as many nights.
Ryan Johnson of Karlstad won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks. Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks was third, Alan Lane of Williams fourth and James Meagher of Grand Forks fifth.
A week after a pair of DNFs, Austin Pierce of Grand Forks was back in victory lane in the NOSA Sprints. Pierce now has four wins at River Cities this season. Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks was second, Bob Martin of East Grand Forks third, Jade Hastings of Grand Forks — who had won three in a row — was fourth and Shane Roemeling of Grand Forks was fifth. Tim Estenson 0f Fargo, by the way had a good run, taking sixth.
Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks is really fast in the late models at Grand Forks right now. He picked up another win, just days after a top five finish at the World of Outlaw race. Brad Seng of Grand Forks was second, Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks third, Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks fourth and Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks fifth.