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  • tombergie01

One Last Racing Outing, Maybe...

The air was comfortable but crisp, and the trees to the east of the pit area and beyond were full of a beautiful array of colors.

It was a great evening for the finale of the Fall Classic.

The Fall Classic payout is good but not exorbitant through the field; but I don’t think the payout is the big attraction to this event for drivers. It’s a final chance for many to hang out with their buddies at a two-day event that has a pretty relaxed feel. The other big attraction is competing at Ogilvie Raceway, which I will say, in my opinion, is right up there with Deer Creek Speedway as far as nicest dirt-track facilities in the state of Minnesota. I love the place and it’s in my top five tracks I’ve ever been to.

I drove down on Friday evening and the fields were full of dust as soybean and corn harvest is in full swing in this region and I’m guessing that impacts driver attendance at these later events. Some are so busy harvesting they can’t take a 2-3 day break to race and that’s completely understandable. Growing up on a farm, I get it.

I wasn’t there on Friday but it was cold from the folks I talked to. Saturday was much better and there was a terrific crowd on hand. One thing Ogilvie officials did was set up tables and chairs in their indoor concession area — and also some in a room to the west side of the building — with Dirt Race Central streams on several TV monitors so people could go in and warm up. I admit I was a wimp and went in there a few times…

Nearly 300 cars were on hand. I’ll highlight how some RaceChaser-area drivers did.

The Wolverine Justin Vogel usually rises to the top at big events and he did again, picking up his fifth Fall Classic title in the Wissota Street Stocks. Vogel made a great move on the outside of Tim Johnson, a former national champion, on a late restart to take the lead on his way to the victory. And if you know Vogel, there will be plenty of celebrating afterword — like his burnout under the flagstand.

Eric Riley of Morris, Ryan Satter of Dent, Weston Ramsrud of Bagley (who races at River Cities Speedway), and Kegan Stueve of Greenwald were RaceChaser-area drivers to make the show. Riley was running well and battling in the top five when he suddenly slowed and pulled in about midway through the feature. Satter, who rolled his #67 machine at Viking Speedway on Labor Day Weekend (after being hit in the right rear by another car), went from 17th to 10th. Ramsrud and Stueve both finished as well.

Haley Lee of Starbuck had one of the best weekends of her racing career in her #50H Wissota Midwest Modified. She went from eighth to first in her heat on Friday, putting her No. 1 in passing points and putting her on the pole for Saturday’s feature. ON Saturday she ran well all night and was in second for a long time behind eventual winner Jason VandeKamp. She would finish third as Travis Schulte of Becker would pass her late, but she had a terrific Fall Classic. And right behind her was the teenager who has impressed me the handful of times I’ve seen her in person — Kennedy Swan of Chippewa Falls, Wis., who has a very bright future ahead of here.

Jarrett Carter of Lisbon made the show in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, no small task with more than 60 cars on hand. He ran solid in the feature, going from 20th to 15th. Randy Laage of Brooten also made the show and finished back in the field.

Shane Sabraski of Rice out dueled Jody Bellefeuille of Duluth for the Wissota Mod win — no surprise there. I was keeping an eye on two RaceChaser-area drivers, Ryan Gierke of Villard and Joseph Thomas of Glyndon.

Gierke fell back outside the top five early but battled back and was able to get by Clayton Wagamon for third at the checkered. He was closing on Bellefeuille too. Thomas went from 17th to fifth to cap off a great run.

Justin Froemming of Garfield, winner of the modified portion of the Silver 1000, finished 11th. Matt Aukland of Glyndon also made the show but was a DNF, I didn’t see what happened to the 12A,

The Wissota Late Model feature was not one of the better ones I’ve seen. The first 20 laps went caution-free; then it turned into yellow-after-yellow-after-yellow. Don Shaw of Ham Lake — who won the Seitz Memorial at River Cities, was second at the Wissota 100 and won the Jamestown Stampede in what has been a terrific month — led the first 20 laps and honestly would have been tough to beat. But I noticed under a caution a puff of smoke came out, and on the next restart, the 42S slowed and pulled in. His teammate, Dave Mass of East Bethel ran second for a long time but tagged the wall a couple of times and lost the spoiler (he looked like the old super stocks honestly) and would pull in.

Pat Doar of New Richmond had been moving up already, and got a couple of breaks with Shaw and Mass not finishing. Once he took over the lead the outcome was never in doubt. He is the first driver to four-peat at the Fall Classic. Doar, by my count since late August, was second at the Silver 1000 in Proctor, won the second night of the Hibbing Labor Day Shootout, was second at the Northern Nationals at Superior, was third at the Wissota 100, finished in the top seven at the Mahder Memorial and Punky Manor, was third at the Red Clay Classic in Ashland, and now has the Fall Classic win. Guy is a joy to watch.

Shane Edginton of East St. Paul, Man., who races at River Cities and several NLRA shows in the area, went from fifth to second to cap off a good run. He had a nice battle with Jeff Massingill of Keewatin for second as the laps waned. Danny Vang of Deerwood went from 14th to fourth, and the car who started dead last — Mike Belleufeuille of Duluth — made it from 28th to sixth.

Cole Schill of Hawley finished in the top 10, taking ninth. He avoided some of the trouble around him to have a solid night. Brad Seng of Grand Forks started in the back row and I honestly didn’t see what happened to him, but his 12S machine would leave on the hook. Only 14 of the 28 starters finished.

The big surprise of the night was this in my opinion: Sabraski, who has been the dominant super stock for several years, did not win from the pole in the Wissota Super Stock feature. Dexton Koch of Becker was clearly the best car, going from ninth to the lead; but his luck went south when his muffler fell off and he was disqualified.

Dave Mass inherited the lead, but it was the #06 of Jeremy Nelson who stole the show. He made a pass of Sabraski and then went around Mass on the outside to pick up the win. That was a huge win for him.

Karter Reents of Villard had a great Friday, earning the third-most passing points to start third. I talked to him for a minute earlier in the evening and he was aiming for a top 10 against a stacked field. It didn’t work out this time as he was a DNF, but I think it was good experience for the young driver against a stout field.

I visited with Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck in the pit area, he wrapped up the Wissota Street Stock National Title a few weeks ago at Casino Speedway. He told me he is taking a break from racing — he sold his car to Eric Riley — to focus on his construction business and simply because he needed a break. According to the Wissota points, Dykhoff raced 59 times this year and had 27 wins and 50 top five finishes. He had an amazing season. He will still be around the track, wrenching on his girlfriend, Haley Lee’s midwest modified.

I had a good visit with the street stock crew at Ogilvie — Vogel, Satter, Riley — and it was good catching up.

Kyle Anderson of Jamestown is ninth in the national points. Vogel will finish second, while Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, S.D. is in fifth.

Tyler Peterson won 30 features this season on his way to a second straight Wissota Modified national title. Dykhoff won 27. Sabraski, who will win another Wissota Super Stock crown, has 35 wins in that car. That’s some impressive seasons.

I won’t dig into the Mod 4, Pure Stock and Hornet features at Ogilvie, mainly because no tracks in the RaceChaser area sanction these classes. Hunter Goulet of Fargo was in attendance in the Wissota Hornets but was a DNF in the B main.

Most likely, my racing season is over, although if the weather is decent, the Can-Am Clash at Superior and the Topless Nationals at Ogilvie are very tempting to me right now. We will see. :)

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