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Peterson Wins Advantage RV Mod Tour at NCR; Vogel Takes Steffes Street Stock Tour Stop at KRA

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

I made it back to Norman County Raceway in Ada on Thursday with the Advantage RV Modified Tour on hand. A nice 22-car field of Wissota Modifieds were on hand to compete for the $1,500 check.

The top four in the tour points – Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids, Don Eischens of Richmond, Joseph Thomas of Glyndon and Zach Johnson of Lowry – were on hand. The event pulled in some cars from Bemidji and Greenbush, plus Canadian Jerome Guyot.

I favor familiarity at events like this, and some of the mod drivers – Travis Saurer of Elizabeth, Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks, Tyler Peterson of Horace, Johnson and Blake Jegtvig of Hawley – have a lot of laps around the 3/8-mile oval, so any of them winning wouldn’t have shocked me.

NCR officials did a little track prep before the 32-lap main event, and I was curious how that would impact the race. The track was dry slick for the earlier features but there was some passing as the lower line held some grip.

Lee Grosz of Watertown and Jegtvig led the 22-car mod field to the green. Grosz, a former sprint car driver who is a rookie in the modified class, jumped out front early but Jegtvig took the top spot by the end of lap one.

Johnson got by Grosz for second as Strand worked on Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls for fourth.

Johnson was closing the gap on Jegtvig, slowly, soon was right there to challenge. Jegtvig’s rear brakes were glowing to show how hard he was working through the corners.

Tyler Peterson, who would have received an extra $500 bonus had he won from ninth was moving up, he soon cleared Strand for the fourth spot. Grosz meanwhile settled into third.

Jegtvig faced a ton of pressure from Johnson in lapped traffic. Johnson was very patient and seemed to wear down Jegtvig. Several times he pulled the #6x beside Jegtvig, but Jegtvig weathered most of the challenges. Johnson, however found the run he needed and took over the top spot with nine to go.

Peterson, meanwhile had moved into third and was flying around the high side of NCR. He was eating quickly into Jegtvig’s advantage for second.

The caution came out with seven to go as Peterson, who was working on Jegtvig, got into Guyot, who had just been lapped by Johnson, in turns one and two and slid the 48 off the track. Peterson wasn’t deemed the culprit by track officials — he got his spot back — which generated some controversy on social media afterward. My view is Peterson got a break on that call there, but call is the call and I don’t make them.

Peterson moved into second past Jegtvig. After the restart, Strand got around Jegtvig for fourth. One driver who was on the move was Johnny Broking, who had started 18th but now was moving into the top five – despite having a broken left-front suspension.

Johnson protected the lower lane but Peterson’s speed up top would be the difference. He would make the pass with four to go for the lead, and he would go on to his 12th win of 2022, winning by 1.795 seconds over Johnson. Strand was third, Jegtvig fourth and the veteran, Corky Thomas of Glyndon, edged Broking for fifth. Broking was the hard charger, going form sixth to 18th.

I thought it was a really good race, with two good lanes to run on. Johnson and Jegtvig had a great duel for several laps and late, Peterson and Johnson had a great show up front.

It’s a big weekend for the Advantage RV tour, which goes to River Cities Speedway on Friday, Greenbush Race Park on Saturday and Bemidji Speedway on Sunday.

A solid 12-car Wissota Midwest Modified field was on hand, and Matt Schow of McIntosh jumped to the early lead over Taylor Jacobson of Roseau. Cole Neset of Fargo and Ryan Schow of McIntosh were also running in the top five.

Two cars making a move were Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls, the defending NCR track champion, and Reise Stenberg of Argusville. Blacklance worked his way into third while Stenberg moved into the top five.

With nine to go, Ethan Klein of Mapleton rolled his #77 machine off of turns one and two; he was OK but the car was significantly damaged.

On the restart, Schow maintained the top spot with Blacklance moving into second. Jacobson, one of a handful of Wissota Midwest Modified drivers to run a Crate engine, was in third with Stenberg soon mounting a challenge.

Neset and Ryan Schow had a nice battle for the fifth spot.

Matt Schow held the lead by a car length or two as Blacklance kept pace, but the #2s didn’t flinch to pick up the win, his second in five days. Schow had won at Bemidji Speedway on Sunday. Blacklance finished second with Jacobson capping off a good run to finish third. Stenberg was fourth, with Ryan Schow outdueling Neset for fifth.

Trevor Serbus of Olivia – the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint national point leader through July 10 – started third on the seven-car field on Thursday. He gave chase to Andy Pake of Felton early on but once he got in front, he opened up some breathing room.

Ty Hanten of West Fargo settled into third while Amelia Eisenschenk of West Fargo, who won her first career feature earlier this season at NCR, had moved into the top four after starting sixth.

