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  • tombergie01

Pederson, Dvergsten and Peterson Take Home River Cities Victories

Updated: Jun 26

After a weekend of many, many rainouts, the weather cleared up enough for River Cities Speedway to host a show on the final night of the Greater Grand Forks Fair. Friday’s show was canceled because of rain.

The weather turned into a fairly nice evening after the last few days of rain, and 61 cars were on hand in the three classes.

Three of the top six drivers in Wissota Street Stock national points were in attendance as part of a nice 17-car field.

Josh Barker of Thompson and James Meagher of Grand Forks would lead the field to green with Barker leading the opening lap. Meagher would slow on the first lap and pull in. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks, who is third in the national points, would make the pass for the lead three laps into the feature.

There was plenty happening behind him. Cole Greseth of Harwood moved into third and was pressuring Barker for second while the long-time veteran, Royce Jawaski of Adrian, had climbed to fourth. He soon moved past Greseth into third and would take over second shortly after.

National point leader Braden Brauer of Eyota started seventh but had worked into the top five. Trey Hess of Grand Forks, who is sixth in national points, had moved up a few spots from his 11th starting slot.

Pederson had built a 1.59 second lead over Jawaski when the red flag would fly when Drew Peterson’s #06 ended up on its roof in turn four. He was OK but the car was pretty beat up. I didn’t see what happened.

On the late restart Greseth moved into second while Brauer was working on Jawaski for third. John Halvorson of Warren was battling Weston Ramsrud of Bagley, who has a win at RCS this season, for fifth.

Greseth would get close to Pederson but Pederson would prevail for a .255 second win, his seventh of the year. Greseth ran a strong second with Brauer getting by Jawaski for third. Halvorson rounded out the top five.

One driver who wants a win at RCS badly is Jason Berg of West Fargo. He took the early lead in the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature but soon had Dylan Langevin of Thief River Falls in pursuit. Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush had worked into third.

Berg slid high out of turn two and that was the opening Langevin needed to take over the top spot with Dvergsten soon following into second.

Langevin got into lapped traffic and checked up for a second, and Dvergsten got into him and Langevin nearly spun but saved it on the front stretch. That allowed Dvergsten to take over the lead; he would open a pretty good gap on second over the next few laps.

Langevin would close back within a few car lengths as Dvergsten encountered lapped traffic but couldn’t make up enough ground as Dvergsten would prevail by .490 seconds. In his victory lane interview Dvergsten did apologize for getting into Langevin, it should be noted.

Langevin ran a solid second while Berg was third. Alex Truscinski of Greenbush was fourth and Matthew Taves of Detroit Lakes fifth in the caution-free main event.

I don’t know where to start with the NLRA Late Models. First I’m not a big fan of starting 26 cars on a track the size of River Cities unless it’s the Seitz Memorial where you have a two-day format. Secondly, some of the driving on Sunday night was boneheaded and frankly pissed me off. It wasn’t the whole field or even a majority of it, but it was enough to turn the race into a mess where only 14 of the 26 cars finished. And that’s taking nothing away from winner Tyler Peterson, who took the lead on lap 2 and wasn’t involved in any of the messiness behind him.

Ryan Corbett of Grand Forks led the first lap of the late model feature before Peterson took over the top spot. Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks moved into second. Remember, those two have had a couple of run-ins over the past 10 days, and I’m sure more than a few folks were wondering if anything would happen on Sunday. Nothing happened.

Strand did pull beside Peterson in lapped traffic, but one of the many cautions would end that battle. On the restart with 19 to go Strand got very tight and checked up big time in turns one and two in front of a big pack of cars and was tagged from behind by Corbett, who really had nowhere to go. It led to at least 10 cars being involved by my count. Among the cars collected were NLRA point leader Mike Greseth of Harwood, Shane Edginton of East St. Paul, Man., Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks, Brad Seng of Grand Forks and Mitch Johnson of Hickson. Strand would go to the tail; Greseth, Edginton and Corcoran were among several who pulled in and called it a night. Johnson would pull in not long after with a flat tire.

Schill and Corbett were in the second row after things were sorted out from that mess. Seng and Jason Strand of Portland were now in the top five.

Peterson jumped out to a pretty big lead but Seng was going to work trying to get to the top three. After another caution – and there seemed to be about 20 in this race – Schill would pull off; a broken fan blade was the culprit. Another driver who was running in the top five, Greg Moore of Jamestown, got close to driven over (after looking at the replay) by another car who had already been charged with a caution. He would pull in.

Seng would move into second as Peterson maintained a decent lead. Jason Strand moved into third. Strand had made quite a comeback through the field after going to the rear and was battling Lance Schill of Langdon for fifth with Corbett in fourth.

Seng was slowly reeling in Peterson when the caution waved just after the two had taken the white flag for a spin in turns one and two. On the restart, Peterson got a terrific start and opened up some breathing room on his way to a 1.638 second win over Seng. Jason Strand finished a solid third.

The Hard Charger of the night – and a guy who escaped all the incidents in traffic – was the long-time veteran Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, who went from 19th to fourth. He did a heck of a job avoiding the trouble. Corbett capped off a good run in the top five.

It was not a great night for three cars in the top five in the NLRA points. Greseth (first), Schill (third), Shane Edginton of East St. Paul, Man. Were all DNFs. Strand, second in points, did manage to recover to finish in sixth, while Seng (fourth in points) had a good run.

Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks went from 18th to ninth while Jesse Teunis of Lockport, Man., went from 23rd to 12th. Sometimes, you just have to avoid the trouble and you’ll end up with a decent night. It's too bad some drove over their head or with no regard for the other drivers on the track -- in my view at least.

River Cities Notes

--Mikara Johanson of Edmore has moved up to the Wissota Street Stock class from the Pure Stocks. She was a DNF in the feature unfortunately but it is good to see her move up to the streets.

--Brauer, by my count, has raced at 10 different tracks this season and has eight wins. Pederson, who is third in national points, has raced at nine and has seven wins.

--Rusty Kollman of Carrington, a long-time Wissota Midwest Modified and IMCA Modified competitor, has moved to the late models this year and has run several NLRA shows. He finished a solid eighth.

--Speaking of Kollman, helping him out on Sunday was Lindsey Hansen of Fargo. Hansen, a long-time Wissota Midwest Modified driver, has a late model that will debut soon.

The first-win club has grown to seven drivers. John Seng of Grand Forks won his first career late model feature at Devils Lake on June 17; he is only in his second year of driving a race car. Here is the list let me know if I need to add:

Kody Machart, Moorhead, May 21, INEX Legends (Buffalo River Speedway)

Evan Hendrickson, Mapleton, May 26, INEX Legends (Red River Valley Speedway)

Andrea Jacobson, Fargo, June 11, IMCA Hobby Stock (Buffalo River)

Laela Eisenschenk, West Fargo, June 15, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint (Norman County Raceway)

Tanner Bitzan, Brandon, June 17, Wissota Midwest Modified (Viking Speedway)

John Seng, Grand Forks, June 17, Wissota Late Model (Devils Lake Speedway)

Scott Zimmerman, Rothsay, June 23, Gen X Late Model (I-94 EMR Speedway)

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