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Nichols Picks Up Big Rebel Midwest Modified Finale Victory at Sheyenne Speedway


Mike Nichols and family in victory lane at Sheyenne (Photo from Benji Froemke)

Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon wrapped up its 2022 season on Monday night with the Rebel Midwest Modified finale which paid $3,000 to the feature winner and $300 to start.

The weather was nice aside from a gusty southern wind. The track shaped up pretty good for the features with multiple lanes. And even with an extra set of heat races for the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, Sheyenne officials and drivers did a nice job keeping things moving as the final checkered waved at 9:20 p.m. Eighty cars were signed in total and I think Sheyenne ended the season on a very positive note.

I was thinking there would be at least 30 midwest modifieds on hand, but the final count was 27. But the quality was excellent as I counted a good 15 cars that were capable of winning. That included national point leader Jake Smith of St. Joseph, Minn. along with a great mix of talent from the area and outside of it.

The 30-lap Rebel Midwest Mod finale saw Haley Lee of Starbuck and Alex Langland of Enderlin on the front row. Alex Langland would jump out to the early lead but he was soon challenged by Nate Reinke of Lisbon. Haley Lee settled into third.

Nate Reinke, who had been working a higher line, was pressuring Alex Langland for the lead for the first several laps.. After a restart, some others joined the mix in the top five, including Mike Nichols of Watertown, Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown and two-time Rebel Midwest Modified Tour champion Lucas Rodin of Marion.

With 21 to go Haley Lee’s 50H machine spun in turn four and would pull in; I didn’t see what happened. Haley would pull in; she hasn’t caught many breaks this season at all.

On a restart, Nichols went to the high side and moved past Reinke and Langland to take over the lead. Once in front with clean air Nichols opened plenty of breathing room. Langland was into second with Rodin chasing Reinke for fourth. Not far behind was a group that included Cody the Cobra Lee of Starbuck, Jason Grimes of Jamestown and Jake Smith.

Once Nichols found a line on the top, it was clear the #67 was going to be difficult to reel in.

The best race was for second as Reinke and Rodin raced very hard for that spot in what was an excellent duel. Rodin would take over the spot in lapped traffic.

With four laps to go, the 28 of Tommy Nichols spun in turn two, and that was not what Mike Nichols wanted to see as he had built a lead of more than four seconds.

The final restart saw Nichols get out to the lead with Rodin and Reinke resuming their battle for second. Another driver who had made a big charger through the field was Brennon Weight of LaMoure, who started dead last on the field. Weight, who had won the Big Buck Nationals at Brown County Speedway on Saturday, had patiently worked through traffic into the top five.

Nichols would tend his lead to a few car lengths on his way to the $3,000 win which is the biggest payday of his young career. Rodin would edge Reinke for second in what was a tremendous fight. Langland capped off a very solid night in fourth with Weight going from 27th to fifth in a heck of a run.

Bo Gregor of Lisbon took the early lead in the INEX Legends with Collin Compson of Valley City in pursuit.

On the restart, Compson moved on the inside and Bauer on the outside as both got past Gregor. Bauer would lead a lap but Compson got a run on the bottom to take the lead.

There was some crazy action behind him, as Bauer, Dusty Mund of Lisbon -- the runner-up in the points in 2022 at Sheyenne — and Australian Glenn Mitchell were running three wide for second spot.

Scott Richardson of Pelican Rapids was also running in the top five.

On the restart with three to go, Compson kept the 49 on the bottom, and that was a wise move. Sean Johnson of Kindred had also climbed back into contention for the top five after sliding back early.

Bauer would spin the 08 in turns three and four, and the yellow checkered would wave after that as Compson picked up his third win of the season. Mund, who started eighth, settling for second with Mitchell, who has two wins at Sheyenne this season, crossed in third. Johnson was making a late charge but ran out of laps and took fourth ahead of Richardson.

Dan Dowling of Davenport took the early lead in the Hobby Stock feature but soon was challenged by 2022 track champion Jayden Michaelsohn of Aberdeen.

Hayden Aberle moved into third with Ryan Mund of Lisbon, last week’s winner, settling into fourth.

Michaelsohn had some breathing room but Dowling was closing the gap and soon challenged the 95for the top spot. However with six to go, Dowling made a big run-at Michaelsohn and got into the 95 and spun; he was charged with the yellow.

Michaelsohn would lead Aberle and Mund to the green on the ensuing restart

Dalton Aabrekke and Kelby Anderson were having a good battle for fourth, but Aabreke moved into fourth and soon challenged Mund for third.

The race was for second as Michaelsohn opened up a more than two second average on the second spot. Mund, Aberle and Aabrekke raced very hard for the second spot. Dowling, who had went to the tail earlier, had climbed back into the top five and was closing on that group.