Serbus led but Pake was keeping a pretty good pace to stay within striking distance. However, on the last lap, Pake slid high in turns one and two and slid off, which gave Serbus some breathing room on his way to his ninth win of 2022. Serbus would win by 4.3 seconds. Pake was second, Hanten was third, Eisenschenk fourth and Brandon Rekow of Ellendale was fifth.

If the Pake name sounds familiar to area sprint car fans, it’s because it is – Andy Pake’s dad, Brad, was a long-time top runner in the sprints locally.

Ryan Lewis of Hawley took the early lead in the INEX Legends, but Alex Braseth of Ulen soon moved into the top spot with Ashton Spieker of Sabin, who started eighth, in tow.

Ryan Braseth of Ulen, who started seventh, went to work on Lewis for third and took over that spot with eight to go.

It was shaping up to be a three-car battle up front between Alex Braseth, Spieker and Ryan Braseth. Spieker took a look on the lower side of Spieker, but Ryan Braseth had the momentum and took over second, and soon was on his brother, Alex’s bumper.

With three to go, Alex Braseth slowed suddenly and exited the track, giving Ryan Braseth the lead and moving Spieker back to second.

Ryan Lewis of Hawley settled into third with Kody Machart of Moorhead in fourth. Also having a solid run was Elzetta Bitker of Halstad as she ran in the top five.

Ryan Braseth picked up his fourth win of 2022 with Spieker settling for second. Lewis was third, Machart fourth and Bitker fifth. I believe it was Bitker’s first career top five finish, so congrats to her.

Brad Orvedal of Fargo took the early lead in the IMCA Hobby Stock feature, beating Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks to the first corner.

Orvedal opened up a 1.2 second lead on Eckerdt, who faced a challenge from Tim Church of moorhead for second for a few laps before opening up some space. Todd Gettel of Mahnomen settled into fourth.

The caution came out for Tristan Halvorson who went off of turn four with six to go, bringing Eckerdt back to Orvedal’s bumper. Eckerdt went low and gave Ordeval a nudge and got side by side.

Eckerdt edged into the lead with three to go in what turned into a great duel with Eckerdt running lower and Orvedal running a higher line.

The caution came out with two to go for Jeff Busby’s spin in turn four. On the final restart Eckerdt got a great start, but Orvedal closed closing heading into turn one for the final time.

Orvedal got a bit loose on the backstretch and Eckerdt opened up some breathing room as a result to pick up his fifth win of 2022. Orvedal held off Church for second while Gettel was fourth. Busby, who had made his debut last Sunday at Buffalo River, scored his first top five by taking fifth.

The IMCA Stock Cars featured the teammates, Todd Heinrich of Fargo and Rick Schulz of Horace, from the front row. The two raced very close for the lead as they exchanged the top spot.

Rob VanMil of Barnesville soon joined the top two. Heinrich was running low and Schulz high; Heinrich got tight out of turn four on one lap and VanMil took over second. VanMil and Schulz then battled for the top spot.

VanMil pulled off a successful slider with four laps to go in turns three and four and led the rest of the way to pick up the win over Schulz. Heinrich was a solid third with Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada fourth. Brody Carlsrud of Fargo rounded out the top five. It was VanMil’s first win of the year.

Speaking of Carlsrud, the recent Moorhead High School graduate got some very valuable seat time on the Dakota Classic Mod Tour last week in North Dakota. He raced seven nights in a span of eight days.

From left, Kyle Dykhoff (2nd), Justin Vogel (1st) and Jonny Carter (3rd) were the top finishers at KRA Speedway

Vogel Wins at KRA

Justin Vogel of Brooten won the Steffes Street Stock feature Thursday night at KRA Speedway in Willmar.

Vogel, the tour points leader, won on the tour for the third time. A good 26-car field was on hand.

Braden Brauer of Eyota had crossed the finish line first, but was DQed in postrace tech for illegal deck height.

Following Vogel to the finish was Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck in second and 2020 tour champion Jonny Carter of Fairmount, N.D., in third. Jeff Nowak of Wausau, Wis., was fourth and Kyle Anderson of Jamestown was fifth.

Justin VanEps of Kandiyohi topped Ashley Mehrwerth of St. Stephen for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win.

RaceChaser Notes

--I talked to Ryan Johnson of Karlstad, who is a rookie in the Wissota Mod class. He is running a 2012 Victory Chassis this season and told me he is having a blast. He was very successful in the street stocks, winning titles at River Cities Speedway.

--Lightning Sprint driver Weston Olson of Warren is on the racing sidelines for the time being; he broke his wrist playing baseball earlier this month.

--Cody Neset hopped behind the wheel of the No. 9 INEX Legend Car, which normally had been piloted by his nephew, Reed. Cody is the brother of Midwest modified driver Cole Neset; Cody had not been in a race car in 17 years.

--Blacklance is running a 2010 GRT as his Midwest modified car; he also has a MB Customs Modified he runs. He finished 10th in the modified main event.

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