There were two races going on Friday night at River Cities Speedway. There were the races on the track – and then the race against the weather.
With a gloomy radar and darkening skies, River Cities raced to beat the rain. They didn’t quite make it although three of the four feature races were completed – amidst some light rain showers.
I debated long and hard about where to go on Friday. The forecast was better for West Fargo than Grand Forks, but I thought if things broke the right way River Cities could get their show in. Plus, I was able to get some RaceChaser blog interviews in for feature stories so it was a worthwhile trip.
The Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint feature was the only one that didn’t get in on Friday. It seemed to sprinkle almost the whole night and if you would have told me they would get three features in at 7:30, I would have laughed. A credit to the track and drivers as the heat races were concluded in 45 minutes. There was no intermission as they jumped right to the street stock feature.
James Meagher of Grand Forks and Dan McNamee of Arvilla had the front row for the Wissota Street Stock main event. Meager took the early lead but a few laps into the main event, Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls took over the top spot.
On the move, however, was recent high school graduate Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks. He started eighth on the 16-car field but had worked into the top three.
Blacklance, Trey Hess of Grand Forks and Pederson broke away from the field and were setting aa quick pace. Pederson was running a higher lane as Blacklance stayed low, and eventually, Pederson took over the top spot. Blacklance kept pace for a few laps but Pederson opened up a 3-4 car length advantage.
The last thing Pederson wanted to see was a yellow, and that came out with two to go when Bryce Reimer spun in turn four. On the restart, there was a multi-car incident in turn two. I didn’t see what happened, as where I was sitting in the pit bleachers doesn’t provide a great view of turn two. Hess, Dan Aberle of Finley and Blacklance were involved; Hess was charged with the caution.
On the restart Pederson kept control with a three-car length advantage to pick up his first win of 2022. It’s been a good week for the Pederson family; his older sister Kelsi won the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature Sunday at Buffalo River Speedway.
Aberle, who started seventh, overtook Blacklance for second at the finish. Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks moved from 10th to fourth while McNamee was fifth. Hess made a great comeback from going to the tail, passing five cars to finish sixth.
The sprinkles continued as defending RCS champion Jamie Dietzler of Larimore took the early lead in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature with Week 1 winner Lance Schill of Langdon giving chase. After a caution, Schill overtook Dietzler for the lead, and while it wasn’t a runaway, he had some breathing room on his way to his second win of the season.
Dietzler ran a strong second with Jory Berg of Grand Forks running a solid third. It was a good run for Jeremy Lizakowski of Veseleyville as he finished fourth, with Nate Raasaaka of Grand Forks rounding out the top five. Eight of the 11 starters finished the main event.
21 of the 24 Wissota Late Models on hand took the green flag as a light rain continued to fall.. Jesse Tennis of Lockport, Man., jumped out to the early lead ahead of Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks. Tennis looked strong early, but Strand would take over the lead. Tennis would pull in shortly after.
Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks was running in second, but after a caution, Lance Schill powered by into second.
Strand and Schill set a feverish pace that quickly brought them into lapped traffic. Meanwhile, veteran Brad Seng of Grand Forks was making a move on the outside. He had moved into fourth and then got past Pederson for third.
Last week’s NLRA winner at River Cities, Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks, settled into fifth.
Schill was persistent in his chase of Strand but the EGF veteran would prevail for his first feature win of 2022. Schill settled for second to cap off a good night. Seng finished third after starting seventh while Pederson and Troftgruben rounded out the top five.
A shoutout to the run for Mike Greseth of Harwood. His carburetor had stuck open in the heat and he was pushed to his trailer. He started dead last on the 21-car field but worked up to sixth by the checkered.
The persistent rain prevented the BWW NOSA Sprint feature from taking place; the feature, which is night 1 of the Wayne Anderson Cup, will be rescheduled for a later date.
--I spoke with two-time River Cities Wissota Midwest Modified champion Austin Hunter of Winnipeg. Hunter, who told me he plans on hitting several Rebel Midwest Mod tour events this season, had an electrical issue that caused him to not start his heat race; he ran some laps in the feature before pulling in. He hopes to have the issue corrected for Saturday’s tour race at Jamestown.
--Shane Edginton of East St. Paul, Man., had trouble in his heat and did not start the feature. He got the raw end of a wreck while leading the NLRA feature at Sheyenne Speedway on Sunday, so it’s been a tough week for the defending RCS late model champion.
--Nick Ranten of East Grand Forks had a tough break in his heat with a flat left rear tire. He was set to start 17th in the feature which is a tough climb in that field.
Carter Wins Steffes Street Stock Tour at Brown County
Jonny Carter of Lisbon won the Steffes Street Stock Tour feature Friday night at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen. A good field of 27 street stocks were on hand.
Carter is the fourth different winner on tour so far this season in four nights, joining Ty Agen of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Hunter Carter of West Fargo and Justin Vogel of Brooten. Carter is the 2020 Steffes Street Stock Tour champion.
Vogel settled for second while Maria Broksieck, a top runner in eastern South Dakota, finished third. Kyle Anderson of Jamestown was fourth and Chris Serr of Aberdeen was fifth.
Red River Valley Speedway Rains Out
Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo completed about 3/4 of its heat races before the rain hit. They tried to repack the track after a rain delay before the rain started coming down harder. It was too bad because there were 22 IMCA Mods on hand for the Bison Battle.
Red River Valley also had 25 INEX Legends on hand – it is safe to say the class has bounced back in a big way after the numbers dropped a copule of years ago. A total of 100 cars were on hand, so it was too bad the rain ruined the night.
I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls had a scheduled night off.