There was contact between Aberle and Mund down the backstretch on the final, and Aberle would slide high and lose a couple of spots. Michaelsohn would win comfortably but Mund would edge Aabrekke for second. Dowling came back to finish fourth while Aberle finished fifth. It was a good race to close the year for the Hobby Stocks.

The Mini Stocks had a terrible time getting going with three caution flags before a lap was complete.

Track champion Tempest Trone took the early lead over Layton Thompson once things got going.

Shawn Beto of Wahpeton — who won twice at Viking Speedway over the weekend — had moved into third and set his sights on the top two.

Mason Bogart was battling Pokey Lukes for the fourth spot.

Beto — with 10 wins this season — was closing on Thompson for second as Trone had some breathing room for the lead.

Beto worked a higher line and was able to get around Thompson, but was running out of laps to catch Trone. He closed the gap quickly and got close, but ran out of time as Trone picked up his fourth win of the season, by just .300 seconds. Beto — who finished in the top three in all four starts this weekend — settled for second. Thompson was a solid third with Bogart fourth and Lukes fifth.

Jonny Carter of Lisbon redrew the outside pole for the Wissota Street Stock feature — which is usually trouble for the field at Sheyenne — but faced a challenge early from Kasey Ussatis of Nome.

Cole Greseth of Harwood, who finished fifth in the points at Sheyenne, was running a strong third but broke and would pull in with a mechanical issue. Darek Turner was running well and took over third.

With 14 laps to go, Riley Biloki of Wahpeton rolled his #15 machine in turn two to bring out the red. He was OK but the car had plenty of damage.

Carter led on the restart.

Defending Wissota Street Stock national champion Parker Anderson of Phillips, driving Scott Bintz’s 1S car, moved into fourth but was challenged by Kyle Anderson of Jamestown. The battle for third was between Turner, Kyle Anderson and Parker Anderson.

Ussatis slid off of turn two and lost four spots as Parker Anderson took over second and Kyle Anderson into third. Ussatis would come back to get by Turner for fourth.

Jonny Carter was on cruise control and opened up a 4.4 second lead on Parker Anderson when the yellow would come out for the Old Man, Jerry Lamb, who was driving one of Mike Mund’s cars, spun on the front stretch. By my research it was the Old Man’s first night behind the wheel this season.

With three to go. Carter continued to lead as Kyle Anderson and Parker Anderson raced hard for second. But neither Anderson had anything for Carter, who would win by .769 seconds. Kyle Anderson would take second, Parker Anderson third and Ussatis fourth. The long-time veteran Todd Carter of Lisbon started ninth but quietly had worked up to fifth by the checkered.

Jonny Carter also won Sunday at Devils Lake as he is warming up just in time for invitational season.

Notes

--There were a lot of siblings in the Wissota Midwest Modified class — brothers Zach and Nate Reinke of Lisbon, brothers Kyle and Alex Langland of Enderlin, brothers Mike and Tommy Nichols of Watertown and brother/sister Cody and Haley Lee of Starbuck.

--Anthony Wendel hopped into a Wissota Street Stock, he had raced previously in the Hobby Stock class.


TPO Keeps Rolling at Madison

Tyler Peterson of Horace has raced at four different tracks this weekend -- and won features at all four. That includes a dominating Wissota Modified win Monday night at Madison Speedway.


Peterson, the defending Wissota Mod national champion and current national point leader, won Friday at I-94, Saturday at Greenbush and Sunday at Casino Speedway in Watertown to cap off a dominant weekend. Must be the Harry Gant throwback scheme.


Brian Haben of Appleton finished second after starting in the fourth row and wrapped up the Wissota Mod track title at Madison.


Speaking of national point leaders, Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck took second to Braden Brauer in the Wissota Street Stock feature. Four of the top five drivers in national points were in attendance -- Dykhoff (first), Justin Vogel of Brooten (second), Brauer (fourth) and Maria Broksieck of Goodwin (fifth). Dykhoff, who won at I-94 on Friday and Greenbush on Saturday, settled for second behind Brauer who ade a final lap pass. Vogel ran in the top five much of the race but was a DNF while Broksieck was fifth.


Complaint Desk

One complaint: I see the Jamestown Stampede, if you include the Sling Shots, will race nine classes this year according to a post on the Jamestown Speedway Facebook page. North Central Speedway in Brainerd also raced nine classes for its Mighty Axe Nationals on Saturday and Sunday. Guess what? Both North Central shows ran past midnight and took forever. Saturday's show got done after 1 a.m. and Sunday was past midnight.


Let me go on the record on this 8 or 9 class topic: Ridiculous.


You will not get me, as a paying fan, ever to go to a racing program, aside from an event like the Wissota 100, with nine classes running, or eight. That's outrageous and in my opinion, nothing but an excuse for tracks to pad their pit gate revenue. Especially when you add classes you don't have to pay as much to.


As I've said previously, the trend of adding more classes is not a good thing, and neither is running more at an invitational late in the season.






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